Wedding Season in NYC Means Wedding Cakes in NYC
As a busy wedding caterer in Brooklyn, we find ourselves researching and preparing a lot of different cuisines. I mean a LOT of different cuisines: In addition to the ingredient-focused, Brooklyn-inspired food we built our reputation on, we’re called upon to deliver meals ranging from classic Italian to Latin American to soul food to Vietnamese to New England clambakes…you get the idea. A lot of different styles of food for which we need to prepare and tool up and then execute perfectly.
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in years of catering weddings in Brooklyn, corporate events in NYC, giant engagement parties in upstate NY and seemingly everything in-between, it’s this: Everyone—or, nearly everyone—loves cake.
Few words are as evocative of celebration as “cake.” It really doesn’t matter who the guests are: Where they’re from, how they identify culturally, how old they are. They want to try that cake.
Frankly, it doesn’t even matter how hungry they are: They’re going to take a piece of the cake. But will they finish it? And it’s here that where things get interesting, at least from the chef’s point of view.
Fancy or Plain? What Makes a Great Cake?
If your childhood was anything like mine, chances are you weren’t chowing down on fancy cake. I’m thinking more supermarket sheet cake, prepackaged jobs with frosting so bright and sweet it hurts your teeth just to think about them.
That frosting had to be painfully sweet and blatantly artificial for a couple of reasons: For one, the cakes were typically not exactly fresh. And for another, the frosting’s job was to hide the fact that underneath it all, the cake itself was really not very good.
Since then, food nostalgia has become its own genre, with chefs replicating aggressively trashy foods like Frito pie and Kraft mac ’n cheese with premium—and premium-priced—ingredients and techniques engineered to taste just like the $1.99 entrees of our youth.
Our approach is a bit different.
Our take on cake mirrors our take on food: The ingredients come first, period. If you don’t have great ingredients to start out with, it makes it a lot harder to end up with a killer cake.
And while we have to admit to being pretty darn impressed by some of the architectural cakes out there right now—check out the truly impressive work at NYC wedding cake shops like Cake Alchemy and byPensa—our taste is a bit more straightforward: Give us a carefully made, moist, dense and toothsome crumb, either naked or perhaps with a white frosting, with edible or candied flowers or berries for garnish. It’s clean, elegant, drop-dead delicious and beautifully embellished for presentation.
Actually now that you got me thinking about it, my personal favorite of ours is a lemon pound cake with passionfruit filling and a white chocolate or lemon vanilla frosting. But hey, that’s just me. Like all of our cakes, it’s made in-house by chef Jay Reifel, who also happens to be executive chef at Edible History.
Wedding Cakes: How to Choose?
I want to point out that wedding cakes aren’t the only ones we make: There are birthday cakes, mitzvah cakes, anniversary cakes, and many others.
But wedding cakes are the ones that tend to get the most attention from clients, and for good reason: They’re kind of a symbol of the entire wedding. That’s just one of the reasons we focus special attention on them, too.
There are a few ways clients select their cake. Sometimes they see a photo or read a description in our gallery and BAM! They just have to have “that cake.”
Other times, we’ll include cake as part of a client’s tasting meal, a topic we’ve written about previously.
And on occasion, we’ll stage a cake-only tasting, though we prefer to include it as part of a meal so you get a better idea of what the entire experience will feel like.
As for pricing: Our wedding cakes start at $1000, and we add $7.50 per person after 100 guests.
We don’t typically manufacture cake toppers, but our ideal cake would be an elegant, three-tier white cake, embellished with bright flowers and a signature cake topper designed by our couple and made by one of our skilled partners.
Any other questions? You know how to reach us. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line!