The Lowdown On Sheetcakes...?

Decorating By adventuregal Updated 16 Nov 2010 , 8:58pm by 808hedda

adventuregal Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 1:34am
post #1 of 48

ok...so I'm wondering how everyone prices their sheet cakes. If I went by the wilton party serving guide a 9X13 feeds 48 which at 2.25 per serving would put the cake over 100 dollars! Wowzaaaa! I don't know anyone who would pay that when they can get one at the grocer for 20 bucks. So I'm thinking all you fabulous CCers must have the answer for me. Whats the lowdown on sheetcakes? And yes I've been doing cakes for three years and this is my first sheet cake HEHEHEHEHE I'm a sheet novice! Help me please! icon_smile.gif

47 replies
ClassyCat Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 1:56am
post #2 of 48

I'm sorry I can't help you with the pricing question, but I just had to pipe in and say that I'm really curious about this as well. I'm thinking the pricing wouldn't be the same as Wilton's guide due to it being a sheet cake and not your 'normal' wedding cake. But being a newbie, I could be totally off base!! icon_redface.gif

ClassyCat Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 1:59am
post #3 of 48

I'm sorry I can't help you with the pricing question, but I just had to pipe in and say that I'm really curious about this as well. I'm thinking the pricing wouldn't be the same as Wilton's guide due to it being a sheet cake and not your 'normal' wedding cake. But being a newbie, I could be totally off base!! icon_redface.gif

KTB4 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:17am
post #4 of 48

For me I have my sheet cakes priced a lot cheaper than what it would be if I used the Wilton chart. Like you I can't figure how to reconcile the two.

I have my single tier cakes priced one way and then a different pricing for my tiered cakes.

CocoaBlondie Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:22am
post #5 of 48

I use the serving guides I found serching on this site. I believe that it would actually serve 24. I start @ $45 dollars for a simple BC 9x13 sheet cake. When elaborate decor & stacking gets involved that a whole new ball game.

sillywabbitz Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:23am
post #6 of 48

Isn't the wilton chart based on a double layer cake? Most standard sheetcakes are single layers no filling which means they only serve 1/2 that many people.

tokazodo Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:32am
post #7 of 48

I have always thought a 1/4 sheet would serve 25.

adventuregal Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:35am
post #8 of 48

I made it the 'monster' size 4 inches. Even in making it this size,with the 48 servings, would it be priced my normal pricing? It just seems so expensive!

KoryAK Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:41am
post #9 of 48

If your cake compares in quality to a grocery store cake, then by all means charge like the grocery stores. Most of us custom bakers (and I'm assuming you too) take a lot of pride in the fact that our cakes are much BETTER than the grocery store ones. you are not comparing apples to apples here. The customers that care more about price than quality - you don't need them anyway. My quarter sheet (25 servings) is $100 in buttercream, half sheet (50) is $150, and full (100) is $300. And I get it icon_smile.gif

CocoaBlondie Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:46am
post #10 of 48

It's really what your comfortable with. Maybe charge the first 24 servings reg. then add on what the cost of the double recipe cost. This way your not losing money, but still putting the same amount of time into it. What was the cake for?

adventuregal Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:48am
post #11 of 48

WOW KoryAK-
I definitely hear you on taking pride in my product and I definitely don't consider myself anywhere near the catergory of grocery, BUT in saying that I don't think people around here will pay me for it (unfortunately). I think the only other solution is to have a very basic sheet cake option priced decently higher than a grocer and then continue to focus on my custom tiered cakes. It's food for thought-I'll be mulling over the advice for a few days icon_smile.gif

leily Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 2:56am
post #12 of 48

a sheet cake is only 2" high and yes can be found at local grocers and super centers. I can't compete with their price so i don't, i don't do sheet cakes. All of my cakes are 4" tall, i will do a rectangle cake, but it is priced the same as all of my other cakes b/c it's still the 4" tall cake, with filling and torted. I don't care what shape the cake is, it still cost the same to make it.

brandiwyne Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 3:27am
post #13 of 48

My sheet cakes are priced lower than my stacked cakes. I charge $25 for 1/4 and $35 for a half. I however want to compete with the grocery store so I price them low. Most of my mom's want sheet cakes for younger kids bday parties. Although I do not prefer to do them sheet cakes are 75% of my profit so no point in turning away money. As far as the serving chart my 1/4 feeds 20 and my half feeds 45 and those are generous slices.

indydebi Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:24am
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregal

If I went by the wilton party serving guide a 9X13 feeds 48 which at 2.25 per serving would put the cake over 100 dollars! Wowzaaaa! I don't know anyone who would pay that when they can get one at the grocer for 20 bucks.


As it's already been pointed out, you're comparing a 2-layer 9x13, 48 serving, custom made cake to a 1-layer, 24 serving, assembly line twenty dollar cake in a grocery. Get it organized in your head before you start charging only twenty bucks for a cake that serves 48.

