A good party planner always knows how to pick the perfect birthday cake. He or she can select the right size, colors, and theme for any birthday party. They know which questions to ask to make sure the birthday celebrant gets exactly what they want. The best party planner orders the cake within the budget and makes sure there is just enough left over to celebrate one more time.
Here are some tips to teach you how to pick the perfect birthday cake and to help you become the best party planner possible.
Tip 1 – Determine the Party Budget
While it is loads of fun to plan an extravagant party, the truth is most of us need to create a party budget and stick to it. Doing so will make it easier to choose the perfect birthday cake without ruining the festivities with too little cake.
The budget should be big enough to include the following items.
• party favors,
• cake, and
It may be possible to spend less in some areas to afford a more extravagant cake. Some family celebrations may be potluck style, which frees up an entire budget category that you can use towards cake. Party favors are more popular with younger guests, but even older guests will appreciate a handmade token of appreciation. Knowing how much you have to spend on the cake will keep all of the next steps realistic.
Tip 2 – Decide on a Theme
Does the birthday guy or gal play a sport? Are they musically inclined? What are their favorite colors? Good hosts will use the answers to these questions to center the party theme on something personally important or special to the guest of honor. That may be colors, hobbies, interests, or even a favorite cartoon or movie character. You can find wonderful theme birthday cakes at Marks and Spencer, Tesco, or Charm City.
Knowing their favorite things makes choosing a theme easier. If you are planning your own party, think about what party theme will make you happiest. Pursue that theme within your budget and you will have a perfect birthday cake.
Tip 3 – Discuss Flavors With Celebrant
Not only must the perfect birthday cake look good, it must also taste good. The most important taste buds to please are the ones belonging to the one with the birthday. You will need to make flavor choices about the cake, the filling, and the frosting.
First, you need to pick the flavor of the cake. They can be simple like chocolate and vanilla, or edgy like pear, coconut and lime, or pink champagne. Second, you must pick a filling. If you do not use buttercream frosting, there are still many options available. French cream, chocolate ganache, apricot jam, or lemon curd are just some of the possibilities for cake fillings. The adventurous host may want to choose different fillings for different layers too. The only limits here are your culinary imagination.
Tip 4 – Create a Guest List
The importance of a guest list is in knowing how much cake to order. Your budget drives all of this, and thankfully, you determined that before major planning began. Is this going to be a small, intimate celebration? Would the guest of honor prefer a larger party with more people? Knowing the honored guest’s preference for being around people is another factor. Would an introvert like a party with 100 work associates and casual acquaintances?
Sending out invitations with enough notice for adequate RSVPs is imperative to being prepared with enough cake. It is embarrassing to run out of cake before everyone is served. Planning for 10 to 20 percent extra is a good rule of thumb. Once you know how many guests to expect, you can figure out how much cake will you need. One of the first things you need to know when you wonder how to pick the perfect birthday cake is the number of guests.
• 8-10 guests: standard round cake
• 15-20 guests: quarter sheet cake
• 35-40 guests: half sheet cake
• 70-80 guests: full sheet cake
Tip 5 – Choose a Bakery
Now that you know how much cake you need, what flavors will make the guest of honor happiest, and the theme has been decided upon, it is time to choose a bakery. There are several factors to consider.
• Timeline – Is the party less than a month away? If so, you will be most likely to find the cake you want at a grocery store like Safeway or Publix. They are accustomed to working with short timelines and often have readymade cakes that might suit your needs. With two or more month’s lead-time, many boutique bakeries can deliver the goods on time.
• Budget – Are you planning to invest in the perfect cake from a boutique bakery? Or is your budget more along the lines of just needing something sweet to put into everyone’s mouth before they leave? Dairy Queen, Baskin Robbins, and Cold Stone Creamy provide something in the middle that is still extra special.
• Proximity and Delivery – Is there time on party day to pick up a cake? If the cake was delivered, would that reduce the burden on party day? If you have to pick up the cake, how far away is the bakery from the venue? Will hot weather play any part in how and when the cake is transported?
• Skills – Can the bakery make the cake you want? Do they have the skills to mold chocolate or make icing flowers to your satisfaction?
Tip 6 – Settle on Final Design
Once the bakery has been chosen, set up an appointment to confirm the final design and flavor choices. An in-person meeting is best to ensure everyone agrees on the details. Unfortunately, those details can get lost in a phone conversation and you could end up with sad misspellings on a carefully designed cake.
Birthday parties are fun celebrations of another trip around the sun. The cake should represent the guest of honor’s style and tastes. If these tips have helped you know how to pick the perfect birthday cake, leave a comment and let us know.