Tips on Choosing a Wedding Cake Designer

tips on choosing a wedding cake

Cake.  I love cake.  Who doesn’t?  I have a soft spot for all things sweet, and especially cake.  I think a beautifully designed and fantastic tasting wedding cake is something that your guests will talk about for a very long time after the wedding day is over and something that is at the top of a lot of brides’ to-do list when planning is searching for the perfect cake!  I recently sat down with Debbie Peak, the owner and cake designer at The Frosted Petal out of Cadott, WI about tips on choosing a wedding cake artist for your day.

It all started back when Debbie would create cakes with her Grandma & Aunt for church cake walks, her Grandma had a love of helping make cakes for the events and Debbie started helping using shaped pans & the star tip for icing in Junior High.  Between raising three beautiful children and being a stay-at-home mom Debbie started her craft when her youngest turned 1.  As Debbie’s kids got older she took a job working at a local Dairy Queen and had to learn to be quick with the cakes because well, they’re ice cream!   From there The Frosted Petal has grown with the help of a little push from her husband to jump in and go for it!  Debbie is on her third official season with The Frosted Petal and you won’t believe your eyes when you see her glorious confection creations.

the frosted petal wedding cakes

How do I select a cake designer for my wedding day?

Select a cake designer by speaking or meeting with them in person. Since you’ll be working with this person for months, finding someone who melds with your personality is essential. Ask for references. Don’t just assume your designer does a great job from pictures you see on their website or social media. It’s always good to get feedback from other bride & grooms who have worked with your designer. Also make sure that the cakes in their portfolio are indeed their own.

tips on choosing a wedding cake

What does my cake designer need to know about my wedding day?

What I need to know about your wedding day is the feeling that you’re trying to evoke. Your cake will undoubtedly be the centerpiece at your reception and will help set the mood for your guests. Also let your designer know when your cocktail hour and dinner will be served, as this plays a role in set up.

Can I bring examples of the cakes I love and will you make recommendations on my options?

Yes! Bringing pictures of your ideas is one of the best ways to convey exactly what you’re looking for in a wedding cake. While I won’t be able to make an exact replica, if your heart is set on something specific, I can certainly do something similar, while still putting my own twist on it!   During our initial consultation, we’ll discuss your cake design and touch on flavor choices. From there, I’ll make recommendations on which cakes & buttercreams hold up best for certain designs and most importantly, which do not! I’ll also recommend great flavor combinations and which ones are most popular. In keeping with your budget, you’ll also be given options for the type of medium that I’ll be working with to make any handmade decorations.

tips on choosing a wedding cake

Do you allow us to come and test cake flavors?

Absolutely! I would never expect you to entrust me with your wedding cake without first having tried my delicious cakes, buttercreams or desserts! The Frosted Petal offers cake tastings for $25. This includes up to 4 flavors of cake and 4 flavors of buttercream or fillings. If you decide to book, this cost comes off your wedding cake order. Also if you book, and decide at a later date to try a few more flavors, a pick up can be arranged at no additional cost.

the frosted petal wedding cakes

Debbie with the beginnings of a gorgeous cake in her bake studio.

the frosted petal wedding cakes


Who delivers my cake on my wedding day and is there a fee?

I will be delivering your wedding cake. A lot goes into getting your cake to the venue safely and setting up your cake or dessert buffet. I personally set up each and every cake to ensure that it’s perfect and even better than you had envisioned it!  Most reputable bakers will charge a delivery fee and /or set up fee of some kind to ensure that your cake is properly transported and arrives safely to the venue. I charge an additional fee for delivery and set up that is not included in the cost of the cake.

What if something goes wrong with my cake on my wedding day?

I am fully insured and you would be compensated if something were to go seriously wrong. If something minor happens during set up, I will do everything in my power to make the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, I am not responsible after set up is complete, should a guest bump into the cake, etc.

naked wedding cake

Something new and exciting… you might have seen around the internet. It’s called a Naked Cake and is a lovely way to show off a different, rustic and oh-so-delicious side of your wedding day.

Do you provide additional items such as stands, cupcake stands or cake serving utensils for my wedding?

I offer several cake, cupcake and dessert stands for rent. Many of these are customizable to your color scheme. I also offer various trays and platters for rent, which are perfect for dessert buffets.

What are common mistakes in ordering a cake for my wedding day, and what can I do to avoid those mistakes?

Fortunately, I encounter very few mistakes when couples order their cakes! If I had to list one, I would say the most common mistake is not ordering enough cake. I have guidelines set in place for adequate servings per cake size, and while this is usually spot on, there can be situations when this is just not enough cake – especially if you and your guests are cake lovers! A good example of this would be cupcakes. Many couples order one cupcake per guest, but if they are offering several different flavors, guests tend to want to try more than one, and that can lead to a shortage. I would recommend ordering more cupcakes than your have guests. If there are leftovers, they can be set out during the dance as well.

tips on choosing a wedding cake

When is the best time to secure a cake designer before the wedding day?

Designing your wedding cake is a process and it’s never too soon to book your wedding with your cake designer! Ideally, 12 to 6 months prior to your date is best. If you’re ordering from a custom cake designer, such as myself, you will need to lock in your date as soon as possible. Because I am the sole baker and artist, I’m limited to how many cakes I can design per weekend. It takes many hours of planning and prep work to make every detail of your wedding cake perfect! Booking requires and 50% non-refundable deposit and a signed on choosing a wedding cake

 Do I need to sign a contract? Yes, a signed contract is needed in order to book your wedding date.

How soon before my wedding will the cake be made? Do you use frozen cakes? I start the baking process on Wednesday (for Saturday weddings). From there, filling and decorating is completed by Friday.

tips on choosing a wedding cake

Who will be designing my cake?

At The Frosted Petal, the owner and decorator will be meeting with you personally throughout the cake designing process.  She is also the sole person to decorate your cake from start to finish.

tips on choosing a wedding cake

Other things to know before ordering a cake:

  • Know that not all cake designers fit into the same mold. Custom cake designers will cost more than a grocery store or traditional bakery. Their product is usually superior, both in taste and looks. A custom designer will also take extra time when meeting with you, to ensure your wedding cake is exactly what you want, not a cookie cutter approach.
  • Know your budget and the amount of servings you need. This will help the cake designer know where your limitations are and if they can even be of service to you. Your designer will help you determine what size cake works best for your servings needed. Your budget will also help determine if you’ll need supplemental sheet cakes and
  • Make it your own! If you have your heart set on a specific cake, know that even the best cake designer will not be able to make an exact replica. Cake decorating is an art and most designers will put their own spin on the design. Your designer should be upfront with what they can and cannot do, so there are no wedding day surprises.
  • Know that you should only hire a licensed cake designer/baker. Most venues require a licensed baker to supply your cake. The Frosted Petal operates out of a State Licensed facility. Debbie (owner & operator) is certified by the State of Wisconsin in the practice of Safe Food Handling. This means that she is educated in the proper handling of all food products, including safe transport, storage and packaging practices. It’s important to hire a decorator/baker that understands food safety concepts and can demonstrate that knowledge by complying with all WI food codes. Knowing and following these codes lowers the risk of foodborne illness and is learned only through ongoing education.

Want more information on how to contact Debbie to hire her to create some delicious & gorgeous confections?  Here are the details!

The Frosted Petal, located in Cadott, WI

Phone: 800.920.4651

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