Are These Prices Ok For Cakes/cupcakes?

Decorating By aprilcake Updated 17 Mar 2008 , 1:08pm by sweetneice

aprilcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 4:39pm
post #1 of 31

Hi. I am making a web page because more and more I am starting to get orders not only from family but outside orders also so I am done with my wilton training here in two weeks and I am going to start teaching it so I wanted to make a page up for people to go to...I need you to look at my prices and tell me if they are to high or what not...i am just starting out in this cake business so I need help...if you need the state...i live in ohio!

~$10 for a 6 inch round/square ~$15 for an 8 inch round/square ~$18 for a 10 inch round/square ~$23 for a 9 x 13 (1/4 sheet cake) ~$35 for an 11 x 15 ~$38 for a 12 x 18 ~$50 for an 18 x 24 (full sheet)

Wedding cakes and/or any three or more tiered cakes are $1.50 per slice and fondant covered is $2.25 per slice.

Cupcakes are $1.00 each up to 30. If you buy more than 30, a discount will be applied.

30 replies
Marci Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 5:21pm
post #2 of 31

For the time and labor that goes into a cake, I would charge more. I charge a base price of $3.00/slice regardless of size. You should figure out how much you spend to make a 10" round cake and then estimate how much you time you spent (include shopping, baking, etc.). Then figure out how much you want to make per hour.... $2, $10 ... whatever you can be happy with. Add these 2 numbers together and that will get you started on a reasonable price. (for example... if a 10" round costs me $9.50 to make and then I spend 1.5 hours on it at $10/hr - I should charge at least $25 for it)
Look in the Cake Business Forum for much more information on pricing.

TheButterWench Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 5:26pm
post #3 of 31

Where are you located, with your crazy low prices I'm going to have to order from you, lol.

crazycakes2007 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 5:43pm
post #4 of 31

You are WAY too low. Don't start low since you are just starting out. Are your cakes scratch? I personally don't think you should charge less than 25-35 for a 10" scratch cake with filling, more like $30 plus in my opinion. Your time is valuable. Don't pay yourself less than minimun wage, with your skill and equipment required, you should make more. Good luck! <<<Cheryl

funbun Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 5:47pm
post #5 of 31

I think your prices are way way too low. You need to be payed for your time and effort. At those prices I doubt you could break even.

Pricing is tricky I know, but if you want to do this as a business please rethink your prices because it is easier to lower prices than to raise them later on.

Hope That Helps! icon_smile.gif

aprilcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 5:50pm
post #6 of 31

so i just called a local bakery here that a lot of people go to for wedding cakes and such...and I asked how much for a 10 inch round birthday cake with flowers and happy birthday written on it and they said $16.50...that is so freakin dont see how I could higher my prices when bakeries that are well known are cheaper...what should I do?

korensmommy Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 5:57pm
post #7 of 31

Where are you located? That would help out some with pricing but I think no matter where you are, that's too low.
Was this an independent bakery or a Wal-mart/grocery store bakery?
I'm just assuming...but for $16.50 you probably get what they have in stock. I know the people who order from me are willing to pay more for a custom made cake, made with the filling/cake/icing/decoration they want--one you can't just pop into a bakery and pick up.

MomMomX3 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:01pm
post #8 of 31

You can charge more because they are getting a cake made special for them. You aren't just throwing some flowers on and writing Happy Birthday. Your cakes are "made to order" And your time and expierience is worth more then what you are charging. For every sale you lose because "they can get it cheaper at Walmart" thats 2 more you will get when someone realizes how much better your cake is then Walmarts.
Sorry if this sounded too blunt, I didn't mean it to be.


mezzaluna Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:03pm
post #9 of 31

Boy howdy, why not just give your stuff away?

16.50 is what you get when you walk in and buy a cake from the case. An assembly-line cake.

Why be cheaper than the local bakery?

