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

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

MyDiwa Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:39pm
post #31 of 413
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.




The new show Fabulous Cakes does a good job of that I think. Most cakes have the price listed (haven't seen anything less than $2,000) and they do give an indication of the timeline in their narrative, but you only get that if you're really paying attention and it might go over your head if you don't know anything about anything! I do think it might be a good resource for you next time if someone is snarky about your prices.

Ali3971 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:43pm
post #32 of 413

I have decided to include what I charged for my cake whenever I upload the pic to CC I hoep I have some followers out there??

It would be so helpful to everyone I think!

ConfectionsCC Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:51pm
post #33 of 413

Just looked at your cakes, $175 is def a good price! Cheap! That prob what I would charge for a cake, and I live in one of the cheapest places on earth lol!! I have that all the time, people are so used to "Walmart Pricing" that when they want a custom cake, its a bit of sticker shock. I refuse to undersell myself just because someone doesnt think my work is worth it. I KNOW MY WORK IS WORTH IT. my attitude towards my work i think helps to sell my cakes too!

TPACakeGirl Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:51pm
post #34 of 413

Ryannrochelle~~ That is horrible. I would have made her pay anyways. I learned the hard way that everyone is under contract. I get it in writing that they agree to pay $x.xx in advance and then $x.xx at delivery. I also have it put in my contract that they have to pay a cancellation fee if they cancel within 7 days of the due date and they lose their deposit. It protects me once I've ordered supplies that I can't use.

HarleyDee Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:54pm
post #35 of 413

They think it costs whatever Wal-Mart or Costco or all of those guys charge.. $15.95. Yet, no one knows that they get their cakes in frozen, their icing comes on a pallet in a bucket, and you only have like, 30 set choices to pick from. Drives me crazy.. Especially when people come in bragging about how much money they spent on the flowers or the venue or the favors or whatever for the party.. yet they think a cake should cost $20.

ConfectionsCC Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:55pm
post #36 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali3971

I have decided to include what I charged for my cake whenever I upload the pic to CC I hoep I have some followers out there??

It would be so helpful to everyone I think!




Good idea! I will do that too! Hopefully it will catch on, only thing is newbies beware, someone in NYC can charge more for a cake than someone is the boonies!!

TPACakeGirl Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:56pm
post #37 of 413

One other thing that gets me, since we're ranting, is that people have NO IDEA how long it takes to make a cake and all the flowers and the figurines. I can't tell you how many times I get a call from someone, "can you make me this hard and difficult cake" for Saturday, as in 3 days from now? Then they are amazed when you can't because Walmart or their local store can make them a cake overnight. I mean c'mon, I work from home. I don't have a huge stocked warehouse. I have to order supplies for most of my cakes.

Because of this, I now require at least 30 days advanced notice on all cakes. And that's 30 days under contract with a deposit or the answer is "no," unless it's something like, "can you make me a chocolate cake with icing and no decoration?"

I think this is because of the cake shows. People really believe you can make this huge cake in 8 hours and for $50.00. CLUELESS!!!

TPACakeGirl Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 9:09pm
post #38 of 413

Ali~~ I love your idea, so I'm going back to my pictures now and writing how much I charged under the ones I can recall. I think we should all do it.

beenie51 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 9:10pm
post #39 of 413

With the cost of everything used in caking going up I made a very hard decsion to increase my pricing. I too work outside the home and do cakes for family and friends, but I know longer can afford to give the cakes away.

People who watch ace of cakes should have some kind of a clue as often the staff or duff speak of times working on cakes till the wee hours of the morning. I do think, however some people would have sticker shock on what a sm cake would cost when purchased from the ACE of Cakes and The Cake Boss.

Ali3971 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 9:16pm
post #40 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

Ali~~ I love your idea, so I'm going back to my pictures now and writing how much I charged under the ones I can recall. I think we should all do it.




I did as well icon_smile.gif

aliciam Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 9:29pm
post #41 of 413

Wow, I was just venting to my husband about this..
I have a client/customer that thought I would do a Mickey mouse clubhouse 3d cake that feeds 40 people for under $30 I also should mention she would want a cream cheese icing instead of a buttercream. Cream cheese alone will cost $10. She is one that should just go to walmart. I also had someone want a 3d carved cake of appa from the last air bender and thought it would cost $30 aswell. I feel like asking if it is cheapo month and if they do the groceries for the house ? Maybe then they would pay attention to costs of milk, flour, eggs, etc...
hehe looks like my venting is coming back sorry icon_smile.gif
I kinda hope that all cake shows start saying pricig on cakes perhaps then people/customers would be more logical.

