Custom Cakes, Weddings, & Events
The world of custom cake pricing is much different than a traditional style birthday cake as the possibilities are far greater.
We hope this helps you understand our pricing and what you are paying for.
Every three months we perform a competitive market analysis of bakeries that sell cakes and pastries most comparable to our products. this helps us to remain competitively priced based on quality and skill. Please be aware that as with most things during the pandemic, the cost of ingredients has increased and continue to increase every week 🙁
e.g. Butter is now $6.50 – $8.50 (Pre-pandemic $4.29)
We have not increased our prices over the last 3 years to adjust for the inflation. This choice means we now work harder & take home less but can still provide you with a great cake at price that is fair and reflects time & skill involved as we understand that the cost of living has gone up for everyone.
A cake artist can spend hours or days from start to finish on your cake. We price cakes based on a number of different factors and all of our custom cakes are priced out on an individual basis. The technical complexity of the design, the amount of servings and the time required to produce the final cake are all factors of the overall price. We will work with you to figure out exactly what will work for your guest count and budget.
Kindly note that any tiered cake for a birthday or celebration is the same as a wedding cake and pricing will reflect the time and work. It is making, two, three, four+ individual cakes, filling them, icing them, and then finally stacking them.
Many of our occasion cakes are just as or more elaborate & complex than a wedding cake.
Also please keep mind that the same amount of ingredients and buttercream is required for 12 cupcakes is equivalent to a small 6″ two layer cake. Pricing will therefore be similar and cupcakes may not always be the cheaper option especially if your are looking for multiple different flavours and designs/toppers.
Sugar flowers will always cost more than fresh flowers. They are handmade, require materials, expensive edible dusts & dyes and they are time consuming (sometimes 6+ hours/flower). Therefore, the more complex the flower design or arrangement, the higher the cost. However, you can achieve designs, looks, styles, colours, and types of flowers year round that are impossible with fresh flowers.
Keep in mind that even a small arrangement of fresh flowers from a high end florist can still be $100.00+ and that would need to factor that into the overall price if you go with fresh flowers
Below are 3 different ways to think about pricing
Smaller occasion cakes take somewhere between 8-20 hours to make.
The more detailed the cake design, the higher the price will be and just because a cake looks like a “simple” design, doesn’t mean that it is.
All of our recipes are developed from scratch and the ingredients are sifted by hand and combined in the mixing bowl. Things like, multiple flavours (made from scratch with fresh ingredients), different coloured layers inside, hand painted designs and writing, stencils, airbrush, edible gold, sugar flowers, lots of little sugar pearls placed on the cake, all translate into beautiful designs but will increase the price to varying degrees. Believe it or not, high quality sprinkles are some of our most expensive ingredients gram, for gram.
For example, if it take us the minimum 8 hours to: consult, design, shop/special order, mix, bake, frost, decorate, sugar work/coordinate & special order with our florist, drive and pick up fresh flowers, make a cake topper, final setup, box and then clean up.
If your cake total is only $100.00 then that is $100.00/8hrs = only $12.50 per hour before the cost of your cake ingredients is factored in. Say its $40.00 in ingredients (it’s not, it’s more) and $10 in supplies (cake boards, boxes, etc.) then thats $50.00/8hrs and now thats $6.25/hour.
We know you can always find a cake cheaper somewhere else and we understand if you choose to go in that direction.
At Loblaws you can get a cake for as little as $5.00 – $30.00. But it’s a single layer, its not custom, you can’t choose your flavours, your fillings, you can’t request how it’s decorated because it’s already made. How do you know it was even made that day or even the day before? It could be a week old. Then look at the ingredients list – do you know what is in the cake or the frosting?
Other bakers may be able to provide things at a lower cost. However, we use the best ingredients and the best cake supplies (boards, boxes, vanilla, food colouring, etc.) and we choose to operate legally with regular health inspections, insurance, and business licensing costs (Federal & City). Unfortunately, that does mean we have to factor in operating costs but it ensures our customers peace of mind that their food is made in a safe environment. Also, if they book months out for a wedding or event that we won’t be forced to close by the city or health unit and then cancel and not be able to complete your order.