Why do a 6" cake at all? My limit is an 8". It take about the same amount of time to do an 8 as a 6. All the steps are there, and the diff in ingredients costs is nominal.

smab109 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:12pm
post #10 of 31

I agree with the other posters, way too low. You need to factor in the electric, the gas you are using to bake these cakes. And all the other misc ingredients you use and need to pay for.

aprilcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:39pm
post #11 of 31

hi everyone...thanks so far for all the advice...i live in the middle of ohio and the bakery I called was a locally owned one...not walmart or a grocery store one...I am right now $1.50 more than them on my 10 inch round cake...i wonder if people around here just dont pay a lot for cakes? im so torn on what to do!

fiddlesticks Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:54pm
post #12 of 31

I think your prices are way way too low! Don't start low since you are just starting out! Let people find out that you are worth paying more for your special creations !!

korensmommy Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:59pm
post #13 of 31

Don't lower your prices just because that's what everyone else is charging or you think people won't pay--they will!
It may take some time to get your name out there and get some clients but they will come.
There are people out there in *every* area who will pay for both good tasting and well decorated cakes.
I just moved to Louisiana 6 months ago and have been lucky to find a bunch of clients already! I have my set prices and stick to them--I will not make cakes for less and there have been people who have gone to Wal-Mart instead of me.
Good Luck!

leah_s Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:20pm
post #14 of 31

Those prices are crazy low, I don't care what state you're in. I just did a 10" birthday cake yesterday, choc cake. white bc, 7 roses, message and edible glitter. $66.

heycupcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:45pm
post #15 of 31

no way!! your cakes are way too beautiful for that price!
Up your prices---for sure!

aprilcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 31

thank you for the sweet comment...i guess I was just worried not to start out so high because I have only been making/decorating cakes for 5-6 months. Please be honest...does it look like I have only been doing it that long...which is fine but if it looks like I have been doing it a little longer...maybe I will up it a bit!

Thanks for all your help!

April :0)

CeeTee Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 7:51pm
post #17 of 31

Ingredient cost alone would put a 6" cake at $10...there's zero profit! I charge bare minimum of $20 for any cake 8" or smaller, and my $20 is one just iced fancy with some sprinkles. Roses and other kinds of decor cost extra.

The prices you and that bakery listed are cheaper than Wal-Mart's. 0_o How could -anyone- sell that cheap and manage a business?

If they claim they are charging that low, then either the quality of their ingredients is negligible, or they are quoting you way low cause they may have gotten a whiff that you are competition so they are trying to psyche you out.

I know how you feel, I -hate- the idea of accidentally overcharging, but then I had to remember that my favorite bakery charges $40 for their 8" cakes and I never bat an eye at the cost because it's worth it.

aprilcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 8:00pm
post #18 of 31

i guess my other question is...i am having trouble trying to figure out the break down of all the costs...i am horrible with if any of you have a break down for cake/icing and such...please help! Thanks! Maybe that will help me realize I need to go up in prices!

oilili Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 8:35pm
post #19 of 31

Aprilcake, I am starting to sell just like you. I got the two first orders ever this week and I had no idea of how much to charge.
Ok, I do live in France not in the US but I think the principle is muche the same.

I went to the shop and the Internet sites where I get my stuff from (colourings, tips, cutters etc) and I wrote down every single price of what I have.

My next step was to check the amount of ingredients the cake required (butter, flower, sugar etc) as well as the decoration and I worked it out on a pro-rata basis. That is, if I paid 2 euros the stick of butter and I only used half of it to make the cake, i'd add 1 euro on the cost list.

Once I did all this, I worked out how much time I'd spend on the cake. i did not charge much - 6 euros an hour.

The most difficult thing is to evaluate electricity and gas costs. I don't know how to do it.

I don't know how the professionals work this out.

You are right to check out on what other people do, how much they charge but don't underestimate your work.

My daughter went to a birthday party today and there was a "Cars" cake on the table, bought from a supermarket, two and a half times cheaper than mine. But, I do make just like people want them to be, they taste better.

