Pricing (Update In Bold)

Decorating By imamommy1205 Updated 28 Apr 2009 , 5:10pm by Jackie

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 7:11pm
post #1 of 114

I might be making cake for a local bounce house for kids. Tell me what you think about these prices. Keep in mind, these people would normally get their cakes from WalMart or Kroger and that these cakes will be all made from scratch.

2 layer, 8 inch round cake $15
2 layer, 9 inch round cake $18
9x13 inch cake $18
half sheet cake $30

Be honest...too much...too little?

Also, it costs about $4 to make a batch of fondant, should that be added to any cakes using fondant? TIA!

Ok, I was way off on my pricing lol. I havent bought a cake from a bakery in a few years, so pricing have definitely changed.
This is my new plan...
8 inch round $20
9 inch round $25
1/4 sheet $30
1/2 sheet $40

This is more comparable to the area. I called around. NOW what do you think?

113 replies
destinyrn Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 7:18pm
post #2 of 114

I think you should include the cost of the fondant and all of your other ingredients. That seems more than fair.

fabulosity Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 7:19pm
post #3 of 114

I think that is a little low but it does depend upon how you are decorating them. I normally charge at least $10 more than what you have listed...and I think that I don't charge enough.

You will need to stay with what you feel comfortable charging.

Good Luck! thumbs_up.gif

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 7:28pm
post #4 of 114

Yea I made them a hair low bc of where I will be. Most of these people would probably be either making them themselves or buying them fromn a grocery store bakery. So I at least had to make them comporable. They are still a little higher than say WalMart (I think, if I check WalMArt and they are cheaper than these prices or the same, I will up mine a little).

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 7:57pm
post #5 of 114

bump for the update

ApplegumKitchen Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 7:58pm
post #6 of 114

Don't get defensive but I hate these sorts of posts

How much to charge? Is this too high or too low?

Only you can make that judgement - you need to get a pen and paper and calculator and work this out. It is easier on a computer spreadsheet program BUT not essential!

First you need to get your shopping docket and write down everything that you used for the recipe. If it was in your cupboard - get a price off the supermarket shelves. Use you calculator to work out the UNIT price of everything ie.. If a box of flour cost $4 and it weighed 500g - divide it by 500 and then multiply that figure by what you used. do this for every ingredient!
Then make a list of all other costs associated with making this cake
ie. fondant, ribbon, board, ANYTHING else you used

So far you have NOT charged anything for your time, your utilities, your running expenses for delivery etc. etc. They can be added in a similar fashion.

NOW..... that you have an idea of what it COSTS you to make the cake - you have a figure to start out with

THEN - you can do your comparison shopping - Ask yourself - how much do I want to make on this cake for myself - like how much is it worth to you to make it? then see how much Walmart would charge - if it is half what it costs you to make it ...... what will you do? LOSE money on every cake that you make? NO - you will have to go back to square 1 and decide HOW you can trim off 'x' of dollars OFF your costs.

Don't mean for this to sound mean - but really want people to start thinking about pricing - instead of just trying to pull a figure out of thin air - you will never make money that way

If I told you that the last 8inch round fondant covered cake I sold for $320 - YES that is true!! - would it have any impact on your ability to charge that

FromScratch Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:02pm
post #7 of 114

I think they are REALLY low. You should price your cakes according to what they cost you to make... not what people are used to paying. That makes no sense. Especially if they are from scratch. I make all of my cakes from scratch too and I can't make an 8" cake for $15. I'd be losing money on every transaction. Have you sat down and calculated what it costs you to make your recipes? If you haven't, you should do that ASAP. I think you will see that you are making next to nothing at those prices. icon_smile.gif

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:08pm
post #8 of 114

Actually, I did add it all up and calculate how much I am using in ingredients. I also looked online and called around. I was asking the question jsut to get opinions. I DID do my homework and I AM doing this right because I am most definitely serious about baking and cake decorating to be my career. I calculated it before I made my first post, then revised it after calling around and thinking more about profit on my end.

Like grandma always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." And as I always say icon_biggrin.gif, don't assume you know all the facts.

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:12pm
post #9 of 114


Well, it only costs me about $5 to make an 8 inch cake from scratch...maybe a little more with certain add ones. That is just cake, frosting, and food coloring. So for $20, I would be making 3x as much as I paid to make it. Another bakery locally that makes their stuff from scratch charges around as much as my prices.

