QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

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A Mischief Maker client is exuberant and fun. There’s a sparkle in their eye and excitement in their voice. They can’t wait to tell you the vision they have for their wedding, birthday, or event. They do their research. They find importance and appreciation in the finer details, au courant designs, and pieces that are crafted with both integrity and an artful eye. They don’t just want to throw a good party; they want to throw a “great” party, a party that people remember. They can’t wait to see what we have in mind, and, most importantly, they can’t wait to get started.

We can get started right away! I would love to see your inspiration images, hear about the vision of your event, and know your wedding or event date and guest count. To begin, I check the event date to see if it is available in the calendar. I also send beginning price estimates based on your guest count and initial ideas, this can be done at anytime for any order inquiry. Take some time to consider your style, why do you like what you like?

Think about what you want. Romantic, Colorful, Sleek, Contemporary, or Fun? Describe it to me, use lots of descriptive sentences and adjectives. The same goes for celebration or sculpted cakes. I have a good imagination. Inspiration images can include overall event inspiration, color palettes, floral inspirations, venue images etc. Cake images may also be included to determine base direction, however, The Mischief Maker does not copy cakes by anyone else in the industry. Each is custom designed for the client and designs are not repeated twice. I also like to hear about your personality. Some things to include could be: what kind of person you are, your interests, and what you like generally, aesthetically and otherwise.

These images can be emailed to me at mischiefmakerdesserts@gmail.com or shared via secret Pinterest boards. This will start the brainstorming back and forth. I will then send you imagery and ideas that come to mind. While images are the quickest way to someone’s heart, I have designed an entire dessert environment/cake based on no initial imagery. Instead, we began with an eloquently written full-page description of the feeling the bride wanted to evoke in the event. We started from there, working and selecting colors/elements that met the imagined vibe she was going for, to each his own.

If you’re planning a large wedding, one to two years would be preferred. Six months to a year of planning is acceptable, but six months isn’t a large amount of time to flesh out a large cake or tablescape concept and the date could be filled. When you factor in late night dessert offerings, dessert stations, or other large scale concepts, a year, at least, is greatly appreciated. Some clients/parents often book extremely far in advance 8 months to two years, to ensure the date will be saved for their event.

Again, six months to a year is preferred for all orders, weddings, and celebration cakes alike, as the calendar fills up and there are only a select amount of orders taken. Sooner is better. However, there is always the possibility of an opening, feel free to message me about booking your cake and/or dessert environment!

If you’re a procrastinator (we’re all guilty), at the very least, one month’s notice is recommended for impromptu celebration cakes, elopements, or other special circumstances. Although your date could be filled, we try to accommodate last minute orders when we can. I would love to hear from you. If I do not feel there is ample time to create the cake we are discussing, I will not accept the order. We want the cakes to be as good as they can be!

All cake or large dessert orders require a 50% deposit of the total cake and order amount. Until the deposit is received, the cake or dessert order is not confirmed or marked in the calendar. Be sure to get your deposit in, so your spot will be reserved. The remaining half/balance of your order is due and payable in full 2 weeks before your event. This allows for less hectic wedding days and events. If the process of design work, sugar flowers, or figures has begun, no changes to the design or size of the cake can be made, usually within 2 weeks of your event. Once your date is set, others inquiring are turned away for your date, and it influences the acceptance or decline of other orders. The entire schedule is built around these dates. For this reason, deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please confirm with me at least a week or two ahead of time about your event. Many people go awhile without correspondence, but in order to find out and confirm final event details, I prefer to speak with clients at least a few weeks prior to the event.

The Mischief Maker provides wedding cakes in Kentucky and in surrounding states, including, but not limited to the following areas: Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Ashland, and Pikeville. We receive many wedding cake requests from other areas, including out-of-state, in cities such as Cincinnati, Evansville, Chicago, Nashville, Asheville, and Charleston. If you live outside the areas listed above, or you’re having a destination event, feel free to email or message us to make arrangements, so we can begin planning your cake and/or dessert environment; these are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

We try to be as accommodating as possible to out-of- state brides. Thus far, there has been no hindrance with the planning, due to distance. While working with brides in multiple areas on a daily basis, the majority of communication takes place online, through email and messages. It is generally the way we prefer to operate. I feel writing back and forth develops concepts even more fluidly than speaking over the phone, and can be even more helpful than in-person meetings, as it provides something to reference over and over again. While we always have digital color palette references, I have often mailed tangible color palettes to brides, both in and out-of-state. I understand that phones and laptops (with settings like brightness varying according to user) can alter color appearance. It also gives everyone a tangible color reference, including all members of our team, so that nothing is lost in translation. Receiving other tangible materials, such as fabric swatches, can also be helpful. See the FAQ on tastings and consultations, for more information on how we operate.

