We thought we’d put together a frequently asked questions post. In the past we didn’t really feel the need to as we could answer quick questions in a spare few minutes between baking, designing and delivering our work. These days, however, we get a lot of international press (and the magazine, blog, article requests are still growing day by day) so our inbox is often rammed with queries… and not all of them beneficial for us as a company. Unfortunately, as a business ran by just two people it simply doesn’t work for us to be dealing with some of the most frequently asked questions everyday. This takes us away from what makes our business run… designing and making gorgeous cakes. Seriously. If we replied in-depth to every single email we would never ever have any time to actually make the cakes, macarons, cupcakes, cookies etc that help create Juniper Cakery. Of course, if you have an enquiry about a cake (in the UK or if you’ve accounted for travel costs to another country), a possible collaboration or need anything for press then don’t hesitate to get in touch. For anything else hopefully we’ve covered your question(s) below!
Frequently asked questions!
Q: I’m in Arizona/Florida/Germany (or any other country outside of the UK). Can you ship a cake to me?
A: The short answer is no. The long answer is that no cake will survive a courier or postage service well inside the UK on a short journey so it definitely wouldn’t arrive in a fit state to a foreign country. Also, your country may have different regulations on food items being sent via post.
Q: I’m in Birmingham and I know you’re in Yorkshire, but can you ship a cake to me?
A: We’re afraid not. As we addressed with the above question a cake would never survive a journey via any postal/delivery service. Cake is incredibly delicate and heavy too so it’s just not a logical option to ever ship out a cake. If you do very much want us to create your cake for you then you’re more than welcome to arrange a date and time for you to pick-up your order from us. We do have a lot of people who are willing to travel from as far as London and Wales for one of our designs!
Q: I’m making a cake for my friend/kid/mum, but I can’t make the topper or flowers. Can you do it for me?
A: No. We get this question A LOT. It’s definitely one of our top frequently asked questions! We create all our own florals and decorations ourselves and for our own work only. To be honest, there are lots of great tutorials online for you to try out, but if you simply can’t then don’t and get a professional to create the whole cake for you. You wouldn’t carry out your own surgery, but ask an actual surgeon to stitch you up because you can’t do it, right? You’re also going to be very hard pressed to find any reputable cake designer worth their weight in gold who will do this for you (creating florals or toppers not after surgery care). Then there’s the possibility of plagiary. Sadly, there are some out there who are more than willing to claim someone else’s work as their own and we sure have encountered them. Even if you didn’t mean to uninformed or even forgetful guests at your party could very well snap a picture of your cake with a designer’s or company’s hard work on top and cite all that work as your’s… when it isn’t.
Q: Can I use your photographs of macarons, cupcakes etc etc to promote my own business/service?
A: This is a serious question we’ve been asked. To be fair though at least they asked. We’ve had a lot of ‘companies’ using our own images of our own work to get orders for their business. It’s one of those situations where we find ourselves repeatedly banging our heads against brick walls. Why? Why use someone else’s work to pass off as your own? We had a company a few years ago try to crop our logo off of one of our photographs (badly too… a little of a the logo was left on the image). Luckily, another business in our industry let us know about it. When we contacted them they swore they were just showing what they could make for clients not that the image and work was their’s… but why actively crop our logo off and also not give us credit as well as detail how much they are to order? Our advice to them was this: If you’re offering up images of work to show your customers what you can do then maybe you should actually create the work and not steal it.
Q: Can you make my wedding cake for me please? I love your work!
A: Thank you very much, we’d love to create your wedding cake but we’d need a few more details. We don’t take on any wedding order without a date and venue set in place. We need to know when and where your cake needs to be so that we can book you in. We also get a lot of international emails too. If you’re emailing us about a wedding enquiry then please let us know your name, wedding date, venue, any extra contact details, any colour palettes and also if there are certain styles and looks you like. We work with every single one of our couples on a personal, bespoke level which means that we never fully re-create a design. We like all our cakes to be one-offs and utterly personal to each happy couple. It’s your wedding day after all and having something unique and special to you would be perfect right?
Q: I emailed you about a cake so & so months ago. Can I pick it up this weekend?
