How Much Do People Think A Cake Costs To Make???

Business By TPACakeGirl Updated 23 Jun 2016 , 1:30pm by indydebi

lilmisscakes Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 8:39pm
post #91 of 434

I think that if you are making her a cake free of charge you should be the one to decide what it looks like!

ChRiStY_71 Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 9:09pm
post #92 of 434

I did a cake for a friend last year...three tier topsy turvy. She gave me $30 for supplies (I don't charge for my cakes yet)...I think I was more offended by what she offered me than I would have been if she hadn't paid anything. The next time she wanted a cake, I gave her a grocery list....needless to say, it was a huge eye-opener for her. icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 1:02am
post #93 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChRiStY_71

I did a cake for a friend last year...three tier topsy turvy. She gave me $30 for supplies (I don't charge for my cakes yet)...I think I was more offended by what she offered me than I would have been if she hadn't paid anything. The next time she wanted a cake, I gave her a grocery list....needless to say, it was a huge eye-opener for her. icon_rolleyes.gif


YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! party.gif

cake_architect Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 7:20am
post #94 of 434

i think a huge problem too is that bakers, if in the customers position, wouldn't pay their own prices. think about it- would you pay $250 for a first birthday cake for your child? if you wouldn't, you need to start justifying your own prices to yourself so that when a customer comes along, you can justify your prices to them. if we can't imagine paying that much, we can't expect customers to. what i'm basically trying to say is we need to value our work and not degrade ourselves to the level of lowering our prices so much that everything we're doing is to simply please the customer. we need to raise our self esteem to the point where we won't let others dictate the value of our precious time.

FromScratchSF Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 8:01am
post #95 of 434

I just read thru this thread... I am so thankful for it because there are some real nuggets of wisdom in here. I am totally guilty of thinking if I go above and beyond what people ask and pay for, if I undercut my competition, if I price myself low enough, I'll get more business and my name out there.

Yes I get business, but I am constantly blown away when I quote a price that I know is WAY cheaper then my competition and I don't book the job or I get blowback that I'm a little too expensive. I KNOW that's not freakin possible, I've priced myself where I am just breaking even. I'm pretty sure I make the cheapest wedding cakes in the City, unless you go to China Town. I'm not kidding. Yet I'm not booking as many as I think I should... I'm loosing out to higher priced bakeries.

A real eye opener was I recently went to a fellow cupcaker's website here (she's become quite a pal to me), anyway we have very similar circumstances, only she bakes from a box and I make organic from scratch. Obviously cost of ingredients are much higher for me. Anyway, I went to her website and saw her prices - she's double what I am for cupcakes and she doesn't do cakes. She has no decorator's ability, doesn't do fondant/gumpaste etc. And she's SUPER busy.

So, this week I'm re-working and raising my prices, and we'll see what happens. I don't think people here really want discounts or cheap cake, they want to feel like they've treated themselves to a quality decadent dessert that's "expensive". Paying the lesser price means there must be something "wrong" with it.

So wish me luck with that! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 11:15am
post #96 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by cake_architect

think about it- would you pay $250 for a first birthday cake for your child?


But I'm also not so egotistical that I think I have to invite over 70 people (71 x $3.50 = $248.50) to a first birthday party, where the birthday boy/girl has no freakin' clue what's going on, and the party is just for the ego of the parent(s) anyway.

(I REALLY detest the phony-ness of first birthday parties. I really do. icon_cry.gif )

TPACakeGirl Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 11:58am
post #97 of 434

I agree with the ego of the first birthday party. I mean c'mon!!! The child isn't even going to remember it. As a matter-of-fact, I can only recall my 4th birthday and my 16th birthday party. None of the others stand out to me, and I know I had one every year.

I would never pay $200 for my child's bday cake. But that's also because I would not give my 1, 2 or 3 year old, a $500 or $1000 bday party either.

I just had a friend ask me to make a 4-5 tier wedding cake and a Pac Man groom's cake for her best friend's wedding in May. Now, this wedding is only going to have 50-60 guests. She also wants a tasting of 5 cake flavors and 4 fillings. I think she's about to go into sticker shock when I tell her how much that is going to cost. No, I'm not trying to get rich off my friend, but I guarantee that every ounce of my supplies is going to be covered.

sccandwbfan Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 2:56pm
post #98 of 434

Great Thread. icon_smile.gif

I am an accountant. Everything has a place in Excel.

I have a very organized spreedsheet that details everything: I have a sheet that lists all of my cutters, pans, sprinkles, tools, everything and what I paid for them. I also have a master list of recipes that I've made that lists out price per cup on cake, filling and icing. I can track the cost and price of ALL of my materials, from salt to Cake pans.

What I don't know how to do is determine the amount of hours for decorating. I can determine bake time, mix time, and mostly the icing time, but decorating time? How do you figure out that it will take x amount of time to do each cake?

