Family FAQs


Is my child eligible?

We serve children who have a life-threatening medical condition that is considered progressive, degenerative or malignant and are within 2 years of their last treatment.  We also serve children who require frequent or extended hospitalizations and are within 2 years of their last inpatient stay.  We serve all children hospitalized on their birthday, regardless of condition. 

Do you serve siblings of medical children or surviving siblings?

We serve siblings of qualified medical children.  We serve siblings of angels within two years of the medical child earning their wings.

Is there an age limit?

The child or sibling must be 18 or younger on the date of the request.

Is there a cost for the cake?

We provide our cakes free of charge, regardless of financial need.  If you are in a position to do so, we would gratefully accept tax deductible donations.  Your donations will help us to expand our service and reimburse our bakers for their costs.

Does the parent or guardian need to request the cake?

In order to protect both Icing Smiles and the family, we ask that a parent or guardian make the initial request.  At any point, a surrogate can be appointed by the family to work out the details.

How early should I request the cake?

Please make your requests as early as possible.  This helps us line up your baker with plenty of time for them to plan and design the cake.  This is especially helpful during peak seasons.  It is not unusual for us to receive requests a year in advance.  Unfortunately, we are not able to accept any request for an event within 4 weeks of date your eligibility is confirmed, unless your child is terminal or hospitalized.

Please note that regardless of the amount of lead time provided we are a volunteer organization and we depend on volunteers being in your area and available to create a cake.  There is always the chance that we may not be able to find someone to complete the request.  We try our hardest to fill every request possible but it is not always viable depending on location and number of requests in the area. 

Due to limited numbers of bakers in some remote areas Icing Smiles may need to limit cake requests to medical children only. 

How do we verify the child's eligibility?

We try to make it as easy as possible by asking for a blog, CaringBridge or CarePages site, or facebook page dedicated to the child.  This method is ideal because we like to follow up with our kids after the cake is delivered.  The blog most show the child receving treatment within the past two years.  Personal facebook pages are not accepted.   It also helps us to recruit bakers because they feel connected to your child. If you do not have a blog we do have a medical form that can be completed.  A signed doctor's note on the physician's letterhead stating the child's condition, age and the length of time the child has been under their care can also be submitted by email once you have completed your application form to icingsmiles.cn.families@gmail.com

What is the difference between a "dream" cake and a "fun" cake?

We offer 2 types of cakes for our families: Dream Cakes and Fun Cakes.  Dream cakes are tiered, 3-dimensional or carved.  They require significant labor hours, and each child is currently allowed one under our program.  Fun cakes do not have those elements and can be used for other events.  One dream cake is allowed per child.  One fun cake is allowed per child each year.  A child may only receive ONE cake per year so please make sure to make your choice between fun and dream cake carefully. 

What size cake can we receive?

We cannot guarantee a cake larger than 40 servings.  Should the baker not be able to provide the size requested, they will contact you so that you know to supplement with other desserts.

Can we ask for a particular design?

In order to make the experience positive for the family and the baker, the family can choose the theme, but the volunteer baker will determine the exact design.  We advise against sending the volunteer pictures of sample cakes, as our bakers have a wide range of experience.  Pictures of cakes that may be beyond their experience level will create a significant amount of pressure for the baker and may create unrealistic expectations for the child.

Will you deliver the cake?

We ask our medical families to pick up the cake, unless your child is hospitalized.  If the baker is located more than 60 minutes from you, the baker will try to arrange a meeting point that is convenient.  If your child is hospitalized, we will coordinate delivery.

Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?

While we attempt to take dietary restrictions into consideration, we cannot guarantee that the kitchen was free of trace ingredients during preparation.  Should the restriction be critical, please work with your baker to determine if you are comfortable.  We are a nonprofit organization that does not receive payment for our service.  As the recipient of the donation, you accept liability and assume the risk associated with the consumption of the donated cake.  Please note we only take dietary restriction requests for the child the cake is for.  We cannot take requests for other family members or guests at your event. 

Will our baker be licensed?

We are in compliance with all applicable laws, but the laws vary by Province/Territory.  Many provinces/territories allow for home bakers to make donations to nonprofit organizations.  If you want a cake from only a licensed baker, please note that in the comments section of your application.  Please note that the restriction may limit our ability to serve.

How do you control quality?

Our families are our best resource for quality control.  Your honest feedback is essential to ensure we provide the best cakes possible in the future.  Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the quality of either the design or taste of any cake.  Our volunteers dedicate an incredible amount of time and energy to your cake, and we hope you will be able to sense the amount of love poured into it.  If you requested a "dream" cake, we will ensure that the cake met "dream" cake standards.  If it does not, we will offer to provide you a dream cake for a future event.