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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