Any tidbits of knowledge will be welcomed and absorbed. icon_smile.gif

Christy

TPACakeGirl Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 3:16pm
post #99 of 434

I charge my hourly rate based on when I start the cake. This includes baking time, decorating time and then clean up time. And if it takes me a few days to do it, then it's clean up time for all those days. That is the worst part of the whole process.

tgress13 Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 3:59pm
post #100 of 434

Most of the people I know would not pay more than $30 for a supermarket sheet cake or $50 for a 10in. "from scratch" cake. Just simple BC top and bottom border and a message. Knowing the cost of basic ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and milk, they think it's fair enough. Once you get to the "designer" cakes, usually fondant with decorations and more, they know they're into a different category altogether. This is where they will splurge if they have to because they feel this is more of a luxury item. And for wedding cakes, they all expect prices to start at $250.

It's all a question of perspective. I started baking cakes because I didn't want to spend the $30 for a supermarket cake every year for my son's birthday. I did it year 1 and year 2 but from that point it's been homemade and he loves it, so do my nieces and nephews and siblings. (i have a big family).

IMO people aren't aware of the time and effort it takes to decorate a cake and therefore cannot gauge the value of the product. However, there are those out there who just don't want to pay fair value for anything and give other customers a bad name!

indydebi Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 4:01pm
post #101 of 434

Start your conversations with "Oh, you want a DUFF cake! His cakes start at $1000, you know!" Then shut up and watch their face. icon_twisted.gif

Its a fun exercise! (for me, anyway!) icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

TexasSugar Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 4:21pm
post #102 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by sccandwbfan

How do you figure out that it will take x amount of time to do each cake?




You have to go an estamated average. Some cakes will take less time, and you will make a little more money on the labor end. Some cakes will take a little more time, and wyou will lose a little money. In the end it will average out. You just need to make sure you are factoring in enough hours to work on an average cake. If your average cake is eloborate and takes many hours, then you need to use that as your base for figuring the hours spent.

Ali3971 Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 4:35pm
post #103 of 434

I always break it down. It takes x amount of time to ice and cover each cake in fondant + x amount of time to cut out decorations or prep etc. Just sit down and right down different steps for the cake and the amount of time it takes you to do them and add it all up to get a rough estimate.

TPACakeGirl Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 5:05pm
post #104 of 434

My local grocery store (Publix), charges $80 for a sheet cake.

countrygirll Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 5:50pm
post #105 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by cake_architect

think about it- would you pay $250 for a first birthday cake for your child?

But I'm also not so egotistical that I think I have to invite over 70 people (71 x $3.50 = $248.50) to a first birthday party, where the birthday boy/girl has no freakin' clue what's going on, and the party is just for the ego of the parent(s) anyway.

(I REALLY detest the phony-ness of first birthday parties. I really do. icon_cry.gif )




I have to agree here---children's birthday parties have gone way over the top and that's fine, but don't expect someone to make this elaborate cake for 70 people and you will pay $30! I can't remember who said it, but why is it that people go to a job and get paid certain amount of money per hour, but expect the person baking your cake to get paid a couple dollars an hour?? The way I look at it, if you don't want the talent and homemade cake, then you just need to take your business someplace else. We cannot control the cost of supplies and why should we work for less than minimum wage.
icon_surprised.gif

TPACakeGirl Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 5:55pm
post #106 of 434

If you're already having the $1000 bday party, why not add the $250 cake? It gives you something more to brag about. You can say, "look how much better my one year old's party was!! Not only did I rent out an entire horse farm and petting zoo complete with pony rides and clowns, but I also bought this awesome cake. Your child had a pavilion at a public park with a store bought cake. Your party only cost $150 total. Mine was obviously more awesome!"

BCo Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 6:04pm
post #107 of 434

I don't judge anyone on if they want to spend $1000 on party or only spend $100....to each his own, but do not give me a bunch of crap b/c you think my cake is too expensive for what you wanted to pay for it. Spend as little or as much as you want but don't expect to get a $1000 look for $100. If you want to spend your money on something big and extravagant - go for it! It's your money and it's not my place to say what you spend it on....but I charge what I charge and my price is my price you can take it or leave it and it won't hurt my feelings, just don't insult me by telling me you're not willing to pay that much for my product and expect me to say ok, what would you like to pay for it and I'll give it to you for that price!

If you can't afford it you can't afford it....just be polite to me when you tell me no THANK YOU! Not, OMG - that's way too much, I would never spend that much on a cake, can't you do better then that???

cake_architect Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 2:49am
post #108 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bturpin

I don't judge anyone on if they want to spend $1000 on party or only spend $100....to each his own, but do not give me a bunch of crap b/c you think my cake is too expensive for what you wanted to pay for it. Spend as little or as much as you want but don't expect to get a $1000 look for $100. If you want to spend your money on something big and extravagant - go for it! It's your money and it's not my place to say what you spend it on....but I charge what I charge and my price is my price you can take it or leave it and it won't hurt my feelings, just don't insult me by telling me you're not willing to pay that much for my product and expect me to say ok, what would you like to pay for it and I'll give it to you for that price!

