Teaching Cake Decorating Classes

Business By amazinggracecakedesigns Updated 30 Apr 2008 , 7:08pm by tarlio

amazinggracecakedesigns Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:21am
post #1 of 21

Hi!! I live in Kentucky and I am in the process of putting a bakery kitchen in my basement. In Kentucky, you can sell from your home as long as you have a seperate kitchen and as long as you go by the requirements for your county. This is a work in process and until I am finished I have been asked to teach some classes. I need suggestions on how much to charge for the classes. I am also interested in teaching classes for myself. Do you need a business license to do this? How would I advertise my classes (newspaper, flyers, business cards, etc.)? Any suggestions would be very helpful!! THANKS IN ADVANCE!! thumbs_up.gif

20 replies
TexasSugar Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 4:32pm
post #2 of 21

Since you are going through the work of doing the kitchen, my question for you is are you planning to sell your cakes as well? The reason I ask this is because you have to remember 90% of the people you teach how to decorate cakes will then do cakes and that will mean that is less people that will order from you. Plus they will ask you for recipes, ideas and so on. If your recipes are part of your business you probably don't want to hand them out to people in your area.

So I think you may want to decide which part is more important to you?

As far as how much to charge for classes, that depends on what you are offering. What are you supplying? What are they bringing? What are you teaching them? How long are the classes?

amazinggracecakedesigns Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 7:17pm
post #3 of 21

TexasSugar,

Thanks for the info. I hadn't really thought about it in that way. I will give it thought because my passion is making cakes. My dream has always been to have my own bakery & sell my cakes. I hadn't thought about the classes until recently. thumbs_up.gif

GeminiRJ Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 3:53pm
post #4 of 21

I agree with TexasSugar about not giving out your recipes, but not so much on the negative impact to your business by teaching. There are people who would love to learn decorating because they would never spend the money to buy a cake. There are people who once they learn how much work goes into a cake, they are happy to let someone else do it. Then there are those who have no interest whatsoever in doing the decorating...they just want a cool cake! By teaching as well as selling, you're hitting different groups of people and making money. But definitely do not give out your special recipes!!!

As far as how much to charge, check around your area to see what is reasonable. Our community college has basic cake decorating taught in five sessions, two hours per session, for (I think) $75 per person. Other classes target specific topics/skills that are for only one or two sessions.

TexasSugar Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 4:58pm
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsandtreats270

TexasSugar,

Thanks for the info. I hadn't really thought about it in that way. I will give it thought because my passion is making cakes. My dream has always been to have my own bakery & sell my cakes. I hadn't thought about the classes until recently. thumbs_up.gif




When I started teaching the Wilton classes that was a concearn of mine because at that time I still thought I would do a bakery some time in the future. I know know I enjoy doing cakes but dont' want to do 10 cakes a week to pay the bills.

I'm at the point of if I ever opened a business it would be a cake supply store with a kitchen and classroom. So I could cakes if/when I wanted and use the supplies and classes as the main part of it.

And yes was said some people will figure out that cake decorating isn't for them or that they don't want to spend the time. But you will also have people come in that love it and want to pick your brain for all your information. I can't tell you how many of my students come in talking about selling cakes only after a couple of classes.

You could still do both, but then I think if you did I would certainly limit what you teach. Only do the basics, and save the harder more involved stuff as your secrets. If you offer 3d options I wouldn't go around teaching all the people in your area how to do them, for example. icon_smile.gif

GeminiRJ Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 11:44am
post #6 of 21

I agree 100% with TexasSugar if you want to teach plus sell. Keep the cool stuff to yourself!

cakedout Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 2:38pm
post #7 of 21

I taught classes (both Wilton and as an independant) for 15 years, even training decorators for our local bakeries and Dairy Queens. It has been my experience that most of the people I taught were "Susie-Homemaker" who wanted to take just the basic class to learn how to do cakes for their kids.

Oh, there were a few that went on to work in bakeries, or start a business...but only a handfull. So I never worried about "competition".

And I NEVER gave out my recipes! I gave the Wilton Class Buttercream recipe, never my own. As for baking- I gave out baking tips, but never cake recipes. The class members were more interested in how to get a cake out of the pan, than the actual recipe! icon_lol.gif And how to actually ice the cake, than the recipe I used. So what I'm saying is, they take the class to learn the techniques, not my recipes. And if they asked, I said "Sorry, those are my secrets." and they accepted that.

I would suggest charging at least $50-75 per person. My classes were 2 hours, 1 time a week for 5-6 weeks (depending on which class level I was teaching). Sometimes I do a 3 week wedding cake class, or a 2 week flower class.

