Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Reason Why I Prefer Sugar Flowers To Real Ones

I like to use sugar flowers on cakes, not fresh ones.

I've heard that some bakers who want to churn out lots of cakes per week push the idea of fresh flowers on their clients because it's less work for them. One was quoted in a cake magazine saying that even if a bride came in with her heart set on sugar flowers, he could talk her out of them and have her order fresh flowers after he was through. And that it was better for his bottom line, which is why he did it.

Call me crazy, but I personally prefer that the flowers on a cake be edible. I probably don't charge enough for the flowers that I make either, because I'm willing to forgo some profit in order to keep everything edible on my cakes.

Another reason is that if I'm making the flowers, I know they'll be there. I recently had a cake that was supposed to have purple orchids on it. I don't know what happened, but there were no flowers there when I delivered the cake.

(I happened to speak to the coordinator later, and she said that she suspected that the bride had just forgotten to order them because she hadn't heard anything about cake flowers.Who knows...)
I went to deliver the rest of the cakes for the day which luckily were at locations that were close by, then I came back. Still no flowers, so I punted.

Instead of leaving the cake naked and wrong-looking, I used some extra hydrangeas that I luckily (very luckily) happened to have left over from another delivery that day. The color was the right color, and the centerpieces were hydrangeas, so having sugar hydrangeas on the cake wouldn't look out of place.

It worked out this time...My other option would have been to go find a grocery store with a flower department and buy some purple orchids, but you can't leave a naked cake naked if it wasn't meant to be naked.

Next time I won't assume that the flowers will be there and I'll add that to my list of things to triple-check!

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

How fortuitous for you-and especially the bride! I wish I would get more orders for sugar flowers but they do not want to pay for them. I have thought about not charging as much too but haven't yet even had the opportunity. How do you talk the bride into sugar flowers especially if they've already been to the florist and placed their order before they come in for their consultation/tasting? If you do place flowers in an emergency situation whether fresh you went and purchased or sugar flowers you happened to have, do you send the bride the bill for them or is it a freebie? I'd be afraid if that got around they were free then other brides may "forget" the flowers on delivery day :\
cindy/cindy's cakery

jenny said...

I dont mind incorporating it into the cost of the cake, since the sugar flowers are the focal point, I'm going to do very little other decorating, and people always seem to want some kind of decoration...

I agree the bride was very lucky!

One of the weddings I did, there were supposed to be flowers provided but they had forgotten, and the planner had just got a handful of flowers, mostly poisonous from goodness knows where, not matching the colors at all, so I learned my lesson...

Kara said...

If I'd had to buy anything she would have received a bill, but it really was lucky that I had extras in the right color. I generally include a small amount of flowers in the price of the cake anyway, since that's a basic decoration. It's EXTREMELY unusual to totally forget the flowers if you're planning on using real ones, so I don't think that many brides would try to get away with not ordering any in order to get free flowers from somewhere else. They might end up with flowers that were stolen from the centerpieces getting stuck onto the cake, which probably isn't what they were planning on.

-Kara

Jennifer said...

I HATE coordinating with florists on delivery times!!! It has been an absolute pain this summer. I've had brides forget to order, florists forget to bring them, florists show up 2 hours later than coordinated...
I even had one tell me that she showed up so late because SHE wanted to be the one to do the flowers on the cake since they were HER flowers.
I wish I had more time to make sugar flowers, and a little more knowledge. It was my goal this year to focus on teaching myself to do them, and I've slowly but surely been doing that, but gosh, they take more time than I have to give!!!

SweetThingsTO said...

Yes, I definitely prefer sugar flowers. You can control the size, the numger and the colors - sometimes you get surprised by that even though you triple-confirm with the bride or florists.

Kara said...

Jennifer, if a florist tells you that she'll put the flowers on your cake, tell them that while she's doing that you'll be rearranging her centerpieces.

Florists Richmond said...

yes i defant prefer sugar flowers......thank for sharing us