First Really Big Paid Order!

Decorating By butterfly831915 Updated 19 Nov 2010 , 3:52am by butterfly831915

butterfly831915 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:08pm
post #1 of 18

I have done little cakes for this person before but now it is a 4 tier square wedding cake covered in fondant with red piping and raspberry filling. I will use sps for the stacking and transporting. I don't have the square pans so she offered to buy them so they will be square, I will give a price break for that, I know not to ask the pricing question here, do to area and such. I am nervous cause I don't want to ruin anyone's special day. Should I pipe the design on the fondant in buttercream or royal icing? How big of a price break should I give her since she is buying the pans? I am attaching the inspiring cake they have picked out, it is not my cake and I don't know who made it. I was thinking I would charge $300. The only custom shop around me is a cupcake place and they are $2.75 each. or $24 a dozen, so thought that since they want 150 servings that the $2 per serving might be good price. I could be way off though, any help or comments would be greatly appreciated.

17 replies
butterfly831915 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:11pm
post #2 of 18

well having issues with attaching a picture.

here is a link

janbabe Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:19pm
post #3 of 18

If she is buying the pans will you keep them or does she want them back? If you are keeping them, then yes deduct monies for the pans otherwise no need if she is having the pans back.

personally I would pipe on fondant with royal icing as I think it would hold better, but that is also beause for me personally i dont use buttercream that much.

Hard to decide about pricing until I can see the pic of the cake, but finding out from bakeries is a good place to start for ideas.

Oh and congrats on your first big wedding cake x

butterfly831915 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:33pm
post #4 of 18

any idea how i can get the picture to upload? I have tried several things and it never lets it upload.

TexasSugar Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:36pm
post #5 of 18

Personally I wouldn't let her buy the pans, even if you get to keep them. Pans are part of the business investment. And it is something you could use many times later on. Plus if you buy them you have control over the size and qaulity.

How much is it going to cost you to do the cake, including all your cake/icing ingredients, fondant, cake boards, SPS and so on? How long is it going to take you to do it? How much is your time worth? How much profit do you want to make?

You can't really pick your price based off what a local cupcake place makes. Your expenses may be more than that. There are way to many factors involved to try to compare. You are better off figuring out how much it will cost you and working off that number.

Also what size cakes are you doing? Based off the Wilton Wedding Chart a square 6/8/10/12 gives you 172 servings, including the 6in. 154, not including it. So they are actually getting more than 150 servings and need to be charged accordingly.

butterfly831915 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:42pm
post #6 of 18

I didn't want to let her buy the pans but she was insistent on buying them. I have called walmart, this one does not touch fondant so that isn't much help but I did find that they would do a cake for 150 people in buttercream and it would be $225. There are no personal bakeries to go by for here so it makes the pricing really difficult.

Apti Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:42pm
post #7 of 18

Oh, how exciting for you!!! Your pricing sounds reasonable. Are you charging a separate fee for the SPS or including that in the price of the 4 tier cake? Will the SPS be returned to you after the wedding?

Is she keeping the pans or are you keeping the pans? If she is keeping the pans or if you will never use these pans again then she should bear the entire expense. If you WILL use the pans in the future, and IF they are the kind of pans YOU would buy (magic line or fat daddios), I'd consider "paying" for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the pans. Keep in mind that if she only buys one of each pan size (4 pans total), YOU will be the one that has to take twice as long to make 8 cakes with only 4 pans--your time is important. (I have 2 of every size pan I use to greatly reduce baking time.)

BC or royal icing? Which are you most comfortable working with? Use that. I heard that you can remove black (or red) from the white fondant by using vodka if you make a mistake. I don't remember the technique exactly, but try this on a practice piece of fondant BEFORE the big cake. Use your red on the white. Practice letting red crust before removing, and removing the red before it crusts by lifting off with toothpick. Then practice gently wiping the white fondant surface with a damp, lint free cloth dampened with vodka. See which leaves the cleaner surface. Let dry and practice again.

blissfulbaker Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:43pm
post #8 of 18

OK, if the cake is going to be 4 tiers of a square cake I am assuming the sizes will be 6",8",10" and 12" , according to the Wilton chart that will feed 172 people. So at $2 a serving I come up with $344. I don't know where in Indiana you are but I think $2 a serving is VERY cheap for a fondant covered cake in the Chicago area. I would rather purchase my own pans (use my Michaels or Hobby Lobby or JoAnn Fabric coupons) and keep the pans. Will you be delivering the cake? If so, how far is the venue from you? Who is providing the topper for the cake? I don't think you can compare the cost of a cupcake to a serving of cake. Cupcakes are so much easier to make and take much less time to decorate (at least for me they are). I can bang out a couple 100 cupcakes in an afternoon. Also, don't forget the cost of the sps system, and if you ordering online you will have to pay for shipping. It would be helpful to see a picture of the cake to really get an idea of how difficult it might be. Maybe you can post a link to it.


TexasSugar Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:52pm
post #9 of 18
Originally Posted by butterfly831915

I didn't want to let her buy the pans but she was insistent on buying them. I have called walmart, this one does not touch fondant so that isn't much help but I did find that they would do a cake for 150 people in buttercream and it would be $225. There are no personal bakeries to go by for here so it makes the pricing really difficult.

