So you’ve got a big birthday or wedding soon, and you need a cake that tastes great and looks amazing. When you really want to impress your guests, you need a really good, luxury cake maker. But what makes these cake makers so special and why are their prices higher than other cake makers’? In this post, I’ll talk you through what it’s like to order a high end bespoke cake, and what makes a luxury cake so special.
Ordering a Bespoke Luxury Cake
Ordering a bespoke luxury cake should feel the same as walking into a luxury clothing boutique. It should feel special and one-of-a-kind. It should feel personal to you. You should build a relationship with the person you’re working with, either because they will be making the cake for you or will be a big part of the process. If you have questions, they should work with you to iron everything out. You shouldn’t feel as if they are just selling you a cake. It should feel professional – with comprehensive but balanced Ts&Cs, accurate sketches, detailed notes/contract. They will bake the cake freshly for you, in small batches. No mass produced batters here. The design should be perfect for you. It doesn’t have to be individual to you, but it should be everything you’ve dreamed of.
Why are luxury cakes so expensive?
When you see everything that goes into creating a luxury cake and making sure the whole ordering process is professional and positive for customers, it’s not hard to understand why they cost more than other bespoke or high street cakes. Creating perfect cakes – with straight sides, realistic flower decorations and intricate or lavish details – takes time and experience. But what are you really paying for with a luxury cake?
- Often, a completely one-of-a-kind cake. Some cake studios will offer set designs, but let’s set them aside for now. When you contact a luxury cake studio, they are creating a design especially for you. With your colours, flavours, sizes, flowers, design elements, and sometimes even making custom moulds or stencils to create your design. A luxury cake maker will sit down for at least a few hours to pull together everything you’ve told them, and sketch up a design that is beautiful, structurally sound and captures your celebration. Creating a lifelike sketch of your cake can take hours, and each bespoke design requires unique planning.
- A freshly baked, handmade, cake that has been individually made. It’s very rare to find a luxury cake studio that buys in ready-made sponges or uses packet mixes for cakes. Instead, you can expect that your cake has been freshly baked that week, never frozen. What’s more, you will often find that bespoke cake makers are mixing and baking each tier of your cake individually. They won’t make one giant batch of batter and spread it across all 6/8/10 cake tins. Buttercreams will be made especially for you, and each cake will be individually cut, stacked and covered. The whole process of trimming a cake, filling it, stacking it and covering it can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on its size and finish, so you really are paying for someone who will take the time to make a perfect cake.
- The highest quality ingredients. Although every cake maker will be different, you can generally expect luxury cake makers to use higher end ingredients like organic or local butters, homemade or luxury jams, and good quality chocolates.
- The time someone has dedicated to learning and improving. This could be taking classes with other luxury cake artists (most of which cost upwards of £300 a day), practising making different flowers and design elements (taking time and materials to do that), and making mistakes (it takes lots of failures to create good cake recipes, and make designs that look amazing!).
- Good, reputable, reliable customer service. Getting to know a couple well enough that they trust you to create a piece of cake art especially for them, takes time. It involves initial emails to learn about their wedding, meeting with them in person and providing delicious cake samples, and continuing to liaise with them in the months leading up to their big day. None of the luxury cake studios have won awards or stayed in business because they had rubbish customer service. Every one of them has delivered an absolutely stunning cake, every time, because they care. They are the types of people who are still awake at 2am because the cake isn’t finished and it needs to be delivered in 8 hours. When they know the weather will be unseasonably hot, they do everything they need to, to ensure that your wedding cake is as perfect as it should be. No melting, no sagging and no disasters. They work hard to make sure everything is perfect, even if that means re-doing things completely.
- All of the different activities that go into running a professional business. From accounting to marketing, procurement (that means shopping in Tesco at midnight because you’ve run out of cream!) to admin. A luxury cake studio is like any other small business. There is just one or a few people making everything happen. They have bills, rates and fees to pay like any other business. And that means looking after themselves as employees with fair wages and a pension. As well as paying all of the bills associated with running a business, a luxury cake maker will also be investing money in things like insurance, to ensure that nothing will ruin your big day.
- The tools, equipment and materials required to make luxury cakes. Some things may only cost a few pounds, but over the year, it all adds up. And definitely don’t even mention mixers, cake trimmers and rolling pins! They may be worth their weight in gold but if you want a good quality piece of equipment that doesn’t break, the costs start breaking into hundreds of pounds!
Photo from the lovely Jenny Owens Photography
When you start looking at different cake makers, and comparing the options that you have, it can be overwhelming. Not only do cake makers have slightly different styles, flavours and approaches, there are also quite wide-ranging price brackets. However, even if you have a limited or set budget, it’s always worth speaking to a luxury cake maker. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. So if perfection on the inside and outside is important to you, they’re the people to speak to. If you’re looking for a luxury cake maker in Surrey, Hampshire or neighbouring counties, please do get in touch. Good luck and happy planning.
With love from lila xx