Please Help...have To Call Back Today

Business By karateka Updated 16 Dec 2009 , 1:53pm by cai0311

karateka Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 1:21pm
post #1 of 39

I got a call from a lady who wants each of the 200 guests at her wedding to have their own individual cake! I don't know what size cake to make or have the FAINTEST idea how to go about quoting this.

If one of you wonderful pros out there can point me in the right direction, I would be grateful. I have to call her back today.

38 replies
Mike1394 Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 1:48pm
post #2 of 39

OMG this could go either way. It could be great, and easy, or it could be your worst nightmare. For each individual something like a 2" cake. To decorate them will be maddening. Now if they are 2" cheescakes, or a 2"mousse that would be easy peasy.

Good Luck,

Mike

cylstrial Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 1:49pm
post #3 of 39

Whoa - you are going to need to charge a lot of money for that! What size cake are you going to make for each of them? A 4"? You're going to have to charge like $20 a cake.

cylstrial Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 1:50pm
post #4 of 39

I mean that's $4000. And that would be terrible for you to have to make. You might need to try to persuade her into something else.

karateka Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 3:20pm
post #5 of 39

I was thinking that I'd make sheet cakes and cut them out with round biscuit cutters, then stack and ice. I say Lauri DiTunno do that on Amazing wedding Cakes once.

My problem is I have no idea how to charge her. It will take FOREVER and be a major PITA. Plus the cardboard and foil for all those little cake boards....

If you were doing say 2 or 3 in rounds....what would you charge each? She didn't say much about how each would be decorated, except to say they'd be really simple and the cutting cake would have "some piping" on it.

all4cake Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 3:39pm
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

... except to say they'd be really simple and the cutting cake would have "some piping" on it.





Surely, she meant that the decorations would be simple as in plain, right?

As long as it was set up assembly line, it wouldn't be too terribly difficult.

Do you have to box them individually too?

How many actual servings would a 3/2 be? (2? 1 1/2?) multiply that time your per serv rate then double it.

Jenn2179 Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 3:45pm
post #7 of 39

I don't care how "simple" those things are decorated they are going to take a hundred times the amount of time a cake to serve 200 people would be. I would be charging an arm and a leg.

indydebi Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 3:51pm
post #8 of 39

Sometimes "Plain and simple" is more of a PITA than "ornately decorated".

Do you seriously have any idea how HARD it is to ice teeny tiny cakes really smooth in BC? If you're doing fondant, it will take WAY more time to roll and cut out fondant circles small enough for 200 cakes than it would to roll out one big round of fondant and cover a 14" or 12" cake.

Mom may be thinking "$3 a slice or $3 for an individual cake." She's in la-la land. 200 cardboards. 200 boxes. stacking mini cakes 200 times.

Labor. Labor. Labor. She's not paying for "just the cake". She's paying for labor.

If I took this kind of order, you bet your patootie she'd be paying me $4000. At least.

revel Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 4:01pm
post #9 of 39

Yikes! I think i would try talking her into single cupcakes in a pretty box instead! Those little cakes are really hard to do and take so long!

all4cake Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 4:16pm
post #10 of 39

I've been approached with the "something simple" description as if they truly believed their idea was simple because it wasn't highly decorated...that's why I asked...surely she meant simple as in plain(as opposed to simple as in accomplishing the task).

applying fondant over a simple syrup brushed mini seems far easier than a bc finish or applying it over buttercream...unless it was poured buttercream as the finish....

Adevag Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 4:53pm
post #11 of 39

This is not something I have experience in, but I am wondering if you are going to cut out the mini cakes from a sheet cake, would it be easier to torte and ice the sheet cake (my guess would be a 2 layer cake) so that when you cut your mini cakes out, they are already layered and filled.
I can see why a client would be interested in these mini cakes because they look so pretty, but I can't imagine all the work they take. If you decide to make them, make your you get paid what they are worth.

costumeczar Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:19pm
post #12 of 39

$20 each at a minimum, and that's still going to be a major pain in your butt. Wait, better make it $25, I just thought about having to cut out all of the tiny boards to put them on!

summernoelle Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:39pm
post #13 of 39

I'm not sure you understand just how much work this will be. Do you have any help?

That many mini cakes will take you a week by yourself, and by then, half of them will no longer be fresh. It's going to be a nightmare, honestly, if you have no help.

karateka Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:56pm
post #14 of 39

I'm alone in this....so thinking I might be booked up. Thanks for the advice....I don't think I'm desperate enough for orders to take that on.

WykdGud Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:57pm
post #15 of 39

If you cut them out of sheetcake with cutters and ice them with poured fondant (as for petit fours), they should be easy to decorate. You could put some little fondant flowers or something on them and they should be easy.

For a 2" cake, I would charge about $4 each. For a 3", I would charge $5, and a 4" (which is too much cake IMO), it would be about $7.

Janette Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 6:50pm
post #16 of 39

Just sharing a story:

A Bride once asked me to make each guest a mini pie, I turned her down. I'm thinking pies like I make my family.

My Daughter was the decorator for the wedding and said I should have taken the order. The place that did take the order all they did was get the mini pie shells from a food service and put pudding in them. I'm sure it was from the big can of pudding you buy at the food service.

