Wedding Cake Pricing
A beautiful cake is not only a representation of your union, it’s also the centerpiece of your wedding. We’ll help create a cake that’s not only delicious and beautiful but also suits your budget.
What Should I Expect to Pay for my Wedding Cake?
Wedding cake is priced by the serving (or slice), and “wedding servings” are small. At about 1″ x 2″ x 4″, they are more like a delicate few bites than the slab of birthday cake at your nephew’s last party. Typical wedding cake prices range from about $4 – $12 per serving nationally. Most couples end up spending around $500 on their cake, though many spend more. The total cost depends on flavors, ingredients and design. The more complicated your cake, the more you’ll end up paying.
Fondant icing is generally more expensive than a buttercream-covered cake. Other elements that can add to the cost are sculpted shapes including sugar flowers, vibrant colors (which may stain your teeth too), odd-shaped tiers or heavily piped elements. Essentially, anything taking a lot of time for design and labor is going to up your cost.
If cost is a big factor for you or you’re on a tight budget, there are other options. One cost-cutting measure is to have a smaller cutting cake along with cupcakes or sheet cakes for your guests. You may also consider getting a smaller cake and providing cookies or other mini-desserts. Using fresh flowers on your cake rather than hand-made sugar flowers is also a great cost-cutting measure.
At Sweets of Lake Lure, our Buttercream wedding cakes start at $4 per serving. Fondant-covered cakes start at $5 per serving. The final price is based on the flavors you choose as well as the intricacy of the design. Sugar flowers are priced per piece and range greatly depending on the amount of detail and size. Most groupings of sugar flowers will add between $50-$100 to a wedding cake.
What Do I Get for $4 Per Serving?
Our budget-priced cakes include one Standard cake flavor along with one Standard flavor of icing/filling. The design is simple and includes most buttercream textures. These cakes are typically 2-3 standard round cake tiers.
What Do I Get for More?
The sky’s the limit! We are pastry artists and thrive on a good challenge. If you have a Pinterest board of dream wedding cakes, show us – we’ll be tickled! From 6′ cakes to sculptures of your dogs, we’re willing to have that conversation. If you need some ideas, check out our Pinterest Wedding Cake boards here or our Wedding Cake Gallery.
How Much Cake Do I Need?
Ultimately, the amount of cake you should order depends on the number of guests you’re expecting and how much cake you think each one might eat. If your cake is yummy and the servings are small, err on the side of caution and get more. However, if you’re planning on an entire dessert buffet, chances are you won’t need as much cake to make everyone full and happy.
Ideally, it’s good to plan on one serving per guest if you’re also having a full meal. If you’re having other desserts, you’ll want to reduce this number accordingly. Don’t worry – we can help you plan!
To help you plan, here’s a chart illustrating how many “wedding servings” are in some of our most popular cake sizes. Tiers are about 4″ high with 2 layers in each tier. Keep in mind “wedding servings” are small – about 1″ x 2″ x 4″, so you may want to get a larger cake than you originally planned so you don’t run out. (One of the biggest complaints we hear is that the cake was gone when the happy couple got around to having a slice!)
Need More Drama?
Are you having an intimate wedding with few guests, but the last thing you want is a puny cake? Enter dummy tiers! “Dummy” tiers are essentially fake cake tiers made of a polystyrene (styrofoam-like) material, and they can be decorated to look like real cake. If you’ve ever been to a wedding show or seen professional photographs of cakes that look too perfect, chances are you’ve seen dummy tiers without even realizing it.
Why Use Dummies?
Very few engaged couples dream of a really tiny wedding cake, but why buy a larger cake when it’s just going to go to waste? No need. We’re happy to combine dummy tiers with your real cake tiers to make it look taller and more grand. After the “photo opp” of the ceremonial cake cutting, at most venues your cake gets whisked off to the kitchen to be cut and served with your guests none the wiser. No one has to know your cake is partially (or all) fake unless you tell them.
