Holy Moley!

Decorating By TheCakerator Updated 20 Mar 2008 , 4:34pm by TheCakerator

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 12:55am
post #1 of 21

So a co worker of my sister called tonight and is asking me how much it would cost to make 30 individual cakes, a round cake with piping/scrollwork on them for each of their daughters guest tables. She said there will be about 8-10 people at each table. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO EVEN START!! How do you determine how much something like this will cost? She said they have cake stands they would like to use and they measure roughly 9 1/2 inches in diameter. Well to feed 10 people at each table, I won't need a very large cake, but what if they want it to be in proportion to the cake plate? Please anyone with ANY advice let me know!!! I told her I would get back to her at the end of the week. She is also wanting a small wedding cake for her daughter and son in law to have. A double stacked cake, probably an 8in and 6in cake.

20 replies
Doug Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:02am
post #2 of 21

6in cake leaves 1.5 to 2in border on plate no big deal there -- can had extra wide border at base of cake.

pricing -- I'd do usual per serving price PLUS at least a 10% to 15% surcharge (PITA fee).

?: do you have a place to store all those cakes while in the various stages of assembly.

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:08am
post #3 of 21

icon_redface.gif what is a PITA fee? I have a very large kitchen, with lots of counter space and I know I can use a few extra fridges around here, parents and brother live very close. I wouldn't really know how to go about making all of these cakes? Where do you start? A 6in round cake is what you recommend for 10 guests at a table?

moxey2000 Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:11am
post #4 of 21

PITA = Pain In the A**

Took me a while to get that one!!

Good luck, this cake order sounds like a blessing and a curse at the same time, but with good planning you should be able to pull it off.

Doug Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:16am
post #5 of 21

PITA -- PAIN in the A**

6" = 12 small 1x2x4 servings (traditional wedding size)

would almost have to be assembly line.

bake all of them and freeze them.

then start stacking and crumb coating and back in refrigerator for holding

then out then come one by one for finish icing and back to fridge.

then out and after warmed up .. pipe and scroll and store.

BUT that's a huge amount of work to do all by yourself and you will have cakes everywhere.

are you sure you want to be traipsin' back and forth between various houses and never really be totally sure how the cakes are being treated while your away?...

and don't forget for a while your fridge will be loaded w/ eggs and other batter ingredients!


w/ 4 pans baking at the same time...thats two cakes.

if it takes 30 or so minutes to bake those two -- then you've got 7.5 hours of baking time alone -- not counting mixing, etc.

then...how many hours will it take you to ice / pipe / scrollwork them????

hmmm, maybe that PITA fee should be more like 20% or even 25%!!!

so if your rate is $2/serving --- that's $24/cake BEFORE PITA fee...so add at least $3 for $27 or even $6 (25%) for $30 a cake (x 30 = $900!!!)

terrylee Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:16am
post #6 of 21

A two layer 6" cake should feed 8-10 guest.. and fit and show off nicely on the 9 1/2" cake stand.

If they are fondant - minimum . $30.00 each - BC icing maybe $20.00 each.. it all depends on how much detail goes on them.

and like Doug said the PITA charge. there is a lot of extra work and time involved.

Good luck - post pictures.

step0nmi Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:32am
post #7 of 21

OMG Doug! IF she thought she wanted to do it before she may not want to do it now! icon_lol.gif

I am with Doug on the PITA charge and also agree with terrylee on the fees for them!

Good luck on whatever you decide!

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:34am
post #8 of 21

well my price is 1.50 a serving for 12 servings each cake would run 18.00 x 30 cakes is $540.00 with a 25% pita fee Im only coming out with $675.00 but I would have to tack on gas money as her reception site is over an hour away from me, and gas here is almost 3.50 a gallon, and it would probably take at least two cars, or at least two trips there and back to get all the cakes there

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:56am
post #9 of 21

ok well .. I have spent the last fifteen minutes sitting here with a bad feeling in my tummy .. so I have decided that this is not my cup of tea!! I will call her and let her know that unfortunately at this time I will not be able to help her out. I am just doing this as a hobby out of my kitchen and making and baking and transporting these 30 cakes plus a small wedding cake for her daughter and son in law just doesn't seem possible right now. Sound OK?

kakeladi Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:56am
post #10 of 21

Yep, the transporting would be a real hassel. I've done it - no fun really.
My cakes were 9" hearts, single layer. I was able to box them and stack them in the back of my mini van so I only had one trip BUT.........
the weather was terrible. The bride **insisted!!** on having an outdoor reception - at nighticon_sad.gif It rained, and rained so we could not set the cakes out on the tables because of the rain & wind. Finally after some 3 hrs of waiting for the weather
to clear up we set the cakes up in the lounge/bar and left because I had other cakes to deliver! I heard they did end up having the recipetion ooutside and people didn't stay long because it was wet and coldicon_sad.gif
For the 'picture cake' I would suggest at least a 9" round w/5" or 6" topper. It will look much better (in my opinion) than an 8,6.
Remember you will have many, many hourse of work at the last minute. *Much* more than you would put into making a 4 tier wedding cake.
You have to plan well. All the right size cake circles for the cakes; covering them; how much icing to make; investing in extra 6" cake pans; boxes to transport them in and much more.
Your price of $1.50 a slice is way low - especially w/all the recent price increases for flour, cake mix, sugar, etc, etc. $18 per cake is much too low.....it should be more like $35.