That just didn't even cross my mind. I guess I wouldn't want the guest to think that's the best I could do.

BTW, has anyone tried the mini wedding cake pans? I see them on supply sites and wondered how they would work.

JenniferMI Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 7:28pm
post #17 of 39

Whatever you do....charge LOTS! These take much, much, much more time than just doing a regular wedding cake.

Jen icon_smile.gif

catlharper Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 7:42pm
post #18 of 39

Average mini cake cost is $15 because even tho they are small they are a LOT Of work...even with minimal detail..frosting or covering in fondant that many cakes then boxing them all up...exhausting and you have to pay for all the stuff you will need to set them up...boards, boxes...etc. 15x200 =3000. I'm sure that your client is not thinking it will cost that much. I would counsel her on the cost and then explain that you are a lone baker and you'd need staff to complete such a large order for it to be fresh. It lets your client know what she is asking for and gets you out of the order as well. She very well may go for a standard wedding cake after she hears the cost!

leah_s Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 7:43pm
post #19 of 39

Been there, done that on the minis. $16-20 EACH, absolutely, and I'll only do them in fondant. Way easier than bc. I'd give her the $$$ price and then talk her into a regular tiered cake because it's so much more 'budget friendly.'

karateka Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 7:46pm
post #20 of 39

I ended up quoting $12 apiece without boxes because she said they are to be served. I told her I would only do them in fondant and that was for a single tiered mini cake with minimal decoration, ie a ribbon around the base.

She seemed to be writing this down and didn't react in any way, so that I had to ask if I answered her question. She said I did, thanked me and rang off.

So....who knows? But I don't really want to do it. Thanks for answering so quickly.

cownsj Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 8:14pm
post #21 of 39

I'm glad to hear you did give her a quote. As long as you quote a price you would be happy with, then go for it. I was also thinking that if you were to make a gumpaste or RI flower large enough to basically cover the top of the cake you could do buttercream and not have to worry about it being perfectly smooth too. And, you could make those decorations well in advance. Just another thought.

Nchanted1 Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 10:21pm
post #22 of 39

Instead of cutting/wrapping a zillion tiny cake boards, put the mini cakes on big sugar cookies from the grocery store. I cover the cookie with bc so it doesn't get soggy, and the bottom layer of the cake just covers it. Easy and inexpensive!

karateka Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 10:33pm
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nchanted1

Instead of cutting/wrapping a zillion tiny cake boards, put the mini cakes on big sugar cookies from the grocery store. I cover the cookie with bc so it doesn't get soggy, and the bottom layer of the cake just covers it. Easy and inexpensive!




Good idea!

all4cake Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 10:34pm
post #24 of 39

good idea Nchanted1.....or even mini cake boards...they come in silver, gold, (and white too I think), black....and they're definitely sturdy enough for mini cakes...

cylstrial Posted 14 Dec 2009 , 2:40am
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I ended up quoting $12 apiece without boxes because she said they are to be served. I told her I would only do them in fondant and that was for a single tiered mini cake with minimal decoration, ie a ribbon around the base.

She seemed to be writing this down and didn't react in any way, so that I had to ask if I answered her question. She said I did, thanked me and rang off.

So....who knows? But I don't really want to do it. Thanks for answering so quickly.




Let us know if she calls back and books the order!

Janette Posted 14 Dec 2009 , 3:17am
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nchanted1

Instead of cutting/wrapping a zillion tiny cake boards, put the mini cakes on big sugar cookies from the grocery store. I cover the cookie with bc so it doesn't get soggy, and the bottom layer of the cake just covers it. Easy and inexpensive!




I like that.

all4cake Posted 14 Dec 2009 , 3:27am
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nchanted1

Instead of cutting/wrapping a zillion tiny cake boards, put the mini cakes on big sugar cookies from the grocery store. I cover the cookie with bc so it doesn't get soggy, and the bottom layer of the cake just covers it. Easy and inexpensive!




What would you rest the cookie on? A doily maybe?

jillmakescakes Posted 14 Dec 2009 , 4:21am
post #28 of 39

also, don't forget that you can buy small, pre-cut boards for mini-cakes. Also, you may be able to use a doily instead of covering each in foil (if the design/decor fits).
please keep us updated, I'm very curious.

cai0311 Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 8:46pm
post #29 of 39

You all are not going to believe this but...
When I got married (2007) I had my heart set on mini wedding cakes. Along with the RSVP card, each guest got to select what type of cake they wanted. There were five options. Chocolate with caramel filling, chocolate with peanut butter filling, vanilla with strawberry filling (real fruit), vanilla with oreo filling and banana with mango filling (real fruit). Each cake was 4" x 4" x 4" square, had a small ribbon along the bottom and a small bow on top. The ribbon and bows were either both purple or both green and they were alternating at the table. So, the seating chart was color cordinated and the cakes were at the table when the guests arrived to get the full affect.

Any way, guess how much she charged me for the cakes....
$2/cake. I can't believe it. At the time I didn't know anything about cakes or I would have insisted that she charge me more. I don't see any way she could have even broke even on that order.

erinalicia Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 9:11pm
post #30 of 39

holy cow! That lady was probably kicking herself the entire time she was working on those cakes. That's 8 wedding servings. You were paying her $.25 per serving. Not even Walmart is that cheap.

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