What Is Up With The Dummy Cakes....?

Decorating By tlreetz Updated 20 Mar 2011 , 4:42am by cake_architect

tlreetz Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:09am
post #1 of 16

Why all of the influx in dummy cake requests??? Did I miss some "expert" on TV telling people to ask for dummy cakes because the are "cheaper"? icon_confused.gif If so, this person needs to be seriously corrected. Hello....the dummies still have to be decorated....and cost close to the same as ingredients for a real cake!

Sorry.....just had to do a tiny bit of venting! icon_cry.gif

15 replies
Cupcations Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:21am
post #2 of 16

Lol I was thinking the exact same thing I've never seen/made a dummy cake before but I think what a waste of time & products on such thing, what do they do with it anyways after they're done?? icon_confused.gif

dsilvest Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:29am
post #3 of 16

I rent my faux cakes out to brides as a way to save money on their wedding day. My prices start at $50 and go up from there.

KSMill Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:42am
post #4 of 16

dsilvest I've been wondering how well that works. Do you then quote the kitchen cakes, or is faux cakes your business. I've also wondered, how much do you let them determine the decorating. Do you have standard designs that are for rent, or do you custom decorate.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:43am
post #5 of 16

It's a good way for someone to get a bigger cake and not have all of the leftovers... for example, a small wedding, but she wants a three tiered cake. It's hard to eat an entire leftover tier if it's leftover!!

sandrakakelady Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:46am
post #6 of 16

I offer dummy cakes if brides want a certain look. But, what I do is charge them just like I would do a real cake. It is $50 per tier. If they want to add a sheet cake to serve from the back. I charge for a 1/4 sheet double layer $140. and for a 1/2 sheet $250. Undecorated. just frosted with no work. either way I am not out any money by the time I add it all up they mind as well have purchased a real wedding cake. So i leave the decision up to the bride. Most of the time they go with the real cake.

dsilvest Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 3:49am
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSMill

dsilvest I've been wondering how well that works. Do you then quote the kitchen cakes, or is faux cakes your business. I've also wondered, how much do you let them determine the decorating. Do you have standard designs that are for rent, or do you custom decorate.




I only make faux cakes. I don't need a kitchen inspection if I am not making food to eat. Since I prefer decorating to baking this is for me.
I can make custom cakes or alter the 25+ faux cakes that I have in stock to co ordinate with most weddings.

FromScratchSF Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 4:03am
post #8 of 16

It's all over the wedding mags and wedding blogs that fake cakes are a cheap option. Sigh.

I just had a tasting that I though was going to be a huge wedding, based on the pics the bride sent me (a coutour Vera Wang, 12K+), how many guests she was having (350), where they were getting married (Grace Cathedral, $$$$$$$$) and having the reception (SF MOMA, catered by a very frou frou catering company), I thought - AWESOME! Someone that is actually looking to NOT nickel and dime the cake, right? Because in my head based on the info she sent that they are spending a minimum of $30,000 (or their parents are, whatever).

WRONG.

I show up and she wants a quote for sheet cakes and a fake cake because she heard they were cheaper. I'm like, huh? Where did I give the impression that was my business model? I am a scratch organic baker. Why would you call and book a tasting with a scratch organic baker for a fake cake because you want something "cheaper"? I told her I'd run some numbers and email her later.

So needless to day, I didn't lower the price per serving just because I'm baking an 11x15 versus a round cake. But I did add on an additional $500 or so for the additional 6 tier fake cake. We'll see if I hear back from her. I've thought a lot about the fake cake thing, like would I be OK making a fake cake and having the bride buying sheet cakes from Costco? No. Not my business model.

Jen

tlreetz Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 2:07pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

It's all over the wedding mags and wedding blogs that fake cakes are a cheap option. Sigh.

I just had a tasting that I though was going to be a huge wedding, based on the pics the bride sent me (a coutour Vera Wang, 12K+), how many guests she was having (350), where they were getting married (Grace Cathedral, $$$$$$$$) and having the reception (SF MOMA, catered by a very frou frou catering company), I thought - AWESOME! Someone that is actually looking to NOT nickel and dime the cake, right? Because in my head based on the info she sent that they are spending a minimum of $30,000 (or their parents are, whatever).

WRONG.

I show up and she wants a quote for sheet cakes and a fake cake because she heard they were cheaper. I'm like, huh? Where did I give the impression that was my business model? I am a scratch organic baker. Why would you call and book a tasting with a scratch organic baker for a fake cake because you want something "cheaper"? I told her I'd run some numbers and email her later.

So needless to day, I didn't lower the price per serving just because I'm baking an 11x15 versus a round cake. But I did add on an additional $500 or so for the additional 6 tier fake cake. We'll see if I hear back from her. I've thought a lot about the fake cake thing, like would I be OK making a fake cake and having the bride buying sheet cakes from Costco? No. Not my business model.

