How much do people think a cake costs to make???

Business By TPACakeGirl Updated 30 May 2014 , 6:32am by SystemMod1

Pyro Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 11:45am
post #331 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 


Best...kangosaur...cake...ever.

 

Beaversaurus Rex

BeesKnees578 Posted 4 Jul 2013 , 11:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandmomof1 

I really think it would be great if the "Cake shows" would actually list the prices of their work much like they do on Fabulous Cakes. People are getting their ideas from the things these shows are putting out. They are totally unaware of the amount of work that goes into creating a character or animal or building. If you want true art then you have to pay for it. If it doesn't matter whether you have "true art" then go buy the cracker jacks because you get exactly what you pay for, cracker jacks.


Yes, I would LOVE it if they did that AND put the amount of hours that it took to complete it.   When I get a request for a sculpted cake (mine start at $250 for something on the more simple side) and I quote a price, people immediately back away and opt for a traditional cake.  I tell them I completely understand, that they take a whole new set of skills and time than traditional cakes, and that Duff's minimum order (at the time) was $1000.  Then they say "OH...I didn't realize..."  Educate them!

 

I'm certainly not Ace of Cakes, but I can pull off some pretty cool shizz, and just because I'm not famous doesn't mean I work for a waiter's hourly wage.

 

Or just because I do this out of my house doesn't mean I don't have overhead...maybe a little less, but my time and talent are still worth it.

 

People cringe at the prices because it's edible and will disappear.  It's not a painting or sculpture that will last, so it should be cheap, right!?!  HAHAHAHA

TheItalianBaker Posted 9 Jul 2013 , 10:17pm
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I dont know what they think but a girl I know (fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuull of money) just asked me a cake for 30 people, 2 tiers in fondant.. for $50! I dont even know what to say her back..

Norasmom Posted 10 Jul 2013 , 12:10am
post #334 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker 

I dont know what they think but a girl I know (fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuull of money) just asked me a cake for 30 people, 2 tiers in fondant.. for $50! I dont even know what to say her back..

Tell her to eat her purse because that's what your cake costs!!  (I'm assuming she's got an expensive handbag.)

TheItalianBaker Posted 10 Jul 2013 , 12:42am
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Since she is a friend, I told her i could make 1 tier cake in a VERY simple design, 10" cake to feed 30 people. She said it's not enough cake, so she turned me down!!! SHE DID! I cant believe it.

Angie0809 Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 10:34pm
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I have just opened a bakery in  a smaller town and people are accustomed to Walmart cakes. They bring in a picture of a cake of Pinterest and say I want that. I give them the price and they are floored and can't believe it. I have also broke down and given a discounted price only to have them turn around and leave a bad review or request their money back. No more--if people do not want to pay for my time and labor so be it. They always say they are shopping around--looking for a home based baker to do it as well.  Okay that is fine, we all shop around. I wish them the best and ask them to consider us down the road.

tina0719 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 4:18am
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AWow I have never charged less than $250 for a 3 tier cake. Cannot believe they complained it was a high price.

tina0719 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 4:18am
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ALol...I agree

tina0719 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 4:32am
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A

Original message sent by Pyro

Walmart will be pissed, you're undercutting them with 3 tiers at 50$.

Lolll yup

tina0719 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 4:36am
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A

Original message sent by Bettyboo64

Spent days making fondant hocky pieces, you know school jersey, pucks, sticks, blades etc, 3 D graduation cap as well in school colors. Then baked a cake for 125 people, cake looked awesome, I dropped it off to the party place, co-worker was no where to be found her husband was though, his reply nice cake thanks. LoL. Monday co-worker comes to work pokes her head into my office says, great cake, thanks um we didn't use it we had ice cream cake instead! I thought how strange, and for the record the cost of this cake ZERO dollars because it appears my co-worker thought I had plenty of time on my hands, and I love her son as much as she does. ( I don't know him) so I shouldn't need to be paid. Although we had agreed on a very reasonable price. Never again lesson learned the hard way. ;).

OMGG no way!! That would make my blood boil. You need to be compensated.

MBalaska Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 9:11am
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This is an interesting thread.  After reading about 10 pages of this It reminded me of other real life situations that are an anathema to upright folks.

 

But no matter how much you get annoyed there is always a flossie to give it away for free; a freewalker that makes it and sells it cheap; a bunch of shops in town that do bulk business of minimal quality to the common man; and high class specialists that are exclusive & expensive.  That is the story of mankind, and it's as old as the hills.

 

I am talking about baking of course. The advice given by the professional and successful cake artists in this thread is well worth studying and applying.  Lots of solid business sense going on here.

