Wedding cakes are one of the largest cost of a reception and the range of prices can be anywhere from $ 3 to $ 30 per slice. So how is this possible when a wedding cake consist of three basic ingredients; flour, sugar and eggs.
The difference in price comes down to the amount of labor the baker puts into the three basic areas of making a wedding cake; design, icing, and flowers. Here are a few ways you can save on the wedding cake and its still tasty, elegant and most of all the one you want.
Design – Keep it Simple
A fancy design or custom design from the baker can add $ 200 to $ 300 to the cost because they have to spend time coming up with it and making it work. To save money on the design just simply pick one they have done previously and alter it slightly to bring in the color and style of your wedding. Save big by eliminating the fancy topper or brush embroidery which can add hundreds of dollars to the cost.
Icing – Fondant or Buttercream
Fancy wedding cakes are usually covered in rolled fondant (a thick creamy sugar paste kind of like kids molding clay) which is expensive, difficult to spread to make it look pretty and so ads more cost to the final product. Additionally using colored fondant requires even more labor and can add as much as 20% more to the cost of the cake as the tinting has to be kneaded into the sugar paste to create an even color.
You can save up to two dollars a slice by using an alternative – buttercream. Buttercream is much easier to make, spread and features a wide array of colors, flavors and consistencies than very light to creamy. It can also be made low sugar and if done professionally will look as pretty and truly melt in your mouth.
Sugar Flowers – Realistic, Sculpted or Fresh
Realistic gumpaste flowers are time consuming to make as they require a lot of tedious handling and then have to be hand painted. The more pets a gumpaste flower has the more expensive it will be. Making flowers from sculpted fondant is much faster and less costly. However sculpted flowers will not be as intricate. However a simpler flower like a Dogwood will be about half the price of Peonies. You can also save a bundle and add some real class and color to the cake by using fresh flowers as opposed to all sugar ones.
Of course, the best way to save the most on a wedding cake is to make it yourself or have a friend or relative bake it. Simple cakes can be very elegant and just remember your family and friends are there to rejoice the wonderful event with you and not to criticize your wedding!