By Heather Bjork
“Let Them Eat Cake” ~ Marie Antoinette
Who doesn’t love a good cake??? I’ll never forget when my son was turning five and I asked him what he wanted to do for his party. His response, “I don’t know.” I asked him how many kids he’d like to invite. His response, “I’m not sure.” Then his face brightened and he looked at me and asked, “Mom, can I get one of those cool Star Wars cakes for my birthday?” I agreed and one of my most vivid memories from that party to this day was how the party guests’ tongues had turned black from eating the black frosting!
So many choices….what flavor? What theme? How large? Cupcakes or sheet cake? Flavor of cake? Flavor of frosting? Filling or not? Ice cream or traditional? I have avoided cupcakes at most parties because of my friends that are teachers that will tell you that with cupcakes, so many kids just lick the frosting off and never even touch the cake part of the cupcake.
The basic cake options are: white, marble and chocolate. The basic frosting choices are butter cream or whipped cream (I am personally partial to the sugary taste that is the butter cream.). However you can also get your cake filled with coconut, strawberry, berry bream or lemon (Lowe’s Foods) or get an ice cream or frozen yogurt cake (Beriyo, Carvel, or Baskin-Robbins). You can also get some unique fillings and flavors when you choose to have a custom cake, which we will discuss more below.
To make life a little easier for all of us busy parents, I did some research & collected pricing on traditional cakes from different resources around the Triad.
Least expensive traditional cake: Food Lion ($ 13.99 for 1/4 sheet, $ 24.99 for 1/2 sheet), Wal-Mart SuperCenter ($ 14.48 for 1/4 sheet, $ 24.48 for 1/2 sheet), and the best bang for your buck was Costco ($16.99 for 1/2 sheet)
*** You can save an additional $ 2 off the price by either ordering or picking up your cake on a Thursday at Food Lion.***
Least expensive ice cream cake: Beriyo ($ 21.99 feeds 10-15 or $ 32.99 feeds 18-25)
It would be a wise idea with ice cream cakes to look at the sizes yourself. Several of the cakes had a range of 5-8 pieces in terms of how many people it would feed. Being Italian, I tend to err on serving slightly larger pieces than smaller pieces so I usually err on having slightly more pieces than I think I will need. Frequently some siblings will show up that was not included in your child count so the extra cake comes in handy when this occurs.
Now we’ll move on to the oh-so-delicious custom and specialty cakes. If you really want an exotic cake, you can choose from an array of tantalizing flavors at Maxie B’s in Greensboro, where they offer cakes broken into the following categories: chocolate layer cakes, pound cakes, fruity cakes, caramel cakes or seasonal selections. You’ve also got Dewey’s in Winston-Salem, where you may want to order their famous pink lemonade cake! We also love Ketchie Creek in Mocksville for some of the most unique and delectable cakes around. One more favorite is Delicious Bakery in Greensboro. The name says it all.
Another option to consider is to hire an independent cake designer. Marisa Schaefer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-516-4845) services the Burlington and Greensboro areas. She bakes and decorates delicious cakes with any theme of your choosing, at affordable prices. Allison Green (336-692-2558, email@example.com) in Winston-Salem, can also whip up anything your mind can imagine! You’ll love the photos on her website. If you are closer to the High Point/Trinity area, call Karen Harris, owner of The Icing on the Cake, Custom Cake Designs. (Karen.IcingOnTheCake@yahoo.com
336.861.9259) She makes cakes for all occasions (baby showers, anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, bridal showers, weddings etc.) as well as goodies for all holidays!
There are many other individuals that you can find under the “cake decorator” listing in the White Pages. You can also leave any of your recommendations in the comment section below.
The plus side to ordering a custom cake is that you can usually bring a napkin or invitation that the decorator can use to create a unique cake.
Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget the candles, matches, a knife, serving piece and your paper products. To capture the moment, I usually ask a friend to take pictures while I bring the cake out. That frees me to handle what needs to be done while knowing that the moments I want to capture (my child blowing out the candles, the faces of the excited guests, etc.) are preserved and not left to chance. Always bring extra batteries for your camera and/or camcorder just in case. Then be sure to take a few minutes, have a seat & enjoy some delicious birthday cake!
Submitted by Heather Bjork, mother of two children (son Kieran & daughter Kendra), who loves to eat cake!