Faux cakes: NOT a cheaper option
A great article from a baker that explains why fake cakes are not always a better or cheaper option.
I had a bride a few years ago who hated the thought of cutting into her cake and removing it from the reception. It was a focal point. She loved it. It was beautiful. She wanted it to stay. I suggested a faux cake (complete with a real slice of cake slipped in for the cake ceremony!) but warned of the increased cost. She didn't care if the cost was a little more to have a faux cake made for this purpose and to serve sheet cakes from behind the scenes. Her focus was not the price. This is the only instance in my career that I have ever encouraged a bride to have a faux cake. Her desire was to leave her cake as a beautiful focal point of the room all night long. So I made it happen.
However, for those brides who only want to save money... read on.
Fake Cakes - No, They Are Not Always Cheaper
Let me explain what the majority of TV shows, wedding websites and wedding magazines usually fail to tell you … Styrofoam cakes aren’t free. I have to pay for them. And many times, the cost of the dummy is more than the cost of cake ingredients. Plus……
- It takes the same amount of icing to decorate a fake cake as it does a real cake. - It takes the same amount of time to decorate a fake cake as it does a real cake. - It takes the same level of talent to decorate a fake cake as it does a real cake. Just because it’s a fake cake, doesn’t mean I can have my $7/hour dishwasher do it instead of the $16/hour decorator. - It takes the same amount of gas in the van to deliver a fake cake as it does a real cake. - It takes the same amount of time (read “Payroll”) for our driver to drive to your venue and deliver a fake cake as it does a real cake.
So how much should you expect to pay for a fake decorated cake?
Many decorators charge the same price based on the number of servings a cake of that size would serve, since the costs are virtually the same. Some decorators will give a small discount, like 10 or 20 percent.
Let’s run the numbers: A 14” round (usually a bottom tier) serves 78 x $6.00/serving = $468. If the decorator gives a 10% discount, your cost is $422. For one fake tier. Sheet cakes to serve 150 times $3.00/serving = $450 Total cost for fake + real sheets? = $1,260.
The typical reaction is that this is a bit excessive because “…..it’s not a REAL cake!” You’re not paying for the cake ….. you’re paying for the time and talent and ingredients required to elevate your cake from a homemade tiered cake to a grander and taller 4 tier cake.
A bride is going to spend MORE for fake + sheet cakes than she would if she had just gotten a grand centerpiece cake that is ALL cake.
Thanks for such great advice - I heartily agree and so will any other professional baker with your best interest in mind!
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