Like most men, when it comes to buying gifts I tend to be very, very last minute. I’ve not yet hit the point where I am doing Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve at night in a 24 hour petrol station, but probably not far off. So, when a kind soul over at Intercake emailed to ask if I would be interested in trying out their personalised cake kiosks to make a Mother’s Day cake I was naturally curious and it also meant I might actually start to think about Mother’s Day this year ahead of the night before!
“You had me at ‘cake'” I replied.
Now I do love baking and I’m confident that I have a few cake recipes that I’m quite good at, but I am terrible at decorating cakes. Our Christmas cake for 2017 was a really, really good fruitcake that ended up just being a really, really good fruitcake as I could never face the prospect of marzipan and mixing icing and then trying to be creative and neat with said sticky stuff. The service from Intercake takes away the trauma of presentation, and also takes away the time and effort needed to actually make a cake in the first place.
What is Intercake?
Intercake is the cake printing expert. Founded in 2004 by two brothers (Colm and Hugh Nohilly), they developed and patented the technology to allow anyone to print their photos onto cake icing. Touchscreen Intercake kiosks are now in hundreds of ASDA and Morrisons stores across the UK and a number of stores in Ireland, enabling customers to easily upload photos, print and take home whole personalised cakes within minutes.
I have seen their kiosks before in the bakery aisle in ASDA near where we live, but had never actually taken the time to investigate what they actually did. Intercake is the company that drives the technology and in ASDA the service is called “Design A Cake” and “Photo Me Cake” in Morrisons.
They are really cool machines that let you upload a photo through your iPhone or USB stick or even scan in an already printed photo. One tip, if you are going to try this with an iPhone then make sure you take your ‘official’ Apple USB cable as Apple products don’t play nicely with other people’s cables and machines.
There are some ready made templates and artwork you can use if you don’t have a suitable photo with you, but a little bit of planning ahead and going prepared pays dividends. You can add frames and a personal message to your selected photo if you like and the choices are quite sweet and all in all the process of linking up my phone, choosing a photo and working through the four steps on the kiosk took no more than a few minutes (less than 5). I was genuinely impressed with how easy it was.
You have a choice of two sizes of cake with this service. A small cake costs £12 and a large cake costs £16. For the small cake (which isn’t actually all that small, more of a medium) you can choose from vanilla sponge with raspberry jam and buttercream filling or chocolate with chocolate buttercream filling. The large cake is currently only available as the vanilla sponge.
When you’re finished the machine prints out a receipt and you just pop over to find someone in the bakery section and give it to them and they will print the photo you uploaded onto icing and then decorate your chosen cake with it.
I was told it would take around ten to fifteen minutes for the cake to be ready, so keep that in mind and maybe start the order process before you dash around and get your other bits of shopping.
If you are super organised and want to use your own recipe for the body of the cake then you can use the Intercake website to upload your design and then order just the printed icing cake topper to be delivered to you. Online orders are posted the next day after ordering so allowing only two or three working days for it to arrive should suffice. I know I will be using this a few times in the future especially as the online service lets you also order your own printed cupcake toppers in batches of 15 or 24. You can also get toppers for full sized cakes in square, rectangle or circle shapes whereas the kiosks in-store only offer you a rectangle cake.
Because I was ahead of the game for once and had my mind tuned into this with a few days to spare before Mother’s Day that gave me some headspace to create an image that I know Mrs Dadness will quite like, and here it is as an original jpeg:
This was the Mother’s Day cake image that I uploaded into the kiosk service at ASDA and once I had the receipt in my hand there were only two crucial questions that needed to be answered…how good is the print quality onto the cake, and how tasty is the actual cake itself?
Here is the answer to the first question…
I added the frame with the hearts using the templates in the kiosk software and I have to say I am really, really pleased with the finished product. It looks great in the photo above and even better in real life (curse photography in a badly lit room!). The icing is finished beautifully and wrapped completely around the sides of the cake and there is a red ribbon around it also. The cake is also handed to you in its own well sealed presentation box.
Intercake, you get a very big thumbs up from me. This was a completely hassle-free experience that fitted in perfectly with a normal trip to the supermarket and now I know how easy it is I expect this will be my default in future when one of the children has a birthday party or if I am stuck for a gift idea for a friend or family member.
I really love the choice of getting everything done for you in-store or being more organised and ordering the icing topper off the website to put on a cake you make yourself. I am actually itching to give that a go and with my son turning eleven at the end of this month I will give it a whirl at the weekend and will do a short post to let you know how that went when they arrive.
Oh, and that second question that still needs answering…how does it taste? Well, I can’t update you on that until after Mother’s Day!
In the spirit of honest content creation I would like to point out that I was very kindly given a voucher by Intercake to give this Mother’s Day cake service a try and there were no conditions attached to that. The opinion shared is my own and, trust me, if the service sucked then I would have let you know…but it didn’t and I happy to recommend it to anyone. Oh, and a final useful bit of information, all sugar paper and ink ingredients used by Intercake are gluten-free and vegan-friendly.