Why are personalized cakes so expensive?
Fortunately I do not get many clients who question the price of my cakes, but the question
Why are personalized 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!
I deal with a lot of high profile clients.
Many firms count on me for their corporate events.
Important things I wish to share with you
Please note that we are not a pastry shop! Too many visitors still think that they can pop up to our place and buy ready-made cakes... That's just not the way it works! I design personalized and custom-made cakes on special order for all your private and corporate events. All my cakes are personalized so cakes must be ordered a minimum of 5 days in advance. Don't call me if you need a cake for today or tomorrow!
There is no need to visit our office to order a cake. Everything can be done online (even from overseas) using email, chat or even WhatsApp. Payments are securely processed online if you have a Bancontact, Visa, Mastercard or Maestro card. On special request we may accept payments by Paypal, Revolut or Skrill. We also accept bank transfers into our ING corporate account. No cash payment is accepted. I am not confirming any order until full payment is received (no exception even for government or European agencies).
We can meet together for large events or weddings but it will be organized by appointment only at the The Belgian Chocolate Makers store.
I am not accepting orders placed at the last minute so you will need to contact me a minimum of five working days before your event. The sooner you can order your cake, the better it is. Some months are particularly busy and clearly January is one of the busiest months! So make sure you book your cake as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Pick up of your cake can be arranged at our store located 11 Rue Lebeau 1000 Brussels (between Grand'Place et Sablon) from Monday to Sunday, 11h-17h. Deliveries can be arranged all days including week ends and bank holidays.
Finally, let's be clear about the prices. I am offering discounts for cakes serving 20 or more. No need to ask me for discounted prices for smaller cakes, you will be disappointed. No need also to tell me that you can find cheaper prices elsewhere. Of course, you can. But please ask yourself the right questions: Will you get the same cake? What ingredients will be put in the composition of the pastry? How many hours will they work on your cake? Will you deal with a reputable registered company or someone working illegally from his/her home? Is the cake designer licensed to sell cakes or not? Is the workshop authorized by AFSCA? Can the cake designer make an invoice? Can you contact the cake designer anytime? Will you be sure to be delivered on time? Etc... Once you have answered all these questions then I am sure that you will understand that a custom-made cake baked and designed especially for you cannot be priced like an industrial cake... I am an artisan and I am rather proud of being a woman-owned business. I deal with high profile clients most of the time and I am a professional cake designer. Please consider my work and dedication and do not ask me to make cheaper prices, you would certainly upset me.