Cake dummies that is.
What is a cake dummie you ask? No its not a stupid cake and its not all together an unflavorful cake either. It is a styrofoam cake. The frosting is real the cake is not. So you might be asking another question. Why have a cake that you can’t eat? Well there are a few reasons why. Allow me to explain. (I’ve added some in progress photos of a dummie cake I made this past week for a venue open house event)
1. For cake shows, wedding shows, and Magazine shoots.
Bakers will often make Display (dummie) cakes to be a show peice. To have on display for shows, open house events at venues, and for those bridal magazine photos. Often times these are the cakes on display when you go into bakeries. We make them so you can see what our hands can create. These cakes don’t need to be eaten but they do need to be made with edible frosting so that you can see that the baker can actually decorate a cake. In cases like the Sugar art cake shows. It is so the baker can create an over the top decorated cake. There is generally a theme for the shows but the baker is allowed to showcase any and all techniques they know how to do to decorate the cake and they are then JUDGED on thier skill set and level. Funny we make cakes just so we can be judged based on how well we did. Anyway I won’t go down that rabbit hole today. So the frosting is real the cake is not. DO NOT TOUCH these cakes. or bite into them. Seriously I have had display cakes distroyed in show rooms by people poking their finger in them to see if they are real, and yes some have had bites taken out of them. I can’t imagine who is biting into cakes on display in Wedding rental stores but I think that getting a mouth full of old frosting and styrofoam is just reward for ruining one of my displays. Display cakes cost alot of money. The styrofoam is not cheep and can cost more than the ingredients of actuall cake. (I bought a 12″ dummy just last week and after adding shipping and handling the cost was $29 just for 1 dummy.) Now add all the time and real frosting to decorate it along with any extra equipment needed to decorate it like special embossers, gold leaf, custom stencils you get the idea. These cakes are made so we bakers can show you and help you to know that we can be trusted to decorate your cake for your wedding day or other celebration. It also allows you to get an idea of what your cake size could look like. If the display is a 4 tier cake that would serve 130 guests and that is the size you are needing. You have a pretty accurate model right in front of you so that you can imagine how you will look on your wedding day standing behind it cutting it. That is the image your photographer will capture. And you will see it in your photos for many years to come as you stroll down memory lane. When you touch these display cakes you even if you are not breaking the sugar flowers or digging holes in them to see if they are “real” you are leaving behind the oils on your fingers that will damage the cake. You wouldn’t go into an art gallery and touch the paintings so please don’t touch cakes you see on display. They are someones art.
2. Actual wedding cake fake out.
Can you believe it? Yes. Some brides want to fake out their guests. Some because its funny. (I had a groom who had me make his big grooms cake out of foam so that at the reception he could go over and pick it up and hoist it over his head. All of the guests thought is was real cake and GASPED.)
Some brides rent display cakes for thier wedding day and then serve grocery store sheet cakes to the guests to save money. 1st I would not recommend this. If you are renting a cake display from a bakery why not buy your sheet cakes from the bakery where they are baked fresh and decorated if you like to your specificaitons. Grocery store cakes come to the store pre-baked, frozen and could have been made 6 months ago. Just because its cheep doesn’t mean its a good deal. I personaly do not rent out display cakes. I have tried it and every time my display was ruined. I suppose becasue people think “Oh its fake I don’t have to be careful with it”.
Some brides read in magazines that they can get fake cakes to make thier cakes bigger. Becuase in some areas BIG, TALL, MASSIVE, cakes are all the rage. Some bakeries will do the bottom cakes fake for you , I will too. but just because the cake is fake does not mean it won’t cost you. As I said before the styrofoam can be more costly than the ingredients of actual cake and it still has to be decorated with real frosting and it still takes the same amount of time to decorate it. Some bakers will discount a little for a dummie cake or cake layers and some charge full price as if it were real cake. They are still putting in the time and art to create an outstanding centerpeice for your event Fake or not. I charge 1/3 less for foam layers. because I don’t have to bake, trim and fill so I do save a little time. If you want a BIG, TALL cake. I’m game. As long as I have enough notice to get the foam layers in we are golden. And I make sheet cakes if you want to serve YUMMY cake to your guests and not distroy your beautiful display. But the top layers of your Tall cake can be real and you can serve those without the need for sheet cakes. What ever you would like is doable.
I hope that this has helped you to understand dummie cakes a little better. Maybe you will hire me to make your cake with a dummie in it. (ha ha Not the kind wher someone jumps out thats called a Jack-in-the-Cake). If you have any quesions about foam cake layers feel free to email or message me. I’d be glad to answer.
Be Sweet, Eat Cake