Choosing a custom cake
While nothing beats a birthday cake lovingly made by mum or dad, many busy parents are happy to hand over to the professionals. A custom cake is an investment but well worth it. A spectacular cake that captures the spirit of the party and the guest of honour will not only be the centrepiece of the event, it is likely to be the thing your child remembers about the party as the years go by or that will feature in the photos when they cut the cake.
So, what are the things to consider when making this important decision? Genevieve from Cake Chemistry by Genevieve in Sydney shares her expert tips here!
Before the design ideas start flowing and emails go back and forth, it’s important to decide how much you want to spend. This is likely to be influenced by the significance of the occasion and the scale of the celebration. Or, you might want something extra special just because!
A custom cake will generally cost more than a design you choose directly from the decorator’s website/portfolio. The additional cost of a custom cake is due to the time taken to communicate about and to design the cake. If a custom cake isn’t in your budget, most cake decorators also have a range of pre-designed cakes which are less expensive if no alterations or additional communication is required.
Other factors that impact cake cost are:
The number and size of serves you require
- -There are price differences with additional tiers. This is because the process of creating each individual tier and then assembling the cake correctly to ensure it remains stable is time consuming and time is generally the main influence on cost.
- -Price differences for different width single tiers may be less significant depending upon the cake design as the time taken to create say an 8 inch diameter cake vs a 10 inch diameter cake of the same design is similar in many cases.
The style of cake e.g.:
- -Fondant cake
- -Semi naked cake
- -Naked cake
- -Buttercream cake
- -Sculpted (3D) cake
The price differences are in part due to the cost of ingredients but are mainly due to the time taken to construct each different cake style.
For example, a single tier fondant cake needs to be baked, ganache or buttercream prepared, the cake trimmed and filled with ganache or buttercream then covered in a perfectly smoothed coat of ganache/buttercream.
Any sculpting required is done before this process. Once the cakes are covered in fondant, they are smoothed and edges worked on. Then decorations which may themselves have taken many hours to create, are applied. This is the process that may take from hours to days (generally days!).
The type of decorations also influences the cost:
- -Handmade decorations (e.g. sugar flowers, fondant characters )
- -Pre made toppers (e.g. plastic figurines, ‘Happy Birthday’ )
- -Fresh flowers
- -Hand panted cake
- -Stencilled cake
- -Hand piping
- -Meringues, macarons, fresh fruit, candy
- -Edible gold or silver leaf
Cake flavour also influences the final price:
- -Cost of ingredients
- -Time to prepare
Other things to consider when choosing a cake
Some design factors to consider are:
- -Party theme. There are thousands of themes but most decorators are up with the main trends and themes pretty quickly
- –Colour scheme of the party
- -Cake style (see above…fondant, semi naked etc…)
- –Age range. For example, kids tend not to want fruitcake and may prefer a buttercream cake to a fondant cake.
- –Weather. A buttercream cake for an outside party in the middle of summer may not be a great idea.
- -What the guest of honour wants of course!
- –Allergies and food intolerances. Always let your cake decorator know before selecting flavour/s.
Choosing a cake decorator:
- -It’s easy to get a feel for the kind of designer you like just by flicking through a stylish party or cake magazine.
- -Choosing a decorator often comes down to location but may also be influenced by whether they deliver.
- -Word of mouth. Friends and family may be able to recommend someone who has made them an amazing, delicious cake!
- -Does the decorator also do coordinated cookies, cupcakes etc?
Make sure you provide your decorator with some ideas, images and any other items of inspiration where possible. A few images of cakes you like will always be very helpful. A copy of the party invitation, tableware etc may also help create a cake that fits perfectly with your style and theme.
When you initially contact a cake decorator for availability and a quote, be as specific as possible. “Could you make a cake for my daughter’s birthday and how much will it cost?” is difficult to accurately answer. As already discussed, there are many different types of cakes with different prices ranges and most decorators will need to know the date to check availability.
Feel assured that the greatest reward for a cake decorator is seeing the reaction of a client to their cake. We’re always after a big WOW!! We are almost all perfectionists and a little bit obsessive about smooth sides, sharp edges and precise detail. Your cake will be amazing!!
Thanks Cake Chemistry by Genevieve for sharing these must know tips when ordering your kids party cake. As you can see, her work is stunning – so if you’re looking for a Sydney based cake decorator for your kids party – ensure you contact Genevieve!
I’m delighted to share with you the latest free issue of Celebrating Little One’s e-magazine! View it HERE.
There is also a fabulous chance to win the party on the front cover – details included inside the magazine to enter!
We hope you enjoy all the gorgeous features and products showcased in this issue from our Life’s Little Celebration members! Remember you can CLICK within the magazine to find any of the vendors or products that you spot that you love!
So many little girls have dreams of being a ballerina and their birthday party is a chance to bring this to life for a day! Today we’re delighted to share a gorgeous vintage ballerina party for the daughter of Jackie, one half of Arabella’s Vintage Wardrobe!
