Dummy Cake Price, Help

Decorating By brightbrats Updated 20 Apr 2009 , 3:27pm by brincess_b

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brightbrats Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 5:16pm
post #1 of 10

A lady just emailed me asking to do a dummy wedding cake. I have only done 1 wedding cake and a anniversary cake in the tiered design.

Anyway she is wanting a 3 or 4 tier cake, with 1 being real. It will be a plain square cake covered in fondant. She is having real flowers, so someone else will be doing the attachment of those.

Then she is wanting a sheet cake off to the side. So can you all give me any ideas what to charge for something like this. I live in a small area, so cakes don't go for alot around here, not sure about wedding cakes, since I have only done 1.

Also is it hard to work with dummy cakes, especially square ? i figured I could do a round 1 not sure about square.

Thanks for all the help and advice.


P.S. It needs to feed around 200. Help icon_confused.gif

9 replies
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brincess_b Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 6:37pm
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wow. youve got one confused customer.
most people will charge near enough full price for dummy cakes, because although you save a bit of time without making the cake, you dont save much money since you still have to buy a dummy and maybe even ship it in. the main cost of a cake is in the time spent decorating it, and you will still spend hours decorating those dummies, even if it is simple.
so hours to do the dummies and one layer of real cake, hours to do kitchen cakes (does she really want regular sheet cakes? - cause her guests will know they arent getting the 'proper' cake), = a price above what 3/4 tiers of real cake will cost.
explain that to her, and suddenly you will be getting real cakes to decorate!

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brightbrats Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 12:17am
post #3 of 10

Thanks,anybody else have any input ?

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indydebi Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 12:46am
post #4 of 10

Direct her to my website where I've done the numbers for her:

1. Same cost for dummies as it is for cakes....no savings.
2. Same amount of icing for dummies as it is for real cakes ... no savings.
3. Same amount of time to decorate dummy as it is for real cakes ... no savings.
4. Same level of talent needed to decorate dummy as it is for real cakes. That means the $15/hour decorator is still getting paid to decorate. Just because it's not a real cake doesnt' mean the $7/hour clean up kid can do it instead ... no savings.
5. Same amount of space in the van to deliver AND you now have to make room for two 18x24 sheet cakes....no savings.
6. Same amount of gas to deliver the dummy cake as it does for the real cake ... no savings.
7. Same payroll being paid for the delivery person to deliver a fake cake as it takes to deliver a real cake .... no savings.

Tell me again WHY they are suppose to get them cheaper? icon_confused.gif

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DelectabilityCakes Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 12:50am
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I was going to ask what is a cake dummy but then I looked it up.

Anyways.... if you do a full sheet cake then that's still only going to be 100 people roughly at most.

Personally, if they can afford 200 guests then they have no reason to skimp out on the cake. That sheet cake isn't going to feed everyone and neither is your tier..

Which tier is the real one? The top? How big could the top possibly be? And if that's the one they cut and share the top tier would have to be at least 18" in order to get another 100 people out of it.

icon_eek.gif Sorry but I think the customer is ridiculous and if you do find a way to do it to their specifications you should charge her just for the hassle of having to figure it out.

I would just go by servings rather than the entire cake. I would say 1.75 per serving for the sheet cake and 3.00 - 4.50 for the top. Fondant is fondant, so it's the fondant over the real cake plus that going over the fake cake.. so essentially you still need to charge her for the fondant that isn't going to be eaten. Whatever the price for the tiered cake that's going to be up to you... I would still charge her for the idiocracy. Sorry for being so mean guys I just think it's crazy she even asked you.

If you don't make the real being the top then they're going to know it's fake... if you do make it the top then you have to have an enomous cake to even accomodate that guest list.

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Cakeonista Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 1:04am
post #6 of 10

I agree that 1 sheet cake is not going to feed 200 people and the tier she want to be real cake is most likely a smaller one on top she can cut into for the sake of her guests. The only difference in price will be that sheet cakes in bc are less costly than fondant and she probably wants small layers just for the look. If I were you I would get everything written down exactly so you have no problms later on. I dont think she really knows how much cake she needs.

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BlakesCakes Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 2:57am
post #7 of 10

She wants a fancy looking wedding cake while paying for (what she believes) are only "cheap" sheet cakes. If she doesn't like the prices you give her, the next thing she'll want to do is "rent" the dummy and buy sheet cakes from WalMart or Costco. She's read too many articles telling brides how to save big when it comes to getting the wedding cake icon_cool.gif

You may not get the order, but in the long run, the best thing to do is to let her know that the dummy is the same price as a real one and that sheet cakes are the same price per serving as wedding cakes. So, if she wants both, she'll pay more in the long run--fine by you icon_wink.gif

A custom decorated dummy is probably of no use to you were it to be returned. If you want to give her a "rental option", then you need a refundable deposit that she gets back when it's returned and a non-refundable deposit so that you can make repairs to it once it comes back (if it comes back).

The only acception I make to this rule is when someone wants to use a single dummy only to increase the height of a cake. I charge a minimum of $50 for it and I don't want it returned.


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Sweet_Guys Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 3:54pm
post #8 of 10

One thing that a wise person told us: Tell her your price and don't be afraid to walk away without the sale. If you cheapen your price to satisfy the customer, they'll walk all over you. Walking all over you doesn't pay the bills.

Paul & Peter

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brightbrats Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 3:16pm
post #9 of 10

I emailed her this post and she was suprised that a dummy was basically the same as a real cake. She apologized.

Anyway now she is wanting a real cake. I need your guys help. I don't usually do wedding cakes, so I'm not sure what to charge.

She want a cake to feed 200 people, what size do you recommend ?

She wants it to be 3 or 4 layers, fondant and ribbon, someone else is adding real flowers .

So if you guys could give me a hand it would be great.I hate the pricing part, I know I always under price, but I hate asking too much.


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brincess_b Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 3:27pm
post #10 of 10

do you have a usual per serving price? even for a wedding cake, its still the same pricing structure. basic price, plus fondant, plus any fancy details - which it sounds like this wont have.
if you dont have a per serving price yet, to work it out, figure out all of the costs, including things like electricity and gas as well as the ingredients. you also need to put a value on your time. do some comparisions with other bakeries to see what people will pay in your area. and then you can find your number!
at least once you explained the dummy thing to her, she understood icon_smile.gif she sounds like a good one to keep!

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