Ok so I am just opening up shop and recently got a request for a baby shower cake. They are thinking baby blocks - around 50 servings, and their budget is around $80. I have yet to make a cake for this many people and am not sure exactly how much cake I'll need.
I was thinking three stacked baby blocks, but I figure this will require the blocks to be 8x8, so 8x8x24" worth of cake (about six cake recipes), which would cost me quite a lot to make! And what exactly does one consider a serving of cake? One standard recipe yields 24 cupcakes, and two 9" layers - but the two nines would only serve 6 in my house....so is that 24 or six? I'm just not sure what people expect.
The clients are very easy to work with and open to suggestions...I'm wondering if I should do some type of cupcake tower, with a six inch tier on top somehow decorated with blocks...
Oh and the color them is teal with light green and purple accents, not very attractive in my opinion but what can you do lol
*I hope I posted this in the right section! Kinda confused about where things belong...
Have you figured out what your cost are? 50 servings for $80 is only $1.60 a serving. My mininum price is $2/serving. At the $1.60 they'd be looking at a sheet cake from me.
As for serving size. Industry standard is 8 cubic inches. Which is 1"x2"x4" or 2"x2"x2". Here is the wilton chart which uses 8 cubic inches per serving. This charg list cakes for 4" tall, so just divide the number in half to get servings for the 2" tall cakes.
So for 50 servings i typically offer a 10" square cake (double layer)
If you want to do blocks you could cut the 1" square cake into quarters so you'd have four blocks that were 5"x5"x4" to get the 50 servings. But to me that is a 3D cake which means the price of the cake goes up b/c i'm cutting a cake and will be working with raw edges.
You say you're "opening up shop" have you figured up the cost of a cake? From hours you work on it to ingredient cost, to mileage to and from the store, to your pay rate, plus the profit you want to make? I only ask this b/c of the ro servings for $80, just sounds like you're going to be giving your labor away and making no profit.
Thank you for your input leily, and that website is very useful.
I know $80 for 50 servings is pretty ridiculous, but I think I'm going to have to make it work. My priority right now is to just get more cakes out there and start building a reputation (when I say I'm new, I mean I just put up my website last week).
I considered making eight 4x4 blocks out of 8" cakes, but I realized it would probably take me at least an hour to do each block, not to mention all the baking and supplies...
Maybe three 6x6 blocks. It requires more cake but even if I give myself an hour and a half per block, I'm still at a somewhat reasonable rate.
I actually had a call for a three tiered cherry blossom wedding cake last week. I said I would charge $150 for a basic blossom design, and then went up based on intricacy, but I'm guessing that was out of their price range as I haven't heard back from them. But really, a wedding cake for less than 150?! My dad says I just need to start selling, but lets say I gave it to them for $100, that's kinda crazy considering how much cake it requires, not to mention all the time with the flowers.
So yea, I am leaning towards doing three six inch blocks but I will give it some more thought. Maybe I should ask for $100? Their exact words were " I actually saw on Craigslist your prices start at $50 if possible, wed like to stay under, say $80ish??". What do you think? I don't want to scare them away lol, but I also doubt they will find a better deal. In terms of my local competition I have the best quality, and there is a really great artist 30 min away but his three tiered cakes (serve 60), start at $240...so I think I'd be ok
Youre very talented! If you start out charging such low prices you will get work but you wont be getting paid for it. Plus when you feel youve gotten yourself out there enough that you can start charging a reasonable rate youre going to loose all those cheapskate clientele you worked so hard to get. Youve got lots of cakes in your portfolio that showcase how talented you are. I dont think you need to worry about getting more cakes out there. If I were you Id want the reputation as being an awesomely gifted cake artist not that gal who makes TV show worthy cakes for pennies. Your worth way more then $80
Agree with LNW.
I made a block cake for my daughters baby shower, it was 10 by 10, 1 inch cake layers with filling in between covered in buttercream, and i put my grandsons name on the side.
The picture is in my photos, then i make a 3 inch block to sit next to it and a Duck on top. We had about 35 people to serve and i had alot of leftovers.
I understand about getting your cakes out there to be seen, but be careful word of mouth and people saying she "only" charged me this much, then they think they will get the same deal.
Good luck on your venture...
Thank you for the input, but I would first like to inform you that I actually am male...haha yes I know not that common in the cake world, but this seems like the best way to make money being creative.
Anyway, a bit about me. I do feel weird asking so much money for cake. For me, I would never spend $100 on a cake, it's just not worth it IMO, but I'm glad not everyone feels that way! And while I know the quality of my cakes is not bad, I have a hard time thinking I'm good enough to be selling them at high prices. Most every cake I do I like at the time, but shortly after I just keep seeing how it could be better.
Anyway, I just graduated from college (food sci) and was looking to do something creative. My parents are letting me live at home for $300/mo where I am operating my biz from. Plus they are paying for food (but I do contribute a lot, and do all the food shopping and cooking lol) so it is a fair trade. All that to say I don't need a ton of money to be "successful" with my biz.
I ended up emailing the client about doing three 6x6" blocks for $100. I said if she wanted to stay at $80 then I would come up with a simpler design. I think $100 is a fair price considering there is no way the cake would cost me more than $30, but lets say it does. I would most definitely be able to complete this cake within seven hours, and I'm perfectly happy with $10/ hr. I don't plan on being in Maine for much longer anyway. If things go well I would like to take a bigger risk and move to another state and start from scratch. This is kinda like my trial run with a safety net. No responsibility and minimal investment.
decoratingfool, that is a lot of cake! Do you mind if I ask how much you charged for it?
Zaco, i did not charge for the cake it was for my daughter, but i would have charged 2.00 a slice because it was buttercream. If i had done it with fondant it would have been 2.50 to 3 dollars a slice.
Yes it was alot of cake, i was so pleased with it and everyone loved it, unfortunately when i do cakes for family i ALWAYS tend to over do it, i make way more than i need, but my neighbors love it....
And sorry for the "she" next time i won't assume...