As Jackie describes – “When Arabella turned 8 all she wanted a beautiful ballerina party to match the colour of her ballet pink shoes…
Using this as the main colour pallet I added a touch of gold and white with pops of pink. I knew immediately that the perfect venue would be Darlings Day Out. The light, airy, spacious venue would provide a perfect backdrop for Arabella and her friends to pointe, twirl, jete, leap and whirl.”
Owner and stylist Danielle came up with the delightful concept of having her ballerina hostess Megan to add a touch of her special sparkle to the party.
The guests were treated to a series of relaxing pampering including nails, foot soaks, eye masks and the much loved complimentary pink lemonade on arrival. Ballerina Megan then workshopped a series of ballet dances which soon had the guests moving with grace and charm. The party guests then enjoyed a series of ballerina themed games and craft activities
A stunning grazing table was set up as a central feature for the girls to mingle and eat at. Decorated with antique lace runners, fluffy cushions, girly gold and pink table wear from Favor Lane Boutique, divine flowers from Code Bloom Inglewood and vanilla iced tutu cookies from She Bakes in Heels.
No party is complete without a stunning cake and this party was no exception. Cooks Cakes provided a delicious ruffled cake which had a dainty pair of ballet pink shoes and a gold tiara. Delicious Cupcakes in gold foil were topped with vintage dancing ballerinas. Ali from Stylish Soirees added a touch of ballet chic with her ruffled tablecloth for the cake table. She also supplied gorgeous pink, gold and confetti balloons as well as two large tulle balloons, perfect finishing touches of ballerina magic.
Ali of Stylish Soirees Perth provided a gorgeous easel to hang a very special pair of decorated ballet shoes made by June (Arabella’s grandmother) of Arabella’s Vintage Wardrobe. June also created a range of stunning ballerina wands for the girls to treasure and remember this special day. Lots of love went into every stitch.
Other whimsical touches included vintage dressers, antique lace and furniture. Tables were topped with treasured mementos including some early portraits of Arabella in her first tutu, garlands, tiaras and flowers. Danielle also used a gorgeous Little Chiyo English rose full length tutu displayed on a wire mannequin.
The dreamy party was everything Arabella had hoped for. The next day the guests were still whispering about the ballerina magic created at Darlings Day Out.
Photographer: Viktoria Saar Photography
Party styling and venue: Darlings Day Out
Ballet shoes and wand favours: Arabella’s Vintage Wardrobe
Accessories pallets, gold table cloth, table tutu skirt: Stylish Soirees Perth
Tableware: Favor Lane Party Boutique
Cake and cupcakes by Amy Cook
Vintage cupcake toppers by Etsy
Full length Tutu worn by Party hostess Ballerina Megan and on wire dummy: Little Chiyo
Arabella’s dress: Tutu du Monde
Ballerina favour tags and ballet shoe garland : My Paper Planet
Iced Vanilla biscuits: She bakes in Heels
Flowers by CodeBloom
Pointe, leap, grand jeté and twirl, this Pink Ballerina Birthday Party will make you whirl!
We love original and unique party themes which develop out of a child’s favourite things so today we’re delighted to share this gorgeous party with you!
Elizabeth from Elk Prints designed this Orange Garden party for her son Aiden, explaining: For Aiden’s 3rd Birthday party we set a theme of “In the Orange Garden”. My son has always loved oranges, both the fruit and the colour. The French animation show “Miniscule” was his first favourite television series to watch and he particularly loves the ladybugs and bees from the show. I combined these loves together to create a bright, fresh party in our garden filled with pops of citrus colour and little insects scuttling amongst the leaves.”
The theme was set by these gorgeous invitations which were foil-pressed and finished off with hand-painted watercolour details:
The verandah and garden backdrop already makes for a lovely natural setting for the party but Elizabeth added in some special decor touches to enhance the setting and lift it into “party status”. Born to Party provided magnificent jumbo balloons with garden foliage tails and Elizabeth also had lemon slice mylar balloons.
For the main dessert table Elizabeth chose some beautiful white marble platters as a base to reflect the coastal Italian and Spanish citrus orchards that inspired her. Sprigs of cumquats and orange branches were used to decorate the spaces in-between. She also commissioned some beautiful desserts to go with the theme – cheesecakes, cookies and orange scented marbled meringues from Quincy Lane.
The central cake was a homemade affair – a citrus spice cake with buttercream and marmalade. Elizabeth experimented with using some of the Edible Art paints to recreate one of her watercolour paintings onto the cake and to add colour to the sugar flowers, leaves, fruit and insects.
She also designed the cake topper to also reflect the theme and carry on the theme and style set by the initial invitations.
Arelio Sweetbox made the cutest little bee and ladybird meringues with some orange jaffa meringues and pandan green ‘leaves’ in-between. Elizabeth carried on the bee and ladybird touches with some of her custom designed cupcake toppers to add to the cheesecakes and pannacotta jelly cups.