Granpam Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 9:43pm
post #42 of 413

Just a hint to those that added prices it might be a good idea to add sizes of cakes as well.

BCo Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 10:40pm
post #43 of 413

Ok- so just to add to mine....I just found out from an aquaintance of my customer (Husband's 50th bday) that she invited her guests out to a restaurant for cocktails and appetizers but if they wanted to stay for dinner with them they (the guests) had to pay their own way icon_eek.gif Now I'm wondering at what point in the evening does she plan to serve the cake???? If people aren't going to stay for dinner b/c they don't want to pay will she serve it after appetizers? What if some do decide to stay, will they eat the cake before dinner so those who aren't staying can have some?? And she's only inviting 10 ppl!!!

I still haven't heard back from her...I'm going to assume that I'm done with her and she's decided not to get the cake from me icon_smile.gif

sweetts99 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 10:57pm
post #44 of 413

I'm sorry I do not remember who stated it first but, has anyone been on the Ace of Cakes website! $1000.00 minimum! I am all the time having this agrument with my DH! He thinks I overcharge. So I pulled up the website and showed him. He says OH but he has a degree and a shop and ect.... really?! Ok so I do this from home, and alot of the cakes in my gallery are ones I have done for my kids, or family, but don't even those of us who do that deserve to be paid accordingly? I, unlike alot of you do not have a "customer base" I have a few friends and my church that I do things for but I have found that my "friends" are the ones that don't want to pay for my work. Also does anyone elses DH want you to make things just to take into work, for free!?

leily Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 11:12pm
post #45 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannycakers

It was a huge awakening for me this past weekend when my hubby used software to track my expenses on what i thought was a profitable sheet cake selling for $60. IT turned out that i only made 35 dollars on the cake after expenses!!, the cake ingredietns were 20 dollars and then the rice krispy modeling chocolate football was 5$ expense. Took me several hours...




You actually didn't make $35. If your ingreients cost you $25, and your football cost you $5. You still have electricity, water, gas, and most important your labor to take out of the remainign $35. You said you worked on it several hours. Even if you worked minimum wage at 3 hours (and this includes time to go to the store, clean up, bake, decorate ALL of it) that comes up to $21.75, So that leave you with $13.25 to cover everything else. I bet you ended up just breaking even or loosing money.

Ursula40 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 11:45pm
post #46 of 413

Even IF the cake decorators on the show have 8 hrs to complete a cake, they
1.) start off with prebaked cakes, they are never baked on site
2.) They have helpers and machines, oodles of refrigerators
3.) the whole show gets condensed to 1 hr (including all those commercials)
4.) ergo most people think, such a cake is possible in 1 hr (they completely forget about parts 1-3)
5.) and most importantly, who are we to charge so much? We are not "famous", we were never featured in one of these shows

And yeah, most of us have to buy retail, they don't think about that at all

linstead Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 11:54pm
post #47 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimkake

I definitely need to look into the software! I am told by many of my customers that I need to raise my prices also - and with the price of groceries I have to. The ones that think the cakes are too expensive are the ones who will go and get their hair done - at 1-1/2 hours and have no problem paying $100 for that!! (I am not saying the hair dresser is not worth that - they totally are) But they need to take into consideration the material and TIME!!




