Cake Price

Decorating By icing31 Updated 15 May 2010 , 1:35am by chellescountrycakes

icing31 Posted 14 May 2010 , 12:58am
post #1 of 15

I'm just starting out, and I'm having a difficult time figuring out pricing. I'm doing a double layered 8" cake w/12 cupcakes.......homemade cake and buttercream icing. Any suggestions?

14 replies
Lita829 Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:18am
post #2 of 15

Welcome! It depends on how involved decorations are going to be. There is software called Cakeboss that helps you figure out pricing. I love it. I always wind up making deals with clients because I am primarily a hobbyist so I mainly do it for fun. I mainly want to try out new techniques so as long as the price of materials are covered, I'm cool (for now).

Good luck and post pics icon_smile.gif !

UpAt2am Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:23am
post #3 of 15

depends on many things...

is it simply decorated with a piped border? and just icing on the cupcakes?
or are they elaborately decorated with gumpaste flowers or modeled figures?
what are other bakeries charging in your area (would your prices be competitive or extremely low)?
how much money do you have in the cake/cupcakes (ingredient cost...are you using top shelf vanilla and all organic ingredients or generic names throughout)?
how much do you have in materials (cake board, wrappers, box, labels)?
and of course don't forget to add in your insurance, utilities, business costs, marketing materials, etc.!
what are your fuel costs (back and forth to store for ingredients and delivery costs)?
and we still haven't even touched on time/labor put into the cake/cupcakes...

so as you can see, you have a lot of things to consider before deciding on "what to charge for a cake/cupcakes"

i suggest you do some research! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:24am
post #4 of 15

First, welcome to CC, the best place for all things cake! you will find a goldmine of info throughout the threads!!

Let us know what you have figured out so far on your pricing and we'll be better able to help you complete the process.

Pricing is something all of us hate struggling with, but each person has to account for their expenses (which may differ greatly from mine), their labor time/rate, and what their local market will bear.

Some things to consider:

What is your out of pocket monetary expenses? Don't forget to include:
- gas in your car to pick up supplies
- some kind of factor to account for utilities. Your oven doesn't operate for free.
- any ingredients that you already had on hand. (Some people pull 2 eggs from their own refrigerator and forget to add that in as part of the cost. Those eggs didn't land in your 'frig for free.)
- cleaning supplies and other misc supplies such as wax/parchment paper, paper towels, dish soap, trash bags, food safety gloves, sanitizing cleaner for your counter.
- non food type of supplies such as decorating bags, cake boxes, cardboards.

Labor costs? How much time did you spend on this cake? This includes:
- your baking time (yes, I've seen people ask "Should I count the time the cake is in the oven as time I spent on the cake?" Unless you're willing to turn on your oven then leave and go shopping, then yes you count the time that you are required to remain on-site while the cake is baking.)
- time to assemble all of the necessary supplies, i.e. how much time were you in the car buying all of this stuff? Plus delivery time.
- clean up time.

What kind of profit margin do you want to make? After adding up all the supply and labor expense, then add your profit margin factor.

Remember ... your "payroll" isn't your profit. Many think of it as profit because they, themselves, are receiving that money. If you are working toward being a business, you need to think like one. And the money you would pay an employee, whether that employee is you or someone else, is an expense ... just like eggs and insurance ..... and is not part of your profit.

icing31 Posted 14 May 2010 , 4:22pm
post #5 of 15

Thanks for all the help. I've done lots of research and called local cake places, but am still lost. I have a cake order for the next 3 weekends and they are all for friends. I don't want to short myself, but I don't want my friends to think "man, her prices are ridiculous".

The cake I'm doing now is very simple. The 8" cake is just a baseball. I'm going to pipe grass on the cupcakes, and put a baseball bouncy ball in the middle of the grass. She wanted baseball rings, but I couldn't find those. I liked the bouncy balls better anyway. I figured up the cost of the ingredients, bouncy balls, cake board, box, etc and rounded it up to be around $20. That part is pretty easy, putting a dollar amt on my time is what I'm having problems with.

