How Much Does It Cost You To Make A Cake...

Business By peg818 Updated 1 Dec 2014 , 9:22pm by burger73

peg818 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 11:21pm
post #1 of 35

I'm talking cost here, just for a basic cake for what ever you consider a basic cake

Cake $3.50
Icing $6.50
Box/board ruffly $2.00

Making the total cost for an 8in round cake $12.00 meaning i should be charging at least $36 for a basic cake.

This is really just curiosity on my part, with so many what should i charge questions it got me thinking it would be interesting to see what its costing to make these cakes.

34 replies
isabelianico Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 11:34pm
post #2 of 35

It really depends on where you live because grocery prices vary and it depends on what size of cake you are talking about and how many tiers it has. Cakes are relatively cheap to make but you have to think about the labor. If it cost you a total of $14.00 to make a cake and you spent 5 hours decorating and you charged $36.00 then you are only making $4.40 an hour. So you kind of need to figure out what you think you should be paid and what people are willing to pay in your area.

ericaann79 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 11:36pm
post #3 of 35

You can't really do it that way...I have a spreadsheet I use, I will attach to this reply. It factors in my grocery cost and my hourly cost. Then it calculates what I should charge. If I don't charge the full amount I use the second summary to find out what I made per hour...let me know if you have ?'s.

Jasmine33 Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 11:58pm
post #4 of 35

My basic chocolate sheet cake cost $3.50. That is made from scratch using all real butter. There is one in my pics section.

The two 4th of July cakes I made, also in my pics. They cost $3.50 together as well, not counting sprinkles. Those are 8 inch rounds and I usually slice them into 8 slices each. They usually sell $2.00 each or 2/$3.00.

We slice and then send them out in plastic packaging. SO no board/box cost.

They are both quick/easy to frost and toss some sprinkles on.

We also sell cookies/brownies/ banana bread and want to get into baking and seriously decorating cakes and selling them.

There is a pineapple cake in my pics section. We baked that last weekend and it cost :

Basic cake recipe $3.45 +
Icing $1.45 +
Pineapple $3.20 +
Fresh strawberrys $2.50 +
Coconut .75 = $11.35

The box and inserts would be about another $3.00

SO $14.50 rounded off.

I think we spent about a good 3 hours on that cake since I made it from scratch, sifted the flour 12 times, wasn't familiar with the recipe, etc. lol

I think as we get quicker we could probably do that whole thing in 2 hours. Baking time included.

I hope.

That cake wasn't sold. It was for my aunts birthday. But I told my dh we should charge bare minimum $40.00 if we sold it to anyone.

Some ladies I have heard charge 3 x ingredients plus hourly. That sounds like a good rule of thumb.

With my other baked goods it is easy with not much time involved like decorating a cake would be. So I charge 7 x - 10 x ingredients cost.

I need to figure out what works for us with the cakes. If I followed the 3 x plus hourly that pineapple cake would of cost $90.00!

I don't think that is going to happen. LOL

The double layer chocolate round cake in my pics section. The one with cherries. I believe that was $5.68 ingredients only. Not sure what I could charge for that. We made it for ourselves.

Jasmine33 Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 12:09am
post #5 of 35

tinydancer

Quote:
Quote:

So you kind of need to figure out what you think you should be paid and what people are willing to pay in your area.




That is exactly what I am trying to figure out right now. I am actually surprised people pay what they do for cookies/brownies here. Unfortunately i am having a hard time with even getting $1.00 per cupcake!

I had 1 customer 4th of July who seen the cupcakes in small boxes of 3 with 3 small sugar cookies and they are marked $3.00 each. He called and asked for a discount. He is a regular and a great customer so we told him $2.50 per box. He wanted 4.

Another customer offered us $20.00 for a dozen cupcakes for the 4th and her hubby was mad. I didn't find out he was mad til way later but I still felt like I was overcharging her cause we sent them out for $3.00 in packs of 3. SO I accepted the money and also sent her $7.00 in free cookies.

Anyhow. I need to find the fine balance between charging what I am worth(which I admit is not alot yet! LOL) and what people will be willing to pay.

kimblyd Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 12:12am
post #6 of 35

First off I have to say I do not charge for cakes, I only make them for my family as an obsession, I mean hobby. But I am the money manager at my house and I keep track of what everything costs. I'm Type A and I actually made a cake spreadsheet. icon_redface.gif

I figured out that it costs me about $15-18 to make a cake using one cake mix and 6 cups of buttercream. I add a box of pudding and one extra egg to all of my cakes, that makes them more expensive.

