300 Main Street
Ames, Iowa
(515) 233-2222

Ali Cakes

  Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice 

We have pulled together a list of our most commonly asked questions and paired them with answers for you below! These questions range from generic order placing information up to specific questions on fondant decorations!


If your question is not on this list, feel free to email or call us!


Tell me about Sugar Rush, please!

Oh yeah, absolutely! It was such a great experience for Tia and I. It wasn't something that I had given much consideration into - being on a tv show - but it was something that Tia was very interested in. She finally convinced me to fill out an application online for a Mystery Baking Show and we got the call that the casting director loved us! (No surprise- right guys?!)

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Months of back an forth between us and Netflix eventually landed us on a flight to LA to film our episode!  We filmed for about 5 days total. The best part was being able to spend so much time with our other contestants. They all were so incredibly sweet and kind, not to mention talented! You can find them all on Instragram if you'd like to give them a follow! We built some great friendships while we were there.

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When we came home, we were excited to tell all of our friends but we needed to wait until we had approval from the producers. So we waited for what left like a million years, and finally we were given the approval to share the exciting news! We did not get to watch the episode early, so we got to enjoy the showing along with all of our friends. What a wild ride!

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While Tia would do another show in a heartbeat, I'm a little hesitant to jump back into that gauntlet. I'm pretty content just baking treats for all my friends up in Ames.   :)

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-Ali

How far in advance do I need to place an order?
We generally ask for 48 hours notice on ALL orders. There are situations that require more notice, such as large orders, specialty cake flavors, fondant decoration on cakes, and weddings. We encourage you to give the shop a call directly to see if we can fit your order in if it under the 48 hour mark; we try our best to accommodate as many customers as possible.


I need a lot of cupcakes to pick up in an hour, can you help?
We do have a case stocked with cupcakes, cookies, and petit fours and can accommodate immediate pick up orders of a dozen or less for walk-in customers. Because we strive to focus on the freshness of our sweets every day, we do not keep an excess back stock of product. We will do our best to accommodate last minute walk-in customers, but please be aware that we do have a finite amount of product made each day.


Do you have ready made cakes in your case?
We do not  typically have ready made cakes in our case. We prefer to bake cake only for what is on order. With our focus on freshness, we prefer to keep cakes available for order only. Occasionally on the weekends, we may have a small cake in the case, but this is never a guarantee. Feel free to call and check if we have one available for pick-up! We normally post an available cakes on our Facebook page first!

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I need to cancel my order. What do I do?

We understand that issues come up that mean you need to cancel your order, but we do have a firm 48-hour notice cancellation policy. To allow us to keep our overhead as low a possible, we have to rely on our customer's picking up their orders.

If you cancel 2 or more days before your order is due, that's no problem at all - we appreciate the heads up!

If you need to cancel any order under the 48-hour mark, you will be invoiced for the full amount of your order.

Please understand that when we prep ingredients for your cake, it costs us money. As a small business, we try not to be frivolous with our spending so we can keep our costs as low as possible. Help us keep all of our customers happy by honoring your cake orders.


Do you ever reach a point of being completely booked for a specific date?
Yes, this happens often for us. Our small staff's main focus is more on quality rather than quantity. We would much rather accept fewer orders and showcase our very best work, rather than accept too many orders and let the quality slip. Common weekend dates for weddings, graduations, and holidays are the first to book up. It is never too early to place an order to reserve your spot if your event date falls on a known busy date.


Do you offer delivery?
We do not currently offer delivery. 
*Please note, weddings are exempt from this rule as there is a built in delivery and setup fee established during your wedding consultation.*


Do you ship cupcakes?
Unfortunately we do not ship cupcakes. We prefer to keep our focus on having the freshest product available in store.

Do you make gluten-free or vegan cupcakes?

We do not offer either of these options at this time.





I have a specific picture I found online, can you do this exact cake?
While the internet is a great source for inspiration photos, our work will never be exactly like another decorator's work. Our cake decorator has her special style and all of her work reflects that. We are more than happy to work with your inspiration photo to make a
similar design, but typically we try not to copy another’s work out of respect for that decorator.


Do you sell cake toppers, candles, fake flowers, or decorative toys in store?
Since the bakery is on the smaller side, we do not have room to store and sell toppers, candles, fake flowers, or decorative toys in store. We do suggest checking at Hobby Lobby for these types of additional cake accents. We are more than happy to place these items on a cake for you.




I like the look of fondant and want my cake to be covered in fondant; how much notice do you need?
To simply cover a cake with fondant, we need a week's notice. For any additional fondant decoration, please see the next questions for more detail.


I want fondant decorations/figurines on my cake order; do you do this?
We enjoy the challenge of fondant work, but it can be a tricky medium to work with and not all fondant decoration is feasible with our staff size and time constraints. Fondant bows, fondant toppers, and other simple fondant decorations, we normally need 2 weeks notice for. Please plan accordingly, as we need up to a month's notice for figurines. We reserve the right to turn down any fondant decoration we do not feel comfortable accepting. We strive to produce the best looking cakes and our focus is always on quality. If we are not positive that we can match your vision, we are happy to offer alternatives in buttercream.

How do you price out fondant work?
All of our fondant work is priced out by the cake decorator and is based on complexity of deign, material cost, and time commitment. Because of this, pricing can range from as little as $20 additional up to $100+. We will try our best to work within your budget and vision.




I sent an email earlier this week and haven’t received a response, what should I do?
We try to respond to all emails in a timely manner, and we apologize if responses take a bit longer than expected. Please be aware that all of our correspondences are handled secondary to day-to-day operations. We do our best to check our email throughout the day, but during busy times at the shop we only check emails maybe once a day. Emails over Saturday to Monday are normally returned when we reopen on Tuesday. 


Are you currently hiring?
We are  not currently looking to add any team members to the Ali Cakes staff.


I have a class project that Id like to interview you for, can we set this up?
While we love to be able to talk about our passion for baking, we can only accept interviews during the week. Please feel free to send your request to  our email to start this process.


Do you offer: tours of the bakery, decorating classes, kid's birthday parties?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate any of these requests due to the insurance liability aspect of inviting a larger number of people into our space.

Do you do donations?
We love to give back to the community that has given so much to us! Since we are a small business, we have set a monthly budget for what we can donate. Unfortunately, we have already exceeded our budget for the rest of the year. So sorry!