What To Charge For My First Official Cake

Decorating By ZoesMum Updated 28 Nov 2009 , 3:43pm by cabecakes

ZoesMum Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 6:40pm
post #1 of 40

Hello everyone...I know there are a lot of threads on pricing, and I have tried to wade my way through them, but I guess I'm looking for peoples gut reaction on a particular cake. I'm new to all this (my first post!), and although I have made cakes for events I am going to, this will be the first one that someone has asked me to make, and I have no clue what to charge. She is a work friend, so I don't want to overcharge (plus I'm still inexperienced), but I would like to start making a little bit of money to start paying for all the things I have bought!! Here is a link to the cake she wants me to make...any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1512679

39 replies
cassiopeia Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 7:03pm
post #2 of 40

I know how you feel. I have made many cakes for fun and for events but never charged for them. I am also inexperienced and would be very insecure about figuring out a price. If I started to sell my cakes I would probably just start out at selling them for exactly how much it cost me to make it. That way Im not losing any money and I am gaining experience. Kind of like going to school for free only you have to figure everything out on your own. Thats just how I would do it but everyone has to figure out their prices on their own.

Hope that helps. Post a picture when you finish the cake. I would love to see how it turns out. Good Luck

Dalicha Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 7:10pm
post #3 of 40

HI!!!
I can't see the size of the cakes exacly I think about $90.00 ($50.00 and $ 40.00 for the little one) thats withouth the monkeys. with this amount you cover all the materials and time you have to spend to make this cake it's simple so belive in your talent... You can do it....

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 7:57pm
post #4 of 40

If you feel you are too inxepierenced to charge full price, then you shouldn't be selling cakes. If you have the skills to make the cake that is being requested, then you charge full price, period. You don't want to be known as the cheap cake lady & when you do decide that your expierenced enough to charge full price, your gonna have hard time raising your prices, cause every one will be used to the cheaper prices. And I don't care if it's family or friend, if they ask me to make a cakes it's a regular business transaction. Depending on who it is they get the 10% friends & family discount.

11cupcakes Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:19pm
post #5 of 40

I agree with LaBellaFlor

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:33pm
post #6 of 40

Insert here the regular lecture about is it legal to sell from your home, are you legal and licensed, and if you're not legal, then you can't charge anything.

Moving on ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11cupcakes

I agree with LaBellaFlor


Agree also.

And your cake is really beautiful. Selling cheap because you're "inexperienced" is wrong in every sense of the word.

ZoesMum Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:18pm
post #7 of 40

Hmmm...well I have been chastized! Am I to assume then that no-one charges anything at all for their cakes unless they are legal and licensed?? We must have a lot of illegal people in my area then...

Guess I'll poke my head back into my lurker shell...

cassiopeia Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:23pm
post #8 of 40

Maybe selling a few cakes at a lower but still reasonable price would be good. Atleast recover your expenses and make a little profit till you feel more comfortable with the thought of selling your cakes and you have a little more confidence in your skills. You can work your way up to a higher price.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:27pm
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoesMum

Hmmm...well I have been chastized! Am I to assume then that no-one charges anything at all for their cakes unless they are legal and licensed?? We must have a lot of illegal people in my area then...

Guess I'll poke my head back into my lurker shell...





My problem with it is, is that people who sell cheap....well, cheapen the art. And make it hard for the people who charge appropriately to maintain business. Especially if you are a good decorator, and are giving away your cakes. Gotta develop a good backbone before venturing out. Like was mentioned, try to raise prices after people are comfy with what they've been paying, eh....good luck with that! Stick around, ask away. Some of us will shoot straight with ya icon_wink.gif

cassiopeia Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:27pm
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoesMum

Guess I'll poke my head back into my lurker shell...




Don't do that.

It seems like some people on this website think that their way is the only right way and dont really take other's situtaions into consideration.

Keep posting your questions. That is the only way to learn.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:28pm
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoesMum

Hmmm...well I have been chastized! Am I to assume then that no-one charges anything at all for their cakes unless they are legal and licensed?? We must have a lot of illegal people in my area then...

Guess I'll poke my head back into my lurker shell...




