What Would You Charge For This Wedding Cake?

By andysprite Updated 5 Jul 2010 , 4:22am by dguerrant

andysprite Posted 31 May 2010 , 7:32pm
post #1 of 82

I have been asked to make this cake for a wedding. The bride wants 5 tiers, 6 inches tall in the following sizes: 18", 16", 14", 12", and 8". She wants to serve 200, although I'm pretty sure this will feed more like 300. What would you charge?

81 replies
artscallion Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:01pm
post #2 of 82

If the tiers were the usual 4" tall it would serve close to 400. But with 6" tall tiers, I'd say that would feed about 600.

So I would charge for 600 servings of cake times my per serving price. Doesn't matter how many people she will feed. I charge by how many standard servings of cake she gets.

So, unless she wants to pay my per serving price times 600, she needs to reduce the size of the cake by two thirds.

*edited to correct math

PiccoloChellie Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:01pm
post #3 of 82

That's 404 servings - not counting the 6" tiers rather than 4".
For 200 guests???

I think I'd quote that out at a flat price using the cost of 606 servings: 404 servings at 4" and half again that amount - another 202 servings - for the additional 2" on each tier.
Figuring \$5/serving - that's a \$3000 cake easy.

auntiecake Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:12pm
post #4 of 82

It will serve approx 384 w/4"tiers, so w/6" tiers you will get over 500 unless you use a dummy cake. You would probably charge at least \$2.00 per serving for buttercream and more for fondant. I would guess aroung a thousand to \$1500 at least for buttercream and more for fondant. What do you normally charge per serving?

JaimeAnn Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:39pm
post #5 of 82

I do not charge more for cakes that are 6" rather than 4". I torte my cakes and they usualy end up closer to 6" anyways.

If you use the Wilton guide for servings this is a direct quote from their chart

"Serving amounts are based on wedding-sized portions of approximately 1 x 2 in. Cakes from 3 to 6 in. high, baked in the same size pan, would yield the same number of servings because they follow the same pattern of cutting."

So a 6" should be calculated the same as a 4"

I know it is just giving away cake but IF you are using the Wilton chart that is what it says.
The sizes you listed equal 404 servings... 18"=146 16"=100 14"=78 12"=56 8"=24 total 404

If she is conserned about all the extra servings I would change the sizes to 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 for 296 servings.

So by my pricing for your original sizes I would charge \$3.50/serv for BC wfond accents =\$1414 or \$4.50/serv for all fondant =\$1818

Good Luck with your bride and the cake

andysprite Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:47pm
post #6 of 82

I start wedding cake pricing at \$5 per serving.

What would you estimate the cost for supplies to be on this cake? I came up with a figure of over \$400 just for supplies. Does that sound close?

JaimeAnn Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:55pm
post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by andysprite

I start wedding cake pricing at \$5 per serving.

What would you estimate the cost for supplies to be on this cake? I came up with a figure of over \$400 just for supplies. Does that sound close?

Depending on whether it is fondant or BC my supplies would run approx \$1-\$1.50 per serving so yes \$400 to \$450 for supplies is about right.

At your base price of \$5/ serving that cake would be \$2020

I charge the same per serving for all of my cakes no matter what the occassion my base for B/C is \$3.00 and for fondant is \$4.00.

superstar Posted 31 May 2010 , 8:57pm
post #8 of 82

\$3,000.00 would be a good price.

andysprite Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:04pm
post #9 of 82

Jamie, I torte all of my cakes too, but she wants me to use the 3" deep pans to make the tiers tall.
I didn't even take into consideration the amount of servings that would be added with the extra height on all of the tiers. Yikes!

I did forget to add one tiny bit of vital information. This cake will be for my cousin. She asked what I would charge for the cake in the pic. I told her I would do it for no charge because she was family, etc. Well, the cake kept growing. lol I wrote her and told her that I agreed to make the cake in the picture and that it'd be great if they could cover the additional cost for the now larger cake. I came up with a detailed budget, down to the number of eggs, and sent it to her this a.m. I haven't received a response yet. I'm not sure how this is all going to pan out, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't way out of line in asking her to help with supplies. There is no way that I can foot \$500 for this cake.