A: We arrange all our pick-ups by appointment only so that we can fit things in between actually making the cakes. Weekends are our busiest times for collections and wedding deliveries, but we’ll try our best to work to your schedule. If you haven’t paid a deposit, however, for your cake (we always send your calculated deposit as well as payment details) then your cake will not have been booked in. We never take any orders without at least a 25% deposit being paid.
Q: How do you make your flowers/toppers/buttercream etc?
A: Another one of our top frequently asked questions. The answer is that if we told everyone exactly how we did things we wouldn’t have a business. We also taught ourselves everything from scratch from developing our recipes to creating our signature sugar open peony so they’re really not techniques we’d just share.
Q: I’m making my own wedding cake. Can you help?
A: We can offer up some valuable advice for this. Unless, you’re a professional cake designer then don’t do it. The money you think you’ll be saving really isn’t worth the stress, anger and sleepless nights before the big day. We’ve also had people spend £150-200 on making and decorating their own cake that collapsed then ordered a supermarket brand’s white iced layers that arrived wonky, dented or just plain shallow for another £150 and then ended giving up and somehow getting a bakery (at incredibly short notice… which to be honest is a miracle) to make a plain version of what they originally wanted for £300-450. The last thing you will ever want to do on your wedding day is feel so tired you malfunction every 5 seconds and feel like you’re covered in fondant and icing sugar all day even though you’ve bathed!
Q: How do you take or edit all your photographs?
A: We actually address this (definitely one of our frequently asked questions) in an old blog entry here on our cake photography tips and tricks post. It’s quite a lengthy post, but pretty informative. Our own photography style has evolved somewhat into something more minimal and grown-up (our ‘set dressing’ is much more simplified with lots of strong white on white), but the fundamentals of how to take more appealing food/cake photographs is there and will definitely help you get to grips with snapping better images. We’ve also been on and off working on a follow up post or two to go along with this so keep your eyes peeled! For Instagram shots we also have a quick and handy tips post for a more beautiful Instagram here.
Q: You made an awesome [insert description here] cake/cupcake/cookie. Can I copy the design for a client?
A: This is probably a tricky question. Maybe it’s more about your work ethic or how you define your business, but it also depends on the client(s) too. We try our best to make each cake more individual for every customer especially when it comes to wedding orders. When a customer sends us a design they like we discuss how we can make it more personal for them. Sometimes it’s unavoidable when a customer really really wants a cake they’ve already seen. What we will say is this… copying someone’s work is never going to be truly exciting if you want to deal with bespoke work or class yourself as a cake designer (the hint is in the ‘designer’ part). Plus a copy will always be an imitation and never be anything of your own style or personality. Always try to put your own spin on a design and work with your client to implement some cool personalised ideas too!
Q: Where do you get your gold paint from that you use on your cakes?
A: We’re afraid that is really top secret information. It took us searching and testing brands, types, carriers (vodka, extracts, oils, syrups, rejuvenator spirits) etc until we found THE ONE that was the perfect gold and also the perfect opacity. Unfortunately, most golds on the market are either amazing yet non-edible or they’re edible yet corn flake orange not gold (or maybe worse yet… they feature an icky green tinge to them). Then there are the ones that are as thin as chicken broth once applied leaving a faint streak sparkle. Eek. All we can say is to do your research, testtesttest and make sure it’s edible and safe! Also, if you’re working on fake cakes and using a non-edible gold make sure that when it comes to real cake you can easily match the quality and colour. You don’t want a customer seeing your lovely glistening gold dummy cake at a wedding fair and ordering it for their big day only to receive a horrid orange looking design!
Q: Where do you buy your sprinkles/cupcakes cases/etc from?
A: There are a lot of resources or stores out there for cake supplies. We’re afraid that we don’t have the time to reply to queries asking where we purchase items from or what brands we use. We do, however, create tutorials or recipes for our blog so you might find what you’re looking for with a quick search. If you don’t receive a reply to a question such as this, please don’t re-ask this query via another method. Whilst there are people or bloggers that may provide all the information you need please keep in mind that we’re a working business. There’s just the two of us who do everything. We design, bake, fill, stack, ice, create florals and characters, deliver, arrange pick-ups, market, photograph, style, write, recipe develop, tutorial develop, manage SEO, hold consultations, copy edit, Lightroom edit, deal with press, manage invoices and accounts, email customers, manage our social media, fulfilling freelance work, reply to social media, blog, run our website (we’r even building it ourselves), create our own graphics etc. Phew.
