Old School Wedding Cake Supplies - Keep Or Toss?

Decorating By CakeEnvyKS Updated 22 Nov 2012 , 8:31am by arlenej

CakeEnvyKS Posted 10 Oct 2012 , 3:11pm
post #1 of 20

I have come into a huge amount of old-school wedding cake supplies, and I'm not sure if they're worth keeping and would love some advice.

Earlier this year I did a wedding cake for a former cake shop owner. We clicked since we have very similar personalities and talked a lot about cakes. She mostly did her decorating in the 80's and 90's, and she did the giant buttercream wedding cakes with the pillars and the stairs and the ruffles and all that stuff. My style is much more modern, fondant and sculpted and edgy and clean lines. Anyway she's getting rid of all her cake stuff, so last night I went over there and she gave me 2 HUGE boxes of stuff for free! I also bought a few pans from her (I looked them up later and the value today is $283 just in the pans and I paid $40). It's probably $500 worth of supplies. She was extremely generous.

I'm just not sure what to do with the wedding cake stuff. She gave me tons of pillars, the support plates they fit into, staircases, plastic doves, cake toppers, ruffles, etc. If it went on a giant 80's wedding cake, I now have it. Is this stuff worth keeping? I don't see a trend for the 80's-style cakes to come back, but you never know. And pieces like pillars can be used for other things, though that's not normally something I'd use. I just hate to get rid of this stuff. It's in pretty good condition and to buy all this would be hundreds of dollars. The two boxes can be stored in my garage without too much trouble, but I'm moving next year and have to decide if this is worth moving. What do you guys think? Would you keep it? Get rid of it? Thin it out and keep some? I'm just a small part-time home business and do maybe 20 cakes a year.

Thanks for the advice!

19 replies
luckylibra Posted 10 Oct 2012 , 4:10pm
post #2 of 20

I would keep it, if as you say it isn't taking up that much room. you never know what might come up that you could use them for. The stairs could be covered in some brown fondant if you want a bridge... or something like that.. I have tons of stuff and still find new uses for things I have had for a while. Do you have any other cake friends that live nearby? You might share with them too if you want to thin it out. Have fun!!

BakingIrene Posted 10 Oct 2012 , 4:42pm
post #3 of 20

Sort them by type: pillars/plates, other stuff?

Then you can sell them as sets on ebay or wherever.

CakeEnvyKS Posted 11 Oct 2012 , 3:45pm
post #4 of 20

Thanks everyone. Good point on the bridge, I can use these as forms for other stuff. Hm, will have to think about that. Thank you!

matthewkyrankelly Posted 11 Oct 2012 , 4:06pm
post #5 of 20

Check out where you are moving. Many places have their own style.

Also, I see pillars, bridges, and fountains creeping back into some cakes - quincineras and sweet-sixteens.

Get a feel for where you are going before you get rid of it.

Sparklekat6 Posted 11 Oct 2012 , 5:02pm
post #6 of 20

You could just hold on to it too because you never know when you might run across someone who needs that stuff. There was a woman on here not too long ago looking for an old school wilton castle thing that they no longer produce. You just never know when someone is going to need the vintage/retro stuff.

806vickie Posted 11 Oct 2012 , 5:32pm
post #7 of 20

I just did a 50th wedding anniversary cake. She wanted a replica of her original cake. Which had the ruffle, swans, doves, cherubs, etc... I had a hard time finding things. I found some things and made do. So you never know when you might need them.

Apti Posted 11 Oct 2012 , 7:07pm
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by matthewkyrankelly

Check out where you are moving. Many places have their own style.
Also, I see pillars, bridges, and fountains creeping back into some cakes - quincineras and sweet-sixteens.
Get a feel for where you are going before you get rid of it.

This is almost exactly what I was going to say. If you move to an area with a lot of quincineras and sweet-sixteens, it would probably be a good idea to actually make a cake using these supplies and have the photo in your portfolio. These cakes can be very profitable. They are traditionally round, buttercream with buttercream swirls and rosettes and could be turned out quickly and make a big impression on the correct target market.

If that type of cake or market niche isn't your thing, then just give them to other cakers or sell them on craigslist. You can go insane keeping too much cake stuff!

