Kitchen Cakes -- Ugghhh!!

Decorating By nhbaker Updated 19 Jan 2009 , 3:04pm by Deb_

nhbaker Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 2:28pm
post #1 of 18

It seems like every wedding magazine, website, etc. are promoting the use of dummy tiers, smaller main cakes, fake cakes etc. and using kitchen cakes to "SAVE MONEY". Does anyone else find this annoying?? My kitchen cakes are still two layers (or more) with a filling in between. It takes me the same amount of time & ingredients to make a kitchen cake as it does a tier in the main cake. The only cost saver would be if the cake had a lot of decorating time involved. When I explain this to potential brides they seem put off. I recently had a customer call and request pricing for a "small simple main cake and then kitchen cakes" and when I told her the cost be be the same she was shocked. Anyone else encountering this problem??

17 replies
peg818 Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:25pm
post #2 of 18

well i do, discount the kitchen cakes abit, but not by much. It is the same cake the same ingredients but just not decorated so thats the time and money they are saving. And usually its because the main cake would be off or to large to handle I wont go any bigger in the summer then what the fridge can handle and make the difference by using sheets.

I would say do a minimum for the tier cake then kitchen cakes can be added. Like main cake needs to be for 125 or 150 what ever you are comfortable handling then the sheets can be added at a discounted price.

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:44pm
post #3 of 18

I know there are different opinions on this but I do feel that sheet cakes should be discounted - at least the way I do them. My sheet cake takes me 10 minutes max to put together for a full sheet. It's just 2 layers of cake, filling & icing on TOP ONLY. It really is less work than a tier for me.

The sheet cakes do not have to be perfect - they are never seen, only cut so why would they be the same price as my tiered cakes? I take about 45 minutes to ice a 3 tier cake perfectly and then to decorate is usually 1-2 hours per cake after that so I do feel it's 2 different things.

Now, I also suppose that it depends on how you are pricing your cakes. I price by the icing they choose because I know how long each icing is going to take me to make it perfect. The different consistencies affect how quickly I can get it done so it seems to work for me this way. I know there are some much more difficult formulas out there that people are using for pricing so perhaps my method would not work for everyone but brides do love that I offer sheet cakes at a discounted price.

I've found that once brides see what a 3-tier looks like they realize that they wouldn't want anything smaller than that so I at least get 74 servings at the price per slice and then supplement the rest with sheet cakes. I've only had 1 person come to me wanting to do a small 2-tier cake with tons of sheet cakes to feed over 200 and I simply told them I had a minimum of at least 3-tiers for supplemental sheet cakes and they were fine with that...


__Jamie__ Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:50pm
post #4 of 18

Kitchen cakes...right up there on my won't do list, partly to avoid all of the price figuring and explanations you all have posted. Too much effort for this brain, and not enough patience! icon_biggrin.gif

Kitagrl Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:54pm
post #5 of 18

I'll do them for a discount, but still enough money I make plenty of profit. Way more than Sam's Club or such.

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 7:03pm
post #6 of 18

Absolutely Kita - you have to make a profit. I'm not sure how I really stack up against other bakeries in my area - I charge $39.99 for a 1/4 sheet cake, $69.99 for a 1/2 sheet cake & $94.99 for a full sheet cake - these are not decorated...just kitchen cakes...


PinkZiab Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:09am
post #7 of 18

I simply do not do "kitchen cakes"... or any sheet cakes at all, for that matter. Problem solved.

Galler Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:16am
post #8 of 18

Sorry what is a "kitchen cake"?

dellboi2u Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:19am
post #9 of 18

Okay... exactly what are "kitchen cakes"??? Are they just another word for sheet cakes? Probably a dumb question... but I really don't know! I'm from Utah... shouldn't I know what a Kitchen Cake is??? lol.... I do have some blonde hair too, maybe that's it!!!

MaryAnnPriest Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:31am
post #10 of 18

Kitchen cakes are cakes that are kept in the kitchen of the venue where an event is being held rather than being put on display. Their purpose is to be cut & served only.

I recently had someone call for a baby shower for 85 people and ask me to do 'a couple of sheet cakes'. When I quoted her the price she was surprised for a sheet cake. I informed her the price is the same for a sheet. She changed her design & went with a nice tiered buttercream. My cakes are meant for display, not to be hidden in the kitchen.

kakeladi Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:47am
post #11 of 18

Each person has a slightly different version of what they call a kitchen cake.
Usually I make mine one layer - no filling - just iced & bordered - no decorations.
They would be served as a 2x2x2 piece.
Some make theirs 2 layers w/filling so no one could tell if they got a kitchen cake slice or *the cake* - each piece would be 1x2x4.

jlsheik Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 1:47am
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by MaryAnnPriest

Kitchen cakes are cakes that are kept in the kitchen of the venue where an event is being held rather than being put on display. Their purpose is to be cut & served only.