MBalaska Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 9:25am
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I should add that I've worked my way up from flossie to average and I'm following CC.com to shoot for the stars and move up towards the higher skill level.:party:

MBalaska Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 9:52am
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so "how much do people think a cake cost to make?"  well at Safeway a box mix is $2.00, can of frosting $3.50, sprinkles $1.00.......so it's $6.50 for an 8" two layer cake.

So a two tier cake should be about $15 bucks right?

 

There is simply No information available anywhere that informs the public about the cost of Custom Cakes; other than what people see in their grocery store, big box store, or bakery.

 

Nothing on TV talks about cake prices, nothing on the internet, none of the Food Channel shows address it, nothing in magazines, newspapers, or movies, it's not a topic of conversation around the water cooler at work, nor on radio, you don't see it on bill boards or outside the bakery.

 

Yet everyone you know can 'ballpark' a figure for a Ferrari vs. a Volkswagon.   Right.

but can anyone tell you what Sylvia Weinstock, Duff Goldman, or even Buddy 'Cake Boss' Valestro sell theirs for.   not likely.

 

You walk into McDonalds and the prices are nailed to the wall.  cheap.

You walk into Four Seasons and the menu is handed to you.  prices are high.  quality.

You walk into a place where there are no prices on the menu-----You probably can't afford it !!!!

Sweetasyou Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 12:07pm
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AIf you allow yourself to be treated as a hobby cake artist then others will see you that way. I have spent good time reading these posts because I felt bad for the posters. Like really bad!

I am confused. Most of you all post you do cakes because you love it and hardly break even, yet complain on here.

You gotta be upfront if you are doing this as a business! Charge what you are worth and cover your expenses AND time.

If you are doing this because you love it and you do not have much clientele for $100+ custom cakes then realize this.

Cakes are not cheap. Period!

If you love the art then try to do it for family and friends as either gifts (you pay for everything), little money to cover groceries, or cheap as in you are earning less than $40 for your work.

You have to be realistic with yourself and clientele.

Corners cannot be cut when doing custom designer cakes. Period!

Or, if you see yourself attracting clientele wanting cakes for less than $50 then show them those cakes. Delicious top quality ingredient cakes without any advanced artistry. Just elegant good tasting frosting and filling.

After all, those are the same people not appreciating your gum paste decorations! They just throw it in th trash without thinking any appreciation!

They just want to eat cake!

Regardless, cooking from home is difficult. Especially baking and decorating cakes. You need room AND space!

I won't even cook for days while I am preparing cakes and desserts because I do not want the fridge or kitchen to be smelly!

Yes, I am own your side! I am a chef. I cook for people at home all the time with fresh quality ingredient and everything from scratch, you know? The expensive way! Lol! Not for money, btw, just dinner parties, etc.

But, people do not understand the cost of good food. Even 'simple' staples like the good French salt, good pepper, good olive oil, fresh organic garlic (which has a lot more flavor than regular garlic), shallots, etc....

Just like your custom cakes. They do not see the 6 sticks of good butter, boxes of the good cream cheese, oodles of cups of sugar, the good whipping cream, the high quality gel food coloring, the 1 hour at the $400 Kitchen Aid, the good REAL vanilla, the fresh eggs, or even the stress of baking at home in a smaller home kitchen without walk-ins or helping hands.

Just like you, people ask me for food without thinking first. People have the nerve to ask me to bring my roasted lamb to their next pot luck dinner. That alone is 30 dollars! Then I will bring sauce and usually roasted potatoes. There is no money involved. Just to bring it to THEIR party!

Sometimes, I do it because I want to eat it! At the pot luck dinner I go to the table and all I see is chips, dips, cracker, cheese, and maybe someone attempted 7 layer dip! Lol! No wonder they want my lamb! Then they tear into my lamb like it was chicken wings. Lol!

The point is stick with your kind!

People that appreciate food know the price of real good quality food.

Yes, they go to restaurants and pay $10 and up for played desserts every day!

I see it as alcohol.

People have no problems paying $10 for a shot of Tequila or a glass of wine and Yes, they do know they can go to the liquor store and get the bottle for about $20.

But, still have no problem running up 3 or 4 drinks on their tab.

Cake is NOT cheap!

Spread the word, Cake Central!

Nin55 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 12:25pm
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I've always realized that people in general don't know what is involved in making and decorating a cake.  Your costs are not out of line.  I am a hobby decorator and only decorate for family.

kblickster Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 1:20pm
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Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 
 

I don't see the customer as the problem. The reason consumers think they can get cheap cake is because they can. Cakers are giving them the wrong idea about prices by working for nothing.   And as if being undercut isn't enough, this also gives the customer the idea that the person quoting a reasonable amount is price gouging.  Before all this baking from the home started, it used to be that people offering cakes (bakeries) had to at least have some business sense or they'd go out of business.  Now people with no business sense whatsoever and no sense of responsibility are making it very hard on those trying to make a living in the cake business and in some cases even putting bakers out of business.

