About Sheet Cakes -- Are They Really More Cost Effective?

Decorating By bakerfairy Updated 25 Mar 2011 , 9:17pm by Corrie76

bakerfairy Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:43pm
post #1 of 21

People are always asking for sheet cakes. I just don't understand how they are supposed to be more cost-effective. All of my cakes are 3 layers of cake with 2 layers of buttercream and covered in fondant. If someone orders a cake, but wants sheet cakes on the side, I assume it would still be 3 layers of cake with 2 layers of buttercream and covered in fondant to match the original cake correct?

How do you do your sheet cakes, and how much less do you charge for them? To me, it just seems like a regular cake that's just large and rectangular and plain? This wouldn't be a much cheaper option in this case would it? Can anyone shed like on this for me?

20 replies
Christy0722 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:53pm
post #2 of 21

My sheet cakes are a single layer of cake...like you would get from walmart, etc. I really hate to say this but I despise doing a sheet cake! To me they look like a billboard. I'd much rather spend my time and energy doing tiered cakes.
If you sit down and figure it out, you actually get the same amount of cake and icing for an 8" and 6" round tiered cake...and they look much prettier!

icer101 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:13pm
post #3 of 21

I get from $55.00 -75.00 for sheet cakes. They are actually paying for the decorations they ask me to do. I use modeling chocolate most of the time, when i put flowers on sheet cakes. Then fondant/g/p mixture to make other things. Mine are one layer also. I ask if they want fillings and it is no. If they want 2 layers of any size sheet cakes, then i would charge more. Like i say, if they got the money, honey, i got the time.

Some times a 12x18, can cost them 95.00, depending what they ask me to put on them. My prices don,t go with the size of the cake, it is all that i have to put on them. There is not a sheet cake that i do, that i know they could get at the walmart,etc. They just don,t custom decorate them. They might put an edible image, but they don,t hand modeling anything.

I am not knocking the walmart or any other store. I just know , that none of my cakes look like they come from the walmart, as some on here say. about sheet cakes. I have never compared mine to any other store and never will. I know what i bake and what i put into decorating them.

bakerfairy Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:20pm
post #4 of 21

So a single layer of cake? How tall would this be? So if you make a small wedding cake and sheet cakes on the side, some guests would be getting a taller cake with buttercream and others would just be getting plain cake?

Christy0722 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:32pm
post #5 of 21

Now....are you asking about sheet cakes or kitchen cakes? Sheet cakes are the single layer. What I call kitchen cakes are done in layers exactly like the wedding cake. My wedding cakes are 4 one inch layers so my kitchen cakes are 4 one inch layers. The slice looks like it was cut from the wedding cake.
My sheet cakes (like for birthday parties, etc) are single layer 2 inches tall with buttercream or ganache.

I hope I haven't confused you. icon_redface.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 9:26pm
post #6 of 21

I make sheet cakes for birthdays, one layer that I torte and fill, ends up being about 2" high. But I have been getting requests at my wedding consultations about "sheet cakes". I correct them, tell them they want a kitchen cake and it's the same price per serving as a wedding cake.

"Get a Sheet Cake to Save Money" seems to be the IT tip in 2011 to brides as posted by wedding planners in blogs and in print bridal mags. I've actually started googleing to find these absurd postings and started blasting back that these "experts" have no idea what they are talking about.

Cake is cake if you order it from a custom baker. Unless the brides gets Costco cakes, this is a big lie and builds false hopes. I also said to not expect a custom baker to make the small "display" cake with Costco cakes in the back.

Then I follow up with MY budget saving tip - stop looking at fancy wedding websites looking at cakes made by Ron Ben-Israel and expecting their local baker to make it for a fraction of what he would charge... and start looking at Cake Central for realistic cakes made by real bakers the average bride, especially on a budget, can afford

I've also posted several times on The Knot that they NEED to start posting the retail prices of the cakes they feature because brides have zero clue.

Jen

KalliCakes Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 9:35pm
post #7 of 21

I just got a call on a 1/4 sheet cake (1/2 one flavor, 1/2 another flavor)...my price: $80--2" tall. Their regular lady does them for $33. I have a low volume business model, so I'm pretty sure they won't be going with me.

But, the amount of time it takes to do this cake is 1 hr--to store, shopping time; .75 hour mixing/making icing; 1 hr bake (WISH I had convection!), cooling time, ice/decorate time = 1 hour - 3 hours, pending simple details (fondant zebra print, border, etc.--yes, I'm slow!), cleaning time - 1.5 hours (house/dishes).

