Why are custom cakes so expensive?
Over the past many months, I’ve come to realize that many people simply do not understand everything involved in creating a custom cake. There are so many factors that many people overlook in the cake creation process; time, expense and labor. I truly do understand that sometimes, you simply cannot afford to spend possibly hundreds of dollars on a cake and that’s fine! I won’t be offended if you change your mind after receiving a quote. What I’m hoping to explain here, however, is how these cakes can get so expensive, so you know why I have to charge more than you might expect.
Before even starting to make a cake, I might have to spend up to a few hours consulting with a customer on what they want, put together all of the elements they requested, and present them with a sketch of what to expect. If something’s not to the customers’ liking then adjustments are in order, perhaps in the form of a slight change or a complete overhaul. This is just a quick example of the difference between, say, a unique custom-made multi-tiered cake vs. a template sheet cake from Costco, Stop & Shop, etc. that are made to instructions, without any creative input.
After the customer is happy with how the cake will look, so begins the cake construction. Let’s make this straight; these cakes aren’t made by just tossing a few simple ingredients together. A five tiered wedding cake made for 150 servings, for instance, includes pounds of flour, butter, sugar, and large quantities of eggs and possibly chocolates, fruits, nuts, and more. Depending on the agreed upon design, I may need to buy custom molds, toppers, or other equipment in order to complete the design. Pans, mixers, and dozens of other (usually expensive) tools will be needed to craft your special cake, as well as possible structural components from the hardware store that constantly add a few dollars to the total. See how expenses add up quick?
Now, I will spend hours upon hours mixing the batter, baking the cake, making fondant and fillings, molding and sculpting any handmade components and anything else that might arise during this time. If the customer wants a special 3D shape, then I’ll have to carve the cake, carefully lay thin fondant, and create any touches that “complete” the design. When all is said and done, the elapsed time can range anywhere from about 10 hours for a simple one tiered cake, or up to 40 hours for an extravagant, towering wedding cake. Creating a cake can take a whole work-weeks’ worth of time, but then you also have to consider that I am working with a perishable item, and only have a few days’ window to complete the cake you envision.
Before you contact me about creating your custom cake, please, please, please, check cake pricing information on my website under the “cakes” page so you can get a rough idea of what to expect, as well as let me know your budget in advance. Even if the cake you want at first would be a bit too costly, I am more than happy to try and work with your budget and create an alternative you would be happy with. Please know that you cannot get a specially created cake for the same price as a retail store. But you can be certain that you will get your money’s worth!
How far in advance should I place my order?
We’d like as much lead-time as possible, however if you have a short notice order, ask us, and we’ll try to get it done for you! When possible, we ask that you give us at least 14 days advance notice on all orders. Generally we ask for at least 3 months notice on all Wedding orders.
How much do your cakes cost?
All of our cakes are individually priced based on design. We do not have a standard price list and we do not generally quote prices via phone or e-mail. Our cakes generally range in price from $7-12 per person, depending upon various factors such as extent of design, flavor, detail of sugar work etc. Clients are required to schedule a consultation to get an exact price quote.
Do you offer Cake consultation appointments?
We offer complimentary cake consultations for custom cakes. We also offer cake tastings.
Cake tasting cost $65 for up to four. Tasting fee must be pay by credit card at time of scheduling. We ask that you please arrive to our studio on time. There are no refunds for cake tasting cancelled appointments. If a new cake tasting needs to be scheduled, there will be an additional charge of $65 plus tax.
Can you make picture cakes/cupcakes or cookies?
We can print your pictures, corporate logos or images onto cakes, cupcakes and cookies using edible ink. Displaying your corporate logo on one of our creative cake designs is a great way to advertise your company
What is your payment policy?
We require a 30% non-refundable deposit upon ordering; to reserve your date and time, the remainder balance due needs to be paid in full at least one week prior to the event. For your convenience, we accept cash and all major credit cards as methods of payment.
How long are quotes and dates honored?
Dates and cake price quotes are held from the date of the quote or consultation until 5 business days thereafter. If we do not receive a 30% deposit within 5 days, your date and quote may become unavailable.
What is your cancellation policy?
Because all of our cakes are custom made, you may cancel your order with at least 10 business days notice of your event and you will not be required to pay the balance of the order. In the case of a cancellation, deposits are not refundable. If your order is cancelled with less then 10 business days notice, you are still responsible to pay the balance due.
Do you ship cake, cookies, or cupcakes?
Unfortunately, we do not ship orders at this time.
Do you deliver?
Lillian's Cake Creations will deliver; a delivery/set- up fee of $100 per hour will be applied.
While it is generally not a problem for clients to transport smaller cakes, self-transporting any cake is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any damage that may occur once a cake has left our facility.
Can I make changes to my order once it has been placed?
Minor changes may be made up to 7 days in advance. Major changes in any order require at least 14 days advance notice, and may result in additional charge.
Do you make special needs cakes? (Nut, dairy, egg, gluten-free, etc. allergies)
We do not make special need cakes at this time. We are not a nut free facility. We assume no liability for any issue relating from the above special needs.