Answers Everyone is Looking for…
Click on a question to see answer.
How much time do you need to make a cake?
A: To be sure you get the most options, we suggest ordering with 1 weeks’ notice, though most cakes require 5 days notice for any flavor cake listed on our standard menu … so that means order by Wednesday for the weekend.
What is available for decoration on those cakes are your choice of Buttercream flowers in white or pastel color, fresh or chocolate dipped strawberries, festive chocolate adornments or a combination of any 2 of those, all included in the menu price. Also available are our STANDARD specialty cakes. We require a minimum of 7 days notice for custom rolled chocolate applique designs, and a** MINIMUM of 3 weeks notice for any custom sculpted shaped (3D cutout)cake or hand made 3D figurine or sculpture. (** see CUSTOM CAKE section for more information.) We also require 1 week notice to order any size dairy free or gluten free chocolate cakes, with customer’s choice of standard decorations.
What is considered “custom” & how long do we need to order?
A: At Dessert Works we consider a “custom” cake to be a cake that is cutout into the shape of anything (ie: a car, a purse, a boat, letter or number), or any hand sculpted 3D figurine. We do make standard cutout cakes, such as a Barbie dress, and a cross, and these photos are shown & labeled in our specialty cakes galleries. All other cakes cut into shapes are considered custom because we would need to factor how many portions you will need, along with what shape you are requesting, additional materials that may be needed, & how much time it will take us to create the desired design. This evaluation of information requires the experience of our chef/owner to determine, and so the 2 weeks minimum time we ask for really only allows enough time for any extra materials to be ordered (like Styrofoam pieces, cake jewelry or custom sized/ shaped boards), cake templates to be made to the size specifications needed, and any time consuming and or fragile elements (like hand sculpted figurines or flowers) to be made. FOR THESE REASONS WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU START THE PROCESS OF ORDERING A CUSTOM CAKE AT LEAST 3 WEEKS IN ADVANCE. This time will allow for the collection of information from you regarding flavors, sizing, design & budget, as well as allow ample time for our chef to price out the requested design & our staff to follow up with you. We require all custom cakes are paid in full and all details are confirmed by 2 weeks before the pick up or delivery date.
Can we bring you in pictures of a cake we find in magazines or online from other bakeries, or inspiration materials for your decorators to work from?
A: Yes, but please be aware that all artists have their own way of doing things, as well as their own style. While we strive to make our customers happy, almost no 2 specialty cakes are alike. We are definitely willing to work with your design ideas, and welcome you to work with us to design the cake of your dreams. Please also be aware, that most designs that are not our own, are priced in a la carte fashion, requiring a minimum of 7 days notice, with most details resulting in charges.
Are all of Dessert Works’ designs on the website, or are there more designs to choose from?
A: NO!! We have too many designs to show on the website! We have numerous portfolios in our store for you to browse through, and we are also constantly updating, and adding to our portfolios.
How much do the cakes cost?
What is included in the menu price shown?
A: Your choice of Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Buttercream or fresh whipped cream frosting, with your choice of Buttercream flowers in white or pastel color, fresh or chocolate dipped strawberries, festive chocolate adornments or a combination of any 2 of those, or birthday balloons are all included in the menu price. Click here to see our standard cake menu.
What / why are there upcharges?
A: Additional charges are added to the base menu price of our cakes based on the level of difficulty, or time things take to produce. Number of colors are frequently factored in, as multiple colors generally take more time to make and apply. When customers choose to order designs, item by item to create their own “custom” designs, it takes quite a bit of time to take & enter the order, then produce those orders, as every one of our “custom” cakes are different!! The level of talent a decorator needs to have to produce the design chosen is also considered.
If a design can only be produced well by 1 or 2 of the lead decorators, we need to charge more, as their time is in high demand!
What is the difference between classic & gourmet flavors? (on menu)
A: The main difference is that the ingredients cost more in the gourmet flavors therefor the cost is higher.
What is the difference between buttercream frosting & mousse?
A: All of our cakes are “filled”, meaning our round or square cakes are sliced into 3 layers and are filled with 2 layers of fresh mousse. Our sheet cakes are typically only 2 layers of cake with 1 layer of filling. Our mousses are light & airy, made with a base of fresh whipped cream, then typically eggs are cooked with sugar & whipped to cool, then either vanilla, chocolate or a fruit puree are added and all 3 are folded together.
