Cake Price

Decorating By courtney1009 Updated 24 May 2008 , 2:03pm by ziggytarheel

courtney1009 Posted 16 May 2008 , 11:41am
post #1 of 21

Someone wants me to make them a 1/4 sheet cassata cake. I make a delicious one. I make everything from scratch including homemade strawberry jam to put in it. I don't want to charge an arm and a leg for it, but my husband and I calculated the cost of just the supplies and it was $45! I was astounded. I don't want to lose an order cause I'm just starting up, but I don't know if I would even pay that much for a 1/4 sheet cake no matter how good it was. I have a feeling once I tell her the price she'll just get a cake from the grocery store. Any suggestions? If I were to charge for the cake what would you charge?

20 replies
aligotmatt Posted 16 May 2008 , 12:01pm
post #2 of 21

Well, you can't lose money making it...

When I have a cake tbat is high cost, when I tell people the price I go through some of the ingredients to make them understand when they hear the price.

So I'll say, "okay, so I'll be making you an 8" round cake with XXXX design on it, inside you'll have my tasty pound cake made with fresh whipping cream, and for the filling you chose pineapple filling, which consists of fresh pineapples that are cut up and simmered to perfection just for your cake. The cost for this is..... "

Sometimes they say, ooh that sounds great, other times they say, maybe I don't need something so fancy. And of course, if you made a different cake for this lady, your ingredients would go down and her price would go down.

Because you have the time, I would probably work up the price for doing the cassata cake and then just a basic cake for the same 1/4 sheet cake. And give them both to her, while explaining how tasty your cake and fresh jam filling is.

HerBoudoir Posted 16 May 2008 , 12:25pm
post #3 of 21

Even though $45 sounds like a lot, it's a custom make cake with premium ingredients - and frankly, it's not worth it to you to do it for free unless it's a VERY good friend.

One of my "things" with baking is that I rarely use anything other than top quality "whole foods" ingredients - all butter, Belgian chocolate, premium vanilla, etc. All that adds up cost wise, even if it does make for fantastic cakes.

But I do understand the sticker shock - as a broke college student, I certainly wouldn't pay what I have to charge for a cake the few times I've done them unless it was a VERY special occasion - even though I know 100% they are worth what I charge.

Since I rarely make cakes-for-pay, and when I do it's for friends, I flat out tell them how much the ingredients cost, and what I need to charge on top of that to cover x many hours labor. Put it to them like that and they understand it's a fair price - it's up to them whether they want to pony it up or not. I don't take it personally if they don't.

leily Posted 16 May 2008 , 10:17pm
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtney1009

I don't want to lose an order cause I'm just starting up, but I don't know if I would even pay that much for a 1/4 sheet cake no matter how good it was.




If you are trying to start a business then you can't start one going in the hole either. If you don't charge enough to cover the cost of the ingredients, utilities, gas, and your time then you will never make enough to turn it into a business.

And it doesn't matter what you would pay for a cake because you are not the one buying it. It depends on what your market can handle.

I wouldn't pay full price for my cakes and cookies either.... but others do and that keeps me in business. You can not base your prices off of what you are willing to pay.

I would (and have) pay $50+/person for a meal. But there are a lot of people that wouldn't. Everyones priorities are different and you can not assume your customers are the same as yours.

courtney1009 Posted 17 May 2008 , 2:54pm
post #5 of 21

Thanks guys. Your advice really helped. Being new, it's hard because I don't want to lose any orders. But your right I can't give it away. Thanks for all your help. It's going to help when I talk to her. Now I know what to say.

ctucker Posted 23 May 2008 , 1:06am
post #6 of 21

I think another alternative would be to offer to her that she can purchase the ingredients for you. That way she may be able to see for herself how much it really costs to make a cake.

Cakebelle Posted 23 May 2008 , 11:41pm
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctucker

I think another alternative would be to offer to her that she can purchase the ingredients for you. That way she may be able to see for herself how much it really costs to make a cake.





I agree, people just don't realize how much goes into a cake!

jennifer7777 Posted 23 May 2008 , 11:58pm
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtney1009

Being new, it's hard because I don't want to lose any orders.




I learned from experience to get over this quick! Because the fact of the matter is sometimes you may lose an order, maybe even two. You have to focus on the orders you get, not those you lose. Remember, all money aint good money! You want to get paid for what you're worth, but you have to know what your worth is before you can expect others to pay for it. icon_wink.gif
Charge that lady up the ying-yang for that cake...she just might pay! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 24 May 2008 , 12:13am
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifer7777

Quote:
Originally Posted by courtney1009

Being new, it's hard because I don't want to lose any orders.



I learned from experience to get over this quick! Because the fact of the matter is sometimes you may lose an order, maybe even two. You have to focus on the orders you get, not those you lose. Remember, all money aint good money! You want to get paid for what you're worth, but you have to know what your worth is before you can expect others to pay for it. icon_wink.gif
Charge that lady up the ying-yang for that cake...she just might pay! icon_lol.gif




Amen!!

Taking an order that puts you in the red is NOT better than not getting the order at all! Saying "no" periodically is a great positive marketing tool!

roxxxy_luvs_duff Posted 24 May 2008 , 12:24am
post #10 of 21

What is a cassata cake?

mcelromi1 Posted 24 May 2008 , 12:26am
post #11 of 21

Is $45 the cost to produce the cake? Or is it just the cost to purchase the ingredients? (Ex: If eggs cost $2.99/dozen and you only use three, you're not going to charge her for twelve. And so on.)

