How Much Would You Charge????

Decorating By Confectionary2 Updated 17 Mar 2008 , 2:02am by Confectionary2

Confectionary2 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 11:25am
post #1 of 21

2'12x18" layers w/6" ovals stacked....all butter bc on bottom and cooked choc. frosting on the 6".

The round cake is 2 torted layers of strawberry cake w/straw. bc and frosted with c.cheese. Thanks for any suggestions!

20 replies
kakeladi Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 11:47am
post #2 of 21

For the b'day sheet w/oval I suggest no less than $80-100.
For the round I suggest no less than $35-50.
It's hard to estimate as pricing varries so much from one area to another. The cost of ingredients is going up much faster than we can post!icon_sad.gif
YOu can always estimate the cost by add up all the ingredients/board/box - everything used - and multiplying by 3 1/2.

elizw Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 12:13pm
post #3 of 21

for my area i would charge $200 for the larger cake and $45 - $65 for the round depending on its size. both cakes are quite lovely!

justme50 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 12:28pm
post #4 of 21

The stacked sheet cake would serve a minimum of 100 people as I figured it. My minimum charge is $2 per serving and I sure wouldn't go below that so I'd charge at least $200.

You didn't specify the size on the round cake, but if it's 8", I'd charge $48. It looks like you used some fondant decorations??? or perhaps an edible image design. If so, I'd add $10 for the image and and additional $5 for the fondant.

I love the sheet did a great job on it!

Confectionary2 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:19am
post #5 of 21

Thanks for the advice....I wish I could sell cakes for those prices icon_smile.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:48am
post #6 of 21

Why do you think you couldn't? That sheet cake serves 110 with the 6" on top.. I charge $4/slice for BC.. I'd charge $440 for that cake. If *you* don't think you are worth the price.. noone is going to.

You need to calculate what it costs you to make your cakes.. every recipe.. think about the gas it takes to go to the store to buy those ingredients.. the time it takes to mix and bake the cakes and make the frosting and fillings.. the time it takes to level and fill and decorate.. and THEN clean it all up. Boxes for transport.. internal structure.. it all adds up. By the time you are done.. you have made $10 on a cake that took you 5 hours.. SO not worth the effort. Make sure you take care of yourself.. do cakes for next to nothing and you will burn out fast. I say it (as well as many others) all the time, but I'd much rather make one $400 cake than make 10 cakes for $40. Don't under estimate your clients. Just because you wouldn't pay $400 for a cake doesn't mean that there aren't people out there who will. I live in a small town too and I get customers. ((hugs)) Don't undersell your time. icon_smile.gif

justme50 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:12am
post #7 of 21
Originally Posted by Confectionary2

Thanks for the advice....I wish I could sell cakes for those prices icon_smile.gif

How much less than $2 per slice can you charge and still make a profit that's worth the time and effort you put in?

Prices are affected a great deal by the area you live in. $4 a serving for a basic butter cream cake is unheard of here...although when you start adding bells and whistles it can get to that rate. But still, I just can't imagine anywhere in the country where $2 a serving is out of the normal range.

FromScratch Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 2:44am
post #8 of 21

I agree.. if you dip below the $2.servings mark you are dipping into the land of no profit.. no one should go there.

TheButterWench Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 6:04am
post #9 of 21

pricing is easy if you're willing to do the work. You figure out how much it costs you to make, throw in an hourly wage( how long does it take you to make a cake? the fastter you get the higher you should pay yourself)

figure out how much you think it's fair in profits and go for it.

It's just a matter of sitting down and doing your own math for your own area.

Every area is different.

If you're living in an area where a top notched cake designer is only going to be getting 5 dollars a serving or even 1.25 per serving on the average ,

Those are the figures you should throw into your mix.

CeeTee Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 8:21am
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by justme50

Originally Posted by Confectionary2

Thanks for the advice....I wish I could sell cakes for those prices icon_smile.gif

How much less than $2 per slice can you charge and still make a profit that's worth the time and effort you put in?

To be honest, the only place that can charge less than $2 a serving and make a profit is Wal-Mart, and that's cause it cost them pennies per serving to make. For anyone else and the cost of supplies now, it ain't possible.

I've been into cake decorating for almost a year now, and I've had the notion that I have to undersell the grocery store/Wal-Mart completely beaten out of me. Not by CCers or other cake decorators, but by my wallet. I've made about ten cakes (including the ones Im about to talk about) which I have sold, and on ALL of them I took a loss. I thought I was being nice by not charging more, but all it's done is burn me out.

The lesson that really drove it home: Last month I made six tiered cakes for a work function. My boss offered to pay me more but I insisted to reimburse me for cost of materials. I spent about 15 hours over 3 days on top of my normal work schedule working on these cakes. I'm still worn out from it. I'm so glad that my livelyhood isn't based off this and I have a LOT of respect for decorators who do this for a living. I just don't have the stamina to do this as a full time job. The sad thing is, no one wants to pay more than $20 for -any- cake I make now because I severely undersold myself early on. It didn't drum up business, it killed me before I could even get myself established.

