22 Individual Wedding Cakes--Pricing Question

Decorating By Digit Updated 15 Jun 2009 , 7:04am by maimai16

Digit Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 7:55pm
post #1 of 30

I can't seem to locate anything in forums anymore when I do a search, so sorry if this topic has already been covered!

I was asked if I could do 22 individual wedding cakes (one for each table as a centerpiece). I charge $3 a serving for basic wedding cakes. Do I charge the same price for individual cakes? It's a lot more work (and boxes and boards) to decorate a bunch of little cakes as opposed to one big cake. If it were only a couple cakes, I'd charge the same, but 22 is a lot! I want to be fair with my pricing, but I also don't want to rip myself off! How would you price them? Should I charge more?

Thanks so much for you help!!

29 replies
kayla1505 Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:03pm
post #2 of 30

Ive never done mini cakes but I've heard you shoud charge ALOT, cuz they are a PITA

step0nmi Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:04pm
post #3 of 30

I think you answered your own question! there is a lot more work that goes into that many weddings cakes...so, if you feel you need to up the price for them..then you should.

you also have to ask yourself...do you have enough room for all of those cakes? Do you have a vehicle big enough to transport them all as well? What size cakes are you talking about here?


indydebi Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:05pm
post #4 of 30

Yes, you definitely charge at least the same as you do for wedding cakes, BASED ON THE NUMBER OF SERVINGS THE CAKE IS DESIGNED TO SERVE. Plus you might want to add an add'l labor fee (takes more time and van-space to move 22 individual cakes than it does one stacked cake; plus you have to grease and flour 44 pans instead of just 6 or 8.) In my little world, I call this a "Design Fee" ..... if you pick a design that causes me more work, then you're paying an extra fee for that design.

meaning .... you want the bells and whistles? you're paying for them.

Let's do the math:

An 8" cake serves 24 x your $3/serving = $72 per cake x 22 cakes = $1584.

Also note: 22 cakes x 24 servings per cake = 528 servings. I'm betting she's having no where NEAR that many people. I'll guess she's expecting around 175-200, right? If she got just a standard 3 or 4 tier cake at your $3/serving rate x 200 servings, she'd only spend $600.

Part of the reason brides overspend on centerpiece cakes is because when she uses an 8" cake, she's ordering THREE TIMES the amount of cake that she needs. Most round banquet tables seat 8 people .... she thinks she's buying 8 servings per table. She's not. I dont' care how many pieces she cuts the cake into, she's PAYING for the total work that I do.

step0nmi Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:09pm
post #5 of 30

as always, Indydebi ROCKS! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:18pm
post #6 of 30
Originally Posted by indydebi

I'll guess she's expecting around 175-200, right?

Meant to add, this is based on 22 cakes (tables) x 8 people per table = 176

Digit Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:36pm
post #7 of 30

She sent me an email without much detail. She just said she wanted round individual cakes. I would suggest to her that she go with 6" rounds.

So, based on your responses, it looks like I should charge more. But how much? $1 more for $4 a serving? That would take it from $792 (at $3 pp) to $1056 (at $4 pp). Does that sound fair?

I really appreciate you help! Thank you for taking the time.

leah_s Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:39pm
post #8 of 30

I love centerpiece cakes. I think they're way easy. However, I ALWAYS do a 6" round - never square. I'm still using the old Wilton chart, so 14 servings X the per serving charge = cost of the cake. I tack on a couple of bucks for the board underneath.

I CHOSE to o centerpeice cakes for DD's wedding.

They can be an overall $ savings for the bride if they're replacing floral centerpieces.

Digit Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:40pm
post #9 of 30

P.S. I like your "design fee" term indydebi! I've seen so many of your answers to people posts. You are a wealth of knowledge. You've helped so many people. I'm so excited you responded to mine! icon_biggrin.gif Not to diminish any one elses responses-- I appreciate them all!! The cake central people are awesome![/quote]

Digit Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:44pm
post #10 of 30

Good point leahs. I didn't think about the cakes eliminating the cost of other centerpieces. Something I'll have to mention!

Katiekatiekatie Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:45pm
post #11 of 30

Let me just say..... I WISH YOU LUCK if you decide to do this. I just did 30 mini cakes for a wedding of a friends daughter and they were a PITA. If there is something worse than that well thats what they were. I also made a larger matching cake for the bridal table. There is a post here about what to charge for those cakes. I will try to find it...


Deb_ Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 8:46pm
post #12 of 30

Before you quote her the price try to get some more details. Does she want BC or Fondant? Does she want elaborate flowers or design?

