I Think Im Undercharging. But Im Only 15!!!

Decorating By mandygirlxoxo Updated 9 Jul 2008 , 4:49pm by OCakes

mandygirlxoxo Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:15pm
post #1 of 18

how much money would you pay for work from a 15 year old!!im by far not a pro at this whole cake decorating thing. icon_redface.gif i have two wedding cakes this summer and i charged them both like $200 im really not sure if thats the right amount... any inupt? also this is my first wedding cake ever. i mean i have made tiered cakes before and i made my sisters sweet 16 cake which kinda looks like a wedding cake in a way... i dont know im just really nervous!!!!!

17 replies
anikkim0915 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:28pm
post #2 of 18

You do great work!!! (looked at your pictures icon_biggrin.gif )

You deserve to be paid for your skills regardless of your age. I would probably start charging a little more and see where it goes from there.

Good luck and keep up the great work!

deeb173 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:32pm
post #3 of 18

First of all, they are hiring a 15 year old as their decorator, which means they are treating you like a adult and professional. So you should charge accordingly. So figure out how much all the ingredients will cost and go from there. I just did a wedding and grooms cake for a friend of mine. I didn't charge her for labor or figure out the cost of running the oven, etc. But just the ingredients, cake boards, ribbon, etc. was $140.00. The cake was two tier served 95 and the grooms was 1/2 sheet cake with strawberry tuxedos on it. That doesn't even work out to a dollar a serving. So the 200 you are charging will probably cover the ingrediants, depending on how big a cake. And if you have some boards you can reuse, etc. That can save you money. So you can make a small profit. But keep track of it and figure out how much you ended up with and then determine if that amount was worth your time and effort. Then next time charge accordingly. GOOD LUCK!

crystalina1977 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:41pm
post #4 of 18

i agree with the other posters...
you go girl

johnson6ofus Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:59pm
post #5 of 18

I had a 15 year old son in college. His problem was being treated like a 15 year old, as I think it is for you. He was being paid as much as $30 an hour for web design- because HE WAS WORTH IT. He is 19 now, and will graduate from UT Dallas as a computer engineer. Practice, makes perfect....in cakes, and education.

I agree with all previous posts- you are paid for your work and talent, regardless of age. Check out local bakeries, calculate your expenses, add in for use of your tools, pans, and tips, and add an hourly rate or "profit".

You have some nice work, and we would not have known you are 15 without you telling us...

Win Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:00pm
post #6 of 18

Well... this is always an ugly can of worms to open, but if it's not legal to operate a home-based food business in your state you need to tread carefully in this direction... especially at your age. You might want to check into your state's laws before you go much further into this endeavor. Good luck persuing your dreams- and do persue!

NayNay2 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:00pm
post #7 of 18

I think your doing a great job and if they want you to make their cakes it shouldn't matter your age...its your skill level and designs they are paying you for. Best of Luck!

milissasmom Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:03pm
post #8 of 18

Stop thinking of yourself as a 15 year old...That doesn't really have much to do with it. People are paying for your skill set. Figure out your per slice price stick with it and go from there. What are cakes going for in your area? Call some local bakeries to place a mock order to see their pricing and style and price your items accordingly (slightly lower maybe) depending on your skill set compared to what they are producing. Don't be hindered by your age and don't let anyone tell you that you are only 15 so your pricing is ridiculous! BUT, if you live in an area where you should not be baking from your home, then that might start up a whole different set of issues so do your research and start thinking of yourself as a Professional...Age ain't nothin but a number!!!!! Good luck hon!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:04pm
post #9 of 18

I agree with what everyone has said! You do REALLY great work! They are paying for your talent, not your age! Be proud of what you do! I teach Wilton classes & your cakes are far better than most adults do that have taken my classes!

So just figure out what everything cost you, see what other bakeries are charging, see how long it takes you - and see if $200 is worth it for you.

Don't feel intimidated because "you're only 15" - they hired you!


OCakes Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:05pm
post #10 of 18

There are so many "talented teens", I don't think it matters your age! I know I charged money when I worked from an early age. I now realize how LITTLE I charged, but it seemed a lot to me at the time. Just make sure you're receiving a fair wage. I currently charge $4.50/slice for wedding cake, however when I first started, it was $2.00/slice. Hopefully these first cakes will give you a fun learning experience & you can charge more next time!

moxey2000 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:06pm
post #11 of 18

There's a cake matrix download on here that you can use to determine how much your cakes cost to make and how much you should charge. It's an Excel spreadsheet. It took me a little time to master it, but it's definitely worth the effort. Be sure and save a blank copy to backup so you can have a clean one in case you make a mistake you can't recover from. Good luck. Here's the link to a thread with the download on it, just scroll up the page a little:


sweetideas Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:11pm
post #12 of 18

Your age shouldn't have anything to do with it. Legal is a whole different issue. But if your state is ok with what you are doing, then people should look at what you can do as opposed to your age...my cakes aren't as good as yours and I am an adult! Does your school have a culinary arts program? Is there someone who can mentor you as far as the business part of decorating? Because you have loads of skills!!! Good luck!

JoAnnB Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:14pm
post #13 of 18

The state of Washington is NOT ok with home baked goods. You need to be especially careful with wedding cakes. the venue/reception hall can refuse to allow a home-baked cake into the wedding.

Narie Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:16pm
post #14 of 18

Think of these two cakes as your apprenticeship. Follow deeb173's advice and carefully track your costs and time. Then figure out your costs per serving and how much you are making per hour. If you are delivering the cakes, don't forget to include mileage and time. Once you have this information, you can begin to figure out what you should charge per serving. Perhaps your parents or a relative or teacher could help you come up with a sound business plan.

The issue of your age has nothing to do with your skill level, but your age does concern me about the business side of things. Are you legal, do you have a contract, etc?

OCakes Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:18pm
post #15 of 18

In regard to JoAnnB's comment: If the Venue would refuse a home-baked cake, is there a commercial kitchen you can rent? I have access to one, which has a business license - so all my "home-baked issues" are resolved when I run into that situation........ but it's $26/hr for me, and that can take a HUGE chunk out of your profits. I hope it works out for you though!

OCakes Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:18pm
post #16 of 18

In regard to JoAnnB's comment: If the Venue would refuse a home-baked cake, is there a commercial kitchen you can rent? I have access to one, which has a business license - so all my "home-baked issues" are resolved when I run into that situation........ but it's $26/hr for me, and that can take a HUGE chunk out of your profits. I hope it works out for you though!

mommachris Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:27pm
post #17 of 18

sorry to open another can of worms here, but age can have something to do it afterall.....can a 15 enter into a contract in the state of Washington?


OCakes Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:49pm
post #18 of 18

I know in CA there are restrictions for what machinery minor's can work with (such as slicers & walk-in freezers); however I think a mixer would be okay once she's 15... good question about the contract though. Are these wedding cakes for family members/friends? If they are actual customers unknown to you prior, then you may want to look into this - I'm not sure about WA law. I hope it works out in your favor though!

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