Frequently Asked Questions

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Ordering a cake

There are 3 ways of ordering cakes from us:

  1. You can come into our shop and talk to one of our staff members who will be able to answer your questions and take your order. This is ideal if you need an excuse to come in and see our shop and taste our mouth-watering delights. Please remember that coming in also means that you may have to wait for attention. We cannot guarantee that someone will be immediately available at all times, but we’ll get there as soon as we can – please expect a 5 to 30 minute wait. In addition, please bring in any inspirational references or ideas and colours – it makes the design process that much easier. Please be sure to have a look through the examples of cakes on our website to get an idea of what we’re able to offer, as we unfortunately don’t copy other people’s cake designs, but could use them as inspiration for a design within our style.
  2. You can email through your enquiry or order. This is great if you cannot come in, are overseas or just prefer to do everything online. Please note that emailing is not ideal if you need your order for within 12-48 hours. We respond to emails as fast as we can, but this may take up to 2-7 days. We do prioritise orders for the next day/week, so please do not think we’re ignoring you if your query is for 2-6 months time and you don’t get an immediate reply.
  3. You can call us to place your order or enquire about our products. Please be patient if the line is engaged – it’s not broken, it’s just constantly ringing.

What should I bring along to design a cake?

We suggest at least having something in mind when you order a specialised cake from us – you will need to have some kind of clear idea of what you’d like. And while we will definitely guide you through the design process, you also need to let us do so. We come up with our most spectacular designs when we are given the freedom to have fun within a theme. So, please bring along anything from material swatches, photos and reference pictures to ideas from songs, magazines or wallpaper – whatever speaks to you and inspires you. The whole point of designing a cake is to “get” you…and that means understanding what you love, which is much easier to do when we can see what you’re thinking of. Don’t be shy! Anything can inspire a magnificent cake, and if in doubt, bring it along! Please do bear in mind that the more complex the shape/design of the cake, the more expensive it will be.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

Yes! We require a 50% non-refundable deposit on any personalised orders. Please note that your order will not be confirmed to go ahead until we have received the payment into our account, either in store, via EFT or with credit card telephonically/via credit card authorisation form.

How do I pay a deposit for my order?

We require a 50% non-refundable deposit as confirmation of an order. There are 3 ways in which you can pay your deposit.

  1. An EFT transfer can be made as long as there is sufficient time for the transaction to clear. On request we will send you our banking details as well as a reference number (your name and the date of the order). Please send us proof of payment via email, and we will confirm your deposit by locating your reference number and amount on our bank account once it has cleared. Please note that we require 3 working days for an amount to clear in our bank account, and a deposit will only be considered to have been paid when the amount has cleared. The only exception to this rule is if you bank with the same bank as us (ABSA), in which case you are able to do a direct transfer that will clear almost immediately. Most EFT payments take 12-36 hours to clear, so in circumstances where a deposit is necessary and the date of the order is imminent (i.e. within the next 1-24 hours) we suggest one of the following alternative means of payment.
  2. Come directly to the bakery and pay in store with cash, debit or credit card. Please note we accept Visa, Mastercard, unfortunately not American Express or Diners.
  3. We can email you a secure link to process a credit card / cheque card payment for the specified amount on our 3D secure online payment portal (powered by Nedbank). This payment method is ideal for last minute orders, and it is also the only payment method that we accept for orders placed by international clients.

Do you do refunds?

The 50% deposit we require as confirmation of the order is non-refundable. In select circumstances and at the owners’ discretion, we may be able to offer a refund minus a 25% admin fee.

What time can I collect my cake?

Our trading hours are Tuesday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday 8:30am-2:00pm. We are closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. On Mondays have availability for the collection of certain orders between 09:00-12:00, but we are 100% closed to the public for trade. Please note that this also means that certain orders cannot be ready before 11:00 on a Tuesday. All of our cakes are fresh and prepared specifically to the time of your order, which is confirmed when placing the order, so please note the time and keep to it.