I agree with Debi, I think a lot of brides think that this will be a money saver for them, but in the long run there is a lot of extra cake and it costs more because their buying so many more servings then they need.

I'd respond with something like "my cakes are $3 to $5 per serving depending on design" Let her know how many servings a 6" and 8" cake each serve.

I think once she does the math, she'll be rethinking this one, unless money is not an issue.......which I hope is the case for your sake!

sweetiesbykim Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 9:01pm
post #13 of 30

How many servings on each cake? Are they all the same flavor? Any difficult decorating? Flowers?

I would charge the same, no different. A plus is no stacking and worrying about supports. A minus is many different layers and extra steps. It's just like you got 22 cake orders for one day. They just happened to be for all the same eventicon_smile.gif

I get 15 servings/8" round. I use Earlene Moore's chart, which I find pretty accurate for me. earlenescakes.com 15X$3=$45 She decreased her servings per cake after mapping it out herself and figuring end pieces are all frosting, etc.

Digit Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 9:34pm
post #14 of 30

I think responding with $3-$5 a serving is a good place to start, dkelly. I don't have any details as to flavors and design. She contacted me via email and was just checking to see if I could make that many (it's my son's school teacher) before going into great detail.

I kind of like the idea of the challenge (and the no stress of delivering a stacked cake), but I also know it's going to be a pain. I'll probably regret doing in later! You're right, it is like 22 orders in one day. I'm definitely charging more. Decision made! I think I'll start with $4 pp, for a simple cake and go up in price from there depending on level of detail.

I have a van, so no problem with space for delivery. Now, where to put 22 cakes in my home--that might be a problem! icon_smile.gif

You guys are great! Thanks!!

indydebi Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 11:14pm
post #15 of 30

Ah, geesh, I HATE doing 6" cakes! icon_cry.gif

leah_s Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 11:19pm
post #16 of 30
Originally Posted by indydebi

Ah, geesh, I HATE doing 6" cakes! icon_cry.gif

Send 'em my way. I can knock one out in 20 minutes or less.

indydebi Posted 13 Jun 2009 , 11:27pm
post #17 of 30
Originally Posted by leahs

Originally Posted by indydebi

Ah, geesh, I HATE doing 6" cakes! icon_cry.gif

Send 'em my way. I can knock one out in 20 minutes or less.

Deal! ('Coz I'll make a fortune on the delivery/pick-up fee! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif )

en-passant Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 8:00am
post #18 of 30

Is she aware of just how SMALL a six inch cake actually is?

gscout73 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 11:41am
post #19 of 30
Originally Posted by en-passant

Is she aware of just how SMALL a six inch cake actually is?

I was thinking the same thing. I've not seen this in person but I have heard of it, but not with that size of cake. I'm curious to know from the those that have done this: Could that small of a cake alone pass as the centerpiece on a table? How many settings are at each table? 6-8-10? Would the guests at each table be able to cut that small of a cake to serve everyone??

Debi, can you please educate me on this???? I just luv u!!

Evoir Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 12:00pm
post #20 of 30

You could ask her to re-configure the table layouts so that there are more guests per table, therefore a bigger cake on each table and FEWER cakes to fiddle with overall?

Just adding my 2 cents...I think a 6" cake is a bit small for a centrepiece, especially if she IS trying to cut down on floral arrangement costs - because you are going to have to bump up the effort on cake plateaux and greenery around each cake to make it look significant and suiting the occasion.

gscout73 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 12:08pm
post #21 of 30
Originally Posted by Evoir

because you are going to have to bump up the effort on cake plateaux and greenery around each cake to make it look significant and suiting the occasion.

That's what I was thinking... x22!! whew, that would be a lot of work for a bunch of 6" cakes. icon_cry.gif

hammer1 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 12:23pm
post #22 of 30

we have done this twice..the first order was about 8 years ago...we did single layer 8 inch cakes with the couples picture on each cake and a calla lilly...each cake was on a covered masonite board and boxed. the bride picked up the cakes and returned the boards. we did 25 of these...just started an assembly line and worked till all were boxed.

two years ago we did 20 double layer 8 inch cakes they were plain white buttercream with just borders. and rasp. filling. I had the bride purchase and cut 4 inch pvc pipe into 4 inch sections. these became the cake stands. She surrounded each cake stand with netting and mini lights, they were very cute.....she could have used a 6 inch double layer and it would have been fine, she had lots of cake left. However the neatest part was when she and her new husband came to each table and cut each individual cake.

as usual i did not charge enough, but it was for a friend and it was my suggestion, so i almost gave them away...oh and delivered them 2 hours away and had to rent another car so we could deliver all the individual cake sand the wedding cake too. the wedding cake was almost all styrofoam.