First of all, yes, all of the flowers featured on the cakes are solely sugar flowers. Second, NO (CAPITAL NO), I NEVER use fresh flowers for a multitude of reasons. One, guests love the artistry involved in an edible sugar flower. Secondly, have you seen the buckets fresh flowers come in? They are caked in dirty water, goo, and who knows what; None of which I would want touching my food or anything I serve. Florists often do not use or provide technically “edible” flowers for decoration on the cakes. Some flowers are poisonous and others are classified “edible”. It is important to discern this difference. They are also, most likely, NOT organic, and I don’t want a side of pesticides with my “fancy” cake. Fresh flowers look lovely in our dessert environments and tablescapes, and that is where they’ll stay! To read more about poisonous flowers, check out my blog post,”WHY FRESH FLOWERS ARE AT LARGE NOT SAFE FOR CAKES. ARE ALL OF THE FLOWERS ON YOUR CAKES SUGAR FLOWERS? DO YOU USE FRESH FLOWERS AT ALL FOR CAKE DECORATION?“.

Due to the personal nature of each design, each of my cakes are priced and quoted individually. Just send a message of what you’re thinking, along with the servings you will need, and I’d be happy to give you an estimate. After an estimate is reached, a deposit of half of the estimated cost is required to confirm your order and secure your date on the calendar. All of our cakes, both wedding and celebration, begin at 10.00 dollars per slice. They go up according to the degree of design work on the cake. Each cake takes many hours to create and is completely customized to each client. The final price estimate will take into account: the size and servings of your cake, the complexity of the detail and design work, applicable sales tax, and the hours of work needed to complete your creation. Our minimum order is $500.00.

Dessert tablescapes and environments are custom fit to the personality of each bride, couple, or party host. They can begin as one singular table at your event and move up to larger stations with multiple tables, an immersive environment in the round, fit with custom builds, custom linens or curated display pieces, backgrounds, customized dessert offerings, tent, or a bevy of ornate fresh floral arrangements. We intend to create an immersive installation that compliments and sets the stage for the cake and desserts within. As they are so individualized, there is no set price scale for these. An idea on price range, these can begin at $1500.00 and move up accordingly.

Our tablescapes and dessert environments are meant to create an entire environment based around your wedding concept and cake; A centerpiece, an interactive station for your guests, and the conversation piece, life, and heart of your wedding reception. It is the thing your guests see, fawn over, and are still talking about two weeks later. We intend to create an immersive installation that compliments and sets the stage for the cake and/or desserts within. This is much like the set of a play or film where the couple, host/hostess, and the guests are the actors.

These are customized with anything and everything; This can mean anything from a custom build and backdrop to make your cake cutting picture-perfect to a dessert environment in the round. We’ve done a dessert environment in an immersive tent format, so everything surrounding the cake and desserts was entirely curated, complete with fabric draping on the tent ceiling, custom builds, lighting, live boxwood wall, serving pieces from our collection, fresh floral arrangements, tent tie-backs, etc. Truly, there were too many details to list!

A singular cake table can also be styled along with floral garlands, laurel wreaths, etc. The cake can be presented on linens or on a display piece from our collection, which often includes antique furniture. Essentially, anything that will set the stage for the cake or overall concept itself, we can do. You can choose to keep these to one sole cake table, multiple tables, or an all out environment which can really create spectacular scenes. This is too often an unconsidered area. However, having the area around the cake, even on a round table scale, integrate with the cake itself makes for a better, more impressive overall display. Turnovers are completed later in the evening, leaving the custom built backdrops, desserts, and fresh floral displays to last long after the wedding cake table is removed or re-configured.