But, if it does cost $45 to produce the actual cake, then I agree with everyone elseicon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 24 May 2008 , 12:55am
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcelromi1

Is $45 the cost to produce the cake? Or is it just the cost to purchase the ingredients? (Ex: If eggs cost $2.99/dozen and you only use three, you're not going to charge her for twelve. And so on.)




This is appropriate to do if you have no use for the balance of the item purchased. It's done all the time in manufacturing ...... customer wants 1000 pcs of an item that require a certain material that I have to buy from Asia .... but Asia has a min buy requirement. I have to buy enough material to make 2500 pcs. My customer has to order 2500 pcs OR they have to pay for all of the excess material that I was FORCED to purchase and that I have no other use for.

Now if I can use the excess material for other products for other customers, then of course my customer only pays for the material needed to make his 1000 pcs.

It is a legitimate and proper business practice.

cwcopeland Posted 24 May 2008 , 1:15am
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxxxy_luvs_duff

What is a cassata cake?




I was wondering the same thing. It sounds delicious.

I've decided to not let my feelings get hurt anymore when someone says my cakes are too expensive, then saying they'll just go to Costco or Sam's. A lady the other day said she wanted one of my "custom cakes" (her wording) that she had tasted at a party. I told her it would start at $40, depending on what all she wanted on it and she said it was out of her budget.

Whatever......... Next????

Like the other posters said, don't loose money. I've done it before and it makes you feel like you've been taken advantage of, and I hate that feeling.

indydebi Posted 24 May 2008 , 1:40am
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwcopeland

I've decided to not let my feelings get hurt anymore when someone says my cakes are too expensive,




That's a compliment. "Yes, it's true .... not everyone CAN afford me!" icon_biggrin.gif

thedessertdiva Posted 24 May 2008 , 1:45am
post #15 of 21

Cassata cake recipe

1 pk Yellow cake mix; (18.25
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1 Container ricotta cheese;
2 tb Dark rum
1 c Miniature semi-sweet choc.
1/4 c Water
1/4 c Plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 c Heavy cream; (1/2 pint)
1 ts Vanilla extract
1 c Sliced almonds; toasted

Mix cake batter according to package directions. Bake the cake batter according to the package directions for two 9 inch round layers; let cool, then remove from the pans. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the vanilla, and cinnamon; mix well, then cover and chill. In a small bowl, combine the rum, water and the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; mix, then set aside. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter and drizzle with the rum mixture. Cover with the ricotta cheese mixture and top with the second layer. In a medium sized bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the heavy cream and confectioners sugar until stiff peaks form. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream and sprinkle the top and sides with the toasted almonds. Cover loosely and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. *Note: To toast the almonds place them on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake in a preheated oven at 350 ? for 1 to 2 minutes, just until golden

mcelromi1 Posted 24 May 2008 , 1:45am
post #16 of 21

This is appropriate to do if you have no use for the balance of the item purchased. It's done all the time in manufacturing ...... customer wants 1000 pcs of an item that require a certain material that I have to buy from Asia .... but Asia has a min buy requirement. I have to buy enough material to make 2500 pcs. My customer has to order 2500 pcs OR they have to pay for all of the excess material that I was FORCED to purchase and that I have no other use for.

Now if I can use the excess material for other products for other customers, then of course my customer only pays for the material needed to make his 1000 pcs.

It is a legitimate and proper business practice.[/quote]


In the context of cakes, you're pretty much guaranteed to have use for the remainder of vanilla, flour, eggs, ect.
So, I just wanted to make sure she took that into consideration when figuring out her pricing.
But, I understand what you're saying.

aundrea Posted 24 May 2008 , 2:03am
post #17 of 21

i know this topic is debated so often here.
but i have to agree with the advice of dont lower your price to apease anyone.
if you feel justified in charging $45.00 then thats the price.
i dont make cakes for profit, but if someone wants a cake i ask they cover the cost of ingredients. no profit.
and i STILL have people squabble over it. so ive begun to say NO if they wont cover the cost of my supplies. oh well, go to the local grocery store and get their frozen, no tasting, very bland decorated cake.
if this customer wont budge, then neither should you. although offering her a different type of cake within her budget sounds like a good idea.
i wish you luck!

cwcopeland Posted 24 May 2008 , 2:23am
post #18 of 21

Indy- Thanks. I never thought of it that way.

DesertDiva- Holy Cow!!! That sounds delicious and whatever you charge, it will be well worth it.

thedessertdiva Posted 24 May 2008 , 2:36am
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwcopeland



DesertDiva- Holy Cow!!! That sounds delicious and whatever you charge, it will be well worth it.




Allot.

And it SOOOOOOO is...

icon_lol.gif

thumbs_up.gif

courtney1009 Posted 24 May 2008 , 12:59pm
post #20 of 21

I posted this a long time ago and apparently it became popular again..... $45 was the actual cost of the supplies to make the cake. I priced it per egg, stick of butter, etc. not what I would have left over. I ended up charging her $70 and she didn't even hessitate, she just said okay. I was really surprised. So I guess I worried about nothing. Thanks again everyone for your help!

ziggytarheel Posted 24 May 2008 , 2:03pm
post #21 of 21

I'm glad it worked out for you!

When I saw the recipe for that type of cake, I thought, "That's an expensive cake."

So when someone orders a cake that is more expensive than the norm, I don't see the problem in saying something like that. Instead of calling it expensive, you could say that the cake requires premium ingredients which increases the price, or something like that.

When I see a great recipe, I always have to decide if it is worth it to me to make it if it is more expensive than my norm. I think people get that.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%