After being asked probably 10 times so far this week for a cheaper quote if, (and I quote) ‘you stick a couple of dummys in’  I thought I should set the record straight on the use of dummy tiers in wedding cakes.

People assume that if you put a dummy tier or two in a tiered cake it will reduced the cost.  This isn’t necessarily the case.  In fact, it very rarely reduces the cost.  Particularly with the sort of cakes that we produce, which are very detailed.

The cakes that we create are works of art.   Hours and hours and hours of sweat (and very often) tears go into the creation of the most intricate flowers, petals and leaves.. not to mention the utmost skill in hand piping.

Take the feature image to this blog post. This black and white creation featured over 200 tiny sugar roses, over 300 rose leaves, a hand crafted sugar vase.. and that’s before we even thought about the actual cake.  So, when we did come to making the cake – which was in this case 4 tiers of real cake and two dummy tiers – in terms of cost and time, it really made no difference to us whether it was all cake or not.

Dummy tiers are often placed in cakes either to provide a solid base when fruit cake is not wanted or, when the client does not require a lot of cake but wants a very impressive design.

A three tier cake or more requires a solid base to support it’s weight – and for transportation.  Only two things will work – fruit or polystyrene.  Very often when a polystyrene tier is placed at the bottom for support it is then replaced by a cutting tier of sponge cake – which is passed to the kitchen. When the dummy tier is replaced with a cutting tier of cake this actually adds to the cost of the cake as the cake maker is providing a dummy tier AND a cutting tier

In each image below, the bottom tier is fake.  But, the time and skill that has been invested in each case, is what is being charged for (and materials of course).  In each of these examples, whether the inside was made of sponge or polystyrene is negligible in terms of cost.  I would also add that the polystyrene dummys have to be made and ordered to size – and this is obviously at a cost.

The only instance where dummy tiers will reduce the cost of a cake is if the cake design is very plain AND if the dummy tiers on a very plain design is not replaced with cutting cake.

So, contrary to some opinion, dummy tiers really don’t reduce the price of a wedding cake, very often in fact they increase the price!

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