I advertised in my local paper and did well. I had a limit of 12 students per class. Once I had 14, and another time 18- that is just too many, and you don't get much one-on-one time with everyone.

Students called me to register, then they received a class itinerary and a supply list with a list of stores where they could purchase the supplies. I gave classes during the 'slow' cake season- Jan.-April. It was a nice extra income during the months when wedding cakes weren't booked.

HTH

amazinggracecakedesigns Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 11:02am
post #8 of 21

Thanks everybody for all the input. I have also discovered something that if I decide to start teaching a few classes that I think would be fun. Doing birthday parties for kids. Has anyone done this? What is your input on this subject?

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 11:35am
post #9 of 21

I have a friend who recently booked a party for her 7-year-old daughter and friends for a "cooking" party. They all got to wear chef hats, aprons, and were taught basic cooking skills. It wasn't cheap, but my friend said the kids had a blast!

bonniebakes Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 11:56am
post #10 of 21

I'd love to offer classes (when I get good enough, that is) and children's parties - do you know that kind of "licencses" you need to be able to do that in MD?

Who would you think I should contact about that - the same dept. as if I wanted to sell baked goods from my home kitchen?

mjcakes Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 9:19pm
post #11 of 21

Our local library (davidson, nc) hired me to teach a 2 hour cake decorating class and they paid me $150 and I asked people to bring a un-iced, baked cake. I supplied them with bc and we pretty much just played. However, a few of my customers were in the class and I hated to give away some of my secrets...I didn't tell all though. The point is, check out every avenue!

Donnagardner Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 9:34pm
post #12 of 21

First of all ..where in Kentucky are you? I live in Owensboro. I agree with cakedout, most of the people who take classes are susie homemaker that want to make birthday cakes for their kids. If you teach the basics and dont get to involved in advanced decorating you should not have to worry about competition to much I would think.

mommycakediva Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 9:46pm
post #13 of 21

it would be so fun to teach a kiddie class, our church does girl guides it gives me an idea to ask about maybe doing a cupcake class for them.

tonedna Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 10:18pm
post #14 of 21

I am bad at this...I kind of share my knowledge. When I teach, I teach what I know and do as I do. I am proud of my students and they come to me cause they see my work and they love it. I cant just give a class half way..But I do understand not sharing it all. The thing is...All there is to learn is here and out there..what you dont teach as a teacher those who want to learn they will keep looking for the knowledge no matter if you taught it or not.
They will always remember who taught them and that to me is priceless!
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Cakebelle Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 10:33pm
post #15 of 21

I totally agree with tonedna. There is nothing better than sharing knowledge in any way.

amazinggracecakedesigns Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 2:53am
post #16 of 21

First of all, thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Second, Donnagardner, I live in Columbia in South Central KY. We are about an hour drive from Bowling Green. I am not sure how far it is from you but I have been there a few years ago.

ResaB Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 1:27pm
post #17 of 21

There is a store in Austin called that sells Wilton products, teaches classes, and sells decorated cakes. I use to shop at there when I lived in that area, and since I am just a hobby decorator when someone would ask me about making cakes, I would refer them to these people.

Here is a link so you can see everything they offer, http://www.allinonebakeshop.com/

Solecito Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 5:20pm
post #18 of 21

It really depends on your area. I took a flower arrengement class once and some people just seem to take the class so thay can do the arrangements themselves and no to buy them, but there were a lot of them that seemed like they were just stealing the secrets of the instructor, ans she didn't even know. So when she asked me to teach cake decorating and cookie making classes I said yes, the point being teching people basic skills, not giving them my recipes. Until peolpe started calling for information and when I explain what the curse was about, they clearly said they wanted to learn so they could sell cookies, and decorated cakes. I had to turn it down, I just didn't want to give myself more competition. Nof ro what I was being paid.

mcook1670 Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 5:47pm
post #19 of 21

what kind of materail do you plan on teaching? The Michael's and JoAnn's here in Tampa teach classes and there really cheap, usually $15-30 a person plus supplies. I saw that someone mentioned before that they taught classes and people could rent the supplies, there are some people that just wanna take a class for fun or whatever and don't want to buy a bunch of spatulas and tips... good way to make money rerenting the same stuff over and over icon_biggrin.gif. I've thought about teaching classes in the club house of my development before..good luck

mcook1670 Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 6:02pm
post #20 of 21

I thought of something else while i was making a cake. You could try offering classes that others don't offer. I'm thinking about offering classes on kids and birthday cakes. I would teach people to make cakes that I normally wouldn't do. I normally do cakes with fondant. By teaching classes it makes you look like an expert in that field!

tarlio Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 7:08pm
post #21 of 21

hi, I am Tony

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