Add about $5 for each additional cake mix for bigger cakes/more layers. Add $1 for each additional cup of BC, oh, and the filling. Forgot about that, guess that's about $1 a cup, or more if I use cream cheese or lemon curd or anything else besides BC. I also make at least one recipe of candy clay for decorations for each cake, that's about $3.50.

Hmmmm....so the total is...a lot more than people think, and that's just ingredients. icon_surprised.gif If I were charging for my cakes with labor added, my family would think I was ripping them off!

I usually just say that the cake is their gift. They probably think I'm cheap, but WE know better. icon_biggrin.gif

loriemoms Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 12:19am
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by peg818

I'm talking cost here, just for a basic cake for what ever you consider a basic cake

Cake $3.50
Icing $6.50
Box/board ruffly $2.00

Making the total cost for an 8in round cake $12.00 meaning i should be charging at least $36 for a basic cake.

This is really just curiosity on my part, with so many what should i charge questions it got me thinking it would be interesting to see what its costing to make these cakes.




You can't do that three times thing with cakes....it just doesnt work. How long does it take you to ice that cake? You need to be doing your time, as well as the electricity and the water and the gas to buy the cake supplies and rent and all that too. If you are just doing a buttercream 8 inch cake, with some buttercream flowers on it, then consider it took an hour to bake and cool, and then another hour to frost and put flowers on it. I would say closer to 65-70 dollars for that cake. More if the decorations are more detailed.

kettlevalleygirl Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 12:39am
post #8 of 35

I am making a wedding cake in a couple of weeks and did a very (very) rough estimate of the cost to buy everything. I have to buy from Safeway, Costco, etc...and a cake supply place for the stacking system.
I am not providing the ribbon or the flowers, and I will let her use a cake plateau for no charge. It is costing me close to $275.00. I figured the fondant alone is $70. It is the wedding gift for my daughters friend, so she is paying for the supplies only.
LL

kettlevalleygirl Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 12:43am
post #9 of 35

Sorry, forgot to say they will be 14,12,10,8,and 6. three different flavors and fillings!

tracycakes Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 12:55am
post #10 of 35

Someone mentioned that they bought 30 cupcakes for ashower over the weekend and it only cost her $11. I think it was at Wal-Mart or Kroger and she couldn't believe they were that cheap.

Fairytale Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:12am
post #11 of 35

Well, the cake I made yesterday, which was an 8" round, (two layers) that cost me over $40.00 just in ingredients. It included 1 lb of butter, a dozen eggs, 12 oz. of Guittards chocolate, 3/4 cup Schlesen Berger cocoa, 1/4 cup Madagascar pure vanilla, etc. It tastes just like a giant brownie.

sweetenedcakes Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:14am
post #12 of 35

the cupcakes are very cheap...but they don't do it like with eggs, flour and everything fresh; is a mix that you add water and that's it

Suebee Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:16am
post #13 of 35

Store cupcakes are cheap and they taste cheap too.
Have you seen some of those supcakes in the stores, they have a great idea, but sloppy. The icing is just thrown on them. I charge $8.00 a dozen for your basic cupcake. It might be double the price, but atleast it tastes and looks better.

Suebee Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:16am
post #14 of 35

Store cupcakes are cheap and they taste cheap too.
Have you seen some of those supcakes in the stores, they have a great idea, but sloppy. The icing is just thrown on them. I charge $8.00 a dozen for your basic cupcake. It might be double the price, but atleast it tastes and looks better.

FromScratch Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:16am
post #15 of 35

Goodness.. it costs me on average $1.20/serving to make my cakes just in ingredients.. some are more and some are less..

Chocolate is one the more pricey varieties. I use SMBC and bake only from scratch.

indydebi Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:20am
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlevalleygirl

It is costing me close to $275.00. I figured the fondant alone is $70.



wow. Great example of how different regions will have different responses for the OP! I've made cakes this size and I've never even come close to spending $200 on supplies. icon_eek.gif

And TOTALLY agree with loriemoms on the "times 3 doesnt' work" thing. I'd be bankrupt in a nano-second if I tried pricing that way.

veronica720 Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:21am
post #17 of 35

Walmart is so cheap because nothing is baked at the store, everything is frozen and comes in large quanties straight from the warehouse. I worked there for 6 years and I have seen it all. Cupcakes and special order cakes are the only thing iced at the store. All other cakes are frozen already decorated.

Jasmine33 Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:22am
post #18 of 35

So you are the one with that awesome topsy turvy cake jkalman.. Amazing!!

icon_biggrin.gif

snarkybaker Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:35am
post #19 of 35

Wow! There is a huge difference in wholesale vs. retail. We bake from scratch, only use premium, and or organic ingredients like valrhona and King Arthur, and a 8 inch chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling, choclate buttercream and a ganache drizzle costs us $9.47. We sell it for $42. I try to be at a 20% food cost on high labor items. On less labor intensive items, I can be at 25%-30% and still make decent money.

