Ive been doing cakes on and off for a few years and am starting to venture out to the public, yikes! I've done a few cakes for friends and felt that I priced very low. I'm just not sure on how to price my work/time appropriatly. I don't want to overcharge, but I have found I spend many hours in the kitchen for very little money. The 2 cakes on my profile were both done for $35. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!!!
Most people around here charge per serving. There are a few who charge per tier but not many. The best advice is to figure up all of your costs for making a cake and go from there. I think "most" people charge between $1.50 and $4.50 per serving for buttercream and more for fondant. But as you can see, those are really different numbers so your price will also depend on your area and what other bakers in your area are charging.
You need to do your own research. Don't know where you live, but that would certainly impact what your market will bear. Check out your competition's pricing. Then you need to figure your ingredient cost and the hourly wage cost. Once you total that you can probably price your cakes on a per serving price, for example $3.00 per serving. That coupled with a serving chart (there's one on the Wilton site) will give you your pricing map.
Someone on the other side of the country from you can not tell you what to charge, but with a little calculating, you'll figure it out.
Your work is very nice, good luck.
Also, don't forget to factor in the cost of packaging, cake boards, etc; as well as any insurance, licensing, etc that you pay.
Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I did some research and the cakes that I have done in the past few months were significatly under priced. I have lots more research to do, but now I know where to start, thanks again!
I am still new to charging for cakes, and I in the beginning I was charging around $50 for a cake and was actually losing money. Its hard to convince potential customers that a 2 tiered birthday cake for their two year old is really worth $150-$200. Most people just wouldn't pay it. Actually thats how I got into cakes, my son wanted a 3-D firetruck and I was quoted $160. I was shocked, and took my money to come cake classes and made my own.
I am still trying to find the right demographic in my area that will pay $150 for a birthday cake. I have done a few in the $100 range but I barely broke even with costs.
Its crazy because the cake boards, stands, dowels and fondant are so pricey.
My only advice would be to charge more now so that word doesn't get out you make cakes for $35 and then no one will want to pay more.
When you research you do have to keep in mind that not everyone has the same overhead. You can't compare your cakes to grocery store cakes, because they won't have the same ingredient/labor costs.
Some places buy in bulk, which means their costs may be lower. Some places may only use premium ingredients, so their costs would be higher. Scratch baking vs mix bake has different costs to it.
The best thing you can do is sit down and figure out how much you spend on a cake, including everything you use, from start to finish. Then figure out how much your time is worth and an average time it takes you to work on a cake. Next you have to figure out how much profit you want to make on the cake.
Once you have all that basic information, say for a 8in cake or a basic tiered cake, you'd divide it by the servings and then figure your per serving amount. You can also round that amount up to give you an even number and more profit.