Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Building and Using a Dummy Cake

Have you ever thought about decorating a fake cake for your bakery display? While this may sound a little bizarre, we swear it’s not cheating! Essentially, dummy cakes are styrofoam blocks that come in varying shapes and sizes and can be iced and decorated to look just like a real cake. The only limit to a dummy cake is your imagination, so it’s a great way to show your stuff and up your bakery’s overall presentation. You can find them online, at a baking supplies shop, or you may even come across them in your local craft store. 

There are some great benefits of using a dummy cake in place of a real cake when it’s the right situation. While you obviously wouldn’t use a dummy cake for a tasting, you could always use it for your bakeries’ display case, promotional products, or travel displays. This way, you can produce an amazingly decorated cake without the extra effort, costs, and waste. Keep reading to learn how your bakery can build and use a dummy cake.

Up-Level Your Display Cases

One of the more popular uses for a decorated dummy cake is for a bakery’s display case. Think about it—If you use real cakes in your display case, they’re eventually going to look (and smell) a little funky. A fake cake can show off your talents for more than just a few days, and people will love having an up-close view of the types of decorative skills you possess. Don’t forget to post pictures on social media!

Dummy cakes can also come in handy when you want to add to your cake portfolio. Want an insider tip? To save time and resources, decorate your dummy cake two different ways on either side and take two separate photos of the seemingly different cakes. You’ll have double the entries for your portfolio. Check out even more tips for your bakery’s portfolio here.

Contrary to popular belief, dummy cakes aren’t just for internal use. You can offer them to your clients as well! You’re probably asking, “But why would they want a cake they can’t eat?”

The simple answer: so they can have your cake and eat it too. For example, many brides want a multi-tiered, heavily decorated wedding cake but are put off by the price. You can offer these budget-conscience brides the option to purchase everything their heart desires, just on a dummy cake instead of a real one. For the purpose of pictures and best impressions, a fake cake will definitely get the job done (and if done right, wow all those in attendance); then, you can serve a regular sheet cake to guests.

Building Your Dummy Cake

When you’re decorating a dummy cake, you can use the same types of icing you’d use on a real cake, such as buttercream, fondant, or royal icing. You don’t need to crumb coat or level the sides for buttercream icing, and you can apply the final coat of buttercream directly to the dummy cake.

Alternatively, fondant needs a little more prep work. The small manufacturing lines or dents will show through on the fondant if you don’t smooth them out first. A smooth, even coating of royal icing will do the trick! 

If you want to put together a multi-tiered dummy cake, you can simply hot glue the tiers on top of each other. Apply the glue in an even layer all around the top surface of the styrofoam and press down firmly to ensure it holds. With multiple tiers, you’ll need to patch up the joints with royal icing before covering them with fondant.

You can even use a fake cake in conjunction with real cake to give it a multi-tiered look without the outcome of leftover cake slices. If the real cake is going on top of the dummy, nothing out of the ordinary needs to happen. However, if you want the dummy on top of the real cake, the real cake will need support, such as a wooden dowel rod.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Another great benefit of dummy cakes is the number of times you can reuse them! Not only do you never have to worry about any part of the dummy cake going bad, but you can also switch them out when necessary. Say you made an elaborate heart-shaped cake for Valentine’s Day but still would like to use it for future Valentine’s Days. Find a safe place to store it, and you’ll have the perfect display option for next year.

Maybe you want to start from scratch but don’t feel like purchasing a bunch of new styrofoam boxes—no problem! You can just scrape off the icing, wash off the styrofoam, and pat it dry.

It’s important to note that if you’re using buttercream icing on your dummy cakes, it will be a bit more difficult to clean and reuse due to the grease. To combat this, many bakers take the time to actually wrap their blocks in cling wrap before covering them with icing. This way, you can use any icing without having to deal with annoying clean-ups or waste. 

Dummy cakes are a great option to consider when you’re purely going for aesthetics and not taste. There are so many ways these fake cakes can be utilized to show off your talent as a baker and artist. Looking for more ways to make your bakery efficient? BakeSmart bakery software can help you manage your entire operation efficiently.

Schedule a demo with BakeSmart today and start conquering the chaos.

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