I Might Be Doing A Wedding Cake!!!! Help!!!

Decorating By jonahsmom Updated 28 Mar 2009 , 3:33pm by leah_s

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jonahsmom Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 8:27pm
post #1 of 17

Okay, so a friend of one of my co-workers had a destination wedding and will be having a huge reception in June. She emailed me a picture of the cake she wants and it's simple, stacked, and looks like I should have no problem. Especially because I can practice for the next few months!

I'm going to be calling her tonight to go over the details. One of the questions she had was doing the bottom two tiers as dummies and then having me do sheetcakes (she's wondering if it makes them cheaper). Now, I've learned from all of you wonderful gals that it definitely does NOT make them cheaper. Doing it that way should actually make it more expensive right? Because not only do I have to decorate the dummies, but I also have to bake and decorate the sheetcakes, right?

So, I can see the pros and cons of each. As I see it the pros of dummy cakes (1) super stable for stacking purposes and (2) sheet cakes are super easy for "civilians" to serve. The pros of real cake (1) good cake dummies can be spendy compared to the ingredients of a cake (2) I still have to decorate the dummies and (3) then I have to bake and decorate the sheetcakes. So really it's more time if I do dummy tiers. Is there anything missing from the pros/cons for each.

I know I totally sound like I'm rambling, but I would like to have all my ducks in a row before I call her tonight. Plus I'm SUPER excited!!!! And I've seen some of the cake contracts at the university of google and have seen the order form posted in sketches and templates so I think I've got that covered, but if you have any other suggestions or things that I may not think (as a total amateur!) to ask....feel free to suggest away!!!!

TIA! icon_biggrin.gif

16 replies
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bashini Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 10:00pm
post #2 of 17

Hi there, I am not a wedding cake pro at all, but by reading your post, it sounds like you've got everything right!

Good Luck with it and let us know how it went! icon_smile.gif thumbs_up.gif

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idgalpal Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 10:07pm
post #3 of 17

Taylor Foam has incredible low prices on dummies. I ordered a set of round, a set of hexagonal and a set of wacky dummies and I"m happy with all of them.

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JanH Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 10:48pm
post #4 of 17

When you say "sheet" cakes are you talking single layer cakes.... ?

In order to match the height of the wedding cake (and have the same frosting and filling, minus the fancy decorations) you will have to make "kitchen" cakes (layered sheet cakes).

Also, at least a portion of one tier of the dummy cake will have to have a real layer cake insert for the "cutting the cake" ceremony/photo.

It would be easier and less labor intense (so cheaper for the bride) just to have an impressive real wedding cake.

Cutting the cake isn't difficult if you include indydebi's illustrated cake cutting guide:


And if you assemble using the SPS system, there are NO dowels to remove:
(Here's a sticky by leahs.)


Everything you need to know to bake, assemble and decorate tiered/stacked/layer cakes:
(Also has recipes.)



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jonahsmom Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:14am
post #5 of 17

Thank you for your replies! I actually didn't even know they were here because I didn't get the notification. Anyhoo....

I guess I was talking about "kitchen" cakes because I was thinking layered sheet cakes. I didn't even know there was a difference! See, I knew there was a reason I was relying on you gals!

And, if she does dummy cakes, she does want the top tier to be real for the cutting of the cake. Just the "kitchen" cakes for the guests.

It turns out, she ended up having to work tonight so I can't talk to her about yet. But that's FINE BY ME!!! Gives me a minute to work out the kinks.

I actually got all my numbers together about pricing for dummies (dummy cakes, not "pricing for dummies" lol) and everything so I think I'm set on that. It will cost her a bit more, instead of less, just as I thought but she might actually still want to go that route. I'm fine either way. I just can't wait! June is so far away!!!! I'm so impatient!!!

Thanks for the help gals!

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jonahsmom Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:55am
post #6 of 17

Okay, I'm dumb. I have search, and searched, and SEARCHED to try to answer this question on my own, but I can't find the answer. My searching skills must be seriously lacking at the moment......

Is there a difference between the SPS system and the use of hidden pillars? Please forgive me if I sound stupid! icon_redface.gif

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paulstonia Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:59am
post #7 of 17

I don't know about everyone else but when ever I see a cake that has part dummies and part cake they don't look the same. The dummies is always a little sharper or cleaner, I don't know.