If you would like to check whether your cake is or can be ready earlier than the agreed collection time, please call us on +27 21 461 5181 to find out.

How many people does your standard size cake feed?

Our standard size cakes serve between 14 and 20 slices, depending on the cake and how hungry you are! The Lemon Meringue generally serves 14-16, the Cheesecakes feed 16-18, while the Wicked Chocolate can feed 16-20. Please be aware that the size of the slice will be determined by how you serve the cake, so if you are serving the cake as dessert rather than for coffee, we will recommend a bigger cake to ensure that everyone gets the perfect slice!

How much notice do I need to give for an order?

We always have a selection of standard size cakes available to buy off the counter, and if you’re able to wait for 10-20 minutes, depending on how busy we are at the time, we can always offer select personalised decorations such as a piped birthday message. We need anywhere between a few hours notice for a Wicked Chocolate cake with a happy birthday message (if you’re able to pay the 50% deposit in store or with credit card details over the phone), to 5-14 days for a shaped, 3D or personalised cake.
We generally recommend for shaped cakes that, if you know what kind of cake you want, you should try and place the order as long in advance as possible in order to guarantee that we’d be able to make it for you. Please note that advance notice for us means 4-8 weeks, not 3-6 months!

For wedding cakes, this time frame increases, and the more notice the better, though 6-8 months is the maximum recommended time for quoting purposes.

I have an emergency! I need a cake! Can you help?

Yes we are definitely able to try and help with any last-minute emergency cakes, but please note that while we might not be able to offer the exact cake you would like within such a short time-frame, we will always try and make as awesome a cake as possible for your event.

Please also note that we would require the 50% non-refundable deposit to be paid immediately, either in store or with credit card details over the phone.

How do I transport my cake?

VERY Carefully! Your cake will be given to you in a box, and can be transported as is. Please note that when driving with your cake it must be placed flat in the boot (trunk) of your car, and on warm days, it is important to make sure that the car is as cool as possible. Do not take sharp corners or brake suddenly!!!

Please DO NOT keep your cake on a back seat that is slanted, or on someone’s lap unless they are willing to sit with their legs at a relatively uncomfortable 90-degree angle throughout the journey.

Please note that if you place one of our cakes in direct sunlight, in the middle of summer, it will melt. We cannot take responsibility for any damage to cakes once they have left our premises. If cakes are not transported and stored correctly, they can be damaged as our cakes are also subject to gravity and temperature changes.

Do you deliver?

Officially, no. However, given enough notice, and for an additional fee, we might possibly be able to organise a courier for you.

The only case in which delivery may be an option is with wedding cakes, and that also depends on time, date and venue, and has an additional charge dependent on distance and day of the week. The option of delivery is subject to distance from the city centre.

Is your cake decor edible?

Yes, mostly. All of our icings are edible, as are the photos on our photo cakes as well as the fondant designs such as hearts or daisies etc. Please note that within the sculpting process for 3D figurines or toppers, some wires or support sticks are used (particularly in fondant work) and these cannot be eaten. The wires on which our wired hearts and stars are stuck also cannot be eaten. We try where possible to use only edible decorations on our cakes, but if in doubt, PLEASE ASK US BEFORE TRYING TO NIBBLE OR SWALLOW. Many of our kid’s cakes designs are decorated with plastic toys, which are of course non-edible.For example our soccer/football field cakes are decorated with plastic soccer nets and plastic soccer players.

Do your cakes come in boxes and do you have a cake packaging policy?

Yes, you might have noticed our AWESOME pink & white candy striped boxes with “Charly’s Bakery Mucking Afazing Cakes” around town. All of our cakes come on a silver cake board and in a box. Please note that some of the taller 2/3/4 tier cakes come in OPEN or TALL boxes so that you can keep a close eye on your cake while transporting it and so that the cake can breathe (yes, cakes need to breathe). Our standard size cakes come in 12″ square boxes and we do have many different size boxes depending on what you are wanting them to hold. Please note that if you are wanting your cupcakes/cookies/ individual items to be individually packaged there will be an additional charge per box/packet per item.

