Why are Cakes so Expensive?
This is a question that many professional cake makers are asked so I thought I’d go through some of the costs involved in making a cake to try to give an understanding of what is behind something that is most certainly a lot more than ‘just butter, flour, sugar and a few eggs’.
Individuals often say ‘but I can buy a cake for under £15 in a supermarket’. Yes, you can. You can also buy a t Shirt in Poundland or one from a designer store. Your choice is whether you wish to pay for something that is mass-produced or something that is bespoke. Cakes sold in supermarkets are either those made on a production line that will be neither bespoke nor personalized to your specifications or they will be those that are offered as ‘hand made’, picked out from a range in a catalogue. However, neither of these offer anything close to the size, individuality, quality and skills displayed in a cake made personally for you. I am pretty sure that no supermarket would produce a cake for example that is 3.5" to 4" deep...The quote “Good cake isn’t cheap, cheap cake isn’t good” sums it up pretty well.
Those of you who bake at home will know that good quality ingredients aren’t that cheap and recently there have been huge price hikes in the supermarkets. To make a 2 tier cake, for example, with 9″ and 6″ tiers you are looking at a lot of ingredients – over a dozen large eggs, three of packs of butter, over a kilo of flour, almost a kilo of sugar, not to mention the quantity of chocolate needed if the cake is more than a simple vanilla…..
In addition you then need to consider…:
• Sugar paste to cover the cakes and the cake drum (I often use at least 1.5k to just cover and decorate a 9” square cake)
• Buttercream to fill the cake and cover the cake with prior to sticking the icing on
• Sugar syrup to soak the layers and keep the cake moist
All in all, for a 2 tier cake (9” and 6”) that is a mix of, for example, vanilla and chocolate mud you are probably looking at £25-30 worth of materials and ingredients before you take into consideration my time. To make a sugar model you are looking at a good few hours work, depending on how intricate the model is. Decorating a cake is a time consuming task and very often I am working around the clock to produce something that I think is nothing less than fabulous.... This is not meant to be negative and you may ask why I’m doing it, and the simple answer is because I love it. I love being creative and I love seeing the look on a customer’s face when they collect their cake. It’s all worth it.
So please remember, if you ask an independent cake maker for a quote, you are not going to get it for supermarket prices – but it will look and taste an awful lot better. A cake maker who is passionate about what they do will always go that extra mile. That much I promise you!
This really is well overdue and my only excuse is that I have been so busy making cakes that the most I have been able to do recently is update the photo galleries here! I've had some fabulous orders in the last few months, it is the busiest I have ever been and I've loved the challenge of some really unusual requests...from 100th birthday cakes, to diamond wedding anniversaries, Burberry boxes to Selfridges boxes, modelled dogs to small shetland ponies....you could never call my work dull!
Well, each month brings with it new challenges! February has been quiet for me, but someone must have planned it that way for me as I have been house decorating and drowning a bit! March, on there other hand, is looking to be crazy, I think I will be working flat out and have some fabulous orders and designs to create, but I do well under pressure!
I am really embarrassed to se that the last time I updated my blog was last summer! I'm good at talking but clearly not at this!
It really has been way too long since I have 'blogged' I am very ashamed to say...in my defense I have been very very busy in lots of other cakey areas!
Facebook: My fan page is now up and running and becoming well established. With in excess of 650 fans, I am getting enquiries from far and wide and it is a great way to keep everyone up to date, especially when I have new creations, or even a sudden gap in my schedule for an additional order! Check it out - there is a button on the Homepage that will take you straight there, Natalie's Creative Cakes. Then all you need to do is 'like'it!
Twitter: Another fantastic way to keep in touch with customers, old and new, as well as other cake minded people! Follow my tweets, NatalieCakeGirl, and keep up to date with all my news. Be warned, I talk a lot!
LinkedIn: As you can see, I'm all for business networking and promotion and this is a great tool for anyone who has their own business...a good way to make contacts and connections and just get your name out there! Look for me, Natalie Cramer, and add me to your network!
As well as all the marketing I have been busy rising to new challenges. Cakes have got more detailed and more imaginative, more and more orders have been for milestone celebrations and there have been many weeks where I have been pushed to my limit!
Newest in my range are the frosted cupcakes with fondant modelling...check out the little frogs and robots they made their way all the way to Pinewood Studios and were a great success!
So, all smiles here and waiting for new challenges....and looking forward to them!
I have been busy experimenting with new flavours and new ideas and spent the last two days baking - what else is there to do when you are stuck at home with a poorly child! So, I have been trying out some new cupcakes...had a couple of disasters along the way, but all came good in the end and I made...
Rich Belgian chocolate cupcakes filled with caramel (yum!), topped with caramel frosting and topped again with chocolate and honeycomb...mmmmmm! Very indulgent and very delicious!
Moist Carrot Cupcakes topped with piped cream cheese frosting and a hand modelled carrot
Gorgeous simple vanilla cupcakes soaked in vanilla bean syrup and topped with rich Belgian chocolate frosting and sprinkles...
What better way to introduce my new range than take the lot to school and entice people to try a free cupcake? (cupcakes, incidentally are BIGGER than fairy cakes, but smaller than muffins!) Most people were more than happy to oblige!
I know we aren't even at Halloween yet...but some forward planning is necessary! I'm starting to take orders for Christmas...gifts for teachers, presents to take to friends, presents for family...these include:
With prices starting at £10 for gift boxes of four fairy cakes, there is something to suit every price range. Please enquire!
I haven't updated this page in a while and thought now would be a good time!