If you’re really looking to make an impact on your guests but not your wallet, consider making only one layer of your tiered cake “real”. Cut into this for the photographer and guests, and then have the kitchen take the cake in the back for slicing. Instead of serving up a costly tiered cake, have sheet cakes in the kitchen for serving (yes-we make those too!) as they can be quite a bit less expensive than a larger wedding cake. Your guests will never know the difference.
Cupcakes have become much more popular either in addition to or in place of a full-on wedding cake for many couples. In addition to being more cost-effective, they can also provide easy servings, are less messy and can look anything from cute to classy.
A few notes:
- While cupcakes are a fun and cost-effective option, it’s good to keep in mind that they are grab-and-go food, so your guests may eat more than one, especially if there is drinking and dancing. They’re yummy AND easy to grab for a quick sweet fuel-up.
- If you still want that ever-so-important cake-cutting photo, consider ordering a small cutting cake and cupcakes to make up the rest of your servings, or you can just cut into a cupcake!
Frosted buttercream cupcakes start at $3.00 each. The cost can go up if you decide to go with fancy toppers or liners, fondant, flowers or other embellishments. Cupcakes can be made in any flavor and can be mixed and matched by the dozen. This is a great way to incorporate some variety into your wedding day.
For more ideas for your wedding cupcakes, see our Cupcakes Gallery or our Wedding Cupcakes Pinterest Board.
Another way to cut costs or provide more variety to your wedding guests is by ordering kitchen cakes. You can accompany these with a nice little cutting cake or smaller wedding cake to present to your guests and for photos. After the ceremonial photos, your kitchen cake will be served. Since it will be 2 layers and filled and iced with the same flavors of your wedding cake, no one has to know you paid less.
What is a Kitchen Cake?
A kitchen cake is simply a flat, rectangular cake instead of multiple tiers. At Sweets of Lake Lure, we create ours with two layers just like your wedding cake tiers, so each guest still gets the filling and icing (yum!). The reduction in cost is mostly because we won’t need to decorate those for presentation. They’re also easier to transport, cut and serve. In other words, sheet cakes are a great way to cut costs without sacrificing flavor.
Our kitchen cakes start at $3.50 per serving for 2 layers with filling in between. They can be made in just about any size. Here are a few of the most popular along with their number of servings:
If you have a very small guest list, or you would rather have a small cake for photos and show alongside cupcakes, sheet cakes or a dessert buffet, then a cutting cake is for you.
A cutting cake consists of one tier of any size you would like and either round or square. Most couples choose one between 6″-10″ depending on the number of servings needed.
Cutting cakes can be decorated as simple or as special as you would like. In fact, any photo you find of a giant spectacular cake can be generally adapted in design to your smaller cake. Buttercream or fondant can be used, and one of the best things about having one at your wedding is that you can display that fabulous cake topper you found!
A Dessert Table can go by many names – bar, buffet, display – but essentially it is table with a variety of sweets so your guests can pick, choose and sample what they like. We like to do an artful display which aligns with and enhances the theme of your wedding. One of the big draws of a dessert bar or buffet is that it can be SO visually appealing. Who can’t look at a table with so many different sweet treats and not be tempted?
If you like variety, then having a Dessert Table or Dessert Buffet may be the perfect choice for your wedding day. Giving your guests tons of variety and flavors, a spectacular dessert display can be the centerpiece of your event. From rustic to modern, your treats can have a theme that suits your style perfectly. Here are just a few ideas to get you started thinking about how you’d like to tantalize your guests:
– Bar Cookies – Brownies -Decorated Cookies – Cake Pops – Chocolate Covered Everything – Fruit – Fudge – Mini Cakes – Mini Cupcakes – Parfaits – Rice Crispy Treats – S’mores – Truffles – Whoopie Pies
As an additional bonus, a dessert table can also double as a favor table. Have a supply of bags or boxes, and let your guests treat themselves for the ride home!
How many desserts should you order? Our recommendation is if you are ordering enough cake to feed 60% of your guests, allow for 2 mini desserts per person. If you’re not serving cake or you’re going to have cake to feed less than 50% of your guests, 3-4 mini desserts per person is recommended. While there are exceptions, these guidelines should get you in the ballpark of having enough for everyone.