 

It's unconscionable to undercharge, period.  Every time someone undercharges they are cheating themselves and undercutting someone else.  I've seen so many posts by people talking about how little they charge and it's mind boggling to me why they aren't extremely embarrassed to tell anyone. I'm stunned to think that the vast majority of people selling cakes wouldn't want to sell them for as much as they can.

 

Also -- cakers are as confused about who their customers are as consumers are confused about whether they can afford a luxury cake. If you sell high end cakes, your customers are mostly rich people. I sell cakes to people whose means are way beyond mine. I'm not my target market. I cannot afford my cake. My friends and family are not my target market.  If there are no rich people in your area, then maybe you're not going to be making high end cakes.

Brilliant statement.  I love making cakes.  I love that people enjoy my cakes.  I do not love having to tell someone that wants a 300.00 cake for 50.00 that they can't afford my cakes.  It's a fact though and I have to face it.

 

Most cakers start out in this business as a craft.  (A expensive craft)  Before long they think that they can make some money for their time and expense, but they don't have the business skills required to assess what the true value of their product is or if they do, the balls to sell their cakes for what they are worth.  It doesn't take long before most recognize that they are not going to make a living.

 

I am crafty by nature and love other craft mediums.  I crochet lovely afghans.  Unfortunately, it takes many hours to create one and people are not likely to buy a custom blanket from me when they can purchase a lovely one from TJ Maxx for less than I spend on the yarn for one of mine.  I only make them now for family and gifts.

 

The custom cake world is exactly the same thing.  The cost of supplies, ingredients and labor makes a custom cake cost prohibitive for the average consumer to afford on a regular basis.

 

If you find yourself unable to charge what you need to earn a decent living or your market will not pay what you need, then you should consider only making your product for pleasure.  Reserve your time and talent for family, friends or gifts.  Making cakes for no profit hurts the professional baker that has no other source of income.

howsweet Posted 25 Oct 2013 , 4:13am
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kblickster 
 

Brilliant statement.  I love making cakes.  I love that people enjoy my cakes.  I do not love having to tell someone that wants a 300.00 cake for 50.00 that they can't afford my cakes.  It's a fact though and I have to face it.

 

Most cakers start out in this business as a craft.  (A expensive craft)  Before long they think that they can make some money for their time and expense, but they don't have the business skills required to assess what the true value of their product is or if they do, the balls to sell their cakes for what they are worth.  It doesn't take long before most recognize that they are not going to make a living.

 

I am crafty by nature and love other craft mediums.  I crochet lovely afghans.  Unfortunately, it takes many hours to create one and people are not likely to buy a custom blanket from me when they can purchase a lovely one from TJ Maxx for less than I spend on the yarn for one of mine.  I only make them now for family and gifts.

 

The custom cake world is exactly the same thing.  The cost of supplies, ingredients and labor makes a custom cake cost prohibitive for the average consumer to afford on a regular basis.

 

If you find yourself unable to charge what you need to earn a decent living or your market will not pay what you need, then you should consider only making your product for pleasure.  Reserve your time and talent for family, friends or gifts.  Making cakes for no profit hurts the professional baker that has no other source of income.

Thanks! You made so excellent points yourself!

Nin55 Posted 25 Oct 2013 , 1:10pm
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I agree!  I only bake for family and a few friends.

-K8memphis Posted 25 Oct 2013 , 2:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kblickster 
 

... consider only making your product for pleasure.  Reserve your time and talent for family, friends or gifts...

 

yes, i agree with howsweet, brilliant statement--that's the way to go imo too

Narie Posted 25 Oct 2013 , 3:37pm
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I do not sell cakes just make them for family and friends.  It's a hobby and I have never really counted the cost.  Recently a friend asked me to make a cake for her to announce that she was expecting.  She offered to pay, and I said I'll make it at cost.  I was startled by how much I actually spent making that cake, and she made the raspberry filling.  Just my costs were $25.00 for a full 5 inch high, 9 inch cake plus about a dozen cupcakes.  Now she didn't blink an eye at the price, but I did.  

-K8memphis Posted 25 Oct 2013 , 4:25pm
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Narie 
 

I do not sell cakes just make them for family and friends.  It's a hobby and I have never really counted the cost.  Recently a friend asked me to make a cake for her to announce that she was expecting.  She offered to pay, and I said I'll make it at cost.  I was startled by how much I actually spent making that cake, and she made the raspberry filling.  Just my costs were $25.00 for a full 5 inch high, 9 inch cake plus about a dozen cupcakes.  Now she didn't blink an eye at the price, but I did.  