So, what's new? Well, orders are coming in thick and fast and I seem to be fully booked week on week...but please please try to make your orders well in advance. I try never to say no, but sometimes last minute requests simply cannot be taken on board when I have a week where I am maxed out! So, the more notice the better!
You can place an order in a number of ways...ideally call me on the number specified on the website, alternatively send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, always detailing the date the cake is required, number of servings needed, flavour and as much other information that you have.
A number have customers have requested recently that cakes or gift items be delivered. It is now possible for cakes to be delivered locally, with price depending upon distance. Personally, I think this is great for gifts and fairy cakes, but when a tiered cake or sculpted cake has been ordered, it is preferable that it is collected in person.
Many people have commented that they did not know that I made gifts. Well, I do! Gorgeous cellophane wrapped, tissued and ribboned gift baskets containing a selection of delicious brownies and muffins have proved to be extremely popular. When topped with a couple of fairy cakes with wording on, fit for the occasion, these make a truly fabulous and original gift. Basket prices range between £25 and £40.
Other original ideas that are popular as dinner party gifts, get well soon gifts or juts a 'thinking of you' or happy birthday include personalised fairy cakes in 4's presented in a clear acetate box priced at £10, or 6's in white ribboned boxes at £15. So a real range of prices to suit all budgets.
I have recently made some fabulous tiered cakes for real milestone celebrations...weddings, Barmitzvahs etc. I am so passionate about creating that these orders really excite me especially when it comes to designing something novel and highly personalised. So please do always enquire - you are by no means restricted by what you see on the website! Just remember, the bigger the order, the more notice required.
With Mothers Day next month, why not be original and rather than send flowers, how about a lovely gift basket or some beautifully decorated fairy cakes or cookies? Book now to avoid disappointment!
I have just purchased some gorgeous clear acetate boxes with gold bases, perfect for holding 4 fairy cakes. These make fab Christmas gifts when tied with organza ribbon and, at £10 each, make perfect and affordable end of term tokens for teachers.
I can now also prepare gift boxes of fairy cakes with just 6 cakes in - please ask for more info. as ever, I will do my best to accomodate all price ranges and budgets!
Last month I made some fairy cakes for the charity Future Dreams, which I had completely forgotten about! Future Dreams held an event at the Picadilly Theatre in London, raising a massive £400, 000 for charity. The money was raised for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the event and the cause phenomenal...more can be seen at http://www.futuredreams.org.uk
The cakes can be seen on the fairy cakes page.
Christmas is just around the corner now and it gets more difficult by the year to be original where gifts are concerned, so, along those lines....
I have some fantastic ideas for Christmas fairy cakes...think sparkling snowflakes, cheeky reindeer, festive Christmas trees, traditional holly....a lovely personal gift and also great to give to teachers at the end of term. If you're still stuck for ideas, them how about muffin and brownie goodie baskets? Prices start from as little as £10 and range through to £40 for that extra special present.
And, of course, fairy cakes are again becoming ever more popular! I have had so many orders recently, either for themed cakes to go with a main cake (check out the cute cute Hello Kitty ones recently added - perfect with a big Hello Kitty cake), or cakes that represent interests and hobbies....from football to Tai Chi, handbags and lipstick to bunny rabbits and dogs, luscious lips to musical notes....possibilities are endless....stunning when presented on a board, portable when cellophane wrapped and ribboned, unique when individually boxed as a gift....
I had the strangest most bizarre request for a cake this week...I received a text message asking if I could make a vagina cake! After picking myself up from the floor I thought, well why not? Being artistic doesn't need to just extend to chidrens cakes and certainly shouldn't compromise my ability - afterall, just makes me more versatile!
Anyway, the cake was created, had a hugely successful response, not just from the recipient but also shown in the 500 hits the site received in just 2 hours!
So, I'm thinking that this could be a great extra string to my bow! Stag and hen nights, intimate parties...you name it. As I have always said, I'm up for a challenge and will always be accomodating when it comes to your choice of cake. And they needn't be as X rated as the Vagina cake! Mini cakes and cupcakes adorned with lacey underwear, love hearts, bee stung lips and stiletto heals are both tasteful and artistic. I have so many ideas so please please feel free to challenge me!
Fairy Cakes are the new 'in' thing! But here we don't make the buttercreamed variey...way too passe! Instead, all the fairy cakes created are iced in gorgeous fondant after first being soaked in sugar syrup and filled with buttercream first to ensure they are moist and delicious every time. Then anything is possible...from simple designs to more intricate flowers, from wording to sugarpaste modelled creations such as handbags, stilettos, sporting equipment. They make a perfect mini blank canvasse for beautiful and unique creative ideas! And don't limit yourself to birthdays - fairy cakes also make unique gifts for Christenings, births, new homes, a personal 'get well' gesture. Presented cellophane wrapped and boxed, or individually ribboned and boxed, they really do look gorgeous :-)
I've been very busy and my gift baskets are now available and on display under my new 'gifts' tab. I've had a lot of fun experimenting with muffin flavours and perfecting the most indulgent brownies, as well as getting stuck into the wrapping and presentation! Next project is beautiful gift boxes for fairy cakes, so watch this space!
Hi all! Just to let you know that I have now been experimenting with muffins. I have created some fantastic flavours including banana & chocolate chip, snickers and peanut butter, and of course more traditional stuff like blueberry and buttermilk. The experimenting will continue and new flavours will be added continually! These make fantastic presents when cellophane wrapped in bags together with chocolate brownies and look fab. I just made several batches for end of term gifts for my kids teachers and they seem to have gone down well! Please enquire as I'm up for a challenge!