PANAMA CITY BEACH — With Fatty Patty’s, you can have your cake and enjoy it, too, over and over again, from the bridal shower, wedding and anniversary to the reveal cake and baby shower.
After the September expansion of Fatty Patty’s Cakes & Café, which included a kitchen just for baking, Renee Schaarschmidt, once again, is ready to conquer cake creations. And that is something brides everywhere should celebrate.
“I am just getting back into it, averaging a couple of weddings a weekend,” said Schaarschmidt, who previously averaged seven cakes a weekend in the off-season. “I can’t even fathom the amount of brides I’ve met in my life.”
Fatty Patty’s won the WeddingWire 2010 and 2009 Bride’s Choice Awards for cake design. Schaarschmidt’s cakes also have been featured in a Southern Weddings blog, The Knot — Florida and Emerald Coast Brides.
Mississippi Magazine featured two cakes designed by Fatty Patty’s in its 2010 Wedding Register. One of the cakes remains the “craziest.”
“The most outrageous had eight colors in it, argyle, daisies, dots, squares — it was insane. Neon orange, neon green, tilted, topsy-turvy cake. It had to be a fun wedding,” Schaarschmidt said.
She recalls another at Eden Gardens that was “a Circus theme wedding. We had to use a lot of Styrofoam shapes, carry it in four pieces and assemble it on site. It was the tallest, about 3½, maybe 4 feet.”
When her son, Drew Schaarschmidt, and Courteney Cox were married in November 2010 at Edgewater Beach Resort, they also used the cake to make a statement.
“My son’s cake was pretty big. His wedding cake had over the top effect,” Schaarschmidt said of the sage green, black and white cake. “We did something large and elaborate in the ballroom, but 99 percent of the cake was artificial for visual effects. We did table cakes on every table for centerpieces of assorted flavors.”
Fatty Patty’s offers custom options of cake flavors, all made from scratch. The most popular are vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, coconut, carrot, German Chocolate and Hummingbird. If you are looking for Florida flavor, how about Key Lime?
“Almond’s a popular wedding flavor, and we do a lot of red velvet in cakes, believe it or not. … Red cake and a white dress kind of scares me a little bit,” Schaarschmidt said.
Coming out of the winter engagement season, now is the time for planning. Book vendors as soon as you can.
“When I was at my busiest, I would book almost a year out. Give at least six months. Once you decide, give a deposit,” said Schaarschmidt, who has noticed most Florida brides choose March to May or mid-September to mid-October to tie the knot.
“We are seeing it trending back to buttercream cakes, not so many fondant cakes anymore, simple classic style,” she said. “For a while, with the cake shows, ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss.’ I don’t see extreme cakes like I did a few years ago — nice cakes, but not extreme. I just like simple classic wedding cake, buttercream, yellow cake.”
For an outside wedding, though, she said fondant-covered cake works best in the heat and humidity.
“We will turn the cake down if it’s not safe,” said Schaarschmidt, who has never lost a cake or had one slide.
Couples can save the top of the cake in the freezer to eat on their one-year anniversary, or some order a whole new cake top.
“They do freeze well,” she said. “We give them the cake topper, a 6-inch round, and don’t charge for it.”
Fatty Patty’s also does many grooms’ cakes, with chocolate-dipped strawberries on top of a tuxedo cake being one of the most traditional.
“It usually is based on something that has to do with groom,” Schaarschmidt said. “The most unusual was really simple. He liked to fly fish so the bride-to-be bought expensive fly-fishing lures and we cascaded them down like flowers … We’ve done deer; it said ‘the hunt is over.’ We’ve done cars, baseballs, basketballs, footballs, fish, fishing boats.”
And, of course, there are collegiate cakes, with Alabama being the most popular request.
“It’s cool,” Schaarschmidt said. “You get to meet these people, and end up doing shower cakes, desserts for the rehearsal dinner, wedding cakes, groom’s cake, anniversary cake, and then a year later … baby cake for a baby shower.”
During the Christmas holidays, she was handed a sealed envelope announcing the sex of a couple’s baby for a reveal cake. The inside of the Christmas package cake was to be dyed pink or blue to announce the news.
“When they cut into it, they found out they were having a girl,” said Schaarschmidt, who usually puts a layer of colored icing inside.
Fatty Patty’s Cakes & Café, 948 Thomas Drive, in Panama City Beach is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call the café at (850) 236-9276, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit FattyPattys.com.