And in my experience, when I hear people say "THEY won't pay that", what I find is really being said is "I'm AFRAID to charge what I'm worth."

Maria925 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 12:32pm
post #15 of 48

I had this same confusion yesterday! I made a 9x13 for my friend and told her it served 24. I didn't realize this was based on a 2" cake so I made two cakes, filled & stacked them. I kept thinking "this cake looks huge" and then realized since it was now over 3" high, it was more like 48 servings! Next time I will make a "sheet cake" using only ONE cake layer that is split! I don't know what I would price it at if I was selling it, but I know it would be way more than a grocery sheet cake, even if I only use the one layer. It had more involved decorations than the grocery store does and was all from scratch (the decorations took me about 4 hours to make alone!).

costumeczar Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 1:22pm
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria925

I had this same confusion yesterday! I made a 9x13 for my friend and told her it served 24. I didn't realize this was based on a 2" cake so I made two cakes, filled & stacked them. I kept thinking "this cake looks huge" and then realized since it was now over 3" high, it was more like 48 servings! Next time I will make a "sheet cake" using only ONE cake layer that is split! I don't know what I would price it at if I was selling it, but I know it would be way more than a grocery sheet cake, even if I only use the one layer. It had more involved decorations than the grocery store does and was all from scratch (the decorations took me about 4 hours to make alone!).




Exactly right, and that's why you can't use grocery stores to set your prices, people!

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:14pm
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregal

WOW KoryAK-
I definitely hear you on taking pride in my product and I definitely don't consider myself anywhere near the catergory of grocery, BUT in saying that I don't think people around here will pay me for it (unfortunately). I think the only other solution is to have a very basic sheet cake option priced decently higher than a grocer and then continue to focus on my custom tiered cakes. It's food for thought-I'll be mulling over the advice for a few days icon_smile.gif




Honestly, I probably wouldn't even offer sheet cakes if you've already established yourself as the Custom Cake Lady.

Think of it this way. Would you rather do 10 cakes and get paid $1000, or do 2 cakes and get paid $1000? Two sets of dishes versus ten sets of dishes. To me it's a no brainer.

adventuregal Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:41pm
post #18 of 48

thats a good point RoseNCrantz-it came up for the first time because my aunt wanted me to start doing the graduation cakes for her class-which have always been sheetcakes. I couldn't say no because she's family (and not the annoying kind of family hehe). So I told her I would do sheetcakes for her when needed so it's not something I'm advertising, but moreso of a special case. She's not in the position to spend the large sums listed above so I feel torn. The first sheet I did for her was this last friday for a birthday and then she ordered two sheets for December 15th for the class.

jsc2010 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:52pm
post #19 of 48

You can not compare your cakes to grocery store. I had the same problem starting out. And still question my prices for sheet cakes sometimes but I like what one person said, you have to compare apples to apples. Grocery store 9x13 in my area are actually 8x12 now. Look at their packaging. As most items are in the store, packaging is getting smaller. I charge $1.50 per serving on my sheet cakes. I have to think if people were having a kids party would they pay $1.50 per kid for a dessert? And then I have the same standard when pricing my other cakes. When people go into a restaurant they pay a lot for some of those cake slices and have no problem doing so. It takes a while to realize your value but you'll get there!

hollyml Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 8:59am
post #20 of 48

If you're doing the sheet cakes basically as a favor for a family member, then you can offer the family-rate price too. icon_smile.gif But before you just assume that your aunt can't afford X price, have a conversation with her about what she expects and just how much you are able to do for her. She may have absolutely no idea the extent to which she's taking advantage, you know? So tell her that although you don't normally do sheet cakes, based on your normal per-serving price the cake she wants would be $X. And because she is family you will be pleased to do it for her for <$X -- but you can't swing it more than so many times per year, or you may have to shift her dates sometimes because of commitments for full price cakes, or whatever limits you want to set.

Also, if it makes you feel better, check out the prices for sheet cakes at the local standalone bakeries. I bet you that even the relatively cheap ones will charge quite a bit more than the supermarket. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 10:02am
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc2010

Grocery store 9x13 in my area are actually 8x12 now. Look at their packaging.


Yep! "Half Sheets" are 11x15's instead of the 12x18's. That just ticks me off every time I see it, because all I can think about is a CC'er giving a customer a half-sheet price and the customer saying "but the store's half sheet is only...." when the store's half sheet is NOT A HALF SHEET!!!!! icon_mad.gif

(wow .... when you use the phrase "half sheet" that many times in a sentence, it starts to sound funny!)

LindaF144a Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:08pm
post #22 of 48

So then let them go get the Walmart cake.

Where I work we make only half sheet cakes and full sheet cakes. They are not 9 x 13. I can't remember the exact size, but I bet you they are the size Indydeb quoted. Because you get as many servings from that as you would our round 14" cake, we charge something like $100. If I had my way we would charge 200 to discourage people from buying them as I hate icing them. We do tort and fill them, so they are probably almost 3" high. We do about 2 a week, 2 too many.