Q: I make cakes too and I’m out of [insert ingredient/tool/material]. Do you have any spare I can buy from you?”
A: All ingredients, tools and materials we source for our own work and orders. Back in the day we did run an online cake supply shop, but we shut this down. There was just no passion in it for us. Sourcing new supplies, keeping stock, promoting our website, spending hours packaging everything and dealing with shipping print outs took way too much of our energy and sanity.
Q: I love the stands you use. Where are they from?
A: We do too! They’re just so sleek and elegant; they also make cakes (especially wedding designs) look taller. They’re by a family owned business called Mosser Glass and you can find them for sale here. Our favourite is the white stand because it’s pretty versatile and great for photography (white = lots of light bouncing around).
Q: I need a cake for this weekend. Can you do it?
A: Sometimes we’re able to take on very last minute bookings, but this depends on how full we are with other orders and also on the complexity of your design. Our advice is to be prepared and book your cake in advance. For cupcakes this is 1-2 weeks before you need them. For novelty cakes make sure to contact and book around 3 weeks to 1 month in advance. Finally for wedding orders most couples book their cake 1-2 years in advance. It doesn’t hurt to contact us and ask though; we may have a slot free to make your cake for you!
Q: Can you bake a cake for me, put my friend’s/relative’s/partner’s name on it, take a photograph of it and send it to me? I don’t want the actual cake though.
A: We treat this kind of query the exact same as we would a delivery or pick-up order so the cake and work involved will be charged accordingly. We still have to bake, create fillings, fill, stack, ice, create the message or name, cover and trim a board, then photograph and edit the images which takes up time. If this is something you’d still like us to do then please get in contact!
Q: If I book multiple cakes/cookies/cupcakes/etc at once with you. Can I have a discount?
A: Sorry, but no. Ordering larger orders of cakes or treats isn’t the same as buying trade or wholesale as each booking is designed and created to be bespoke or made to order. The amount of items booked unfortunately doesn’t take away the amount of skill, hours or craftsmanship involved. Whilst we appreciate people being super prepared and booking multiple cakes etc at once we still have to charge for the detail, materials and time involved.
Q: I ordered my wedding cake with you, but I have my own stand. Is that OK?
A: This depends on the quality, style and material of your cake stand. Wedding cakes are heavy and unless you have a single tiered cake design we really wouldn’t recommend it. A lot of stands on the market which would end up in the kitchen of someone who doesn’t make/design cakes professionally are only designed to hold a simple Victoria sponge or a small tower of freshly baked scones. We would never want to risk your wedding cake collapsing because of a cake stand that started cracking under the weight so we do advise that you book one of our heavy glass stands or source one from your venue (as they deal with weddings their stands can also handle the weight of a tiered cake).
Q: Do you use free range eggs in your cakes?
A: Definitely! We only ever buy and use the best free range eggs in everything we bake/make from our towering wedding cakes to our luxurious macarons. We also use premium brand sugars, flours, butters and extracts & essences for our recipes.
Q: Can I order [insert dietary requirements here] free cakes from you?
A: In most cases yes you can! The only thing we’re unable to offer, however, are macarons free from nuts as they’re created using ground almonds. Otherwise, we have created cakes and cupcakes for people who are gluten-free, vegan, dairy free and who have nut allergies. Obviously, for weddings please make sure that you’ve checked if any of your guests have food allergies (and diet restrictions) or that they’re aware you’ve ordered certain flavours for your cake and/or favours. If you’re throwing a party and have a guest or two with any dietary requirements we can also create a separate cupcake that’s safe for them to eat!
Q: Can you send me your recipe for [insert flavour here] cupcakes / cake?
A: Sorry, but no. We’re incredibly busy dealing with orders, designs etc etc. When we have the time available to us we do offer up tutorials and recipes here on our blog for everyone to try out. Unfortunately, we just can’t send out recipes or step-by-step instructions to individuals on a one to one level at the moment.