Call a local technical college. If they offer a culinary class, they may make a cake or other dessert for you for a nominal fee or for free as practice for their students. My daughter wanted a "mad hatter" cake for her birthday. A mad hatter cake is a topsy turvy cake covered in fondant.
I called a local bakery and it was going to cost $150 for a very small two-tier cake. So I called the local technical college. The culinary class needed a cake decorating project and offered to do it for free.
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