How To Price "fake" Cake Tiers???

Business By forheavenscake Updated 2 Jan 2012 , 6:37pm by schmulie14

forheavenscake Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 1:19am
post #1 of 10

Experts please help me with this. . . .

I have had a couple of brides want the design of a large cake but don't need the actual cake to feed their small wedding. What I don't understand is how using a styrofoam tier is any cheaper or can be offered as a cheaper way to go? The styrofoam costs just about as much as it does to make the cake and then the expensive parts (fondant, gumpaste etc) used for decorating it are all still used, so how does this option cut costs down??

How do you price your fake tiers in comparison to your real cake tiers?

Please advise! Thank you so much!!!!

9 replies
BlakesCakes Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 2:29am
post #2 of 10

For a custom decorated dummy cake, the price is generally at least 80% of what a real cake would be---and on top of that, there should still be a real cake somewhere to be served. So, it's no savings at all.

If you agree to take the dummy back after it's used, expect it to be damaged, so you're really only getting back the value of the styrofoam and not all of the material & time used for decorating.


forheavenscake Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 2:50am
post #3 of 10

That's exactly my point. . .why do dummy cakes cost less? It does not cost me any less to make it? They are wanting cake on the bottom tier and the 2nd tier to be a dummy cake and I know people charge less for dummy cakes but I just can't figure out how or why? The cost of the styrofoam is going to cost me the same as if I were to make the cake and I'm not going to ask for the dummy cake back.

what do I tell the customer? Those that make dummy cakes, how do you justify charging less for the fake tiers?

BlakesCakes Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 3:06am
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by forheavenscake

what do I tell the customer? Those that make dummy cakes, how do you justify charging less for the fake tiers?

The minimal discount is because there is less prep labor time--no baking, torting, etc.--no use of electricity or water, no doweling, no cakeboard on that tier, etc.

No one says you have to discount it by 20%. Charge them full price and have them decide. I'd rather have too much cake than a chunk of styrofoam to go in the trash.


mommachris Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 3:07am
post #5 of 10

Although the cost may be the same to buy a dummy as to buy the ingredients for a real cake, you won't be baking it. That is the reason you'd take 20% off the cost. No using the oven or leveling and filling has to be done. Since it take the same about of fondant, time and talent to make it that's where the 80% of regular cake comes in.

If the party is small, but they want a 'show piece' cake then they still have to pay for it even if they won't get the leftovers.
End of story.

forheavenscake Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 3:19am
post #6 of 10

Gotcha. . .thanks!

auzzi Posted 31 Dec 2011 , 12:47am
post #7 of 10
PennieK Posted 31 Dec 2011 , 2:22am
post #8 of 10

I would price the same as you do regular cake: Ingrediants/supplies+labor+profit. For me the price for cake ingrediants is quite a bit more than cake dummies especially when you get into the larger sizes. My cake recipe costs around $5 for a 8" cake and the dummy is $1.90. A 16" dummy is $5.50, the ingrediants for actual cake would be over $20. Dummies also save quite a bit of time. No prepping, mixing, baking, less clean up. There is also no filling and if you use fondant you don't need icing underneath.

kickasskakes Posted 2 Jan 2012 , 2:33pm
post #9 of 10

the cost difference is minimal the only reason to discount is the work time. as i see it i discount it a little because i can start working on it early and not at the last minute. if it were a real cake i would be putting final touches on it at the last minute. if it is fake i can build it and stick it in the corner somewhere. though if youre busy, this doesn't always help. but if you get the order in enough advance you may have some down time to work on it.
basically the only time i use a dummy is for the bride that wants a "showpiece" to have all evening or for that over the top cake that is just easier to build using styrofoam. icon_biggrin.gif

schmulie14 Posted 2 Jan 2012 , 6:37pm
post #10 of 10

I have had quite a few requests for dummie tiers and the way I have decided to charge is by the serving for the real cake tiers and the cost of the supplies plus labor for the dummies. For example I have a bride who is only serving cake to her bridal party and the rest will get brownies so she wants a very small cake. I gave her these options:

4" cake, 8" cake, 12" dummie: 32 servings + the 4" top to save- $240
6" cake, 10" cake, 14" dummie: 68 servings or 50 servings + the 6" top to save-$408
6" dummie, 10" cake, 14" dummie: 50 servings-$300

I don't feel like I have to charge full price for the dummie tiers because my buttercream price is $5/seving and I live close enough to Global Sugar Art to go pick my dummies up and avoid the hefty shipping charges that make dummies pricey.

I'm so glad others out there are experiencing the same dummie issues I am!

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