How Do You Charge For Detail And Difficulty Of Cake?

Decorating By grossoutqueen Updated 24 Aug 2013 , 3:43pm by BatterUpCake

grossoutqueen Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:55pm
post #1 of 55

I understand how to come up with prices based on your materials and such but I just got a man interested in a coach purse that is very detailed. I have googled other sites to see what other people charge to get an idea but still am a little confused.

I guess I'm curious, when looking at an idea, do you just pick a price that suits you or do you have any sort of scale for just the detail and difficulty of a cake?

54 replies
cakesdivine Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 1:23pm
post #2 of 55

I have a pricing grid/matrix - I have 4 levels: Basic, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3. 3 icing choices: Buttercream/Poured fondant/Rolled fondant. And finally amount of servings: up to 100, 101-150, 151-200, Over 200.

The most expensive per slice cake is a Level 3 cake with rolled fondant and serves under 100 - $12 per slice.
The least expensive per slice cake is a Basic cake with buttercream and serves over 200 - $2 per slice

My definitions of levels:
Basic - BC: Top border, bottom border, party confetti/small floral spray/fleur de lis and/or a message written on top
Poured Fondant: Ganache over BC with bottom border and a few BC accents or premade gumpaste accents
Rolled Fondant: RF over BC with bottom border and a few premade gumpaste accents or a BC cake with a few Fondant accents
Level 1 - BC: any basic side piping (swags, swiss dots, corelli lace, sotas); PF: Fresh fruit garnish, any of the BC elements that make it a Level 1. RF: a few (no more than 3) handmade gumpaste flowers or a basic fondant swag.

Level 2 - BC: slightly more intricate piping or architecture, PF: same, RF: same and more gumpaste flowers or more intricate gumpaste work

Level 3 - BC: includes Lambeth method, string work, and all topsy turvey designs and 3d carved cakes, PF: same, RF: same

You will have to decide for yourself what constitutes the level breaks for your designs. I do give those who have bigger cakes a bit of a price break due to the volume, plus I rent a comm kitchen so the larger the cake the better value I get for my rental rate than if I have a smaller cake. I pay a flat daily fee of $100 and I get the kitchen for 24 hours, so a smaller cake will cost me more to produce than a larger cake. I pass the savings on to my customers.

This way you aren't starting with a base per slice rate then adding on embellishment charges which will arrive at the same per slice rate anyway, but to the customer, it looks like they are being nickled & dimed with each additional charge. If you quote them the per slice rate for their design choice and serving amount off the bat they think they are getting a deal. When you put that low ball per serving rate in their head it is hard for them to go beyond that. It is all about perspective.

If you like I can PM you my grid, but you will have to decide what works for you price wise for your area. You may be in a very high dollar area or just the opposite.

dlmcakes Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 1:30am
post #3 of 55

I would love a copy of your price grid. You could send a pm or my email is [email protected] thanks!

sxrivera Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 5:34am
post #4 of 55

Can you also make that price grid available to me at [email protected]? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Msjckson Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 6:48pm
post #5 of 55

This question seems to be so "tabu" on this site, it's the only thing that I don't like about I too have this same question. I know how to come up with a basic price but how much do people charge when using fondant, or purse cakes, shoe box cakes etc. I would just like a ball park. I live in Maryland, DC, Virginia area. I've done searches on these cakes but have only been able to find sites & prices in NYC and they charge around $200 to $300 for a purse cake. However, NYC is a bit more expensive than most places.

bakerybybill Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:17pm
post #6 of 55

I charge gumpaste, 50/50 and fondant by the ounce. I charge $2.00 an oz. when I color it and $1.75 if using same color as cake. Other than that, my cake prices are just like cakesdivine. It all matters to you since you do it as a hobby to help people or a job that pays the bills. Hope this helps.

obsessed Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:26pm
post #7 of 55

I would like to seed the grid too please! Can you PM me or email [email protected]? Thanks in advance. icon_smile.gif

Msjckson Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:39pm
post #8 of 55

Yes, I would like the grid as well.. [email protected]

diane223 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:41pm
post #9 of 55

Cakesdevine--may I see your grid as well? my email address is [email protected] or pm me. I've read many of your posts and you are so helpful. I'd just like to see how you structure the decorations. I struggle with pricing out things when people ask me for something off the cuff. Then I end up under-cutting myself--and I hate that! At least if I see how others are coming up with the levels, I can set my price and work from there. I'm much better when I have it written down. Even though nobody else sees it but me, I stick to it much better! Thank you so much!

