Dummy Wedding Cake Verses Sheet Cake

Decorating By Ileana Updated 5 Feb 2015 , 6:20am by Chloezee

Ileana Posted 18 Jan 2015 , 7:50pm
post #1 of 16


Hello all. I have a few questions. A co-worker of mine is getting married in April of 2015. She has asked me if I can make her a 4 tier wedding cake with the demensions of 16 inch for the bottom base, a 12 inch, a 10 inch and a 6 inch which will be the only real cake on there. She then asked if I can bake some sheet cakes to feed her guests of 180. I told her to give me a budget for me to work with. She emailed me telling me that she could only afford to pay $300.00 for all 3. The 3 dummy cake all decorated, top tier which will be the only real cake of all tiers, and the sheet cakes for 180 people filled and decorated. 

My question to you is, does $300.00 cover all of this work. This is not including the cake topper. Or does the bride supply this topper? She wants me to decorate the dummy tiered cake in white piping flowers which for me, would be where all the beautiful detailing would go instead of the sheet cake which no one will see in the first place.

Any advice as to how much to charge for this kind of work

How many sheet cake must I bake to feed 180 people

Please help, I need your in put.

Thank you,


15 replies
winniemog Posted 18 Jan 2015 , 8:48pm
post #2 of 16

ARun away. Seriously, you have to ask if $300 will cover this order??

Just run. Send her to a pro baker and see what she gets quoted. Not a chance for $300.

Claire138 Posted 18 Jan 2015 , 8:53pm
post #3 of 16

Please don't take this the wrong way but I am genuinely confused by your question. How could you possibly think $300 would cover everything she is asking for?

johnson6ofus Posted 18 Jan 2015 , 9:17pm
post #4 of 16

Everyone on here seems to charge the same of dummies as "real" cake. The dummies aren't cheap, and the decorating work is the same--- even if you don't eat it. So your 16"+ 14"+ 12"+ 6" is about 246 servings. I don't even know who would do that for $300. :-o


On top of that, she wants sheet cakes, also decorated? 


Sounds like she need an education on cake pricing. Even with her budget of $300, for 180 servings, that is only $1.67 per serving (no grandiose dummies either). Few bakers will get real excited or motivated at that rate. Many would just refuse, some might provide a basic cake with limited enhancements. 

johnson6ofus Posted 18 Jan 2015 , 9:18pm
post #5 of 16


Originally Posted by Ileana 

 She emailed me telling me that she could only afford to pay $300.00 for all 3. 


Well.... and I really still want that Rolls Royce for the price of my '72 Pinto. 


This quote right there tells you she has no clue what cake costs. 

Ileana Posted 18 Jan 2015 , 10:54pm
post #6 of 16


Thank you all for your feedback. I knew this would sound like a joke if I were to ask. I will get back to her and let her know that she would have to find someone else to meet her budget. I found that to be very insulting. Just for my own personal info, how much would you ladies charge if you were asked to carry out such an order? I would like to have that information handy so I can defend my integrity should she ask why I'm refusing to persue. I mean I love baking and I know this person from work, but I'm not here to give away my services for free.

How much would you charge a 4 tier cake 16,12,10 and 6 which will be the only real cake and sheetcakes to feed 180 people? just in case I run into this situation again. I see that many brides are going this route to save money.

Thank you all in advance.

maybenot Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 2:41am
post #7 of 16

$400 for the dummies plus $500 for the real cakes, so $900.........and I'm likely on the cheap side.

CindiM Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 4:04am
post #8 of 16

First, for a 246 serving display cake (which I don't do!) and a 180 serving, sheet cake, totals 426 servings, for my lowest price of $4 per serving and would start at $1704, plus delivery and that would be if I am even available for a date in April.


Second, I have to imagine that this person is wearing a used paper wedding dress, feeding them 180 baloney sandwiches and taking the bus to their honeymoon tent in some body's backyard.  Duh! 


And "my friends" would be impressed with a fake cake and sheet cakes!  Not!!!!!


