Charging Less For Buttercream Design??

Business By Shakti Updated 23 Jun 2008 , 3:50pm by Jenn2179

Shakti Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 6:44am
post #1 of 11

Alright, so this is like the third pricing matrix me and my co-decorator have tried to come up with...

And we were talking the other day about designs and how much the cost. But here's the deal, most systems charge less per serving for buttercream design than fondant design, but in my opinion, fondant is easier and takes less time!

For example, my co-decorator was doing a two-tiered cake with all different colored buttercream stars all around it. It took her FOREVER to smooth them all out and make them look clean and perfect. If we would have just stamped out a bunch of fondant stars and stuck them on the cake, that would have taken so much less time...

I would say let's just charge people more for fondant anyway, but I actually want to persuade people to get the fondant in cases like that. I don't want to sit and smooth out a bunch of fondant polka dots and/or stars with buttercream. I want to stick them on and move to the next cake.

thoughts?? Would you charge more? (PS, since then, we've started just stamping out different colors of different shapes and we keep them in a dollie so we can just stick them on cakes even if people have paid buttercream pricing)

10 replies
roseyrider Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 8:12am
post #2 of 11

Hey there, I charge less for BC but if there are shapes etc, I just use fondant cutouts. UNLESS they really want BC shapes as well in which case a slightly damp paint brush works wonders to help smooth BC shapes over quickly. Hope that helps.

Shakti Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 8:36am
post #3 of 11

ooooh a paint brush.....wow I can't beleive that's never occurred to me! Definitely a lot better than metal smoothers! I'm going to try it this weekend! That would probably work on buttercream drawings, too, right? Thanks for the tip!

peg818 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 8:41am
post #4 of 11

If i have a design that calls for something like the stars you speak about, i just plop on the fondant pieces on the smoothed buttercream and charge no more then the buttercream price. You have to use what you have to use for a design to work correctly

missmersh Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 9:11am
post #5 of 11

I would imagine that when someone refers to a "fondant" cake and charges a higher price for it than a bc cake...it is not a cake with fondant ON IT, but a cake that is covered in fondant. I don't charge extra if I use fondant accents on a cake...unless I am making 3D figures. However, if I were to cover a cake in fondant...that would definitely be extra.

I think if you figure your time with smoothing and the cost of the small amounts of fondant you would have stamped out...it comes out about even. Maybe less with the stamped out fondant....cause like you said, you can just pop them out and go.

I hardly ever make buttercream decorations and haven't for several years...fondant is just easier to work with...like you said! icon_smile.gif

I WOULD, however, explain this to the customer. Tell them that you will be glad to do the design they want, but if you have to do it in buttercream...then you will charge more cause it takes you more time.
Most people don't mind picking a little fondant off if they don't like it, if that is the issue.

Bless you for smoothing out all those stars!!! icon_redface.gif

JenWhitlock Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 12:28pm
post #6 of 11

just my 2cents.
I tend to agree about fondant being easier,
however as I am costing out my cakes lately (and buying rather than making fondant) it has occured to me what an increase in cost it is to cover the cake in fondant.

so fondant decorations on BC cake I can see being the same price as BC, but I would increase price for the cake covered in fondant just due to the cost of the fondant.

Shakti Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:01pm
post #7 of 11

At the bakery, we get these big huge buckets of Satin Ice for only $40...it doesnt really come out to be that much for us. We charge $25 for most accessories, so two accessories and the bucket is beyond paid for.

Perhaps you're not buying it wholesale, so it's that much more expensive?

aswartzw Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:08pm
post #8 of 11

I think in general, people charge more for fondant cakes because of the cost factor. You are using buttercream like a BC cake but are also adding an additional factor to it that a BC cake would never have. Maybe it doesn't cost much extra for you but it's still an additional cost that a BC cake doesn't include.

However, most places have a starting price. So depending on the time involved/complicated design of the BC or fondant cake, the price goes up from there. Therefore, your complicated BC cake will probably cost more than a simple fondant cake in the end.

ladyonzlake Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:22pm
post #9 of 11

Yes, fondant is easier for me too but the additional cost of fondant whether it be to cover the entire cake or to add as accents is still an additional cost so that is why I charge more for fondant cakes. A BC cake with fondant accents I charge just a slight increase but not as much as I would for a fully covered fondant cake.

arosstx Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:37pm
post #10 of 11

That's so funny - for me it's the opposite. I'd rather use buttercream. I can pipe on a cakefull of #8 dots, take a small piece of viva and a light tough w/ my finger and have a polka dot cake in under 5 minutes!

To get my white Satin Ice, color it, roll it out, cut it, hope it keeps it shape as I lift it to put it on the cake, then finally get it on the cake takes me a much longer time!

If you look at my cakes posted, most if not all of them are bc iced and decorated. People ask me all the time if it's fondant, weird...

Jenn2179 Posted 23 Jun 2008 , 3:50pm
post #11 of 11

I charge more to COVER a cake in fondant but if there are just fondant accents I don't charge more. And if it took me a million hours to pipe all those stars you better bet I am charging more even if it's buttercream. The more time consuming the more it costs because it means I can do less cakes so I need to make up for the loss of other orders.

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