PLEASE be sure to let us know if you’re travelling on a flight or long drive with your cake so that we can advise the best shape/size cake and box for your needs.

Cake Options

What flavour cake options are available?

We have a wide selection of flavours for our standard size cakes, which serve 14-20 people on average. Please download our standard cake list here to see what we offer.

Our tiered, shaped or 3D cakes are available in limited flavours. For these bigger cakes, we work with Wicked Chocolate cake or in select circumstances we’re able to offer Vanilla Pound cake. Please be aware that we use these cake options because they are firm and therefore easier to stack or carve, and produce more stable cakes. We also offer the option of Vanilla sponge or Chocolate sponge cake for our flat kiddies themed cakes. We do not offer fillings or layers inside our tiered, shaped or 3D cakes.

Generally we do not provide miniature versions of our standard size cakes. We do offer smaller counter items, such as beetroot Red Velvet cupcakes, Carrot cupcakes, Vanilla or Chocolate Petit fours, almond tarts and milk tarts.

The Almond Tart and Milk Tart can be in a large size (30cm) on request with a minimum of 2 days notice.

If you are wanting more individualized portions for your event, please have a look at our selection of cupcakes and petit fours.

Do you make birthday cakes?

Yes of course! We make a selection of standard size 24cm round cakes that can be bought off the counter or ordered with a happy birthday message on top. Please note there is an additional charge for the message and we can only pipe a message onto a smooth layer of icing.

We also make custom-designed or “speciality” cakes for any occasion, which we discuss and design with our customers in order to fit in with the theme, budget, and the amount of people you’d need to feed.

What is the difference between your chocolate cakes?

Our most popular chocolate cake is our Wicked Chocolate, which is a dense, moist, brownie-style chocolate cake, and is available off the counter iced in chocolate ganache or by order in dark or white chocolate ganache or butter icing.

Our Chocolate Truffle cake (also known as the Chocolate Mousse cake) is made up of layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate ganache, chocolate caramel, and a slightly salted chocolate mousse, iced in chocolate ganache.

We make one other chocolate cake, which contains alcohol and is therefore not suitable for Muslim people. The Amarula Ultimate Chocolate cake is a moist chocolate cake flavoured with Amarula liqueur, baked in a ring-form tin (dome shaped with a hole in the middle), and is iced in a textured chocolate-caramel icing which is made totally gold.

Both the Chocolate Truffle Mousse cake and the Amarula Ultimate Chocolate cake are only available in the standard size as they appear on the counter, not in larger sizes, square shape or tiered cakes.

Do you make photo cakes?

Yes absolutely! The photos are printed onto sheets of icing using edible ink and placed directly onto the icing of the cake. The quality of the image you supply us with will determine the quality of the image on your cake, i.e. hi-res images give hi-res prints but unfortunately a low-res image will appear dark and blurry when printed.

Please note that we are not graphic designers, we are bakers, and while we are multi-talented and can sometimes change slight details on a photo, we do not provide a photoshopping service. All photos can either be emailed to us or brought in store on a USB flashdrive.

How long does the Wicked chocolate cake last?

The Wicked Chocolate cake lasts 7-10 days if stored properly. Usually you could leave the cake in the cake box outside of the fridge, but in warm weather you will may need to keep it in the fridge. You can also freeze your cake in an airtight container for up to 12-18 months.

To defrost the cake, you would then need to first keep the cake in your fridge for 24 hours, and then take it out of the fridge and keep it at room temperature for a further ±12 hours. The Wicked Chocolate cake should NEVER be eaten cold! Our cakes contain so much yummy chocolate that refrigeration dries the cake out and means that all the chocolateyness is too cold and hardened to appreciate!