(*please note, this is a general explanation & for the point of reference only. All of our recipes are each made differently from flavor to flavor). Our mousses are never heavy, or “pudding” like consistency, and our mousses complement our cakes nicely.
We use the Italian Meringue buttercream on the outside of the cake, as a decoration or finishing element because it gives us a beautiful smooth finish that has a sheen at room temperature. It is also a great medium for design work & takes color nicely.
It is made only with real Grade A butter, egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and other natural flavors.
Can I get an unfilled cake?
A: Usually the answer is no. Most of our new customers are coming to us because they have heard great things about our cakes, or have read reviews online. Those testimonials are commenting on our standard cakes, cakes filled with mousse, the way we think our cakes should be eaten, so trust us, and order it with mousse!
We do make a few cakes that we offer unfilled for example our baby’s first birthday smash cake, or our mini princess doll cakes. There have been other occasions when we have created custom cakes for customers who may have allergies to mousse, but since we consider these instances unusual we require the same time as a custom cake.
We have a PEANUT, TREE NUT, SOY Allergy, can I get a cake from Dessert Works?
A: Anytime you or a member of your party has an allergy, you should tell us before placing your order.
We are a PEANUT FREE facility, but we do use Almonds and Pecans frequently, with Walnuts & Hazelnuts seasonally. Our culinary team members are VERY aware of the severity of allergies & so we work with nuts away from other orders. IT IS IMPERATIVE that we inform you we do have nuts in our facility, and there is a chance of cross contamination. The BEST way to avoid contamination is by ordering products in advance! SOY allergies: Some limited recipes use a margarine which contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil, however we do not use soy oil in any other products. The only other form of soy we have is Soy Lecithin (which is in most chocolate products).
If you have a soy allergy, we invite you to inquire with us what products are safest for you to order.
We have a Gluten or Dairy Allergy, what can I order/ purchase?
A: Available every day, in our store, we have the following Gluten Free options:
- Our Flourless chocolate cake, available in a 9 inch cake or by the slice. Rich, dense chocolate cake glazed in creamy dark chocolate ganache & decorated with festive chocolate adornments
- Our Keylime tart, available in an 8 inch size or by the slice. Classic key lime filling in an Almond, coconut & candied ginger crust. Decorated with fresh whipped cream.
- Chocolate dipped Coconut Macaroons, $1 each.
For our Dairy Free and Gluten Free options available in store, we have 6 and 8 inch cakes available (no individual portions).We keep these cakes frozen, to ensure freshness, so please allow at least 6 hours time for the cakes to fully defrost. (We are happy to “temper” your cake for you by request, if you call us in advance.) Our cake is a delicious moist chocolate cake, filled & frosted with a vanilla “American-style frosting (which is an old fashioned, sugary frosting). The recipe is completely dairy free, including no egg products. For immediate sale we have the option of frosting flowers or dessert torte style design. With 1 weeks advance notice, we can make the dairy free chocolate cake available in any size cake with most designs available (standard or specialty)
What is your most popular flavor cake?
A: We have so many great offerings, it really depends on what the cake is being used for & what season.
Most popular choices: Fresh Strawberries & Cream, Lemon Summer Berry, Classic Chocolate, Day & Night or Vanilla Chocolate, Ripe Red Raspberry and Red Velvet
For children: Children like simple, plain cakes typically combinations of vanilla & chocolate. French Vanilla, Marble cake with vanilla or chocolate mousse, Boston Cream Pie, or Vanilla Chocolate Dolce de Leche is a simple flavor but a bit sweeter than most of our cakes, so kids tend to like it.
Rich & Decadent: Classic Chocolate, Chocolate Vanilla, Chocolate Cappuccino and Red Velvet
Lighter Flavors: Boston Cream Pie, Dolce de Leche, Ripe Red Raspberry, Cappuccino Torte, Lemon Citrus, Lemon Summer Berry, Fresh Strawberries & Cream and Casata Rum
Can I just come in and get a cake today or tomorrow?
