Comparisons of Cake, Cupcakes & Dessert Bar

When it comes to wedding cakes, we help our couples with what their vision is. By far, traditional wedding cakes are most popular for good reasons. Cupcakes and Dessert Bars are favored by those who have not just a cake in mind, but a whole table spread in mind. Of course, budget plays a big part into your final decision.

One big question we get is, "is it true not all guests will eat cake?". Not because we're the bakers, but the truth is; all guests will eat good cake! And hearing from our past couples, even those guests who claim they don't like cake will try a bite of our cake - and rave about it!

Whatever your vision and budget is, we want to give you the best wedding cake experience. After all, this should be fun!

Whether choosing our Budget Friendly or Full Service options, you can expect the same great attention from our Wedding Team to help you with all your wedding cake questions. To help you get an idea on how your budget meets your vision, below are general calculations comparing wedding cake, cupcakes or dessert bar options. In addition to a price comparison, we've also addressed things to consider that you might not have even thought of! 

Our Wedding Price List can help you calculate for your specific guest size and dessert choices. In general, our buttercream iced wedding cakes are comparable in price to serving cupcakes while dessert bars are higher in price.

CALCULATING WEDDING CAKE: We price our cakes based on the size and design of the cake. For example, our 12-9-6" cake, which feeds 100 people, is approximately $675. If you want to determine cost/slice, that wedding cake would calculate out to be about $6.75/person. Price includes one standard flavor and standard buttercream decoration. Additional $40 for each additional flavor. Price may vary depending on exact delivery location and any additional decoration requests. Please keep in mind, if you are familiar with the wedding tradition to save the top tier for the anniversary, account for 10 servings with the 6" top tier cake.

Cake Table & Floral Setups
With our standard delivery and cake setup, we bring the wedding cake into the reception room and set the cake up on any cake stand or table you provided. We will add on the cake topper if there is one for no additional charge. If your cake topper is on the heavier side, please be sure to let us know ahead of time so we can prepare the cake with extra support for the weight of the topper. If fresh flowers are part of the decoration, the florist on site then finishes most cakes.

We highly recommend having a florist decorate the cake to get an added touch. It's what they do best, and they will generally have more to work with (i.e. varied sizes of flowers, vines, greens, etc.). If you need us to service your flower set up, please check with our availability and price depends on your needs.

Cake Stands & Risers
We recommend couples purchase or rent their own cake stands. When purchasing (or renting) your cake stands, make sure the flat area where the cake sits is at least the size of the cake board noted in your order confirmation. Experience has taught us that you should physically reconfirm the diameter once you receive your stand to ensure it is the correct size. If the cake stand is smaller than the cake board, contact us before ordering. If you are using a rental company for the wedding, you can generally rent a stand. The stand is then delivered and picked up at the same time as the other rentals. It is recommended you confirm with your caterer or event venue how they will manage the cake stand.

Freedom Bakery has limited white porcelain cake stand sets for purchase. They are sold in a set of 5 stands for $100 with 2ct - 10.5", 1ct - 8.5" and 2ct - 4" stands. No substitutions in sizes. Please let us know upon ordering if you want to purchase a set.

We have standard silver cake risers for use without charge on-site at the following venues. This is a complimentary service we have provided to our popular venues but please check in with individual venues to confirm. They would have more accurate inventory as the stands are stored at the individual sites:

Asilomar Conference Center    |    Bayonet Golf Course    |    La Playa Hotel    |    Mission Ranch    |    Seascape Golf    |    Bernardus Lodge          The Gatherings    |    Holman Ranch    |   Monterey Plaza    |    Monterey Tide   |    Perry House    |   Seascape Resort​

CALCULATING CUPCAKES: When deciding on doing cupcakes, we always ask our couples to consider if it's for presentation or budget reasons. If for budget reasons, cupcakes are comparable to traditional cake pricing. Cupcakes do have more flexibility in controlling your budget if you're willing to keep your flavors and count to a minimum. The more unique cupcake flavors you choose, the more total cupcake counts you will need. 

Generally, we recommend 2-3 cupcake flavors and 1.25 cupcakes per guest. In addition to the cupcakes, you will still need a cutting cake and any stands, depending on your table vision. For 100 people, with one standard and one specialty cupcake flavors; your total cupcakes and cutting cake cost is approximately $654Price may vary depending on exact delivery location and any additional decoration requests. 

  • 8" Single tier cutting cake (Serves 15 with standard buttercream decoration): $120

  • Recommended 115-125 cupcakes divided evenly between standard ($3.95 ea) and one specialty ($4.95 ea) flavors = $237+$297= $534

  • Delivery charge depends on location.

  • Cupcake set up cost not included in calculation but available. 

  • Cupcake stands and jackets not included in calculation nor offered.

Cupcake Decoration Pricing varies based on the flavor you choose. Decorations such as sugar flowers or seashells are extra and quoted on request.

Cutting Cake 6" round is $95, 8" Round is $120. Pricing includes standard buttercream decoration and only available with dessert or cupcake order.