I recently had someone call for a baby shower for 85 people and ask me to do 'a couple of sheet cakes'. When I quoted her the price she was surprised for a sheet cake. I informed her the price is the same for a sheet. She changed her design & went with a nice tiered buttercream. My cakes are meant for display, not to be hidden in the kitchen.

Ohhhhh I sooooo love that.... cakes are meant to be displayed not hidden!! OOOOOHHHH I wanna say that some day!!!

FromScratch Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:02am
post #13 of 18

I only offer kitchen cakes with cakes over 100 servings and I dicount them $1/serving because I don't put fondant on them. They are the same as the wedding cake on the inside.. torted and filled and covered in BC. No borders and not perfect icing. I don't do them as sheets.. they are undecorated squares. I would never do them as single layer sheets because then they look like cheap grocery store sheets. I want them to look like they were cut from the wedding cake.

indydebi Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:03am
post #14 of 18

The advantage of flat pricing (same price, no matter what cake flavor, filling or design, with less than a handful of exceptions) is that my brides can have a wonderful, tall, grand, well decorated lovely full size wedding cake that is the centerpiece of her reception ... instead of a rinky dink squatty looking little cake with the bulk of the cake "hidden" in the kitchen.

Same cake ... same price ... so you might as well go for the grand one.

Doing sheet cakes is more work for me. It usually works out to baking more cakes rather just baking larger ones. Takes up more space in the van for delivery, more trips to get the cake(s) inside the venue, more of a PITA.

So once I explain that they can have any cake they want at the same price as a rinky dink cake with sheets, brides go with the cake they really want .... and I don't have to screw around with sheets (or kitchens, or whatever they're being called ... it's all the same to me).

Plus I don't recall ever being at a wedding where the cake was cut "in secret" in the kitchen. I know it's pretty common, based on threads on here, but I've never seen it. And when I cut my own cakes at weddings I cater, I do it right there in front of everyone. It's part of the show. In addition, my pricing is based on "debi cuts the cake .. DJ announces the cake is cut and everyone can help themselves to cake whenever they want". If you want me to cut the cake in the kitchen and then have staff carry all of those plates out to people, then there's an extra labor fee because I'll need to bring at least 2 more people (because my regular staff is already working doing the catering work, and if I pulled 2 or 3 of them just to deliver plates, then it takes longer to clean up and load up and my payroll is higher .... ergo extra labor fee).

And I'm with MaryAnne .... I'm not doing that work so it can be hidden in some kitchen!! Put it front and center where it belongs!!! icon_biggrin.gif

kansaswolf Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:04am
post #15 of 18

I guess I always thought that to call it a KITCHEN cake, it had to look nearly indistinguishable from the main cake when it's cut. Otherwise, it's just a supplementary sheet cake... I could be wrong, but I think that's what it is...

FromScratch Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 2:40am
post #16 of 18

That has always been my understanding of a kitchen cake.. it was just another undecorated tier to make up for needed servings. icon_smile.gif

I don't charge much less, and when people hear that it will only save them $30 or so they usually just go for a bigger cake.

nhbaker Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 1:32pm
post #17 of 18

Thank you all so much for you replies & honesty!! I'm one of those that, although I don't make the icing look perfect, I do try to get the kitchen cake to look like you're getting a piece of the main cake (minus any fancy decorations). I found out from a friend who attended one of the weddings in which I did that had a main cake and two kitchen cakes (needed the extra servings) that they wheeled out the kitchen cakes and cut and served them in front of the guests -- Thanks goodness I had put in a little effort to make them presentable!!

I love the idea of having a minimum size cake before allowing kitchen cakes -- I will definitely be using that. I too do not do one-layer sheet cakes for any occassion. I'm still new at this (starting my second full year in the biz) and I'm still struggling with pricing etc. I feel guilty sometimes for charging what I do and I know I'm probably still undercharging. However, my spine is thicking - I promote my cakes as "specialty cakes for special occassions". I'm slowly adopting the mantra - if they want cheap, the can go elsewhere.

Deb_ Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 3:04pm
post #18 of 18

Or.......if they want a sheet cake let em go to Sam's club, they're the experts on those things.

Kitchen cakes and sheet cakes? 2 different cakes torted, filled tiers, I charge the same price per serving because it's the same cake.

Sheet cakes.......usually 1 layer unfilled but frosted, (cheap looking in my opinion), I don't offer them at all for weddings, or for any other event. If I make a sheet cake I offer them torted and filled also. (ends up between 3 to 3 1/2 " tall)

I'd be really mad if I were a guest at a wedding and received a 2 x 2 x 2 square piece of unfilled cake when the people at the next table were eating a nice torted and filled piece. icon_confused.gif What, I didn't bring a big enough present or something? icon_wink.gif

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