No, you have not been chastized. You have been encouraged to make proper money off your cake cost & labor. The legal/illegal comment from Indy was just a friendly reminder. As you can see, she didn't get into details. You taking it as being chastized, when it was encouragemnet is what makes some of the more expierenced people on here not wanting to help. And then you got a lot of misinformation from people who have less expiernece then you. Now I'm gonna poke my head out of your business. Sell the cake for $20 bucks and be happy. thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:31pm
post #12 of 40

As far as business advice, and this is the business forum, not the "think I'll sell a cake today" forum, Indy and Leah are pretty much the bomb with advice. Real working, experienced advice.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:36pm
post #13 of 40

Eh, maybe the "sell a cake today forum" wasn't as sensitive as it coulda been. Sorry. Again, there is good advice to be had in here. Gotta weed through it sometimes. icon_biggrin.gif

cassiopeia Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:38pm
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

As far as business advice, and this is the business forum, not the "think I'll sell a cake today" forum, Indy and Leah are pretty much the bomb with advice. Real working, experienced advice.




Thats true they do always have good advice. But in this case it is her first cake she is selling so obviously she is not going to be selling for as much as a more experienced decorator would sell for.

rosiecast Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:39pm
post #15 of 40

OP- I'm no expert, but your cakes look great to me. Don't undersell youself. I know it might seem like you're being chastised, but these ladies know their stuff (myself excluded, lol) and they just want you to learn/do it the right way for your own benefit.

I would definitely charge regular price ofr the cake she asked since you seem to have the skills to do it right. Good luck!!

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:50pm
post #16 of 40

It was not a chastisement. I just know that whenever this question comes up, the information about "are you legal" always comes up. I was just getting it out of the way. Believe me, in the mood I've been in for the last couple of days, if I had wanted to chastise you, you would have known it! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Quote:
Quote:

But in this case it is her first cake she is selling so obviously she is not going to be selling for as much as a more experienced decorator would sell for.


You need to really look at the cake she made. This is a really good looking cake! I would never look at this cake as dub her as an inexperienced decorator. This is not a beginner cake, and if it was going to be sold, it merits much more than a beginner price. thumbs_up.gif

cassiopeia Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:56pm
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Quote:

You need to really look at the cake she made. This is a really good looking cake! I would never look at this cake as dub her as an inexperienced decorator. This is not a beginner cake, and if it was going to be sold, it merits much more than a beginner price. thumbs_up.gif




She didnt make that cake. That is just what the cake is suppose to look like.

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:59pm
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cassiopeia

Quote:
Quote:

You need to really look at the cake she made. This is a really good looking cake! I would never look at this cake as dub her as an inexperienced decorator. This is not a beginner cake, and if it was going to be sold, it merits much more than a beginner price. thumbs_up.gif



She didnt make that cake. That is just what the cake is suppose to look like.



oh well now you've done it! You've busted my bubble! icon_cry.gificon_lol.gif

rosiecast Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:01pm
post #19 of 40

Yes Cassiopeia, but have you looked at the cakes she HAS made? They are great and the one that was requested doesn't look like it'll require additional work (other than the monkeys). I agree that she has the skills to deliver this cake and ask for a professional baker's price not a beginner's price (leave beginner's prices for me, lol)

cassiopeia Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:11pm
post #20 of 40

Im not saying that she is not good. I do think she is really good.
I think that saying "If you feel you are too inxepierenced to charge full price, then you shouldn't be selling cakes." to someone who is new to posting and is maybe a little shy about selling her first cake is sort of rude. Im just like her. I have been decorating for awhile but have never sold a cake. Its scary trying to figure out how much to charge for your first one especially when you are just starting out.

cakemeasIam Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:22pm
post #21 of 40

the beauty of cc is these are people that know their stuff...keep in mind you ask the question expect the truth. thats why you came here in the first place- otherwise you would of called a friend and her advice would have
been not valid.

i've learned a ton being on the website...try and not take it personal its business. the experts and veterans (with respect) are just offering their honest opininions which you solicited.

your cakes are beautiful... if its a business you are looking for make a list- check it twice and make it happen...you can do it!

my_4_dumplins Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:23pm
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cassiopeia

Im not saying that she is not good. I do think she is really good.
I think that saying "If you feel you are too inxepierenced to charge full price, then you shouldn't be selling cakes." to someone who is new to posting and is maybe a little shy about selling her first cake is sort of rude. Im just like her. I have been decorating for awhile but have never sold a cake. Its scary trying to figure out how much to charge for your first one especially when you are just starting out.


