Our family began baking in Europe around 1825, and Three Brothers’ Bakery is now making memories with our 5th generation of bakers. We take pride being a rare breed of scratch bakers using only the finest components and many original recipes in our delicious wedding cakes. Over our 70 years, we have been a part of over 100,000 wedding memories by creating personalized wedding cakes in Houston, TX.
Three Brothers’ wedding cake consultants guide you through the process of creating the taste, design, and accents to create a wedding cake especially for your special day. We offer unique options such as dairy-free cakes and your guests will never even know the difference. Our cake artists have trained with many of the top sugar artists in the field including:
Three Brothers Bakery has been making memories with generations of Houstonians for almost 65 years and is now doing so with its 5th generation of bakers. Our family began baking in Europe around 1825 and still uses many of the original recipes. Three Brothers Bakery takes pride being a rare breed of scratch bakers using only the finest components in our delicious pastries and breads.
A unique option for brides and grooms is our wonderful line of dairy-free cakes and icings, and no one even knows they are dairy-free. Wedding cakes should not only look good, but taste good as well.
So we hope you will entrust us with your special day because when your guests know the cake is from Three Brothers Bakery they are sure to continue the party with you until the end!
Feeling a bit overwhelmed when it comes to buying your wedding cake? We’ve broken it down into 5 easy steps to help you select you wedding cake bakery.
This post is the first of five and is to give you some information about wedding cakes. At the end of this post we have given you information as to how to make an appointment with Three Brothers Bakery.
We wanted to let you know what to expect and how to go about buying a wedding cake. For many, you are doing so for the first time, so here is a cheat sheet on the experience. I’ve broken it up into five sections, so you can go straight to the part of the process you need.
Setting up the appointment
When you would like to set up an appointment be prepared with the following information:
Preparing for the Wedding Cake Consultation
1. It is absolutely not required, but in today’s world most brides have millions of cakes at their fingertips. If you have time take 10 minutes and look at some cakes on the internet (our photo gallery is at https://3brothersbakery.com/galleries/wedding-cakes-gallery/). This will help you make the most of your appointment. It will help you decide if you are square, round, multi-shaped, traditional, contemporary, all white, want a spot of color, columns or stacked or both or you want the totally different type of cake. Maybe you don’t want cake at all. Maybe it’s cupcakes or pies.
It’s just helpful for the designer to know a little something of who you are in the realm of cake, but again he or she will figure it out.
2. Flowers – if you want flowers, do you want sugar or fresh? No matter which, someone will need to know what type of flowers you might like and what color, if any. *Remember if you choose fresh, your florist or someone else most likely will be placing them on the cake. Be sure they know to wrap the stems, for they are filled with pesticides.
3. Colors and inspiration– tell us your colors, even if your cake is all white, it helps us to know once again, who you are in the cake world. The bright colored bride is different from a pale, pale color bride. If you have any special fabrics, bring a swatch, or a picture of your dress (or better yet we’d love seeing our brides in their dresses!). We gain inspiration from all of these items.
4. Groom’s Cake – if you bring your groom and want to talk about a groom’s cake, tell him in advance what it is. We have many groom’s who walk in the door and have no idea what is a groom’s cake. It can be just a form of chocolate cake or it can be something to do with his personality, ie., zipline, parachuting, skiing, cars, sports, etc… Some grooms identify with what they do for a living, ie., oil derrick for the Petroleum Land Man, but it is not a place for your company’s logo. Your wedding is not the office holiday party; it is a very personal event.
5. How many servings?? That is always the big question, and one which is difficult for the vendor to answer, for only you know your guests. But if you are having a seated dinner, and the dessert will be plated and served to your guests at the table, plan on a one-to-one ratio for BOTH cakes. The staff should put a piece of both on the plate. If you are having the guests come to the cake table to pick up the cake, then you can pretty much do whatever you would like to do. Obviously if you are having a Viennese table (an array of desserts) plus the wedding cake you will not need as much cake. If you are having a 100 people, get the cake to serve the guests (no sheets). If you are having 2,500 people you may want to get some sheets in the back unless you really want a cake to serve 2,500 (you had better have many people to actually cut and serve the cake then. :))
6. Size of cake – another question you need to be prepared to answer. Do you want the cake to be the size of what it takes to serve the guests or do you want, for example 4,5,6 tiers or do you want it 4, 5, 6 feet tall or taller? Maybe you want a taller cake than you need to serve your guests – then lets add some foam layers to give you height.