That's a minimum of 4.5 hours, maybe 6+ hours minus cost of ingredients, box, board, electricity, gas, etc. I CAN'T imagine selling my cake for $33, though I know that's more in line with what others sell it for (unless I had other orders to go along with it). There is no way you can be making money once taxes are taken out?

Christy0722 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 9:40pm
post #8 of 21

I totally agree with FromScratchSF...they really do need to post the $$ on these cakes. I have people all the time wanting "champagne" cakes on a "kool-aid" budget. But what really burns my biscuit is the brides who have spent $5,000 plus on a wedding dress, $10,000 on a venue and caterer but only budget $250 for a cake to feed 250 people. icon_eek.gificon_confused.gif

I refuse to do a dummy cake and allow the brides to serve walmart/costo/grocery store cake. Not gonna happen!! icon_twisted.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 9:54pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy0722

I totally agree with FromScratchSF...they really do need to post the $$ on these cakes. I have people all the time wanting "champagne" cakes on a "kool-aid" budget. But what really burns my biscuit is the brides who have spent $5,000 plus on a wedding dress, $10,000 on a venue and caterer but only budget $250 for a cake to feed 250 people. icon_eek.gificon_confused.gif

I refuse to do a dummy cake and allow the brides to serve walmart/costo/grocery store cake. Not gonna happen!! icon_twisted.gif




You and me both! A recent consultation I was contacted by a bride (7th Gen San Franciscan Society person, no less) describing a $75,000 plus wedding - 350 guests, Grace Cathedral, 12K Vera Wang, custom made Manolos to match, sent me pictures of super designer 7 tier cakes complete with blown glass bubbles and serious bling details - cakes that probably cost 10K or more... I get to the consultation and she wants a fake cake with "sheet cakes" to save money. Insane. I'm sure she'll find someone to do it, but I wish I was a fly on the wall when her Society guests talk smack about her Costco cakes. Hardy har har.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 12:49am
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy0722

I totally agree with FromScratchSF...they really do need to post the $$ on these cakes. I have people all the time wanting "champagne" cakes on a "kool-aid" budget. But what really burns my biscuit is the brides who have spent $5,000 plus on a wedding dress, $10,000 on a venue and caterer but only budget $250 for a cake to feed 250 people. icon_eek.gificon_confused.gif

I refuse to do a dummy cake and allow the brides to serve walmart/costo/grocery store cake. Not gonna happen!! icon_twisted.gif



You and me both! A recent consultation I was contacted by a bride (7th Gen San Franciscan Society person, no less) describing a $75,000 plus wedding - 350 guests, Grace Cathedral, 12K Vera Wang, custom made Manolos to match, sent me pictures of super designer 7 tier cakes complete with blown glass bubbles and serious bling details - cakes that probably cost 10K or more... I get to the consultation and she wants a fake cake with "sheet cakes" to save money. Insane. I'm sure she'll find someone to do it, but I wish I was a fly on the wall when her Society guests talk smack about her Costco cakes. Hardy har har.



LOL...I love to see some brides' faces when their jaw drops as I quote a price....I had a girl call me a week ago wanting cake for 400 people, but wanted to spend no more than $200.....I told her I couldn't begin to touch that price and doubted even Wal-Mart could produce a cake that size for so little money!@

VMesser Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 10:14pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_Arnett


LOL...I love to see some brides' faces when their jaw drops as I quote a price....I had a girl call me a week ago wanting cake for 400 people, but wanted to spend no more than $200.....I told her I couldn't begin to touch that price and doubted even Wal-Mart could produce a cake that size for so little money!@




Wow you can't even get enough Little Debbie Cakes for 400 people for $200. I Love alot of Little Debbie's

VMesser Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 10:24pm
post #12 of 21

Sorry had a question. I just want to make sure my brain is working right. I think I have heard this terminology before but just wanted to make sure I have it correct.

A "Dummy Cake" or "Fake Cake" is like having a beautiful cake made but a smaller one to serve only part of the guest at a event. Then they have a plain cake [sheet cake or kitchen cake] made or buy one from a Supper Store to serve the rest of the guest. Am I correct?

Sorry don't get out much. but this is what I seen at a kid's birthday party when i was a child.

Crazboutcakes Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 10:50pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by VMesser

Sorry had a question. I just want to make sure my brain is working right. I think I have heard this terminology before but just wanted to make sure I have it correct.

