Store Hours: Wed-Fri 9am-5pm | Sat 9am-3pm

How to Order, and Other Frequently Asked Questions

Plus, a Short Tale About Baking from Scratch

Click here to go directly to the questions. Or, start here, with a little story about baking from scratch...

Baking from Scratch

Why do we bake from scratch?
From our perspective, this answer is obvious: making a dessert by hand, with fresh, natural ingredients is going to taste inherently better than either convenience products (mass-produced in factory-sized ovens with preservatives and other chemical ingredients), or pre-made mixes. In addition to the deliciousness factor, another advantage in from-scratch baking is the peace of mind we have in knowing exactly what we are putting into our customers' bodies.

How does baking from scratch affect my order?
Because we bake from scratch, we bake our cakes fresh daily, which means that we have to schedule carefully which cakes will be baked on each day. We cannot, for example, delay work on someone's wedding cake because another customer remembered Uncle Harry's birthday at the last minute and was hoping that we could whip up a custom cake with 24 hours notice! Our cakes utilize the freshest ingredients, intensive preparation methods and careful decoration by real human hands to achieve the desired taste and presentation, so we ask that you place your orders at least one week in advance (but please check the FAQ below for more details about how much notice we need for different kinds of desserts). Every customer and every order is special, so ordering at least a week in advance enables us to spend as much time baking and decorating Uncle Harry's birthday cake as we spend on the most elaborate and multi-tiered wedding cake!

The moral of the story:

We bake everything from scratch — from eggs, flour, sugar, real fruits and real flavorings — not from a mix. If you've ever baked a cake from scratch yourself, you know that it is a time-consuming process. This is why we require at least one week's notice for your order of a single-tier standard cake, and at least two weeks' notice for multiple-tier cakes or special artwork. But if you need a cake at the last minute, check with us! Sometimes we can accommodate short notice if our workload permits. A rush fee applies in these cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

 
How To Order

Do you take orders by email?

We do not take orders by email. You can email us with details or images, or to get information, however, we cannot consider your order placed until you have spoken to someone on the phone. We have found over the years that there are too many variables when dealing with custom pastry orders, and often times, something that takes four or five emails to deal with can be settled quite quickly with one short phone call. So, please call us to place your order! Our phone number is 610-644-1868.

Choose your flavor first!

We recommend that the first thing you do is decide on your flavors: the cake, the filling, and the icing.

What kind of event?

The type of event you are having may inform the type of cake or pastry you want to order. For example, a Halloween party for 12-year olds will have very different requirements than a wedding rehearsal dinner, or a funeral luncheon, or Aunt Mathilda's 101st birthday dinner.

Role call!

It's very important to know how many people you will need to serve. Further on in this FAQ we will get to specifics about how much cake you will need for your crowd.

When do I need to order my cake?

Short answer: the sooner the better! Because we are a small shop, we only have a limited number of bakers, and Chef Kim oversees everything herself, so if you want to be certain to have one of our cakes for your event, order as far in advance as you can. It is rarely too early!

Longer answer: For single-tier cakes, pies, cupcakes, mini pastries, brownies, cookies, and muffins — anything standard you see on our menu — your order must be placed at least one (1) week in advance. For multiple-tier cakes, or any special or custom artwork, your order must be placed at least two (2) weeks in advance, however, we recommend that you place orders for custom and/or multi-tiered cakes as far in advance as possible. Our cakes are created by hand, from scratch, and due to the artistic process required to bake and decorate your personal masterpiece, we regret that we cannot make any exceptions to these advance notification stipulations.

Do you have gluten-free options?

Yes, we do have gluten-free options! Please give us a call to discuss specifics.

How about vegan or vegetarian options?

Everything we cook contains butter, and most things contain eggs. We do not use any lard or animal fat. So, we can serve ovo-vegetarians, but unfortunately we do not have any vegan pastries at this time.

