Some bakeries provide services for special occasions (such as weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, or even business events) or for people who have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods (such as nuts, peanuts, dairy or gluten). Bakeries can provide a wide range of cakes designs such as sheet cakes, layer cakes, tiered cakes, and wedding cakes. Other bakeries may specialize in traditional or hand made types of bread made with locally milled flour, without flour bleaching agents or flour treatment agents, baking what is sometimes referred to as artisan bread.
Typical cake ingredients are flour, sugar, eggs, butter or oil or margarine, a liquid, and leavening agents, such as baking soda or baking powder. Common additional ingredients and flavourings include dried, candied, or fresh fruit, nuts, cocoa, and extracts such as vanilla, with numerous substitutions for the primary ingredients. Cakes can also be filled with fruit preserves, nuts or dessert sauces (like pastry cream), iced with buttercream or other icings, and decorated with marzipan, piped borders, or candied fruit.
On July 7, 1928, a bakery in Chillicothe, Missouri introduced pre-cut bread using the automatic bread-slicing machine, invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. While the bread initially failed to sell, due to its "sloppy" aesthetic, and the fact it went stale faster, it later became popular. In World War II bread slicing machines were effectively banned, as the metal in them was required for wartime use. When they were requisitioned, creating 100 tonnes of metal alloy, the decision proved very unpopular with housewives.