You will always get people who think it's expensive, others that will appreciate the work.

Even from here, France, I think a cupcake for 1 dollar is NOTHING!!

FromScratch Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 9:03pm
post #20 of 31

The best thing you can do is to sit down and calculate how much it costs YOU to make a cake. Each of your recipes.. sit down with a calculator and figure it out. I don't offer 6" cakes.. they are TINY.. and no one orders them anyway unless it's the top tier of a wedding cake.

Goodness.. it'd cost me at least $10 to make a 6" cake (don't forget about the wasted batter)..

Hypothetical since I can't remember exactly what you are charging icon_wink.gif..

an 8" cake you charge $15 for.. it costs you $10 to make it.. so you have $5 profit.. for the hours you put into it.. and not just decorating.. buying the ingredients and mixing them and baking them and leveling them and filling them.. it's a lot.. a simple cake takes 3 hours of my time.. I will be compensated for that time.. and not pennies an hour. Sure someone can get an 8" cake from the local grocery store for cheap, but they don't get to choose their flavor (beyond chocolate, vanilla or marble.. and then they might not have one with pink roses that's chocolate). They are coming to you for a custom creation.. not some mass produced blob.

You are charging less than $1/serving. That not enough no matter how you look at it.. and not only does it hurt you.. it hurts others in the business around you. Since you will do it for less than $1/serving they aren't going to want to pay the woman up the road $3/serving. icon_smile.gif

If you work for nothing.. you will burn out quickly. It's much better to do one cake for $100 than to do 10 cakes for $10 each.

aprilcake Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 9:33pm
post #21 of 31

thank you! I am going to try and re-figure the prices!

kelleym Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 9:45pm
post #22 of 31

I totally agree with jkalman, you can't begin to set prices until you know how much you're spending, ESPECIALLY with the prices of groceries (wheat, especially) going through the roof. Paper, spreadsheet, CakeBoss - whatever method you use, you HAVE to know what your costs are. Here's my article:

I also suggest setting a minimum order - if you start taking orders for 6" cakes you will find yourself running ragged for no profit, or even a loss. $40 is my minimum, and some people's are higher, depending on their overhead.

mezzaluna Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 9:46pm
post #23 of 31

I totally agree with my seester (jkalman). Don't underprice everyone around you. You WILL burn out fast if you continue making your cakes for free.

aprilcake Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:26am
post #24 of 31

thank you everyone! I did higher some of the prices!

indydebi Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 1:21pm
post #25 of 31

April, glad to hear you are re-evaluating your pricing. To add to the opinions on here.....

Originally Posted by aprilcake

- $10 for a 6 inch round/square
- $15 for an 8 inch round/square
- $18 for a 10 inch round/square
- $23 for a 9 x 13 (1/4 sheet cake)
- $35 for an 11 x 15
- $38 for a 12 x 18
- $50 for an 18 x 24 (full sheet)

- A 6" round serves 12 ..... $0.83/serving
- A 6" square serves 18..... $0.55/serving
- A 8" round serves 24 ...... $0.63/serving
- A 8" square serves 32 ..... $0.47/serving
- A 10" round serves 38.....$0.47/serving (1 cake mix per layer)
- A 10" square serves 50 .... $0.36/serving (1.5 cake mixes per layer)
- 9x13 serves 24 .... $0.95/serving
- 11 x 15 serves 35 .... $1.00/serving
- 18 x 24 serves 54 .... $0.92/serving

I did this breakdown to show you (1) how very very low your pricing actually was and (2) to show you how inconsistent your pricing was. You range from $0.36 to $0.83 for your non-sheet cakes, and these prices are half of the sheet cake prices, which are usually cheaper than 2-layer cakes. It doesnt' look like you factored in the extra cost for square cakes over round cakes. They take more ingredients (you are filling up the corners of the pan, which are "cut off" on the round cakes).