A: In our retail store we carry a limited selection of 6″ (serving 4-8 people), 8″ (serving 8-12 people) and 10″ (serving 15-20 people) cakes are available daily on a walk in basis. To guarantee a specific flavor and size, products must be ordered in advance. With less than 4 days notice our customers have a choice of 5-6 of our most popular & seasonal flavors, available in the 6, 8, or 10 inch sizes with numerous options to decorate, such as: your choice of Buttercream flowers in white or pastel color, fresh or chocolate dipped strawberries, festive chocolate adornments or a combination of any 2 of those, all included in the menu price. Also available are our STANDARD Scene cakes and other upgraded “ designs, but too many other options to list here! Also available in our store are a limited selection of 6 & 8 inch Dairy & Gluten free Chocolate cakes and Gluten free desserts such as our Keylime tart, Flourless chocolate cake , Nothing cupcakes & coconut macaroons.
Does Dessert Works offer photo cakes?
A: Yes! We ask for a minimum of 48 hours notice to add an edible photo to a cake. We prefer the image be emailed to us, with the resolution of the images to be a minimum of 640 x 480 pixels to yield us the best results. The larger the cake, the larger the image, and so our largest cakes are best with 1024 x 768 pixels. The cost for the process starts at $20, and cost goes up depending on how many images are being sized & applied as well as whether additional decorations are being added to enhance the image.
Do most of the specialty cakes have fondant on them?
A: No. At Dessert Works we don’t use any fondant, we use what is called rolled chocolate.
Rolled Chocolate is used like fondant but it tastes much better! White & color chocolate is made from & tastes like white chocolate, while any shade of brown or black is made from & tastes like dark chocolate. The majority of our cakes are actually designed in Italian meringue buttercream, with some design elements created with the rolled chocolate. We do offer Rolled chocolate as a covering, or frosting on a cake if you’d like, but it is considered an upcharge.
How do I transport & store my cake?
A: Regardless of whether you have ordered a standard, specialty or custom cake, all of our cakes need to be kept refrigerated up until 2-3 hours before it is served. (The only exception is our Dairy free chocolate cake & most cupcakes, which should be left out of refrigeration for 3-4 hours). Our cakes are typically frosted in buttercream, and we think the cakes taste best at room temperature, however the fillings inside of the cakes are made with fresh cream & eggs, and so cannot be left out for extended periods of time. If you opt to have fresh whipped cream frosting, your cake MUST BE KEPT REFRIGERATED
To Transport: we always suggest the cake travel on the floor of the vehicle or on a flat surface like the trunk. In hot weather, we strongly suggest the cake travel in an air conditioned vehicle, and for long trips, YOU take the extra precaution to block any sun from coming in the window where the cake will be sitting. For smaller cakes, you can use a cooler, with ice packs to ensure a cool ride!
Does Dessert Works offer delivery?
A: We can deliver, but always charge for delivery. Delivery charge minimum is $25 and we figure out delivery charges based on mileage from our shop. All deliveries require the products are paid in full prior to delivery, and our delivery time is a 2 hour window.
You will be asked what your guest arrival time is, as we would like the cake to be moved as infrequently as possible, therefore our goal is to arrive 1-2 hours before guests arrive so the cake can be placed on display, and sit out at room temperature before it is eaten.
How much notice do Mini Pastries require, and how are they ordered?
A: We typically have a limited selection of Mini Pastries & cake pops available in our store, our selections may vary, and we sometimes sell out, so we encourage you to order in advance. We are able to fulfill most requests with 48 hours’ notice, and can often put together an assortment with less time.
Mini Pastries are ordered by the dozen if specific types are requested, (i.e., 1 dozen fruit tarts) or as a chef’s choice assortment. Price is $18 per dozen, and are presented in a box. (LINK TO PASTRY LIST)
Chef’s choice assortment means we select 6 to 8 varieties of pastries to make however many dozen you would like. We are able to accept allergy requirements, such as no nuts, allergy, or special requests, such as please include canolli.
If you would like a platter of Pastries there is a charge for the platter, and we have 3 sizes available. (LINK TO INFO)
Does Dessert Works make cookie favors?
A: YES! We make a butter, shortbread cookie hand decorated with royal icing. We always carry some cookies in our store, but the designs are typically geared towards kids. We often make custom cookies, in many themes, such as baby or bridal showers, birthdays and weddings. Designs and prices vary, but starting price is usually $2.50 each for a cookie that is usually approximately 4 inches.
Custom cookie orders require a minimum of 3 dozen cookies & at least 7 days’ notice.