I Am Going Nuts With My Counting...

By ZlatkaT Updated 5 Jun 2009 , 1:18am by indydebi

ZlatkaT Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 12:59am
post #1 of 31

I am trying to price my first wedding cake (14;10;6) all in cream cheese (no fondant). I looked at the recipes, and counted how much flower, eggs, etc, and I am going nuts...BAD in math - I know you can't help me with the math (even teacher couldn't). So is there general rule of pricing, like example \$3.5 per slice of BC, etc??? Matrix doesn't work for me - to difficult. I am BAAAAD!!

30 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 1:06am
post #2 of 31

Okay...Earlene Moores chart say a 14 inch will feed 65 and a 10 inch feeds 30 and a 6 inch feeds 8.That is a total of 103.I charge \$3.00 per serving for Basic Buttercream so I would charge a bit extra for the cream cheese.So that would be 103 servings x \$3.00 is \$309.00 plus extra for the cream cheese plus extra for the support systems..plates,pillars etc...plus extra for flowers etc...The base price would be \$309.00 and go up from there depending on the design.I would probably charge about \$420.00 basic...more if they wanted gumpaste flowers and a more inticate design.

These are double yaers also...

ZlatkaT Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 1:10am
post #3 of 31

all this charges includes the cost of ingredient and the work, right??

indydebi Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 1:11am
post #4 of 31

I can't use any of the matrix's on here either (and man, I can tell I'm old, because "in my day", they were called spreadsheets. A matrix is a science fiction movie! ). When I plugged in the numbers, the bottom line number was half of what I normally sell my cakes for.

Remember that the ingredients is the LEAST of your expenses when figuring cost. We work in an industry in which labor is the biggest expense. And most people who try to figure pricing seem to think if they dont' write a check for it, then it's not part of the cost of the cake. Bad. Very bad thinking.

Another big factor is your area. Calif pricing is way different than Iowa or New York, or Georgia pricing. If you underprice your cakes, it's like comparables in the housing market .... you devalue EVERYONE else's house, uh, I mean cake.

ZlatkaT Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 3:44pm
post #5 of 31

Thank you everyone for your advice. Still getting nuts, but at least have idea of the cost.

crystalina1977 Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 7:04pm
post #6 of 31

totally agree with indy...the cost of the actual ingredients are a small percentage of the overall cake's worth. that being said i *know* i undervalue my cakes and i have started doing the same thing - trying to figure out a reasonable cost per serving.

ZlatkaT Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 8:11pm
post #7 of 31

crystalina1977
I see you are from CA, may I ask how much would you charge per serving, base charge of BC cake, no fondant???

blondeez Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 8:23pm
post #8 of 31

Have you thought of calling a local bakery and asking them how much the cake would be. Just pretend you want it for yourself. Then you will know if you are charging the right amount.

kkitchen Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 8:24pm
post #9 of 31

ZlatkaT
I just wanted to tell you that the cookie avatar that you have crack me the hell up. It look like .... hug me please......

ZlatkaT Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 8:26pm
post #10 of 31

Yap, I am pretty proud of this one (cookie), my own design (not "stolen")

crystalina1977 Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 8:35pm
post #11 of 31

oh gosh you dont want to ask me that....i'm horrible. i just sold two 12" cakes, iced with buttercream, one filled with chocolate mousse, one filled with homemade lemon curd, custom toppers (eagle scout cakes in my pics) for \$60 each.

that's what prompted me to start looking at how i should price per serving...and to avoid hearing my husband fuss at me about how i don't charge enough. so...i am trying to start off with something similar to 1.50 per serving for buttercream. **which i know is not enough and i am bringing down the value of the whole cake neighborhood**. and then more like 2.50 for fondant. now i just have to figure out some kind of formula for fillings...

since i am still learning things i take each opportunity as a chance to learn and practice and experiment so that might be why i dont charge what i should, because i am getting something out of it too. i dont know.

ZlatkaT Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 9:10pm
post #12 of 31

looks like we are together in one boat. I am cheap, because I want to get any opportunity to do cake and learn. My very big problem is that I am thinking the same way as consumers do, I probably won't spent that much money for a cake, cookies etc. So far I am having fun, and it gives me something to do as stay at home Mom. Who know what future will bring

crystalina1977 Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 9:13pm
post #13 of 31

yes, it sounds like we are in the same boat =)

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 12:20am
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZlatkaT

My very big problem is that I am thinking the same way as consumers do, I probably won't spent that much money for a cake, cookies etc.