Thanks for welcoming me to this site. I'm so excited to get more involved in it!

joyfullysweet Posted 14 May 2010 , 4:28pm
post #6 of 15

A round 3-D type baseball, or a flat one? How many servings are you expecting from the cake?

indydebi Posted 14 May 2010 , 4:49pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by icing31

.... but I don't want my friends to think "man, her prices are ridiculous".


Know ahead of time that many of your friends will think that regardless.

You are not a grocery store bakery where you buy you sheet cakes for 50 cents and they are bulked shipped frozen. (A cc'er reported this was what her grocery store employer paid for their sheet cakes.) You are not buying your supplies in super wholesale quantities. You are not pumping out 25 cakes an hour, which covers all of your overhead expenses. They may need to be educated that you are a CUSTOM cake maker. If they want run-of-the-mill, let them go to walmart. And then really LET THEM.

As I used to tell people, "Not everyone can afford me .... and that's ok." thumbs_up.gif

springlakecake Posted 14 May 2010 , 8:50pm
post #8 of 15

I think the most important factor is, how good are you?

tavyheather Posted 14 May 2010 , 9:22pm
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by icing31

.... but I don't want my friends to think "man, her prices are ridiculous".

Know ahead of time that many of your friends will think that regardless.

You are not a grocery store bakery where you buy you sheet cakes for 50 cents and they are bulked shipped frozen. (A cc'er reported this was what her grocery store employer paid for their sheet cakes.) You are not buying your supplies in super wholesale quantities. You are not pumping out 25 cakes an hour, which covers all of your overhead expenses. They may need to be educated that you are a CUSTOM cake maker. If they want run-of-the-mill, let them go to walmart. And then really LET THEM.

As I used to tell people, "Not everyone can afford me .... and that's ok." thumbs_up.gif




OMG seriously?? 50 freaking cents???!!!

and I really don't want that response either.......but really you'll feel cheated if you don't ask for what you deserve......I've come to terms with it and you will have to also. They might suffer sticker shock but people tell me their budgets are tight and I offer suggestions...like making cupcakes themselves........

Kitagrl Posted 14 May 2010 , 9:32pm
post #10 of 15

A whole frozen cake for 50 cents?! MAN!!!!

No wonder we don't compete....my eggs cost more than that....

indydebi Posted 15 May 2010 , 12:12am
post #11 of 15

I know .... many of us were absolutely shocked but it etched in stone just one more reason why we dont' even TRY to compete with these places. One, we offer more . and two, it's just not possible.

indydebi Posted 15 May 2010 , 12:13am
post #12 of 15

I know .... many of us were absolutely shocked but it etched in stone just one more reason why we dont' even TRY to compete with these places. One, we offer more . and two, it's just not possible.

Lita829 Posted 15 May 2010 , 12:29am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

A whole frozen cake for 50 cents?! MAN!!!!

No wonder we don't compete....my eggs cost more than that....




LOL........so true!

leily Posted 15 May 2010 , 1:14am
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

A whole frozen cake for 50 cents?! MAN!!!!

No wonder we don't compete....my eggs cost more than that....




yep, and people around here wonder why I don't offer sheetcakes. Because the would expect me to sell it for the same price or close to what wal-mart or our grocery store does, I won't even bake the cake for what they sell it for.

chellescountrycakes Posted 15 May 2010 , 1:35am
post #15 of 15

honestly, since I am a VERY cheap person (I dont buy shampoo OR razors.. I wait till they are on sale and use coupons to get them free then get quite a few and they last) When a friend asks me to make them something and that they will pay me- I always say " what would I pay for this?" then I double it.

Then I get "are you sure thats all?" of course, the friends that call me are used to paying high prices for the cakes they buy. And even with my awful talents I think "you paid for that?" most of the time.. LOL

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