Cake Dummy Price...

Decorating By TPDC Updated 28 Mar 2016 , 1:32am by Lady221Bakery

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TPDC Posted 30 Sep 2006 , 6:01am
post #1 of 12

I have an inquiry for an entire dummy cake decorated for a wedding. What do you guys usually charge for a cake dummy with regular buttercream decorations? The sizes are 6, 8, 10, and 12. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.....


11 replies
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dydemus Posted 30 Sep 2006 , 11:44am
post #2 of 12

I've never done an entire dummy cake - I think I would charge for the cost of the dummy part - and then whatever you would charge for the buttercream decorations and your time. Sorry, that's not very helpful. I guess I would charge a little less than a regular cake since you don't have to put a lot of time into the cake part. Anybody else?

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lbsmeck Posted 30 Sep 2006 , 11:52am
post #3 of 12

what is the purpose of having a dummy cake for your wedding?? just for show, then serve a sheet cake?? icon_confused.gif

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RisqueBusiness Posted 30 Sep 2006 , 12:28pm
post #4 of 12

you charge about the same as it WAS real cake. You have to take the SAME amount of time to decorate it.

and with buttercream decorations, I highly DOUBT the dummy will come back in pristine condition.

A dummy cake serves many purposes...some brides think it's cheaper to rent it than buy it...It actually isn't

It looks good in the pictures and no one has to "cut" it.

and lastly...who knows?? Some Brides are nuts! lol...

I know that I may come across as a money hungry Wench, but, I would charge them the same as a regular cake and just give them back 10-15% of the money when the dummy comes back in the SAME condition it left.

Good luck getting all that buttercream off the styro! lol that would be enough on it's own NOT to return any money

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indydebi Posted 30 Sep 2006 , 7:10pm
post #5 of 12

I've also never done "just" a dummy cake for a wedding, but I have done them as part of a wedding. The double wedding cake on my website is one .... the one on the left is the dummy tiers.

My buttercream crusts up ok so when I want to take it off, I just run my icing spatula under the layer of icing and it comes off practically in sheets. I could take just a regular dry dishtowel and wipe the dummy off and it would be ready to go again (except I DO wash them!) so I find it's not really difficult to remove buttercream, unless your icing recipe remains "gooey and sticky". Then I could see how "blecky" it could be to clean it off!

I agree with the other posts. It's the same amount of icing and time to decorate a fake cake as it is a real one. I have a standard speech I give to my brides about that, when such an inquiry is made. Sometimes you just have to educate them on what's involved. The folks who put out the word that "it's cheaper to get a fake cake and have sheet cakes on the side" have OBVIOUSLY never been in the cake decorating business! thumbs_up.gif

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cupcake Posted 1 Oct 2006 , 3:26am
post #6 of 12

I do not charge the same on Dummies as cake. I usually figure all my costs, and at least triple it, I bump the prices on sheet cakes. I have done alot of full wedding cakes for window displays and I just ice them in Royal since they had to last awhile. When I have done them in BC, I just scrape off the icing and then wash them and they are good to go. You can request a deposit for them and have them return it as long as they are not torn up. If I make a real cake, with a dummy addition it usually comes out to half of the wedding cake price of that size.

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TPDC Posted 1 Oct 2006 , 3:19pm
post #7 of 12

Thank you for the information. I am getting ready to call the bride tomorrow with cost of a dummy cake.

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adven68 Posted 1 Oct 2006 , 6:00pm
post #8 of 12

I would charge the same price for a dummy. I don't know why a bride would order a dummy cake...unless she wanted to save it afterwards? I am doing my sister's wedding cake in May, but because she is my sis and I'll have my hands full with other stuff, I will do the dummy cake in advance, except for one tier that they will cut at the reception. The guest will eat sheet cakes that are cut in the kitchen (which I am not making).

I am making 2 very large and detailed cakes for a competition next month and I have thought about renting them afterwards. One of them will be an "extreme wedding cake."....all detailed fondant....hopefully beautiful. Someone on a budget might want to have that at their reception....what do you guys think?

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LukeRubyJoy Posted 2 Oct 2006 , 2:25pm
post #9 of 12

I guess if you wrap the dummies in plastic wrap before you BC, then they would come clean, right? Could just tape the ends of the plastic wrap to the underside. Maybe even hollow out a little hole in the bottom to shove the plastic wrap into. Heck, it's not cake. And the BC should cover any wrinkles in the plastic wrap. You could even use light duty tin foil I would think.