Oh, I am going to come out there and smack the snot out of both you. Since you're both in Calif, I can get two-for-one on plane fare!!

Never, never, never, NEVER price your product based on what YOU would spend!!!! If you dont' know and appreciate the value of what you do, then how the heck do you expect to sell that value to customers???

As I've said a number of times. I'd never spend \$70,000 for a car or SUV, but fortunately, the Cadillac dealership who provides my husband's job doesn't look at people like me. They know (!) there are people out there who will spend it.

Under that philosophy, you have limited your entrepreneurial (sp?) opportunities. If you won't spend \$1500 on a big screen TV, does that mean you'll never get a job at an electronics store, or you'll never own an electronics store? If you'll never spend a million dollars on a house, does that mean you'll never be a realtor who SELLS million dollar houses??

FYI....I get \$3.50/serving for buttercream and \$4.50/fondant. And I KNOW that things in California cost WAY more than they do here.

ZlatkaT Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 1:13am
post #15 of 31

Ouch, ouch...I know I deserve this....and if I tell you, what I did, you will really come and smack me I had one customer, who backed up from order, and I went back to her bagging for the cake order, and did it for her just for ingredient cost. I just feel like I need to practice, and need every opportunity...

ptanyer Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 1:37am
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZlatkaT

Ouch, ouch...I know I deserve this....and if I tell you, what I did, you will really come and smack me I had one customer, who backed up from order, and I went back to her bagging for the cake order, and did it for her just for ingredient cost. I just feel like I need to practice, and need every opportunity...

Here's a BIIIIIGGGGGGG SMACK!!!!! Practice for family members and close friends. Better yet, buy you some cake dummies (which are far cheaper than going to Walmart and buying styrofoam shapes) and make Toba Garrett's practice icing (not edible) and go to town. Practice over and over without having to spend a fortune to actually make the cake and edible icings. And if you make real cake then give it away - people love free food. Got kids in school? Volunteer to donate cakes to schools, nursing homes, etc. There are all kinds of places you can donate cake and you can practice to your hearts content.

ZlatkaT Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 2:33am
post #17 of 31

alright, I am going to check the practice icing right now. No more smacking, I am all bruised. I am going to pour some vine for myself and get thinking
THANK YOU EVERYONE, I can see strait now

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 3:12am
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZlatkaT

THANK YOU EVERYONE, I can see strait now

You wont' be if you keep pouring that wine!

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 4:17am
post #19 of 31

What is Toba Garrett's practice icing, googled, but came up with nothing!

ptanyer Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 12:57pm
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by annacakes79

What is Toba Garrett's practice icing, googled, but came up with nothing!

It's in her book The Well Decorated Cake. I would like to share it with you but I don't know the actual legal ramifications for posting a recipe found in a published book. Does anyone know? Is it allowed? If it is, I will be glad to share it with you. But I can tell you that her book is well worth the money. Has lots of great info and techniques. That's where I learned to spackle cakes. And it makes a world of difference for me when I do cakes.

So someone let me know if I can post the practice icing after it is published and we will go from there.

kakeladi Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 7:21pm
post #21 of 31

..........would like to share it with you but I don't know the actual legal ramifications for posting a recipe found in a published book. Does anyone know? Is it allowed?.......

Legally........NO.
You can share it e-mail or pm

terri76 Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 8:38pm
post #22 of 31

I'm in the same situation y'all are in! I live in "small town" MS without any bakeries or cake shops. The nearest one is 30 miles away and they charge \$3.00 per slice for wedding cakes. I charge \$2.00, and I hear a pause when I tell people how much their cake will be then it sounds like they are trying to pick themselves off the floor. I've lost several because of that price, but I won't go any lower!! I actually would like to go a little higher because that's alot of work and time put into wedding cakes (& tiered cakes), but I'm afraid if I do it'll hurt me too bad.

Indydebi~The \$3.50 you charge, is that for all your cakes (sheet and tiered) or just wedding?

