What To Charge For Dummy Wedding Cakes?

Decorating By madgab Updated 6 Apr 2013 , 6:42pm by Duchesss53566

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madgab Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 2:54pm
post #1 of 18

client wants 4 tiered wedding cake covered in fondant & accents. Doesn't want to pay for 300 servings. Requested sheet cakes & bottom tier cake. Wants the rest to be dummies. How much to charge for dummy cakes?

I'm in small rural are & would only charge $2.50 per serving.I know you're all gasping right now. But no one here will pay what it is really worth. Buttercream$1.50.....Ridiculous!

17 replies
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tootie0809 Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:00pm
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I don't know about others and how they handle this, but I've had a few people ask me recently how much it would save them to add 1 or multiple dummy tiers. I have told them frankly that it doesn't save much and explain why (decorating time still the same, cost of dummies still close to cost of ingredients, etc.) I tell them I deduct $20-$25 per dummy tier from the cost of the regular all-cake quote. I'm interested to see what other responses you get and how others handle this. Everyone I've discussed this with seems to understand completely why it doesn't save a whole lot of money and ends up ordering the all-cake versions.

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sadsmile Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:07pm
post #3 of 18

Monopoly Money

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buttercuppie Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:09pm
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I had a bride who was only having 60 or so ppl. She wanted alot of drama and height for her cake so I designed a very lovely cake but I ended up having to utilize 2 dummy cakes to give her what she wanted. Needless to say, she loved the design but wasn't excited about the cost b/c essentially she was paying almost double the cost per person b/c of the dummies. Like the other poster said...dummies require the same amount of decorative time and cost pretty much the same as if you purchased ingredients for a cake.

HTH icon_smile.gif

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sadsmile Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:13pm
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Fake cake= fake money .... LOL

OK really now look into how much those dummies are going to cost you+ shipping. How much icing decorations and time it takes. How you assemble them... will you be able to use them again... discount for that. but a decorated dummy will still take a while to do. Time is money. Now I've seen someone in here have a business of renting dummies , using the same decorated dummy again and again and only doing a small amount of maintenance on them and her price was cheep. I certainly don't know all that goes along with that.
So in that case a bride could save money. But what are you going to do... use. Are wanting to make cake or dummies...? Once you go down one road it is hard to convince your brides to do otherwise. Same thing with starting out with low-ball prices... it's hard to get your worth.

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madgab Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:18pm
post #6 of 18

I had thought of actually keeping the dummies for future use to save her money. It is a beautiful design.Now how to charge to rent it?

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King-Girlz Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:25pm
post #7 of 18

The best lady to talk to is.....
Good Luck! She is great!

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leah_s Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:27pm
post #8 of 18

I charge 80% of the real cake price for a dummy. If I create it for a bride she keeps it. Her design, she buys it and keeps it.

Her budget is her concern. Saving her monry is simply not your job. Your job is to sell cake, beautiful, moist, delicious cake.

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cakesdivine Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 4:17pm
post #9 of 18

I charge the same price, unless they want to rent an entire cake dummy and have the sheet cakes in the back. The sheet cakes are only iced with a shell border on the base, no decorations at all. If they rent it they put down a refundable deposit for the entire cost of what that cake would be normally. If I get it back in the same condition I delivered it in, they get back their deposit on the rental, If I don't get it back, I keep all funds paid, deposit and rental fee, plus the cost of the sheet cakes. If they damage the dummy then I assess how much of the deposit is required to make the repairs necessary and refund the difference.

But let me reiterate, if it is a dummy tier within a design that also has real cake there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE IN PRICE!

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madgab Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 4:55pm
post #10 of 18

Thanks so much! You have helped me!

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KHalstead Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 5:13pm
post #11 of 18

I charge about $.50/serv. less for dummy cakes ONLY because it allows me more freedom when working on it (since it doesn't need to be decorated a day or two before the wedding, it can be worked on weeks in advance)..........I also charge a deposit (cost of dummies themselves)...if they want to keep them fine, if they want to return them, I'll give them the cost of the dummies themselves back!

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dsilvest Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 5:55pm
post #12 of 18

"Once you go down one road it is hard to convince your brides to do otherwise." (sadsmile)

This is not always true. I have brides asking me to make them real cakes all of the time. I can go either way, real or faux. I just choose to make faux cakes because I like to be creative and don't really like to bake. If a bride really wants a real cake I refer them to someone who can do that for them.

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KHalstead Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:38pm
post #13 of 18

I totally hate to bake and wish I could hop on board with the whole faux cake (as a business I mean)........I just wouldn't have enough room to store them all! It's hard when I've got REAL cake laying all over every counter top I can't imagine if every cake I made had to get stored somewhere!!

Although I'm sure your delivery and set up are a LOT less stressful than mine too huh? LOL

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adven68 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:44am
post #14 of 18

I think 80% of the real cost is reasonable....true...the cost of materials is not that much of a difference....but it requires much less prep time (no baking)....so much easier to handle (no bulging, refrigeration, etc...)
and you could probably take your sweet time to make it if ordered far enough in advance.

I have a request for an elaborate stacked gift/shoe cake for the summer. Now having the storefront, I need something like that to display, so I am going to rent it to her.
Cakesdivine....what do you charge to rent, if you don't mind telling?


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Kitagrl Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 3:03am
post #15 of 18

I've only sold one, and it was part dummy and part cake. For the "part dummy" I calculated the "servings" and charged $1 less per serving than the real cake parts.

I would do the same if it was a full dummy cake...calculate the "servings", figure out how much I'd charge for the real cake...and then take $1 off per serving. Because you still have to buy the dummies and the fondant/icing and do the work...really all you are doing is *maybe* saving a little money on ingredients, and saving the time it takes to fill and level the cakes...although the dummies do need some prep work themselves.

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cmalin3 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 1:06am
post #16 of 18

I had the same question about charging, and was figuring it could be much cheaper since I didn't have to worry about ingredients, baking time, fridge space, etc.

I'm doing a 6-10-14 for a couple who doesn't want any cake at all ( icon_confused.gif ???) to serve at the wedding - they just want to go through the traditional cake cutting ceremony, then serve some other dessert. The 10 and 14 will be dummies, and the 6 will be white on white, (cake, filling, BC).

They literally want the simplest, cheapest cake I can make because they're buying a house at the same time they're planning the wedding.

I really like leah_s' 80% figure - sounds pretty reasonable, and I think I'd even charge a bit less for the sparse decor in this case. Otherwise, y'all are right - it takes just as much time to decorate the dummy!

Question: can I ice the dummies in RI and the 6" in BC?
Would the BC react with the RI and break it down?
(I figured RI is cheaper and easier to make than BC, and I could get the dummies back when they're done and reuse for my trial designs at home.)


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romy789 Posted 26 Sep 2012 , 3:01am
post #17 of 18

I have a similar problem..I dont get how to charge for this options. I got a request from a new client she wants a total of 5 tiers but she only wants the bottom cake to feed 100ppl and she want the edible layer to be a 16" cake and the top 4 tiers to be cake dummies. I attached the design she wants. Can anyone please help?! I need to give her an answer soon!

Thank you!

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Duchesss53566 Posted 6 Apr 2013 , 6:42pm
post #18 of 18

I can so relate to what you are saying about being in a rural area.  I was charging $2.50 a serving 15 years ago, so moving here and finding

that was the going price was a real shock to my system,lol

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