Doug Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:01am
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by TheCakerator

ok well .. I have spent the last fifteen minutes sitting here with a bad feeling in my tummy .. so I have decided that this is not my cup of tea!! I will call her and let her know that unfortunately at this time I will not be able to help her out. I am just doing this as a hobby out of my kitchen and making and baking and transporting these 30 cakes plus a small wedding cake for her daughter and son in law just doesn't seem possible right now. Sound OK?

go with your gut feeling...

this is a boat load of work and as a hobbiest just might drive you to drop the hobby! (bad thing!)

maybe offer to do a groom's cake or the rehearsal cake as a gesture of good will and steer her to a professional bakery that can do this many cakes easily.

Amia Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:03am
post #12 of 21

That sounds good. You should never do something you aren't comfortable with. Just today I was asked to do a wedding cake, but I've never done a wedding cake before, so I politely refused. I felt bad because her only other option was Wal-Mart or the grocery store, but I don't want that huge burden on my shoulders just yet. And wow, 30 cakes...geez! Who could do that anyway, without a huge professional kitchen? Well, be able to do it and still keep their sanity....

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:04am
post #13 of 21

she asked me to make her daughters shower cake but unfortunately I am going to be out of town that weekend. She did not mention anything about doing a grooms cake, but where we live, those are not very common at weddings. I really feel bad about talking to her tonight because the whole time we were talking my tummy just kept getting lower and lower. But I told her I would look over all of the details, the cost, etc., and call her back later in the week. Well, I think I am just going to tell her I cannot do it and I am sorry. But it's not like I am going to put her off forever. She will still have time to look for someone else to make this cake. I will call her tomorrow.

kymscakes Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:06am
post #14 of 21

In all fairness, I didn't read the previous posts....BUT...we did this for my sisters wedding, 13 6" cakes, all very simple, iced in white, very basic details and trim on each, then I did floral arrangements for each one. I LOVE this look....but, expensive, I know....

smashcakes Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:07am
post #15 of 21

i did something like this ONCE as a donation for a fundraiser. I baked sheet cakes, then cut them out with a round biscuit cutter ( i think my size was 5inch, but maybe you could find 6 inch) then i had flowers that i had premade, so when the time came i slapped the flowers on top, but it was still a lot of work. i think i did about 25, but i can't remember, i also did each one a little different, i iced them all the same color, just put different flowers on. i don't blame ya if you pass on this one. i just work out of my home too, so it's doable, just not enjoyable

CakeMommyTX Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:09am
post #16 of 21

Wow !! I feel you though, I had to turn down an order for 75 mini cakes because I just did'nt have the space to make that many cakes!
Do whats right for you though, and don't feel bad about having to say no.

Doug- Thank you so much for help your the other week with the elephant cake, it turned out great!

i_heart_pastry Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:14am
post #17 of 21

Truly, do not feel bad about turning her down. Better to say no than to accept and not be satisfied with the outcome. Just let her know that when you worked it all out, you just don't feel like you have the space or manpower (womanpower, lol) to do that many cakes, and that you would rather say no upfront so that her daughter will have plenty of time to find someone who can give her exactly what she wants on her special day. I'm sure she'll appreciate your honesty and consideration!


Cyndi1207 Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:25am
post #18 of 21

It's so hard to say no............trust me...........I know because I always end up saying yes. That's a lot of work but as a "hobbiest" that kind of money sure can help.............you know.........in supporting your hobby icon_smile.gif (this is not a cheap hobby to maintain)

I do agree with your prices being too low. You shouldn't be anywhere under $2 a serving.

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 12:42pm
post #19 of 21

thanks you guys .. I feel better about letting her know I can't do it now .. Im sure I COULD, but, I think deep down, I feel a little relieved knowing I won't be doing it... as I said, I only do this as a hobby, and I didn't really want to get into the wedding cake part of it, I much prefer birthday cakes!! Plus transporting the cakes would be to a hotel over an hour away from me and I'm just not sure I could do it all in one trip (I drive a compact car) I am going to call her today and let her know I won't be able to do it. Thanks again for all of your help!!

cakedout Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 1:12pm
post #20 of 21

Speaking from experience....you'll be glad you said no.

A few years ago I did 40 centerpiece cakes-almost exactly as you have described. I borrowed cake pans from 2 friends so I had 8 pans to work with. I asked a friend to come help me. We baked and prepped for 2 weeks. It took us 2 VERY LONG days to assemble and decorate. Thank goodness I had an actual bakery to work out of-not to mention a baking rack and a very long dining room table! icon_biggrin.gif

We didn't box the cakes, so all 40 of them took up the entire floor of my van. The tiered cake went in my friends car. What a job!

The kicker was a week after that there was an article in the paper about the new "centerpiece cake trend" and a decorator was talking about how she had just done a wedding with 15 cakes and wow-it was SO much work. icon_confused.gif Don't even go there honey....

One great thing about this- the couple and their wedding(and cake) was featured in a local bridal magazine. icon_smile.gif

TheCakerator Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 4:34pm
post #21 of 21

You were very brave to try 40 centerpieces! I am dreading this phone call .. I have the same feeling in my stomache thinking about telling her no as I did thinking about telling her yes!! I know I will feel better once this is all done and over with, but she works days and I know I won't be able to reach her until tonight .. now its just a waiting game .. the worst!

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