Pricing Cakes

Business By Kellotess Updated 4 Jun 2008 , 10:49pm by FromScratch

Kellotess Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 6:21pm
post #1 of 11

I hate to ask this, but I am new to all of this and have in the past just made cakes for family. Now I am getting a lot of requests from other people and I am going insane. I LOVE baking and making the cakes, but the pricing of them is giving me massive headaches! Can anyone tell me a basic outline of what to charge people? I know there is a matrix on this site, but I do not understand it at all. I am the type of person who needs flat out numbers to start with. I would really really appreciate anyone that can help me with this! Thanks!!!

10 replies
sweetcravings Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 6:25pm
post #2 of 11

I'd love to see some people's pricing lists too. Your not the only one struggling in this department.
I've read people say to call around and see what others are charging but i've tried that and all i get is, "it all depends on the cake" response. They say i have to come in and then they can give me a price. Even when i say something like a basic buttercream cake, i get the same response..gesh.

jennifer7777 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 6:34pm
post #3 of 11

http://www.wilton.com/wedding/cakeinfo/cakedata.cfm

This is the Wilton servings chart. I would use this as a pricing guideline. Figure out how much you want to charge per serving, taking into account the average costs of things where you live.
I would say somewhere between $1.50-$3.00 per serving to start.
From there, look on the chart to see the size cake you are offering, and multiply the # of servings by your price.

Ex: If you are selling the 6-inch round...serves 12...your cost per serving $1.50 x 12=$18.00(your price)

The key with pricing is, you want to charge for the total amount of servings you can get out of the cake, and offer your customers options as to how to cut it.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more ?s, as I am glad to "pay it forward" all of the help I've been given. thumbs_up.gif

jennifer7777 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 6:40pm
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

I'd love to see some people's pricing lists too. Your not the only one struggling in this department.
I've read people say to call around and see what others are charging but i've tried that and all i get is, "it all depends on the cake" response. They say i have to come in and then they can give me a price. Even when i say something like a basic buttercream cake, i get the same response..gesh.




Well then, try being more detailed with your ?s. Think of how you make your cakes, then ask them how much for what you would do.

Ex: Your "basic buttercream" 1/4 sheet cake comes a single layer (no filling) with borders, some roses and the message.
So ask them "how much would you charge for 1/4 sheet cake (or you might want to say a sheet cake that will serve at least 20 people) single layer, no filling, with borders, roses and a message?"

Then if you want more details..."how much extra for an edible image?", "how much extra for filling?" etc.

mjandros Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 6:44pm
post #5 of 11

I've been going through the process lately of trying to come up with prices as well. And just like you, I don't like the matrix that much either. So this is what I found by searching here and on Wilton -----

Figure out how much it will cost you to make the cake & the frosting - the cost of the mix (if you use box) or how much each cup of flour, tsp. of salt, cup of oil and sugar, eggs, shortening, etc. - whatever your recipe may be. You need to sit down and price each ingredient. You should charge 3 x's that price in order to make a profit. Don't forget to include the cake board and the box in your pricing.

I then took this and came up with base prices for my cakes - these are for single layers only with buttercream frosting & borders

12 x 18 = $65
11 x 15 = $50
9 x 13 = $35

Filling would be $10 extra for the 9x13and the 11x15, $15 extra for the 12x18.

My price for a 9 inch round 2 layer would be $25. This price would include the filling.

Character cakes $25 and up depending on the level of detail needed.

HTH

Happy Baking......

Mike1394 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 6:45pm
post #6 of 11

To help with a price one needs to know costs. What is your target consumer? In that target area what is your competition charging? Do you want to be competitive w/ your competition? Undercut them, go above them? There is a lot to know before someone can put out a price that you should be charging.

Mike

kelleym Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 9:48pm
post #7 of 11

Prices for cakes, like real estate, vary wildly by location. There are a lot of different factors to consider, so it's a good idea to look at your own costs and competition before setting prices. What people here at CC charge is not necessarily what you should charge! icon_smile.gif More thoughts here: www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx

indydebi Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 10:01pm
post #8 of 11

If you are going to do this as a business, the "times three" theory .... in my ever so never humble opinion .... will not work. I would be bankrupt in 20 minutes if I used this formula.

It means I would sell a wedding-cake-for-100 for under $100 instead of for $300. It means I would sell a dozen snickerdoodles for something like 87 cents instead of for $6.00.

No way I could pay the rent on the "times three" theory, let alone cover all of my other business expenses.

kdnicoson Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 4:25pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Prices for cakes, like real estate, vary wildly by location. There are a lot of different factors to consider, so it's a good idea to look at your own costs and competition before setting prices. What people here at CC charge is not necessarily what you should charge! icon_smile.gif More thoughts here: www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx




Thank you so much for posting that site! It is very helpful!!

costumeczar Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 5:45pm
post #10 of 11

You have to charge for your time, too. Treat yourself like you're an employee who's earning an hourly wage (whatever that might be) and add it to the cost of the cake. Take into account the fact that you have to spend time to shop, bake, decorate and clean, too. The 3x rule wouldn't work for me, either, so don't go by that unless you sit down and figure out your options first. If that works for you, fine, but if I priced things that way I think that I'd be making something like $2 an hour.

Not related to pricing, but character cakes were mentioned above, so...Remember that many character cakes are copyrighted, so you shouldn't be selling them at all.

FromScratch Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 10:49pm
post #11 of 11

Also.. finding out if it is legal in your state to bake from home should be your #1 priority. You'd be surprised at how many states won't allow you to use your residential kitchen to make food intended for distribution to the public. Better to find out from the begining than to get all excited only to find out that you can't. There are other options, but it takes planning.

I figured out what I wanted to make for a cake and did the math. Figure out how much it costs YOU to make your cakes and charge plenty more. Take into effect the cost of gas to get your ingredients, the time it takes to mix and prepare pans, the time to bake and cool, the time to trim and level and fill, the time to decortate, and the time it takes to clean up. A lot more goes into a cake than just ingredients.

I start all cakes at $4/serving in buttercream and $5/serving in fondant. I don't think that anyone should charge under $2/serving.. you just won't make enough for your hard work.

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