Baked goods displayed in a bakery Image by Lisa Redfern from Pixabay

A common food-related question many of us have asked at some point in our life is - “Where can I order a good cake from?” To someone who doesn’t care much about cakes, this might seem like a silly question. But for the rest of us, normal folks, the struggle is real since we have all been guilty of ordering a terrible cake from an overly hyped and over-promising baker or bakery. So, how do we ensure that we don’t make the same mistake again?

For the longest time in my life, I was surrounded by friends and colleagues who were amazing bakers and ended up turned their skill and passion into a full-time business. Picking a cake was a simple task. I just had to check which one of my friends was free and could cater to a certain number of guests. Since I had tasted their cakes multiple times in the past, I didn’t have to do a taste test. But every time I traveled out of the city, I had to go through a whole checklist of requirements before I could trust a baker with my order. And the more I speak to people, the more I realize that this is a common problem.

Should I really research a baker?

Anyone who is putting together an event such as a birthday party, wedding, or engagement bash, carefully plans every single detail, which includes food. A lot of money is spent on food because that is one of the things that guests tend to remember. Imagine how you would feel if, after all your planning, the cake or pastry that gets delivered is different from what you specified. Won’t it upset you?

I remember attending a wedding where the baker completely messed up the wedding cake and delivered something very different from what the groom had ordered. Needless to say, the groom was furious on a day when he was supposed to be happy.

What I am trying to illustrate is the importance of doing a little research before you pick a baker for your event. A common technique that I use to find, for example, a salon or an ATM service, is to type something like “salons near me” on a search engine and review the list that comes up. But looking for a baker near you using only this method or word-of-mouth reference can be tricky.

Six things that should be on your checklist

To help you with the process of choosing a baker, I compiled a basic list of things you should consider before making a decision. Depending on the complexity of requirements, your checklist might look different from mine.

  1. Check a baker's credibility through references, social media, reviews
Although word-of-mouth references are more reliable than a random review on the internet, it is hard to form an opinion when there is only one reference point. Unless your event is small or personal, you should look a little closer at a baker’s reputation.

These days, most home bakers promote their business on social media. Looking at their handles can give you a good idea of their work as well as their popularity. If you can find references, talk to them to understand their experience working with the particular establishment. For bakers that have been in the business for a long while, you can find them on food ordering applications and check their reviews and ratings. Another way to assess their credibility is to check if they feature in lists compiled by different individuals and organizations.

  1. Visit their baking facilities
Visiting the premises of a baking business can give you a good idea of the importance placed on hygiene as well as their capacity in terms of equipment, storage, personnel, and space. The location of a bakery also matters when delivery or pick-up is constrained by time. In case you opt for delivery, it is good to check out their delivery system beforehand to avoid surprises.

  1. Have a conversation about ingredients
One of the most important questions you should ask is about the kind of ingredients that will go into your cake. Baking methods can vary depending on the ingredient used. Ensure that the person baking has experience working with the ingredient you want. Make sure you specify your requirements in detail and confirm what ingredients will be used to meet your specification. For example, your idea of a vegan cake could vary from a baker’s.

  1. Review menu options
It helps to have options to choose from if you are not sure what flavors work together or you want to try something different. Keep in mind that a long list of options is not necessarily a good thing. For larger events, you typically need more than just a cake. Speak to your baker to find out what else they can provide along with a cake. Some bakers even provide a whole spread for the cake table, which reduces your effort of buying and setting up each individual item.

  1. Check how comfortable your baker is with customization
Bakers usually allow you to request a modification on elements such as ingredients and size. If you are looking for a specific design, check if the person creating the cake is comfortable creating that design and can show you samples of their previous work. If it’s a baker you have never worked with in the past, it helps to be able to taste some of their work before placing a big order.

  1. Discuss the price in detail
This is one of the most important discussions that you need to have with a baker. Different businesses follow different pricing models, and the final cost depends on a lot of factors such as the level of customization, ingredients used, weight, number of pieces, and so on. A home baker charges differently from a commercial baker for a variety of reasons, and it won’t be fair to expect the same level of service or price from both options.

If you are looking for a baker today, make sure you visit our platform. We partner with reliable home and professional bakers from different localities. Our bakers offer multiple cake options that can be customized with alternate ingredients. We ensure the credibility of each individual and establishment so that you can order in confidence.