What is a Hummingbird cake?

The Hummingbird cake is made with carrot, banana, pineapple and mango, with a cream cheese icing. This cake is deliciously fruity and moist – it’s the ultimate “fruit cake”! Please note we can only pipe wording onto this cake in dark chocolate, and decorate with fresh flowers or chocolate decor. The reason for this is that royal icing, butter icing and fondant icing all melt (literally melt, no jokes here) when they come into contact with cream cheese icing.

Do your cakes taste good?

We don’t have a “mucking afazing” reputation for nothing. Our cakes taste as good as they look, and that’s saying something! But please bear in mind, while we try our bestest to make every cake taste fantastic, we are only human and cakes do sometimes overbake or (rarely) flop. If you get a cake from us that you aren’t happy with, please do not eat the entire cake OR throw it away! We would really appreciate it if you could bring the cake back to us so that we can evaluate what might have gone wrong. If there’s a problem with the cake then we will be happy to offer you a credit as compensation for the mistake.

Please note if there is something wrong with our cake then we will gladly fix it, however if the flavour or texture of the cake is simply not to your taste then we will unfortunately not be able to offer a replacement or credit.

Are your cakes fresh?

All of our cakes are freshly baked, but most of them last at least 4 days, if not more! Our Wicked Chocolate cake, for example, lasts 7-10 days and gets even better tasting with age! Just think about a fine wine or woman and you’re on the right track 😉
Sometimes the sides of square cakes get a little bit harder than the centre of the cake during the baking process. This means that the corners will be slightly crunchier than the rest of the cake. Personally we really love the crunchiness, but if you’re not fond of it, rather have a piece from the centre.

Cake Prices

How much does a birthday cake cost?

Our birthday cakes  vary in cost ranging from ±R300 for a basic cake with a piped birthday message, to R2000, R4000, R8000, or even up to R15 000 or R20 000, for an elaborately decorated, tiered or shaped cake.

All of our cakes are designed and quoted for individually according to the your needs. Please note that any 3D cakes will be quoted for according to the size and amount of detail in the design. The prices vary, and please expect higher prices for more work on bigger cakes. For example, a 2-tier cake will range from R1200+ and more basic kiddies shaped cakes start at R675+. These prices are indicators, and can give you an idea of the approximate cost of a cake.

As all orders are quoted for individually according to your specific requests, we may not be able to give an immediate quotation on a specialised cake design.

How does your cake pricing work?

Our cake pricing depends on two things: The number of people the cake needs to serve and the size of the slices required, as well as your budget for the cake, which is often the most important aspect of determining your design. Your budget for the cake will affect how large a cake we can offer, as well as the amount of work we can put into the decorations on the cake. Please note that all of our icing decorations are hand-made on our premies, and our prices are calculated depending on the amount of work that goes into making the cake and decorations.

Why are the bigger cakes so much more expensive than the standard size?

Firstly, bigger cakes cost more because…THEY ARE BIGGER. More cake means more decoration and icing, and therefore more work on every cake. This will naturally increase the price. Secondly, we are able to produce more of our standard size cakes at one time, which is why we are able to price them lower per person than our larger custom-designed cakes, which are all baked and iced individually.

Do I get a discount for bigger orders?

No, unfortunately, buying in bulk does not qualify you for a discount. Everything we produce is hand-made on our premises, and this does not change as your order gets bigger.

Is there a surcharge on last minute orders?

There is no standard surcharge on a last minute order, however in the event that your order requires some staff to work overtime, this would result in an increase of the price, and would be included in the quotation.

Wedding Cakes

Please refer to our wedding cake pack for a more detailed explanation of how to order a wedding cake

How do I order a wedding cake?

