Cake Pricing General Guidelines?

Decorating By maryg083 Updated 25 Jul 2008 , 11:02pm by maryg083

maryg083 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:18am
post #1 of 11

Are there any general pricing guidlines that anyone can offer? I recently saw in one post that you should charge (Ithink this is what I saw!) 30 times the price of your fondant?? Is that true? And is there anyother way to figure out pricing?

Any help would definately be appreiciated!

10 replies
MikeRowesHunny Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:29am
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I think maybe you saw 3 times the price of your ingredients, not 30 lol! Although, I have to say, if I followed that advice, I'd never earn anything worth the time and effort I put into my cakes! Persoanlly, I charge the price of the ingredients, sundries & at least an extra $5 for utilites, and then guestimate the time I will spend (including mixing, baking, shopping, cleaning as well as the actual decorating!), and then charge $10 per hour for my time.

deliciously_decadent Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 11:25am
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I work out my prices by serving size eg two tier of 10" and 8" serves 45 (by my size portions) a simple decorated cake I charge $3.50 per serve which works out as $157.5 then i add $50 to cover electricity water bits and pieces etc so we are now at $207.5 then i add delivery $1 per kilometer there and back say 40kilometers we are now up to $247.5 i then round to the nearest $5 so I would charge $250 for a two tier fondant cake in sizes 10" and 8" delivered 20km away. for madhatter/whimsical or medium decorated cakes and cupcakes i charge $4 per serve, for mini cakes and highly decorated cakes i charge $5 per serve (but after doing a mini cake weddinf this weekend i am revising this as it was a nightmare I am considering $10 per serve as you go through massive amounts of fondant!) I hope this helped. icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 12:33pm
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I agree that the "ingredients times 3" doesnt' work. I'd go bankrupt in a second if I did that. That means I'd sell my wedding-cake-for-100 for less than $100 instead of for $300. (And you'd all go down my throat if I sold it for $100! icon_biggrin.gif )

Check your local area. You may be surprised. When I checked local bakeries (not groceries), I found cake pricing in the range from $2 to $6.00 a serving.

I realize that pay scales differ across the country, but the min wage just went up to $6.55/hour. $10 is not that far from what you'd pay a min wage worker ..... a talented cake decorator's time is worth way more than that. I pay that to the folks who work my buffets .. and none of them know how to decorate a cake.... none of them cook one thing in my kitchen. So really look at what your time is worth.

I can't do an hourly rate for me ..... we figured out my time per hour for me and it's billable at over $100/hour. Plus after you do this for awhile, you'll get better and faster, so if you charge for your time per hour, you'll end up paying yourself less and less. You're getting paid for your time AND TALENT..... not just your time.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 5:15pm
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Oooh Debi, are you saying I should charge more? A lot of my customers begrudge paying me that amount already! On most birthday cakes, after expenses are deducted, I make around $50, the average birthday cake (8-10in, not tiered but with some kind of froo-froo decoration) takes me 4-5 hours all told, and I scratch bake. Maybe I do undersell myself!

deliciously_decadent Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 8:30pm
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My cheapest birthday cakes start at $100 as it is just not worth my effort to do a from scratch mud and fondant cake for any less. people will not want to pay whatever you tell them the cake is most of the time as most people are cheap. but if they want a beautifull cake and not some nasty supermarket mass produced disaster, they have to come up with the 'dough' (lol) not to say i haven't done this myself! I just did a four tier madhatter for $250 when i should have charged $400 but that was a contious choice as the design was gorgeous and i fell in love with it and just had to make it but $250 was all the girl's budget would cover so I did it for her (a fake bottom to save some cash on ingrediants and time) and of course half way through i was cursing myself as it was of course one of the most involved cakes i have done icon_rolleyes.gif but having said that it is my new favorite and the look on her face sdid make up for the blood sweat and tears icon_eek.gif but I wont be doing it again! lol. we always underestimate ourselves, several times i have cringed as i have told people a quote only to find my competition have quoted tripple that! so value yourself and your work and don't pander to cheap skate clients take prise in your work and view yourself as an artist not a baker, we create edible masterpieces, not loaves of bread!! icon_biggrin.gif

maryg083 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 9:21pm
post #7 of 11

Thanks everyone! That was definately helpful info!

I am used to doing cakes for people in my family and coworkers, so when someone asks me, I just feel bad charging a high amount! I think it's mostly because I know that most people are used to going to the grocery store icon_evil.gif to get their cakes and paying $15 0r $20, not $50 or $60! I'll have to make a price list up and when someone asks, I'll just give them that icon_wink.gif that'll be easy enough...I hope!

Adatay- GREAT cake! I'm sure the picture was wroth the discount you gave- It looks awesome!

deliciously_decadent Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 9:50pm
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THANKS!!!lol!! that's what I kept telling myself! I only finished it 1hr before she cam eto pick it up icon_biggrin.gif but it is my new favorite so it was all worth it in the end!! yes it is always hard with friends and family. in this area i normally do a cake for cost plus $50 and it is my gift to them (close family and friends that is not aqauitances) which ends up working well most of the time as i don't have to buy presents and i get free range to design and create so i usually use that time to try out new things too! but you need to set a boundry and think about if you would bother buying a gift for that person and if the answer is no then you charge, and don't feel bad if they don't want to pay for your artisty just point them in the direction of the nearest supermarket!! icon_lol.gif lol!!

deliciously_decadent Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 9:58pm
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oh my goodness girl! I just checked out your pics and your wedding cake you did is AMAZING!!!! you need to start charging!! I have saved it to my faves I love it so much! now what i think would be a good idea is get a piece of paper and work out what you would charge properly for that cake. then ring around a few local places and get quotes from them on your cake (you can describe to them the cake sizes decoration etc) and I am sure you will be surprised at the difference! this will give you an idea on what others are charging for the same thing and help you work out your pricing. goodluck thumbs_up.gif

jennifer7777 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:22pm
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adatay is right! That wedding cake is so beautiful!!! I saved it in faves and wrote a comment. Start charging properly for work, you deserve it.

maryg083 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 11:02pm
post #11 of 11

Awwww thanks guys! icon_biggrin.gif Thats means alot to a newbie...Trust me!
Adatay- Yeah That cake was a "freebie" LOL It was for my bf's sister- my seriously time consuming wedding gift!

I think it's a great idea to call local bakeries- I didn't even consider that. Good tip- I'll give it a try this weekend & take the pricing thing into more consideration.

You guys rock! thumbs_up.gif

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