Saving on cost by making it yourself – we totally understand, its just a cake.
Consider a scenario where you have all the equipment to make a cake (an oven that keeps a constant temperature, a stand mixer, cake pans, parchment, food dyes, scrapers, disks, palette knifes, something to slice and level cakes, a turntable, cake board, ribbon, a cake box, etc.) but you have you have no ingredients at all in your kitchen.
In order to make one layer of our chocolate cake using our recipe with a simple vanilla bean frosting you would need to go to the store for 10 ingredients and if you only got the smallest possible size of every ingredient it would still cost you a minimum of $75.00+ HST (Loblaws.ca, August 31, 2022) (without sprinkles, without chocolate for drips, without a custom cake topper, no cake board, no box etc.)
Then you would have to go home and spend time making the cake and if it does’t turn out (happens from time to time, even to us) your have to start over using more ingredients. It will also cost you even more if you have to purchase any of the equipment above.
We think about it in terms of Cost vs. Time – sometimes we order a pizza and we end up paying for delivery. We could always make it ourselves or drive to pick it up for a fraction of the price but we would rather do something else with our time.
All of the above applies to wedding cakes.
We believe in quality products at an affordable price for our clients.
Consider how much will be paying your wedding photographer, officiant, or your DJ. Wedding cakes are only fraction of the price yet they often take more working hours behind the scenes than most other wedding services.
Many comparable wedding cakes start at $800.00 and can be well over $3000.00
Check out the timeline below for making wedding cake
Some of the cakes that are on Pintrest, Instagram, Facebook, and in magazines with cake artists pushing cake designs to new limits can run as much as $15 per serving.
If your wedding cake and/or cupcakes, macarons, etc. costs $800.00 for 100 guests then that’s $8 a person.
A small slice of cake for dessert at a chain restaurant such as the Keg, is $11.00 (Sept 25th, 2022) and it doesn’t come from a custom, mulit- layer and/or multi-tier cake that took days to make
Understandably in order to keep wedding costs low you may have a friend, bridesmaid, parent, or your “friend of a friend” who offers to make your wedding cake for $100, just the cost of the ingredients, or as a wedding gift or perhaps you even want to make your own.
Here is a great article about making your own wedding cake and what you should be prepared for
The two most common scenarios we encounter are:
Being asked to try and rescue a wedding cake an hour before the reception that has collapsed onsite or during transport because it wasn’t constructed properly with supports from the beginning. Making a stable and level multi-tier cake that can be transported in summer temperatures is not an easy task.
We have also been phoned the day before saying the ‘friend’ can no longer make the wedding cake for whatever reason. As much as we wish we could help, unfortunately, once we are booked we are booked – whether it’s another wedding or multiple event cakes, we are normally fully booked every weekend well in advance.
Bakeries like ours that bake from scratch using high quality ingredients, know how to properly bake and construct a tiered cake and also know how to deliver a large, heavy cake.
With a wedding, there is no “do-over”. If you are ordering to us you are looking for a personalized experience start to finish, the beauty, the presentation, the details, and the trust that it will be done right and delivered on time.
You are paying for our time, skills, and years of experience making cakes each and every day.
This is our career and our full time income. We believe that every cake is a unique work of art and we are dedicated to improving our skills and perfecting our craft in order to deliver an outstanding cake that is above and beyond your expectations both in appearance and taste.
For many occasion cakes the ‘time before event’ may be quicker but the steps are all the same. For rush cakes it all happens within a couple of days or a few hours and that’s why there is often an additional cost.
Wedding cakes and some more elaborate occasion cakes may take much longer.