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kcat3740 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:11am
post #8 of 17

If you mean the ilton hidden pillars - then yes there is a difference. As Leahs says - the wilton hidden pillars are wobbly. SPS is not (and they ared "hidden" also if you follow Leahs instructions. Read the sticky on the how to forum - download her instructions and look how she puts it together.)

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jonahsmom Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:14am
post #9 of 17

Okay, I had already downloaded and saved the SPS sticky. The SPS system then (on globalsugararts) must be the bakery craft items? That's what it looks like to me.....just want to make sure that if I do this cake I do it right!!!! Don't need no wobbly business!!!!

Thanks.....again! icon_razz.gif

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jonahsmom Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:18am
post #10 of 17

Oh, and thanks for the Taylor Foam tip...those are cheaper!

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leah_s Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:18am
post #11 of 17

There is a big difference between the W hidden pillars and SPS.

1) SPS works
2) Because you have to trim the W hidden pillars to size, there's not much difference between them and big dowels, in that you still have to cut them pretty much perfectly even for them to be stable. You have a little more leeway than with wooden dowels.
3) SPS is generally cheaper.

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2txmedics Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:24am
post #12 of 17


compare these to taylor and see whats best...let us know ...lol...good luck on your cake.

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leah_s Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:36am
post #13 of 17

Yes, Bakery Craft makes SPS. You can also order it fro oasis supply .com

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jonahsmom Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 2:41pm
post #14 of 17

Okay, so I talked to her last night and she decided that she would just do real cake. GOOD! We decided on 8/12/16 based on the servings she needed. And, because I've seen some of you wonderful, wonderful people do this, instead of saving the top tier and freezing it, I'll be doing a free anniversary cake for them and they'll just serve the whole thing.

She already knew she wanted white cake and chocolate cake so that was easy, but I think I talk too much! I think I gave her too many choices for fillings because she thought for a second and said "can't we just do like a white filling?" Yeah, I need to learn to keep it simple, stupid!!!! Her hubby wanted buttercream frosting so we're just going to frost and fill with the same thing.

We talked about the flowers on top and the ribbon. She is making her own artificial flower arrangements so I told her she needed to make one for the top of the cake and have it to me no later than 2 weeks before along with the ribbon she wants on the cake (and final payment!). We also talked about the base and I told her what I could provide (ceramic tile, mirror) or that she could rent a cake plateau from the local party store so she's going to make a decision about that and delivery vs. pickup.

I'm so excited! I told her I would email a contract to her, so that it's easy for both of us to know exactly what is expected of us, and she is going to look at it and send it back to me next week with the 50% down payment I requested. As soon as I get the down payment I'm going to make sure that I order SPS ASAP!

Did I say I was excited!

icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif

Oh, I thought of another question for all of you in the know....in my state I am able to bake out of my home (non-perishables) without a license. I know that most everyone on here has strong feelings about licensed vs. non-licensed so I wanted to avoid this question, but I really need to ask! It is not required to have a disclaimer that I am an unlicensed home baker, but I feel like I want them to know up front if they don't think to ask. So, do you think I should put a disclaimer on the contract? This is kind of what I was thinking:

"I am currently an unlicensed home baker. Per State Food Code, I am able to maintain a home bakery in this fashion and I take the utmost care in maintaining a sanitary and professional kitchen."

Do you think I should include that, or would it be stupid?

TIA and for all the other advice you've given me! No one around me knows a ding-darn thing about caking....I'm so lucky to have you gals to turn to!

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crisseyann Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 3:00pm
post #15 of 17

It sounds like you have a dream of a bride to work with. Good for you! That doesn't happen often. lol

I personally wouldn't mention the unlicensed issue. You are doing this "legally" and if she were to ask, then you could tell her. JMO.

Good luck!

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all4cake Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 3:04pm
post #16 of 17

State Food Code does not require home bakeries to be licensed. Nevertheless, I maintain the highest standards in keeping a sanitary and professional kitchen.

I don't think it would be stupid. Definitely, change to a smaller font but highlight the area. I look at it as a CYA action.

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leah_s Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 3:33pm
post #17 of 17

Nah. If you're legal, you're legal. Don't open up a new issue for her.

And believe me, I'm one of the biggest advocates of getting legal.

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