Wedding Cake Costs

“It’s just cake! Why does it have to be so expensive?” This is a wail that is often heard during wedding planning.

Wedding cakes are labor-intensive.  The cake itself takes much longer to assemble due to the fact that they’re bigger!  They’re built.  The cost of the ingredients, while more for some types of cake than other, is usually not the deciding factor in the cost of a wedding cake.  Rather, the type of decoration and the time involved in assembling the cake itself is what determines the final cost.

Prep work

Cakes not only have to be baked but they require several hours to cool down before icing/decorating. Cake artists also need specialized tools and equipment to complete your order. Artists will certainly have invested in baking pans, fondant moulds, cutters, embossers, spatulas, dusting brushes and so on.

Ingredients and Quality
Professional cake artists will not use frozen cakes but will make their cakes to order, usually 2 – 3 days before the event. This ensures that the cake stays fresh and not only looks good but tastes good as well. Most cakes will of course require eggs, flour and butter but premium ingredients such as real vanilla, high-quality chocolate and fresh fruits and nuts will increase your cost, versus using artificial flavourings.


Hand-crafted details are labour-intensive, for example – hand-sculpted fondant figures or modeling chocolate figures often take hours of work. Another example is that the drying time for gum paste flowers is extensive and so labor for that often begins days or weeks before the event. Fondant flowers are often hand-colored and covered by hand, with lustre dust. Many cake artists will also use custom moulds for certain fondant motifs. Complicated cakes may even have a system of internal supports to prevent the cake from breakage and all of this is done by hand.


Special occasion and wedding cakes are often complex and heavier than regular cakes so the transportation will play

The experience and credentials of your cake artist will also be a factor in the cost of your cake. Even what may seem simple such as getting buttercream to be perfectly smooth is a skill that only comes from experience.