Digit Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 5:47pm
post #23 of 30

Hmm. Yes, a 6" might look a little small. Unless it's placed on a large base with some greenery around it. ? She does know how big a 6" is. I gave her a double layer 6" round as an end of the year teacher gift (that's how all this got started!). So, she has the visual.

I emailed her with some of the thoughts and suggestions I got from you guys (thank you again). Now I'm just waiting to see if she contacts me again. Thanks for the continued info. I'll run more of your thoughts and ideas by her if she wants to continue with the individual cakes. Hey, maybe price is not an option and she'll go with the 8" cakes! One can dream. icon_smile.gif

TammyH Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 6:35pm
post #24 of 30

I did this a few years ago. We decided to go with an 8x3 cake (to me, it looked "nice" and balanced as a single-layer -- I filled each with buttercream). I also purchased cake-dummies (14 inch) that the MOB covered and used to hold the cake on each table. It looked really nice. I also liked the fact that I didnt have to bake 60 cakes (yea... only 30 -- I still baked for almost 18 hours!).



ZAKIA6 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 9:29pm
post #25 of 30

for those of you who have done/had centerpiece cakes before. who is responsible for cutting the cake.

does the caterer/hall have staff go around to each table and cut the cakes.
is there someone designated at each table to cut the cakes?

just wondering

Minstrelmiss Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 10:50pm
post #26 of 30

I would say it depends on how the B&G have it set up. Any way can be acceptable. I've heard of guests cutting, staff cutting, and B&G coming around to cut each. I think it would depend on the venue to an extent. icon_smile.gif

hammer1 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 2:05am
post #27 of 30

when we did them, after the bride and groom cut each cake at each table, the wait staff removed the cakes to the kitchen where they cut the cakes, put them on plates and served them to each guest. it really was the smoothest cake serving i have seen.

indydebi Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 2:18am
post #28 of 30
Originally Posted by hammer1

when we did them, after the bride and groom cut each cake at each table, the wait staff removed the cakes to the kitchen where they cut the cakes, put them on plates and served them to each guest. it really was the smoothest cake serving i have seen.

As a caterer, this would irritate me. At this point in the evening, my crew is clearing and cleaning the buffet. The kitchen is a hub of activity with clean up duties. In most places I've been in, there is not room to move 22 cakes into a kitchen and cut them. Plus I dont' price my services for "plated desserts". I cut the cake at the cake table and then the DJ announces, "The cake has been cut, you may help yourself at any time."

So if a bride wanted centerpiece cakes AND wanted me to remove cakes, cut and plate-n-serve to her guests, she'd REALLY be paying an arm and a leg for that cake!

It may have been "the smoothese cake serving" YOU have ever seen, but I guarentee you it was a madhouse in the kitchen while everyone fought over "Don't put that there, I'm using that space!" (Not to mention trying to avoid cross-contamination with clearing a buffet, dirty dishes and cutting a cake!)

Remember .... I'm not catering a wedding in a super large hotel where they have this super huge kitchen and tons of counter space and 27 staff members working the wedding. The logistics are VERY different than what they see on TV, where they only show weddings in New YOrk hotel type of settings.

It's just another example of a situation where a bride needs to CONFIRM what can be done and not assume that what she sees on TV is do-able at the local VFW hall.

hammer1 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 3:20am
post #29 of 30

i think it worked because the bride and groom spent a good deal of time at each table greeting their guests and thanking them for coming. this allowed time for the cakes to be cleared, and returned to the previous table as they greeted the next table....they weren't taken into the kitchen where the food was being plated and dishes washed. the bride and groom started this early in the evening too, not waiting till the guest had started to go home before cutting the cake. It was a room off the kitchen. it was a large country club/golf club where this was all happening. i was also in attendance at the wedding and it was the best food i have ever had. i have no idea who the cater was, just that it was fabulous and there was plenty of staff. i was amazed and if i had been doing the catering I would not have been able to pull it off, but i am not a caterer, just a lowly culinary arts teacher and cake decorater on the side.

maimai16 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:04am
post #30 of 30

you guys are scaring me... i got an order of 3 tier wedding cake plus 51 pcs 3" mini cakes as souvenirs.... i'm planning to make the accents a week ahead so i just have to deal with assembling, etc.

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