Since we build the environment from the ground up, these can get quite elaborate. They are designed to match the exact fit of the tables utilized, colors, and wedding atmosphere to a tee and are completely customized to compliment the cake with, again, custom made linens or a range of curated display pieces from our collection. We also have an extensive range of serving pieces, including full collections of antique silver, gold, glass, apothecary, and crystal pieces, as well as contemporary and sleek ones. If we don’t have it, we will scour for it. Your imagination is the limit. In order to keep everything as cohesive as possible, the dessert menu, cake flavors, and visuals are all coordinated together. There are labels or menus made for all the items. Any and all symbolic touches are incorporated as best we can. Custom lighting and builds are often included to suit the concept, as well as lots of candlelight.

We provide our own fresh florals, because we hand pick them directly from the wholesaler to ensure every color and shape of the flower will compliment the sugar flowers used and overall tablescape. A color or change in type of flower will alter the overall look in your meticulously created area, so we do not take this risk. For starters, we receive a final list of color and flower types from the bride via the florist. If they are in the same area/state, we are often getting most, if not all, of the florals from the same wholesaler. It is easy to inquire with the wholesaler to determine what they have ordered for the same wedding.

The reason we provide our own floral arrangements is that in the event that the florist, for some reason, drops the ball and decides to get the airbrush coloring out, unbeknownst to the rest of us, I know your cake area is safe and closer to the image arrangement and color inspiration we were given and what you wanted. So, at least you’ll have that area closer to your original vision, and even with such florist’s liberties, they’ve always matched extremely well for the overall event. If everyone is on board, you should have no issues. You just don’t want something that, potentially, is slightly different, than what I would have chosen arrangement or otherwise, directly in that area next to the cake and sugar flowers.

On your tables, and for other arrangements throughout the event, your florist’s work should match ours marvelously. Having something directly next to the cake/area, that is out of our hands, is the issue. David (and team) executes these arrangements, often having seen the sugar flowers prior to fresh flower selection, and is able to utilize that knowledge, along with the color and image reference material, to make the best in-person selection; Yes, he prefers to go in-person to select fresh florals to ensure the order is on-point. We are determined to get it as close to your palettes and inspirations as possible, and we always take colors and flower types seriously. Brides/Hosts are very concerned with color palettes, and I have the same image inspiration references that the florist will have. I have always been, and am, adamant about sticking as closely to inspiration images and color palettes as possible, and I pride myself on matching them.

There will be no shortcuts taken. Nor will there be any risk of having something in such close proximity to the cake that it could potentially be even a hair off from the sugar flowers or the overall vision. On occasion, we may add in a few speciality flowers (from your image reference, if any) that may be more expensive/hard to procure in this area, but we make sure the majority of flowers used elsewhere are the same. To the guests, they know everything is cohesive and well matched, but for some reason, the cake and dessert area also have their own unique visual interest and shine on their own. When such a monetary and emotional investment is made in this area, you want it to be a key point of the event, that also matches your cake wondrously if you’ve decided to get one.

We set up and break down. We come early and are the very last ones to leave. Everything is broken down, and everything is swept, vacuumed, and cleaned. When we leave, it is as if the dessert environment was never there, with no help needed from the client.

I provide cake tastings for weddings or an equally large event exceeding 100 guests. I do not provide tastings for small birthday cakes, etc. I offer two flavors for the tasting. We determine these flavors together in our flavor consultation. During the flavor consultation, I get to know what flavors you and your groom love. What sweets? What everyday flavors? For more information, see the FAQ about custom flavors. I am happy to help guide you to your final selections.

Each tasting is baked specifically for the couple. No frozen scraps here (a common bakery practice). While I love the look of a plated cake tasting, cutting off shoots is impractical (as there are none), as tastings with me are not done in bulk. The flavors and items baked are for that couple only, so it does not make sense for me to present slivers of cake to you. I bake cupcakes for my tastings, as I find it is the most convenient way to make smaller replicas of my cakes. By making transport easier and by giving the couple more time with the flavors, they provide convenience for the couple. They take them home after our tasting for further contemplation.

The batch for my recipes can be cut down to 1 dozen cupcakes per flavor (12) and no less. For this reason, (combined with the intricacies of the fillings, syrups, and buttercreams) you receive two flavors to try, 1 dozen of each flavor (12), the total cupcakes you receive at the tasting totals 2 dozen (24), two flavors. However, if  a change is simple enough, deciding between two similarly made fillings, for example, then two filling options can be tried within one of your flavors. For example, you can’t choose between a Passionfruit Curd or Guava Curd filling, that is a small enough element to do half of one dozen (6) with one filling, the other half (6) with another filling, this would complete 1 dozen of your cupcakes. If substitutions are made, they must be small ones. If you would like to try additional flavors you can do that at $40.00 per dozen, the price for one dozen cupcakes. This will give you 24 cupcakes (1 dozen of each flavor) to take home and consider or let friends or family try. I find this works best, because I prefer to keep the tasting to the engaged couple only, or to two individuals.