So I always read these posts on the pricing and wonder what the problem is with having to pay more than $20/40/50 for a cake for a major event, extensively decorated cake and lots of people. I wonder if it is a perception of something temporary (i.e. you look at the cake for a few minutes and then eat it and it is all gone) versus perhaps the hairdresser example where you pay $100 for 1.5 hr dye job that now lasts at least one month before you have to do it again. Although people never have a problem with paying high $$$ for catering or going out to a restaurant.....it is very frustrating and probably more of an issue with small business/home decorators versus the larger shops and well known decorators.

debster Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 12:04am
post #48 of 413

The best part that these people don't get is they rant and rave about cake boss or Duff's cakes and what do you think they would do if you said well hon my cakes start at 1,000 Yes go to Charm City cakes and look. I hear the Cake Boss is even higher . They should be knocking us over to do them a cake for 200.00 SHEESH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just went to Aldis today where I buy my powder sugar for 1.19 for 2 lbs and guess what? Since last week it's now 1.49 You think they are gonna go for a raise from me? Aldi made me pay their price, THE NERVE OF THEM!!!!

ginger6361 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 12:25am
post #49 of 413

I had an order for a cake to fee 90 people complete with baby figure and all the trimmings.. I called a couple local bakeries and was quoated over $165 just for the cake..no decorations.. when I tild the buyer it would be $185, I never heard from her again!!..I think because I work from home, they expect it for free!!

cookiemama2 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 12:37am
post #50 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemama2

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.




I'd like to see the prices of some of the cakes here on CC as well!
Maybe there would be less of "how much for this cake" !!!




Someone also suggested to add the sizes/ servings as well.
And yes different areas charge more but its nice to have a ballpark price.
I am just a hobby baker and can't charge anyway but I tell my friends and family how much it would cost if they did have to buy it.

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 2:50am
post #51 of 413

They are shocked at "a cake can't cost THAT much to make!" because they think they are paying for the ingredients.

When they buy a car, the cost of the parts is WAY lower than the price of the car.

They never factor in the labor expense .... the BIGGEST expense in making thse cakes. The think the 'cost' of the cake is the ingredient list only. And that's because when they make potato salad for the company pitch in, they don't factor in the gas to go to the store, the electricty to cook the potatoes, the time it took to make it, the cost of the food container to bring it to the office, the cost of their soap for clean up, etc. Nope! All they know is it cost them $6.82 for potatoes, hard boiled eggs, onions, and mayonnaise!

Perhaps starting the conversation with "Let's see .... it will take me at least 14 hrs to do this cake, so there's way over a hundred bucks just in the labor alone ......"

I also learned to start "Duff" conversations with "Oh I luv his show too! Did you know that he has a ONE THOUSAND dollar minimum? The good news is that we're not QUITE that expensive! Now .... what were you looking for?" icon_twisted.gif

BCo Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:08am
post #52 of 413

Yup- so after sending an email educating my customer on what goes into making her cake she replied to me with the following: thank you for educating me on what goes into your cakes, I never thought of it like that and I would like for you to still make my cake if it's not too late!

Ahhhh- so one more muggle educated!

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:10am
post #53 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bturpin

Yup- so after sending an email educating my customer on what goes into making her cake she replied to me with the following: thank you for educating me on what goes into your cakes, I never thought of it like that and I would like for you to still make my cake if it's not too late!

Ahhhh- so one more muggle educated!


One small step for Bturpin .... one giant step for cakers everywhere! thumbs_up.gifusaribbon.gif

(What do you expect? I'm a history major! icon_lol.gif )

BCo Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:38am
post #54 of 413

Yay me!!! icon_biggrin.gif

mombabytiger Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:42am
post #55 of 413

In this economy, we're lucky if we can get anyone to buy a cake at all. People are struggling to put real food on the table. Not everyone, but a lot of people.

And here's the thing: I can go into a Kroger and buy a cake mix and two cans of frosting for about $6. Voila - a cake. That's what is in the back of your customer's mind.
In unsophisticated areas, they don't know a gum paste flower from a turnip. Here's the reasoning: Why should I pay you $25 to make some sugar look like a flower? Why not just stick a real flower on it? It's nice that you want to make Winnie the Pooh and all his pals out of modeling chocolate but I can go to Toys R Us and get the same thing in plastic for about $10.
We are all around cake every day. We know how hard it is to make an orchid so we think it's worth more. The customer couldn't care less. They just want a cake. And we're also trying to use the argument that "everything I use is the BEST and all NATURAL and ORGANIC" and expecting that argument to fly with people who practically live at McDonald's.
I know I wouldn't pay $150 for a kids birthday cake. Unless you're wealthy, that's just ridiculous.

TPACakeGirl Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 9:53am
post #56 of 413

I did offer to go the plastic toy route for $40 less, but she turned that down too saying she's already spent $1000 on her 3 year olds party and can't justify another cent. I think she was honestly hoping I would do it for free.

