How To Set Price For Decorated Cakes

Business By kim34 Updated 16 Aug 2006 , 2:39am by RisqueBusiness

kim34 Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 8:27pm
post #1 of 42

i,m wanting to know how you set a price for decorated cakes? if someone would go in to the gallerie under fathersday contest and look at the block cake i made that says DAD on it, its done in orange and green and teh blocks are white and tell me how much you all would charge for a cake done liek this. its 6 cakes altogether and ea one is a 6in to make the 3 blocks. if ya all could do this i,d really appreciate it someone is wnating me to do a baby cake like this if anyone could help me thanks alot kim

[moderator edited to remove email address]

41 replies
TexasSugar Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 8:33pm
post #2 of 42

You need to figure out how much is it going to cost you first. From there you want to atleast double or triple it. Me, I do about x2.5 my cost.

Prices are going to vary depending on where you are. Someone in a large city is probably going to get more than someone in a little town.

dydemus Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 8:51pm
post #3 of 42

Here's how I figure mine - I figure out how much it costs to make each size cake (6", 10", etc.) and then mulitply it by a number - I do by 2, three is a standard for some - it depends on the area you live in and how expensive cakes are around you. This is my base price only. In other words, it includes the cake and buttercream icing. Flowers, intricate designs, fondant, gumpaste, certain fillings, boards, pillars, all are extra. As far as how much you charge will depend on how complicated the design is. You can figure it on how many hours you will spend on each cake. Sculpted cakes (like your "Dad" cake) would cost more. Check out the prices around you and decide what you feel comfortable making a cake for. It gives you something to start with.

kim34 Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 1:24am
post #4 of 42

thank you both for answering my question now i,ll sit down and figure out how much it cost me to make it thanks again kim

Hema Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 2:47pm
post #5 of 42

I am also in the midst of trying to figure the charges out?

It is easy to calculate the cost of the ingredients but do you take into account the electricity charges for the entire process too?

antonia74 Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 2:51pm
post #6 of 42

you should take everything into account:

-electricity/air conditioning/gas/water & dishwashing
-cake boards
-taxes (if applicable)

TexasSugar Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 6:45pm
post #7 of 42
Originally Posted by Hema

I am also in the midst of trying to figure the charges out?

It is easy to calculate the cost of the ingredients but do you take into account the electricity charges for the entire process too?

Let's say it costs you $10 in ingredients, cake boards, boxes and the little extras. When you do the x3 formula, then that's $10 for your ingrendients, $10 for other things like the electricity, and $10 profit.

Hema Posted 30 Jun 2006 , 5:09am
post #8 of 42

That makes a lot of sense.

I didn't even think of the gas, dishwashing, A/C etc. Now I am much clearer on what I need to keep track of.

Thanks guys!

alicegop Posted 4 Jul 2006 , 6:54pm
post #9 of 42

While I don't include electricity in my pricing (I'd probably be using electricity if I was doing something else.... and if I have enough profit then it is a non issue) I do include everything else. I created an excel spreadsheet that calculates all my costs and then adds that to my per serving cost. If you would like a copy email me at and I'll send it to you.

nefgaby Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 5:18am
post #10 of 42

Hi, can anyone help me with my price too?? I spent close to $20 including box, boards, electric (baking time) etc... It is an ALL Fondant cake, 12" round x 4" high. Any ideas??? Or should it be fine if I just multiply by 2 or 3? Thanks soo much!

littlemissmuffin Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 4:43pm
post #11 of 42

most retail prices are cost x 4. And I use the word most with caution. But depending on the product, it could be anywhere from 2.5-6x cost. 4x falls in the "neutral" comfort area. You should include all your overhead in your prices, especially at the high rate of using gas these days in stoves, oven, hot water heaters. Although, it doesn't or shouldn't amount to over $2 per day usage unless you are running your stove all day for baking. Yes, electricity is needed as well for the usage of mixers, refrigeration to keep ingredients cool and end product fresh. Plus your labor, whatever going rate that someone would make in a bakery.

nefgaby Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 5:38pm
post #12 of 42

Hi Littlemissmuffin, thanks for the great tips, I am happy to say that I asked $50 for this cake and got $60 for it, this person was very happy and impressed and he told me that this cake was worth more than the $50 I asked, so he gave me the $60 (I was very surprised). He called that night and asked for a second cake, so I guess he was happy with taste and price! I'm very excited as well! Thanks again!

littlemissmuffin Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:04pm
post #13 of 42

no problem nefgaby, glad to see he gave you what you asked plus more. Glad I could assist, as a NOOB. LOL.

Phoov Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:13pm
post #14 of 42

For everything but wedding/anniversary cakes I charge a base price of $25 per mix.....or the equivalent size if a scratch cake. This is a tiny bit higher than my competition but nobody is balking. I live in smallsville!

itsmylife Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:29pm
post #15 of 42

This has been the biggest hangup for me. My problem is that I know what I should charge, but I feel so guilty for charging money for something that I enjoy doing (I sounds dumb) that I always charge waaaaaaaay too little. I wish I was a more aggressive business person. Everyone tells me I could make money doing this as a business... but asking people for money just kills me.