 

 

do you mean your out of pocket costs? because there's all those items like hot water, paper towels ingredients you used from the cupboard etc.

 

adds up quick huh

Queenycakes Posted 29 Oct 2013 , 8:20pm
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I still consider myself somewhat a newbie but I need to know if I am charging to much for my cakes. I recently had a friend of mine ask for a 3tier cake with a t topper and and  army colored theme. I quoted her about $78.00 did I charge to much/

Godot Posted 29 Oct 2013 , 8:24pm
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AWay too much, I'd say. I'm being way sarcastic..

Before you start selling cakes you really need to get a grip on your pricing structure. Only you can do your own homework and cost out your own products - we can't possibly do that for you.

howsweet Posted 29 Oct 2013 , 8:54pm
post #354 of 413

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

 

yes, i agree with howsweet, brilliant statement--that's the way to go imo too

Thank you! :D

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

 

 

 paper towels

I spend about $60 a month just on paper towels

-K8memphis Posted 29 Oct 2013 , 8:58pm
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Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 
 

Thank you! :D

 

I spend about $60 a month just on paper towels

 

 

i don't do cakes anymore but i am a paper-towel-a-holic 

 

entire forests cry them selves to sleep at night because of me .. and you...

 

:-D

kikiandkyle Posted 30 Oct 2013 , 12:58am
post #356 of 413

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

i don't do cakes anymore but i am a paper-towel-a-holic 

entire forests cry them selves to sleep at night because of me .. and you...

:D

Don't worry, I balance you both out because I am a paper towel a-phobe, must be because my mom just refused to buy them when I was a kid.

paigetx Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 9:45am
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Hello. This is my first evening on Cake Central, and I am not sure how to get around it yet. I don't think I am on the right page for the question I want to ask, but I'm going to ask it anyway. :-)  However, before I do, I want to comment on what I've read here. I am in agreement with the posts: It is very expensive and time consuming to make a cake before any profit can even be considered, and potential clients should to respect that.

Here is my question: How do you politely and tactfully refuse to give away your recipes, in particular to friends and coworkers, (I also  have a part-time job outside of my home.) who ask for them instead of placing an order for the item ? I don't want to be rude, but I don't want to give away the tools of my trade either. That won't pay the bills. I'm just starting out as a Home-Baker and don't want/can't afford to give away my capacity to earn an income.

Thanks so much for any advice!!!!!

paigetx 

MBalaska Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 10:13am
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Quote:

Originally Posted by paigetx 
 

".....I'm just starting out as a Home-Baker and don't want/can't afford to give away my capacity to earn an income.

Thanks so much for any advice!!!!!

paigetx

Welcome paigetx: as a home-baker also, here is a situation that got to me.  I had a friend ask about making cheesecake.   I finally said bring all the ingredients and a notebook.  I'll train you to make it, you can take notes, ask questions, and you'll have it forever....................

 

Only in my dreams I'm afraid.  The next time she needed a cheesecake She said she couldn't read her notes, they made no sense at all, and when she tried to make it - total failure.

 

After that I told people who asked for recipes that they could get them off the internet, buy the books, watch the dvds, and practice for 40 years like I have so they'd learn for themselves.

 

Except for Cake Central.  I will openly share the miniscule knowledge that I have gained, as others here are honest and forthright in their information and share generously.  Can't help you with the business side, just the baking at home fun stuff.

Cheers

MB

Cher2309b Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 11:52am
post #359 of 413

Quote:

Originally Posted by paigetx 
 

Hello. This is my first evening on Cake Central, and I am not sure how to get around it yet. I don't think I am on the right page for the question I want to ask, but I'm going to ask it anyway. :-)  However, before I do, I want to comment on what I've read here. I am in agreement with the posts: It is very expensive and time consuming to make a cake before any profit can even be considered, and potential clients should to respect that.

Here is my question: How do you politely and tactfully refuse to give away your recipes, in particular to friends and coworkers, (I also  have a part-time job outside of my home.) who ask for them instead of placing an order for the item ? I don't want to be rude, but I don't want to give away the tools of my trade either. That won't pay the bills. I'm just starting out as a Home-Baker and don't want/can't afford to give away my capacity to earn an income.

Thanks so much for any advice!!!!!

paigetx 

I would tell them nicely what you just said above - explain, regretfully, that these are your tools of trade that enable you to make a living and you cannot give them away.

If they don't get it then it's their problem - not yours. Good luck.

costumeczar Posted 17 Nov 2013 , 2:18pm
post #360 of 413

AI tell people that I don't share recipes because that's a trade secret. That doesn't mean I won't give them out to anybody, but I get to decide who gets them.

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