Wedding Cake Dummies

Business By skylightsky Updated 28 Jun 2006 , 5:53am by skylightsky

skylightsky Posted 2 Jun 2006 , 12:17am
post #1 of 12

(This is a repeated post. This was posted in another forum as well)

I'm wondering if there is a trend.

There are sooo many beautiful cakes out there for weddings. Some of them are quite difficult to make. The fondant, gumpaste, embrodiery, string work, the list goes on....

How many of you (who sell wedding cakes) are actually creating these with cake dummies and using sheet cakes at the wedding.

I often wonder why people don't make the bottom and top tier out of real cake and the leave the other layers with cake dummies.

Surely it improves transportation, structural integrity, etc.

Let me ask the question another way. If you were a Bride and you had XX dollars in the budget for cake.... Would you choose a couture cake that was 85% dummie cake or choose a less designed/crafted cake and use sheet cake of your desired cake and flavors. (keep in mind the sheet cake would produce the exact flavors, colors, etc. that you want.)

What is the latest buzz?

11 replies
mjulian Posted 2 Jun 2006 , 12:28am
post #2 of 12

Making dummies are the easiest and funnest to do. You are able to do them over and over until it is perfact. I have yet to sell one to a bride because they dont like the idea of serving sheet cakes for some reason. The cost however is much less for the bride but they dont seem to care about the final price as much.

CakeBaker Posted 2 Jun 2006 , 12:38am
post #3 of 12

This wedding cake was 2 dummy tiers and one actual cake tier:

They wanted to have the cake on display for the entire reception, but still wanted to be able to cut it for the ceremonial photos. I'm working on a whimsy cake right now that has a dummy bottom tier. On this one, the reason the bride chose that route was cost. She wanted 3 tiers, but I charge $5 per serving for whimsy cakes. I gave her the dummy tier at a reduced rate. Instead of sheetcakes, I offer "kitchen cakes" -- 4" tall square cakes iced smooth in buttercream with no decorations besids a bead border around the base.

mjulian Posted 2 Jun 2006 , 12:44am
post #4 of 12

I thought about what you call kitchen cakes. I will have to see about offering that. Love your whimsy cake!!

moydear77 Posted 2 Jun 2006 , 2:24am
post #5 of 12

I love your cake. I have been to your site many times. I sat next to I think at OSSAS. My little girl was playing with your son. Lovely work!

skylightsky Posted 2 Jun 2006 , 6:35pm
post #6 of 12

Wonderful Craftsmanship Cakebaker!

Beautiful Cake

leta Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 4:33am
post #7 of 12

As I am starting out and building a wedding portfolio, I am offering a reduced rates to brides. So for me I can't really reduce the price of any separate cake. I tell them it's the same price. I don't mind stacking up the cakes. I still have to decorate the dummy so it's the same to me.

I am doing a cake this month for a reception that is more of a recieving line/open house where people will come and go over the course of the reception. I am making a 3 tier with the middle cake a dummy. That way they can have their cake and eat it too. The cake will be displayed until they are ready to slice it, and cake slices will be available at the start of the reception.

Basically they are paying for the cake and the decoration is free. I will cover the extra cake with fondant as well, as I know a lot of people will be curious to know what the choc fondant tastes like. It's choco-pan, so it's good.

Of course I won't be pricing my cakes this way for long, so like the idea of the kitchen cakes.

Cakebaker, your creations are so inspiring. Wow!. Thanks for sharing.

TexasSugar Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 4:49am
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by skylightsky

Let me ask the question another way. If you were a Bride and you had XX dollars in the budget for cake.... Would you choose a couture cake that was 85% dummie cake or choose a less designed/crafted cake and use sheet cake of your desired cake and flavors. (keep in mind the sheet cake would produce the exact flavors, colors, etc. that you want.)

I'm looking at this from a decorate stand point...
Cake dummies cost you to buy them. You also have to spend time icing and decorating them. So why should that cut the cost way down?

