Vendor Spotlight- Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Specialty Cakes

When it comes to wed­ding cakes the pos­si­bil­i­ties are near­ly end­less- if you can dream it, most like­ly there is some­one who can make it. So how do you decide who will make your cake dreams come true? Two things we find extreme­ly impor­tant in this process are qual­i­ty and artistry. Zinger­man’s Bake­house strives to embody both of those qual­i­ties in each of their prod­ucts. Read our inter­view with their mar­ket­ing man­ag­er, Sara Whip­ple, to see exact­ly why they have such a well-earned rep­u­ta­tion for con­sis­tent­ly pro­duc­ing some of the best treats you can get your hands on!

 How long have you been in the industry and how did you get your start?

We have been bak­ing breads and pas­tries for 25 years, our cakes came along a lit­tle lat­er. We have been cre­at­ing detailed, cus­tom wed­ding and cel­e­bra­tion cakes for more than 15 years.  

Please tell us a little about Zingerman’s Bakehouse, and what in your opinion sets it apart from others in the industry.

Zingerman’s Bake­house is a retail and whole­sale bak­ery in Ann Arbor, Michi­gan. Since 1992, we’ve been com­mit­ted to being the best bak­ery we can imag­ine. We believe you real­ly can taste the dif­fer­ence. We pride our­selves on cakes that taste as good as they look. Every­thing is made from scratch, even the fon­dant. We use the best ingre­di­ents we can find in our cakes and but­ter creams: sweet but­ter, local sour cream, organ­ic flour, real vanil­la beans, import­ed choco­lates, fresh eggs, toast­ed nuts, and more. 

We also offer wed­ding favor brown­ies, sea­son­al pies for dessert tables, cer­e­mo­ni­al chal­lahs and oth­er full fla­vored foods for your events.

What are some of your favorite flavors and combinations for frostings and cakes?

Right now we’re lov­ing our but­ter­milk choco­late cake with salt­ed caramel but­ter­cream. One of our most pop­u­lar options is sout­h­ern hum­ming­bird cake (toast­ed pecans, pineap­ple, coconut and fresh banana) with vanil­la buttercream.

Do you offer custom flavors or specialty options such as vegan or gluten free?

We offer more than a dozen cake fla­vors, and even more fill­ing and but­ter­cream fla­vors to choose from. They can be com­bined how­ev­er you like to cre­ate your dream cake. We can also work with you if you think we’re miss­ing some­thing in our line up. With enough notice we can bake wheat free, dairy free, or egg free cakes. We do not cur­rent­ly have a veg­an or sug­ar free cake to offer.

How do you keep up on trends or fresh ideas? What are some of your favorites at the moment?

We con­sid­er our cakes to be pieces of edi­ble art. No two are alike. Each cake is cus­tom-designed to fit the desires of the cus­tomer. So, the trends tend to come to us I would say, and they are always chang­ing. But, any­thing goes these days. 

The inspi­ra­tion comes from our cus­tomers. Some­times that’s in the form of a fab­ric swatch, a dress pho­to, a cake top­per, an invi­ta­tion, a col­or sam­ple, and so on. In our con­sul­ta­tions we talk through those themes they want to incor­po­rate and show pho­tos of work we have done. After­wards, we sketch out an idea we think will make their vision come to life.

The last year has been a lot of roman­tic cakes, sort of the new tra­di­tion­al. Those include a lot of flow­ers, lace, pearls, all kinds of pret­ty col­ors. Also, a lot of metal­lic sil­ver and gold cakes- we think those are real­ly fun.

What is one of your favorite, or most memorable, projects you’ve done?

Paint­ing a cou­ple’s life on the tiers of a cake is always mem­o­rable. We’ve had the hon­or of doing that a few times. Some­times it’s the place they met, the place they got engaged, where they’ve lived, and so on. Or using mod­el­ing choco­late or fon­dant to cre­ate fig­urines of the cou­ple’s favorite things- their hob­bies, pets, things they share. Those are always super fun to do. Some cou­ples see the cake as the cen­ter of the wed­ding recep­tion (lucky us!) and they want to use it to tell their story.

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