Fake It or Make It?
#1 Cake Myth: Fake cakes are more cost effective than real cakes.
What are you asking for when you ask for a real cake?
If you ask your baker to make you a ‘fake cake,’ you are asking this person to make something that is really not in their normal wheelhouse! Yes, fake cakes are often used at bridal shows and open houses, but these take much more time to make than a real cake. Cake ‘dummies’ are often made so that they last for years. Whether they stay on display in a shop or are simply stored in a bin until the next bridal show, they require the use of non-edible materials. In the long run, dummies are more expensive to make than real cake.
What goes into making this dummy cake?
A simple cake dummy can take a week or so to create, assuming the materials are right on hand. Cake foams must be ordered and vary in price and availability. It’s common to use paint, spackle, glue, and pins to hold them in place.
What does that mean to you?
Cost. Cost of material, time and effort, in addition to the cost of paying the artist for her creativity and skill. If you consider the true number of servings needed to feed your guests, the baker must also create ‘kitchen cakes’ to serve, and you are now asking her to do twice the work: a fake cake PLUS actual cake. Twice the work can often mean twice the price, even if the cake on display won’t be served.
Other not so good options to avoid:
Are you are thinking of doing a ‘fake cake’ OR small wedding cake – and supplementing with sheet cakes from the local grocery store or wholesale club? Personally, I don’t allow for this. As a baking professional, it’s important for my cake to reflect my work – and that means in the taste, as well as the design! It’s a “no-no” to get a small cake from me, and then serve wholesale-club cake, particularly if you put my name on your menus or table signs. Unfortunately, the wholesale-club cake doesn’t reflect my work...and, simply stated, can adversely impact my business. Respect your baker – and that your wedding guests deserve good dessert!
HOW CAN I MAKE MY CAKE MORE COST EFFECTIVE?
Smaller cakes plus kitchen-cakes from your baking professional is a great way to go. (Be sure to check with your baker for minimum servings.) Kitchen cakes are usually available from all baking professionals – at a cost that’s less than the display wedding cake. Some larger brick-and-mortar bakeries even have ‘stock cakes’ that can be purchased as late as the day of your wedding. Cupcakes are also a good option; however, keep in mind that the more flavors you offer, the more likely people are to take more than one. I suggest two (2) cupcakes per guest – which can be a little more costly than the traditional wedding cake!
There are lots of options for dessert these days but no one turns down a good cake!
Cinda Putnam is the owner of Cinda’s Creative Cakes and has been providing wedding cakes to local triangle brides & grooms since 2001. She has won numerous awards from several online and local wedding organizations, including WeddingWire.com and The Knot (recipient of the Best of Weddings Hall of Fame.) Her studio is located in Holly Springs, NC.