As mentioned before, any tiered cake for a birthday or celebration is the same as a wedding cake and pricing will reflect the time and work
|Time before event||Description of work||Hours to complete|
|6 months to 1 year||Consultation: We speak with the client in person, on the phone or via email/text. We discuss design styles & elements, sugar flowers, flavors, fillings, and other options. We price out and present you with a quote. If necessary, changes are made and the price is adjusted. Contracts are typed up, sent & signed for weddings. Payment or deposit is received and the event date is saved on our calendar. Currently we are booking remaining wedding spots in 2021 and 2022 and we just booked our first in 2023. Spots are booking fast was COVID restrictions change. We are booking Occasion cakes as far out late summer 2022.||1-10 hours|
|1-3 weeks||Custom sugar work: Sugar flowers are all hand made specifically for each cake. Sugar flowers can take quite a long time to create depending on the complexity of design, details, and size of cake. We make them well ahead of time to ensure each piece is perfect and store them in sealed dehumidifying cabinet for safe keeping until they are ready to be put onto the cake. Often for larger cakes 3+ full days are dedicated to only to sugar work.||6-36+ hours|
|2 weeks||Order our ingredients: We use only the freshest ingredients in each of our cakes. To ensure we have enough supplies on hand, we place our order for ingredients 2 weeks in advance, for delivery in the days before the event. We only use sealed bags of the highest quality ingredients. Ordering time is now more like 4 weeks out from a cake due to the pandemic and related delays in the supply chain.||1-2 hours|
|1-2 weeks||Final additions, design changes, and last of the custom sugar work is finished. Cake toppers are made. Some of the more complex cake toppers require research, images, photoshop work, cutting and then gluing and can take up to 3 hours of time. Additional sugar work & final dustings may take up to 6 hours.||1-6 hours|
|2-4 days||Buying ingredients: Some things we use are delivered and some are bought from the store. We are always making cakes and we always have regular ingredients in stock but we are continually shopping for fresh ingredients. The quantity/type of ingredients needed week to week is completely dependent on the specific orders. For example, for a seasonal filling such as strawberry rhubarb, both the strawberries and rhubarb need to be bought fresh a day or two at most before from either a local market or the store (Farmboy or Loblaws only). For rush cakes, we may need to make an extra trip to buy ingredients depending on our quantities and the size of cake.||1-3 hours|
|1 day||Sift, mix, bake layers and let them cool. Make buttercreams, colours, and fresh fillings. Slice and level & stack the cake. Crumb coat, finishing laying of buttercream (smooth, textured, stenciled, painted, palette knife, etc.) Wash dishes, clean up, and sterilize. 30 second videos on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram never show all of the hours before shopping, prepping, & baking for an assembly video and they never show the cleaning up.||4-8+ hours|
|Day of Event||Decorate, place flowers (if we are delivering and the cake has sugar work, flowers are usually set up at the venue. Photograph Box and prep for transport; delivery or pickup (Pickup only during COVID). During COVID things like making and boxing 100 individual cupcakes can take a very long time. Delivery time varies depending on location but does require the time of two people - one person to drive and the other person to hold the cake steady and level.||2-6 hours|
|At Venue||Set-up: a few minutes to a few hours depending on the size and location of your event. Setting up stands, placing cupcakes/macarons on towers, etc. Touch-up: We plan ahead for anything that could go wrong during transport. We carry extra buttercream, a small mixer for on site and extra decorations, sugar flowers, and stands to make sure the setup is perfect before we leave.||1-3 hours|
|1-2 weeks after event||We process our photos of the cake from before it was picked up or at the venue so we can give them to clients. Often times the day is so busy and by the time people are ready for cake, its dark and the cake has been sitting for hours, people have had a drink or two, and it may have already been sliced by venue staff.||1-3 hours|
|Total Time: 18-80+ Hours|
Theoretically, at minimum wage (Ontario Canada, 2021) the very minimum a wedding cake should cost is
Low: $14.25 x 18 hours = $256.50 (before cost of ingredients and materials)
High: $14.25 x 80 hours = $1140.00 (before cost of ingredients and materials)