Believe me.... I've heard it from all my friends.

Every now and then I do make some money. One of the things I did was get the cake prices from my local grocery store, and then I got a price list from one of the better bakeries here in town and just did an average.


Phoov Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:34pm
post #16 of 42

Denise...that "average" sounds very wise to me. NOW STICK TO IT! lol

FunCakesVT Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:50pm
post #17 of 42

Somewhere on this site back in the spring someone suggested $15 per cake mix multiplied by 2.5, then add specialty expenses (cake plate, etc. and delivery if appropriate). I have used this and compared it to my expenses (cake mix, milk, eggs, pudding, shortening, etc., etc.) multiplied by 2.5 and it comes out pretty equal every time (within $5). Now on an exceptionally complicated cake or a wedding or the like, certainly I would expect to charge more. I am not there yet in terms of talent for sure, or orders for that matter!

nefgaby Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:50pm
post #18 of 42

Thanks for all you help.... and as Denise, I need to get more confortable when asking for $ for my work... I do agree that if they want a regular cake, then go to Walmart, but if you want the cake to be the center of attention, that is when you pay a decorator to do it, and it is hard work.... again, I just need to be more confortable with my prices! Thanks for all your help!

nefgaby Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 7:55pm
post #19 of 42

Great formula, thanks FunCakesVT, I have to try this one too!!!

thecakemaker Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 8:13pm
post #20 of 42

FunCakesVT - Wow! $15 per x 2.5 plus? That would make a two layer 11 x 15 at least $150 + board, image, etc. I wish I could get that here! And I thought I was expensive.

nefgaby Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 8:16pm
post #21 of 42

Ooops.... I tried it too and the cake I showed a couple replys ago, that I got $60 for, ends up being about $120. All Fondant 12" round x 4" high. Anybody else? Opinions please? Thanks so much!!

thecakemaker Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 8:18pm
post #22 of 42

I use $15 per mix or 2.5 x cost. That's probably what you were getting at. icon_lol.gif


nefgaby Posted 10 Aug 2006 , 11:06pm
post #23 of 42

Ohhh makes more sense!! Thanks Debbie!

FunCakesVT Posted 11 Aug 2006 , 3:44pm
post #24 of 42

I either use $15 per mix x 2.5 or cost x 2.5, not both. What I was saying above, is that either way it seems to come out about the same. So an 8" cake (two layers, using one box of mix) with BC icing and fondant accents would be $37.50...

nefgaby Posted 11 Aug 2006 , 4:55pm
post #25 of 42

Thanks FunCakesTV, I misunderstood your first reply, got it now!!! And you are right, that is about right, either way you get almost the same amount of $. Thanks again for sharing your formula!

charman Posted 11 Aug 2006 , 6:39pm
post #26 of 42

Still...I just did a 10 3/4 inch oval...2 layer the other night. 2 mixes, buttercream icing w/ FBCT, and I only got $35.00...I think the woman would have fell over if I had told her $75! Am I missing something, or can you really get money like that for cakes? Wow! I really hope I am missing something.

FunCakesVT Posted 11 Aug 2006 , 8:26pm
post #27 of 42

I live in a small and rural area, but so far I have not had anyone balk at my prices...have only done a few, but had two people pay $60 toward silent auction gift certificates valued at $65 last night for custom cakes (with specialty supplies - toppers or such, extra)...For my first customers and very close friends I will discount, up to 50%, but word seems to be getting out, so price does not seem extreme.
I would have a hard time doing this for less, working a full-time+ job, running a house and raising a 4yo, I feel my time is precious, even though I thoroughly enjoy what I do for customers.
My advice - be careful not to undersell yourself!

charman Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 12:37am
post #28 of 42 do you come to $15 per mix price? Do you make your cakes from scratch, or do you use mixes? Just curious.

sugarspice Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 6:32pm
post #29 of 42

I need some clarification with pricing. If a person is using the formula "3x" the cost of ingredients for pricing-does that include time? I thought I saw a thread where someone did a multiple of the cost of ingredients PLUS a fee per hour. I am wondering what is more common? I thought the latter seemed excessive. Thanks for any input

nefgaby Posted 12 Aug 2006 , 7:34pm
post #30 of 42

Hi Sugarspice, I do the 2.5X or 3X formula, depending on the cake and for wedding cakes, I price by the slice, $2-$3.50 per slice. I don't add any more to that (like labor) as I don't think I would get that kind of money for a cake, in a 12" round cake, I spent close to $20 in ingredients and got $60 for it. If you live in a larger city you might get more for a cake. Good luck!

Quote by @%username% on %date%