Weddings are a time to celebrate the joining of two people and two families. But for those of us who are single, it is about the open bar and the cake. Walking through the double doors of Cinderella Cakes, you'll realize just how important cake can be.
Cinderella Cakes opened its first location 66 years ago in Bellflower. Timorie Budge purchased the business 11 years ago and with the help of her retired husband, expanded to a total of four locations. The Bellflower bakery relocated to Anaheim and soon locations arose in Costa Mesa, Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Niguel. The couple is searching for a fifth location in the Long Beach/Huntington Beach area.
Offering seven different cake flavors, 35 different fillings and four different frostings allows customers to create a variety of combinations to fit any occasion. Many of the fillings are original recipes that have been slightly changed over time.
“Our Kahlua Mocha Chip and White Chocolate Chunk with fresh raspberries are all original recipes,” says Budge. “You tweak them a little bit but those two were never changed.”
Cinderella Cakes is known for its White Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese filling, but the Kahlua Mocha Chip is popular among wedding-goers. And while cakes may be the store specialty, cupcakes, cookies and pastries are also created in-house. A branch of Cinderella Cakes, called Timorie’s Candies, produces 3D candy, including chocolate high heels.
Every year brings a new trend in the baking industry. In past years cupcakes and cake pops dominated, but 2013 is all about variety.
“I think a lot of people are going towards dessert stations,” says Budge.
Dessert stations offer sugar-guzzlers an abundance of high-octane desserts; customers are selecting five different cakes instead of going with one large cake.
When ordering a cake for a specific event, some customers arrive with ideas while others are a little lost. Not to fear: Cinderella Cakes has all kinds of photos for the clueless cake consumers. Plus you can’t stump Budge. She has sat down with countless couples to get a feel for their wedding in order to incorporate it into the cake.
“The most important thing is visually what they want and their budget,” says Budge. “It’s our job to try to make those items come together.”
And Budge has designed all kinds of cakes for all kinds of weddings. One client had a beach-themed wedding, so her cake was created as a tower of ocean blue frosted cupcakes with a cake at the top; each cupcake was topped with an edible sea creature that included starfish, blowfish, octopus, and other marine life.
For couples interested in a more traditional white wedding cake with a bit of an edge, Cinderella Cakes has created a three-tier solid white cake with a 3D fondant cherry blossom branch that is draped on the side of the cake starting at the base and ending at the top tier. Another traditional-style cake is a four-tier cake that has differently sized and shaped hearts covering each tier with button-sized frosting at the base of each level. What makes the cake unique is a fondant bow at the top of the cake and an elegantly draped ribbon covering portions of the cake.
Most weddings have a specific color theme that can be incorporated into the cake's design. A three-tier solid royal blue cake with a 3D green-and-gold peacock fondant feather design matched one wedding perfectly. Some weddings have a specific flower that is a focal point, for which Cinderella Cakes has used hibiscus, lilies, calla lilies, carnations, tulips, and of course, roses.
But the wedding cake is not the only member of the bread family present at the event: The groom’s cake should not be forgotten. It used to be taboo to have any wedding cake that wasn’t bleached white cake with the groom’s cake a plain chocolate. But the evolution of cakes has allowed the bride to create a groom’s cake that represents her future husband. This can include a cake of his beloved dog, car or sports team.
“This shows the groom that the bride really thought about him,” says Budge.
Other than weddings, Cinderella Cakes bakes for birthdays, corporate events and Budge's personal favorite, quinceañeras.
“I love that everybody gets together and it’s very family-oriented,” says Budge.
Another popular occasion is first birthdays, where family and friends get to eat the baby-decorated cake and birthday babies enjoy smashing it. One birthday event had a three-tier fairyland-themed cake that matched the event theme. Large tree trunks were painted vertically over the three tiers and the top cake was covered with green fondant, cut out to look like leaves. Multi-colored flowers covered the top and sides of the cake along with red-capped mushrooms planted at the base of the platter. Various animals, such as deer, were placed on and around the cake to bring the fairyland to life.
About 50 wedding cakes and a couple hundred decorated cakes are made each weekend. Cinderella Cakes is up to any challenge.
“We work as a team, our business is a team, we are all a team,” says Budge.