Where is your shop located? Sweet By Design is a Cottage Bakery operating by appointment only. We do not have a retail location that you can swing by to pick up a single cupcake or dessert cake. All of our orders are custom made for a specific event, and all consultations, appointments, and pickups must be scheduled in advance.
What areas do you serve, and do you deliver? Sweet By Design's kitchen is located in Melissa, Texas, just north of McKinney, and we offer delivery to venues within 50 miles of Melissa. Cakes really don't like to be in a car much more than that. Just a few of the venues we have delivered wedding cakes to include River Road Chateau and The Springs Event Venue in Anna, Bethel Rock, Magnolia Grace Ranch, and The Grand Ivory in Leonard, Rustic Grace Estate in Van Alstyne, The McKinney Cotton Mill, The Mill at East McKinney, and Gathered in McKinney, Glen Eagles Country Club, Rooftop Event Spot, and 34 Events in Plano, The Venue at Frisco Town Center and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club in Frisco. Pick up can also be arranged for free within 10 miles of Melissa.
Do you offer wedding cake tastings and consultations? I offer to-go sample boxes so you can enjoy finding your favorite cake flavor in the comfort of your own home. We can discuss the inspirational elements you would like incorporated into the design of your cake by phone, email, or video call. The cost of a set of sample boxes for the happy couple is $25.00. The samples include two slices each of five different cake flavors of your choosing and a variety of buttercreams to mix and match so you can find your favorite combinations. Additional, individual sample boxes can be purchased for $10.00. Once you purchase a set of sample boxes, I will reserve the date of your wedding on my calendar. When the design and flavors are decided, a copy of the contract detailing the design of your cake will be emailed to you along with a quote. Upon receipt of your $100.00 retainer and signed contract, your wedding order is permanently booked on my calendar.
How do I place an order? Just fill out the form on the Contact page to get started, and we will get back to you by the next business day.
Can you make me a cake for only 2 or 3 people? The smallest size cake we make is a 5" round that serves 8; however, there is a minimum order requirement of $100.00 for our custom cakes. Please see our Pricing page for more details.
Can you make me a cake for exactly 87 people? Ordering cake is a little different than ordering entrees from a caterer. A caterer may be able to order an exact quantity of chicken or filets from their supplier, but the number of cake servings are determined by the size of pan used (and on the person cutting your cake). The next size up or down in pans will be several servings, not just one or two. You typically won't need a slice of cake for every guest that says they're coming, and we will be happy to help guide you in selecting an appropriate amount of cake for your party.
My wedding will only have 50 guests. How can I have the look of a big cake without having a ton of leftovers? We can incorporate false tiers into the design of your cake. Styrofoam cake tiers can be decorated in buttercream or fondant just like the rest of the cake giving you the appearance of a much larger cake. Keep in mind that a false tier will take the same amount of time to decorate as a tier made from real cake so the price is not always significantly less for a false tier depending on the design.
When should I place my order? We recommend you book your order as soon as you know the date of your event or party and have your venue booked. We generally start to receive inquiries 9-12 months from the event - even further out for a large wedding or if the wedding falls during the months of April - October. Orders are taken on a first come basis. Your order is not considered booked until your $100.00 non-refundable retainer (or payment in full if the order is under $100) and signed contract are received. Because everything we bake is custom for a specific event, orders must be placed and paid in full 15 days prior to delivery/pick up. When do you make my cake? I want it to be as fresh as possible. We make all items as close to your event as possible. We do not make cakes in advance and freeze them for future use.
I am allergic to nuts, flour, milk, etc. Can you make me a cake? I can eliminate nuts from a recipe; however, they are present in the kitchen pantry. We currently do not offer any recipes that do not call for wheat or dairy products in the cake or icing. Also, wheat flour gets everywhere, lingers in the air, and even gets recirculated by the air conditioner. We would love to make your cake, but for your safety, if you have a serious food allergy, we recommend you choose a bakery that specializes in allergen free products.
Do you make cheesecakes? Cottage Bakeries cannot sell items that require refrigeration according to Texas Cottage Food Law. As such, we do not offer any products that require refrigeration. Sorry, no cheesecakes, tres leches cakes, or mousse fillings. However, in addition to our standard Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is light and creamy, we also offer a cream cheese icing that does not require refrigeration.
I want to use a specific ribbon or cake topper. When do you need anything I will be providing that I want to use on my cake? The actual size of the ribbon or decoration can affect the design of the cake, so the earlier we talk about these items, the better we can evaluate if any design changes need to be made. Also, items, such as toppers, placed on the cake may need additional support so they do not sink into the cake. Even a small vase is heavy enough to destroy a cake without proper support built into the design. Typically just sending a photo is sufficient so I can double check the size, and you can just leave the items you want on the cake table on the big day.
Will you place real flowers on the cake? The use of fresh flowers in the design needs to be discussed up front so we can make sure we have the proper supplies to place them on the cake at delivery - you don't want water to seep out of that freshly cut flower ruining your icing! Also, the client is responsible for making sure your flowers are free from dirt and other debris. Some of the most popular wedding flowers, such as Calla lilies, are poisonous, so not all flowers are recommend as decoration on the cake. In addition to fresh, we have also arranged fondant, silk, and paper flowers on cakes too.
My wedding will be outside in August. Can you make me a cake? We do not suggest any cake be displayed outdoors. Not only does butter, one of the main ingredients in buttercream, start to get soft at room temperature and melt at about 90° - 95°, but you have to worry about bugs and the wind blowing dust or other debris onto the cake. The ideal location for the cake is indoors on a sturdy, level table at about 72°. Keep in mind you assume all liability for any damage that occurs to the cake after delivery or pick up.
How do I cut my cake? Do I need a special cake knife or server? For weddings, talk to your venue or caterer to see if they offer cake cutting services. If you will be cutting your own cake, we will provide a Cutting Guide with your cake so you will know where the supports or other non-edible items are. No special equipment is really needed to cut a cake - a knife to slice, a fork to help transfer to the plate, a damp towel or two to wipe the icing that builds up on the knife, and you are good to go!
What are "supports or other non-edible items"? Any cake that is more than one tier needs support or the top tier will sink into the lower tier. Our two tier cakes weigh in around 15-20 pounds! Only food grade materials will come in contact with your cake. Other non-edible items, such as ribbon or rhinestones, will need to be removed before the cake is cut.
Will you donate a cake to my organization? Sweet By Design is part of the volunteer network of bakers with Icing Smiles. At this time, this is the only organization to which we donate.
But it's too pretty to cut! Take a picture - cake was made to be eaten! OK, so that wasn't really a question. However, we hear that comment all the time. Really, take a good picture, and eat the cake. If you forget, contact us; we always take pictures of our finished products.