Depending on were you live, prices near you might be more than here.

fabulosity Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:19pm
post #10 of 114

It is WAY too hard to complete with Walley World will make nothing. I have learned that I have to charge what people will be willing to pay, but also what I can live with. I got really tired of kicking myself for not charging what I feel I am worth.

Good Luck, I hope this all works out for you in the end.

ApplegumKitchen Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:29pm
post #11 of 114

imamommy ...

Take a deep breath !! Firstly, I basically ANSWERED what you asked -

YOU asked for people's opinions - I gave you mine - It was not mean nor nasty - it was pure and basic facts. I assumed nothing -

Actually - it appears you have already answered your own question - if you are happy to make the cakes for the amount you are charging
and you get defensive if somebody offers a different opinion.... WHY ASK?

PS - you say it costs you spend $5 for ingredients - you don't mention anything about 'additional' costs that I mentioned - and then you say you are charging $20 and happy with 3 times your costs..... BUT how much will it cost you to COOK the cake? deliver the cake? what about the equipment that you have purchased to MAKE the cake?

NOT trying to agitate you - just trying to add some perspective to your thinking

tiggy2 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:29pm
post #12 of 114

How long does it take you make and decorate a 8" cake from start to finish?

FromScratch Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:45pm
post #13 of 114

Well since you have it all figured out why ask for opinions you don't want? If you are making $15 on an 8" cake... divide that by how long it takes and see how much you are making per hour. If you are happy making less than minimum wage good on you. icon_smile.gif

Not for nothing, but an actual bakery will be purchasing ingredients in bigger quantities than you are and it will cost them a lot less to make the same cake, and you should leave Wal*Mart out of your price shopping. No one can compete with them. They buy flour hundreds of pounds at a time... no home baker or brick and mortar bakery can compete with that. Not to mention it's not from scratch. Time to get off of the defensive. We are just sharing our experiences with a newbie. Trying to help... because making a cake for $1/serving isn't going to pay your bills.

edited to fix an amount.

brincess_b Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 9:25pm
post #14 of 114

remember you might compare prices with walmart, but you can not compare your cakes. yours are better looking and presumably better tsting. so you are trying to compare your custom cakes to walmarts assembly line ones, and really you cant. which kind of invalidates any price comprison. you need to check local custom bakeries doing similar work. (im pretty sure you dont mention if you did or not.. the thopic review isnt showing up for me!)

but at any rate, it you are happy doing it at that price, then that is fine too.

live2create Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 9:29pm
post #15 of 114

WOW icon_redface.gif

live2create Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 9:32pm
post #16 of 114

Take a step back Imamommy, I really don't think Applegumkitchen meant anything by her post other then to answer your question. I know I learned from it. If you didn't want to hear the answer don't ask the question.

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:22pm
post #17 of 114

Ok, I appreciate opinions. I just felt she was assuming I was just "pulling a price out of thin air" which I wasn't. So yes she did assume that is what I was doing. I think my post came by as meaner than I wanted it to as well. I should have left the last part out...ok. I was more explaining myself than anything else. I did add a part in there somewhere that there would of course be little add ons here and there (meaning fondant, candies, bows, other decorations, etc.

The post to FromScratch wasnt meant to be aggressive at all. She said she spent almost that much making them, I said I spent a lot less just making them.

No arguing, no fighting. All if well with the world. icon_biggrin.gif Nothing was meant by any of it.

sweet1122 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:37pm
post #18 of 114

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering if you calculated electricity in your costs? I'm not sure that would make a big difference or not, but I'm intrigued at baking an 8 inch cake from scratch for $5. I don't come close to that. I'm just sort of astonished and wondering where you live so I can MOVE.

I also might have started my first post as stating that I have done my research and it costs me X to do a cake, I was wondering what you guys think of this... I also thought that you hadn't done the calculating part on your end. Many people (me included!) make that mistake and end up literally paying to make a cake for someone. So, any reply was really meant to help you not make a horrible mistake.

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:41pm
post #19 of 114

No way in heck would I ever hand someone a cake and only get 2 twenty dollars bill in my pocket afterwards....whew, forget it!

ApplegumKitchen Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:46pm
post #20 of 114
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

No way in heck would I ever hand someone a cake and only get 2 twenty dollars bill in my pocket afterwards....whew, forget it!

