Help With A Legitimate Pricing Question Please?

Decorating By SugarNSpiceDiva Updated 3 Nov 2010 , 3:56pm by CWR41

SugarNSpiceDiva Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 9:41pm
post #1 of 10

Hi, everyone! I hope I don't get yelled at for asking this, so I'll start off with, I do know how to price cakes. I researched for a couple weeks, and settled down on my prices. I live in central Cali. I figured my prices to be around $2.50/bc and $3.00/fondat--low for Cali, but average for someone with my skill level and overhead. Of course, right now, I just use those as a base to guage for quotes and stuff.

But I received a request for a semi carved cake this weekend, and I'm unsure how to go about quoting it. My cakes are two layers high (so about 3 to 4 in). This one is much taller. And I think..I think (lol) it's a sheet cake carved down. Here's the link:

I know the jerseys and the name are edible images. So I can price those fairly easy from how much I pay for them. I have to figure out how to do the letters but that shouldn't be too hard.

I guess I'm trying to say HOW would you quote this rather than WHAT would you quote it? I've never done a cake like this before, so I'm just a little confused.

Can anyone help me at all? Thanks so much in advance!

9 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 10:04pm
post #2 of 10

I can tell you what I learned here on CC -

You price your carved cakes by the number of servings it takes to make the cake, not by how many servings the customer receives.

Other technical work - details & time involved in making them - are sometimes charged extra.

I would like to hear some pros opinions on the minimal price difference between your BC and fondant cakes. Somehow I don't think 50 cents is enough.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 10:44pm
post #3 of 10

As far as cake sculpting goes, this is a minimal sculpting. I would charge like it was a full cake, so say you're making an 11x15 that is 4 inches tall and then carving off the pieces to make it a jersey. So with the 11x15 at 4 inches tall, I say thats 75 servings of cake (at 1x2x4" per serving). If we're taking your pricing of $3.00 for fondant, that's $225, then add on what you need to cover edible images and such.

Because of the simplicity of that carving, I would not charge extra in addition to the amount of cake I would need to bake to achieve it.

SugarNSpiceDiva Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 11:04pm
post #4 of 10

Thank you very much for your responses. icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt- I didn't think about cutting down on the decoration charges to make up for the parts of the cake they're not getting. That's a good idea. Thank you! I'm wondering, though, if that would be priced a little steep? I seems like the letters and carving would be the most difficult part of the cake, and like you said, that's simple too.

I guess I'm a little weird, b/c I try really hard to manipulate options to make it cheaper for my customers. icon_redface.gif lol. So I'm thinking, maybe instead of a half sheet, use a 10in square, then for the neck of the jersey, use modeling chocolate? That little change would make a 10in square, serves about 35, so $105 plus the cost of the images, the chocolate and maybe a little for the extra height.

Does that sound about right? Or is my brainstorming all messed up? lol.

playingwithsugar- That is a good idea too. Whether the get that part of the cake or not, I still have to make it, so it does make sense. Of course, I would probably use the scraps to make some cake balls for the family or something. lol.

As for the price of fondant, how much more is it normally over bc? I thought it was fair, b/c there are a couple established bakeries around here who don't charge extra for their fondant at all. But I would like to hear opinions on that too. icon_smile.gif

Love2BakeCakes Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 11:23pm
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Don't complicate things too much for yourself. Honor the amount of work and time you put into your pieces, and pay yourself for it!! It took me a while, but I have finally learned that lesson. My fiance told me ... "If a client does not want to meet your prices, then they are not the client for you." I totally agree with everything Aligotmatt said with this cake.

CWR41 Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 11:58pm
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by SugarNSpiceDiva

I live in central Cali. I figured my prices to be around $2.50/bc and $3.00/fondat--low for Cali, but average for someone with my skill level and overhead.

I think that's way too low for California. Considering your overhead for a storefront or rental kitchen, you can't be making enough to cover your expenses.

SugarNSpiceDiva Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 8:53am
post #7 of 10


You are very right. I do cause a lot of stress on myself, trying to get my customers a better deal. I must be the only person in the world that works like crazy to TRY to earn less money. lol.


I thought the same thing when I finally came down to my prices. But, I called around to a few bakeries, and they don't really charge a whole lot much more than that in my area.

For the rose and choc. covered strawberry cake, I figured the price to be $32.75:

$2.50/serving for 8 servings + $1.50/rose for 6 roses + .75 per strawberry for 5 strawberries.

I pretended to be a customer and asked a bakery around here how much for the cake, and they quoted me $25. icon_confused.gif

Not to mention, my overhead is very lax. I use my FIL's church's kitchen for free as long as I make them cakes when they need them. The catch? They get first dibs on the cakes, so if it's a choice of theirs over a paid order, I have to do theirs. Plus, that way, it's often hard to determine my overhead, b/c they could want a $50 cake this week and a $150 cake the next. But it was just a start to get me legal and saving money to get a real rented kitchen, so I can't complain. lol.

Thank you all for your help! Yall are right. I shouldn't be so scared to quote my prices for what they are. It is defintely difficult. I did end up finding out a guest # for the party, which is about 30, so I suggested that if she wanted to keep the price down (of course, she's on a budget), then she should order a 1/4 sheet instead of a 1/2. And I quoted her $164. I'm still nervous, but the email is sent, and I can't change it now. lol.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 1:11pm
post #8 of 10

SugarNSpice Diva

Dr. Maya Angelou says ... "When you know better you do better."

daltonam Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 1:21pm
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by SugarNSpiceDiva

I guess I'm a little weird, b/c I try really hard to manipulate options to make it cheaper for my customers. icon_redface.gif lol.

Oh you're not alone, been there, done that--wait I still do that. icon_confused.gif

CWR41 Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 3:56pm
post #10 of 10

I know you said you've already quoted and can't change it now... I think it was a fair quote and wanted to give some opinions that may be helpful.

First of all, that's awesome you're using your FIL's church kitchen (can't beat the price)!

Earlier, you mentioned that a 10" square cake would serve 35 (Wilton's wedding chart says 50), so you would have been giving away free servings if you only charged for 30-35. And, the double-layer quarter sheet also serves 50 (according to the Wilton wedding chart), so you might also be giving away free servings since the goal is to serve 30 (however, taking into consideration that some of the servings are to be carved away, it evens out if you aren't trying to charge for the entire cake that is baked). As for your rose and choc. covered strawberry cake... I don't know of any cake size that serves only 8 (unless it's a 4" cake, and it's clearly larger than 4"), so you're shorting yourself by not charging what the cake actually serves if your pricing is based per serving. (This is one thing you might want to consider before setting your prices in stone.)

I would think you could easily charge $3.-$3.50 per serving for BC and an additional $1.-$1.50 or more for fondant. Plus another dollar or two for truly carved designs.

(I don't know if you asked permission to use the Lakers logo, but I'd be cautious producing anything for resale that's copyrighted, and I wouldn't advertise that it's offered if that's the case.)

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