Q. Lauri’s Cakes is already fully booked for my wedding date… where should I go?
A. At Lauri’s Cakes, if the date is booked by another customer of mine, then I can find someone who’s in your area or someone who can give you a cake on your date. The earlier you book your cake order for your wedding the best date can be done. Right now I only focus on one wedding a weekend so that the Bride can shine on Her big day!
Q. How far in advance should we order our wedding cake?
A. At Lauri’s Cakes, if it’s on a weekend that I’ve already booked a wedding then I will do my best to find you another baker who is able to do the personal touch you desire. It’s always best to order a year in advance since other Brides are also looking for their wedding cake to be ready on their big day.
Q. How much cake should we order?
A. When I decided to refresh my techniques for decorating, I went through a Wilton Decorating Class and since then I’ve used their measurement charts and serves how many for each cake. I like the K.I.S.S. method the best. Keep It Simple Sam. The less stress for the Bride the better. It’s based on the number of guests that the Bride and Groom are inviting/expecting.
Q. Do all bakers use the same sizes for cakes?
A. I do not use the fondant icing, if I do, it’s for decoration only not the entire cake. Keeping the cost of the cake within a budget is more my liking. I do not compete with my local and regional home bakers or commercial bakers because that’s not how I want to be. I may need to refer someone to them in the future for any particular reason. Wilton has the serving sizes for pretty much all sizes of cake, this is the chart guide I use for my cakes. What other bakers use is their preference. It is based on buttercream icing.
Q. Should I use a licensed bakery or someone that makes wedding cakes from their home?
A. Unlike most states, Iowa has no restrictions on sales of non-potentially hazardous foods. Rather than having a cottage food bill, they simply allow home bakers to sell their food without a license or any regulation whatsoever.
Typically, home bakers sell their goods at farmers markets, but the ruling is so open-ended that they really can sell anywhere. There is also no detailed explanation of what a non-potentially hazardous food is, so items that are questionable should be tested individually.
Interestingly, Iowa has laws in place for “Home Food Establishments” (see chapters 30, 34, and 137D) which look a lot like cottage food laws: they have a limit of $20,000 per year in sales, they require a license and a yearly home inspection, they have restrictions on the workplace environment, and they have labeling requirements.
However, home food establishments are for the sale of potentially hazardous baked goods, like cream pies, custards, and cheesecakes. This makes Iowa one of the only states to allow the sale of these goods from home bakers. Also, if a baker sells less than $1,000 per year of these potentially hazardous foods, they do not need to get a license or home inspection at all, but they still need to abide by the other requirements.
At Lauri’s Cakes we prefer to make the customer aware that certain baked goods require to be kept chilled to keep things from being spoiled. All my icings are made with real butter, my cheesecakes are made with care and to the T of the recipe. If you have any questions, you can refer to this reference from the Iowa State University Extension; https://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1294.pdf I am following the guidelines set by the State of Iowa to have my inspections, sales tax permit and my county permit to operate my home business.
Q. Do you require a retainer?
A. Yes I require a non refundable retainer with a contract to be signed prior to the the deposit with all information needed so I have enough time to local decorations that are not edible if need be such as a cake topper.
Q. What is in your baked items for ingredients? Do you use preservatives?
A. No preservatives. Basic ingredients of Lauri’s Cakes will consist of the following; flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, milk, butter, and flavoring extracts. The fruits that will be provided are fresh and used the day of baking for the order and delivered within the time frame for the customer. For special orders that follow a diabetic diet, only then will a sugar substitute be used.