NatD Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:44pm
post #10 of 55

sorry cakesdivine..could you PM me or email me as well? [email protected].thanks!! icon_biggrin.gif

cgm_cakes Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 8:26pm
post #11 of 55

I've been trying to come up with a similar pricing structure but have never been able to figure out how to put it in a grid for easy reference.

If you could email or pm me as well it would be greatly appreciated. icon_biggrin.gif

[email protected]

ksu2009 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 8:29pm
post #12 of 55

cakesdivine you are so kind to share this information with us please e-mail me as well [email protected]
really appreciate !

Corrie7171 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 8:51pm
post #13 of 55

Cakesdivine, thank you for your time to explain. Like everyone else, I would appreciate your cake matrix. Please email: [email protected]

GGFan Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 8:59pm
post #14 of 55

cakesdivine could you email me your spreadsheet as well [email protected] Thank you very much.

Fezzab Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 9:29pm
post #15 of 55

Please email me your grid [email protected] I am in the UK and having the same prob, as I am just starting out! thank you so much icon_biggrin.gif

J1977 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 10:05pm
post #16 of 55


if you are not overwhelmed with pm's I would love to take a look as well. I am in a position to become legal and think I would be undercharging if I just go by the slice.

cakesdivine Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 12:55am
post #17 of 55

understand that my prices are based on my area, your prices may start higher or lower than mine depending on your area. My grid does not calculate a price point for you, you have to arrive at that start price based on your actual costs per batch then estimate your time, utilities, equipment use, and paper goods needed to make one batches worth of a cake, then add to that total what you want to make in profit on that one batch worth of cake and divide by the number of servings your one batch will produce that will equal your base price, which for me is my basic buttercream less than 100 servings in my grid. You can then begin see the grid mathmatics that from that base price build the other prices within the grid.

I will be happy to send this to anyone who wants it. Be patient with me. This is a very busy week for me. I will get to everyone who requested. icon_smile.gif

maudie21 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:21am
post #18 of 55

Please email me your pricing grid.

[email protected]

Thank you!!

sweetie112 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:31am
post #19 of 55

I would like the price grid also. [email protected] Thanks.

step0nmi Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:50am
post #20 of 55

wow! just a heads up...i know everyone was trying to get Cakesdivine to send the grid...but you know anyone can get cake central forums on google and grab your email. I hope everyone doesn't have a bunch more spam later icon_sad.gif

Sarahbearah Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:18am
post #21 of 55

Cakesdivine, I would also like to see the matrix/grid that you have. I have been looking around trying to find things to help me make up my own, and I think that by looking at yours it could help me.. So, when you get the time can you please PM me at [email protected]!!!

Thanks so much!!!!

xkfayex Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:22am
post #22 of 55

definitely would love to check it out just to reference. please send it to me [email protected]

jlynnw Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:41am
post #23 of 55

spam or not, Cakesdivine, would you please send me a matrix as well
[email protected]

karencuppycake Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:45am
post #24 of 55

I would like the grid as well please! Email me at: [email protected]
Thank you!

erin12345 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:55am
post #25 of 55

Please add me to the list of those requesting your grid. I appreciate you so generously taking the time to do this for so many CC'ers who have asked. Thanks! [email protected]

cakesdivine Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:27pm
post #26 of 55

Okay all those that provided an email I just sent you the grid. If you PM'd me and didn't provide your email addy please PM that to me. The attachment module here on CC in the PM's isn't working so I will need an email address to send them to you.

I agree with stepOnmi - PM me your email address, but if you want to put it on the forum you can do that too icon_wink.gif

klpint Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:45pm
post #27 of 55

Please email me as well..thanks [email protected]

CWIL Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:51pm
post #28 of 55

me too pretty please!! [email protected]

pieceacake830 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:52pm
post #29 of 55

Wow, I would LOVE to see your pricing grid as well! If you have a chance, would you be able to PM it to me too??? Thank you so much! icon_smile.gif

sherrywarf Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 3:01pm
post #30 of 55

I would love to also see it as a guide. And thanks in advance for helping us out.
[email protected]

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