6 tips on finding Brisbane’s best custom cake designs
Important birthday celebrations often warrant a custom made cake. Brisbane residents have a number of choices when they look for quality cake designers. Use these tips to get your choice right and you’ll enjoy the whole process of ordering and receiving your custom designed cake.
Why choose a quality custom designed cake in Brisbane?
Not every occasion is important enough to celebrate with a custom designed cake, but some are. Special occasions like milestone birthdays, especially 21st birthdays and 50th birthdays, are often celebratory events you want to remember for ever. It’s times like these when having a custom designed cake adds a real boost to your event.
Custom designed cakes are ideal when:
- The event is one you want to remember with photos that last for years to come – this time won’t come again.
- Your event needs a focal point – turning a simple gathering into a real occasion!
- You want the recipient to feel super special – a custom designed cake should reflect them and their style.
How to get the best value and enjoyment from your custom designed cake:
- Work with an experienced cake artist.
- Enjoy the anticipation (it’s a bit like waiting for Christmas day!)
- Have the cake on display throughout the event. Make it a centrepiece, let everyone enjoy it for longer and fully appreciate the artistry involved, consider it to be part of your decorations. It’s such a waste to keep a beautiful cake like this in a back room and only bring it out just before you cut it and sing “Happy Birthday to you”.
6 tips for choosing the best custom designed birthday cake in Brisbane
1. Provide a brief
You are engaging a design professional to create a custom cake, so you should be prepared to provide a brief for them to follow. Certainly the basics are important such as the date you require the cake, the number of portions you need, the general colour and type of design.
For the record, a “coffee/treat” size portion is traditionally 1-inch by 1-inch (25mm x 25mm) with a “dessert” portion being 1-inch by 2-inches (25mm x 50mm).
But a good cake designer will want to learn more, about you and who the cake is for. You need to let your cake designer know what’s important to you. What was it on their website that inspired you?
The good news is you don’t need to create your own brief in full. An experienced cake designer will know what to ask you and will take the time to have a conversation about the recipient and what you would like to see included, or not, on the cake. Their expertise will guide the conversation.
Custom cake designs are a bit like haute couture in the fashion world, they are made to suit the individual.
2. Assess the quality, style and skill level of the cake designers work
To the eye of a non-design person it can be hard to identify exactly why one cake looks fantastic versus why another looks just ordinary. The skill a cake designer brings is the ability to understand how to achieve the outcome you want without you having to spell out every aspect of the cake, and without you having to provide a picture for them to copy from (see point 6 below).
A professional cake artist just makes it happen for you.
What to look for in a custom cake designer in Brisbane:
- Technical knowledge – Do they understand how the different ingredients used in cake decorating react and how to work with them to produce the best results?
- Skill – Do they use innovative techniques in their designs? Do they produce sharp work that looks neat and professional?
- Artistic talent – Do the colours and design elements work in harmony? Is the design balanced? Does it flow in a visually pleasing way? Even the best design can look awful without a proper understanding of colours and how it affects the balance and flow of the design.
- Design style – Do they have their own particular design style? Can you see evidence of that on their website?
- The complete package – Can the designer backup their creativity and high standard of finish with a professional ordering and payment system that makes it easy for you the customer?
A high-end cake designer will showcase their work on their website. Look for a consistently high standard of finish.
3. Find a cake artist you can easily communicate with
In the digital age it’s easy to think you’re saving time by using text messages or emails. But that’s no way to communicate with a cake designer. It leaves too much room for inaccurate assumptions or misunderstandings.
The custom cake design process requires the cake artist to gain a clear understanding of what you want. And they need to be able to express that to you so you are confident with what they are proposing.
Professional cake designers should be available during business hours and respond promptly to any phone calls, voice mails or emails you might send them.
Importantly, once you have placed your order do they confirm your order details in writing so you have a clear record of what is happening?
Good communication is essential as you don’t want to have any worries or be concerned over the details. You should simply be looking forward to seeing your custom cake.
4. Trust the cake designer
Unlike baking a cake, which follows a strict recipe, the design process is not a linear, step-by-step process. There is no simple recipe for design success.
Creativity takes time. And even an experienced cake designer will need to spend time thinking about what you need, the best way to create the impact you are after, and tossing around various options in their mind. They may even make up some test pieces to see if a particular idea will work out for you. And they may need to investigate certain colour options or colour compatibilities to ensure the finished cake is truly pleasing to the eye.
Most of that creative work will be invisible to you. It’s what the designer does in their studio to provide an exceptional outcome. It’s also part of what you pay for when you engage a professional cake artist.
You need to be comfortable with the cake artist you have chosen to be able to interpret your initial brief and apply their own creativity to produce a stunning cake. You need to trust they can do that for you.
5. Be realistic about the price
Designing a custom cake and making it to a high standard of finish requires considerable skill and does take time. It’s the same with producing any other quality individually hand-crafted item.
Producing custom designed cakes can take days, sometimes weeks, of creative effort. That’s why the finished cake is so special – and you get what you pay for. You can’t expect a high quality cake to be priced the same as a cake of lower quality and finish.
The actual price you will need to pay depends on a number of factors such as the size of the cake (or how many portions you need), the type of cake and the overall design and detail required (the more detail and degree of difficulty the more expensive it may be).
If you have a budget or price range in mind discuss it up front with your cake designer. Let them know what your budget is so they can tailor their suggestions and design-thinking to your price range.
In some situations you may not have a fixed budget – you may be more focused on having a cake that creates a real presence at your event. For example, some people want the cake to look a certain size and aren’t necessarily interested in whether there will be too much cake, or not enough. Alternately some people like to explore how much it would cost to go with all the ‘bells and whistles’.
Overall, it’s important to consider the value this cake has for your event and that the cost of the cake is an investment in making the occasion as memorable as possible.
6. Don’t steal a design from another cake designer
It’s easy to get excited by looking at lots of cake pictures. And it can be tempting to take one of those pictures and shop it around to other cake decorators, not cake designers, asking them to copy (or “recreate”) it.
Cake designs, like other types of art and design work, are legally protected by copyright. That means it is illegal to reproduce and sell copies of that design. And the urban myth that “changing 10% of the design” is enough to make it different (and therefore avoid copyright issues) is completely wrong. Copying another cake designers specific design is not fair to the original cake designer. And it limits the creativity for any self-respecting cake artist you might approach.
And copying from another design won’t necessarily give you the high quality result you are looking for in a custom birthday cake. You need to make sure the cake designer you are speaking to has the skill to create what you want. Be aware that the skill and expertise of the original designer might make the original design look very attractive and deceptively easy to do, but it is usually very difficult to achieve.
An important part of the job for any professional cake designer is to interpret and advise you on your brief, creating an end product that will delight you and your guests. It’s about much more than just copying a cake design.
Use these tips to get it right and you’ll thoroughly enjoy the process of ordering and receiving your quality custom designed birthday cake in Brisbane.