Jen





This is what I am talking about!!! We have met with the same "type" of brides! icon_confused.gif Just go with a real cake for cying out loud! I mean, you wouldn't replace the prime rib with hamburger just to save a few bucks would you?

lilmissbakesalot Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 2:18pm
post #10 of 16

$50.00 to rent a dummy??? Tell me you at least charge a hefty deposit to cover it if they bust it up?

I have been approached a few times to do a dummy cake and sheets. They left ordering a real cake. If you have dummies all done up and ready to go I can see not charging full price, but for a completely custom dummy?? No way. That's going to cost you pretty much the same as a real cake since I still have to spend hours decorating it.

dsilvest Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 2:24pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

$50.00 to rent a dummy??? Tell me you at least charge a hefty deposit to cover it if they bust it up?




$50 is for one of my 2 tier faux cakes. There is a $100 damage deposit on it. I have only had a couple of cakes that were severely damaged and they lost their $200 damage deposit. These were larger cakes.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 2:35pm
post #12 of 16

So long as you are covering yourself should something go wrong. I was talkign with someone somewhere on the interweb who did the same thing but didn't charge a deposit... I was floored.

I can see not charging a bunch if you have them laying around all done and ready to rent in a moments notice. But someone coming to me and asking for a dummy would be the complete opposite. I don't have they all done up and ready to rent. I'd have to do a custom dummy and that would not be discounted by much. The ingredients to make the cakes I do cost more than your average cake dummies, so I could see a small discount, but then you need the cake and I wouldn't rent out a dummy unless I was making the kitchen cakes and that would be futile since they'd end up paying for essentially two full cakes.

dsilvest Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 4:16pm
post #13 of 16

Making faux cakes in my area is great. Most venues supply cake as part of the package so a real cake is redundant and wasteful. Most of the time the real cake is barely eaten. I agree that the only way to save some money is to order a faux cake from someone who rents them out on a regular basis. Ordering a faux cake from someone who doesn't do this as their business will not save any money.

Foxicakes Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 3:45am
post #14 of 16

dsilvest...I actually think that you have a great business model. I know that it is NOT the most PC here on CC, but there IS a market for it, obviously, or you wouldn't be in business. Further, why shouldn't there be an option for someone who is on a strict budget but wants a pretty cake instead of having some "friend of the family" that is "just learning" bake a cake and it either turns out ugly or tastes awful. Which is exactly what happened to me personally when I got married 13 years ago BEFORE I knew anything about cake. Anyway, I was going to use Publix bakery (GASP!!) since I was using them to do my flowers (which were BEAUTIFUL and EXACTLY what I asked for, BTW) But my mother had a friend at work that was a "caterer" and did cakes. OMG!! I went to her house and picked out my design, a 2 tier with some scroll work on it, and I THINK she charged my mother about $125.
Well, that cake was AWFUL!!! It was bland and dry. It was like it had been baked a week prior and just let sit out. Not to mention, I think I could have done a better job on the decorating even NEVER having decorated a cake in my life at that point!! And, I think I actually choked during the tasting ceremony. Needless to say, it went uneaten.
I can tell you that at that point in my life, I would have MUCH rather have paid $100 to have a beautiful dummy cake and just paid $25 for a sheet cake to serve my 30 wedding guests.
Further, I like the idea of there being someone that a bride or even another baker can call in the event that there is some unforseen catastrophe where the real cake is damaged beyond repair and cannot be delivered! At least then the bride wont be left embarrassed by the situation. Sure, it may not be the cake that she ordered, but atleast it would be a cake to put on display while "real" cake is cut in the kitchen!!
BTW, I checked it out in my area and it seems there are a few places that do offer the service. One in particular, actually designs a cake and the bride keeps it. She starts off at $295 for a 3 tier (no info on what size tiers) round and $395 for square.

by_mommamee Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 4:23am
post #15 of 16

dummy cakes cost 80% of what the real cake costs...the time and effort...fondant and decors...i don't think we have dummy cakes for rent where i'm from....

cake_architect Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 4:42am
post #16 of 16

i've always wondered about the dummy thing too, but i like dsilvest's plan icon_biggrin.gif anywho, what are you going to do with all the cakes you take to competition? may as well put them on display in your shop and make some money off of renting them!

i've actually come across a great use for dummies, though. my cousin is getting married 8 hrs away from me and she really wants me to do her cake, but i just get sick thinking of taking a cake all the way up there! also, she's having two receptions (dad is a pastor so one congregation church reception and one friends/family fancy reception) and she wants a centerpiece cake at each. we talked it over and decided that me taking a dummy up there would be the best idea- she gets a cake at both receptions (however big she wants) and i get to keep it to take to my next competition. its a win-win icon_biggrin.gif

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