Smaller items cost more (anywhere) proportionately because you have to build in the overhead into it. I was having lunch with my sister and she commented on "how come the 1/2 salad isn't 1/2 price?" So I had to explain to her, "Because they aren't paying the dishwasher half wage to wash the same plate, because the water to wash a small plate is the same amount of water to wash a bigger plate; because they don't dim this light hanging over our table becuase you ordered 1/2 a salad; because you still get the same fork and it takes the waitress the same amount of time to bring it over to you. It's called overhead!!"

When I rent a tablecloth, it costs me the same amount of money for it, whether I've got food for 50 or food for 100 sitting on top of it. Same expense .... half the income.

Which is why many of us do not do cakes under a certain size. I won't do 6" rounds and I wont' do any sheets smaller than a 11x15.

Originally Posted by aprilcake

Wedding cakes and/or any three or more tiered cakes are $1.50 per slice and fondant covered is $2.25 per slice.

My wedding (also known as "non-sheet cakes" ... I dont' care if they call it a wedding cake, birthday cake, or kiss-my-butt cake, it's all the same price) is $3/serving and that includes delivery.

Originally Posted by aprilcake

Cupcakes are $1.00 each up to 30. If you buy more than 30, a discount will be applied.

A volume discount is not given just because someone buys "a lot". A volume discount is given when the quantity being ordered is sufficient enough to enable YOU to save money in your buying and/or your production costs (i.e. oven time or labor). I have a client who orders 26 dozen cookies every single day. For someone to walk in and expect a "volume" discount for 5 or 6 dozen cookies is laughable to me. It costs me the same money to make one dozen as it does to make one dozen 6 times.

I view a cupcake as a serving of cake (and in my ever-so-never humble opinion, it's bigger than a standard serving of cake!) so I'd charge at least $2.25 and that does NOT include delivery. If they want delivery, it's $3 each, same as my non-sheet cakes.

As you factor your time, dont' forget to include time to go buy ingredients. My advice is always, "If you were paying an employee to do this cake .... from taking the order to buying the ingredients, to mixing, baking, deocrating and delivering..... how much would your payroll be?" And if you sent the employee out to buy the ingredients, you'd have to pay for their gas or pay them a mileage rate for using their personal car.

Overhead. It's the cost of doing business.

(edited to correct the number of cake mixes on the 10" cakes)

heycupcake Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 6:51pm
post #26 of 31

Wow! indydebi..that even helped me out---
Thanks for posting that info! And I love your response to your sister...its funny- how people just dont understand... I didnt until I started my bus.
Thanks again!

trumpetmidget Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 12:33am
post #27 of 31

I don't charge anything less than $30. My 12x18 sheet cake starts at $75 and that is cheap. I know that it is hard to sell higher than the bakery, but your cakes are made especially for the person. It is different when you are doing a home bakery and only making a couple of cakes at a time instead of 30 or more in one day with 10 employees. There are people out there that are willing to spend money on a nice cake. It is the focal point of many celebrations and people recognize that. The bakery may just make run of the mill cakes. A bakery cake that is not individualized is not as special or worth the money for a cake that you will make. Be confident in yourself. HTH

oilili Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 9:05am
post #28 of 31

I am learning a great deal from this post.

May I take this opportunity to ask one thing that has always been at the back of my mind:

I understand that you set the prices , first of all based on cost and time spent, and that you work it out per savings BUT how can you set a price per saving or size of the cake when some cakes require simple decorations and others are more sophisticated and time consuming?? icon_eek.gif

mezzaluna Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 12:14pm
post #29 of 31

I have a basic price, and then if there are extras it really does cost extra.

springlakecake Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 12:38pm
post #30 of 31

too low. way too low. I would at least double the price. I don't think I would even want to fire up my oven for $10. This is said by someone who doesnt charge much either! You have to make it worth your time. Believe me, you will start to resent how much time you spend shopping and cleaning while your customers are hanging out at the beach with their family.

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