And for the record, YES! I have learned my lesson.

artscallion Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:07pm
post #10 of 82

I definitely charge more for 6" tiers than I do for 4" tiers. Wilton's guide is a cutting guide, not a pricing guide. Doesn't matter to me if they cut it the same as they would for 4" tiers, or if they lop it up into 3 giant pieces; They're still getting 50% more cake. that's an awful lot of cake to give away for free.

Now for the customer's perspective, if they want 6" tiers, I tell them that my standard per serving price is based on 4" tiers, so we can do 6" for a proportional increase in per serving cost. Or they can look at it as a proportional increase in the number of people a cake will serve. Either way, the price goes up by 50%.

leily Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:09pm
post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by andysprite

And for the record, YES! I have learned my lesson.

lol, it usually only takes once Just suggestion. For close family that i want to give a discount to, i tell them what i will charge them per serving (depending on who it's for and what event that can be anywhere from my standard 10% family discount, up to 50% off my per serving price) but eitherway I am at least getting my supplies/materials covered and then they are getting my labor as a gift.

Also, when i do this i ALWAYS write up the invoice as if it was a full paying job and then under subtotal i do the % deduction, and then a line item with a "gift" amount from my and my family. This usually helps keep the cake in check and they don't try to take advantage of you. But good for you on standing your ground BEFORE the cake is done instead of resenting it while you're doing it.

auntiecake Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:16pm
post #12 of 82

Andysprite, of course it is a relative or a "close" friend. It happens to all of us. Some situations worse than others. I made all my niece and nephews cakes and they covered the cost and I furnished the labor etc as a gift. That way if they wanted a big cake they could do it at their cost, but still come out ahead. They were all of course quite large, but that was ok. Good Luck it is a beautiful cake.

iamcookie Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:33pm
post #13 of 82

You charge per serving according to what's common in your area. (It's usually higher in big cities.) Those size tiers (4" high) would serve 374, including the top. An 18" cake alone will serve 127! But a 6" on top of a 12" would look ridiculous! It looks better to put it on a 8" or 10". Makes more sense to make 6", 8", 10", 12", 14", serving 211. Of course most people save the top but it will still serve close to 200. Not everyone will eat cake. If she doesn't mind some leftover cake you could make it 6", 8", 10", 14", 16", serving 255, not using the top would serve 241. (But don't forget to charge for the top!) Just show her the difference in price and she'll most likely change her tune.

prterrell Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:44pm
post #14 of 82

I noticed that the sizes are not smoothly gradiated: there is a 4" jump from the 8 to the 12 and then just a 2" jump for the rest of the layers. That is going to look odd. You might want to discuss that with her. She is definitely going to have more cake than she needs, so maybe you could talk her into sizing the tiers down? Maybe 4-6-8-10-12-14?

My base price for buttercream iced cakes is 25 cents per cubic inch for cake. I charge 50% more for fondant. These are base prices and do not include upcharges for more expensive cake/filling/icing flavors or decorative details that I upcharge for.

Base prices for 6" tall cakes:
4"...\$18.84 (BC)...\$28.26 (F)
6"...\$42.39 (BC)...\$63.59 (F)
8"...\$75.36 (BC)...\$113.04 (F)
10"...\$118.13 (BC)...\$177.19 (F)
12"...\$169.56 (BC)...\$254.34 (F)
14"...\$230.79 (BC)...\$346.19 (F)
16"...\$301.44 (BC)...\$452.16 (F)
18"...\$381.51 (BC)...\$572.27 (F)

(BC) = buttercream
(F) = fondant

If she's really wanting the drama of the height, you might get her to agree to do some of the layers in dummies instead of real cake. Charge the same or 75% for the dummies, because they themselves are not cheap to purchase and you still have to ice and decorate them. That will help you out though, in the long run, because you won't have to bake those layers and you can do them ahead of time.

JaimeAnn Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:45pm
post #15 of 82

I would chrge more if she wants the cakes made in the 3" pans but then your tiers will be taller than 6" once torted and iced.......

Like I said after torting and icing, my cakes come out to approx 6" standard . there really is no more actual Cake just more filling.

By the time you torte and ice 2- 3" cakes and stack they will be more like 8".

I have a feeling she will change her mind once she sees the cost in the cake . If she only needs 200 servings she needs to scale down the cake to

14"=72 12"=56 10"=38 8"=22 6"=14 total 202 servings.

