Saving on wedding cakes: Fake layers, fresh flowers, and more!

For the bride who wants a traditional wedding cake, without the outrageous costs that go with it, there are many creative alternatives. One idea is adding fake tiers to your wedding cake. According to Napsnet, this can save you about 50 percent per slice. If you have your baker create a fake layer or two in your wedding cake, and actually serve slices from a sheet cake hidden in the kitchen, no one will know the difference!

Simply desserts points out that some bakers charge by the “serving” for decorating fake tiers (about $2.50 per serving) so this can actually add a significant amount to the final cost of your cake. Explore all your options to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible!

Take a look at the two cakes below (I got this picture from the savvy event, via  Rachael Ray’s website)… One cost $250 while the other was $2500. The fake cake has a real bottom layer, and the top three layers are fake. The couple cuts from the bottom layer for pictures, then the cake is moved to the kitchen where the bottom is served in addition to a cheaper sheet cake. (One website I looked at pointed out that if you use an entire real cake, much of it gets wasted in the kitchen anyway, since it gets messy and falls apart while being cut.)

You can also create an entire fake cake, and serve sheet cake from the kitchen. If you want to do it yourself, you can find tips on faking a cake here at thrifty fun or party pop. They suggest using styrofoam “cakes” that you can find in craft stores, in all shapes and sizes.  Use a Royal Icing (egg white based icing) that dries hard to cover the styrofoam and decorate as you would a real cake.

Aside from fake cakes, there are other ways to cut costs on your wedding cake. A great source for ideas is big-wedding-tiny-budget. They point out that much of the cost of decorating wedding cakes comes from the labor involved: applying icing or fondant and creating intricate designs. Keeping your cake design simple can save you a bundle.

1. Add fresh or fake flower:

2. Add a Swiss dot pattern and simple piping:

3.Add a jeweled monogram cake topper (which could be a fun do-it-yourself project):

4. Create an elegant, textured look by applying “messy” icing:

Click here for more creative ways to save! Check out Ultimate Baker, or for all your DIY wedding cake supplies.


  1. Florists have been using “fake cakes” for a long time to display fresh flower designs used to decorate wedding cakes. You’ve probably seen them in use at bridal fairs and wedding trade shows.

    You might check with a local florist in your area to see if they have one they would be willing to rent to you.

  2. Thanks for the blog reference! I am loving the last cake with the “messy” frosting!

  3. Some great ideas for anyone looking to save money on their wedding cake. It seems like more and more people are opting for this alternative.

    It’s a great way (excuse the pun) to have your cake and eat it too, in terms of having a great cake without breaking the bank.