Just a cake for thought

I have food for thought for many of you that have maybe no idea what goes into what I do for a living, baking. I chose this because it matters to me what a person needs or wants for their event(s). I’m not going to say I’m cheaper or more expensive than another baker, I just want you to think about what I am posting here.

How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost?

The cost of a wedding cake varies by type of cake, the kind of baker and geographic region.Typical costs:

• The average cost of a wedding cake is $543, according to The Bridal Association of America.

• For wedding cakes, most bakeries and pastry chefs charge by the slice. A low-end option would be a smaller tiered cake in chocolate or vanilla paired with a sheet cake for cutting for around $1.50 a slice.

• A mid-range two- or three-tiered cake in a standard flavor such as chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake or lemon poppy seed with buttercream icing and minimal fondant decorations can run $5 or $6 a slice.

• A high-end multi-tiered gourmet cake with flavored fillings, fondant icing and elaborate fondant, gum paste and sugar decorations can run $10 or more per slice.

Additional costs:

• Decorations make a big difference in the per-slice cost. Fresh flowers are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to decorate a cake.• Fondant, which can cover a cake in a smooth, satiny shell, is one of the most expensive; it can add $1 or more per slice. Elaborate fondant decorations increase the price even more.

• Cheesecakes and cakes with nuts, dried fruits or special cream fillings can add $1 or more per slice.

• Most tiered wedding cakes must be delivered and assembled on site by the baker or a staff member to prevent a cake mishap, and delivery charges can be $50 to $100 or more, depending on distance and size of cake.

• Some caterers charge a cake-cutting fee when figuring the total cost of your wedding cake. Cake-cutting fees can run $1 or more per slice.

$451(The national average cost of wedding cakes and desserts will be $451in 2013, jumping to $466 in 2014, up from 2012’s $437. In areas like New York City and Napa, Calif. cakes can run as high as $1,200-plus.)

For those who have never done cakes have no idea at how much is involved, financially and time wise.Doing the cakes by myself, I have to do the prep work, baking, icing, assembly, decorating, etc. with no help, including the time it takes to clean up afterwards, delivery, set up and serving the cake at the wedding.

Sometimes, I do get lucky to have a family member to assist in either a delivery, or clean up.But I don’t ever take shortcuts; I won’t compromise the taste and quality of my cakes. And every time I have made a wedding cake, I have been told by the bride and groom, as well as many of the guests, that my cake was the best they have ever tasted.

My icing is made with real butter. From the time I start making icings a couple of days ahead of time to baking the cakes, I calculate my time and overhead. Why? Because I am using my time and my overhead. It’s just me, I am not Walmart or any local grocery chain that has their own bakeries.I bake my cakes for the full amount of time stated on the instructions, or they will be dry.

Cakes continue to bake a bit longer when removed from the oven, due to the amount of heat that is in the cakes. I’m always testing the doneness to make sure it’s baked right not dry.I am not like Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, or Kakes by Karen. I am a good baker/decorator. This is rural NW Iowa, not Des Moines, not Sioux City or Sioux Falls, SD. It’s not Minneapolis, MN. There are some really good bakers in this area, but if you want CHEAP pricing, I recommend Wal-Mart. If you don’t like their tastes, then you’re going to have to pay the price we charge.