Why Are Custom Cakes So Expensive?

Why Are Custom Cakes So Expensive?

“It’s just cake; how could it cost so much?”

Fair question. It’s common to compare prices for custom-made cakes to cakes from supermarket bakeries, but there are a lot of factors to consider.

Supermarket bakeries sell various baked goods that are popular to help balance their costs. They also offer ready-to-decorate cakes with edible prints and generic designs that can be mass produced. Often times, this is because supermarkets have to prioritize budget limits and quick, efficient ways of offering baked goods due to time restraints.


With custom cakes, you’re getting a one-of-a-kind cake. At Candid Confections, cake batters are made with quality, fresh ingredients consisting of dozens of eggs, cups of fruit filling, pounds of butter, flour, icing, coloring, and fondant. This is just the base of a simple cake — not including details requested by clients, or the number of tiers needed to feed everyone attending the occasion. Depending on the scale of the cake, cake decorators could spend, on average, more than 20 hours customizing and perfecting a cake order.


Speaking of details, every custom cake order is uniquely tailored to a client’s specific needs while creating an experience for guests too. Pricing accounts for the cake decorator’s time to fulfill the order from the beginning stages of design to the presentation of the final product, as well as the the overhead costs of running a storefront. Cake bakers put time into consulting and designing specific decorations in order to make your special cake unique to your celebration.


Aside from having artistic sugar skills, bakers with experience have learned the skills necessary to manipulate sugar, chocolate, cake, fillings, and frosting combinations. Depending on how special and elaborate clients want cake details to be, it can increase the cost because it is labor intensive and it may require new tools necessary to create intricate designs. Clean edges, perfect lines, realistic flowers, figurines, and color matching require artistic skill and time.


We understand budgets, and most cake decorators are willing to work within your budget. Before meeting with a cake decorator, figure out what works best for you to stay within your budget, research the cake decorator’s gallery, and remember you get what you pay for — cheaper is not always better.

Despite how expensive a custom cake may seem, the reality is that many cake decorators don’t make profit that’s large enough to make a living off of a single cake order. Most of the cost goes to quality ingredients and investing in tools to make special details, while the remaining amount covers consulting, labor, and skills that brought the cake together. Regardless, we continue doing what we do because we love working with customers that recognize our talent, quality service, and hours of dedicated attention to detail. We’re driven by a passion for the trade and knowing we did the best we can to create a dessert that perfectly matches a client’s special occasion. So, it may seem expensive, but depending on your values, the quality product and service you receive can be well worth it.

If you have any questions about custom cakes, feel free to reach out! Below are a few photos of my own cake art, and you can check out more in the gallery or Instagram.

Pumpkin Walnut Cupcakes

Pumpkin Walnut Cupcakes

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Gluten Free Apple Crisp