Now I know how everybody else feels about sheet cakes. I never used to get it before.

I agree yup cannot compare to grocery store prices. We have 3 grocery stores within a 10 minute radius of our cakery. Yet we still get orders for our more expensive sheet cake. What people want is the professional looking cake and not the grocery cake. I think they get sheet cakes just because they know how to slice it. The most asked question I get on round cakes is how to slice it to get the servings we say it will feed. Most people still think wedge instead of rectangle when slicing a round cake.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:37pm
post #23 of 48

Dude, yes I'd rather do 5 two layer 8x12 sheet cakes and get the $1000 --they are so easy. No dowel-ing, no stacking is my favorite. Just make your cake gourmet enough to warrant the prices. If it's worth four dollars a serving as a tiered cake it's also worth that much as an easy to serve functional fully decorated 'sheet' cake.

Sheet cakes rock.

Lots of people think 'sheet cake' when they are having celebrations. When you are entertaining and have so much going on anyway you might want to go for less complicated. It's a way to make some money if that's important to you. I mean some folks just decorate for the art but I was after dollars too.

I will never ever understand this putting down of the shape of a cake that exists for some people. It cuts off an entire portion of the market for what reason? I mean it's hard enough to make it but then to cut yourself off from easy cakes that many people want? Insane to me.

leily Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 2:01pm
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

I will never ever understand this putting down of the shape of a cake that exists for some people. It cuts off an entire portion of the market for what reason? I mean it's hard enough to make it but then to cut yourself off from easy cakes that many people want? Insane to me.




First, i am not sure if you're referring to me since i said i don't do sheet cakes, but i'm not putting them down, i worked in a bakery and that is all i did for 4 years, i have my own business now and can not do them if i don't want, so i don't.

It's all in educating the customer. They can cut a square cake just as easy as a sheet cake. Many don't even realize there are other shapes out there and that they can have them even if it's not for a wedding. I don't find it cuts of any part of the market, b/c if they really want the sheet cake for a certain price, then they're looking for a wal-mart cake, not my cake. If they're looking for my cake then it is something special to get something that others haven't had in our area.

I don't understand why some people (and not necessarily you as you didn't state this) think that everyone should offer sheet cakes when it's not profitable for them. I am in business to make money too and i can't make money on sheetcakes.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 2:16pm
post #25 of 48

We're saying the same thing, you say square I say rectangle.

And I'm not addressing any one person just the in general attitude.
I just skimmed the thread. Din read every post.

Some people put down sheet cakes as if they are beneath them because grocery stores make them. Grocery stores make round cakes and cuppy cakes and tier cakes and sculptures too.

I was not referencing any one person just this spirit of 'putting down' and 'dissing' sheet cakes. It's strange to me. Grab a rectangle pan and make a cake and some folks turn up their nose. Weeeird.

But I mean think of it-- bake off a half sheet ex 12x16. Cut it in half making two 8x12's then torte, fill, frost & decorate. Collect two hundred dollars. What?

Nobody has to do anything. But those who shun sheets are cutting themself off from a corner of the market because rectangles are offensive? Because rectangles are not round? Because rectangles are sold in grocery stores? It doesn't make sense to me.

And I'm not addressing any one person just the in general attitude.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 3:06pm
post #26 of 48

I didn't say I didn't like them because grocery store chains make them. If people want a square, rectangle, whatever sharp-cornered shape, I don't care. We will make it the shape we want, but we charge more for square cakes too because it is more difficult to ice.

What I don't like is icing them. It is giant PITA getting the corners perfectly square to my standards, having those perfectionist tendencies and all.

I don't think this is the point you were making in your post, K8memphis, but is what I was making in mine.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 3:13pm
post #27 of 48

Linda, after you slather all the icing on everywhere and are getting ready to smooth it out--take a bag of icing with just an open coupler or a big round tip on there and pipe a big fat line of icing up each corner--now take your straight edge and make one pass from corner to corner on each side. Perfectly straight corners. Fix the top edges. Fini.

You get more servings out of a square than a round too.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 3:29pm
post #28 of 48

Well you might wanna take a swipe each way on the line of icing so it adheres to the cake surface before using the straight edge. I mean otherwise they might just come off--but it's real easy--you can't smooth what ain't on there so put more icing than you need onto the corner.

cakeville82 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 3:49pm
post #29 of 48

I don't like sheet cakes because they are easy and take no effort and I enjoy more of a creative challenge.
Doesn't mean other people can't like them or do them,more power to em'.

I have made them before though and in those cases I charged my regular price which starts at $3.50 per serving.

GGFan Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 3:53pm
post #30 of 48

I don't like making them because it's harder to filled and ice smoothly. I found it has an awkward shape. I prefer doing round because I think it's the easiest shape icon_smile.gif

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