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wedding and grooms cakes

How many cakes can you do in a day?

Unlike photographers and venues, we are able to do more than one wedding in a day. We can do as many as six weddings in one weekend. Difficulty of designs, delivery locations and cake sizes all factor into how many weddings we will book. We are a small shop, and quality is our priority, so we limit ourselves to what we know we can do well.

How far ahead do I need to order my cake?

We don't like to rush people and encourage you to research your options thoroughly. Most people secure the date for their custom cakes at least two to six months in advance.

Some dates book faster than others. Late May and all of June, Memorial Day weekend, and any VOLS football off-days are extremely popular. The best policy is to book as soon as you know you want to use us for your cakes.

Smaller and simpler wedding cakes may be ordered with as little as a week's notice if the schedule allows. It never hurts to ask, but for high wedding season (Mid-April thru October), the sooner the better.

How do I secure your services?

Usually, a 50% deposit is received after your design consultation. If you are certain you want to use us, but aren't quite ready to make detailed decisions, you may secure the date with a $300.00 non-refundable deposit at any time.

How long will it take you to make my wedding cake?

The creation of a wedding cake is a process that takes place over several days. The cakes are made in stages. The cake layers are baked on one day, filled and finished on another and detailed the next. Since most weddings fall on Saturdays, this process usually begins on Wednesday. The early part of the week is spent preparing boards, polishing silver, ordering flowers, confirming delivery times, coordinating schedules with caterers and florists, and making any sugarpaste details or special components for the cakes. Saturdays are spent tweaking details and delivering cakes safely, which is why it's difficult to do wedding consultations during the season.

How much do your wedding cakes cost?

Our Custom Wedding Cakes start at $4.00/serving for 100 or more servings. A simple round cake with three or four stacked tiers, finished in buttercream with simple detailing will generally run in the $4.00-5.00/serving range, depending on flavor and details. More complex designs, squares, hexagons, fondant finish, spacers, flowers, etc. will add to the cost.

I want one of your delicious cakes, but a custom cake is not in my budget. Are there any other options?

If you just want a simple, elegant, delicious cake, and are not concerned with a custom design, choose a cake from our Standard Specialty Cakes menu (up to 100 servings). We have three stock designs for these simplified wedding cakes: Classic Swags, Swirls and Simple Flowers. They are made with the same quality and care as our custom cakes, but do not require a consultation and have standard decoration, so they cost a bit less.

They are available in several sizes feeding anywhere from 20-100 servings. For example, a two-tiered cake serving 16-28 starts at $113.00, and a three-tiered cake to feed 60-90 starts at $357.00. These cakes can be boxed for pick-up or drop-off delivered by Green Car Courier for $25-$50, depending on location.

Do you deliver the cakes and set them up?

Yes, we charge $50-$75 for delivery to most Knoxville locations. We coordinate with the caterer and/or florist, deliver and set up the cake.

How far do you deliver?

The furthest we have taken a cake was to Bluefield, West Virginia. It survived! We have also delivered to Chattanooga, Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta and other cities. Charges for locations outside the Knoxville metropolitan area work out to roughly $50/hour round-trip.

Some cakes that don't require set-up can be delivered by Green Car Courier for a bit less.

How do you deliver the cakes?

Most of our stacked cakes are delivered fully assembled. For many years, I held the cakes in my lap, gimbling with my thighs, while someone else drove to the site. Then one day, after a near disaster, I began to rethink this method. I enlisted my father to build an insulated box to deliver the cakes in. He's been tweaking the design for years and it gets better every time. Now they travel safely and in serious style in a pink insulated aluminum-framed box. I don't know how I lived without these FABULOUS BOXES. Thanks, Frank!!

Do you ship your cakes?

No. For now, we are not able to ship our cakes.

Do you do the flowers?

Normally, your florist will provide and place the flowers on your cake, and we coordinate delivery with them. We can arrange the flowers that your florist provides on the cake for an additional charge of $25-$50. In some cases, Magpies can provide and place the flowers for your cake. Additional charges will vary depending on variety and quantities of flowers you need ($200+).

May I pick my cake up?

It's quite possible to pick up a small stacked wedding cake and deliver it yourself. The cakes are well-engineered, and when cold, are very sturdy. We pack them in a corrugated box with handles, so you can easily carry them. We recommend this only for smaller, stacked cakes (100 servings or less).

How much cake should I order?

This depends. Many things factor into the number of servings you should order. If you are having an evening reception, serving lots of food and alcohol, you will need less cake than you would at an afternoon reception with light food and no alcohol. You will want to consult your caterer for their opinion.

Can I do part of my servings in sheet cakes?

With very large weddings (300+ guests), sheet cakes are a wonderful way to help your caterers pre-plate some of the cake so that service goes more smoothly. Two- and three-layer sheet cakes are available (starting at $2.00/serving) to provide additional servings. At least 2/3 of the total servings must be in the display cake.