The same look can be achieved in these sizes and there is no sence in making all that extra cake. The supply cost will also be drasticly reduced to around \$220.

I don't think the cake in that picture is as large as the original sizes. sometimes cakes look much larger in pictures. If you put it in perspective to the flower you can see on the side I beleive that cake is more like a 14" to 6".

I would also only do standard sized cake baked in 2" pans torted and iced. I tink she doesnt realy understand the actual mathmatics in baking and that 2-3" pans does ot mean 6" tall tiers.

andysprite Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:59pm
post #16 of 82

Thanks for the input ladies. The bride and I have hashed this out in great detail. I agree that the jump from 12" to 8" is going to look odd but she is certain that is what she wants.

She wants the cake to stand taller than her flower arrangements which will be approx. 36". I tried to encourage her to use a cake plateau to gain some height, but she wants the cake flat on the table. *sigh*

Am I mistaken to think that 8" for a top tier is going to look strange? It seems big to me, but I've always assumed the top should be 6".

Another thing....this wedding is in 3 weeks. Do there happen to be any decorators in the Winnsboro/Pittsburgh Texas area that want to take over this lovely project?

indydebi Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:19pm
post #17 of 82

Actually, when I first starting making cakes, using an 8" cake for the top tier WAS the norm. As long as the topper is sized proportionately, it will be fine.

And I agree 1000% with artscallion's post!

And WTH is this bride's problem!!!!??? She needs a real reality check.

"I want a cake taller than my flowers but I want the cake sitting flat on the table."

"I want a 6 tier cake but I only want it to serve 200 people."

Bite my a\$\$, babycakes! I want to weigh 118 lbs but I want to be able to eat 4 Big Macs every day for lunch.

Somethings just are NOT going to happen!

Echooo3 Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:31pm
post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Bite my a\$\$, babycakes! I want to weigh 118 lbs but I want to be able to eat 4 Big Macs every day for lunch.

Somethings just are NOT going to happen!

OMG, I have never laughed so hard. Your comments are PRICELESS!!

superstar Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:43pm
post #19 of 82

Oh Debi! What would we do without your humor?

JaimeAnn Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:53pm
post #20 of 82

I am sure she wants the extremely Oversized monstrosity she has created in her mind because she is thinking it will be FREE!

Now that this thing has grown into Princess Dianna's cake and you are asking for the cost of supplies which will be close to \$500 I think her vision will change...

I hate to say it but I have a feeling this is going to get ugly for you. She is probably expecting that since you said free cake that meant ANY size. She probably has no idea what it would take to do that cake , and that if she had to purchase it from a bakery it would be a couple THOUSAND dollars!

KoryAK Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:53pm
post #21 of 82

\$8.25 per serving

iamcakin Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 12:04am
post #22 of 82

I didn't read every single posted reply, so if this has been covered, kindly disregard my post.

Just wanted to say, make certain that your oven is big enough for an 18 inch pan, and if you do take on this project, for goodness sakes USE SPS for stacking/transporting - and you better have some muscle lined up for carrying .

Good luck, and be sure to post pics!

andysprite Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 12:52am
post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamcakin

I didn't read every single posted reply, so if this has been covered, kindly disregard my post.

Just wanted to say, make certain that your oven is big enough for an 18 inch pan, and if you do take on this project, for goodness sakes USE SPS for stacking/transporting - and you better have some muscle lined up for carrying .

Good luck, and be sure to post pics!

Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't even considered that! And I don't have an SPS system. Argh. I will be transporting this cake from Arkansas to Texas. My plan was to stack it on site. Should I be concerned about bubble straws supporting the weight of the cake tiers?

andysprite Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 12:56am
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeAnn

I am sure she wants the extremely Oversized monstrosity she has created in her mind because she is thinking it will be FREE!

Now that this thing has grown into Princess Dianna's cake and you are asking for the cost of supplies which will be close to \$500 I think her vision will change...

I hate to say it but I have a feeling this is going to get ugly for you. She is probably expecting that since you said free cake that meant ANY size. She probably has no idea what it would take to do that cake , and that if she had to purchase it from a bakery it would be a couple THOUSAND dollars!