Kitchen cakes cost to make, and you still have to ice them and decorate. I know you don't have as much costs as you would for a tiered cake but it is still there. But there is still time and expense to consider.

I think if someone has a budget, then they need to stop stopping for a champagne cake on a beer budget. This doesn't mean that they have to get an ugly or plain cake, but it should mean they will get something equal to what they pay. If they want a big tiered cake then they need to pay for it, or they need to decide on a different cake.

I can understand if the design needs 3 tiers but they are not going to have that many people. Sure use a dummy one of them. But I don't see how doing a big cake out of dummies and making kitchen cakes for them to serve should save them money. Isn't that more work on you, not less?

skylightsky Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 9:09pm
post #9 of 12

Financial cost of a cake dummie and a real cake are virtually the same.

The difference is in the ease of creation.

A dummie cake on a whimsical design is much easier to handle the first few times you do it than a real cake. If not properly balanced, the thing will self destruct. The same goes for character cakes and the like.

The ease of working with a cake dummie, for me, seems to be worth using. I can put the thing in my lap if necessary. We know these won't be eaten and are used for balance for the rest of the edible cake.

No question that cake dummies are almost the same cost as frosting, shortening, etc. However, I agree that when bakers who have repeated experience with carved cakes, what's the point? They've learned how to construct them to ensure transportation doesn't create a mess. For me, that's worth the dummie there.... after all... that's why their called cakedummies.

Agree with your principle.

pittysmom Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 5:32am
post #10 of 12

In my town, there's a new little donut shop and bakery. I went in just to look and be curious. They had several decent but not really special wedding cakes on display. I asked about the pricing, and she gave me a flyer.

It said that the "NEWEST TREND" is to RENT one of the decorated tiered wedding cakes for the reception/photos, and have the sheet cakes made for cutting, they would be cut in the back or in the kitchen I guess... Anyhow, it was so much for renting the Fake Cake, and then so much for the sheet cakes. And it said that it was a substantial savings over buying the actual tiered cake.

Now, I guess this is a new idea, but I don't see it as the NEWEST TREND, at least not in my town. When I go to a wedding I see a real cake being cut.
And when I know someone who's getting married, they are ordering a real cake.

Personally, I think it's tacky. Just my opinion, of course.
If you can't afford a tiered cake, then why make people think you can?
You can order a really beautifully decorated sheet cake for a wedding and people aren't going to care as long as it tastes good.

The whole thing just seemed sort of cheezy... Not only that, but how many people had that SAME EXACT FAKE CAKE at their wedding? Ugh!
and do they dust it off when it gets dusty from sitting around? icon_confused.gif
I guess I just think if you want cake, have a CAKE! icon_biggrin.gif who cares if it's 4 feet tall or 2 feet wide...
Okay, off my soapbox now.... icon_wink.gif


moydear77 Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 2:56pm
post #11 of 12

The clients that I have use Stand in tiers because they want a very large looking cake. The base tier will be stand ins or the bottom two and so on. As for cost yes they take time to decorate but you are saving the time of prep and baking also. Rent to use cakes to me are those that meet the couture line. Cakes that take hundreds of ours of work that cannot actually be done in real time baking. Or for most of us we do not have an army backing us with sugar flowers in hand.
I rarely do sheet cakes though. I hate sheet cakes so I would not offer to do the stand in and sheet cake. I offer partial stand in cakes with upper tiers being edible.

skylightsky Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 5:53am
post #12 of 12

Thank you Moydear77...

You hit the nail on the head with stand in.

For some events, I can see a total stand in... but quite frankly I have never heard of that until her post. The top tier for Anniversary, and bottom tier or other for cutting and the rest fake...

Let me tell you, I spent 80.00 on cake dummies this week alone, or recent weeks. I have spent just as much money on cakes I didn't frost.

As far as transporting... I'll transport a dummie cake over a real one any day.

But I agree with the posts that reference a lack of sincerity. It is true. There is just something so special about a 250 serving cake.

I just wish I could make them that well. Think I am going to create spaced tiers rather than stacked... maybe that will be easier.

Quote by @%username% on %date%