A "Dummy Cake" or "Fake Cake" is like having a beautiful cake made but a smaller one to serve only part of the guest at a event. Then they have a plain cake [sheet cake or kitchen cake] made or buy one from a Supper Store to serve the rest of the guest. Am I correct?

Sorry don't get out much. but this is what I seen at a kid's birthday party when i was a child.




Yes, a dummy cake is a fake cake that is decorated the same as the main cake to make the presentation more spectacular, and than a kitchen cake is still a cake that you would make (sheet cakes) to serve to your other guess no decorations, but not a super store cake! HTH icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 11:22pm
post #14 of 21

In my case, they wanted the cake on display at the wedding to be 6 tiers of styrofoam and the top tier to be real, the entire thing covered with fondant with extravagant detail. But wanted plain non-decorated "sheet cakes" served to the guests. Somehow this is supposed to save money. I want to know what baker is crazy enough to do this at a "discount"?

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 11:42pm
post #15 of 21

You and me both! A recent consultation I was contacted by a bride (7th Gen San Franciscan Society person, no less) describing a $75,000 plus wedding - 350 guests, Grace Cathedral, 12K Vera Wang, custom made Manolos to match, sent me pictures of super designer 7 tier cakes complete with blown glass bubbles and serious bling details - cakes that probably cost 10K or more... I get to the consultation and she wants a fake cake with "sheet cakes" to save money. Insane. I'm sure she'll find someone to do it, but I wish I was a fly on the wall when her Society guests talk smack about her Costco cakes. Hardy har har.[/quote]

This is another big misnomer that t "those experts" are telling brides... that you can save money with a fake cake. I recently priced out a fake cake with kitchen cakes to serve and it was MORE than just having an appropriatey sized wedding cake. People don;t realize that just because the cake is not real doesn't mean it costs any less to decorate it. The bride's eyes were bulging out of her head, I had warned her ahead of time that it wouldn't be a cost savings. As far as kitchen cake pricing, the inside & icing is same as wedding cake but I do not decorate iot so there is approxomately a 10-20% savings on the price compared to the wedding cake, typically

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 12:23am
post #16 of 21

My slab cakes are a 2 inch single layer torted.It ends up being about 5 inches high.

bakerfairy Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:28pm
post #17 of 21

Kiddiekakes, what do you mean by "single layer torted"? Do you mean you bake 1 - 2" layer and then torte it into two 1" layers and fill it? Or do you bake 2 - 2" layers, torte them each into 1" layers with filling, and get a 5" tall cake? I'm so confused about this "1 layer" and "2 layer" lingo. Wilton's serving chart has the same lingo and I just don't get it... how tall are these cakes when just baked?

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:32pm
post #18 of 21

I bake 1-2 inch cake..It sometimes is higher because I put too much batter in the pan but none the less it is 2-2/12 inches tall.Then I cut it on half and fill it and replace the top back on...Once I ice the entire cake with the wilton icer tip it ends up being about 5 inches high.HTH

KoryAK Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 6:54pm
post #19 of 21

The fake cake thing is total crap, but the kitchen cake idea WILL save you money (at least at my shop). Tiered cake starts at $7.25 per serving and kitchen cakes are a flat $3.50 per serving. I can charge less cause there's NO DECORATING - hell, I don't even put borders on. It's easy money and a way that I can help a bride with her budget, and can make the difference between getting the sale at all or not. I do require a minimum of 100 servings in the main cake before incorporating kitchen cakes. We only end up doing them for maybe 10% of our weddings.

Unlimited Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 7:28pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I bake 1-2 inch cake..It sometimes is higher because I put too much batter in the pan but none the less it is 2-2/12 inches tall.Then I cut it on half and fill it and replace the top back on...Once I ice the entire cake with the wilton icer tip it ends up being about 5 inches high.HTH




That's more filling and icing than it is cake!

Corrie76 Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 9:17pm
post #21 of 21

back to the topic of cost effective...frequently when people order a sheet cake they do not want a filling anyways- so that saves a little $ on filling costs. Also, because sheet cakes are relatively short - mine are about 2" tall, theres not a lot of time consuming side decorations going on. And really, for the most part, "sheet-cake" customers are people who have down-to-earth expectations and usually are not expecting perfection, a piece-of-art, or super-duper wow factor going on....they just want a nice cake that's easy to serve and won't cause them heart failure to drive across town....For me that means a more stress-free caking process. There's also the added bonus that I never have to crumb ice a sheet cake, or let the filling settle or worry about bulging or leaning, no supports to use.....- it's a pretty safe and stable shape to work with, which is a time-saver for sure.

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