Barker Bakes has been trading for over 8 years and with over 30 years of baking experience has earned the title of wedding cake experts. Their unique and flamboyant designs deliver centre-pieces that add the wow factor to any special occasion. This is a business that bakes from the heart so you are always getting a bespoke piece that captures your wishes whilst sticking within a realistic budget. It is all about attention to detail, they want you to get up close and personal to their masterpieces, because only then will you see the skill and the flare that makes them what they are.
Palo Barker launched the business after a health scare forced her to change her career and adapt her very driven/workaholic nature. Instead of dwelling on what had been she chose a profession that she had been nurturing her entire life. One that made her feel alive, driven and determined once more. From the age of 10 Palo has had an eye for detail and a talent for creating unique baking. Her passion for baking and creating breath-taking cakes provides moments of joy, pride and achievement that keep her driving on towards the next challenge.
So, baking is not just a business at Barker Bakes it is practically a way of life. There are 36 cake flavours to choose from which are tried, tested and improved upon on a regular basis. Someone has a very cushy job in making sure the cakes are as tasty as they can be. Your cake will be fresh, it will be mixed especially – they do not do pre-mix recipes – and it will all be hand crafted, hand baked, and hand finished.
For your wedding your creation will be as special as the occasion that surrounds it because these are not manufactured clones – they are a symbol of your tastes and choices. Palo is proud of the hard work that goes into this business and even prouder of the praise she receives from happy customers. She has worked hard to create a thriving business and is excited about its future.
The team at Barker Bakes work hard to deliver something personal and exceptional because Palo relishes the opportunity to add a little more sparkle into the world. Her ambition has never let up and her decision to plunge head first into baking was both risky and brilliant in equal measure. You wouldn’t know that Barker Bakes was any different to any other business and in many ways it is not. Palo just loves to bake and every cake is her signature on the world and a beautiful statement to the fact that she is happy to share her talents and bring a little magic into people’s special moments.
Barker Bakes is now family run, providing friendly and personal service to a high standard. Current Birmingham City Council hygiene and compliance rating.
The recipes have all been developed over time, and new ones (as tastes change, or something new is suggested) are being evaluated and tested all the time prior to use. We are passionate about our cakes and you will taste the difference as we use no artificial additives or flavourings in them, e.g. we use 2 1/2 lbs luxury white chocolate to make our our 10″ (round) white chocolate cake. Our chocolate cakes are made with luxury Belgian chocolate for moistness and cocoa to lighten.
The range, these days, is immense, from traditional fruit to more modern chocolate and carrot cakes being much requested. We will also try to meet requests for new flavours, although this will depend on how the recipe testing and evaluation goes and sufficient time will have to be allowed for this.
We have developed our own vegan and eggless recipes, being unable to find tasty ones available. We cater for all dietary requirements and these should be specified at the order stage. We use sunflower oil for our eggless cakes (our regular cakes use butter not vegetable fat for a superior flavour, although you can request the latter).
The fruit cakes require more notice than other cakes because of the time required to mature properly, and we prefer to bake those at least 3 months prior to the required date, (although we have made these at short notice before now). Other cakes are made close to the use by date to ensure freshness and maximum flavour. We do not prepare our cakes in advance and freeze them as we believe this is detrimental to their flavour, we don’t cover that up with liberal buttercream! We also provide a good depth to our cakes, at least 2.5-3 inches so you get maximum value as well as a more impressive looking cake.
The notice required for sponge cakes is a minimum of 2 weeks, however cakes with limited notice will inevitably have more limited decoration options, as some items can only be made in advance, e.g sugar flowers and modelled items. We prefer to have a minimum of 4 weeks notice so that all aspects of the cake (design, baking, covering and decorating) are optimised, however for certain periods we are booked up well in advance e.g summer and Christmas, and it is therefore recommended to book early.
Cake Fillings and Coverings
Buttercream or Chocolate Ganache
There are various cake fillings that can be used, the most popular being chocolate or jams and/or buttercream. Buttercream is used for sponge cakes and this can be coloured and flavoured. American buttercream does not contain butter but a white vegetable fat, which we believe has an inferior flavour, although it can be ‘improved’ with artificial flavourings. We use real butter and hence make buttercream. Our standard filling is strawberry jam with buttercream for sponge cakes with buttercream coating underneath the sugarpaste coating. For citrus cakes we use a special citrus “jam”.
Ganache is a popular filling and coating and is used with our chocolate cakes, again made with luxury Belgian chocolate and double cream. Chocolate buttercream or chocolate fudge frosting may be requested instead.
Marzipan is the traditional covering for fruit cake to ensure the cake has a good base for the icing and decoration, and is essential to seal the cake and ensure moistness. An alternative covering, vegan and without nuts, can be used, if wished. Sugarpaste can also be used as an alternative, however the keeping qualities are not so good.
There are a range of coverings available now, from the traditional royal icing to chocolate. Sugarpaste is much used because of its versatility, and can be flavoured. Both royal icing and sugarpaste are frequently coloured, although traditionally these would have been more muted colours than are now being used. Chocolate can also be coloured. Marzipan or buttercream can also be used as covering if preferred.