If the majority of the design work has been previously decided, an additional party can usually be added (a mother etc.). I understand that. If the tasting is doubling as a cake design and brainstorming session, however, I prefer to keep it to the engaged couple or two people (bride and mother, groom and friend, bride and sister etc.) only. It is too hard to get to the heart of the bride or couple with ten opinions flying everywhere, and I work best when people open up about their ideas. Too many hands in the cookie jar, as some say. You can feel free to take your remaining cupcakes to whomever you choose, as this is a nice way to involve family and friends.

I prefer to do tastings after the bride and groom have had some time to review a few things, one would be to review their budget. I am happy to give an estimate at any time. If the budget is not accommodating for one of the cakes, we can, usually, eliminate a need for a tasting. I wouldn’t want to take time away from a bride and groom who already know they need to explore other options. I also like to devote my time to brides seriously considering working together. Brides are given ample discussion and brainstorming sessions, and it is helpful to be able to meet those truly interested with enthusiasm.

If possible, I also like to discuss design work prior to the tasting. Each of the cakes are custom designed, and this can take quite a bit of back and forth. I like to see inspirations. I like to hear descriptions of what you want, your description of your dream event. Usually, if you continue to like and select certain wedding elements multiple times, you can notice a pattern. This seems to be helpful for the indecisive. I prefer to start with cake shape and see what shapes you like. We can start from there and build on those ideas. Do you like cakes with shorter tiers? Do you like tall tiers? Do you like all round, some square, or multiple shapes and heights in your cakes? If we discuss these things before major wedding elements are decided, many times, the cake and/or tablescape have inspired the wedding. Other times, the wedding inspires the cake. I am happy to take time to work on your concept with you and get to the heart of what you would like to see for your wedding atmosphere, cake, and/or tablescape.

I understand some people meet and discuss ideas better in person than over the phone or through email (my preferred communication, due to working with many different brides in various areas), and I am completely understanding of this. I have hashed out a design with a couple in a few hours at their home, and I have done many cake consultations and designs over email. I feel writing ideas, from the bride’s standpoint, really gets to the heart of what she wants. I want to be able to bring an idea or base-starting concept with me to a tasting. I don’t like to show up empty handed! For this reason, my tastings usually double as meetings, either brainstorming sessions or a confirmation of final details. I am happy to work with you on your individual needs. So, while some bakers offer tastings as a first step, I work the opposite way, as I feel this is the most effective. Usually, at the point of tastings, the cake has been confirmed and the deposit has been paid, as to not lose the preferred wedding date.

At this time, I do not have a walk-in meeting-space available. I work from a commercially rented kitchen that does not have space to meet clients. I often meet clients at their home, in a café of their choosing, for lunch or dinner, etc. I have clients in various areas and have no issue driving to accommodate them for their tasting. I like to keep it comfortable and casual, so everyone feels comfortable discussing his or her ideas.

We’ve become known for catering to foodies and the majority of our clientele come to us, because they are in the search for something delicious. For starters, all of our cakes are complex, don’t be fooled by deceptively humble titles or signature flavors. White Buttermilk Cake is a signature flavor for a reason, and it has become beloved by foodies, due to its interesting complexity, especially in cake form when all the flavors form a perfect union. My custom flavor creation begins with hearing what you like! Generally, there are flavors people gravitate towards. Do you really love peanut butter? Matcha green tea? Do you love pistachios? What ice cream do you like? What craft beer? What kind of cocktails? Does your cultural heritage or region have certain flavors they love in their dessert pairings? There is no need to censor what you say and both high brow and low brow loves are taken into consideration. Here are a few examples. The first, “I really love butterscotch!” Well then, I believe we have our starting point. I will go from there and make a flavor suggestion that makes your preferred flavor dominant or extremely present, but I will also make sure there is a perfect meld with additional complimentary flavor components to create something unique and special. See an image example and description from two of my wedding cake tastings with custom flavors here and here.