Table Settings (stands, platters, etc.) are not included in the pricing. Most rental companies will carry white ceramic stands and platters only. More stylized set ups will likely require you to purchase the stands. Stands with varying widths and heights will make for a more interesting table set up. Keep in mind how you want your table layout to look so your photographer can capture it all.

Table Set Ups for cupcakes and dessert bars are usually done by your caterer or venue. With minimum product order of $600 (including cake if any), we can set up to our core delivery area, pending availability. Not available outside of our core delivery area. Table set up charge starts at $75 depending on your requirements. For standard delivery orders (no set-up service requested) or pick up orders, we have all your desserts and/or cupcakes packaged in a box, easy for transport and for you to set up at your dessert table.

CALCULATING DESSERT TABLE: When deciding on the dessert bar/table, keep in mind the cost is usually higher than our other options and more to consider. But a dessert bar is perfect for couples looking to provide their guests with a variety of treats and beautiful display! And we have something to tickle the pickiest of wedding goers. The presentation options for desserts can be overwhelming but with a vision and proper considerations, a dessert bar is always fun at a wedding. We normally suggest 3 to 5 pieces per person and start with one flavor selection from each of the four dessert types we offer. For larger weddings, you would add 1 or 2 more flavors. Approximate cost "per set" is about $12. A typical dessert bar would also have an 8" round cutting cake with 3-5 dessert pieces per person. For 100 people, your total dessert bar would start at approximately $1140. Price may vary depending on exact delivery location and additional decoration requests.

  • Single tier 8" cutting cake (Serves 15 and with standard buttercream decoration) $120.

  • 340 dessert pieces (using 4 pieces) for 85 guests (85 sets) $1020

  • Delivery charge depends on location.

  • Dessert Bar set up not included in calculation but available.

  • Settings, stands and platters not included in calculation nor offered.

Below are some things to consider for Dessert Bars as you put on your sweet thinking cap:

How stylized do you want the set up to be?
The main element with the table setup is getting the necessary stands and platters to create the dessert table you're envisioning. White ceramics are what most rental companies carry. For our couple's convenience, our bakery does offer for purchase a simple 5-piece (2-8", 2-10" and 1-4") white ceramic set for $80. This is for purchase only and not for rental. To achieve a more stylized and specific looks, you would likely need to purchase your stands. 

How big of a cake do you need if you're doing desserts?
A cake provides a natural focal point for the dessert table. Unless you are entirely against the concept of having a cake, we highly recommend having one on the table. It's the most sensible way to create a wedding feel for the table and give you a photo op for the cake cutting. (There are also some traditionalists who feel it's not a wedding unless they get a piece of wedding cake.) So while not necessary or mandatory, we feel having a wedding cake can only add to your table and not take away any vision. The largest cake we would recommend to have on a table with desserts is the 12-9-6" (serves 100). If you only need a single tier, we recommend the 8". 

How to serve a dessert bar.
The desserts that we offer are a good size at 1.5" to 1.75" inches. We normally suggest 3 to 5 pieces per person. If you have cake in addition to your dessert bar, a cake sized for 30% to 40% of the guest count should be enough to ensure everyone gets some cake. You can even have your caterer cut your cake slices into 1/2 servings. Doing so makes the cake a part of the dessert offering. The half slice is plated on one side of the dessert plate and when you place that plate on the dessert table, the guests will know the intention is for them to place other treats on the plate.  

Your dessert bar items are delivered in a box and placed on your wedding cake table. Table set ups are available with minimum product order of $600 (including cake if any) for our core service area. Table set up charge starts at $75 depending on your requirements and our availability. We can deliver your desserts but cannot set up for outside of our core service area, if you meet our minimum requirements. If you're using a caterer, talk to them as most prefers to do the dessert set-up. For standard delivery orders (no set-up requested) or pick up orders, we have all your desserts and/or cupcakes packaged in a box, easy for transport and for you to set up at your dessert table.

Whether us, a planner, or a friend, your dessert bar is set up before your wedding reception for guests to view. Many brides like to put a note asking guests to hold off on enjoying until after the cake cutting. After your cake cutting ceremony, the cake is taken to the kitchen and prepped for serving.  While this is happening, the first set of guests, which are normally those with a sweet tooth, will have gone through the dessert table before the cake slices are served.

If you are planning on just a cutting cake and dessert; and not serving cake to your guests, our experience is Dessert Bars are popular - it just looks scrumptious! You know your guests best so plan for dessert counts accordingly. It is human nature to try a little of everything when there are different flavors. So the more flavors and variety, the more you should prepare. It has also been told to us their guests love to conveniently walk by the dessert table whenever they can, just to grab another quick bite! 

Cupcake and Dessert Bar Minimums
  • Cupcake and dessert bar items have their indicated minimum count based on per flavor. For example, you will need to order a minimum of 12 lemon cream puffs. If you want a second cream puff flavor, you will need to order a minimum of 12 of each flavor.
  • Minimum of dessert and/or cupcake orders is $400 - $600 depending on venue, to our core delivery area. $600 product minimum for table set-up services in our core delivery area, pending availability.  
  • You can always pick up the cupcakes from our Watsonville bakery and take advantage of our Budget Friendly pricing! No discounts on dessert bar items.