Well put! I absolutely agree!

ZoesMum Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:59pm
post #23 of 40

Thanks to those who expressed words of encouragement! With this in mind, I am going to pluck up my courage and try to rephrase my original question...

What would you folks, who are cake professionals, charge if someone brought you the fairly straight forward design in my original post. My hope was to *not* undercharge or undervalue myself, but since I have no idea where to even begin, I am looking for all of your input (thanks to Dalicha who did actually give me a dollar value!!). I am looking into the 'legal and liscenced', so lets put that aside for now...

Thanks in advance for your advice...

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 11:09pm
post #24 of 40

Well......I would do the cake pictured a bit different than what you see. I wouldn't pipe icing around the two layers, it would be a thin band of extruded fondant to hide the edges if need be, but probably wouldn't need it, my tiers would be about 4 to 4 & 1/2 inches tall, the board would be fondant covered and decorated, and trimmed with a satin ribbon, and the bow would have more life to it. (NOT knocking this design, I would just put my personal touches on it, and since you asked opinions...well there's my out anyways)

So, that said, and the cake looks to be about a 6 and 8 inch square (duh to the square), which serves about 50....it would be about $300

Michelle104 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:57am
post #25 of 40

For an 8 in square and a 6 in square I got just 32 servings. Are they party size or wedding size?? Do you all differentiate between the two?? Anyway, I would charge $112 + tax. That doesn't seem like anything compared to the other's answers....??? icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:06am
post #26 of 40

No, I don't differentiate between party and wedding. They can cut the dang thing in half for all I care but they are paying for the number of servings it's designed to serve. I determine a serving to be 1x2x4.

If you differentiate between party and wedding ... a party is usually 50% bigger than a wedding (12 cubic inches as compared to 8 cubic inches). So if you wedding serving price is $3.00/serving, then your party serving price should be $4.50/serving since they are getting 50% more cake per serving. Otherwise you are throwing money away and giving them free cake.

8" two-layer square, when cut in 4 rows (2" wide) by 8 columns (1" wide), yields 32 servings. 6" two-layer square, when cut in 3 rows by 6 columns = 18 servings. 32+18=50 servings. My fondant price is $4.50/serving x 50 servings = $225 plus the charge for the fondant figures.

Here's the wilton chart to determine servings per tier: http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/wedding-cake-data.cfm

Here's how to cut the cake to achieve those servings (same method for round cake as for a square cake): http://www.cateritsimple.com/id10.html

Here's pics of cut pieces of cake to show you that "one inch" does not mean "paper thin": http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1156785

__Jamie__ Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:06am
post #27 of 40

I go by wedding for everything. 8 cubic inches of cake per serving. Plenty. Indy.....hit us with the chicken analogy. icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:31am
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Well......I would do the cake pictured a bit different than what you see. I wouldn't pipe icing around the two layers, it would be a thin band of extruded fondant to hide the edges if need be, but probably wouldn't need it, my tiers would be about 4 to 4 & 1/2 inches tall, the board would be fondant covered and decorated, and trimmed with a satin ribbon, and the bow would have more life to it. (NOT knocking this design, I would just put my personal touches on it, and since you asked opinions...well there's my out anyways)

So, that said, and the cake looks to be about a 6 and 8 inch square (duh to the square), which serves about 50....it would be about $300




Complete ditto on everything... including the price. icon_biggrin.gif

ZoesMum Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:44pm
post #29 of 40

Now we are talking...thanks for all the great advice everyone, and sorry to have opened the pricing can of worms again!

IsaSW Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:28pm
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Quote:

They can cut the dang thing in half for all I care but they are paying for the number of servings



icon_biggrin.gif

LOL

This is why I love this forum!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%