I think you're probably right. Unless she chooses to find someone else (which on short notice is going to be near impossible) then it's going to be really awkward at the wedding. I hate to cause a rift in the family over this, but I just simply can't afford the cost of the cake. Any profits I'm making now need to go into completing my commercial kitchen.
Thanks for all of your input JamieAnn.

JaimeAnn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 1:52am
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by andysprite

I hate to cause a rift in the family over this, but I just simply can't afford the cost of the cake. Any profits I'm making now need to go into completing my commercial kitchen.
Thanks for all of your input JamieAnn.

Well I hope it all works out . Maybe she will just get an eye opener when she sees how much actual cost goes into it ( it isnt just a couple of cake mixes and some icing) and scale it down.

I feel ya on the saving money for the commercial kitchen. I am lucky enough to have a family member that owns a restaraunt that I work out of now, but I am also working on opening a full service, cake/cookie/cupcake/doughnut/coffe/ shop. A lot of money , work and hoops to jump through!

denetteb Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 2:33am
post #26 of 82

You agreed to make her THAT cake. Not 6 inch tiers, not 5 or 6 tiers, not higher than her flowers, etc. If she doesn't want THAT cake, you are not obligated to make it. If you don't want to make the giant cake she now wants, just say no and remind her that you agreed to make THAT cake. She is getting greedy and taking advantage of you. If you do want to make her giant cake, then make sure she pays you well for the extra servings over what you agreed to. You don't need to justify every egg, just give her a serving price over and above the cake you agreed to. And you better let her know ASAP so she can make other plans if need be. Don't feel guilty or whatever, it was her choice to change the cake. Just stick to what you are comfortable with, especially since you have a drive, etc to deal with. Can you even transport that many layers?

indydebi Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 3:59am
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by andysprite

I hate to cause a rift in the family over this....

Uh-oh! You found it! Debi's Hot Button .... and you've pushed it!

Why is it that other family members are allowed to walk all over a caker, take advantage of their generosity, with no consideration of the caker's feelings, value, contribution, time, talent and expense? But god forbid the caker mention their feelings, contribution and expense because gosh darn gee we don't want to make the other family members all upset?

The Avenue of Manners and Consideration is not a one-way street. It's time cakers started realizing that. Take a detour down Backbone Blvd .... makes the journey MUCH easier to handle!

PiccoloChellie Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 5:00am
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Why is it that other family members are allowed to walk all over a caker, take advantage of their generosity, with no consideration of the caker's feelings, value, contribution, time, talent and expense? But god forbid the caker mention their feelings, contribution and expense because gosh darn gee we don't want to make the other family members all upset?

Threads like this one make me want to weep with gratitude that my family doesn't act like this.

I offered to make my sister's wedding cake 2 years ago as their wedding gift. 150 guests. She's my only sister and I told her she could have whatever she wanted for a cake.
"I don't want anything fancy. Some flowers, maybe? And can the frosting be swirly instead of all flat?"
"Okay, what flavors?"
"How about the vanilla with raspberry that everyone likes? Yeah, everyone likes the raspberry kind, we'll do that."
"...just white cake with raspberry filling? But your favorite is chocolate."
"Won't it be easier if everything is one flavor?"
We went back & forth for a few days. I finally got it out of her that she'd like either peanut butter truffle or chocolate mint, but really....I should just do the vanilla/raspberry instead of different flavors.
I wound up making her a whole spread of cakes so she'd get the flavors she wanted: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1246912
She cried when she saw the cake(s) and then scolded me for "going to so much trouble."

I just did her baby shower this past weekend. She asked for vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing.

Every cake I do for my family goes like this. "Anything you want for your birthday cake, Mom!" "Oh, just chocolate please!" "No decorations? No tasty fillings??" "Maybe some walnuts if you want, but plain chocolate sounds great."

Suddenly I have the urge to give my family a big hug.

TXcakeGirl Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:25am
post #29 of 82

Can't believe someone on here is from Winnsboro!! I'm a Wboro native -- relocated to Arlington TX... I still do cakes for family friends in East Texas when I get the chance! Wish I could say I could be your saving grace -- but unfortunately I'll be out of town that week!

Good luck!!!!

lecrn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 5:07pm
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Bite my a\$\$, babycakes! I want to weigh 118 lbs but I want to be able to eat 4 Big Macs every day for lunch.

Somethings just are NOT going to happen!

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