As far as cost, of course varieties of sweets can be many different prices, and the amount your dessert table costs per person can vary depending on how you structure the rest of the food at your wedding. Generally speaking, it’s good to allow for 2-4 treats per person, but it really depends on how large they are and if you’ll be having wedding cake as well. Let us know your ideas, and we’re happy to discuss all the options.
The wedding cake is traditionally for the bride, so the Groom’s Cake is… you guessed it, for the groom. The tradition of having a Groom’s Cake began in Victorian England, generally consisting of a heavy fruit cake. Today, couples tend to do them just for fun and to inject a little levity into their wedding reception. This is a rather antiquated tradition, so in this era of different types of marriages, we’d rather just call it, “The Fun Cake”. 🙂
While the typical wedding cake is more on the “beautiful” or “pretty” side, the Groom’s Cake or The Fun Cake is where you can really let your personalities shine and have some fun. Groom’s Cakes always have a theme – whether it’s candy, video games, horror, fictional characters or his favorite hobby.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you’d like to see in your Groom’s Cake:
- Does your guy have a favorite food or restaurant? Is he candy crazy, a junk food junkie or a health nut?
- Is he into pop culture? Think movies, TV series, comic books, etc. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are big in this area.
- What does he do for work? Lawyer, oil rigger, computers, construction?
- Is he a pet guy? His favorite pup might make a really cute cake!
- Is he outdoorsy? Think nature, rustic, cowboy, wilderness or hiking.
- What about sports? Does he have a favorite team or pastime?
If none of these ring bells for you, let’s just try his favorite dessert. 🙂
Buttercream vs Fondant
Just when it seems like there are no more decisions, here’s one more: One of the biggest questions that comes up when couples order their wedding cake is, “Buttercream or Fondant”? Both have their merits and drawbacks, and both can be excellent choices for your cakes depending on the flavor and design you’ve chosen.
What’s the difference? Well, they’re both covering, icing, frosting, decoration for your cake, but that’s about where the similarities end. Buttercream is made of a lot of butter combined with sugar, giving it a very rich, smooth texture and flavor. It’s both smooth and spreadable, and it’s great for piping decorations on cakes and creating texture. Fondant is a combination of sugar, water and glycerine that can be rolled out and shaped. It’s a bit like edible Play Doh, and ours tastes like marshmallows.
Of course there are other ways we can cover your cake including royal icing, ganache and more, but buttercream and fondant still remain the most popular. Both have their merits.
Fondant Wedding Cakes
Buttercream Wedding Cakes
- Gives your cake a silky and smooth finish
- Stays soft and chewy
- Can be made in true white and very bright and dark colors
- Makes a great blank canvas
- Seals in moisture
- Can be sculpted into all sorts of forms and flowers
- Very challenging to use – requires a skilled baker
- Heavy so it weighs down lighter cakes
- More expensive than buttercream
- Temperature and humidity sensitive
- Creamy and sweet
- Comes in many flavors
- Great for piped designs
- Melts in high heat
- Can’t be made completely smooth
- Will never be bright white due to butter content
- Limited range of colors
Reserve Your Date
If you’re sure you’d like to book us for your wedding but due to time or distance you need to delay your Consultation & Cake Tasting, you may reserve your date by submitting a non-refundable $200 deposit. This deposit will be applied to your cake order at booking. The deposit will reserve your space and date.
A Consultation & Cake Tasting appointment is not required, but the details of your order must be finalized at least 6 weeks prior to your wedding date. The final balance will be due at least 2 weeks prior to delivery. Keep in mind this deposit is non-refundable, so please be sure you choose us to create your cake!
Ready to Schedule your Cake Tasting?
If you would like to schedule a Consultation & Cake Tasting for a wedding in Lake Lure, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact us using the form below or give us a call at (828) 974-1751, and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours. Cake Tastings are available for events with over 75 guests. Cake Tasting appointments are limited to 4 guests.