Archive for August, 2016

Dessert Stations – “How To” in a current wave of DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

How many can you fit in the palm of your hand while dancing? (1, 2, 3,…ok 5!)

Whose partying late-night after the DJ & Band?  Clearly they’ll need treats!

Dessert Stations (Dessert bars, buffets, call them what you like) are here to stay.  Delicious, customizable, beautiful, colorful, fun, and PORTABLE for any party, these mini desserts make a maximum impression!

Here are some tips on what to remember when designing and ordering a Dessert Station:

Some of our mini meringue pies, etc. photo by Laura Christin Photography

Some of our mini meringue pies, etc. photo by Laura Christin Photography

 

How to notify guests what’s on the table:

  1. Ask your stationer to create elegant NAME TAGS with calligraphy or printing & paper to match your whole event
  2. Opt to DIY individual sweets tags – get some help, and do this at least 2 weeks ahead of the party so you don’t add stress to your pre-date plans.
  3. Write up a simple 1-page menu of “SWEETS TABLE” items

Either way, make it clear so your guests know what’s what (you don’t want those “coconut-haters” grabbing mistakenly for a coconut cake shot and then – GASP! – trashing it!)

Fruit Tarts! Photo by Anika London Photography

Fruit Tarts! Photo by Anika London Photography

How to select the perfect Dessert Choices for your Guests:

  1. Ask your cake designer/baker for their suggestions of their top sellers; or, pick a group of your FAVORITES to share with your guests.
  2. Choose a mix of varied flavor, texture, color, and look, and consider any special diets who may require gluten-free pastries or dairy-free options, among others.  *At Sweet Cheeks, we suggest a nice mix of:  CREAMY, CRUNCHY, CHOCOLATE, FRUITY, AND SPICE
  3. These days it’s almost ALWAYS a good idea to offer 1 Gluten-Free item on the buffet.
  4. Think about how they will show off on a display – does the setup look better with COOKIES? With cupcakes? With items on Sticks?
Mini bites displayed at Lomas Santa Fe CC, Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

Mini bites displayed at Lomas Santa Fe CC, Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

How to create the most fabulous Dessert Display:

  1. Your cake designers should have some terrific suggestions and may even provide RENTALS for dessert stations.  Ask for their input, and recognize that this takes a lot of their time to have it look like those amazing Pinterest photos you’re all seeing.  *At Sweet Cheeks, we typically estimate that  a party of 100 people will require approx. 12-15 great cake stands/platters combined with candles, floral, or any personal objects you’d like to include.
  2. Sometimes a TOWER is cool (usually for taller items, like cupcakes and cake shots), and other times a rambling buffet of classic ceramics, crystal, or metal stands & platters work best (especially for low-format cookies, brownies, tarts).  VASES or unique vessels filled with sugar can play up the fun of Pop Tarts on sticks (*a signature at Sweet Cheeks)!
Homemade Mini Pop Tarts, our Sweet Cheeks Specialty! Photo by Eden Day

Homemade Mini Pop Tarts, our Sweet Cheeks Specialty! Photo by Eden Day

Should I also order a Cake with my Desserts?

Many wedding couples want the TRADITIONAL CAKE CUTTING but don’t want a big cake to serve guests.  *At Sweet Cheeks, we suggest a small cake in your favorite flavor combination and mimicking that flavor in one of your desserts (to avoid pesky friends trying to taste your personal cake…)

Small cake with desserts, fun crates & cake stands, photo by Kristen Vincent

Small cake with desserts, fun crates & cake stands, photo by Kristen Vincent

How much should I order?

  1. Plan for 2-4 mini bites per person. This allows for some variety as well as quantity on display. REMEMBER (PRO-TIP):  Your guests are there to PARTY, and they have not considered how much $ you spent on this event.  They will assume there will always be MORE in the back!
  2. Plan for at least 30% of your guests trying any one thing (i.e. for 150 people, you should provide at least 50 of each dessert selected, or you’ll run out too soon; for smaller groups, plan for more of each item to create a fuller effect).
  3. What is your guest DEMOGRAPHIC?  Lots of kids?  Lots of heavy drinkers?  Lots of elderly folks? In general… Kids LOVE sweets. Ladies love sweets! Heavy drinkers may not even notice that a cake has been cut, but when desserts are out, they will grab whatever’s easy to eat. Elderly folks expect a slice of cake or “a little something” but often are watching their sugar-intake.
Heather Elise Photography always captures the FUN in dessert for us! At the Catamaran Resort.

Heather Elise Photography always captures the FUN in dessert for us! At the Catamaran Resort.

Will Desserts cost me more or less than a Cake?

  1. This depends on what you order, how much you order, and how fabulous you want this display (or how involved you want a cake).
  2. Delivery and setup will take a lot more TIME for desserts, in general, than a cake, so this cost will appear a bit higher than delivery on most cakes.
  3. We generally suggest 4-5 different dessert selections, (at a minimum of at least 2 dozen each.)
  4. RENTALS will typically cost more for multiple items vs. one cake stand for cake.
  5. Elaborate cake designs can easily exceed dessert station costs.
  6. You may opt to DIY the display & setup.  If this idea appeals to you, please get all of your display pieces onto one table, and set them up WELL IN ADVANCE of your event date. Take a photo, and make sure whomever is doing the setup has that photo with those objects.  This saves so much time. (*At Sweet Cheeks, we take great care in blending the perfect display items with each event so that they “fit the vision” of the party. )

Enjoy your planning and future ideas with these thoughts in mind!

CALL US (619) 269-CAKE (2253) for your next party or wedding celebration!

Tuscan Themed party with lemons, pottery, and Sicilian Pistachio cake shooters!

Tuscan Themed party with lemons, pottery, and Sicilian Pistachio cake shooters! True Photography

Farewell to our Chocolate Icon – Gene Wilder

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Known by many (of us older than 25) as the true “Willy Wonka,” genius actor/director Gene Wilder passed away this month, leaving behind a mecca of memories, famous lines, and visions of gumdrops to those of us in the sweets industry.

Willy Wonka in his land of Sweets - a world we relate to!

Willy Wonka in his land of Sweets – a world we relate to!

A huge fan of Gene Wilder and his teamwork with Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and Madeline Kahn, I wanted to share some of the favorites that will forever bring me hilarious tears of joy. We celebrate his talents through our love of his movies and hope that there is indeed a world beyond who will get to enjoy his incredibly funny isms such as “Put ze candle BACK!”

"It's ALIVE!!!"

“It’s ALIVE!!!”

Although many people find “Blazing Saddles” to be offensively incorrect; yet, if you watch it properly, you realize its WHOLE PURPOSE was to show how ridiculous bigotry truly is.  Genius Gene, thank you for your creations of sweets, chocolate, and humor.

Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) & the Sherriff (amazing Cleavon Little)

Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) & the Sherriff (amazing Cleavon Little)