How Much Do Wedding Cakes Cost in NYC?
Updated: Apr 28
Wedding cakes are one of the most popular wedding traditions to date and are still followed. Even though plenty of couples forgoes this tradition in favor of alternative dessert options, however, the majority of them still want a traditional, tiered wedding cake as the main dessert. It adds a traditional charm to the wedding.
Now the important question is how much do wedding cakes cost because this impacts the couples’ wedding budget.
The wedding cakes are desserts that are not like the regular ones you pick up from a bakery and serve.
They require effort from expert
bakers and chefs, specialized ingredients along with hours and hours of labor.
They also include the delivery, setup, and customization charges as well. Hence, wedding cake costs have several factors that go into them. The factors that equate the wedding cake costs are
Wedding cake consultation fee.
The baker’s effort.
Size of the cake and number of tiers.
Level of intricacy with designs, colors, and style.
Type of frosting.
Add-ons such as cake stands/toppers.
AVERAGE PRICE OF WEDDING CAKES
According to Thumbtack, the average price of wedding cakes is around $350. On the lower end, couples spend around $125 and on the higher end, they typically spend upward of $700- $1,000 and more on their wedding cake.
You might be wondering why isn’t there a straightforward single answer to this question, that is, how much does the average wedding cake cost? Well, it is because wedding cakes have variable prices that are determined by what goes in them and the services of the bakery.
Generally, wedding cakes are priced by the slice. They can range anywhere from $5 up to $16 per slice. The prices further vary according to the flavor, the depth, the kind of frosting you want, and the bakery you would like to get your cake made from. The starting price of a fondant wedding cake is usually about $6 per slice, while the starting price of a buttercream wedding cake is about $5 per slice.
According to a survey conducted by The Knot, over 15,000 couples who got married in 2021 spent $500 on the average price of wedding cakes which is similar to what couples spent in 2019.
Cake prices also depend on the bakery you want to work with. If it is an upscale bakery that uses high-end ingredients and specialized utensils then, of course, your cake will be much pricier. Hence, you need to look for a bakery that provides high-end ingredients and upscale services within an affordable wedding budget range.
We recommend A Love For Cakes for all your wedding cake fantasies where we offer all kinds of services for your wedding cakes, from consultation to the end product, that also on a wide variety of budgets. Our bakers are experts in this field with years of hands-on experience and mastered techniques of baking. We also provide you with a wedding cake consultation so you can translate and visualize your inspiration and theme into a cake that suits you best.
No matter what kind of cake you want, which flavor you want your cake to incorporate, or whether you need a multiple layered huge cake with lots of tiers and intricate details, A Love For Cakes offers all of it at an affordable budget so you do not have to break your bank.
SIZE YOUR WEDDING CAKE
Now, one of the biggest factors that determine the size and hence the average price of wedding cakes is the number of guests. The more guests you have, the bigger cake you will need. With increased guest servings, your cake will be larger and hence, more pricey.
As a starting point, a standard size 3-tier wedding cake will serve 50 to 100 guests. Thumbtack shared this helpful serving size breakdown for a classic round-tiered cake, below.
5-inch round: 8 servings
6-inch round: 12 servings
7-inch round: 16 servings
8-inch round: 24 servings
9-inch round: 32 servings
10-inch round: 38 servings
11-inch round: 47 servings
12-inch round: 56 servings
13-inch round: 67 servings
14-inch round: 78 servings
15-inch round: 89 servings
These figures are based on an average-sized portion and deal with average cake depth.
One way to offset this is by reducing the guest serving in half, that is, “half-servings”. So, for instance, if you have 400 guests, you would need a cake with 200 servings and a single serving will suffice for 2 guests. At weddings, guests usually eat a bite or so from the dessert anyway, so the half-servings will not only cut costs but also reduce wastage.
Another way is through a fake cake, which couples have started opting for recently.
This cake is used for pictures and cutting while the guests are served from a simple sheet cake, prepared separately, and for a much lesser price. To get an idea of the sheet cake servings, the following chart will be helpful.
Quarter Sheet Cake – 54 servings
Half Sheet Cake – 108 servings
Full Sheet Cake – 192 servings
You can also have the increasingly popular “naked” cake to reduce your wedding cake cost.
How Can I Save Money On My Wedding Cake?
Lastly, saving money in your wedding budget, wherever you can, is important. That money can be used in matters that need more attention. However, you also have to take care of the fact that everything is being done and prepared the way you want. Otherwise, cutting down costs but not having a satisfactory product made and delivered is a huge disappointment.
Similarly, during wedding cake shopping, there are some instances where you can cut down wedding cake costs. Like,
Keep it simple.
Keep your cake simple and consider incorporating mainstream flavors rather than exclusive ones. The more exquisite flavors you want the more exotic ingredients it will need which will rack up a good amount of money. Similarly, the kind of frosting you are going for on your cake also determines the bill. Some of the most common wedding cake frostings are:
Cakes with buttercream frosting are much cheaper than the ones with fondant.
Think simple and minimalistic. Avoid having layers of gold foils, multiple tiers, and intricate details. These require much of the bakers’ time and effort and hence cost a great deal as well. The increased number of tiers also needs more managing and careful delivery and effort so these cakes have their service charges and delivery charges much higher than what an average wedding cake costs.
Decorate with fresh flowers.
Opt to decorate your cake with fresh flowers. They are natural, add to the beauty, and are much cheaper than sugar flowers. They also do not need too much effort from professional bakers.
You can also skip out on the cake toppers in favor of flowers or you can rent the toppers as well as the cake stand. Some venues offer these, so consult the venue manager and your wedding planner for the best option.
