Monday, February 28, 2005
Craig When it comes to planning a wedding, picking the icing on the cake is one of the finer details.
There are hundreds of combinations of cake, filling and icing flavors available from local bakeries to customize the nuptial dessert.
Trisha Smith recently opened Trisha's Cakes By Design in Craig and offers seven cake choices, 10 fillings and six frostings.
"I just decided to use my talents and interests and offer a service," she said.
Smith graduated from Wilton Cake Industries' course on decorating last April and has a portfolio of the cakes she has made for customers to get ideas. She will also customize cakes for those who know exactly what they want.
Often, brides will come in with a picture, and Smith can typically replicate the cake.
Area grocery store bakeries have a similar system, but they are sometimes limited by the materials the store carries, said Rosa Ramirez, head baker at the Steamboat Springs Safeway. However, she said the decorators do the best they can to give customers what they're looking for.
"If our customer has something in mind, just bring a picture to us," she said. "We can match whatever they want."
Aletha Dove, head cake decorator at City Market in Craig, said most couples are looking for a traditional wedding cake design, though she has done some that carry a Western theme. She has noticed a trend toward fondant, a smooth, rolled icing.
Smith has seen some "wacky cake designs," such as a slanted cake with bold prints similar to the Mad Hatter's in "Alice of Wonderland."
She has noticed a tendency for brides to want the cake to match their dresses, and she can duplicate the print of lace on the icing.
In addition, she has heard more and more about couples who use cupcakes or doughnuts to build a cake, so each guest has an individual serving. Chocolate-covered strawberries and groom cakes also are popular.
Smith said she is willing to take requests, and can even omit eggs for those with allergies if necessary.
"I'll do anything that I can to help the customer be content and happy," she said.
Of course, being pleased with the cake served on the wedding day comes at a cost.
Smith charges $3.25 a piece for basic cake choices, which comes out to $252 for a three-tier cake that serves 68 guests. Cakes increase in price as the size and complexity decreases.
Smith will deliver in Craig for free or out of town for 50 cents a mile and $25 an hour for her time.
Dove said her typical cake serves 150 guests and costs $250. Those having a small wedding can usually get away with spending $100 for an attendance of 30.
Ramirez said most of the three-tier cakes Safeway offers are $231 and serve 154 people. Fancier ones run more than $400.
Dove recommends couples have an idea of what they want their cake to look like and how many it should serve before visiting a bakery.
She also asks for the order to be placed at least two weeks before the wedding date.
Then, cake decorators can sit down with couples and help them decide exactly what their cake should look like.
"Each bride has her own idea of what she has been dreaming about for however long, and we try to give her whatever she wants," Dove said.