Specialty Cakes 102- More Things The Buyer Should Know!

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 0 comments

Craftsy Cake Decorating Class

 

 

serving chart

 

A while ago I wrote a post called Specialty Cakes 101 and now it’s time we graduate to 102! In this post I am going to discuss a few misunderstandings the general public has regarding cake size, structures and price.

1. Cake Servings

On the top of this post you will see a serving chart I created. The tiers are marked with their diameters (in inches) and all of them measure at the least 4″ in height. My servings are the size of a wedding serving slice- since my tiers are tall, you don’t need wide slices. The chart is for round tiers only! Unfortunately thanks to television and the grandiose cakes people see at most events, customers think a 5 tier cake is the proper size for say, 60 guests. What they don’t understand is that most of these cakes are mainly faux tiers and that the real servings are in the kitchen in the form of a sheet cake 🙂

I try to inform my customers and potential customers about serving size every time they place an order. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you grab a ruler and visually see what these diameters look like. A lot of cultures want over the top displays and in order to achieve that with the servings you need, we will most likely have to discuss faux tiers (which aren’t that much less expensive than real tiers, but still more cost affordable).

Carved cakes are a little more difficult to calculate servings. Usually what we do is start with cake sizes we know servings of and start carving from there. For example, if I start with a 4″ high 8″ square cake it will normally feed 32 people. If the cake has minimal carving, I calculate for 20 servings. Remember, we charge per serving! If you’re wanting a grandiose cake you are going to have to pay for the extra servings to increase the size of the cakes! Sometimes it’s better to sacrifice size in order to afford more detail.

 

2.  Cake Denseness 

Most people expect a really fluffy, angel cake type of texture with specialty cakes. The times you have enjoyed such fluffiness is when you are eating a sheet cake. Otherwise all bakers use a denser cake for tiered, 3D and carved cakes. The reason being is that we need a sound structure. A soft texture will not give the cake the support it needs and the last thing you want is a cake falling apart at your event!

3. Cake Pricing

Ahhhh, pricing. The achille’s heel of this industry! Every baker charges differently- it all depends on their expertise, ingredients, their labor, and their designs. What many people fail to recognize is that bakers are running a business. The cost of labor, ingredients, overhead, etc etc all gets taken into account within the pricing of your cake. You can’t expect a white fondant 6″ tier to cost the same as a dragon cake that spits out fire. The more labor intensive the cake, the higher the price! You want real gold leaf instead of gold dust? The price of gold is expensive, so keep that in mind!
It is a MYTH that we charge more for wedding cakes. My cake prices are the same for EVERY and ANY event. The only reasons wedding cakes are more expensive is because they have a higher guest count and setup takes longer so the setup/delivery fee is higher than a normal cake.

 

I hope you enjoyed my two cents on this matter! Customer satisfaction is always important, and part of our job is to educate the masses. Watch my YouTube video on this topic!

 

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