The “Cutting of the Cake” is a tradition that has followed wedding receptions for years.  However, the “Cake” has gone through trends from the big white, multi-layer cake, groom cake, cupcakes and now the “Desert” or “Candy” bar concept.  We see a lot of cake and desserts go through Elk Point.  Trust us, after 10 years in business we know which one’s are good and which one’s are not.  This month we sat down with Becky and Amanda at Pastry and More in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to discuss trends in the dessert field along with service offerings provided.

Both Becky and Amanda are self-taught cake designers.  Becky learned the trade from her Mother and Grandmother making cakes out of the house.  Two of the staff members at Pastry and More are trained culinary bakers.  They also continue to receive assistance from the previous owner of the bakery, who is also self-taught.  While self-taught bakers may be a cause for concern for some customers, please take a moment to go to Pastry and More’s website and social media pages to see some of the designs they come up with.  By the way, the cake itself taste’s pretty darn good too!

Nowadays there are a wide variety of flavors and fillers available for your cakes and desserts.  This wide variety provides tons of options for the picky palette. Pastry and More is able to add flavors to their sponge cake such as lemon, orange or raspberry.  In additional they also have red velvet cake and carrot cake, which is very popular.  They also have the traditional fillers such as strawberry, passion fruit, chocolate and North Idaho’s favorite berry, Huckleberry.  All the cakes and fillers are made from scratch onsite at Pastry and More.

The organic/vegan/gluten free trends have not escaped the attention of the staff at Pastry and More.  However, currently Pastry and More does not support these baking options.  The staff will refer customers looking for those options to another baker that does specialize in them.  Pastry and More uses 17 different flours and spend tons of man-hours in designing their culinary creations.

When we asked Becky about the latest trends in the cake/dessert/baking field she immediately answered, cupcakes!  We at Elk Point can also attest that the cupcake trend is still going strong from the many events we host each year.  Becky stated that the small bites/sample size dessert bar type items are where the industry seems to be moving as opposed to the large, opulent wedding cakes of past years.  Customers that do want a cake tend to purchase a cutting cake that consists of many different flavors.

An important question to ask your baker is about their refund policy. In fact, if planning a wedding it is an important question to ask every single vendor you are planning to work with.  In speaking with Amanda at Pastry and More she says that refunds are primarily based on individual events.  The $50.00 deposit is non-refundable, as are many vendors initial deposits as the vendor is having to turn away business in order to work on the customer’s event.  They do offer a 50% refund if canceled within 48 hours of the event as at that point they do have considerable time invested to accommodate for the event.  Occasionally, there are customer satisfaction issues post event.  These usually need to be addressed within 24 to 48 hours post event.  Sometimes it is buyer’s remorse as some of the products and services related to events, especially weddings, can reach significant financial figures.  Other times, it is simply a style or flavoring issue.  Like all vendors in the industry, Pastry and More does try to work with its customers to ensure the product they want is what is delivered.

If you have not seen Pastry and More’s work yet, you need to check them out.  Our interviewer, Jeff Petroskie, always asks those he interviews what the “craziest” thing they ever did was.  Amanda at Pastry and More rattled off numerous examples from dragons to unicorns to armadillo’s to Star Wars cakes.  One thing she stressed is that they never say no and that they love a challenge to design whatever it is the customer is envisioning.  However, Amanda did finally reveal that her favorite cake that she designed was the flamingo cake.

Much like just about everything when it comes to an event there are a ton of different choices when it comes to cakes, cupcakes and deserts to offer your guests.  We recommend meeting with your chosen baker early and to be very detailed in what it is you are looking for.  But, allow the designer the freedom to interpret your idea as best they can.  We look forward to seeing your design when you host your event at Elk Point.