Cake Pricing

Decorating By Trixyinaz Updated 5 Nov 2008 , 4:59pm by Trixyinaz

Trixyinaz Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 6:31pm
post #1 of 12

Oh yes, I have a "how much to charge" question for all you guys and gals. I actually have the price for my cake down, it's for all the fondant work that I'm having trouble with. Here goes:

This is the cake that they want: She would like a tool box, but not covered in fondant (she doesn't want to spend a lot of money). They only have 6 people to serve, but to make this cake, I would have to do something bigger. So I decided to do a 9x13 cake cut into 3rds and then stacked so there will be 2 layers of filling and three layers of cake and this will give me the shape of a toolbox (thanks Amy for the tip). This will give me a 9x4x6 inch cake (roughly). If I did my math correctly, this will yield 18 servings (1x2x6" slices). So for the cake alone iced in BC, I am going to quote $2.90 per serving (cake plus premium filling and BC icing). So the cake itself would cost $52.20.

Now, I'd have to make the following out of fondant, and I'm thinking I can get this all done within 3 to 4 hour....

locks
handle
tool belt
hammer
nails
screwdriver
tape measure
cake board covered in fondant

I was thinking of charging $40 for all of that on top of the cost of the cake for a total cost of $92.20, but I'm 2nd guessing myself. Since the cake isn't covered in fondant, I assume the best way to price this out is to add up the accents separately, like I did.

What would you add on to the cake cost for these fondant accents? And, is this how you would normally price out cakes with fondant accents? I'm not sure I'm even doing it correctly. See, 2nd guessing myself.

Oh, here's the design that I sketched out for my customer.

Thanks for any input! BTW, I am in Michigan, if that helps.
LL

11 replies
-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 7:22pm
post #2 of 12

I mean tool boxes come in all shapes & sizes. A six inch tall cake gets into engineering to make sure it doesn't topple over.

I mean there's so many areas here to deal with. You are giving away several servings--you can get more servings out of a cake that big.

If they don't want to spend much money I'd do chocolate tools--if you can get to the cake store and get the molds--easy peasy.

I mean if she doesn't want to spend much and you're cramming six servings into an 18 serving cake that's $15 a serving. She's gonna run screaming, yes? I don't know maybe I'm not understanding what you mean.

If we're cutting corners, don't cover the board with fondant.

Trixyinaz Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 7:42pm
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I mean tool boxes come in all shapes & sizes. A six inch tall cake gets into engineering to make sure it doesn't topple over.




Then what would you suggest? Is there a way to stabilize that, like using dowels? I'm not sure since I've never made a cake like this.

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I mean there's so many areas here to deal with. You are giving away several servings--you can get more servings out of a cake that big.




I'm not sure what you mean. I'm not giving away any servings. This cake size would feed 18 ppl. The customer knows I won't make a cake for just 6 ppl and knows that it will be larger, one that will look like a tool box (she's given me photo's of what she would like). So again, I'm not sure why you think I am giving away servings. Can you please explain? Maybe I'm just not getting it.

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If they don't want to spend much money I'd do chocolate tools--if you can get to the cake store and get the molds--easy peasy.




Thanks. I've never really worked with chocolate. I'll have to look into that.

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I mean if she doesn't want to spend much and you're cramming six servings into an 18 serving cake that's $15 a serving. She's gonna run screaming, yes? I don't know maybe I'm not understanding what you mean.




Yes, maybe I'm not making myself clear or maybe you just misunderstood what I wrote. Even tho she is only serving 6 ppl, she wants a cake that isn't going to be teeny tiny so she is aware that we will need to make her cake bigger, which means more servings, which means more money. I am wanting to give her a fair quote for the cake. I'm asking b/c I don't want her to "run away screaming"

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If we're cutting corners, don't cover the board with fondant.




You are absolutely right, I don't know why I wrote that down. No board covered in fondant. Just a simple plain board.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:03pm
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I mean tool boxes come in all shapes & sizes. A six inch tall cake gets into engineering to make sure it doesn't topple over.



Then what would you suggest? Is there a way to stabilize that, like using dowels? I'm not sure since I've never made a cake like this.




Change your design. I made a tool box out of a torted 8x12.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I mean there's so many areas here to deal with. You are giving away several servings--you can get more servings out of a cake that big.



I'm not sure what you mean. I'm not giving away any servings. This cake size would feed 18 ppl. The customer knows I won't make a cake for just 6 ppl and knows that it will be larger, one that will look like a tool box (she's given me photo's of what she would like). So again, I'm not sure why you think I am giving away servings. Can you please explain? Maybe I'm just not getting it.




You can make this any shape you want. It's essentially a 9x13 cake that will feed 20-24 servings. Make it serve the most so you get all the servings possible. The servings I sell are 1x2x3 or 4 those extra two inches there where yours go up to 6" tall are loosing you money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

If they don't want to spend much money I'd do chocolate tools--if you can get to the cake store and get the molds--easy peasy.



Thanks. I've never really worked with chocolate. I'll have to look into that.




Well no that's maybe an idea for next time. There's a learing curve but it is easy so maybe look into that if you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I mean if she doesn't want to spend much and you're cramming six servings into an 18 serving cake that's $15 a serving. She's gonna run screaming, yes? I don't know maybe I'm not understanding what you mean.



