I am in the process of making a castle cake. I'll finish it tonight, but all told it will have taken me about 15 hours of work from baking through decorating using fondant. Cake decorating and learning about cake decorating has become a passion and a creative outlet for me. I've recently started thinking about doing it as a business as well when I am a little more experienced. I already have a few people who have asked for cakes. Since I've gotten into the craft, I realize how long it takes to actually construct and decorate a cake. I recently called around to some local bakeries that do sculpted cakes with fondant to see what they charged. The average was probably about $75 for the size I just made, which would feed about 15 people. That would mean if I charged that for the cake I just made, that I would be making $5/hr! I think in time I will be faster, but even $6-7 an hour is not much.
I know there are many tricks like baking cakes ahead of time and freezing, making flowers up ahead of time and storing for use later that makes the process more efficient, but that is still labor that goes into the finished cake. I am single so am a one income household with a pre-schooler. This would have to be just a hobby for me, which is fine. I don't see how I could quit my day job and support my household on this.
Yet, I am curious...those of you who do have your own cake decorating business and make a living doing it, how do you resolve wanting to put alot of hours into a cake for the "art" of it knowing you will not be able to charge adequately for those hours with also needing to make a living? Do you make your money on sheet cakes that can be turned out much faster? When doing this as a business, do you face the dilemma of feeling you need to sacrifice art for business?
Curious and learning....
I do cakes because I love it- not for the money. I don't have to do it for the money though, if I did I probably wouldn't enjoy it as much! I don't see how you could do it full time and make enough money to support yourself either unless you went full steam ahead and started up a bakery or something.
Hi. I have a small cake decorating business here in Houston, Texas. I think you would find the most success doing wedding cakes. You can charge more money for those...however...you have to find the best way to get customers. Sometimes it is not always that easy. I am always looking for wedding coordinators to give information to...but that does not always mean they will call you. I just keep looking...in the meantime...I take whatever orders I get. Right now...it has been kids cakes!!!! It sounds like you are very creative...maybe you could start out doing it on the side and then see what happens.
Hi! I am a part time teacher and a mother of 2 little ones. I have been decorating for years but just recently (in the last 2 years) started charging for my cakes. I too agree that the money is in wedding cakes. I do cakes for all occasions, but prefer to do wedding cakes. They do require a lot of time and planning, but it is all worth it to me. Sometimes I get a little sad thinking about all the hard work I put into it just to have it eaten within a few hours of set up, but when the bride sees it and gets excited about it, you know you have done your job.
Why don't you keep cake decorating on the side until you are more comfortable with it. I think you can still enjoy it while having another job at the same time. And then who knows maybe one day you may decide to open your own business.!!