Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to find out the rough cost of a product or service but before the price was given you had to hear all about how great the product is, all the benefits of it and how much you need this in your life and bla-bla-blah and this is ONLY for £x amount. Then you realised you just wasted half an hour (in the better case ) of your life because you didn't want to spend that much in the first place.
Yes, sometimes giving a price can be difficult especially for something handmade, bespoke or designed for your specific needs as every item is different just like their cost, the designing process and the time it takes to make them but talking about price and clients budget from the very beginning of the enquiry is very important in my view. After all you don't want to spend 2 hours of messaging back and forth about a cake or whatever other product and find at the end that the product is completely out of your budget.
This is one of the reasons why I send out a price guide which includes prices for my non decorated cakes, then at least my client has an idea about where the cost starts.
Here is my price guide if you want to have a browse.
If you want a little help about what to think about when you are budgeting for a cake, here's a few things to think about.
1. Fondant vs buttercream?
Fondant covered cakes are definitely pricier out of the two as they require more work. They are basically buttercream cakes covered in sugarpaste that gives them a nice and clean finish and can be decorated in many different ways.
Some cake makers like to use ganache instead of buttercream as well under the fondant which means more processes, more labour and again a higher price tag. I'm one of them and the reason I like doing my cakes this way is that ganache is more heat-resistant than buttercream which results in more stable cakes in any weather conditions.
Sharp edges on cakes are very much in these days but luckily with the latest techniques this can be achieved with both buttercream and fondant. With that in mind going for a buttercream cake can definitely shave a bit off the cost and if you still think that's a bit too much there is still another option to look at which is naked cakes. They're the ones that have an even finish on the sides but the sponge is showing through. They're the easiest and quickest to make, hence the most budget friendly and they can be decorated with fresh flowers, fruits, cake charms or a fancy cake topper.
2. Fresh-, sugar- or wafer paper flowers
Floral cakes are undoubtedly beautiful and very popular for wedding cakes as well as for celebration cakes. Two common choices to decorate them is sugar flowers or fresh flowers. Both have their pros and cons, but as for the price sugar flowers definitely cost more. They are very-very labour intensive, each and every petal is cut, veined, shaped, and dusted individually. They are a very popular choice but fresh flowers can equally be beautiful and a bit more cost effective although you might be limited for choice, depending on the season and because of the fact that some of them are not safe to put on cakes.
If you're still torn because you would like edible flowers on your cake but don't quite have the budget for sugarflowers another option to consider is one of the latest trends which is wafer paper flowers. Wafer paper flowers are a fresh and modern take on the traditional sugar flower. Some may not be botanically correct and some are a creation of the imagination which can make your cake especially unique and interesting, they also add a gracious, elegant look to your cake. Some are quicker to make than sugar flowers hence a little more favourable price tag. Click here to see my collection of wafer paper flowers.
3. Portions, size of slices, height of cake
Get your portions right, were you provided with a portion/cutting guide? Do you know how tall the cake is gonna be?
Deep cakes are all the rage now, so make sure you ask your baker how deep their cakes are, you might be able to get 2 slices out of one. My cakes are at least 4" tall but often they're taller than that. Here's my portion guide.
4. Toys or gumpaste models
If you're looking for a kid's celebration cake, instead of forking out for expensive sugar models that will probably end up eaten or in the bin, you could consider purchasing some toys in the theme that can be used to decorate the cake and be kept for your little one to play with.
5. Bakeries have lower costs
If you still think bespoke cake makers are too pricey maybe try getting a quote from a bakery, some bakeries do celebration cakes and because their costs and overheads are lower their prices may be more favourable for you.
Hope this blog has helped you in budgeting for your next celebration cake.
I also put together a guide here to help you understand the cost of my cakes. It includes example cakes with the prices broken down.