Last week we got a chance to sit down with Karli, owner of Cake and Cookie LLC in De Pere, pick her brain about wedding desserts, and snap a few photos of her beautiful (and delicious!) Â macarons.
So often couples come to us with questions about the next steps after choosing their photographer, so we thought we would do a quick interview with Karli for our Vendor Spotlight post and share a little bit of advice on choosing your baker and deciding on wedding desserts. Read on for some information and inspiration!
What would you like people to know about you?
I make everything from scratch in small batches from quality ingredients. Everything is done by me with help from my mom, Mary. Â From the consult to the baking, everything is done by just the two of us which keeps things personal. We try to be a friendly small business over here.
Tell me about starting Cake and Cookie LLC.
I started Cake and Cookie because I like being able to create my own style and I wanted to see if I could bring something new to the wedding cake world in Northeast Wisconsin. Â WhenÂ I opened Cake and Cookie I was baking out of a shared kitchen, and selling through deliveries and at the downtown farmers markets. I got my own space here in August and I really love it. Â I found the shop at just the right moment; we were growing and it was no longer feasible to carry equipment and ingredients with me. When the flower shop moved out of this space, I was able to expand.
What was your background with food?
I’ve always loved cooking. Â As a child in summer I would drag my momâ€™s old pots and pans out to the backyard and cook in my sandbox. Â In high school I took every art class and cooking class, but when I graduated I thought I wanted to go to a traditional four year school. Â My mom knew I should be cooking but she let me figure it out on my own. Â I left the university and went to culinary school at Fox Valley Tech in Appleton which is where I discovered that I loved the creative and artistic aspects of baking. After that, I went to the French Pastry School in Chicago. Â I was there I learned to make macarons, and it became something I really enjoy.
Where do you find inspiration?
I like looking through contemporary wedding styles and decor – blogs, magazines, etc. and getting inspiration from them. Â I can get inspiration from just a ruffle or other detail.Â I will see other peopleâ€™s cakes in the industry and find things that I like or would change. Â Everyone is a little different in their artistry, so each person will put their own spin on things. My personal creative style is very simple and organic with clean lines. Â I like incorporating simple patterns, lace, pearls, and organic work with gold brushstrokes and things like that.
What is the best piece of advice you would give couples planning their wedding dessert?
Itâ€™s a great idea for couples to form an inspiration board (with pinterest itâ€™s so easy to show things you like even if you canâ€™t describe them). Â Sharing pictures and swatches gives me a way to get theÂ feelÂ of your wedding so we can create a cake to compliment your decor. Â I do complimentary consultations where the couple gets to choose two flavors of cake and two flavors of filling that they want to try. Â I allot that time to do kind of what weâ€™re doing right now, sit down and chat. Â They try the cakes; we talk about ideas, and I can develop a few different quotes for them. Â I try to make the process a little easier, because I know that brides have 1000 other things to keep straight.
Â How early should couples think about booking their baker?
For me, itâ€™s a little different than most because itâ€™s just me here. Â I tend to book up faster and sooner than a larger bakery. Â My advice would beÂ “the sooner, the betterâ€;Â I only take on one, maybe two weddings each weekend to allow me enough time for the entire process. Â For summer weddings, I would say six or so months out, but if you want it sooner, you can always come in to try cake, put down a deposit, and you wonâ€™t have anything to worry about until your day gets closer.
What are some alternative wedding sweets that couples may not have considered?
A lot of couples with larger guest counts are doing smaller stacked cakes to keep the style simple, and then â€œkitchen cakesâ€ for the rest of their guests. I call mine “kitchen cakes” instead of “sheet cakes” because they are still circular so they will look the same as regular wedding cake when they are cut. Dessert tables with things like cookies are become more popular, as well as macaron towers. Â I also do a cupcake alternative which are mini layer cakes inside clear cups. Â Beyond that, I have had couples comes in with an idea for something they absolutely love (like mint brownies or gingersnap cookies). So Iâ€™ve made some personalized desserts like that as well.
Are there any current wedding trends you love?
Dessert tables. I love those because they are always so cute. Â I have been seeing a lot more simplicity in cakes and incorporating metallics – silver leaf, gold brushstrokes. Â Organic looking icing and statement flowers are both still very popular.
Is there anything you are dying to try?
Iâ€™ve never done a “naked cake” before, and I would love to do one! Â It really goes along with that organic aesthetic that I like. Â Naked cakes have the edges exposed, and there is either no icing or it is applied in thin, textured layers. Â I love the look of it, and it would be a great option for someone looking for a dairy-free cake as well.
What do you love most about doing what you do?
I just love baking. I love the fact that I get to be creative, and being creative with food is so interesting because it is not a traditional art. Â Running a business is also great because I get to form relationships with clients, spend some time one-on-one, and turn their vision into a reality. Â I love defining my own style, and itâ€™s great when someone comes to you because of that style.
Be sure to do cake tastings before choosing your baker. Â You want to know that you like the taste, and also check to be sure that the design you are interested in can be created by the baker you choose. Â Also find out who will be making the cake – oftentimes the person you meet with will not be the person making your dessert. Â You can always ask to meet the baker or the owner to be sure you have open communication.
You can find Karli at Cake and Cookie LLC in downtown De Pere at 518 George Street (try the macarons while youâ€™re there) or online at www.cakeandcookiellc.com .
Love Karli and her cakes! Macaroons too. She’s very easy to work with also. We can’t wait to see how our dessert table turns out!