Hi! You’re looking at ordering your wedding cake, am I correct? Are you wondering how much your wedding cake is going to cost you? I can understand you might feel a little overwhelmed or perplex- after all, more people order a wedding cake only once (perhaps twice) for themselves. Hopefully, this is going to help you figure out what your cake budget might need to be (or how to save money on your wedding cake).
First things first…
The range of prices is really wide
I know that’s not a very helpful start. But bear with me….In the same way that you can get a pair of shoes from anything around £5.00 to thousands of pounds…Actually, a bit like shoes, or fashion, the price of your wedding cake might fluctuate for similar reasons: The quality of the material, the reputation of the maker, the level of service and how bespoke you can go with your request.
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A lot of cake makers will have a price guideline
Published on their website. Here’s Pudding Fairy’s price guideline for wedding cakes:
Ask for a price per portion
It’s a good piece of information to have if you are comparing several options or makers for your cake.To give you an idea, last year, three quarter of the wedding cakes I made for couples in Sussex and Surrey came up between £3.50 and £7.00 per portion. Further afield destinations can go into £10.00 per portion and up, especially if your cake needs to travel 100% stacked up do to its design….
Beware of cake portion size
When you take the price per portion as your comparison point, check that you are comparing the same portion size. Most cake makers recommend a 2×1 inch portion for a wedding cake, if you are serving your cake after dessert (the exception being fruit cakes, where 1x1inch portion is generally plenty as it’s a really rich cake). However some cake makers base a portion on a 1×1 inch size for all recipes.
Other factors will influence the cost of your cake significantly, including
who you order your wedding cake from
The more established your cake maker, the more well known, the higher the price can be. Because you are paying for experience, advanced design skills and a higher peace of mind really. Especially if you want a specific type of cake like an intricate chocolate art cake or a suspended cake…
Where your cake maker is based
As a rule of thumb, the bigger the City your cake maker is based in, the higher the price. Premises costs and staff wages are more expensive in big cities. Transport, parking, and other extra charges a rural cake make might not occur, need to be taken into account in their business prices.
What type of cake you are after
- Least expensive cake types are generally the naked or semi naked cakes. And single tier cakes you can present on assorted cake stands.
- Wavy buttercream wedding cakes are relatively simple to finish too, as they are not in need of perfectly straight edges.
- A cake with lots of chocolate is going to push the bill up, as chocolate, especially professional quality Belgian chocolate, is becoming more expensive. Unless your cake maker specialises in chocolate cakes so they can order it in large, wholesale quantities like 10 kilos bags or higher.
- Depending on your design, more care might need to be taken when travelling and delivering, especially if your 5 or 6 tier wedding cake needs to be all stacked up before leaving the kitchen, as it’s sometimes the case with really intricate designs. This can add to your delivery fee and structural/assembly time
How intricate the finish is
In a similar way as above, think about your cake finish if you want to limit the cost of your wedding cake. Time is the most expensive part of your cake making. Then specialist equipment…Intricate details take time. a lot of time. Sugarpaste flowers can take hours if not days. Chocolate pieces that are handcasted too: For some design, your cake maker might need pourable food grade silicon to cast a bespoke mould; length of specialist food grade acetate; transfer sheets printed with cocoa butter patterns…I know it all seems quite technical. Sometimes it is. No doubt your cake maker won’t bore you with all the technical details, but if you are a little surprised by the price of your cake, you should feel comfortable to ask your cake maker to break down the price and explain what’s behind it.
What recipes you’d love to have
The more different recipes you choose, the higher the cost, especially if they are very different and require a work station clearing and setting up again.
where you’d like your cake delivered
Obviously the longer the delivery journey, the more expensive it will be. But also, long travel can mean the need for complex invisible structural work to make sure your cake arrives standing perfectly tall and still, as well as professional cooling solutions.
Whether it’s a bespoke design or off the shelf
Some cake makers offer a collection of models to pick from each year, with the option to personalise the design a little to make it trully yours. Others, like me, offer an individual and bespoke service for each cake commission. And because each cake is unique, I want to make sure you see it before I make it (so you can check all the details are as you want them). Which is why I hand paint a watercolour sketch for each of my customers.
Hopefully, having read the above, it now makes a little more sense why the range of prices for wedding cakes is so wide. Before I go back to the kitchen, here are
3 extra handy tips
- Remember- What cost the most about your wedding cake is your cake maker’s time. Try to keep this in mind when you design your cake with them, if you want to stick to a specific wedding budget.
- Saving money on your wedding cake can be influenced by when you book it – read more here.
- Talk openly about your budget with your cake maker from the start – it helps greatly narrowing options to create your perfect cake.
What other questions do you have about your wedding cake? Pop them in a comment below and I’ll send you extra advice in a reply.