Yes, maybe I'm not making myself clear or maybe you just misunderstood what I wrote. Even tho she is only serving 6 ppl, she wants a cake that isn't going to be teeny tiny so she is aware that we will need to make her cake bigger, which means more servings, which means more money. I am wanting to give her a fair quote for the cake. I'm asking b/c I don't want her to "run away screaming"




I don't know--I think you can make your stuff faster than 4 hours. The cake you are proposing is not a "don't wanna spend much money cake." It's an awesome cake for sure but for this client it seems maybe a bit over the top. But not for a tool box it's perfect for a tool box. But I don't know if she's on board if she's talking money that way kwim??

Here's one I did
http://acmecakes.com/images/RIMG01022.JPG

The lid is a fondant covered cardboard propped open with two dowel. The 'back' of the lid goes all the way down to the cake board so it is secure this way. That's just an 8x12 that's probably like 3 inches tall. 25 to 30 servings give or take

aligotmatt Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:07pm
post #5 of 12

chocolate tool mold - http://www.countrykitchensa.com/catalog/product.aspx?T=1&productId=616404

Obviously you have a pricing model that worked you up to $2.90 per serving. My prices are for a 1"x2"x4" slice of cake, so a 1x2x6 would increase the price. I *think* that's what k8 was getting at. You are essentially giving away 9 servings.

Good luck!

Trixyinaz Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:44pm
post #6 of 12

Okay, your 2nd post (and aligotmatt's) made sense to me. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

1. That is really funny that you say I'm losing servings by having it 6" tall rather than 4" tall. When I asked the question if my servings would differ by going to a 6" tall cake, I was told no - this was a few months ago. Hey, I'm still learning and it does get confusing at times so again, I do appreciate you taking the time to explain things to me. Anyway, now I see where you say I am losing servings.

2. I love your toolbox. It really is great. No matter how I look at this, this cake is going to cost at least $80 with all that she wants. I just can't find a way to reduce the cost without making this a teeny tiny cake, and even then, the smaller cakes seem to require more work than a bigger one. KWIM. I'm just gonna give her my price quote and if she wants it, then she'll pay. If not, then it will probably be a blessing in disquise.

3. You are probably right. I know I can make those things in less than 4 hours. I just don't give myself enough credit. And, I don't want to underestimate the time either and short change myself.

4. And you are right, I'm going to change the design and use the full 9x13 cake pan, torted and filled and then re-work my pricing.

Thanks again for all your help.

Trixyinaz Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 2:30am
post #7 of 12

Well, after evaluating everything, this is what I quoted her. I talked to her tonight and she wants something smaller. icon_eek.gif So, this is what I did....tell me if I am crazy for even doing this? This is for my daughter's teacher, whom she adores! This is what I sent her....

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Quote:

Hi xxxxxxx -

After speaking again tonight, I came up with some options for you. Generally, I do not sell 6" cakes by themselves (I sell them as a tier on a wedding cake), plus I have a $55 minimum. However, I'll offer this size to you and waive my minimum. Please note that the smallest sheet cake that I can do is a 9x13, which would serve 25-30 ppl. Therefore, I opted to quote you the square cakes since you wanted something smaller that would feed less people. Here are my smallest options.

6"x3"x4" toolbox cake with some fondant accents (handle, locks, toolbelt, screwdriver, nails, hammer, measuring tape). This cake would be a double layer with filling and iced in buttercream.
Serves 9 people (1x2x4" slice - serving size for a double layer cake)
$36

6" square cake with fondant accents (toolbelt, screwdriver, hammer, nails, measuring tape). This would be a single layer cake torted and filled and iced in buttercream. The fondant accents would be on top of the cake like the sheet cakes that you showed me, except they would be on a square instead of a rectangle.
Serves 9 people (2x2x2" slice - serving size for a single layer cake)
$36

If you want something a bit bigger, here are a couple other options for you:

8"x4"x4" toolbox cake with some fondant accents (handle, locks, toolbelt, screwdriver, nails, hammer, measuring tape). This cake would be a double layer with filling and iced in buttercream.
Serves 16 people (1x2x4" slice - serving size for a double layer cake)
$65

8" square cake with fondant accents (toolbelt, screwdriver or hammer, nails, measuring tape). This would be a single layer cake torted and filled and iced in buttercream. The fondant accents would be on top of the cake like the sheet cakes that you showed me, except they would be on a square instead of rectangle.
Serves 16 people (2x2x2" slice - serving size for a single layer cake)
$65

We can do the design like I showed you (see attached) or similar to what you showed me.




Am I going to regret this? Do you think I charged too much or too little? I'm still new at selling cakes and generally have just sold simple cakes. After selling my last 6" round by itself, I decided not to sell them anymore unless they were on tiered/stacked cake. But, I really like this teacher and my DD adores her so I want to be somewhat accomodating without being walked all over or short changing myself.

Thanks for your help.

kelleym Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 3:22am
post #8 of 12

Oh, hon, I think that email is going to make her eyes cross. It's a lot for me to digest, and I'm a caker. icon_eek.gif

Trixyinaz Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 3:32am
post #9 of 12

Well, she wanted options and she wanted me to email her. I know I over explain things, and should have made it simplier for her...but I didn't know how other than lay it out so she knows exactly what she's getting. Is there an easier way to explain pricing? I'd sure love to know. I'm not good at giving quotes yet.

Trixyinaz Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 12:22pm
post #10 of 12

YAY!!!! She didn't go crossed-eyed reading my email and she placed an order for the larger cake made to look like a tool box! Now I'm excited!

7yyrt Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 4:02pm
post #11 of 12

I like the sound of the third one. Is that the one she chose?

Glad it worked out.

Trixyinaz Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 4:59pm
post #12 of 12

Yes. That is the one she picked. It's not really that big, but I think she'll be happy with it.

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