Trixyinaz Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 2:07am
post #20 of 35

for my 10" double layer chocolate cake (scratch and one of my more expensive cakes to make), my costs are:

cake: $13.00
icing: $4.00
filling (raspberry): $6.00
supplies (inc. electricity, etc): $7.00

It takes me about 4-5 hours (including clean up, etc), depending on design. I figured a selling price of $2.50 a serving to start, this covers my costs and I'm getting a decent hourly wage. So for a 10" double layer cake with fresh raspberry filling with buttercream icing and decorations, the cost is $87.50.

FromScratch Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 2:57am
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine33

So you are the one with that awesome topsy turvy cake jkalman.. Amazing!!

icon_biggrin.gif




icon_redface.gif

Thank you!!

sweetenedcakes Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 1:07pm
post #22 of 35

it's true you should charge instead of 8 dollars; the double....because they taste better than those on stores

It's suposed to be like 1.50 each cupcake

Pookie59 Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 5:13pm
post #23 of 35

This pricing thing makes me crazy. Last night I made a 8 inch white chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream icing along with a dozen chocolate covered strawberries (boxed separately, not on the cake) okay I threw in a few extras. I charged the girl $50 and I can't decide if that's too much. She wanted a breakdown and I told her $30 for the cake and $20 for the strawberries. Is that out of line? I'm not sure what the ingredients cost me (I'm guessing $15), but I spent 4 solid hours in the kitchen.

kettlevalleygirl Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 5:43pm
post #24 of 35

4 hours in the kitchen, and only $50.00!!! Doesn't seem right to me, so for 4 hours at $35.00 you made $8.75 an hour!!!!

Pookie59 Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 5:49pm
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlevalleygirl

4 hours in the kitchen, and only $50.00!!! Doesn't seem right to me, so for 4 hours at $35.00 you made $8.75 an hour!!!!


Luckily I have a day job.

kettlevalleygirl Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 6:07pm
post #26 of 35

Yes, that is exactly how I feel! I have given away most of my cakes, or made for friends, etc...
It is a very tough way to earn a living, and I take my hat off to all of the cake decorators that are doing just that!

TC123 Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 11:19pm
post #27 of 35

Hi! In response to the original post, my cost of an 8' round is $20.00. That's doing everything from scratch for a BASIC double layer yellow butter cake with simple syrup and "buttercream" (not swiss or IMBC), cake board covered with a colored foil, and a box. My cost does not include time or overhead. Also, it is broken down by how much a "portion" of an ingedient costs. For example, I'll take the cost of a bottle of pure vanilla and apply to the cost of my cake only the amount used. So it is a real number; it's not inflated at all.

HOWEVER, boy does the cost jump way up as soon as I add chocolate (i.e., chocolate mousse), custard fillings, raspberries, strawberries, fondant or gumpaste flowers, etc... I KNOW you guys/gals get the picture! icon_wink.gif

loriemoms Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 12:03pm
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Wow! There is a huge difference in wholesale vs. retail. We bake from scratch, only use premium, and or organic ingredients like valrhona and King Arthur, and a 8 inch chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling, choclate buttercream and a ganache drizzle costs us $9.47. We sell it for $42. I try to be at a 20% food cost on high labor items. On less labor intensive items, I can be at 25%-30% and still make decent money.




Do you not factor in your overhead? Rent, electricity, taxes, employees, etc? I also buy mostly wholesale, which helps keep my prices down, but man, with property taxes going way up this year, electricity going way up this year, gas, and man, water prices are due to go up AGAIN the overhead is what is getting me!

snarkybaker Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 9:35pm
post #29 of 35

My rent is less than 5% of our monthly sales. Insurance, utilities etc, add up to nearly another 5% of our monthly sales. My two major costs are food and labor, and labor is by far the greatest cost.

I have paid out over $100,000 in labor this year. icon_eek.gif

chefkimsay13 Posted 26 Aug 2013 , 1:26pm
post #30 of 35

A

Original message sent by ericaann79

You can't really do it that way...I have a spreadsheet I use, I will attach to this reply. It factors in my grocery cost and my hourly cost. Then it calculates what I should charge. If I don't charge the full amount I use the second summary to find out what I made per hour...let me know if you have ?'s.

I would live to see your spreadsheet, I have the same problem of undercharging Guessing it's do to my concern for getting business.

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