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 12:37pm
post #57 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by mombabytiger

And we're also trying to use the argument that "everything I use is the BEST and all NATURAL and ORGANIC" and expecting that argument to fly with people who practically live at McDonald's.


So funny and so true! This is a great example of knowing your market. A car salesman wouldn't use the argument of "Plenty of room for the kids!" if he's trying to sell to a single guy. A computer salesman isn't going to sell a lot of software than enables video editing to a gramma who just wants to send emails to her grandkids.

"organic" means nothing to me because I just consider it a buzzword that ends up costing me more. However, if I had some allergies or some kind of reaction to non-organic foods, then it would become a benefit for me.

Know your target market ..... sell the benefits that THEY are looking for. thumbs_up.gif

TexasSugar Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:24pm
post #58 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

Thanks to the software, I found that I wasn't charging enough for my cakes to break even on supply costs. I have been really undercharging....
Both people told me my prices were ridiculous, and that they find it hard to believe a cake can cost that much to make.

Do you have this issue too? How much do people think it costs to make a cake?




Please note that I what I say isn't to pick on you, because many people come on here and say the same thing.

But if we, as cakers in general, have no idea how much it costs us to truely make a cake, then how can we expect the general public to know this information?

Until we sit down and really start pricing everything out, we are just guessing at numbers. After you plugged in all the numbers, how far off were you from the number you thought it was?

I know in my head it is easy to tally up some numbers, but it isnt until you really start listing everything out that you realize how much you actually use.

Plus if you are baking at home, a lot of times we forget the items that we have on hand already. Sure we buy the cake mix, but what about the oil that we have under the counter for cooking, and the eggs in the fridge for breakfast. Sometimes it is easy to over look those things because you may not be buying it every time you go to the store to buy the other cake stuff.

Yes we need to education cake muggles but that also starts with a caker that has been educated on pricing as well. Im guess a lot of people on here started out under pricing their work because they just guessed at numbers or used numbers from other local bakeries with out really understanding how to get there.

Niki11784 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:26pm
post #59 of 413

Does anyone give a breakdown of the pricing to their customers so they can understand where we are coming from?

BCo Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 3:26pm
post #60 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by mombabytiger

In this economy, we're lucky if we can get anyone to buy a cake at all. People are struggling to put real food on the table. Not everyone, but a lot of people.

And here's the thing: I can go into a Kroger and buy a cake mix and two cans of frosting for about $6. Voila - a cake. That's what is in the back of your customer's mind.
In unsophisticated areas, they don't know a gum paste flower from a turnip. Here's the reasoning: Why should I pay you $25 to make some sugar look like a flower? Why not just stick a real flower on it? It's nice that you want to make Winnie the Pooh and all his pals out of modeling chocolate but I can go to Toys R Us and get the same thing in plastic for about $10.
We are all around cake every day. We know how hard it is to make an orchid so we think it's worth more. The customer couldn't care less. They just want a cake. And we're also trying to use the argument that "everything I use is the BEST and all NATURAL and ORGANIC" and expecting that argument to fly with people who practically live at McDonald's.
I know I wouldn't pay $150 for a kids birthday cake. Unless you're wealthy, that's just ridiculous.




And that's fine if that's their way of thinking, they are more then welcome to go to the store and buy that box of mix and those cans of frosting and the plastic toys and whip up something great for their kids party...BUT that is not an excuse to try and insult a cake artist by asking them to give them a cake with sugar flowers or handmade figures on it for the amount of money they could spend to do it themselves. You can go and buy all the equipment to paint a beautiful picture but would you expect to get a Picaso painting for the $25 you would pay for some paint and brushes and canvas? It's not only ingredients it's also time and talent and skill. It's all about what you chose to spend your money on, not how much it would cost you to buy the ingredients to make it yourself.

My gripe is if you can't afford the cake then just politely say, thank you for your time but I am unable to order from you at this time...Not hey, can you discount your work b/c I only have $20 to spend! Custom cakes aren't for everyone one, either are fancy sports cars or gigantic houses, yes, we all might like to have them but we need to live within our means and not insult or look down upon those who chose to spend their money on those things.

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