Just Wondering About Cake Classes

Decorating By CakieCutie Updated 5 May 2010 , 1:26pm by Ange1mom

CakieCutie Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:00pm
post #1 of 17

So, I am wondering why some cake decorating classes cost so much freaking money? I mean hundreds of dollars for one day of instruction?
To charge as much for a one or two day class as it costs to take a semester of a class at college seems a bit ridiculous. thumbsdown.gif
I've just been looking at lots of different classes out there lately and think it is just really over the top. icon_sad.gif Why are we taking advantage of each other?

16 replies
pastryjen Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:31pm
post #2 of 17

These are very specialized classes, not just anyone can teach them.

How much is a course in Medical School? To me, some of these classes are at such a high level and you learn so much - so many tricks and tips that can take you from an average baker to an artist depending on what you do with the information.

JMHO

pattigunter Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:36pm
post #3 of 17

Most of the time those prices will include supplies. Also, the teacher usually has to travel and has those expenses to cover. Like anything else, you have to pay to learn. I personally dont mind paying a premium price to learn from the masters! The experience and the knowledge have been well worth the few classes I've taken.

TexasSugar Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:49pm
post #4 of 17

As Patti said, there are expenses involved with the class.

I haven't seen a class that cost in the hundreds that did not involve supplies included. This means that the instructor has to have 18-20 or what ever the cut off number of each supply for the students to use. If you have even bought one set of cutters/molds/vieners you can see how expensive this would get. Not even just owning but storing and traveling with.

Some classes, those that deal with internal structures, have the added expenses of those products, along with cake, icing and so on.

You are also paying for a knowledgeable instructors time. Doesn't he or she deserve to get paid for their time away from their lives as well? And yes there are travel expenses involved, unless you go to them.

Would I shell out hundreds of dollars to take a Nic Lodge class or a class with Mike McCary, or any of the other awesome cake decorators out there? You bet! Because they are great at what they do and just to even walk away with some of them tips would be well worth the class. Also alot of those classes are small so you are getting more one on one hands on from them.

Another thing to consider is that you aren't going to pay $300 for a Nic Lodge class and leave just learning one thing. You are paying $300 (or what ever) for 2 or 3 6-8 hour days of lessons from him and leave learning how to make several different flowers, color and dust them and how to put them together in an arrangement.

Now would I pay the same amount for a class from some stranger in my town? Nope, not at all. But those that do go around in the cake communities are usually very respected in the cake world and have an awesome talent.

If you aren't looking for something incredible expensive, then there is always the Wilton Classes. They are cheaper in class cost, but then you will end up spending anywhere from $30 and up on supplies, usually closer to $50 or more a month. And you are only get 8 hours of instruction spread out over 4 weeks. And while I think that the Wilton classes are a great jumping off point (I am a Wilton instructor) they are no where in the same league of a Nic Lodge class.

JenniferAtwood Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 3:38am
post #5 of 17

I can tell you personally why I charge the tuition I charge for cake classes. I do not make 100% profit - far from. There are many expenses that I have to cover with the fee for the class. Here are a few: supplies, airfare (if needed) or gas for car, hotel, lunch for the students in the class, rental of facility in which class is being held, and my time. By the time everything is paid for I make about the same as if I was in my shop.
Because we limit the number in the class so that we have plenty of one on one time with everyone, we have to charge a little more to cover all the costs. I could charge less if I had more students, but when doing hands on classes, large classes are a nightmare to teach and I do not feel that it is fair to the people taking the classes. We also try to rent culinary schools and the like, as they have adequate kitchen and counter space for everyone - most venues are not able to offer this. These venues are harder to book and therefore more expensive, but well worth everyone having their own space. I hope this helps answer your questions.

CakieCutie Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 5:16pm
post #6 of 17

I still think spending more for a one day class then I pay for my car is crazy. Two, Three, Four days, sure...but one day at over $300 is too much. Too bad there isn't a way to figure out how to cut down on the teachers expenses and still make a profit. And by profit, I mean, not enough to pay my car off LOL.

tiggy2 Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 5:37pm
post #7 of 17

Well if you figure that one out I'd like to know how you did it. And it's not just the expenses, you can't expect these people to work for minimum wage. By the way, what will you be charging for the Cricut classes when you start teaching them. I'm sure the class you're taking from Linda McClure isn't cheap.

TexasSugar Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 6:00pm
post #8 of 17

I've spent more than that in one day of shopping for cake stuff. To me how to's and tips from a great instructor is just as vauable as cake tools that sit around.

