Bespoke cakes truly are edible art: A special custom cake will wow your guests and help create lasting memories of your celebration. It can be a bit confusing to get started with ordering a bespoke cake as they are usually made to your personal wishes and requests and are completely unique.
Usually the first questions customers (understandably) ask our cake consultants revolve around what to expect in terms of bespoke cake pricing. We have created this useful guide to provide some insights into what bespoke cake prices are based on and what to bear in mind when ordering to stay within your budget
How are bespoke cakes priced?
Every cake maker might have a slightly different system for this but there are several factors that can influence the final price of the cake such as:
- Size and height
- Type of covering (e.g. buttercream icing, fondant, marzipan, ganache)
- How many layers the cake has
Most of these are straight-forward but it is worth mentioning the decorations in a bit more detail as they are the most complex part of any bespoke cake.
What types of decorations are there and what are prices based on?
There are many different ways of decorating a cake, but when it comes to edible, handmade cake decorations the following types and techniques are most common:
- Hand painted details and designs
- 3D fondant figures
- Fondant flowers
- Dripping effects
- Sculpting and shaping
- Lustre effect (gold / silver / bronze)
- 2D Sugar Paste designs to create an edible image
- Coloured frosting / ombré effect
All of these techniques require a lot of skill and cake makers need to train for years to perfect them which is why they are usually priced individually and added to the basic cost of the cake depending on the size and complexity of the design.
The following cakes were all made here at Jack & Beyond and illustrate some of these techniques nicely. You can find more designs here: https://jackandbeyond.com/collections/bespoke-cakes.
What should I look out for when I’m on a tighter budget?
If you have limited cake funds available we have our top tips for you to have your dream cake made without breaking the bank:
Choose a single layer cake rather than a tiered cake.
Tiering always costs more due to the extra time and material / dowelling needed. If you need additional portions these can be achieved by either adding more layers of sponge to the cake or going for a bigger size in terms of diameters.
Choose a round cake as the base rather than shaped or square cakes.
Shaped cakes are priced higher as the bakers need to cut and layer the sponges to achieve different shapes.
Choose buttercream instead of fondant or marzipan.
Fondant and marzipan coverings require more time and increase material costs. Please bear in mind that some designs require fondant covering for stability.
Choose 2D fondant designs or piping in favour of 3D figures.
Handmade 3D fondant figures / flowers look stunning but they take very long to make. 2D fondant designs are slightly simpler but also look amazing and are perfect to recreate for example cartoon characters or animals on cakes.
Avoid requesting off range cake flavours.
Choose a cake flavour the bakery already offers rather than requesting a unique flavour as they will already have all the ingredients and a trusted recipe at hand for their core range recipe. Off-range flavours require buying extra ingredients and extra time to test and create recipes which will reflect in the price.