A few ingredients mixed together, thrown into the oven, a bit of buttercream slapped on top and away you go! Doesn’t seem like much effort when you put it like that does it? I imagine that this thought process goes on in the minds of many a customer/ couple looking for a cake to celebrate their special day. However, I thought I would shed some light on this question. I believe people ask why are wedding cakes so expensive, not because they don’t want to part with so much money (or maybe it is), but also partially due to a lack of appreciation and understanding as to what actually goes in to making a wedding cake.
I find that it is much easier to accept something (even if you do not agree with it) when you understand the reasons behind it. So, why are wedding cakes so expensive?
Bespoke wedding cakes
Wedding cakes are so expensive because they are made to suit your theme and style of wedding. Details taken from the wedding dress, the flowers, stationery or venue can be incorporated into the design. In addition, the cake can consist of different flavours. Ones that you both love, those that are traditional or some that are a little more unusual. All of these require additional time and attention to detail which increases the cost of the cake.
It is true to say that good cake isn’t cheap and cheap cake isn’t good. That is why a cake maker will ensure that they use only the best ingredients for your wedding cake. It really does make a whole lot of difference. For example, chocolate with a higher cocoa content will taste much richer and give a more indulgent taste than those that don’t. Vanilla bean paste is more concentrated than vanilla essence and gives the cake a more natural tasting flavour. Butter instead of margarine, fresh fruits and organic eggs cost much more than their budget-friendly counterparts. As a cake maker, I use large quantities of these ingredients even in a single 3 tiered cake and it inevitably pushes the cost of your cake up.
Creating a wedding cake takes a significant amount of time and skill. On average, a 3 tier buttercream cake will take me 3 days to complete. A fondant iced cake with cascading sugar flowers would take much longer, so I would start the decorations up to 2 weeks in advance. There are many steps to take before a cake maker arrives at the finished article. The cake is baked in one or more flavours. Then they are cooled, sliced into layers, sandwiched together with the fillings and iced with buttercream or ganache. Fondant cakes will take slightly longer. They require a layer of buttercream or ganache beneath the fondant that provides a smooth, crisp finish.
When the base of the cake is complete, the decoration can commence. Have you ever seen and fallen in love with a wedding cake with intricate royal icing details, embellishments, hand painted motifs, pleats, ruffles or a quilted design? The level of detail and skill involved in all of this, adds to the final cost.
Creating a positive and professional experience is key. If your cake maker offers luxury, bespoke wedding cakes, you can expect the service to match. The customer experience is one of the foundation stones of my business. Each couple should feel special, confident and happy about the service they are receiving. This would involve responding to emails in a timely manner, planning and preparing cake consultations, posting cake samples and purchasing packaging. Designing the cake, finalising and amending the design takes time and must be included in the cost.
Delivery & Set up
Preparing a wedding cake for delivery includes liaising with the wedding venue, packaging the cake tiers to survive the journey unscathed and car expenses. Once at the venue, assembling and decorating the cake on site takes time and effort that adds to the total cost of the cake. I personally deliver and set up all of my wedding cakes to ensure they look exactly as the couple would expect.
Other additional costs which you may not have considered, but are an expense for your cake maker also consists of:
So you see, it really is more than just a few ingredients thrown together. Cake makers work hard to create not only a great tasting dessert but a work of art that you will be able to look back on with fond memories. That will forever be a part of your history together and that to me is priceless!
Also, if you want to get in touch about your own wedding cake, feel free to contact me using the contact form.
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