If you can't afford it you can't afford it....just be polite to me when you tell me no THANK YOU! Not, OMG - that's way too much, I would never spend that much on a cake, can't you do better then that???




very well said!

sincollins Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 6:32pm
post #109 of 434

I live in a small town where, for the past 10 yrs (at least), home bakers have been selling buttercream icing cakes (wilton 1-cake mix pans) for $20-25. Seriously?? It costs me about that much just for the ingredients (assuming I have nothing)! People expect me to be able to make a 2 tier fondant cake, with decorations, for about $30! It's crazy! If they show any discomfort with my pricing I try to explain exactly where their money is going and I compare it to when I worked in a bakery. If they still have a problem I will give them the option of buying the ingredients for me and just charging for my time. Once I give them the list... well, that usually changes their mind and they become pretty happy with the price I quoted icon_lol.gif

If, in the end, they still don't like my price... they are more than welcome to find some other sucker to do it cheaper icon_wink.gif

TPACakeGirl Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 3:01pm
post #110 of 434

Maybe I should start passing out grocery lists too. It would be great if I could get someone to purchase the stuff and do the shopping for me. Just think about how much time I could save while making a point.

BCo Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 5:05pm
post #111 of 434

So update on my customer....As I grumbled the whole time making her cake icon_smile.gif she was as pleasant as punch when she came to pick up the cake and said it was going to be the hit of the party and was so happy that she had went ahead with the order and it was money well spent!!! I still did a little grumble to my BF after she left!! LOL icon_smile.gif I'm happy that it turned out in the end and she took some of my cards and I was told she couldn't say enough nice things about me or my cake at the party!!!! icon_smile.gif

sugardugar Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 5:33pm
post #112 of 434

On a related note: most people in this thread try to charge what they "should" so it seems you are all finished the low-balling phase. That's where I am.

I am new. My photos will show you I am very very new. I am self-taught, I literally bought my first cake pan (ever) and pastry bag/etc December 10th 2010...literally. Two months ago. I just one day realized I was depressed staying at home and needed a hobby. I started making cakes for family at bare minimum cost (aka walmart prices) and then decided to advertise and take orders, making practice cakes of my order prior-to just to get a bit of money to practice. Practicing at home for free is expensive!

So. How did you make the transition to upping your price?

TPACakeGirl Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 5:44pm
post #113 of 434

What made it easy for me was that I owed $1000 on my credit card from cake decorating supplies. My husband and I would like to take a trip to Europe this summer, so I need to pay that off. I have been dabbling cake decorating for years, but got serious about it 2 years ago. I just had to realize that people found me by word of mouth which means that someone liked my product. If someone liked it, then maybe it's better than I give myself credit for. And it's certainly good enough to charge enough to cover the supplies.

Annso Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 7:07pm
post #114 of 434

WoW!! All the prices quoted on here is in U.S. If I were to convert these to my currency I'd be rich!! Where i'm from few people spend XCD$120/U.S$45 on an 8 inch round cake. And groceries ain't cheap.

VentureSister Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 9:35pm
post #115 of 434

One of my coworker's boyfriend asked her to make him a red velvet cake for valentine's day. He had a specific one that he wanted. So she made it from scratch. She came up to me and said that was an eye-opener for her. From how much it costs to all the work she had to put into into it. She now has a new apprecitation for cakers.
icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
Wish more people would do the same.

MyDiwa Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 9:42pm
post #116 of 434

I'm always getting requests from friends and have come up with a general script for the conversation:

Friend: I'm having a xxx party and was wondering if you could do the cake for me?
Me: what did you have in mind?
Friend: bells and whistles
Me: what's your budget?
Friend: around $xx
Me: Gee I'm sorry - that's WAY below my minimum charge (don't even tell them what it is)
Friend: Really? I was thinking $xx would be more than enough.
Me: No, not at all.

No explanations, no bargaining or adjustments, just click my teeth and keep saying "No, sorry".

I don't sell cakes and do it as a hobby, but my friends think "Cake - oh, I know who can do a really nice one for me...." I'm not apologetic, or shy anymore because it's just gotten to the point where my nerves are rubbed raw by this that i don't care anymore! I simply decided to do cakes that I want to do when I want to do them and if it's free you have no say. So far, no-one's offered me anything worth what they're asking for so they get no cake from me!

TPACakeGirl Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 10:07pm
post #117 of 434

MyDIWA~~~ I'm going to start asking the budget question myself.

MyDiwa Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 10:25pm
post #118 of 434

I'm always amused at what they end up getting when I go to said party!

mykangaroo Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 10:49pm
post #119 of 434

I would like to say thanks for this conversation it was an eye opener. I will use the budget questions. good job MyDiwa

sincollins Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 11:00pm
post #120 of 434

sugardugar - Making that jump with the prices... when I first started making cakes, I would make them for friends or family (those I could depend on) at just above cost price... ummm ingredient cost alone that is. In order to get the cake at the mentioned price, they had to promise to tell anyone asking, to give them the price I would like to charge! In other words... they had to lie icon_biggrin.gif but it worked! They were more than willing to tell a teeny tiny little lie for the first couple of cakes I made for them. lol

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