Dummy Wedding Cake Cheaper???

Decorating By Junecakes Updated 18 Jul 2008 , 4:48pm by weirkd

Junecakes Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 3:32am
post #1 of 13

I have a friend of a friend who wants me to do her wedding cake. She said she would like me to do a dummy tiered wedding cake and have sheet cakes in back to serve because she wants to "save money". I told her my price reamins the same if not higher as I would still need to bake the same amount of cake AND decorate the dummy. Am I way off base here? She was dumbfounded and said her mom told her it would be the cheaper way to go. I stood my ground and told her if she could find someone to do it cheaper to go for it. That was 1 month ago and still haven't heard back.

12 replies
cakesbyallison Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 3:40am
post #2 of 13

Generally decorated dummy cakes are less costly than decorated wedding cakes. A lot of decorators and brides use them to build up a wedding cake, without adding the additional expense of "too much" cake. Typically a set price is determined for the size of the dummy, and add to depending on detail of decorations. This is also more economical for brides who are trying to cut costs (i.e., your friend). It does seem crazy, cause you still have to decorate "a cake", but you eliminate the baking process and cost of product.
You still charge for sheet cakes - and I generally don't decorate them, they are a plain iced cake, no borders.

CoutureCake Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 6:46am
post #3 of 13

This topic has been discussed ad nauseum over on the business boards..

The cost of the dummy is actually HIGHER than doing a real wedding cake once.. The MOB found out about this through bridal websites and magazines that aren't in touch with reality...

Here's the reality... The dummy takes just as much time and materials to decorate if not more than a real cake will. A real cake sits still while it's being decorated, not so for dummies. Cake dummies also cost as much as their real counterparts once shipping is figured in. SO, in addition to getting the cake dummies made, there is the cost of the same exact cake that was being purchased in the first place but they have to pay for it twice. The disclaimer on the bridal magazines needs to be that the dummy is already in existance at the shop, there is still a damage deposit fee to be paid, and it will be fake so no "real" cutting.

indydebi Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:19am
post #4 of 13

Here's a recent thread on it http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-593987-dummy.html . On this thread, I've actually broken down the numbers in an example you can show the bride to illustrate on why it costs MORE for you to make a dummy AND sheets.

bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:27am
post #5 of 13

Thank you Indy!! Just the info I needed! icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:34am
post #6 of 13

I could slap the person who started this myth..

No way are dummies and sheet cakes the cheaper route. My time is worth the same no matter what the decorating is on and THEN you want real cake for your guests to eat.. yeah.. I'll be sure to give that to you for 1/2 price. icon_confused.gif

weirkd Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:49am
post #7 of 13

I was reading an issue of The Knot and there was an add for people to rent fake cakes that have actual real cake pieces for the cutting ceremony. They advertise that there are stock ones or you can custom order.
Apparently Regis & Kelly and the Today show had it on there.
I can understand it costing to decorate them as much as a real cake but I dont see how it could cost more than a wedding cake since your not using baking ingredients. If you order them from a foam company their pretty cheap and like the one person said they do sheet cakes undecorated. I dont think it would be THAT much cheaper than doing one real cake but maybe a little. I wouldnt see why someone would opt for a fake cake in the first place. If you dont have the money to spend on a grand cake then dont get one! Get what you can afford! It really urks me to see people on tv that are paying their vendors with gift money from their wedding because they wanted some extravagant wedding that they really couldnt afford in the first place! Spend what you have the means to spend. And if you cant, oh well, the purpose of the wedding is to marry the person you love, not to go in debt to show off!!! My opinion! And the brides that want to do that, be my guest and order from me because I will take it!!! lol

FromScratch Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 2:11am
post #8 of 13

WHen you add in the shipping for dummies they are costly enough. Maybe not as expensive as my more expensive recipes (thinking the belgian chocolate for the chocolate cake vs a vanilla butter cake) but definitely as expensive as a box mix and some doctoring. I can see how having a smaller elaborately decorated cutting cake and having undecorated kitchen cakes could be a bit cheaper and I can certainly see where renting a stock dummy that has been used before and will be used again could be cheaper than a real cake, but I don't charge much less for kitchen cakes.. $3.50/serving buttercream which is $1.00 less than my normal BC price.. so it's not a ton of money.

Brides come to you thinking that they will be saving hundreds of dollars with this option and it's just not the case.

indydebi Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 11:37am
post #9 of 13

weirkd, I'm a mix baker. for a 14/10/6, I'll use 7 mixes, 28 eggs, 2 cups of oil, 7 pkgs of dream whip for ingredients. This is approx. $17-$19 in cake ingredients.

I just dummied up (no pun intended!) an order on Dallas F o a m and with shipping, dummies that are 14/10/6 will cost me $17 to $31, depending on if I get 5-7 day shipping or 3-day shipping.

Baking time is almost immaterial because since I have double convection ovens, I can bake about 14-16 pans of cake in just an hour.

Please don't say what a friend told me once ... "but you can use the dummies over" .... while that is true, you know that in a business you have to price things for worse case scenario. I have to price it assuming I have to buy the dummies. I mean, just because you already own the pan, the 2nd bride doesnt' get a discount because you can use the pan over, right?

weirkd Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:49pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

weirkd, I'm a mix baker. for a 14/10/6, I'll use 7 mixes, 28 eggs, 2 cups of oil, 7 pkgs of dream whip for ingredients. This is approx. $17-$19 in cake ingredients.

I just dummied up (no pun intended!) an order on Dallas F o a m and with shipping, dummies that are 14/10/6 will cost me $17 to $31, depending on if I get 5-7 day shipping or 3-day shipping.

Baking time is almost immaterial because since I have double convection ovens, I can bake about 14-16 pans of cake in just an hour.

Please don't say what a friend told me once ... "but you can use the dummies over" .... while that is true, you know that in a business you have to price things for worse case scenario. I have to price it assuming I have to buy the dummies. I mean, just because you already own the pan, the 2nd bride doesnt' get a discount because you can use the pan over, right?


Yah, your right. Its not a huge savings like they think it will be. And your right, you dont get them back so its a one time cost that you have to soak up.

Junecakes Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:58pm
post #11 of 13

Thanks for all the info. After adding it all up I didn't feel like I was being unreasonable. I would like to apologize if this has been discussed previously on in another forum. For some reason my search skills in the forums is very ineffective!

Next time I run into her I am going to ask her if she found someone to do it cheaper. I really want to know. I have a feeling she never contacted me again because of the friendship angle.....believe me my feelings are not hurt! It's all business!

weirkd Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 4:46pm
post #12 of 13

I looked online at that place that you can get the dummy cakes at. Its not CHEAP! You have to pay $50 to hold the date, then $200 for the dummy then $150 for shipping. Then when the party is over you have to ship it back to them! So if it gets damaged your stuck with it! So you figure $400 right off the top for dummy cake and then you have to get sheet cakes on top of it all so that you can feed them actual cake? How the heck is that cheaper? Yah, maybe if you order your cake from Sylvia Whinestock its cheaper, but from a regular bakery? Dont think so!!!

weirkd Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 4:48pm
post #13 of 13

I looked online at that place that you can get the dummy cakes at. Its not CHEAP! You have to pay $50 to hold the date, then $200 for the dummy then $150 for shipping. Then when the party is over you have to ship it back to them! So if it gets damaged your stuck with it! So you figure $400 right off the top for dummy cake and then you have to get sheet cakes on top of it all so that you can feed them actual cake? How the heck is that cheaper? Yah, maybe if you order your cake from Sylvia Whinestock its cheaper, but from a regular bakery? Dont think so!!!

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