Pricing On Very First Cake Order!

Decorating By LadyinaRedApron Updated 22 Apr 2010 , 4:51pm by LadyinaRedApron

LadyinaRedApron Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 5:20am
post #1 of 9

I'm a newbie and just got asked to do my first cake for a fee! Yay! How do I figure out the price to give my customer? It's a graduation cake, 2 tier, covered in fondant. I'll probably use a 10 inch round and a 6 inch round. Do you just price the supplies then add a few bucks? Do you charge per serving?
I need to give her a price soon so ANY help is appreciated! TIA!

8 replies
lilyankee5688 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 5:43am
post #2 of 9

fyi. legally you can not sell cakes unless you have a license/insurance etc.. you can get in trouble if your caught or if someone gets sick form your cakes. not that DHEC is really out looking for illegally cake selling..

but people charge from $1-$3 per serving.. just depends on what the market is like in your area..

ladyk333 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 5:57am
post #3 of 9

Hi, and welcome. A lot of people have difficulty with determining pricing, so you're not alone. There are lots of discussions on this topic - you may want to search under the forums that relate to starting your own cake business. I think you need to decide if you want people to order from you because you do really special work, or because you're cheapest. Personally, I would not just "add in a few extra bucks" on top of cost as there is usually a lot of time involved in any of the cakes I do. I know it's hard, especially if you know the person ordering from you. All in all, I would recommend figuring out your costs (all the costs) of your materials and then figure out how much you think you should make an hour. Determine approx. how long it will take you to make the cake and go from there. The other option is to look at a per serving pricing, and I believe you can find charts for this under the cake business forums. I don't do this because so often people want a much larger cake than they need (for presentation purposes) and they just don't get that they will have to pay for 120 servings when they only need 15! When I send a quote, I give a range of options (from simple to much more elaborate and detailed) with a variety of prices. Most often they will chose the more expensive options. For people I know, I still charge the same sort of price, but I often add extra touches (gumpaste flowers on the cupcakes, or extra special details on the cake, or deliver it to them without charging) so that they feel good and I can still make an appropriate amount of money.

I hope some of this is helpful, I know it is a difficult task! Just don't sell yourself short! Oh, and you should do a little research in your area to see what cakes are going for at bakeries and from home bakers. You do need to be informed in that way as well.

Take care and good luck with your first order!

MissCakeCrazy Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 9:32am
post #4 of 9

You do also need to consider your overheads like the gas / electricity you are using when baking your cakes, I usually charge 20% on top of the cost that it takes me to make the cake.

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 1:57pm
post #5 of 9

Look at what others are charging in your area. Then look at your cakes and decide if your cakes look better than theirs, equivalent to theirs, or not as good as theirs. In order to charge top dollar, you need to be a top dollar decorator. Since you said you were a newbie, I assume you haven't done very many cakes and are still learing the basics.

leah_s Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 2:12pm
post #6 of 9

I hope you read lilyankee5688's post. It's good advice. Before you sell cakes you must first go thru whatever steps your city and state require to be a legal cake business.

tiggy2 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 2:39pm
post #7 of 9

[quote="lilyankee5688"]fyi. legally you can not sell cakes unless you have a license/insurance etc.. you can get in trouble if your caught or if someone gets sick form your cakes. not that DHEC is really out looking for illegally cake selling.. quote]
That's not true in every state. Check with your local Health Dept. to know for sure.

jammjenks Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 3:04pm
post #8 of 9

Even then...no one can tell you how much to charge. We don't know what your costs are.

Someone posted yesterday that cake mix in her area is $29 for 3 boxes (or something like that). Everyone's costs are different.

LadyinaRedApron Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 4:51pm
post #9 of 9

Thank you all for your responses! I will keep all of your advice in mind as I price this cake.

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