Based on the list you gave me, I might even pick up a few other hints for possible pairings. A listing of flavors can look something like this, “My groom loves tropical flavors and I love raspberry, what suggestions can you make?”, “I love coffee and dark chocolate”, “I love matcha green tea, and we recently visited Hawaii where my groom fell in love with liliko”, or “He likes pies better than cake, he likes vanilla ice cream, he likes blackberry cobbler, Boston crème pies, Reese cups, pecan pies…Does this help?” Yes, it tells me everything I need to know. You can see a lot about someone’s personality from a listing like this. Another example, “She loves dark chocolate…(other random items) and clementines.” From a list, I can see which flavors may compliment one another. So, send your random lists my way, and we can get started! I will bounce some possibilities around, and once we decide on your flavors, I will bring this to you either at your cake tasting or in your final cake.

All of these customizations follow recipes that I have created to be customizable from the beginning. I can decide how I would like to do so using a variety of cakes, syrups, fillings, and techniques. I have a working knowledge of flavor building and combinations, pastry techniques, and I love to research. Most often, I can create custom flavors very quickly. I make sure to refine the custom flavor until I am both pleased and would be pleased serving it to you.

No, I do not just offer wedding cakes. Yes, I offer cakes for any event, including birthdays, anniversaries, and any celebration you can imagine. Sculpted cakes and children’s cakes with sugar figures are also some of our specialties. If it is planned and discussed far enough in advance, we can usually get started. If I don’t feel I can execute them to the best of my ability, some complicated orders will not be accepted. Sculpted cakes and sugar figures take a lot of planning, oftentimes this includes structural planning. Along with cakes, I also offer a lot of other desserts.

Other desserts are usually planned as additions to larger cake displays, such as our dessert environments or in larger quantities, rather than ordered in small quantities. In fact, since we only work on high detailed custom orders, which require our sole attention, we only offer large quantities or large orders, such as: wedding or celebration cakes, a dessert environment or tablescape, our minimum of seven dozen macarons, and so on. Due to focusing solely on one order at a time and having a small well trained team, we are unable to fulfill several small orders at a time and choose to focus our time and resources on one bigger project. If you have any questions or need clarification, I would be happy to discuss anything you have in mind! Please see the FAQ on our Macarons for more information about those.

Yes, we make a lot of French Macarons. They are the second most popular dessert we offer following our cakes. If you are only ordering macarons, the price is $30.00 per dozen, with a minimum order of 7 dozen, so the minimum price of macarons is $210.00 for 7 dozen, along with the appropriate tax and delivery fee. However, if you are already getting a celebration cake, wedding cake, dessert environment, etc., the macarons can be purchased with a minimum order of 3 dozen for $90.00, along with the appropriate tax and delivery fee.

Whether they are in a party setting or being shared with family or friends at home, our delectable macarons go extremely quickly. Additionally, our macarons are often cited as crowd favorites, and many who try a Mischief Maker macaron boast about how much they love them, even if they had previously disliked macarons from elsewhere. While it may not seem like many dozens would be needed, I assure you they are always the very first thing to go, as they are much too small and tasty for self-restraint. Send me a message at any time, and we can discuss my current favorite flavors.

No, your cake cannot be set up hours in advance. Cakes are made with ingredients that tend to melt, and they like a cool, happy environment of about 60-70 degrees. You need to eat it and eat it fast. Do not think your cake is going to be okay with being outside in 80-100 degree heat, high humidity, or possible rain during dinner, dancing, and then eventually the cake cutting, because it will not be okay. I do not suggest any cake be in a non-controlled/non-air-conditioned environment! If a cake is being pushed beyond its reasonable limit, I cannot make any guarantees on the welfare of the cake. If at all possible, plan for air conditioning. In fact, if I feel the conditions are too extreme, I do not accept some outdoor orders. As a general rule, outdoor weddings are, usually, not accepted unless it is late fall. Even then, conditions must be evaluated.

Logistics should be greatly considered, so make sure you are considering a covered area. What if it rains? You don’t want an investment lost due to weather and poor planning. A nearby area, preferably air conditioned, away from your guests needs to be available to keep the cake out of the heat for as long as possible pre-assembly. Also, planning the latest possible assembly time is best. Remember, the cakes will be mostly in plain tier form when they arrive; No sugar flower will be placed until the cake is stacked and ready to go. We do not assemble what we cannot carry and do not want un-needed flower breakage. So, this is a very intricate balance between getting finished in time for guests to see the cake pre-reception and putting it out too soon due to heat.