READ AGAIN Jaime! She's only getting ONE twenty dollar bill and has to take costs OUT of that amount

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:49pm
post #21 of 114

Oh....yikes. I'm not saying anything else, I have a feeling it will be taken the wrong way. icon_sad.gif

Good luck mommy, hope you don't get burned out!

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:52pm
post #22 of 114

Well, for this to work, I cant charge an arm and a leg (not saying you all do). I get most of my ingredients in bulk at Sam's, so maybe that is why it seems so much cheaper? I dunno. For like a half sheet cake, I will be making closer to $30. And not being a professional (yet hehe), this might just need to be where I start out. I am definitely considering all of your comments. I have talked to my husband about it and I will of course dicuss things with the owners of this place I will be making cakes for. I might end up upping the prices.

In the next month as this comes more into reality, I will learn more about time it takes to make these things, cost I havent accounted for, etc.

And like I said, there is a fairly successful bakery around here who charges about the same amount that I am, and they do well. These prices ARE more than WalMart and grocery store bakeries. I just meant I cant charge twice as much, or no one will order the cakes from me.

Again...this may change before it becomes final icon_smile.gif.

FromScratch Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:53pm
post #23 of 114

Somebody needs to get Debi and her mom finger...

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 10:56pm
post #24 of 114
Originally Posted by FromScratch

Somebody needs to get Debi and her mom finger...


LOVE your tag line by the way!!! icon_biggrin.gif

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 11:02pm
post #25 of 114

I didnt mean for this to turn into anything. Now I feel silly. I was trying to cool this thread off, I guess I failed.

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 11:06pm
post #26 of 114

No, I think most of us are in agreement that you are setting yourself up for some serious disappointment, loss of money, and possible burnout at doing something you should love. Indy can come in here and break it down for you like no one else can (my opinion).....trying to help, and when some of us know for a fact that doing what you are going to attempt will undoubtedly give you some heartached and learn some lessons that can possibly be avoided before you get to that point!

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 11:10pm
post #27 of 114

But I'm going to leave comments to others in this thread from now on. Again, good luck, I may be off base, and you might just have everything figured out to make yourself happy. icon_smile.gif

angelcakes5 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 11:12pm
post #28 of 114


This is what I charge and I live in a pretty rural area

8" round - $25
9" round $30
10" round $40

9x13 - $28
11x15 $40

If there are more complex decorations - fondant figures, bow I will charge accordingly maybe extra $5. Almost always these people tip me $5 extra. Also please take in account your boxes for your cakes too.

Good luck! It seems like it could be a pretty good opportunity for you and dont be afraid to price higher!! If your cake is good they will pay for it!

imamommy1205 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 11:12pm
post #29 of 114

My fear though, is that if I try to sell a simple 8 inch round layer cake for more than $20, I will do nothing by lose business. I think $40 for the half sheet cake is a fair price, JMO. I have to at least consider prices in the area ya know? And I am not really talking about WalMart anymore lol.

In my state, I cannot legally sell cakes from a home kitchen. So to be able to actually advertise and sell cakes, I have to find a nother solution and starting my own bakery is just not in the cards right now. KWIM?

None of these will be fancy, tiered, topsy turvy wonders. If that is what they want, I will gladly make it, but of course then the price would have to go up considerably.

aligotmatt Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 11:16pm
post #30 of 114

Now, I'm not trying to fuel anything, just asking questions... do you fill your cakes? torted as well?

The reason I ask, I buy my baking stuff from sam's and costco, and even buying the 50 pound bag of powdered sugar, 1.5 batches of plain buttercream (butter, crisco, powdered sugar, real vanilla, dream whip ~~ which is needed to have 4 layers of cake, 3 layers of filling and icing the cake in BC) runs me $4.00. Maybe if I didn't fill them and just put icing on the outside of a cake...

Are you counting the board, fanci foil (or whatever you use to cover the board) a box to put it in? It doesn't seem like much, but a board, box, foil and glue stick use for an 8 inch cakes costs me 60 cents.

Again, not trying to agitate at all, but I'm having a really hard time seeing a plain 8 inch cake, on a board and in a box costing less than $5. And I'm not even counting baking, the amount of paper towels, gas to buy the stuff, the monthly cost of having warehouse memberships (hey, it works out to be $7.50 a month...), soap, hot water, the averaged cost of pans and tools... ...

I'm just sayin...

Quote by @%username% on %date%