I guess, what do you think your skill is worth per hour? $10, $20, $30? I don't know as I have never tried to sell a cake. The BC or Fondant isn't really that expensive to make. I figure about $5.00 a double batch of BC (sugar, crisco,butter) plus colors? 10 minutes of time if you use a non-egg type without cooking, and a stand mixer. And, who cares how it tastes, you could use all crisco, then it would crust better too, right?.

I don't mind using dummies for part of a cake, but I would prefer they actually eat the cake that I take the time to decorate. Seems odd to me, that's all.

I think dummies do give you a MUCH EASIER surface to decorate on. So it would probably look better than anything done on real cake. It's easier to repair too I would bet. No crumbs to get in the way either. And, you can take a long time to be very, very specific. My real cake would rot before I got some of those other decorations finished. And I could never achieve the extreme angles of a mad-hatter (dummy) with real cake without the real cake falling in on itself. So, I guess it has it's advantages, if you want to present something that is beautiful but not edible. Or if you have to travel great distances. Or if they need to stay "fresh" indefinately. I feel you need all parts for it to be a cake (cake, filling and decorations). Without cake underneath, it seems to be more frosting/sugar art. I feel a little bit gipped that I can't eat it. SO, what MAKES A CAKE anyway?? Decoration only? Or the fact that you can eat it? Honest question here, not being a jerk.

I am not a very good decorator (still way too new, with not enough time to dedicate appropriately, dang kids/work/other work/house icon_smile.gif) I would love for this to be my job, instead of all the other things i do, :sigh:........but, I'll tell you one thing, my cakes all taste good and people want me to make them again. I guess I'm in it for the eating, as well as the art......and I'm not a great artist, but a pretty good baker. icon_redface.gif

hope I didn't offend anyone. certainly not my intention. icon_redface.gif As I've made clear, there are people here with so much talent it is amazing. I don't begrudge you your talent. I applaud you. We all have things we are good at, and we can't all be good at the same thing. This topic actually kept me up last night (shows you what kind of a loser I AM!!) icon_redface.gif I am really looking for the answers here. I obviously don't have them. Probably there are a ton of threads about this, and this just happens to be the first that I have read. So, I apologise further if I have been redundant.

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TPDC Posted 4 Oct 2006 , 1:13am
post #10 of 12

Well, I informed the bride what the dummy cake with sheet cake would cost, and she was fine with it. The cost was more than just a 4 tier wedding cake. She was more concerned about making sure there were enough pieces and that the pieces were cut the same size. She was afraid, that with a round cake the caterer wouldn't cut them the same size. Anyway, I got the order for April..... Yeah!!!!

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peacockplace Posted 4 Oct 2006 , 1:23am
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by adven68

I am doing my sister's wedding cake in May, but because she is my sis and I'll have my hands full with other stuff, I will do the dummy cake in advance, except for one tier that they will cut at the reception. The guest will eat sheet cakes that are cut in the kitchen (which I am not making).


I have several weddings in the next year of siblings or sibling-in-laws. I will be in the weddings and know I will be really busy. I hadn't thought of this option. Thanks!

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Lady221Bakery Posted 28 Mar 2016 , 1:32am
post #12 of 12

I get a lot of couples that are drawn to the ideas of cupcake towers and dessert displays rather than the traditional tiered cake. Personally, I think it takes way too much time for staff to cut 250 pieces of cake and the first people to get them are done eating before the last guest has received theirs. I've been to a lot of weddings and the time it takes just seems to make people forget about the cake since they are too busy dancing and enjoying the party. I tell my clients that a dummy cake gives them the option to have that design element to their wedding that looks nice in photos and adds value to their themes and sets the dessert table apart to say "this is a wedding". I don't charge full price for dummies because I know I'll get my money's worth out of the other desserts that are ordered and served. I would only do a dummy cake if they were also asking me to supply the desserts needed. I wouldn't go through all the trouble if they were just going to get Cosco premades and slap them on the table. I also find that clients like the room to go beyond cake and have really unique dessert options that fit their themes and personalities. 

So to answer the question as to why someone would want a dummy cake instead of real cake is pretty simple actually. You can treat the tiered wedding cake as more of a decoration than an actual dessert and it opens your clients up to a wider range of possibilities to make their event unique. 

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