Another aspect to consider, a way to hide the surprise from your guests. You do not want your catering staff dissecting a cake in front of your guests. Guests should never see behind-the-scenes; It ruins the allure and magic! Another extreme example, if you are planning a during dinner drop off (which I do not find feasible with all of our on-site assembly), due to extreme heat or emergency, you do not want someone carrying in boxes of sugar flowers and cake tiers over your guests heads. The imagined visual of such an atrocity is enough to encourage proper planning. I prefer all assembly to be complete before any guest sees the final cake, as it ruins the overall effect of a finished piece. In both cases, have an area prepared (and potentially a cart to transport it) to take it away and reveal it to your guests. I, too, am rarely presentation ready as I am usually diligently working on the cake and would prefer not to be seen by guests!

Also, the cakes stay where they are assembled. Do not risk moving them around. If this is the case and it is during dinner, is there a rolling cart or equivalent? Think it over. What is the plan? My advice is go with air conditioning! Consider how it will be disassembled away from your guests, when the cake should be placed (at the latest possible time), your air conditioned “ waiting room”, the heat, weather, shelter, proper scheduling, and a proper way to cut your cake for serving, away from your guests.

When you order a cake with refrigerated fillings AND sugar flowers, simultaneously, you have a bad situation. In this case, the cake is meant to be eaten and presented to guests within a certain time frame between drop off and a scheduled party time. The cake should not be out at room temperature for hours/days/any extended time frame, yet the sugar flowers will ruin in the fridge. If you do not intend to consume your cake immediately, it is important to consider a non-refrigerated cake flavor. As far as replacing the flowers on your own, I don’t suggest doing that, as it is important for your guests to see the cake as it was? I don’t see getting the sugar flowers back in place properly. Any original holes made are now bigger. If you do not intend to eat at a specific party time, I would plan ahead and steer clear of refrigeration.

I am not a fan of cake toppers. I think cake toppers detract from the flow and movement of the sugar florals on the cake itself. In the past, we have incorporated a bride’s parents cake topper into her overall dessert tablescape. This way, she could have her own cake and story, while paying homage to her parents at the same time. For images, view the Dessert Environments & Tablescapes gallery found here and under the Portfolio tab.

Yes, of course! I do not favor large cakes over small cakes. Each is beautiful and unique in its own way. Some of my very favorite cakes are small ones. Please email me, because I’d love to discuss it with you!

For brides that don’t want to sacrifice having a tall cake, due to their small guest count, there are a few options. Since cakes can often vary, feel free to email me and we can talk on a case-by-case basis.

I do not offer sheet cakes. In either tier or sheet cake form, the same amount of batter is required to fill the pans to achieve the servings you will need. From an assembly standpoint, I do not find that one is easier than the other. For this reason, we feel this makes little sense from a cost standpoint, on our end.

One solution for the budgeting bride is to keep the cake size to the minimum amount of servings you need, in order to feed your guests. For example, if you are having 100 guests, getting a cake that serves 100 is best. The cake price will increase with each serving.

For brides that don’t want to sacrifice having a tall cake, due to their small guest count, there are a few options. Since cakes can often vary, feel free to email me and we can talk on a case-by-case basis.

No, I do not sell them separately. The sugar flowers and figures are available, exclusively, for clients and cakes that are complete creations by The Mischief Maker. Even though I would never do so, they are too fragile to withstand rough travel/shipping.

No, I do not ship. All of the cakes are very fragile and custom. They must be assembled and delivered on site. If I am shipping a cake, I’m going with it. It will need its own seat in the airplane and mine too. If this is the case, message me. As far as macarons/ other desserts, their freshness and fragility make them tasty. So, I don’t ship them either.

All Mischief Maker cakes, no matter how large or small, are always delivered and set up on-site. Cakes are fragile and even experienced people must be cautious. I would not suggest self-transport. The larger cakes are assembled almost entirely on site, especially my sugar flowers, another reason why each one is delivered and set up for you. In order to be able to see the overall shape before I start with my flower placement, the tiers are left in blank tier form and all sugar flower arranging is done on-site. We only assemble what we can carry and we try to keep sugar flower breakage at a minimum.

