What Would You Charge For Dummy Cake???

Decorating By pattycakes55d Updated 26 Mar 2009 , 12:44am by tonedna

pattycakes55d Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 7:55am
post #1 of 12

I am new to this and could use some help. I have a lady who is on a strict budget and wants a 3 tiered dummy cake to present at the reception. She doesn't want a sheet cake or anything else. First of all, I'm not sure whether to do this since I don't think it's worth it, however it would get my name out there. Not sure about decorations, but it would be simple. What do you think I should charge?

Thanks for your expertise.

11 replies
PatricesPieces Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 8:10am
post #2 of 12

Welcome to Cake Central pattycakes. You will soon be addicted to this site like the rest of us are.

Here is my answer to your question...

You are still spending a lot of time decorating the dummie cake. I would want to know what they are serving for cake if they are not having you do a "kitchen cake" for them. They may be buying sheet cakes from another bakery or grocery store, so you may not want your name attached to someone else's cakes. You need to ask yourself what your time is worth. Do you want to make $15.00/hr $20.00/hr. How much time would it take you to decorate a dummie cake? What are your costs? You have to figure all this in. Some brides think it is cheaper to have a dummie cake decorated, when in fact it still takes the same amount of time to decorate a dummie cake as it would a real cake. So there is no time difference here..except for the baking part. If I were you, I would ask a few more questions before I committed. See what their budget is and where they are getting their cake that is going to be served. Those would be my first questions. I hope this helps.


CakeDiosa Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 8:15am
post #3 of 12

I'm sure you'll get responses from cakers far more experienced than I but I've heard (read) other posts advising to charge the same since the work is the same. Also, you may get your name out there but it could backfire since they will likely serve a cake from some grocery store (ooohhh the games we play) and if it isn't a good one then "your name out there" will be because of that. "Sure it looked good but it tasted like bluuughhkk!"

Personally, prior to joining CC I probably would've done it but now having heard from far more experienced bakers/decorators on that whole bait and switch issue.... I don't know...

Be interesting to hear what others have to say on this one. Good question!

Take care!

prterrell Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:30pm
post #4 of 12

Aaack! Another bride who has been erroneously informed by the wedding magazine industry that a good way to save money is to have a dummy cake for the reception! I'd love to smack the person who started this whole idea!

If you can't afford a cake, just don't have a cake!

My advice is to ask her what kind of REAL cake you could do for how ever much she's willing to spend (of course if it's the $50 bucks or less that she probably thinks she could get a dummy for, then she's just out of luck).

I charge the same for a dummy cake as I would for a regular* decorated cake with the same decorations as they want for the dummy. Cake dummies are not cheap, and this one I won't be able to recycle as I can with ones I use for practice or display cakes. Plus, the design work will take the same amount of time, if not longer (it takes me longer to ice a dummy perfectly smooth than a regular cake for some reason).

*I bake everything from scratch, using premium ingredients. Many of the cakes I make include costly ingredients for both the cake, fillings, and frosting. So for me, a "regular" cake would be like a standard yellow cake without a special filling and plain frosting.

cylstrial Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:23pm
post #5 of 12

WAIT... stop right there!

Did you just say that she's going to have a dummy cake AND not be serving any sheet cakes?? What is she going to be serving? The point of a dummy cake is to have a nice cake but still serve sheet cakes in the back. (Personally, I think it's stupid because the dummy cake costs just as much as a real cake plus the cost of the sheet cakes).

But anyway, that's insane!!

Kerry_Kake Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:32pm
post #6 of 12

I haven't done a wedding cake yet, but if someone asks for a dummy cake, I'm not doing it! If you want a cake from me, it's going to be a real cake! It wouldn't be any cheaper for them to get a dummy cake and then sheets cakes.

And I wouldn't do a dummy cake for her unless she is going to order YOUR sheet cakes! It's your reputation!

pattycakes55d Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 4:32pm
post #7 of 12

She says that they are having a buffet and various desserts are included.

Thanks so much for your opinions - I definitely see your points and I will decline nicely.

cylstrial Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 9:41pm
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by pattycakes55d

She says that they are having a buffet and various desserts are included.

Thanks so much for your opinions - I definitely see your points and I will decline nicely.

Ok - now I get it. But who does that? Doesn't everyone want wedding cake for their reception? JMO. =o)

solascakes Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 10:20pm
post #9 of 12

I would assume decorating a dummy would be as much work as a real cake,never done a dummy though.

Kerry_Kake Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 12:34am
post #10 of 12

So why does she want to put a cake on display? Just to tease people!?! icon_razz.gif

guest - "Oh how I love cake, can I have a piece of your beautiful cake?"
bride - "No, it's decorated dummies, but really I'm the dummy for not thinking people want CAKE!

LOL icon_cry.gif
Please nobody get offended....it's a joke!

miss-tiff Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 12:44am
post #11 of 12

It would be one thing to be at a reception with a buffet and desserts (sounds nice), but to see a cake sitting there, but nobody cuts it, nobody gets served any cake... like the mirage out in the desert or something. If she doesn't want to serve a cake, it seems fine to just stick with the dessert table.

tonedna Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 12:44am
post #12 of 12

Unless she is returning the dummy in perfect condition so I can display it in my shop, that dummy would cost just as much as a normal cake...Is just as much work!

But if I make it for me, thinking is a beautiful design, then I might rent it. With a clause that if she breaks it, she needs to pay for full price.
Edna icon_smile.gif

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