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Why do custom cakes cost so much?

September 10, 2017

So I thought a good topic and one of our most commonly asked questions "why so much?" should be the front and center of this week.


This is the age old question of why cakes cost so much. To start with nothing that I can think of that is custom made in any way shape or form would cost the same less than the generic counter part.


The amount of time that is involved in creating that custom cake is more than just cooking, icing and tah-dah. It is corresponding with clients emails/calls etc backwards and forwards to get a conclusion of the design and specifications then selectively shopping and organizing anything required such as florist quotes, cake toppers specific sprinkles etc.


Then the paperwork that comes with the quotes and filing the banking for deposits of cake orders, chasing up deposits, contacting clients when a deposit has been received.

Then baking the cakes that we have for the weekend, which also includes the utilities of gas, water and electricity. A large mud cake can take up to 4 hours to bake, there is also the outlay of baking tins, mixers, bowls, spatulas etc.


Then there is then the slicing, carving, sculpting, filling, crumb coating and prepping. Then I cover each one with fondant or buttercream getting sharp and clean edges can take up to 2 hours each cake to get it just right and perfect to a point I am 100% happy with.


Now the cakes as all covered and ready for decorations the fun begins where the custom creation comes together. Depending on the design of the cake, decoration can take anywhere from 4 - 8 hours or more.


Some cakes take longer and there have been weeks where Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights I have been caking up till 4:30 am to ensure all the cakes are done to the upmost quality.


So the cakes are all complete for the next day and we then have to organize cake collection times or deliveries then take photos of the finished products. Then while waiting for cake collections or in between deliveries I am working on quotes, correspondence and shopping for the next week to start all over again.


The whole point of me explaining the cake process is so that people hopefully get a bit more of an idea of the steps and time involved. Then the ongoing costs to further extend my knowledge and skills so that we can constantly keep amazing clients with stunning cakes for all their occasions.


There will always be a business that is happy to create a custom cake for a cheaper price this could be due to their knowledge, experience, methods and workload. In our experience businesses that charge very little for a custom cake and are 'happy" to just charge the ingredient costs generally get burnt out, have to up their pricing or have unfathomable workloads.


At the end of the day businesses can charge what ever they feel their time, labor and skills are worth and we respect anyone who is in the industry as we know the blood, sweat and tears that go into creating a business.


I sincerely and honestly love what I do and am so happy to have found my calling.


Here at Ilma Cakes 9/10 we can accommodate most requests the only time things get a bit tricky is when the design and a the portions cannot be compromised with a specific budget. For example a 4 tier wedding cake for 150 dessert portions with a budget of $200 is unrealistic for the size of the cake required.


The easiest way for me to be able to quote a cake is if I know a theme/design, portions and the budget then I can create a design that suits the budget, portions and other requirements to ensure a happy outcome for everyone.


The higher the budget the more room for detail, design or portions.


I completely understand that Ilma Cakes is not for everyone and that's fine. We aim to make truly outstanding cakes that are the center piece and talking point of any occasion and make any occasion truly memorable.


Thanks for reading,




Ilma Cakes

Owner/ Operator










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