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East Bay bakeries for small and cheap wedding cake/cupcakes

I am helping a friend out with the desserts for her wedding in August and am looking for something nice but not too expensive. The total guest count is 130 and the bride is fine with having a very small wedding-ish cake for the cutting ceremony and then either having a sheet cake or cupcakes to make sure that everyone can have dessert. The catch is that she would like to stay around $250. I have checked out Neldam's in Oakland and think that might work, but was curious if anyone has other ideas? It would be nice to have more options. The wedding is actually in Aptos and I would be bringing the desserts to the wedding myself, so something easily transportable is essential.

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  1. Check Safeway. They did my son's wedding cake. It was lovely, and not real expensive. They did the flowers also. At that time they did not deliver, but a friend with a van brought everything.

    Also Costco does wonderful sheet cakes and cupcakes. Check them out.

    1. You might call Merritt Bakery...similar to Neldams in many ways.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        I would vote for Neldam's cakes over Merrit's, which have been a little too dry for my tastes.

      2. A sheet cake will be substantially cheaper than cupcakes. It will also avoid the dryness problem that often plagues cupcakes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lexdevil

          I'd add that a sheet cake is probably more meaningful, symbolically, because you are still getting your personal piece cut from a whole. We did just that, a "presentation" cake plus a sheet cake, for my mother's 90th B'day bash (ca. 100 people).

        2. Even though it may be out of the price range, it's probably worth calling Gayle's in Capitola to see what they could do for $250. Much shorter commute time with the goodies.

          1 Reply
          1. re: junk2

            Also might check out Aki's in San Jose. On the expensive side but a Guava sheet cake might be the thing.

          2. Try Virginia Bakery in berkeley.

            1 Reply
            1. re: milklady

              Yeah, I second Virgina Bakery. Neldham's is having some financial difficulty and while I hate to deprive them of a little business, I'm not sure what their status will be in August.

              Virginia does such a pretty job of decorating cupcakes too.

            2. I have no experience with this personally... but reviews of Sweet Adeline say that they are one of the less expensive wedding cake bakers around. Of course, this may be compared to super-expensive places! But worth a call.

              Sweet Adeline
              3350 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: eeblet

                Sweet Adeline is fantastic, but if you're looking for cheaper, I just ordered Whole Foods cupcakes for a work event and everyone went crazy over them. They were very good.

              2. With a budget of $2 a cupcake, your best bet might be Costco.

                1. You might want to try Boniere Bakery in Alameda. They do regular wedding cakes, so they might be able to work out some kind of compromise on a small decorated cake and a sheetcake decorated to match. Their cakes are very good, and they're generally reasonably priced. Otherwise, I think Costco is generally higher quality than Safeway (I have a friend who loves Safeway cakes, so I've suffered through quite a few of them -- they all taste like Crisco and artificial flavorings to me).

                  Boniere Bakery
                  3249 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

                  1. I've heard about this place--I think they're generally supposed to be on the cheap-ish end of the spectrum, though I have no firsthand experience

                    Toot Sweets
                    1277 Gilman St, Albany, CA

                    1. Just had a delicious, moist chocolate mini cupcake from Sugar Bowl. Nicely decorated considering the small size. Came in plastic clamshell in dozens.

                      1. Having lived in both the East Bay and Santa Cruz county, let me reccomend Neldam's for the cake. Neldam's has always made a really high quality light and "raggy" textured cake for a very low price. The chocolate with whipped cream frosting and chocolate shavings is unbeatable in its price range. Merritt is similar, but not nearly as good ( not to say I don't LOVE them for old style coffee shop ambience.)
                        I don't see why you need to drive that far for a cake, though.
                        In the Santa Cruz area, I have an interesting alternative option: Pie. It's apparently very trendy to do pie instead of cake, which is what we did when we got married near Watsonville.... who knew we were so cool? Gizdich Ranch makes very good pies in the $10 range with farm picked fruit. We had PLENTY left over for around 60 people and spent less than $150.

                        Gayle's is more reasonable than you'd think. Just check out their website-a sheet would still fit in the budget. The Buttery is always OK and very reasonable.

                        I gotta say- our pies were a smash hit. Everyone was surprised and pleased.
                        Just a thought!