Well, with all the customised cakeries popping up everywhere, let me give you an honest review of what I thought about Fresh Bakes' fondant creation, and whether it was worth the big bucks.
Customised cakes are becoming a trend in Singapore during recent years, as more patrons are astounded by the works of art on edible delicacies. Being such a prosperous country, and welcoming more artistic homegrown talents in the baking business, it's no surprise that these customised cakeries can be fully-booked 1-2 months prior to a celebration. However, the pricetag is really something you have to consider, as even the extra inch, tier or pieces of fondant can jack up that crazy kaching.
You know what's ironic though? Customised cakes tend to be inferior in taste to your favourite cake shop out there that offers your special strawberry shortcakes, fudgy dark chocolate sponge and creamy, velvety goodness that we all tend to go on food hunts for. But yet, we'll settle for lesser taste, in exchange for brilliant aesthetics, along with a hefty bill that costs way more than your better-than-average cake shop. I guess, we all need to have a give-and-take sometimes.
1-2 weeks prior to my sister's sweet sixteenth birthday bash, I researched on several bakeries in Singapore, trying to weigh the factors of both price and artistic skills. I questioned them if they could deliver what I had indicated on the plan I drew out and sent to their email, and asked for their quotes.
Cake Avenue was the first one that got back to me, but their quote only included fondant covering for both the 1kg (roughly 7 inches) cake with fondant pieces, and 20 cupcakes. Their quote was $170 cake + $70 cupcakes + $15 delivery charge = $255 total. However, I was put off by the fact that they could not do the cupcakes in fresh cream, and if I wanted buttercream I had to order minimum 50 cupcakes O___O So the $240 consisted of a fondant covered 1kg cake, and 20 fondant covered cupcakes - WHICH IS RIDICULOUS.
FONDANT AKA SUGAR IS CHEAP, GUYS.I didn't bother replying to their email after that, coz they seemed to be pestering me to hurry up and quickly place my order & pay up. Besides, I was in Msia that day lol. Anyways... You could say I was unimpressed haha. Well, props to them for replying promptly.
Fresh Bakes was the next one who rose to the occasion. From their gallery on Facebook, I had confidence that they could pull off the look and design I specifically wanted for the cake, or at least fulfill most of it. There were many emails exchanged back and forth, at lightning speed, as we were only 1 week away from the 1st of March. I also learnt one thing from all the quotes - every inch increase will cost you a bomb. Which is why instead of simply ordering a bigger cake, I settled for a 1.5kg (8 inch) cake with 20 cupcakes. Ordering a cake/cupcake combo still proved to be more economical than going bigger.
Why did I choose Fresh Bakes in the end?
They told me they would be able to accomplish my design without a hitch, with a buttercream covering for the cake, and fresh cream swirls for the cupcakes. MAJOR BROWNIE POINTS KAYS. I absolutely detest fondant coverings/toppings, as I wouldn't wanna wolf down the thick fondant that is practically loaded and moulded from sugar, which equals to me wasting money on that portion. Yes, I understand that some designs will have to be done in fondant, but in this case, mine could! ;) This was the cost of the order: $155 cake + $70 cupcakes + $25 delivery charge = $256 total.
When the cake finally arrived on 1st March, I went to check the cake & cupcakes... and I was kinda disappointed at the outcome. The cake was not covered in buttercream, but in FONDANT. LIKE WHAT DID THEY NOT GET. I double confirmed it even before I paid them -____- These are the specifications that they did not include: the cake was supposed to have gold and silver specks on the sides, the colours of the flowers were not even what I had originally indicated (purple, pink & yellow), and the fondant letters on the cupcakes were red, and not blue.
While I don't mind the change for the fondant letters, I was kind of miffed that they didn't bother to check the details listed in proper fashion. The fondant covering was the element that was most shocking, as I had said from the start that I wanted buttercream. Btw, the fondant deco pieces were kinda small compared to my expectations. Expectation vs Reality moment XDDD
Onto the taste! :) Now, this was pretty good. The cake was chocolate sponge, and I fancied the fact that it wasn't too sweet, and it had a nice crunch in each bite. VERY GOOD. For the cupcakes, we had chocolate & mango. The fresh cream was delightful, not heavy at all, and the taste/texture wise certainly scores well in my book. ;)
The verdict: The cake is great-tasting, but design-wise, I think I would have expected more elaborate fondant pieces, much bigger in fact - but most of all, with correct details. Would I order from them again? With a price for that, most likely not. $256 for a cake is really too much, as this design is rather simple. :)
However, with that being said, they did fulfill their motto of pledging to using lower sugar and no preservatives, so for those health-conscious, you can try their cake and see to it that they get every detail correct. ^_^
Planning a big party this year, and want to get a special cake for the occasion? Remember to research for a reputable one, confirm the details over and over again - especially before making payment. Lots of bakeries nowadays offer customisation, Japanese bakeries like Flor's Patisserie & Patisserie Glacé. If you'd like me to recommend a place where it will definitely NOT disappoint, you can order from "Jo Takes The Cake" or "Cherylshuen". I've heard and seen fantastic handiwork from their gallery, and everyone has raved about their consistent great bakes that pleases both the eyes and tastebuds. :) But do bear in mind that they may charge much higher prices, but depending on your budget, you can discuss with the personnel, and see how things go. :) Also order EARLY. Not just 3 weeks, 1 month or 2, but some are fully booked for monthssss ahead guys! So hurry with your order if your big day is arriving soon. :)
To a day of cakey goodness,
Cherlyn Aurora xoxo
P.S Do you want to know how to plan a foolproof party? Come on over to www.cherlynaurora.blogspot.sg! :)