A Thread For All Uk Bakers!!

Decorating By hailinguk Updated 18 Aug 2016 , 2:18am by -K8memphis

maisie73 Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:03pm
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AI was going to start a new thread to ask this but laptop's playing up so I'm stuck with my phone. My husband and I are paying forour sons wedding cake, it's to feed 170 people, 4 tiers, £600. It's a lot of money but it's our gift to th and it's what they wanted. However, when they went (all the way to swansea from newport!) to book it and pay the deposit, they came back and told us two of the tiers are going to be dummies! I was shocked! I told them so and they said not to worry cos she's "giving us two cutting cakes as well" with big grins on their faces. Apparently the lady who makes the cake said this is common practice! I think if I'm paying £600 for a 4 tiered cake I want 4 tiers of cake. What do you all think? Is this common practice? Thanks in advance. :-)

sugarluva Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:13pm
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AThanks everyone. I will look into buying a new rolling pin, I will have a mooch around eBay this week (always a lethal hobby as I never just stumble across what I'm actually looking for on there...)

Maisie- I have no experience in this field at all but I have heard of people doing this with wedding cakes before. It's usually with very big cakes though, I would think that someone could manage a 4 tier cake without needing dummies (haha listen to me as if one day of practising with ganache means I could pull off a 4 tier wedding cake!) I'm sure if you ask around here there are people with more knowledge than me on this matter but don't pay for something if you're not happy with it. We all know how important cake is here!

maisie73 Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:22pm
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AMy thoughts exactly! I know dummies are used, to cut costs for example or if it's a small wedding but the bride still wants a big cake but £600? For two tiers of actual cake? The two tiers won't be enough to feed 170 people anywY, that's why she's making seperate cutting cakes. I can't help wondering if she's seen a young, naive couple with a blank cheque and is taking advantage of them. Nannycook, Bashini, anyone else, what do you think?

nannycook Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:32pm
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AMaisie, why don't you make it?

nannycook Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:38pm
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AFlaming heck, I have two wedding cakes to make, one this Dec and one next Oct, thats a 4 tier and she will have 4 tiers, and for half that price to no doubt, even if it was 4 cakes its still a lot. Sorry Maisie don't want to spoil it for your but if you were getting 4 cakes I may at a push say, mmmmm OK, but 2 cakes, no chance.

cupcakemaker Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:39pm
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AI'm not sure how she's taking advantage if she's giving cutting cakes and there will be enough to feed 170 but it is odd. However there is nothing more annoying (in my view) than someone giving a gift and interfering!

cupcakemaker Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:41pm
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AAs to ganache and bubbles did you wet the ganache before you put the sugarpaste on? I use cooled boiled water and a pastry brush. If you don't you'll get lots of air bubbles.

maisie73 Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:41pm
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AHahahahahahaha! :-) I am so nowhere near good enough to make a wedding cake nannycook! Have you seen my cakes? I'm a very amateur decorator and to be honest I wouldn't want that sort of pressure. I can't help being chuffed you suggested that tho. :-) Did you see the photo of my latest cake earlier in this thread? It was only the 2nd two tiered cake I've made. What do you think about the dummies in a £600 cake?

maisie73 Posted 10 Mar 2014 , 11:51pm
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ASorry nannycook, didn't see your next post. Cupcakemaker, I'm not interfering, we said we'd pay for it and we will, I just can't understand why she's doing it. This is a high end cake shop, they saw this cake at a wedding fayre at the Hilton. How can it be a 4 tier cake when there are only 2 tiers of cake? And she's not giving them cutting cakes, they're paying good money for cutting cakes. Anyway I thought I'd ask here to see if it is commin practice cos I really don't think it is.

natt12321 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 1:31am
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I'd love to know who you are booking that cake with maisie cos that's my neck of the woods! (and no it's not really common practice!)

SugaredSaffron Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 7:51am
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Originally Posted by maisie73 

Sorry nannycook, didn't see your next post.
Cupcakemaker, I'm not interfering, we said we'd pay for it and we will, I just can't understand why she's doing it. This is a high end cake shop, they saw this cake at a wedding fayre at the Hilton. How can it be a 4 tier cake when there are only 2 tiers of cake? And she's not giving them cutting cakes, they're paying good money for cutting cakes.
Anyway I thought I'd ask here to see if it is commin practice cos I really don't think it is.

It's not common practice but it's not uncommon, is it something she discussed with the couple? It doesn't really matter if they are cutting cakes or the cakes to be presented as they'll feed the same number of people. Some venues request that they have some tiers fake and some cutting so they have some already sliced so guests don't have to wait too long, it might also be something to do with the design. And £600 for a four tier is normal, not sure what tier sizes they're having but if it's a 6/8/10/12 that's a very good price. It might sound a bit weird, but I'm sure there's am honest reason behind it :)

There's no way you could get a four tier cake from a professional for £300 unless it was a gift! That's waaaaaaay undercharging.

bashini Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 7:59am
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AHi Maisie,

I don't understand why they are putting two dummy cakes and giving you two cuttings cakes as well. What I do is, if the 4tier doesn't make up the requested amount of portions, then I would do a cutting cake to make up the difference. Some brides want a big cake even though they have few guests. Then I would do cake for the number of guests and the add dummies for the rest of the whatever tiers. BUT using dummies doesn't mean that the cost of the cake is going down. That's what most of the people think. All the work like covering the dummies, decorations, flowers etc remains the same.

nannycook Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 8:19am
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AHi, your right sugar, I didn't mention that the 3 tier cake I made last yr was part gift as she is a friend and colleague, for someone I didn't know it would have been more expensive, in saying that she would Still have all cake.