7. Fondant or buttercreme? Most designs can be done in buttercreme but some vendors may try to have you buy fondant, for they may simply prefer to work with it or they make more money. Some designs do require fondant, ie., if you want us to paint on a cake or you like the rounded edge you see with fondant. A buttercreme cake can have fondant accents, but the base icing can be buttercreme. The cake baker should have some fondant for you to taste, if you are leaning in that direction, and then you can decide. Be prepared, for fondant is more expensive.
8. Budget: Don’t think because you throw out a number we are going to spend all of it. It is just a guideline for us and a way to keep your appointment on track and help you choose something that is appropriate for you. Is it $500, $1000, $1500, $2000, etc….? Then let the designer know you are not prepared to pay something above the high end of your budget. We, cake designers, can design anything. So lets make sure we design something you’ll remember and love within the area of your budget.
What to expect during your wedding cake consultation:
Of course, I am prejudiced, but I believe your wedding cake baker should be one who:
1. Works in a commercial kitchen – no dogs or cats allowed
2. Has insurance
3. Is cognizant of food safety and has a health department certificate (ie., the City of Houston gives you four hours to have crème cheese out – includes, prep time, delivery and amount of time sitting out until you eat it)
4. HAS A TEAM! You want to know if something happens and one person is out of commission, you are still going to get your beautiful, great tasting cake made by the team YOU hired. If you choose someone who works on his or her own or at home, you are taking a risk on your special day. Plus you need to make sure venues will allow someone without a health department certificate to bring the cake onto the premises.
5. Cost – the best way to evaluate cost is to know what size cakes you are going to receive. At Three Brothers Bakery we price by size, labor and accents provided. Most bakers charge per slice. To illustrate I’m going to give you a very SIMPLE example.
You choose a cake and tell the baker you are having 100 people. The cake will be a 14x10x7 round, which serves 117 with the top tier. The baker tells you the cost is $100 (remember this is hypothetical and a not real example). Then you call the baker and advise you are having 115 people, at which time the baker tells you the cost is $115. The size of the cake is the same. The baker just made $15 more dollars. Additionally, what if I size the cake as 14x10x7 and another baker decides it should be smaller or bigger? They are not apples to apples. Make sure they are the same size when evaluating cost. When you leave our bakery you will know how many your cake will feed, so you only need to tell us if there is a dramatic difference.
6. Delivery – that is your call. The main question is do you think the baker will be there on the stated date, delivery window and be able to make a repair should there be a problem? Most every reputable bakery will be able to handle those three things. Do they have a phone number for you, if they are closed during your delivery window? Most bakers are prepared for the worst and deliver the best. The worst rarely happens, but you want to plan everything to be able to handle anything. Be sure to give the baker a contact name and cell number for delivery. FYI: That person does not have the last name of anyone in the wedding or is one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc… They will be busy enjoying your day with you.
While you are looking at vendors remember this day is a one and only special day. You are buying a memory (you can get married at City Hall). The cake is the second most photographed item at the wedding, after the bride. (Grooms you stand a good chance of being in the pictures if you are with your bride or the cake :))
So you have been on all your appointments, tasted cake and reviewed your options. You found a baker you like and feel confident about – what happens next?
1. Some bakers have a detailed contract which you will need to sign.
2. You will need to provide a deposit – usually about 50% and it is usually non-refundable. This deposit holds the date for your wedding cake to be made and delivered on a certain day. Find out when final payment is due. Also, if you are renting a stand, do you need to make a deposit on it? Stands need to be booked in advance, for bakers have a limited number and there may not be one available for your size cake if you do not reserve it.
WARNING: Some bakers are very strict about final payments. If you are one day late they may cancel the order. At this time, we are not that strict, but two weeks before the wedding is getting too late. I have actually made a cake for someone who lost their deposit at another baker and had their order canceled because they were one day late with final payment.
3. Find out what your responsibilities are to be, ie., do you need to pick out ribbon, bling, broaches, provide a color swatch? Get everything together and then when you come to make the final payment, usually about no later than one month in advance, you can bring all of your items for the baker to hold. If you have a cake topper, it is probably best to let the baker see it, but you should bring it the day of the wedding and have it on the cake table for us to place on the cake. The only time you should leave the topper at the baker is if we are needing it to decorate the cake while it is still in the shop.
4. Find out what is the earliest time the cake table can be ready and let the baker know, plus reconfirm your wedding date and reception location address, contact and time everything begins at the location. All of these things should be done preferably no later than one month in advance.
Brides and Grooms, we hope your day is an incredible memory – one you’ll love years from now when you are looking at your album with your child who is thinking about their wedding day. And then you get to do it all over again for them, but this time you’ll know exactly what to do.
Mazal tov, congratulations and we hope only for a long, happy and healthy life for you as you begin your lives together.
Janice, Bobby, Aunt Estelle and the whole Three Brothers Bakery family