Aiden also loves cheese so together they chose a selection from Ocello in Surry Hills and paired it with some candied cumquats Elizabeth had found earlier in the year at a deli. Elizabeth designed the little cheese labels so that guests would know what type of cheese, it’s origin and also what type of milk it used (cow/sheep/goat/buffalo).
Elizabeth created some of her custom hand-painted watercolour bunting of lemon slices and orange slices with leaves to string between the verandah posts to emphasise the theme and we think all the touches work together beautifully to bring this theme truly alive! It really demonstrates how even with a unique theme…some custom pieces can help to style to match the theme.
We love this custom milestone board that Elizabeth created:
For the take home thank you gifts there were little marmalade jars for the adults and empty jam jars filled with lollies for the children. Each was tied off with a watercolour orange tag.
This really seems like such a perfect party and enjoyable day for Aiden in the orange garden….
Thank you Elizabeth of Elk Prints for sharing this gorgeous party with us which was filled with so much love and personal touches!
Come one! Come all!
Carnival party – Paper Face Party Sydney
Thanks to a certain recent hit movie, the carnival is popular once more and it’s revived the classic party theme we haven’t seen in a long time!
A carnival party can be so easily adapted for any age group or occasion, simply by changing up the characters from cute circus animals to something a little more Greatest Showman inspired for older children who loved the musical.
So ROLL UP as we’ve found a fantastic range of carnival and circus inspired party supplies from our LLC Vendors to help pull it all together for you. Just CLICK on any image below to be taken to that business!
Carnival Party Invitations
Set the tone for your occasion with a great invitations depicting elements of the carnival like a Big Top tent, animals, popcorn, a carousel or fun bright colours.
Pop up carnival invitations, The Party Parlour
Custom Carnival Party Invitations, Giggles & Grace
Carnival party invitations, Kids Prints
This is perfect for a more girly Carousel take on a Carnival theme!:
Carousel themed invitations, Pink Pom Pom Kids
Carnival Party Decorations
Decorating for your kids carnival party is super easy – just use plenty of colour or just red and white, adding fun elements you’d find at the greatest show. Prop hire is another great way to bring the show alive with ticket booths, signs and animals amongst some of our favourites.
Popcorn foil balloon, Favor Lane Party Boutique
Hotdog foil balloon Favor Lane Party Boutique
Lion balloon, Little Boo-Teek
Confetti balloons, The Party Parlour
Circus signs, Little Boo-Teek
Carnival party backdrop, Giggles & Grace
Carnival banner, Paperface Party
High chair banner, Theme It
Coloured balloons, Instant Party Packs
Carnival table centrepieces, Little Boo-Teek
Carnival theme table pom pom decorations, Theme It
Carnival themed props for hire, Tiny Tots Toy Hire, Sydney
Ticket booth prop hire, Tiny Tots Toy Hire, Sydney
Carnival themed prop hire, Enchanted Party Hire, Brisbane
Carnival Party Tableware
Admittedly you wouldn’t be seated at a table at the carnival, but a party table for little guests to enjoy their party treats is always a welcome rest and adds another element of decoration. There’s plenty of themed coordinated carnival tableware to choose from, or mix and match bold colours for a fun and bright carnival theme.
Popcorn table cover, Party! She Said
Carnival themed plates, Little Boo-Teek
Carnival plates, Party! She Said
Carnival coloured plates, The Party Parlour
Red coloured cups, Instant Party Packs
Red plates, Instant party packs
Carnival themed kit, Party Kit Co
Carnival Party Cakes, Desserts and Accessories
A trip to the carnival wouldn’t be the same without a treat! Popcorn, hotdogs, cakes and clever character cookies are not only YUM, but they make great carnival props on your dessert table.
Carnival themed baking cups, The Party Parlour
Striped baking cups, Instant Party Packs
Chocolate wrapper, Kids Prints
Clown cookies, Cookie Queen Kitsch’n, Sydney
Carnival cupcakes, Delleicious by Elle, Sydney
Carnival cookies on sticks, Petite Cookies, Melbourne
Carnival cake, Sweetest Jubilee, Melbourne
Carnival cookies, SweetP Cakes and Cookies, Noosa
Carnival cookies, The Cookie Star, Sydney
Vivalicious Sweets, Melbourne
Carnival ice creams, Vivalicious Sweets, Melbourne
Delleicious by Elle, Sydney
Carnival Party Favours and extras
Consider your party favours the show bags of your carnival! Fill treat boxes or bags with left over treats, fun games and souvenirs – but not before playing some carnival inspired games and pulling a funny face in the photo booth!
Carnival Bit Top treat box, Party! She Said
Carnival loot bags, Party! She Said
Carnival blow outs, Little Boo-Teek
Admit One stickers, Party! She Said
Clown game, Party! She Said
Carnival photo booth props, Party! She Said
Carnival tickets, Ruby Rabbit Partyware
Carnival themed favours, Glitter & Glue Designs
Carnival party favour bags, Kids Print
Clowning Around favours, The Loot Lab
Circus party favour box – The Loot Lab
A carnival party theme is so much fun for all ages! And guess what…? You now have an amazing soundtrack to use too!