BlueRose8302 Posted 11 Oct 2012 , 8:46pm
post #9 of 20

I had a friend in college who had saved a picture of a wedding cake from the 80's when she was a girl....and that is what she had at her wedding. I couldn't believe it--a 24 year old with a fountain, staircases, and satellite cakes. I also made a cake with pillars last year. Ya just never know what you might need!

countrycakes Posted 13 Oct 2012 , 1:42pm
post #10 of 20

I would keep it. I had a bride 3 weeks ago who wanted to use the columns on her cake...so we did. It was very pretty. icon_smile.gif I used fresh flowers of daisies, stargazer lilies and baby's breath....3 tiers....it was nice.

denetteb Posted 14 Oct 2012 , 4:54am
post #11 of 20

On the Wilton forum, there are people looking now and then for the swan pillars, or bridges, etc to replicate cakes for big anniversaries. So there is a use for them, even if it is for other cakers. Just depends if you want to hang on to them or pass them along or sell them to someone else. I think I have read lately where brides are starting to ask for fountains and more pillars and more piping. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back the other way from crisp fondant.

hsmomma Posted 15 Oct 2012 , 2:52pm
post #12 of 20

I'd definitely keep them. This year we did at least 10 of the fountain/pillar type wedding cakes. Usually just one or two a year. You just never know. Some of the brides that booked us to do those type of cakes were younger. Vintage is very "in" right now. And that style is just now being deemed "vintage" icon_wink.gif

Godot Posted 15 Oct 2012 , 3:06pm
post #13 of 20

We usually get zero requests for cakes with ugly plastic crap on them, but this past summer we had about 8-10 requests for plastic flotsam cakes.

Every time I see one of those kinds of cakes I always think: The eighties called and they want their cake back!

SweetTzippy Posted 15 Oct 2012 , 4:59pm
post #14 of 20

I usually keep everything but since storage space is limited occasionally I can throw away something to find out a short time later that I need that exact same tool for a new order icon_cry.gif

taartenmaker Posted 28 Oct 2012 , 5:30pm
post #15 of 20

WOW! Your so lucky that she gave it to you! Her in the Netherlands traditional things like that aren't avaiable at all. I love the traditional wedding cakes, I think they are so beautifull with the doves and stairs and stuff lijke that. I know a lot of people disagree with me haha. But I try to make them with regular pillars. I wish I also had those supplies!! Don't throw it away!!

debm1 Posted 31 Oct 2012 , 7:46pm
post #16 of 20

I say keep them. Those plates and pillars could also be covered in fondant/gum paste/modeling chocolate for a whole new look. I think it is worth hauling a couple boxes around. You might have to hide them from your husband, though. :)

Yum Yums Posted 31 Oct 2012 , 9:53pm
post #17 of 20

I would keep them, i always seem to need something ive just binned!!!

You could also amend them and use them for something else, a cake pillar doesnt always have to be a cake pillar!! : )

SalonGlace Posted 8 Nov 2012 , 2:45pm
post #18 of 20

Hi, as soon as I read your post it reminded me of one thing 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' where more is more.


This is a TV programme shown over here in the UK, which follows the lives of young (very young 16ish!!) girls in the Irish/Romany travelling community as they prepare for their forthcoming nuptials.


Fountains, pillars, ruffles, tiers, balconies, bridges and fairy lights are all very much alive and highly sort after, in fact the bigger and more ostentatious the better!!

CakeEnvyKS Posted 19 Nov 2012 , 5:22pm
post #19 of 20

Thanks everyone!  I have found some larger plastic bins and stashed it all in the garage.  I am planning on moving to Texas next year so there's a high probability I'll get some quincanearas and things like that. The woman who gave me the stuff told me the pendulum is swinging back to those over-the-top sort of cakes, I thought she was nuts but it seems she's right!


LOL on the gypsy wedding - I've seen that show!  It's crazy!  Then those girls spend the rest of their lives cleaning a trailer every day.

arlenej Posted 22 Nov 2012 , 8:31am
post #20 of 20

You're only doing 20 cakes per year THIS YEAR. What about next year? When  business is booming and you'll have alll sorts of folk with all sorts of tastes  asking you to do their cakes? Keep them.

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