Is This Worth It?

Business By cakedesigner59 Updated 7 Nov 2008 , 2:41am by cakedesigner59

cakedesigner59 Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 10:36pm
post #1 of 11

I'm going to try and post a picture of the cake I made today. It took me all bleeding day, I ended up spending over $35 for supplies to make it. It's a 12x16x3 with a 8" on top (the 8" has been beveled, so that the FBCT is on an angle, slanted towards the front). The cake is the Darn Good Chocolate Cake from Cake Mix Doctor. It's for a friend who wants to pay me...but I don't know what to charge. Mostly, it bothers me that it took me literally like 8 hours to bake and decorate, and clean up after. I can never ask her to pay me what the ingredients PLUS what my time is worth. Is it me, am I just too slow? Or do you all take all day too? I tell you, the price of butter, sour cream, eggs...it's getting so you can't charge enough for it. This cake has 10 lbs of powdered sugar alone (5 batches of icing!). Sorry for rambling...

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10 replies
indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 10:47pm
post #2 of 11

A 12x16, when cut into standard 2x2" pieces, will yield 48 servings (6 rows by 8 columns). Plus the 8" round (2 layer?) serves 24 per the wilton chart, so the total serving size is 72.

Using various serving pricing rates:
72 x $3.00/serving = $216.
72 x $2.00/serving = $144.
72 x $1.50/serving = $108.

What I noticed folks have a problem with, when pricing a big cake like this, is they look at the dollar figure and don't stop to remember "IT CAKE TO FEED 70+ PEOPLE!" It's not a $200 cake ... it's enough cake to feed a small wedding reception.

You (and your clients) need to get over the idea that "birthday cakes are twenty bucks" .... regardless of the size! icon_mad.gif

It's also a 3" tall cake, which is 50% more cake than the standard 2" tall sheet cake, so that needs to be factored in the price.

JanetBme Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:19am
post #3 of 11

If she is your friend, charge her for the ingredients and let it go at that until you do get quicker... If she was just a customer- then charge the going rate.

I promise you that the more you do cakes like this the quicker you will get. Right now, it might take you all day- but when you get more experienced, then it probably wouldn't take a third of that time.

Jasra Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:28am
post #4 of 11

I am always in the same boat, it take me forever to decorate a cake and I too could never charge for all that time. Honestly I'd probably add $10 to the cost of ingredients if it was for a friend and call it a day but I'm still very new to this! That's a great cake, maybe your friend would be willing to pay more for it since it's so obvious you put so much work into it! Sometimes people step up once they see the finished product....

kakeladi Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:58am
post #5 of 11

I'm still in the mind-frame of charging about $20-25 per cake mix used unless it is a tiered cake. This would not qualify as a tiered cake in my bookicon_smile.gif You don't need to dowel it or use seperators.
So I'd say you used 3 mixes for the sheet and less than one for the round. My pricing on this would be around $75-100.

cms2 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 1:21am
post #6 of 11

Some people will give you a little extra, but in my experience they're few and far between. I had one girl say that she was giving me an extra $5 (whoa, so generous) because I did such a good job. (as she was counting out the money on my countertop) When she left, I counted the money and there was no extra. icon_confused.gif Did ya miscount???

Anyway, I so get what you're saying. There is so much work that goes into baking, decorating, and clean up. Not to mention all the details and planning of your design ahead of time. Hours and hours. I was just talking to my husband about this. People see a beautiful cake and they enjoy eating a cake that tastes great (awesome, really), but I don't think they think about (or even have a clue about) all the hours that went into it. It's frustrating. I do find that when you have mulitple cakes to do, you work faster (cause you have to) and you don't feel like all this work (and cleanup) was for one cake.

I just had a lady call me tonight for a cake for .....tomorrow. icon_eek.gif When she said it, I laughed. I honestly couldn't help myself. I feel guilty about it, as I'm sure that was completely unprofessional. But really, tomorrow? I will definately be more prepared for that response in the future. People just have no clue.

Prices on stuff is going up and up. A 2 pound bag of powdered sugar has gone up $ .40 since August! tapedshut.gif That is bleeping crazy!!

Kitagrl Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 1:22am
post #7 of 11

Just something I keep in mind...if I am doing a cake for a friend or acquaintence...I either charge them up front BEFORE doing the cake (as far as agreeing on a price)...or I don't expect ANYTHING except a donation, and be happy with whatever I get.

