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Why are personalized cakes expensive?

Fortunately I do not get many clients who question the price of my cakes, but the question why are cakes so expensive? is one that many professional cake makers are asked so I thought I’d go through some of the costs involved in making a cake to try to give an understanding of what is behind something that is most certainly a lot more than just butter, flour, sugar and a few eggs.

People frequently say something along the lines of but I can buy a cake for under 15€ in a supermarket. Yes, you can! You can also choose to buy a Tshirt in Primark or one from a designer store. Your choice is whether you wish to pay for something that is mass-produced or something that is bespoke. If you choose to order from a professional cake maker, you have chosen the designer option!

Cakes sold in supermarkets are generally mass produced and made on a production line that will be neither bespoke nor personalized to your specifications. Alternatively they will be those that are offered as handmade, picked out from a range in a catalogue. However, neither of these offer anything close to the size, individuality, quality and skills displayed in a cake made personally for you. I am pretty sure that no supermarket would produce a cake for example that is 3.5'' to 4'' deep (check them out, usually you are lucky if the depth is around 2''). So why are cakes so expensive? In fact, the quote Good cake isn’t cheap, cheap cake isn’t good sums it up pretty well.

Those of you who bake at home will know that good quality ingredients aren’t that cheap and recently there have been huge price hikes in the supermarkets. To make a 2 tier cake, for example, with 9'' and 6'' tiers you are looking at a lot of ingredients; over a dozen large eggs, three of packs of butter, over a kilo of flour, almost a kilo of sugar, not to mention the quantity of chocolate needed if the cake is more than a simple vanilla.

In addition you then need to consider the following.

  • Sugar paste to cover the cakes (I often use at least 1.5k to just cover and decorate a 9'' square cake).
  • Buttercream to fill the cake.
  • Ganache to cover the cake prior to coating in icing (kilos of chocolate, trust me!).
  • Sugar syrup to soak the layers and keep the cake moist.
  • A cake drum for the base.
  • A cake box.
  • Thin cake card for each cake that is going to be stacked to sit on, as well as one under the base cake (otherwise the supports will squish into the cake above).
  • Dowelling rods (3 or 4 per tier) These are vital if you are stacking cakes otherwise the whole lot will collapse.
  • Then you have extras such as wires, jewels, posy picks, ribbon, modelling materials and not forgetting electricity/gas to bake the cakes.
  • Throw in capital costs from business cards to mixers, cutters, ribbons, marketing, equipment, taxes, licenses...

Plus the time involved learning new skills to keep your work fresh and up to date… and you start to get an idea!

All in all, for a 2 tier cake (9'' and 6'') that is a mix of, for example, vanilla and chocolate mud you are probably looking at 40€ to 55€ worth of materials and ingredients minimum before you take into consideration my time. Making a sugar model can take several hours, depending on how intricate the model is. Decorating a cake is a time consuming task and very often I am working around the clock to produce something that I think is nothing less than fabulous. Time that I am spending away from my family, and time I am combining with running a home and staying on top of all that involves.

However, this is not meant to be negative in the least and you may ask why I’m doing it, and the simple answer is because I love it. I love being creative and I love seeing the look on a customer’s face when they collect their cake. It is my passion and it’s all worth it.

So before to ask why are cakes so expensive, please remember, if you ask an independent cake maker for a quote, you are not going to get it for supermarket prices; but it will look and taste a whole lot better. A cake maker who is passionate about what they do will always go that extra mile. That much I promise you!

Kind regards,

disclaimer

placeit

I deal with a lot of high profile clients.
Many firms count on me for their corporate events.

Did you know?I designed the cake for the 5th anniversary
of Hard Rock Cafe Brussels.

I also blissfully created the cake for the 1st anniversary
of Hard Rock Cafe Antwerp.

I am proudly supported by Kenwood Belgium.
My workshop is supplied with Chef XL Titanium robots.

Now you can also buy your cake supplies.
Lots of great products in stock.

Happy birthday Sara!I was glad to make a "number cake" for the RTBF morning show
to celebrate the 38th birthday of Sara de Paduwa.

My event was a success and the cake was the star of the party! It was beautiful and delicious and all I expected. My guests also loved the cake and thought it was a true work of art and very tasty! Thanks again for the wonderful job you did on making my vision come to reality and for the great service. I will be sure to keep Patricia Creative Cakes in mind for any future special events. All the best,

Cynthia James

Best. Cake. Ever!!!! Patricia created my vision better than I even envisioned it! Unbelievable! Excellent customer service. Efficient. Professional. Patient. I can't say enough good things. Thank you Thank you Thank you Patricia!!!

Andrew Lewis

Thank you so much!! This was such a hit at my sister's shower! Everything was amazing and delicious! You all were a pleasure to work with and we will be back soon! Thanks again!

Barbara Patterson

My daughter's birthday on Sunday was a great success! Both adults and kids had a blast! The cake was delicious and EVERYONE commented on how beautiful it was! Thank you for once again making my little girl's dreams come true! She was super excited about the cake... I wouldn't dream of anyone else making her cakes. Thank you,

William Richardson

Made with love
I wanted to thank you so very much for helping to make our baby shower so perfectly sweet! Everyone was just amazed with how perfect everything looked and of course it was all equally delicious. I loved the bunny topper so much that I'm trying to figure out if I can preserve it somehow. Just completely precious. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. It was so much fun to show up and see your stunning works of art. They were such a hit. Much love,

Kathy Foster

I wanted to thank you so very much for helping to make our baby shower so perfectly sweet! Everyone was just amazed with how perfect everything looked and of course it was all equally delicious. I loved the bunny topper so much that I'm trying to figure out if I can preserve it somehow. Just completely precious. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. It was so much fun to show up and see your stunning works of art. They were such a hit. Much love,

Kathy Foster

Our cake was absolutely gorgeous and definitely one of the highlights of our wedding day! Delicious too! Any advice on how to preserve the sugar flowers? Thank you for helping make our day extra special! Once I have photos from our professional photographer I'll send them your way. Sincerely,

Willie Bailey

Thanks for creating this beautiful cake for my daughters birthday! It's gorgeous! Everyone says it was the best cake they ever had! Thanks so much for the detailed cookies. Patricia, you are so sweet and professional. You will see me again. All the best xoxo

Sean Collins