Yes, miniature cakes can be made at home, but these little beauties are labor-intensive. Handsomely decorated, diminutive cakes require extra attention to detail. Syrup-drenched cake layers cannot simply be frosted, because few icings will keep the moisture of the syrup from seeping through and ruining the cake’s appearance. A completely smooth, unblemished finish requires rolled frostings such as fondant, marzipan, or white chocolate.
Even simple projects require plenty of time, say
the creators of these unique cakes. Cecile, for example, often spends entire days designing and decorating her specialty cakes—not just the tiny ones, but the full-size towering confections she’s known for.
Finale owners Kim and Paul, who opened their first Finale in 1998 and their second four years later, have high hopes for their bakeries and dessert cafés, including plans to open a third one soon.
"It’s a tough business because of the long hours and attention to detail it constantly requires," says Kim. "But we’d start our business all over again because we’re here with a specific message—a passion for super-premium desserts," she says. "We want to do for desserts what Starbucks did for coffee, which is to educate people about quality. Once people understand that better chocolate, finer cream, richer butter, and the most careful baking techniques really matter, we think the business can’t help but grow. It’s all about wanting the best."