8-Tier Faux (Dummy) Cake-How Much To Charge?

Business By Mencked Updated 16 Apr 2010 , 12:55pm by Mindy1975

Mencked Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 2:43am
post #1 of 16

I have been asked to do an 8-tier ranging in size from 6" to 22" dummy cake for an 80th birthday party. The birthday girl's family owns a firework company so they are doing a huge celebration complete with firework display, this huge cake and I'm happy to be a part of it, but I'm totally unsure about what to charge for this cake. I can buy the dummies for about $60 but the decorating will be simple--nothing too elaborate, just smooth white icing and minimal borders. Any thoughts or advice on what to charge would be greatly appreciated!!

15 replies
MnSnow Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 2:46am
post #2 of 16

I usually charge 90% of what my price per serving is. All the work is still there--only thing missing is the cake.

heavenlys Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 2:53am
post #3 of 16

for us it depends on whether it is buttercream or fondant. For buttercream I start at $75 a tier. Fondant starts at $90 a tier.

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 3:06am
post #4 of 16

just to give you some numbers so you can see the range this might fall into:

A 6/8/10/12/14/16 serves 308.
18" serves 127; 20" serves 157= 284.
Total so far: 592 servings.

Couldn't find a 22" serving chart, so let's assume 175. Total: 767

767 x $3.00/serving = $2302 x 80% (my dummy rate) = $1841.60

Mencked Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 10:20am
post #5 of 16

Thanks for your input guys. Now we'll see what the family thinks when I tell them what I'll charge. They also have been doing research on this and suggested using Perma-Ice--has anyone had experience using this product? And should I dowel all of these tiers together or will the icing hold them together? The tallest dummy cake I've done is 5 tiers and I can't remember if I doweled that together or not......Help!

de_montsoreau Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 10:49am
post #6 of 16

It is not necessary to dowel dummy cakes. I "glue" mine together by brushing some water on top of each tier and then center the next dummy on. Never had a problem with any of the dummies moving. HTH

cai0311 Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 1:59pm
post #7 of 16

I use perma ice on all my dummy cakes that I want to look like buttercream icing. I like using it better than real buttercream because it lasts forever, never fades, never chips and be washed by using a damp cloth.

No need to dowel the cake tiers. I glue the tiers using a hot glue gun.

cakesdivine Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 2:19pm
post #8 of 16

Don't know where you are getting your foam but unless I am getting them back I charge the same because honestly even if I use Dallas Foam the shipping plus the cost for those is the same and sometimes more than what real cake ingredients would cost me. So I don't give a discount on fake cakes. Other question...are you providing the sheet cakes that they are actually going to serve?

leah_s Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 3:03pm
post #9 of 16

I also charge 80% of what real would cost.

I've used PermaIce and all I can say is ::shouting:: do NOT wash your bowls or utensils in your sink. Take them outside and hose them down. You do NOT, NOT I say want PermaIce in your drains. <--voice of experience.

cakesdivine Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 3:55pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks for that info Leah, I have never used the product, but plan on doing so at some point. I can only imagine the problem that would create!

KHalstead Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 6:14pm
post #11 of 16

I charge $.75/serv. less for dummy cakes (love the idea of doing 80% or 90%).......not because it's THAT much cheaper for me to make, but because I hate baking and it's more convenient for me to make dummy cakes (since they can be worked on little by little over the course of weeks instead of just days before the celebration)

Sounds to me like if they want you to use permaice that they might be planning on keeping it as a display piece!

By the way.......firework displays (even shorter ones) run into the 10's of thousands if not 100's of thousands of dollars.....don't be gunshy to tell them what you'd charge!

Mencked Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 1:08am
post #12 of 16

Thank you for all of the info! Once I quoted my price, the 8 tier faux cake is not going to happen icon_smile.gif. I think they were expecting to pay far, far, far, far less! Oh well, it would have been cool and fun to be a part of. Now we're just going with cake for 60.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 1:15am
post #13 of 16

Cake for 60. hahaha.... cake muggles!

I usually charge $1/serving less than real cake.

indydebi Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 1:20am
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by Mencked

Thank you for all of the info! Once I quoted my price, the 8 tier faux cake is not going to happen icon_smile.gif. I think they were expecting to pay far, far, far, far less! Oh well, it would have been cool and fun to be a part of. Now we're just going with cake for 60.

Did they at least understand the reasoning behind the pricing?

I had a lady call and asked about fake cakes. I asked her, "are you asking because you THINK it's cheaper?" Uh .... yeah. icon_eek.gif After I explain the process involved and why it's not really cheaper, she offers her thought of "I figured you bought them wholesale."

First, I ALREADY bought my cake ingredients wholesale, so if that was a factor, it was a wash. Second, to buy styro's at a wholesale price, I'd have to buy about, what ..... a THOUSAND of them?...... to get a discounted price.

"And I'm sure you can understand that it's not cost efficient for me to buy 1000 styrofoams so I can use THREE for your wedding."

Cake civilians ..... they're fun to watch! icon_lol.gif

Mencked Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 2:01am
post #15 of 16

I didn't go into any explanations about my pricing, but I proly should have just to educate icon_smile.gif.

Mindy1975 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 12:55pm
post #16 of 16

I'll give you an even different point of view on this subject. I don't even offer them. I know I should........but this is why I don't. There is a bakery about a half hour away from me that does a 4 or five tier one for weddings for only $125.00. THey do them in any style decoration, etc. I dont' understand how they can do them at that price. But I just can't make myself do one for that price and I don't want to. I can see doing one or two tiers to fill in a cake to make it bigger when you don't need that many servings. But I have actually lost a few orders just because I wouldn't do the "fake cake" thing, and for that price. I feel your pain, and I really hope it works out for you! IN the meantime, I'll just keep pushing for real cake for my brides' wedding receptions! lol thumbs_up.gif

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