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Best Affordable Place To Get A Wedding Cake?

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elliek Mar 5, 2012 11:50 AM

I'm planning my wedding in Boston, but since I don't live there, I don't know too much about the vendors in the area. I'm looking for a bakery to make my wedding cake, and I'm kind of stuck, as every place I've been recommended seem to have mixed reviews. I'm also on a pretty tight budget, so that's not helping either - I'm expecting 200 guests, and my cake budget is $500.

Someone I know got a cake from Russos and said it was good and affordable, but when I called them, they said they charge $3.50 - $4.50 per slice - which is pretty much the same price as many bakeries (not inside grocery stores) charge. I then called Konditor Meister, which one of my friends used. They seemed ok, charged around the same price, but then some reviews I read online for them were horrible - apparently their cake tastes like sawdust? My friend seemed to really like them though. Does anyone have any suggestions on some places where I can get a cake for under $500 for 200 people that actually tastes good?

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  1. Bob Dobalina RE: elliek Mar 5, 2012 11:56 AM

    Couple of past threads:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/703750

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/700006

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/651525

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      nickls RE: elliek Mar 5, 2012 12:52 PM

      I think you are going to have a hard time sticking to the budget if you want a classically decorated wedding cake for 200 at only $2.50 a serving.

      I used The Icing on the Cake in Newton for my wedding, but think it cost us around $3 a serving or maybe a bit more. The cake was pretty good, but still kind of sweet with all the frosting.

      Here is another thread that might give you some ideas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/804182

      summary: Quebrada bakery, Flour half sheet cakes for $100 each (serve around 40), Bella Moto (might have closed down), and local culinary students.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nickls
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        fantundo RE: nickls Mar 5, 2012 09:05 PM

        Bella Moto, my favorite cakery, has indeed closed, alas.

      2. j
        Jenny Ondioline RE: elliek Mar 5, 2012 02:12 PM

        Allstonian and I used Konditor Meister for our wedding cake (10 years ago this May!) and it by no means tasted anywhere close to sawdust.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jenny Ondioline
          libertywharf RE: Jenny Ondioline Mar 6, 2012 04:27 AM

          Konditor meister is great

        2. c
          Chocomom RE: elliek Mar 6, 2012 04:11 AM

          Konditor Meister cakes are pretty consistent and we'd used them a lot for celebrations. I'd help planned a few weddings and quinceneras. Konditor Meister was the choice but you should come to a cake tasting to see if they are the right cake for you.

          Tips: depending on when you are serving the cake, you probably will not need 200 servings. In all the weddings that I have been too, cake was served after dinner...many leaves right after dinner and by the time the cake is served about 1/4-1/3 of the guests has left.

          Also, you can purchase a smaller wedding cake and order a sheet cake to be cut and served...this can save you some money here and still meet your budget. Most places cuts the cake back of the house so your guests won't know the difference anyhow.

          Best wishes and good luck in your search.

          1. e
            elliek RE: elliek Mar 6, 2012 04:55 AM

            Thanks for all the recommendations. Konditor Meister was actually not very expensive, and totally doable for us (a bit of a stretch, but not more expensive than the grocery store), I was just afraid because of the few crappy reviews that I saw about their cakes being dry. I think we'll go for a tasting there though and see.

            2 Replies
            1. re: elliek
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              T.Clark RE: elliek Mar 6, 2012 05:29 AM

              Not a fan of Konditor myself. Cakes look nice but the ones I've tried have been unremarkable. Konditor seems to be the South Shore standard for celebration cakes(I've tasted at least a dozen since the mid-eighties) and almost everytime it's a white cake, white frosting, raspberry jam, *unripe* chocolate dipped strawberries, large flakes of white chocolate looking stuff mounded on top. I say white chocolate looking because I'm not sure if it's really white chocolate, and a white pastillage placard. I would opt for a less perfect looking cake that tasted good.

              1. re: T.Clark
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                rowanej RE: T.Clark Mar 6, 2012 08:01 AM

                I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with T.Clark. I used Konditor Meister for my Downtown Boston wedding 3 years ago and it was beautiful and tasted as good as it looked. Granted, we had the tiramisu and red velvet flavors instead of white cake which may be why we loved it so much. Regardless, a cake tasting is essential.

