Sculpted Cake Pricing

Decorating By datalore Updated 16 Dec 2009 , 8:22pm by LaBellaFlor

datalore Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 3:06am
post #1 of 23

What method does everyone use to price sculpted cakes for customers? Is there a set method that anyone uses? It just seems like such an arbitrary thing... I've been doing quite a few lately and it seems like I guess a lot at pricing!!!

22 replies
catlharper Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 3:23am
post #2 of 23

Set your pricing in line with what you find at your local bakeries for similar items. My fondant prices start at $4 a slice and go up from there. Average for a moulded 3D piece is around $6 a slice. Depends on your area and what you can price in that area.

Sassy74 Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 3:42am
post #3 of 23

I charge $5 per serving for carved cakes. That's in keeping with what's typical for my area. Absolutely depends on your location.

ginger6361 Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 4:26am
post #4 of 23

Sassy, if you are not a licensed baker, and just do for friends or aquaintences, do you charge the same? $5 per serving? I always feel I can't charge as much, because not a professional.

morgnscakes Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 6:06am
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger6361

Sassy, if you are not a licensed baker, and just do for friends or aquaintences, do you charge the same? $5 per serving? I always feel I can't charge as much, because not a professional.




I know this was not directed to me, but my father has been self-employed for over 40 years, and there is one thing that he has always said to me...

Take nothing personal...Family is a customer, too.

So with that, whatever you charge a normal customer, whether family or friends, it should be the same.

TooMuchCake Posted 15 Dec 2009 , 9:21pm
post #6 of 23

I start my prices at $5/serving, and go up from there if need be.

Deanna

datalore Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 12:08am
post #7 of 23

wow! thanks everyone! I have been undercharging

sugarlover Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 12:26am
post #8 of 23

So have I!

JanH Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 1:21am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by datalore

Is there a set method that anyone uses? It just seems like such an arbitrary thing...




...Am moving this from the business forum. icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 1:38am
post #10 of 23

It is somewhat arbitrary...I have a range in my mind that I start at and then I look at how much detail and how difficult the cake will be...how much internal support, etc....and then I go up in $$ figures until I think it to be a right price.

I charge alot more than the above posters...but think about this...alot of 3D cakes are smaller, averaging between 20-40 servings. For instance the Tigger cake I just did in my photos was about 25 servings. That cake took me the same time that it would have taken me to do a three tiered buttercream wedding cake, and maybe longer. But a three tiered wedding cake serves around 100. Times $3 or $4/serving and you are looking at $300-$400 for the wedding cake. So for the time involved, you should make around the same amount for the 25 serving 3D cake, right? Which would cost around $10/serving to get even close. I still find myself undercharging for 3D cakes, if you look at it this way.

My 3D cakes range from $6-$15/serving depending on the design and how much carving and detail involved. ($6/serving for a 3D cake that takes little to no carving...say like a sports ball or a premolded pan).

datalore Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 1:58am
post #11 of 23

Kitagrl, you are absolutely right that some of these cakes take more time and effort than the average wedding cake. I think I may have trouble commanding the price point for a sculpted cake.
Most people look at the shows like Duff's and Cake Boss and fall in love with some of the designs- they have no clue what these guys charge for most of it.

sugarlover Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 4:47am
post #12 of 23

@Datalore you are so right.Some places start at $250 for sculpted cakes. In MI I found a shop that starts at $150.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 4:50am
post #13 of 23

I have had a few people who get price quotes from me and are ecstatic with my quote for a 3D cake. Which probably means they actually DID call around to some of the big shops, including Charm City Cakes.... and then I'm like "Darn, I coulda asked for MORE!" haha.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 5:42am
post #14 of 23

I don't do a per serving for 3Ds anymore. Too hard to figure out servings and you lose money. I base it off how long it's gonna take me. Like Kitagrl said. It takes her just as long to do a 3D cake that serves 25 as a 3-tiered cake. So I look at a cake, get an idea of what ingredinets/equipment is going to cost and how long it's gonna take. Some people will seriously say I need a 3D cake for 10 people. icon_confused.gif Thats fine, but some 3D cakes are not practical to make that small, so they will get a bigger one and it will cost more and I let them know. I'm not going to try and come up with a, I don't know, a deer cake that serves only 10 people. Can you imagine how hard that would be?!

khoudek Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 5:50am
post #15 of 23

You need to set your price so that you are compensated for all the cake you carve away. The more complicated the carving the higher the price should be.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 1:36pm
post #16 of 23

I do it per serving in my head...although recently I charged a very high amount for a 3D cake (75 servings) and she changed down to 50 servings and I reduced the price accordingly...and then wished I hadn't LOL because the extra 25 servings didn't change the workload very much!!!!

I still haven't decided how to deal with that part. It doesn't make sense to the customer if you quote something and then they ask for a lesser serving quote if you don't reduce the price... icon_confused.gif

milkmaid42 Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 2:07pm
post #17 of 23

I'm still having difficulty determining just how many slices a sculpted cake will yield, then I deal with how much to charge per slice.

datalore Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 3:06pm
post #18 of 23

I find most times when customers decrease the size it makes it MORE time consuming to create- and it really is difficult to justify the same pricing.
Often times I only offer one size in certain designs. I do a sculpted CAT bulldozer that I have made templates for and only offer one size, take it or leave it. They can always get coordinating cupcakes etc.. to make up the difference in servings/

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 4:15pm
post #19 of 23

Exactly why I don't charge by the servings and charge by the labor. The work doesn't change much by a decrease. Not to mention it can be harder to make something smaller. I think we can tell if a cake has 50 servings. I think we tend to give away servings when we try to count an exact amount. It's like Datalore said, this is the size, this is the price. take it or leave it.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 4:37pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Exactly why I don't charge by the servings and charge by the labor. The work doesn't change much by a decrease. Not to mention it can be harder to make something smaller. I think we can tell if a cake has 50 servings. I think we tend to give away servings when we try to count an exact amount. It's like Datalore said, this is the size, this is the price. take it or leave it.




Here's the thing though....you do kinda need to know how many servings-ish it needs to be to serve their party.

For instance I gave a quote to a lady a few months ago for 75 ppl. I did not charge per serving (just in my head, but not to her), just gave her a lump amount. However, a few months later she is ready to order the cake (for next year) but she doesn't need as many servings after all. Though I did not charge per serving, I really can't say "No problem but its the same price" ya know? So I did decrease the price...but now I'm kinda wishing I didn't.

Its still going to be a decent profit, but we'll see how good the profit looks once I'm done as it will require quite a bit of detailing. A wedding cake would definitely be way easier.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 4:44pm
post #21 of 23

But I think we do know if it's enough cake to cover the servings needed. And unless she goes from 200 to 100 people, there isn't going to be a difference in pricing. I always explain to clients that it's the labor on these that they are truly paying for. They think smaller, they think less ingredients needed, they think cheaper. Not so. That smaller version of that same cake is still done in the exact same method, requiring the exact same amount of time, as you saw for yourself. This is explained to the client. And they do understand that. If not, I understand if they don't want to order it. But if this cakes takes me 15 hours to make and the smaller version takes me the same. There just isn't going to be much difference in pricing, just cause I spend $20 less on the ingredients. It would have to be a significant size difference.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 8:03pm
post #22 of 23

Oh well...I suppose its unethical to go back on a price quote so I'm stuck with my quote now. haha.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 8:22pm
post #23 of 23

LOL! I keep telling you I'ld rather have a Kitagrl cake then a PinkCakebox Cake! icon_biggrin.gif

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