Pick-up and delivery

Pick-ups: Everything we sell is custom made, by hand, and at the exact right time for each person's event, so we do ask that you adhere to the pickup time that we give you at the time of your order. Deliveries: Only wedding cakes are delivered; we will only deliver a wedding cake serving at least 100 people, and within a reasonable distance from the shop (please call us for more details). All other cakes and pastries must be picked up at the bakery.

 
How Much Do I Need?

How many servings in a cake?

Specialty cake servings are as follows:
18 x 13"........45 to 55 servings
13 x 9" .........20 to 25 servings
14" ...............45 to 55 servings
12"................25 to 35 servings
10"................14 to 20 servings
8" .................10 to 14 servings
6" .................6 to 8 servings

Our 9" cheesecake will serve between 10 and 14.

Our 10" pies will serve between 8 and 10.

Our 10" tarts will serve between 8 and 10.

 
How To Serve (and Store)

Do you have any tips on slicing?

Use a dry hot knife for each cut. It is more work, but worth the effort.

What's the best way to store the cake or pastry?

We use all natural ingredients and flavorings — no preservatives! — so it is always better to serve fresh. However, if your plans change, or if you ordered more cake than you will use within 3 days, follow these instructions for storing the extra amount: freeze the remaining portion of the cake. After it is frozen, cut it into slices. Wrap the slices individually and store them in the freezer. Slices can be thawed as you need them. Additional refreezing and thawing is not recommended because it will cause the cake to become stale or freezer burned.

Should the cheesecake be served at room temperature or chilled?

Serve the cheesecake chilled. Every cheesecake is different, but we feel that our cheesecake is best enjoyed when it is chilled, meaning it is being served soon after removing the cheesecake from the refrigerator. In fact, we also have a new product called the frochoché, which is chocolate covered frozen cheesecake, and it is meant to be eaten frozen. Cold is better.

How long can a cheesecake be stored in the refrigerator after thawing?

Cheesecakes can be stored up to 3 days in the refrigerator without compromising quality and taste. Or, if you would like to avoid a holiday rush and long lines at the shop, you can freeze most cheesecake flavors for up to two weeks.

How long can a cheesecake be stored in the freezer?

Cheesecake can be stored in the freezer for up to 60 days without compromising its quality. If kept frozen for that length of time, it is best to store in a freezer that is not the one you use everyday. If you have a basement freezer, or a garage freezer, use that instead, because with a freezer that isn't opened frequently there will be less fluctuation in the temperature, and therefore less chance of the cheesecake getting freezer burn.

 
Wedding Cakes - How to Get Started

Where can I see some of your cakes?

Take a look at some of our wedding cakes here in the Gallery, or on our Flickr Photostream.

Reserve a Tasting Plate

The first step in ordering a wedding cake is to call us to schedule a reservation of a take-home tasting plate. The five standard flavors on a tasting plate are: Chocolate Mousse, Cinfully Southern, Lemon Delight, Caramel Symphony, and Vanilla Framboise.

What is the price of the wedding cake?

The price of a wedding cake depends on the flavor and design chosen, but our starting price is $4.25 per person for vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and basic buttercream decorations. The majority of our specialty cake flavors offered range from $5.50 to $5.75 per person.

Schedule a Consultation

After you've seen and tasted our cakes, reviewed our prices, and decided that you want us to create your wedding cake, it's time to call us to schedule a consultation so that we can discuss your specifics. Our phone number is 610-644-1868. A $100 deposit is due at the time of the consultation. The deposit must be in cash or check, and it is non-refundable.

Does the wedding cake have to be all one flavor?

No, each tier of the cake can be a different flavor. We recommend no more than three flavors, because you do not want to cause a riot when only the smallest tier of the cake turns out to be the most popular flavor, and only a few guests can get a slice of it!

What wedding cake flavor and design do most people choose?

Remember, this is your wedding, and it is the one time you can make it all about you, and people will understand. There is no right or wrong answer in choosing your wedding cake flavor and design. Everyone's choice is different, based on budget, taste, personal style, and wedding style. We will help guide you to a delicious, beautiful, memorable wedding cake, but ultimately, the final decision is yours.