You can not compare your price to Walmart. They don't have the expense that you will have. A lot of store bakeries have their cakes shipped in, icing is premade sometimes even precolored/prebagged, and the decorators have limited time to work on the cakes.

You will have more labor costs involved, as well as a higher expense cost. Plus you are selling a different type of product. This is why you need to figure out your costs.

Are you making or buying fondant? For a square 6/8/10/12 cake you will need at least 180oz of fondant, which is 11.25 pounds. So if you were using Wilton fondant (I'm just using this cause I know the prices off the top of my head.) you will need to purchase two 5lb boxes plus a 24oz box. With out coupons (always figure your prices with non sell or discounted prices) your fondant alone will cost around $50.

butterfly831915 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 5:56pm
post #10 of 18

yes i would get to keep the pans, they will be magic line, they can only be purchased at our Deans Party Mania here, she knows not the wilton pans. They want to pick the cake up, the topper is flowers they will bring when the want to pick up and have me place before they leave with the cake. I am thinking maybe I should charge $350 to make sure to cover the sps system. I usually don't have demand for square cakes, I do have a friend who would have a few square pans in the sizes i need that i could use so I don't have doubles laying around. I am just worried about getting it all in, the cake will be for the 20th of this month, the person they had hired backed out on them last night. (family member thought they could do the cake with no experience, tried a practice and said no way). I added the link to an above post, sorry to who ever it belongs too, I did make sure to state that it is not mine. but only way i could get a picture on here.--I am making my own fondant, I have better success with that.

elliespartycake Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 6:23pm
post #11 of 18

$350 is still cheap, but you will need to decide if that is fair in your area. If I were to do that cake...square, 4 tiers with all that piping detail I would charge minimum $500, probably closer to $600.

But whatever you sure that they sign off on the cake when they pick it up. Transporting a 4 tier ake is not for amatures!!!!!! One turn taken too sharply, one abrupt stop and that cake can have a very unhappy ending. You need to let them know that once it leaves your hands it is their responsibility. There was just a thread on here about just such an occurance and the reprecussions.

Good luck and congratulations!

butterfly831915 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 6:39pm
post #12 of 18

The delivery pick up is an issue with me, I wasn't really happy that they wanted to pick it up but I fully intend on making them sign off, I figured up the price of the pans to be over $100.00 at Deans here, I have checked them out several times and just never bought them since no one asked me for square. I figured that would be for me keeping the pans. She is a regular customer and has given me lots of business. They are providing the flowers as well.

Apti Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 11:01pm
post #13 of 18

Looked at the link--that will be a lovely cake. After reading your additional posts, I'd charge $350 or more. Not only are you charging a fair price for the cake, but this is a "last minute" order. Have you ever worked with square cakes? If not, you may want to think about that particular aspect as it may be more difficult for you.

In addition to having them sign a waiver before they take the cake, take photos!!! Make darn sure your cake base is rock solid! Provide a printed "how to cut a wedding cake" paper and written instructions on how to transport a 4 tier cake.

If she was going to have a relative make the cake, it sounds like she may have ZERO clue about wedding cakes. I'd try again to talk her into letting you deliver--have you asked why she wants to pick it up? Will she know if the cake table is stable and level? Will she make sure the cake table "fits" the design of the cake? Who is going to cut her cake, remove the tiers as they are cut, clean the knife between cuttings, make sure the serving sizes are correct? etc. etc.

butterfly831915 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 3:55am
post #14 of 18

I have worked with square cakes before, I help a friend regularly with these items, they said they want to pick it up because they plan set up early in the morning when the wedding isn't until that night. I explained that I would be fine with delivery of the cake and would provide the cutting guide. I explained that I would not feel comfortable with someone else placing the flowers or having the flowers on the cake so far in advance. I also asked the name of venue so I could make sure that it would be allowed there. I don't think they have much of an idea of what they want, once I quoted price I haven't heard back from her so guess they think it is to much. I am going to contact her tomorrow to check and let her know I have to know right away due to the fact that items must be ordered right away or else they will not be in on time. I bet they end up with some sheet cakes from Wal-mart.

Apti Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 6:18am
post #15 of 18

Yup. I think you nailed what may happen. Please let us know the outcome. Well, at least she's a good customer for other cakes!

butterfly831915 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 3:25am
post #16 of 18

Well she just text me, she wants the cake, scale it down and do it round now since I've done it and have the pans, and would still pay the $300.

Apti Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:32pm
post #17 of 18


butterfly831915 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:52am
post #18 of 18

Ok so to get stuff in on time I order it, thinking she said she would be meeting me after work to pay me and then what happens? She sends me a text five mins before she is to meet me and says never mind they don't want to pay more than $100 for the cake. Um you can't even go to walmart and get a cake for that so no thanks. I already spent a $100 on supplies to do the cake. She just says sorry and drops it. I am hurt and so upset over it. She is someone I regularly did cakes for and helped out so I know her personally and now this.

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