Last of my rant,

I had a bride and her Dad, beg me to lower the price of her wedding cake, when I, once was a newbie.  I pulled up to the Yacht club, saw the rented Bentley limo outside and realized, I was such a dumba--!  I actually believed these wonderful people!


Okay, I am done now!!!


Oh, Yes!, she is spending money, just not with you ; }

johnson6ofus Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 4:59am
post #9 of 16

Originally Posted by CindiM 


Oh, Yes!, she is spending money, just not with you ; }

And even if she isn't spending the money, you are not the CHEAP WEDDING CAKE FAIRY. She needs to adjust her desires/ expectations. I am sure her "on a budget" scenario has happened with every vendor. Doesn't mean she doesn't have to settle for something a little more within her $$$ amount.

Jedi Knight Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 6:31am
post #10 of 16

AShe's delusional.

For 300 USD I would make a cake with 8-6-4 with VERY basic decorations.

johnson6ofus Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 3:05pm
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by maybenot 

$400 for the dummies plus $500 for the real cakes, so $900.

OP- this is what most decorators charge in the way of a small difference between "real" and "fake" cake.


Real cake ingredients cost money, fake dummies do too- no savings.

Mixing/ baking/ clean up--- fake savings here (In the above example- $100)

Decorating and icing- no savings

Delivery- no savings. 


How does the bride "on a budget" actual save by having "fake"? She is actually buying TWO cakes instead of one!

kakeladi Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 10:09pm
post #12 of 16

Ditto everything the others said!


I just came across this thread and thought of you:  http://www.cakecentral.com/t/781801/floored-at-the-cost-of-my-cakes

Apti Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 11:33pm
post #13 of 16


Originally Posted by Ileana 

I will get back to her and let her know that she would have to find someone else to meet her budget.

Excellent response. 


The co-worker "may" have no idea what cakes cost and this is her first attempt to get pricing for cake for her wedding.   If this is the case, she will find out in about 2 seconds that she is waaaaay off-base on price and expectations.   Many of those idiotic wedding blogs and articles say a bride can save LOTS of money by getting a dummy cake for show and serving sheet cake.  These blogs and articles are NOT written by bakers.

Chloezee Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 2:04pm
post #14 of 16

Oh well, at least you can tell them, it's totally low calorie, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free etc. BUT, i think it yucky and cheap spirited. Too often I have NOT been offered wedding cake at weddings (but then this is south africa) and wondered why when there was this 6 tier regal cake. How very kitch. I don't understand the point. How much fondant for one, does a huge ol' dummy take in any case. It's so degrading and depresses the h-ll out of the baker and decorator imho

leah_s Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 2:50pm
post #15 of 16

There used to be a standard price of 80% of a real cake for a faux cake.  The stryo costs about the same as making cake, the fondant is the same cost, so the savings come in not having to torte and fill,  The other advantage for the baker is that you can make the faux cake weeks ahead of time when you're not busy.  For those reasons, 20% deduction.


Cake, even sheet cakes for 180 would be $4 per serving (my cheapest price.  Even sheet cakes are 4 layers of cake, 3 layers of filling.)   = $720, plus delivery.


A faux 246 serving cake would be 787.20.


So, all together $1557.20 including the $50 delivery fee.


$300?  ::giggle-snort::

Chloezee Posted 5 Feb 2015 , 6:20am
post #16 of 16

Hi Leah

To the point and exact  as always - you are Marvelous! Thank you so much. I daresay I hated making dummy cakes for a bride. She wanted a tiny little real cake on top so I made 2 tiers (one free) of real cake on top of 2 massive dummies - I just could not stand that sorry ol' 4 tier with 3 blinking dummies underneath thus she had a 2-tier sitting on 2 tiers of dummy dummy dummy. Mind you, far from being what my husband calls a Fairy Goosemother :))) it WAS a poor bride and they had 2 and a 1/2 days to make it. It's not gonna work for me, is it?

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