The problem here is you have made a gorgeous cake (I really do love this cake, its soooo cute!) and you have no clue what she is going to pay you, and she has no clue what you need. Some people honestly do not understand pricing...what is going to happen is you are going to undercharge and be secretly upset...or charge enough and she is going to be secretly upset...and a silly cake can come between your friendship.

I don't have any extra advice for you now...hopefully you can agree on a price that makes you both happy! But next time, maybe think about talking about price before you even bake the cakes. Or....just make it a gift or a "donation only" basis. Anything in between risks losing friends.

Kitagrl Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 1:23am
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2

Some people will give you a little extra, but in my experience they're few and far between. I had one girl say that she was giving me an extra $5 (whoa, so generous) because I did such a good job. (as she was counting out the money on my countertop) When she left, I counted the money and there was no extra. icon_confused.gif Did ya miscount???

Anyway, I so get what you're saying. There is so much work that goes into baking, decorating, and clean up. Not to mention all the details and planning of your design ahead of time. Hours and hours. I was just talking to my husband about this. People see a beautiful cake and they enjoy eating a cake that tastes great (awesome, really), but I don't think they think about (or even have a clue about) all the hours that went into it. It's frustrating. I do find that when you have mulitple cakes to do, you work faster (cause you have to) and you don't feel like all this work (and cleanup) was for one cake.

I just had a lady call me tonight for a cake for .....tomorrow. icon_eek.gif When she said it, I laughed. I honestly couldn't help myself. I feel guilty about it, as I'm sure that was completely unprofessional. But really, tomorrow? I will definately be more prepared for that response in the future. People just have no clue.

Prices on stuff is going up and up. A 2 pound bag of powdered sugar has gone up $ .40 since August! tapedshut.gif That is bleeping crazy!!




I think that's the best part about teaching cake decorating lessons! The students have their eyes WAY opened about how much work it is to do a cake. Many of them are absolutely shocked at the money and work it takes. Its fun to watch. thumbs_up.gif

cms2 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 2:05am
post #9 of 11

I do birthday cakes for my best friends children. I go all out on them and charge nothing. It is usually my gift. It costs me way more than what I would have spent on an actual present, but to see their faces just light up when they see this magical creation in icing is so worth it to me. Their parents *know* I spent a lot of time on it and truly appreciate it.

It's nervewracking when the price isn't set upfront. I've done it once before. (note to self: don't do that again) With my experience, I showed up with this massive cake (I went overboard, because I've been to their parties before, and I thought she was underestimating the number of people. Well she wasn't.) I said, "I realize this is probably more cake than you were expecting, how does $55 sound?" (Barely covering my expenses, but had no idea what she was willing to pay.) She said that was fine and slipped me 4 $20's! Worked out better than I thought.

Let us know what you decide to charge and how it goes. It's a great cake and everyone will know it's a custom design. thumbs_up.gif

cakedesigner59 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 2:37am
post #10 of 11

Thanks so much for your replies. I appreciate all of them.
I know I'm not going to get any faster at this, since I've been doing it forever anyway. I'm just slow, don't know why. I wish I could figure it out. Anyway, it was never my intention to charge for this cake, but she insists on paying me.

We just moved here last year, so these folks aren't really good friends...yet. But I tried to give a cake as a gift to another couple a few months ago, and it backfired on me. I had this bright idea that I would tell her, "it's a gift, but if anyone asks, it cost you $55" because I didn't want it to get around the neighborhood that "Robin is good for a free cake, just invite her to your party!". Well, the lady forced $55 on me, and wouldn't let me leave her house without taking it. Sigh.

I used 4 cake mixes, 3 bags of choc chips, 4 cups sour cream, 16 eggs, 10 lbs pwdr sugar, 2 lbs butter.... like i said, ingredients are so high now, it's mind boggling.

The 8" won't serve 24, probably won't serve 10. It's got a severe bevel on it, and if you look at it from the side, it looks like 1/2 a cake. I figure the servings are 58.

cakedesigner59 Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 2:41am
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

I'm still in the mind-frame of charging about $20-25 per cake mix used unless it is a tiered cake. This would not qualify as a tiered cake in my bookicon_smile.gif You don't need to dowel it or use seperators.
So I'd say you used 3 mixes for the sheet and less than one for the round. My pricing on this would be around $75-100.




I did have to dowel the bottom cake, or it would have fallen through LOL I used 4 mixes for the sheet (3" pan); a one mix for the 8".

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