Well, I am doing my first wedding cake this weekend. It's for my best friend's sister. I haven't told her a final price yet but I just figured out my material cost and it's around $100!!!!! Now, granted half of that cost was for fondant, I bought a 20 lb tub of Satin Ice... which I might not use all of... so I could shave the material cost down but HOLY COW!!!! That's insane! I haven't started the actual cake but it's going to be a 12", 10", 8", 6" and probably a single layer 1/2 sheet for backup. She said the final count is 155. My estimate should give her about 180 servings. Give or take how big they cut them. Plus, I'm not quite sure how long it'll take to make... I'm not out to make tons of money on this cake but make it at least worth my time, you know???
If anyone reads this, just let me know what you'd ballpark for this cake (per slice?) Keeping in mind it's covered in fondant and I am going to hand-paint a design around each cake.
...Or just comment on the price of materials in general. Everything is going up in price. UUUGH! Thanks for reading this!!!
Handpainted fondant? I would be charging $4-5 per slice and I would imagine that is cheap for what most people will say. My BC is $2.50 per serving and $3.50 for fondant and I would def. charge more for the handpainting since I would imagine it's quite time consuming.
If you want to cut her a 'deal', charge a certain amount over your cost (include ingredient, materials, etc.) to compensate you. That cake you are talking about will take hours.
I made a wedding cake for "cost" and I was so bitter afterwards.....said I would make a cake and ended up making a huge 3 tiered center cake and two 2-tiered side cakes........including 30 mile setup and delivery. And they never paid me, I gave them a list of ingredients and of course did not include all the extras - it was a joke. Never again.
I estimate my costs of baking from scratch with high quality ingredients... ingredients, cake boards, gas to the grocery store, electricity, structural system for my basic cakes at $1 per serving (1x2x4). Anything with nuts or ganache is more.
The biggest question is... did the bride request those cake sizes? Does she want extra cake and is she WILLING to pay for extra cake? Its her decision... and to CYA I always provide a cutting diagram unless I am cutting the cake.
Depending on how many pans you have and your oven size you are looking at probably 4 hours of just BAKING time. An hour to buy your groceries. An hour to mix all the batter. Over an hour to make enough buttercream. Two hours to tort, fill and crumb coat. Probably several hours to roll out all your fondant and cover. HOURS to handpaint. Think about if it was a canvas all stretched out... a huge amount of space to cover!
I'm slow and baking from a home kitchen... I would give myself TWO full days for this cake. my first few cakes I worked until the wee hours of the morning. Nothing every goes smoothly the first few times. Have you practised the hand painting yet?
Are you charging extra for delivery? How are you going to transport? DO you have the support system figured out?
Lots of questions... but better to think about it before hand than be surprised at the last minute.
180 servings at my $3/serving rate = $540. And that's just the BC price. Fondant and hand-painting would definitely add some monies to this!! I've seen fondant on here at $4 and $4.50/serving .... times 180 servings = $810. PLUS a significant fee for all the hand painting you're going to do.
Do NOT think of it as "a" cake for $800+ ..... it's enough cake to feed almost 200 people.
A KFC bucket of chicken that feeds 16 people costs more than a 3-piece meal. Why? Because you're feeding more people!! It's not $25 for chicken ... it's $25 for enough chicken feed 16 people.
I promise you that a cake that size is costing you more than $100. you are missing some things. Cost of baking it? cost of your time? cost of disposables? cake boards? etc.
I almost had a "family" order at one point. They wanted enough cake to feed 400 and were looking for me to do it cheap. I told them 400 servings at $2.50 would normally cost them $1,000. I told my husband if I did a 25% discount, it still comes to $750. Enough to cover cost and still have a small profit ( and I figured in EVERYTHING that I could possibly find that I would use.)
Figure your situation out like this and see what you come up with. If they see it as "this is what I'm gonna spend elsewhere (check around for prices in your area) .....and this is what I can get it for from a close friend" they might be more likely to think "yeah, I am getting a really great deal!!!"