No! These are very fragile! They are meant to be placed where they are left and they should NOT be moved. Planning out the spot where you would like your cake to stay is something that should be done in advance, so I can come in/assemble/do finishing touches. If you move the cake, you are at your own risk. I want the cake to stay lovely for your guests, so the cake should stay put!

First of all, I’m honored! However, at this time, I am not taking on any interns, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. I do not teach any classes. The cakes are very time consuming and, unfortunately, I don’t welcome any observations at this time, for pay or otherwise.

I do not have a go-to line of vegan recipes, but would be more than happy to attempt one for you. I constantly research, and I am always eager to try new things in the kitchen. The same goes with any dietary need you have. I am willing to accommodate your needs. However, I do not suggest doing a whole celebration cake based on these less traditional cake recipes. Instead, I would have an additional tier to the side for you, the friend, or family member that this concerns.

Please see the blog post I wrote about this topic here, if you are interested in more information.

Yes, you can technically eat the sugar flowers, aside from the wires etc. that they are constructed on. So, I would err on the side of caution, as they are really for keepsake/decoration. Other than the artistry behind them and the excitement they bring to a party, the main benefit of sugar flowers is their food safety. The sugar flowers are made from edible sugar dough, hence they are safe next to an edible product like your cake, unlike many inorganic, dirty, or poisonous fresh florals.

Overall, the sugar flowers are meant to be kept as a keepsake and are not to be consumed! However, a wily guest (and maybe even a bride ;)) has been known to try a petal or two! You should keep them! I love when brides and clients keep their sugar flowers and figures. It breaks my heart if they are thrown away! If kept in an airtight container, out of sunlight and dust, the sugar flowers will keep indefinitely. Problems may be encountered in a humid environment, as the petals can re-moisten themselves in humidity. Over time, there could also be some fading in color, but in general, if kept in correct conditions, they will keep indefinitely. Some families save a flower or element from each important celebration cake and tuck them away to incorporate into their child’s future wedding cake.

All of my brides keep them and find creative ways to display them. Although, not all displays are entirely kept from sunlight or  airtight, there are many ways to enjoy the sugar flowers. One couple built shadow boxes and brings up one shadow box of sugar flowers on each anniversary, each box representing one year together. This is added to the overall display of anniversary sugar flower shadow boxes, an ever-growing collection and representation of their married life together. Some re-arrange them under tall domes. On the cakes with large amounts of sugar flowers, I’m sure there are many creative ways to display these wedding day keepsakes. I love seeing how they are displayed, so please send me your images. I would love to see them!

People often choose hopeful adjectives to describe their events. Words come up like classic and timeless. Since the beginning of time, flowers have been appreciated. In every culture, in every country, people of different nationalities and languages send their well wishes and compliment our sugar flowers, because beauty is international. Flowers are timeless and cross all borders.

Flowers have amazed artists and have been the source of paintings, song, and poetry for ages. I’ll have someone every now and then that “isn’t a flower girl.” That’s perfectly acceptable, but I will say the majority of your guests are flower girls. Or, flower boys perhaps. Flower people. One of my former classmates said it best, “I’m personally not a “flower girl” as far as receiving them goes, but to me your works go beyond “just flowers” and into complete and absolute artistry, and I adore them. They are gorgeous, delicate but bold, and a fantastic addition to your already impressive cakes.”

There are others, who have this strong disdain for flowers as an object. They no longer stop and see a flower for its shape, for its color. They’ve seen flowers their whole lives and they’re unimpressed and numb to them. Perhaps, they see them as commonplace. Going against the social grain means, “Oh, I hate those things”. Those meaningless flowers, which they don’t even look at anymore. Sometimes I think, “You’re telling me if you were the first and only person to discover a flower on an unexpected path, you wouldn’t find it beautiful and fascinating? I’m sorry. I don’t believe you. Maybe you’d want to record it, to paint it, to share it.” I think you would.

Your guests will appreciate the artistry behind a lifelike/realistic object. Even better, one they are familiar with. Most everyone is familiar with a flower and what a flower looks like. It is a positive mental image they can measure the craft, skill, and execution of the sugar flowers against. Did I succeed with the sugar flower? Does it look like it should? Is it botanically accurate? It’s a point of conversation for your guests already. If your intent is a successful party, starting conversation is key. Guests want to see what they haven’t seen, and what they, usually, haven’t seen is a cake swarmed with flowers made of sugar!