How big is a serving of cake?

In our research, we have found bakers claiming to get anywhere from 45-72 servings out of a 12" cake tier.

Magpies cake tiers are constructed of four layers of cake filled with three layers of buttercream or filling, and when finished are 4 "- 5" tall.

A wedding serving is smaller than a birthday cake serving. We work with this general rule- the height of the cake (usually 5?) by 2" deep by " wide. This is roughly 6 - 8 bites. An experienced caterer will be able to get exactly the number of servings you need out of your cake, but we do plan generously.

I like the cake in this picture, but I don't need it to feed that many people, can you make it smaller?

No problem. Most of our designs can be scaled up or down proportionally to feed the appropriate number of people. We may have to plan fewer tiers, but the design can be the same.

Can I have a different flavor In each tier?

Of course, this is no problem. However, we recommend a maximum of two flavors for your cake. A wedding cake is usually cut and served from the top down. Since you can only plate and serve one tier at a time, it becomes confusing for the servers and your guests when you have different flavors in each tier. If you're sold on more than two flavors, you might want to consider a satellite tier design...single cakes on a satellite stand that can be cut and served simultaneously.

Do you make dairy-free (sugar-free, wheat-free) cakes?

Not at this time.

Do you freeze your cakes?

Nope. With the exception of carrot cake layers (which freeze brilliantly), we NEVER freeze our layers. Our cakes are baked fresh daily and our buttercreams are made fresh weekly. The creation of a wedding cake is a several day process. Cakes are baked as close to the day of delivery as possible.

Do you stay and cut the cake? How do you cut the cake?

Most often, your caterer will be responsible for the cutting of the cake. They will often charge a per serving cutting/plating fee or a flat fee for this service. If you are having a friend cut the cake, ask us about a guide for getting the proper number of servings out of your cake.

What is fondant? Everyone says it's terrible!

Fondant is the super-smooth rolled icing you see on all the cakes in magazines. It is rolled out and draped over the tiers, then smoothed, polished, trimmed and detailed. We love working with fondant, but only recommend it if the design calls for it. Many fondant designs can be translated into buttercream nicely, but there are times when only fondant will do.

While there are definitely some inferior-quality products out there, our fondant is very good. It is imported from Switzerland, and has a very neutral, sort of marshmallow flavor, with no aftertaste. I believe the adverse reaction most people have to fondant has more to do with the texture than the taste. It is like cutting into a soft tootsie roll, and it is much more difficult to cut a thin slice and plate it cleanly. It's just not the creamy taste sensation people are expecting.

Why is a fondant-finished cake so much more expensive?

The fondant we use is fairly expensive and of the highest quality, but we think it's worth it for the flavor. It takes a lot of skill and experience to work with fondant and make it look right. It takes much longer to finish a cake in fondant than buttercream. It is also temperature-sensitive.

While we can finish a buttercream cake and refrigerate it overnight, fondant cannot be refrigerated after it has been put on the cake, so it has to be finished on the day of delivery. This makes for some tricky scheduling, and often we have to take fewer orders to accommodate them.

My wedding reception is going to be outside. People have told me that fondant holds up better in the heat. Is this true?

Not necessarily. It is true that fondant does not melt in direct sunlight like buttercream does. But as I explained above, the cake cannot be refrigerated overnight before delivery, so it arrives to the reception at room temperature, and only gets warmer from there. On the other hand, a buttercream finished cake arrives thoroughly chilled, and as long as it is under a tent and away from direct sunlight, the buttercream cake will hold up nicely for hours, getting to room temperature in time for serving. That is not to say you can't have a fondant cake at an outdoor wedding, we just have to deliver as close to the time of guest arrival as possible, so the cake does not spend too much time in the heat.

I want my cake to look like fondant, but I don't want fondant.

This is certainly possible. We can mimic a fondant look by slightly rounding the top edges of the tiers of a buttercream-finished cake. We generally do not mix fondant and buttercream. Complex fondant components cannot be applied to a buttercream-finished cake.

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celebration cakes

Can you draw Sponge Bob on my cake?

We are so sorry Dora, Spongebob, Cinderella, Tinky Winky, et all! We cannot risk duplicating copyrighted characters onto your cake. We can, however, include a character toy you bring in to decorate your cake to match the colors and style of your character theme.

What can you do for Baptisms? Anniversaries? Christenings? First Communion Cakes? 50h Birthdays?

We don't really have stock designs for these occasions. Here are a few designs we have done for christenings & baptisms, first communions, anniversaries, and 1st birthdays. We usually personalize these designs to your event, working with the theme and colors that you've chosen. It's very helpful if you bring in (or email) a picture.

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