I never really paid attention to the cost of making a cake because it was always for my families or close friends. I don't know if it is the overall economy coloring my thoughts or because it is for hubby's work ( and free to them), but I just made an 11X15, 1 layer sheet cake and it amazes me when I add up the cost. That is not even including the items I have on hand-- extracts, tools and cake board plus my time. Now, does it get faster to do cakes once your skill level has reached a certain point? Right now it takes me hours to decorate!
You do get quicker, plus you learn how to plan. I make icing Wednesday, Thursday I warp my board and make fillings, Friday I bake and decorate for a Saturday cake. I find when you do it in little bits, it's not so overwhelming.
I agree with you on cost. I made a 9x13 yesterday for a freebie,(granted it was for a party DH's disabled Aunt was hosting for a friend and I just couldn't take her $$) , and when I was adding it up, it was over $20 in supplies. I told DH that was my last one! I'm finally at a point where people pay me, and sometimes throw in extra So now I don't need to give them away just to get practice!
Yes, practice increases speed, plus you pick up little tips along the way. If you're using a lot of colors, mix them up ahead of time (cover the bowls with damp papertowels to prevent it from drying on you). I even put them in the decorating bags so I can just pick up the bag and go. You'll be amazed how the stopping-starting interruptions take up time when you have to stop and mix some yellow icing, then stop to mix some red icing, then filling the bags, etc.
i'm amazed at how much faster i am now than when i took my first classes 7 years ago. still, "cake civilians" have no idea how long it takes start to finish including clean up (my least favorite part). not to mention, those of us who are hobbiests have to pay more for products we pick up at michael's, wal-mart, etc. than if we could use a wholesaler (i know i don't have room in my house for things like 100 of 10 different sizes of boxes!) just about every time i do a cake i end up running out for at least 1 thing.
i can get my husband to mix icing colors for me and then i bag them. that really helps to have everything ready. i mix icing, do dishes, bag colors with appropriate tips etc. while i'm baking or cooling cakes.
everyone comes up with a system that works for them!
How much was it valboss? I know I made that pineapple cake for my aunt recently. I spent $15.00 between fresh fruit, ingredients and supplys!
I forgot to add that if I powerclean my kitchen before I start it helps me from feeling overwhelmed!
It really surprises me, sometimes.
Did a half sheet cake for a friend who was leaving to pursue greener pastures. It came out to over $30 just for ingredients. True, had I gone to Walmart, instead of just the grocery store, I could have saved about $5, but would have spent that much on gas!
It was a simple chocolate/chocolate chip cake, doctored mixes, with vanilla bean mousse and frozen, because fresh was too expensive, raspberries, with vanilla bean buttercream. Simple sheet cake decorations. And that's not counting items I already had on hand, either, like foam core, board wrap, sprinkles, colors, flavors, vanilla beans, etc.
They just don't know....
Mom asked why I didn't just pick up a Costco cake, it would have been less expensive, and I wouldn't have had to spend four hours baking, mixing, filling, icing, etc.
I told mom, this was a special friend, no Costco for her! This was a labor of love. Plus I was in the mood to make a cake!
Years ago I baked the monthly birthday cakes for the law firm I worked at - 3 different 1/4 sheet cakes - and they only paid me $50. They were never just plain chocolate/vanilla cakes - they always wanted something with special ingredients. No way would I do all that for a mere $50 these days and they were probably getting a bargain then!
Yep, I would say I paid over 25 dollars for this baking escapade-- I ended up baking a second 9 inch round, 4 inch high cake because I didn't like the way the 11X15 looked, lol. So both are going with hubby tomorrow. Whew, I am in complete awe of those of you who do this for a living! Is there such thing as a creative cake designer who parlays the vision and then a talented person who makes it reality? lol