            2. StriperGuy RE: elliek Mar 6, 2012 08:06 AM

              Modern Pastry does a gorgeous, delicious Cassata wedding cake that is on the reasonable side.

              I would NOT go with Conditor Meister. I am in the camp that finds their frosting flavorless. They look pretty, but are not yummy.

              1. c
                Crazy Egg RE: elliek Mar 6, 2012 03:45 PM

                Though you may have decided, another inexpensive option could be a cake from one of the Chinatown bakeries (Eldo, comes to mind). They are not necessarily the traditional wedding cake, in that the cakes are light (fluffy) cakes and the butter cream very light and not too sweet. Usually there is fresh fruit with the cream within the cake. Sweet Thyme in Lexington also does cakes like those, but with more interesting combos. No fruit with the cream within the cake though.
                The suggestion of having a smaller cake with an order of a large sheet cake works well with these 'Chinese' cakes. Good luck!

                1. opinionatedchef RE: elliek Mar 6, 2012 10:40 PM

                  As a 30 yr. chef/pastry chef, I will only eat moist, all- butter cakes made with real buttercream 'icing'.I am in the not-Konditermeister camp. Vicki Lee Boyajian in Belmont does wedding cake with 100% butter buttercream made with egg whites or yolks and sugar syrup (not confectioner's sugar with margerine, 60/40, or crisco) but she is likely more expensive than your budget. You might call, though. If you order cake for 2/3 of the guests, maybe your budget can work. You might also explore Rosie's, though I've not had her cake.

                  You can also lower costs by having a small display cake and a sheet cake as the back-up cake.

                  -----
                  Rosie's Bakery & Dessert Shop: Retail Stores
                  243 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA

                  Vicki Lee's
                  105 Trapelo Rd, Belmont, MA

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    galleygirl RE: opinionatedchef Mar 8, 2012 11:31 AM

                    Rosie's doesn't do wedding cakes anymore....

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
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                      lizzoob RE: opinionatedchef Mar 9, 2012 05:50 AM

                      I had some Rosie's cake for a large birthday party I had, and found them dry and unappealing, "all butter, all sugar" notwithstanding. I think they do much better with dessert bars than with cakes.

                      1. re: lizzoob
                        Allstonian RE: lizzoob Mar 9, 2012 06:09 AM

                        Yes, I agree. We did a tasting at Rosie's as well as at Konditor Meister when we were planning our wedding, and were really disappointed, especially with the buttercream, which did NOT taste "all butter" at all.

                        1. re: Allstonian
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                          Moopheus RE: Allstonian Mar 12, 2012 08:32 AM

                          That's disappointing to hear. Rosie's did our wedding cake and it was very good. But that was 20 years ago.

                    2. a
                      AaronInBoston RE: elliek Mar 7, 2012 10:55 AM

                      Konditor Meister is a huge hit or miss. They make nice cakes yes, but the taste varies. I've been to two weddings in the last few years that featured their cake. One was very good and one was horrible (worst cake I have ever had, very dry). The more recent one (this winter) was the bad experience. My wedding is coming up in June and we are going with The Icing on the Cake in Newton (we had to pick from 4 vendors as part of our package). They have great reviews and fair prices. The owner Paula conducted our tasting and blew us away. Their red velvet is awesome. I just hope the cake tastes the same at the wedding as the tasting.

                      1. MABMAQ RE: elliek Mar 8, 2012 10:39 AM

                        what about cupcakes ? a good friend just got married and had a 4 tiered cupcake platform with 4 different flavors and frostings available - that way anyone who wanted a dessert got their own and there was very little waste....

                        1. t
                          teezeetoo RE: elliek Mar 9, 2012 07:30 AM

                          it does depend on what you are looking for and a tasting is important, so you know whether you'll be happy. If you like something like an Italian cream cake, you might try Antoine's (on Route 16 in Newton) or Royale (in Cambridge on Cambridge Street). I believe the would come in under your budget. My daughter had a lovely and very well-received cake made by Athans for her wedding: chestnut cream and chocolate. I am not sure what she paid for it. good luck and have a memorable wedding.

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