Do you use frosting or buttercream?

Sweet Jazmines uses a real vanilla buttercream, created with 100% butter. There is no shortening or animal fat in our buttercream!

Buttercream is richer than a frosting, but not as sweet. The easiest way to tell the difference between frosting and buttercream is that frosting gets harder, even crunchy, when left out at room temperature, while buttercream gets softer.

How should my wedding cake be served?

By necessity, wedding cakes need to be refrigerated in order to arrive safely at your event, but we recommend that your cake be brought back to room temperature before serving in order to enjoy the full palette of our all-natural flavors as they were meant to be enjoyed.

What is the difference between a tier and a layer?

Many people get confused about a tier and a layer. The tiers are the sections piled on top of one another (or sometimes balanced on columns), that you can see and count. Hidden under the buttercream, however, each of those tiers can be made of two layers of cake, with filling in between them. You won't see the layers until the cake is cut. See the drawing below for a detailed explanation!

Should we get enough cake to feed all of our guests or only a percentage?

We recommend getting enough cake to feed all of your guests. If you are having a buffet-style dessert table with other treats, you might opt for a slightly smaller cake than recommended for your number of guests. The main thing to remember is that no one skips dessert at a wedding, and you don't want to run out of cake!

Can you replicate a wedding cake if I bring in a picture?

We can replicate most cakes with the understanding that there may be some very subtle differences. We absolutely must see a fairly good-sized photograph of the cake in question before we can commit to recreating any particular cake.

If we want fresh flowers on the cake, does Sweet Jazmines provide them?

For most cakes that are decorated with fresh flowers, the florist does the placing of the flowers once the cake has arrived at the venue. However, Sweet Jazmines will be certain to coordinate the time of the cake's arrival if we are delivering, to ensure that your florist has time to do their magic.

What is a service cake?

A service cake is the same flavor and number of layers as your wedding cake, however, it is not meant to be seen by the guests. It is taken directly to the kitchen, while the real wedding cake is placed on display. This allows your caterer to plate some of the cake before the real wedding cake is even cut, and in some cases, it can lower the price of the wedding cake.

Do you deliver the cake? When does it arrive? Is there an additional charge?

We will deliver your wedding cake 1-2 hours prior to the wedding. If a florist is placing fresh flowers on the cake, we will coordinate with the florist to see what time s/he needs us to have the cake there. There is a charge for wedding cake delivery, which depends on distance. If you are out of our normal delivery area, you will have to make your own arrangements to pick up your wedding cake.

 
Holiday Orders

Why is your menu limited during the holidays?

We are a small shop, and everything is baked by hand, from scratch. During the holidays, so much of our time and energy is going to holiday cakes and pastries that we simply cannot keep up with all of our regular menu items.

What holidays are your busy season?

Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter are by far our busiest baking holidays.

Can I order muffins during the holidays?

Regrettably, we are no longer taking muffin orders during the holidays. We will always have some available in the showcase on a first-come/first-served basis, but we are so busy with cake orders during the holidays that we simply cannot keep up with small item orders. If you want muffins during the holidays and the showcase has already sold out, you can always buy one of our Bake-at-Home muffin kits, which come in Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Gluten Free Sweet Potato.

Can you set aside something from the showcase for me during the holidays, if I call and ask?

Unfortunately we are no longer able to accomodate "set-asides" during the busy holiday season. We encourage you to order early, so that you aren't disappointed!

How far in advance should I place my holiday order?

It is literally never too early to place your holiday order. Although we normally ask for only a week's notice for single-tier cakes, tarts, and pies (and two weeks for other items; see How To Order above), please try to place your orders as early as possible — even just after Columbus Day wouldn't be too early for Christmas! There is an earlier order cutoff date for Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving, so be certain to sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out. Also, for the holidays, we do not create cakes with artwork or tiered cakes, due to the volume of holiday orders.

Sweet Jazmines
15 Bridge Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312
610.644.1868
TheChef@sweetjazmines.com

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Site updated on February 10, 2016 by Fjordstone Graphic & Website Design