So now, my decorating is 100% hobby. I just became a WMI, so I can get my weekly cake fix and make pocket money that way. If i have the money to spare, I'll whip up a batch of cupcakes or a cake for family/work/friends. If someone asks me to make them a cake for any reason, I'll charge what I know it's worth, but my days of being a home baker on the side are through. There's no need for me to be taking work away from a professional baker when I won't be seeing any significant profit from it anyway.

mezzaluna Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 8:25am
post #11 of 21

Excellent post, CeeTee. She sums it up.

Charging a lower price just 'to be nice' is downright dumb, and CeeTee found that out the hard way, unfortunately.

Me, I'd much rather make one cake and charge $100 for it, than make 10 cakes at $10 each.

CeeTee Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 8:35am
post #12 of 21

Mezza: and it's not like I wasn't warned about the dangers of underselling either! But I sometimes get stubborn when I'm told not to do something icon_wink.gif Doesn't mean I'm right to do it anyway!

I gotta admit, I'm much happier now that I'm not trying to sell my cakes. It was too stressful trying to sort it all out.

mezzaluna Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 8:46am
post #13 of 21

Often, when someting goes from a fun hobby to a job, it's no longer fun!

I love doing cakes, and I have a shop, and wouldn't change anything: Do I sometimes wish I did something else? Every day, but when it all rolls around I really would do it allo ver again.

Emmibell Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 9:09am
post #14 of 21

Im in the Uk and i would charge £30 for the round cake and £75 for the sheet cake.

wgoat5 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 10:36am
post #15 of 21

May I say your Sheetcake and round are VERY pretty...well decorated and very professional....I too wouldn't charge less then 200.00 for the sheet and my 8" 3 layer cakes go for 75.00.

You know funny thing I have NO problems selling my rounds for a higher price but sometimes do for my sheetcakes...I guess that is thanks to Wally World and Cosco's icon_wink.gif

Mezz do you really wish everyday that you did something else? The reason I ask is sometimes I ask myself the same thing. This unfortunately is the season (or seems to be) when people ask for A LOT of donations for me...and I am starting to feel the same. 3 in total this month all due in the next week or so...and not little cakes either. icon_sad.gif

Hope you all have a wonderful day!!!

Christi icon_biggrin.gif

mezzaluna Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 11:27am
post #16 of 21

Christi.... nääää not everyday. I really do love what I do and wouldn't want to do anything else. I think it's natural to wonder what it would be like if I had pursued another career (like the one I got my degrees in!! LOL).

I love having my own shop and doing cakes. I get tired of asshole customers, and have fondant rants, but all in all it really was the right decision for me. I took a bank loan for renovation of my premises, and put in a great deal of my (and DH) own money, but after that is payed every month and all the bills are paid I have been making profit from day one.

I even paid the remainder of my student loan a couple of weeks ago (there will be no new commercial dishwasher in the store this summer, but I am free from that damned loan I've been paying off since 1993).

I sometimes get really caked out, and when that happens I make Maria do all the cakes while I bake brownies and stuff for the shop. She only works 1-2 days a week and the practice is really good for her. She gets faster and gets more experience for the summer wedding season where she'll be working three days a week.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:18pm
post #17 of 21

when i baked a cake last week it stressed me out so much. I admire you cake decorators for doing what you're doing and still have all your hair (cause i'd be pulling mine out from frustration) i'll stick to making cupcakes icon_smile.gif

justme50 Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:29pm
post #18 of 21

I don't have a brick and mortar bakery, but do bake from a home kitchen.

My family laughs at me all the time because every time I do a large cake order I am constantly saying during the entire process..I am NEVER doing another cake!!!

Of course, once it's done and I'm happy with the results, I forget all about whatever it was that made me swear off doing cakes.

It's sort of like childbirth.... icon_lol.gif

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:05pm
post #19 of 21

justme50 i totally understand that! and when I see a beautiful cake I wanna make one too, i get cake envy.

indydebi Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 3:34pm
post #20 of 21

A 2-layer 12x18 serves 108, times my layer cake price of $3/serving = $324. Plus the 6" ... serves 12 x $3 = $36.

It's not a $300 cake. It's cake to feed OVER 100 PEOPLE!!!!

Take them to O'Charlies or Appleby's for cake .... it will cost you anywhere from $450 to $600 for cake to feed OVER 100 PEOPLE!!!!

I always ask: Just how much do people EXPECT to pay for cake to feed OVER 100 PEOPLE!?

Good points made by a number of posters. Free cakes are a good way to get your name out there, but at some point you have to draw the line in the sand and tell them, "My oven time is at a premim and paying customers come first. You want on my baking schedule? Just as soon as I get your ORDER and I give you a price." The above comment was right ... why should they order one when they get free cake all the time?

Confectionary2 Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 2:02am
post #21 of 21

Thanks for all of your input! From now on I am going to price "per slice" and will even print out the wilton servings chart for accuracy. Lesson learned! BTW, the strawberry (airforce) one is a 9".

It is good to know that I am NOT the only one who has ever encountered this delima!


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