DIY Weddings

DIY Cake/Cupcakes

Anyone thinking of doing their own cake or cupcake tower? I can see to spend 500+ on cake.

Re: DIY Cake/Cupcakes

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    For me, spending $500 for my cupcakes was money well spent.  Spending that money allowed me to not have to worry about backing and decorating 140 cupcakes the 2 days leading up to my wedding. It allowed me to not have to worry about storing, packing, transporting or setting them up the day of my wedding.  It gave me piece of mind that if something happened to them then I would get a refund. Finally, I knew that they cupcakes were going to taste amazing and look amazing because that is what the baker we picked does best.

    IMO, DIYing decorations and invitations is one thing, but when it comes to food or baked goods, you leave that stuff to the pros.
    It would have to be an out of control expense that I could easily cut to make me want all that hassle up to the wedding. No thank you. Food and cake are, typically, best left to professionals. And the professionals that aren't getting married if you're a chef or baker.

  • I am ordering sheet cakes for $40 a piece.  I am making my own tiered dummy cake, supplies have been under $50 with the top cake real for cake cutting purposes.  This has saved a ton of money and there are many You tube videos for dummy cakes.  It is actually pretty common for people to rent wedding cakes and use dummy cakes.
  • kateskakeskateskakes member
    First Comment
    edited March 2015
    I am a professional baker and I baked my own wedding cake. I had all of the pans and equipment, as well as experience. My advice to you is to NOT do it yourself!

    Cupcakes seem quick and easy, but if you make them more than a day before the wedding, they will be dry for the wedding. This means making them before or after your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. 

    Now, for a cake, this requires pans; it requires cardboard disks to separate the tiers; it requires supports; it requires the knowledge of assembling your cake so it won't slide or collapse. Not to mention the ability to work with sugar to decorate your work of art. True, you can make this 2-3 days before the wedding without risking a dry cake, but you will end up spending nearly as much as you would pay a baker to make your cake; not to mention the amount of stress you'll be adding to your wedding week. It's just not worth it to make your own. 

    If you'd like some suggestions on cost-saving tips for wedding cakes, I recently did a blog post on that subject. 

    Happy planning!
  • Another option might be to simply serve the dessert offered by your caterer/venue (if applicable). We served a four-course meal that included a delicious cake. We couldn't do the whole "cutting of the cake" thing but we didn't mind at all and none of our guests mentioned it.
  • When we were originally getting $800+ quotes back for plain, buttercream cakes for 150 people I definitely thought about it! (I live in a bloody expensive area). We actually went as far as trialling a couple simple 1 layer cakes to see how we would like it to look. Ultimately we determined it would cost us a couple hundred dollars in supplies, that we could bake the cake and freeze it before, and then fondant, decorate and assemble the Thursday before. We also determined it was going to be a shit ton of work.

    We went for one final cake tasting (because, cake). We casually threw out the idea of having an unstacked cake like this: and suddenly her $800 quote dropped down to less than $400. Soooo long story short, we are no longer baking our own cake.
  • As people have mentioned, you could do one attractive small cake and then have sheet cake to cut up and serve to the guests.  Sheet cake from Costco is pretty affordable and you will definitely be able to come in under $500.

    You don't mention how much baking experience you have but if you are having a party of more than about 50, you are going to be baking a ton of cake. Adults can easily eat two cupcakes each, and although you don't have to provide enough for that, it is something to be aware of.  

    I did bake for my wedding.  In the planning stages, we were going to make all the pies (instead of cake) for our wedding as well as the cookie/favors.  Luckily we rethought that.  We had about 40 guests and wanted 8 pies to make sure we had enough flavors for everyone and we wanted at least two cookies per guest.  After some thought, we realized that doing that the day before the wedding would just be more stress than any potential saving.  Instead we baked one pie (a gluten free one for two guests who are gluten free), bought eight pies and baked all the cookies.  It worked out well and I am so glad I didn't spend all day baking pies. 

    That said, it is totally possible. If you are having thirty people, thirty to sixty cupcakes baked and decorated the night before will not be any more troublesome than the average bake sale prep.  And if you and your FI both like baking together, it could be a fun way to spend the last night before you marry.  I know that husband and I loved spending our last afternoon as an unmarried baking cookies together because cooking is something we have always loved doing together. You just need to consider three things- how many people are coming to your wedding, how you want to spend your last day before your wedding, and whether the money saved outweighs the potential stress, especially in light of the cheaper options mentioned by PP. 

  • I'm spending $150 for 210 cupcakes and a 2 tier cake at sams club. :) Cheaper and easier and tastes just as good as trying to DIY it for myself
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  • I am a pastry chef and I am NOT doing my own cake/cupcakes for our 60 person wedding. If you don't have all the tools, that will be a big cost, and the stress is so NOT worth it. 
    I vend at events and do weddings, and have done 36 DOZEN cupcakes in less than 2 days. I know what I am doing and I don't want to touch DIY cake with a 10 foot pole. DIYing other things that an get done in advance are awesome. However, cake has to be done right before the event, and so many things can go wrong. 
    To save $, I would get sheet cakes and a small pretty cake like PP's said. My sister was on a TIGHT budget when she did her wedding 7 years ago ( I was not a professional pastry chef then) and she had a false layer cake. The top was real and the bottom was cardboard covered in frosting. The rest were all sheet cakes, and people won't even know.
  • You can definitely do it but I think it depends on how fancy you would like your cake. :)

    I baked my own because most of my in-law's had major food allergies and I didn't know anywhere I could buy a grain-free/dairy-free/soy-free cake. I baked it after my rehearsal dinner, used an all fruit jelly as my filling, and then had a meltdown because my icing did not turn out the consistency I needed. If only I could have used butter!! My little brother saved the day by fetching blueberries from the grocery store and we covered the sides of the cake with them. It ended up being cute with my wedding topper and I was happy with it. Tasted great too!

    My family also made about 5 giant ice cream cakes a few days before the wedding (really simple recipe) and we took those out of the freezer about half an hour before time for cake. It didn't melt too soon or anything so that actually worked out well. And the kids were super happy about ice cream. :)

  • Has anyone ever done a rise crispy cake? Any thoughts on how to keep it fresh?
  • @Tiffany101015 I didn't know Sam's Club did 2 tiered cakes! I will have to look at them. Do they have gourmet flavors? Or anything other than chocolate/vanilla?
  • I'm doing my own but I'm a professional baker and own my own bakery, so I just don't trust anyone else lol. But personally, I would suggest to leave it to the pros. You will have enough to worry and stress about. Wedding cakes are very stressful, even for the professionals.
  • @wandajune6 - zombie!

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