There’s something quite magical about an overgrown, edible sugar garden taking over an otherwise very structured and carefully built cake. They almost become sugar landscapes that live and breathe on their own accord. A cake covered in a bevy of sugar flowers will be a winner 10 years from now and be beautiful and appreciated 100 years from now. They began in 1700 as eighteenth century French Court Dessert. There are not many other decorative concepts you can confidently say that about.

I absolutely adore unique brides, and all of my clients are unique brides. Coming up with ideas that are strange for the sake of being strange . . . Anything “different” (in the stereotypical, clichéd “I want something “different” kind of way) may be appreciated in your current time, it may even be considered on trend. Maybe, that’s your priority. Maybe, you want an object that has a life span, something that reflects its current time period, the height of the trends now. I  understand, really I do! However, some are so determined to do something they believe to be “different”, that this force can be detrimental to the cake concept as a whole, if the design concept is not grounded in good design. But timeless is timeless, and, if you ask me my opinion, flowers, as an idea, are as timeless as it gets.

There are certainly many ways to take a “different” approach, as I always attempt to do. I would not reference designs in existence or refuse to duplicate my own designs if I did not also strive for that fresh perspective. I often try to combine various textures, patterns, unique shapes, etc. into my work. I want to work in all of the elements that are important to the client. Often, my personal aesthetic involves sugar flowers, my medium of choice, so I use them to create that unique perspective. I want the cakes to be “ different” as well, but in a good way. Not just “different” for the sake of being different, difference with a purpose. I like to utilize all of the flower shapes and varieties, custom colors, etc. to bring to life a centerpiece for your event. Again, I cross-reference my designs with what is available in current and past circulation, so I always strive for a fresh perspective. My personal preference is whatever will allow the sugar flowers to shine.

On the whole, striving to show your guests something they haven’t seen before is good. I also want to show them something they haven’t seen before. I just wouldn’t get myself in what another cake friend described as “The ‘againsts’ and people who want to be ‘different’ do so often end up staring out from the middle of a cliché that they are unable to see! There isn’t anything wrong in being different but some people forget that ‘different’ isn’t another word for better!” Food for thought.

Yes, it’s true! Many people don’t realize that sugar flowers have been around for quite some time! You may have caught them on Downton Abbey, but they’ve been around for over 300 years, since 1700! Their popularity originally began as French court dessert, during the eighteenth century.

From historic foods: “As sugar’s remarkable powers as a preservative became more widely known during the Renaissance, the dragées were augmented with a vast range of conserves, candies and fruit pastes. When in season, fresh fruit and cream cheeses also became important features. As the nobility tended to imitate the sovereign, the custom gradually percolated down the social scale. However, as confectionery was an expensive luxury, the dessert remained an exclusive upper class practice. It also became an occasion for the noble lord to show off his status to important guests by encouraging his confectioner to create elaborate table decorations made from sugar paste (pastillage) and marzipan. An important Renaissance dessert would often feature allegorical figures of pastillage, sugar temples and colourful displays of artificial flowers.” Read more here.

Why Mischief?

Mischief is fun and full of energy. Every party needs to be full of mischief: playful, energetic, and entertaining. If you are non-mischief makers, you are highly susceptible to the commonplace, the boring, and the ordinary. The Mischief Maker can put that little spark of mischief and excitement in your party with the best mischief maker of all: sugar.

Sugar. A long time symbol of fun and indulgence, it is the sheer meaning of energy. Nothing compares to the glimmer in your eyes when you see sugar. You know you aren’t supposed to have it, but somehow that makes you want it even more. Sugar is mischief itself.

A Mischief Maker cake, dessert, or tablescape will get your guests talking about the stunning attention to detail. From the striking visual of an array of sugar flowers to the customized flavors on the inside, it will instigate a bit of mischief by bringing life and energy to your party. The buzz in the air will inspire them to channel their own inner mischief makers. All thanks to your latest delicious and edible conversation piece from The Mischief Maker. Let The Mischief Maker pass along a little mischief, so that you and your party guests can be mischief makers too.

May all of your parties be full of mischief,

Alex Narramore
“The Mischief Maker”