Since weddings are so special, wedding cakes demand a particular design/ordering process. We liaise with most of our couples via email to discuss the basic size and design concept for the wedding cake, and frequently conclude most of the ordering process online, especially in the case of couples overseas who are having a destination wedding in Cape Town. The online process is also ideal if you live in Cape Town but don’t have the time to come in for a design consultation.

There is also the option of setting up a face-to-face wedding cake consultation, which involves a personalised design process and a cake tasting.  The consultation lasts roughly 30-60 minutes and costs R250.00, after which we will send through a quotation for the cake designed. Please note that you are able to bring a maximum of 3 people including yourselves to the consultation.

How much do you charge for wedding cakes?

There are many factors that influence the cost of a wedding cake, including the size and number of servings required, the number of tiers, the icing, as well as the décor and/or flowers to be used. Once we’ve determined all of these factors, we’ll be able to give you a quotation, which will hopefully fit into your cake budget. If not, we can downscale the size or design to fit into the budget. Please bear in mind that we charge R250 for wedding cake consultations, which includes the 30-60 mins design meeting and cake tasting, as well as tea/coffee/refreshments.

I was just wondering..

Is your phone broken? It’s always engaged?!

Our phone line isn’t broken, it just rings A LOT. Our 2 phone lines are one of the main ways we communicate with our customers. We’d love to install a third line, but we don’t have enough people to answer more than the 2 lines we have.

Do you have any other branches? Would you franchise?

Nope, sorry! 38 Canterbury Street in Cape Town is our one and only home. Since we’re a family run business this is where we’re staying. And we are sadly not interested in franchising. We put so much of ourselves into the business and into our cake designs that it’s a crazy combination that cannot really be duplicated 🙂

Can I intern/come and work shadow/ have a job?

We receive hundreds of requests for interning and job shadowing and are generally booked up very far in advance. We do try to accommodate requests, however our business has grown so rapidly that we don’t actually have the physical space to accommodate people working around us. You are welcome to email us if you are really determined and be sure to include photos of cakes you’ve made previously so we can determine your skill set.

If you would like to contact us for a job position, please be sure to include your CV, a recent photo of yourself, and photos of any cakes or fondant figurines you’ve made previously.

Are you Halaal/Kosher?

We are unfortunately not kosher at all.

While we are also not certified as Halaal, most of our cakes and all of our cupcakes and sweet counter items are made using only Halaal ingredients. The only cake we made that contains alcohol is the Amarula Ultimate Chocolate cake, and the only quiche we make that contains pork is our Bacon and Mushroom quiche. All of our meat pies are made using only Halaal meat products.

We do not use any animal-based gelatine in any of our products.

Do you offer cake-decorating courses?

We unfortunately do not offer any decorating or baking courses. Due to the high volume of orders we make on a weekly basis, we sadly do not have the time to do courses at the moment. However, if this changes we will notify people via our social media pages Facebook- “Charly’s Bakery” or Twitter @Charlysbakery.

Do you make bread?

We unfortunately do not make bread, rolls, croissants, or any other bread-type products. We are a more like a cakery 🙂

Do you make ice cream cakes?

No we unfortunately don’t make ice cream cakes at all and also unfortunately  aren’t able to recommend anyone in Cape Town who make novelty or themed ice cream cakes.

Do you have a shop that is open to the public or do you only make orders?

Yes! We have a Mucking Afazing shop that runs a queue most days of the week, most hours of the day (Tuesday to Saturday, closed Sundays and Mondays).

Our beautifully decorated 2-storey Victorian building is situated in the heart of the Cape Town CBD in on the border of District 6. We have limited inside seating and plenty of outdoor seating under our pink Bedouin tent. The shop has a selection of everything from pies and quiches for savoury lovers to a wonderland of delicious and colourful cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other delectable yummies for those with a sweet-tooth. We also offer locally roasted coffee as well as tea, hot chocolate and lots of cold drinks/juices. We recommend coming in and being enveloped by our crazy, happy vibe that will leave your heart and your tummy happy!