We also offer marshmallow icing at a slightly higher charge than the standard icing, please ask for more information.
These days the choice is limited only by cost and imagination. Colours, modelling, sugar flowers, themes, hobbies and interests – all can be used in the design. There are specialist cake magazines that show the variety available. This is where the bulk of the time for a wedding cake is generally spent, and can be simple or elaborate, from fresh flowers and ribbon to bouquets of sugar flowers containing hundreds of tiny flowers and leaves, each hand made.
We can prepare fresh flowers and foliage decoration, however since many flowers and foliage are poisonous, and therefore not suitable for use with foods, this must be carefully considered. Artificial flowers can also be used for decoration and do not pose the same risk as fresh flowers and can be wired into bouquets etc.
Photographs can also be used as the key feature of decoration, and we have an on-site service available for this. Photographs can be emailed for prompt attention.
We also use diamante and jewels in cake decoration now although these are used on items to be taken off the cake prior to cutting.
Wedding Cake Consultations
These are free and can be over the phone, via email, or in person by appointment (we are based in the Midlands). We recommend these are carried out 3-6 months prior to the occasion, as not all designs are possible as originally requested (e.g. portion requirements) and some have to be altered significantly. It is better to discover this when there is still time to either carry out the appropriate research and sourcing or to reconsider the design.Online booking now available.
You can order over the phone, visit in person (must be by appointment only) or use the order form available on-line. This can also be completed, printed off and sent by post.
Cake Production and Delivery
Once the cake is baked and decorated, it is available for viewing prior to despatch, either via email, or in person. It is personally delivered and set up, unless collection is arranged. We offer free local delivery for wedding cakes, this includes the following areas:
Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham city centre, Erdington, Tamworth, Wylde Green, Four Oaks,
Eating Barker Bakes Cakes
In order to enjoy our cakes at their best, please store in a cold or cool unheated room and then move to ambient room temperature at least an hour prior to eating. This will ensure they retain freshness and taste exactly as they should when consumed. Please do not eat straight from the fridge as they will be too cold. They taste best at ambient room temperature, not too cold or too hot.
Sugarpasted cakes should not be stored in the fridge as condensation may form and ruin the decoration on the cake, moisture has an adverse affect on sugar! Buttercream finished cakes may be stored in the fridge temporarily but should be eaten at room temperature so taken out at least an hour prior to eating.
Sponge cakes should be eaten on the day of collection or next day latest, as all our cakes are baked fresh to order for the date notified on booking and do not have added preservatives or additives to artificially lengthen their lives. Should you require a cake for a longer period please inform us and we will advise you of alternative longer lasting flavours or options available.
We offer over 70 different stands for hire for customers making their own cakes. A service we have offered nationally since 2005 and are the only UK company who have done so.
In all that time no customer has been let down, they have always received the stand booked in time of the wedding – a record we are proud of and have worked hard to maintain.
We use Royal Mail and although a bit more expensive than other couriers we are happy with their record of reliability, we believe no one wants any additional stress around a wedding!
We make and sell the icings, flowerpaste, modelling paste, sugarpaste, chocolate paste, edible glue and various sundries that we have used to make our own cakes for the past 10 years now.
The products have been developed to be easy to use, fit for purpose and of a quality we are happy to use for our customers so you can use them for your customers or own cakes, knowing that they are tried and well tested and developed to make your cake making easier.
We make crystal cake toppers and diamante stems to compliment your cakes and flower arrangements. These are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Currently they include:
- 6mm Glass Bicones
- 6mm Glass Pearls
- 8mm Glass Pearls
- 14mm Glass Butterflies
- 10mm Glass Hearts
They are available on Gold or Silver wires and can be matched to any colour scheme. They can also be used for table arrangements, buttonholes and invitations etc.
We offer standard and 1st class delivery for our products (not cakes), and aim to despatch the same or next working day (depending on demand). As our products are handmade and with wedding cakes taking priority we work hard to ensure that despatch is not delayed, if any delay does occur we will notify you of this.
We have been selling on Ebay and Amazon since 2013 and have built up a top seller rating on Ebay and similar high standard on Amazon, but we have had many requests from customers wanting to buy direct and so are now selling via our own website here.
If you wish to return a product please contact us to notify us of any problem with the product and return for refund. Although food goods are not covered by Distance Selling Regs we aim to provide premium customer service and will always work with our customers on any issues.
Goods can be returned if we are notified within 14 days (for Distance Selling Regs) and will be refunded (including return postage – 2nd class) if it is faulty or damaged. Otherwise return postage is paid by the customer e.g. change of mind return.
Returned goods are expected to be returned in original packaging and unopened and unused.
A non-refundable deposit (£75) is required when the wedding cake order is placed, (£25 deposit for birthday cakes) with the balance payable one month prior to delivery of the cake. Cash, cheque, debit or credit cards are accepted for payment. Cheques can be sent with the order if posted, or we can call and take credit/debit card payment over the phone.
Pay by Paypal using your account or if you do not have an account you can make a credit card payment.
We will be offering direct credit card payment online in the near future. You can also pay by credit card over the phone, please have you order details ready and select the cheque payment method, we will update the system to paid once the payment is processed (this is a temporary fix until we have a functioning credit card payment online).