Get an alternative.
One increasingly popular option that couples are opting for at their weddings is having an alternative cake to serve or an alternative dessert altogether.
They get 2 cakes, one of them adorned and decorated for the ceremony and pictures, and another cake, usually a sheet cake, to serve as dessert to the guests. This way the cost of intricately decorating and making a huge wedding cake is cut down to a smaller one.
Another option is to get an alternative dessert. Couples usually get the cake for the ceremony and for serving guests, they get alternative non-cake desserts. Some of the popular dessert options currently are:
Ice cream sandwiches
These alternatives are much cheaper and a good alternative to an expensive wedding cake that your guests will probably have only a bite of.
When should I hire a wedding cake baker?
Experts say that ideally, wedding cake bakers should be hired 6-7 months before your wedding. Wedding cakes are elaborate desserts, ones that require hours and hours upon days and days of meticulous work and effort to be put in until completion. They are hand-crafted arts of a bakers' years of experience and skill. Wedding cakes, therefore, need a professional baker rather than a DIY. It also needs enough time to be made, baked, and delivered successfully to your wedding.
While hiring a baker, the first and foremost thing you have to pay attention to is your wedding budget. While paying for the wedding cake costs, you will also be charged for the services the baker has offered, the time spent on your wedding cake, and the ingredients that will go in your cake. The delivery charges are a whole different story. The more upscale the baker is the more the service charges will be. The more specialized flavors you want, the higher the average price of wedding cake will rise. The more intricate decor and detailing your cake needs, the more effort by the baker will be required which, consequently, increases their charges. If your wedding cake breaks your bank, you will be stuck with an empty account and a lot of pending tasks. So, divide your wedding budget equally among all the different wedding tasks. Our blog article will help you set an estimated budget for your wedding cake.
You also need to pay attention to how the bakery works. If you are going for rare and exotic ingredients in your cake but the bakery you hired is not an expert in these sorts of flavors, then your hired baker will fail to reproduce the flavor you want. There is not even a minimal chance of failure or mistake when it comes to wedding cakes because you don't have time!
Now that you have hired a professional baker, it is now time for consultation. A wedding cake consultation provides a broader perspective on your cake vision. You might have an inspiration from a non-cake or non-wedding source but you are not a hundred percent sure how to incorporate it into a perfect wedding cake. Well, this is where the professional cake experts come. They can translate your inspiration and vision into the cake design that will satisfy you and fit the theme of your wedding in the best way possible. Make sure to communicate your idea or inspiration to the best of your abilities or even a rough sketch, if you have come up with a design, to your hired baker on your consultation and they will magically transform it into a handmade piece of delicious art.
In the months that follow, the baker will set to work with occasional communications about details and decor. Once your cake is ready, you will be called for tasting, so you will be able to give its flavor a thumbs up.
On your wedding day, the bakery will deliver your cake to the venue. The delivery of your cake requires continuous care and management so the cake does not get ruined before the ceremony. All of these services and the time spent by the bakery's employees on delivery will be calculated in the delivery charges. How tiered or layered it is relative to how difficult it will be to deliver it. The bigger your cake is the more effort it will need during delivery along with constant care.
So, all in all, wedding cakes, whether it is made or taken, are tough businesses. They are also pretty expensive. So, we recommend A Love For Cake for your wedding cakes. Our bakery deals with all kinds of flavors and makes you the best and most flavorful cakes ever. Customized to your choice and baked to perfection, our cakes are a treat to your taste buds and a sight to behold for sore eyes. All of our services come in a variety of budgets so you don't have to worry too much about running out of your allotted wedding cake budget.
What questions should I ask a wedding cake baker before hiring?
While hiring a professional wedding cake baker, there are some aspects of the business, the expert, and the product that you should pay heed to. In this regard, you can ask questions from the baker, and based on the answers you will not only be able to decide on finalizing the baker but you will also be able to address the questions you have in mind about the kind of wedding cake you want.
Some commonest questions that you should ask are
Ask them about their bakery, the years they have spent in the industry, and the number of wedding cakes they have made to date.
Licensing and Insurance.
Inquire whether the bakery is operating legally and whether it has been licensed and insured. In case of any damage to your cake on your wedding day, this information will come in handy.
Ask about the flavors they offer, flavors that are their specialty, any unique flavors that they have made to date, and whether they have a set menu or allow personalization and customization of flavors.
Ask them about what kind of designs they have made, their design portfolio, whether they do custom design or just stick to their ones, and also, if they do design consultation when you have just an idea or not even that.
Inquire about their prices, their average wedding cake costs, how they price their slices, the number of tiers they can easily pull off, and the maximum number of tiers they have made to date. Ask them about some basics of servings as well.
Payments and Charges.
These are the important bits for you and your wedding budget. Ask them about how they do payments, their minimum cost, additional charges for cake toppers or cake stand, their delivery fee and service charges, their due date for the final payment, and the advance deposit. Also, ask about their refund policy and what will be the max. time until which an order can be canceled.
Lastly, inquire about when should the cake order be finalized, the ways of delivery they can offer, what do they do in case of any damage to the cake on the wedding day during delivery or any damage from their side, and if they are enting the cake toppers and stand then until when should they be returned.
These are some of the most basic questions you need to address. These will help you in making a final decision about your wedding cake.
When you are done with your questions, then with your partner go through the information you have been provided, discuss amongst yourselves and decide on the best option available.
Unable to decide on a wedding cake that falls within your budget, yet? Get in touch with us and learn more about the services we offer for wedding cakes.