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 9:16pm
post #23 of 31

I read several sites that list the basic white wilton recipe as practice icing. That is what I use, but with a little extra flavorings and people LOVE it. I think it's weird, I hate myself, always scrape it off, or knock cake on side and eat up to it, THEN STOP!! UGH!! Can anyone recommend a winter white recipe that works the same or better, is as cheap or close to it, and tastes better. Maybe that doesn't coat the tongue and give you yuck-mouth? I think it may be too much to ask.....Is this hijacking?

ptanyer Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 9:38pm
post #24 of 31

Okay, I solved the problem with the question of the decorator's recipe for practice icing: it's all shortening. Here is a recipe I found online:

Professional Cake-Decorators' Icing
2 boxes (2 lbs.) powdered (confectioner's) sugar 1/4 c water 3/4 c shortening 2 t flavoring color as desired

Mix and fill pastry bag(s).

To make bags more cooperative, fold down the top of the "sleeve" and set the bag, tip down, in a glass or cup to support the bag.

This was found at the following website:
http://www.marthabeth.com/icings.html

I think that solves the legal issues since it is already posted on the web.

Since it is all shortening you won't have to refrigerate it.

Now go practice, practice, practice

terri76 Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 10:09pm
post #25 of 31

Ok...I think it's time to order HiRatio!!! I just got out a new tub of my "GV" shortening and I noticed it looked different and was very strong smelling. I thought it might be out of date, I looked and it had a year left. I looked at the ingredients and to my horror...NO TRANS FAT!!!!

I just bought and went through several tubs last week they had trans fat, I stocked up on new for this week and no trans fat! I hope my cakes turn out ok for this weekend until I can get some ordered.

ptanyer Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 10:18pm
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by terri76

Ok...I think it's time to order HiRatio!!! I just got out a new tub of my "GV" shortening and I noticed it looked different and was very strong smelling. I thought it might be out of date, I looked and it had a year left. I looked at the ingredients and to my horror...NO TRANS FAT!!!!

I just bought and went through several tubs last week they had trans fat, I stocked up on new for this week and no trans fat! I hope my cakes turn out ok for this weekend until I can get some ordered.

I use Crisco which has no transfats and have no problems with my cakes or icings. I did notice that Walmart has some shortening that has transfats, so that might help you out. Good luck and don't forget to post photos!

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 10:24pm
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Quote:

Quote:
Quote:

Ok...I think it's time to order HiRatio!!! I just got out a new tub of my "GV" shortening and I noticed it looked different and was very strong smelling. I thought it might be out of date, I looked and it had a year left. I looked at the ingredients and to my horror...NO TRANS FAT!!!! Crying or Very sad

I just bought and went through several tubs last week they had trans fat, I stocked up on new for this week and no trans fat! I hope my cakes turn out ok for this weekend until I can get some ordered.

OMG!! Is this what happened!! I never looked at the info on it, but I opened some GV shortening about a month ago and it wasn't even white and smelled weird. I had 3 and opened all. Date was still good so I decided to use it for my fryer, but sent DH to Kroger for their generic and it was white. If I wanted off white, I would use butter and it would taste better!![/quote]

terri76 Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 10:53pm
post #28 of 31

That's probably what it was, no trans fat. I've used the Great Value for a long time and it's always had 2.5g of trans fat. Now, the new I just bought has 0, and it smells and is off white.

Maybe it'll be ok. That's why I stopped using Crisco, when it went no trans fat it wouldn't stick to my cake well.

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 11:08pm
post #29 of 31

When I switched to the GV it was because it felt like I threw a handful of sand into my icing. It was clogging my tip as well. I'd go to pipe a rose and a clod would lodge somewhere in it and I'd have a mess, and have to go for a tooth pick. When I would smooth the sides I would have tracks in it from dragging hard bits through the icing with the spatula. Not to mention they would really look like poop when I colored the icing and the bits of slag would be white still......I LOVE TRANS FAT!! BRING IT BACK!! More and more government regulation....grumble...grumble.....

My first Rant!!

playingwithsugar Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 11:15pm
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

FYI....I get \$3.50/serving for buttercream and \$4.50/fondant. And I KNOW that things in California cost WAY more than they do here.

Hey, Debi, mind if we ask, how much would you charge per serve, above your basic price, for an all cream cheese frosted cake?

Theresa

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