Do you sell your cake decorations?

We currently do not sell our cake decorations at all. This is something we are considering exploring at some point in the future, but right now, no matter how much you try to charm us into selling you some icing/glitter/fondant décor for your child’s/spouse’s/parent’s/sibling’s cake, we do not make any exceptions. Ever.

Do you hire, rent or sell cake stands?

If you buy a wedding cake from us, we will happily lend you one of our 4-legged wrought iron gold or silver cake stands. If you’d like one of our “fancier” cake stands, we will charge a hiring fee. Either way, for ANY of our stands we charge a cash deposit, which is fully refundable on condition of safe and timely return. Please note that the onus is on YOU (yes you!) to return this stand timeously, unless you want us to call you incessantly and possibly stalk you until you do. We’re just kidding about the stalking thing though…or are we?

If you order cupcakes from us, we can offer the option to hire one of our cupcake stands (either 5-tier perspex stand or 3-tier perspex stand), which are subject to a hiring fee as well as a cash deposit that is fully refundable on condition of safe and timely return within maximum 3-4 days.

We also sell smaller stands 3-tier cupcake stands (the same size as our 3-tier perspex stand), which are made up of 3 different size silver cake boards, available in round or square depending on stock.

How do I find your bakery?

From the N1/Northern Suburbs

Take the Christiaan Barnard turnoff (previously the Oswald Pirow Road turnoff) off the N1, turning left at the traffic lights. Follow the road past the Good Hope Centre onto Tennant Road. Carry on straight past the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. At the next set of traffic lights at the cross section of Tennant Road and Constitution Road, turn right into Constitution. At the STOP street turn right into Canterbury Street. We will be directly on your left at #38.

From the N2/Cape Town International Airport or the M3/Southern Suburbs

The N2 and M3 will merge at Hospital Bend, and from there take the left-hand Philip Kgosana Drive exit into town all the way to the end. Take the right-hand turn under the bridge into Roeland Street. Carry on through 1 set of traffic lights next to the Ferrari shop. At the next set of traffic lights (Fruit and Veg city will be on your right), turn right into Canterbury Street. We are just after the first STOP street on the left-hand side at #38.

From the Atlantic Seaboard

Take Strand Street into town. Drive past the Golden Acre and Cape Town train station. At the set of traffic lights before the Castle (it will be diagonally across the road), turn right into Buitenkant Street. Go through 2 sets of traffic lights, the second being on the corner of Buitenkant and Darling Streets. At the 3rd traffic light, turn left into Caledon Street. Take the second road to your right (at the STOP street) into Canterbury Street. We will be on the right-hand side at #38.

From Camps Bay or Hout Bay

Take Camps Bay drive into town, which will take you past the Table Mountain turnoff onto Kloof Nek road. Drive down Kloof Nek Road and turn right into De Lorentz Street. At the end of De Lorentz, turn left into Kloof Street. At the next traffic lights, turn right into Camp Street. Drive to the end of Camp Street and turn left into Upper Orange Street. Continue straight down the road through the traffic lights as Upper Orange becomes Hatfield Street. At the next set of traffic lights where Parliament will be on your left, turn right into Roeland St. Continue through 1 set of traffic lights. At the second set of traffic lights, turn left into Canterbury Street. We are after the first stop street on the left-hand side at #38.

From the Foreshore

Drive along Buitengracht Street in the direction of Kloof Nek Road OR drive along Adderley Street in the direction of the Company Gardens. Turn left into Strand Street and drive past the Golden Acre and Cape Town train station. At the set of traffic lights before the Castle (it will be diagonally across the road), turn right into Buitenkant Street. Go through 2 sets of traffic lights, the second being on the corner of Buitenkant and Darling Streets. At the 3rd traffic light, turn left into Caledon Street. Take the second road to your right (at the STOP street) into Canterbury Street. We will be on the right-hand side at #38.