We all have our priorities and what is important to us and what we are willing to spend on things. I know that you get what you pay for and spending $300 for a class to walk away with some vauable information, and a complete cake or gumpaste arrangement and so on, is well worth it, to me.

Would you balk on paying $300-$400 for the Cricut, or the money for an airbrush or edible image printer or any of the other supplies you buy for your cakes?

I would so be all over some cake classes, minus the fact that I would have to travel for them. I have in the past saved that money for a trip to the ICES convention, but I do hope to take a class with atleast one of the cake greats one day.

JenniferAtwood Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 6:15pm
post #9 of 17

The length shouldn't always dictate the price. I have taken classes that were 4 hours long that cost $300.00 and I would have paid twice that much, because the information I gained was worth it. I have also sat through classes that were 3 days long that cost $400.00 and wouldn't have given them $20.00 for the information because the instructor stood behind a podeum and for three days repeated the same information over and over and over. It's not how long the class is but the amount of information you gain.

smokeysmokerton Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 6:44pm
post #10 of 17

I would totally pay 300.00 or whatever to go to Mike McCary's class just so I could point to something on my cake and say "Mike McCary taught me how to do that!"

I don't think the teachers are taking advantage, I think they have earned their place and I respect that, and I'm grateful that many of them do offer their time and aren't so afraid of competition that they keep their secrets to themselves. That's just me though.....

linstead Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 6:58pm
post #11 of 17

Ditto to comments above. I am a teacher and it takes LOTS of time for prep, cost of supplies etc to teach a class - in the end I make less than miminum wage when I calculate time and materials spent prepping and teach and clean up.

Recently I traveled to Austin TX to take a two day chocolate modeling class with Mike McCarey. It was around $540 for the class but we had two full days (from 9-5) with Mike's complete, and I mean complete, attention. He not only taught us so much about modeling chocolate, he also answered any questions that were asked over those two days. Plus we didn't have to bring anything (except boxes which we could buy on site from the sponsoring cake club) - to me it was worth every single penny. He is so talented, a great teacher and also very nice guy. Same thing with Nicholas - well worth the amount you spend for what you get back in class instruction.

CakieCutie Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 7:22pm
post #12 of 17

well, i guess one thing to consider, that i didn't before, is we will profit in the end. icon_smile.gif
i still think i have too tight a hold on my money though to pay more.
and linda's class is only $200 a day...apparently a real steal of a deal!!! my husband had to convince me to do even that. i am one who thinks of every penny before i spend it and i don't go crazy ordering online and stuff for cake decorating...it's just hard for a penny pincher like me to fathom more. icon_wink.gif

brincess_b Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 7:34pm
post #13 of 17

are classes expensive? some are yes.
is it worth it? yes, if you have done your research.
can everyone afford it? only if you are lucky!
theres quite a few classes i want to do, i can see how i can save and justify £90-120, but £300 for a weekend just isnt something i can justify or budget for - although im sure it would be worth it. sucks for me, but its the way it goes.
xx

tiggy2 Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 7:40pm
post #14 of 17

You'll spend $200 to learn how to use a machine but won't spend $300 to learn how to do hand made flowers and sculpting from a artist icon_eek.gif

CakieCutie Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 7:43pm
post #15 of 17

oh, but i am not one to do the flowers...i started doing cakes for my kids and having all boys have not needed to make flowers icon_smile.gif of course...one day i might change my mind, but for now, i am all about boyish stuff, no girlie flowers or crowns...of course, i WOULD like to learn to sculpt characters...that would be wicked cool, as my son says.

Loucinda Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 17

I personally put aside so much money from each cake I do to put towards my cake "education" each year. I do not mind paying a lot of money for a class, if it is a techinique I am interested in. And, an FYI - there is a book I have that contains certificates from each and every one I have taken.....and that is on the table for my consults. Showing that book to prospecitve clients helps to show my commitment to my business! (always striving to improve my skills)

Ange1mom Posted 5 May 2010 , 1:26pm
post #17 of 17

I know that Linda McClure's class in Rocky Mount, NC is $400.00 for both days (June 10 and 11th). She supplies EVERYTHING you need. Computers, software, several different brands of cutting machines, edible image printers, gumpaste, catered lunch and so much more.

To me, $400.00 for 16 hrs of instruction is a steal! When you do the math it is only $25/hr. I know I could never supply everything to my students (I teach Wilton) and still only make $25/hr. Her class is a bargain that I am fully prepared to enjoy taking ;o)

Hugs,
Angie B in NC

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