It’s time to cut the cake! In today’s ever-changing spectrum of wedding tips and tricks a new trend or “pro secret” is becoming even more popular…dummy cakes! Or more professionally known as ‘presentation cakes’ – a beautiful cake on the outside but without the inside cake part. Instead, bakers use foam or another “non-organic filler” as the base of the cake and then decorate it as you would a real cake. Usually, bakers will charge anywhere from 10% to 20% of the cost of a real cake. Keep in mind that they still have labor fees to decorate the dummy cake and the more complex your décor the more time it takes to decorate. However, you can work with your baker to return the dummy cake and they can reuse the filler materials saving you some cost.
But what does the baker think? Is this a wedding faux pax or totally trendy way of saving a little?
Mark Brickman of Baker’s Man Inc. in Alpharetta, GA says “Truly it does not save that much money for a bride that is on a tight budget but it does help in other ways.”
“Many brides love the design of fondant but they don’t want to serve it. This is another great option so they can have their fondant design but then serve their guests a buttercream iced wedding cake.”
Get a big cake, without big structural concern.
“The trend as well for cakes has been the double or thicker tiers. By having it being a presentation wedding cake, it makes for a better presentation versus having to have so much extra cake or mixing faux in with the real cake to achieve the height.”
But what about the cake cutting?
When a wedding cake baker makes a presentation cake, the only part that is real is a six inch section in the bottom. Brickman continues “It is marked with boutonniere pins so the couple knows where to cut. The complimentary anniversary topper is already boxed for them to take home that evening.”
By employing the presentation cake method, you can still get the multiple-tier ornately decorated cake you’ve always desired but at a slightly reduced price as you’re not paying for as much structural engineering of sugar and flower. To make sure your guests don’t assume anything is up, the catering staff will wheel the dummy cake to the back kitchen, out of sight, then cut and serve a sheet cake to your guests. No one will ever know and a basic sheet cake costs much less than a decorated and tiered cake.
Finally, if you don’t particularly care for cake or know that your guests won’t consume a lot of it, feel free to hold the cake cutting ceremony with the dummy cake and then supplement it with an array of desserts or late night snacks. Weather candies, s’mores, or dessert shooters your guests will appreciate the late night sugar rush!