How is that keeping the cost down when your still having 2 cutting cakes that still have to be iced etc.

sugarluva Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 9:12am
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AAfter reading other people's responses I can kind of see the other POV now too - I suppose having to decorate and ice the dummies and then bake and ice the cutting cakes is more effort so there must be a good reason for doing it. Having said that though it does feel slightly disappointing that not all layers would be cake. I don't know why that is, because if you don't tell your guests they're not going to know, but it just does.

Cupcakemaker - yes I did brush on warm water for one of the cakes. I actually forgot to do it with the first cake but made sure I did with the second. It was actually the second that got far more bubbles, they both had them but the second was worse. I'm obviously doing something wrong I just need to practise.

maisie73 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 9:30am
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ANatt12321, I don't know who it is, when my son and his gf were first on about it they said Neath, then when they went to pay the deposit they said Swansea. I'm trying not to say much about it to them because I don't want to interfere (and then I come here and get accused of interfering!) I do know that it's a shop and they first saw the cake at a wedding fayre. I think if I try to find out the name I might be tempted to ring her and ask why she's doing it. And that wouldn't endear me to my future daughter in law would it!!

Sugaredsaffron, no she didn't discuss it with them,she informed them, when they asked why, that's when she told them it's common practice. I do know it's not the venue tho.

Thanks Bashini, I pretty much thought the same.

Thanks everyone actually, it was bothering me! Before I shut up about it tho, I'm still a bit confused! I know the dummies will still need icing, decorating etc but they won't need to be baked, kept fresh, levelled etc so wouldn't that be easier and cheaper? And the cutting cakes will be plain iced and not dowelled, stacked etc so won't they be cheaper? I know they'll still feed the same amount of people but there's got to be a reason she's doing it this way and the only possibly ones I can see is it's easier and/or cheaper. Btw, I'm not complaining about the price, I'm conplaining about paying the price of a 4 tier cake with only 2 tiers of actual cake.

nannycook Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 9:36am
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AI totally agree, if they to this much trouble to ice dummies, why in gods name cant they do that to 2 more tiers, sorry Maisie just doesnt make sense.

sugarluva Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 9:42am
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AI don't think it sounds like you're interfering at all maisie, you just don't want your son having something that isn't the best it can be - whether you're paying for it or not I'm sure you just want everything on his big day to be perfect!

maisie73 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 9:49am
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ADon't be sorry Nanny, I'm with you! I'm no expert but I was pretty sure it's not common practice. I feel better after everyones posts here (because I've vented an I know it's not just me) but on the other hand I'm more annoyed because she hasn't been honest with them. I think she should've told them the reason she wants to do it that way, not said it's common practice so they just said "oh ok" cos they didn't know any better.

maisie73 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 9:55am
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AThanks sugarluva. :-) you're right. I've tried not to say much to them cos I don't want them to feel like I'm raining on their parade.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 10:10am
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Hi Masie, I wouldn't say it's common practice at all (I'm based in Wiltshire so not too far away) and depending on the design of the cake, I would potentially charge more for that.  If it's a very simple design, where the decorating time is minimum then you could save (because the dummies could be made in advance etc) but if it is a complex design, then you are still having to pay for the decoration labour (which is often the most expensive bit) and then pay again for the plain decoration of the sheet cakes - and fondant isn't cheap!


The only time I would suggest using dummies to a bride is if she wanted a much bigger cake than she needed to feed guests for impact, or, they really really wanted sponge cakes but a very intricate decoration (for example with lots of royal icing layered pipework) which could not be completed on a sponge cake because it would take too long.


I would really get them to push back on this - or maybe ask for a bit more of a breakdown in cost to see what they are actually paying for what bit. x

maisie73 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 10:26am
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AThanks Snowflakebunny, that's a possible reason that didn't even occur to me! I'll ask the bride if she's got a photo of the cake before I say anything else, if there's loads of piping on it I'll know that's why and will say no more! She didn't say it did when she described it, she said it's white, round, 4 tiers with lots of flowers to match her colourscheme.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 10:35am
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Sure :-) Generally what I'd call 'modern' piping (boarders, brush embroidery etc) isn't such a biggie but it seems more traditional royal icing is making a come back (yay!) and some of that can involve piping...leave to dry...pipe on top...leave to dry...pipe some more...leave to dry (repeat process a lot of times!)  The picture should help  x

maisie73 Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 10:44am
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AThanks Snowflakebunny, thanks everyone. :-) I'll try to get hold of a picture and let you all know. :-)

maisie73 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 6:01pm
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ACan anyone help me? I need to make a gluten free, nut free, banana free cake for the 22nd. I've just looked at my Tesco fondant and it may contain nuts. If any of you have fondant packets would you be kind enough to have a look and let me know if they're nut free or not please? Please don't tell me to make my own, I've tried and failed miserably several times! TIA

Mel37 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 6:10pm
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AHi Maisie, just checked my Renshaw and Culpitt - but they both say may contain traces / made in factory which handles nuts. Sorry, hope you find one x

bashini Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 6:59pm
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AHi Maisie, I think covapaste is nut free. I will confirm is tomorrow. Hope it's ok.

maisie73 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 8:47pm
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AThankyou both :-) I'm going to check Asda's own tomorrow. Anyone know about Satinice? I haven't got a sugarpaste container but my gumpaste container says it's nut free.

bashini Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 9:07pm
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Hi maisie, yes, it says on their website.




HTH. :smile:

maisie73 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 9:34pm
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Brilliant, thankyou Bashini, helps enormously. :-)

bashini Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 9:40pm
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No problem!!! :D

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