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

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

jhammon Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 12:20am
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Good Luck!

auzzi Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 12:36am
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Cake Boss Software

http://www.cakeboss.com/

hnfizer1 Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 12:56am
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With me just starting my bussiness all your thoughts really helped me look at starting this the right way by using a software for prices and such. I make them for family and it costs me quite a bit and I get frusterated they dont always appreciate the amount of time I put into my designs especially after working a few days on it! I think its the individuals that do charge next to nothing not making money on it, making it hard for the ones that really want to take there bussiness to a higher level. Thanks so much

cazza1 Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 1:11am
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Reading threads like this I am so glad that I do not do cakes for a living.  I have often been asked why I don't, by people who have seen my cakes, and I explain how too many people sell themselves too cheap and make it impossible for other people who want to make a reasonable living.  Why would I go to all the stress and risk burn out of a wonderful hobby for a pittance when I can earn a stress free basic wage at the supermarket for a lot more.

What people really need to realise, if they are starting a business, is that a custom cake is a luxury item.  If people can't afford it then they should not get it.  And if they really want it then they should have to pay, and people asking a pittance only undervalue the whole market.  Other businesses do not operate this way, so why should the cake industry.

Good luck to those earning thousands.  I for one am pleased to see some peoples artistic skills being rewarded. Just because it is edible does not mean it is less valuable artistically than other forms of art.

costumeczar Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 1:19am
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As long as there are people and stores who will charge $1 a serving, there will be people who think that's the normal charge. Custom cakes are a luxury item, nobody needs one, they want one. Honestly, most people in the world have never shopped for a custom cake, they go to Walmart and are happy with that. If someone questions your price just tell them that they're not just paying for the cake, they're also paying for your skill and experience. If they don't want to do that then let them go somewhere else to get their cake. The world keeps turning and life goes on.

costumeczar Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 1:22am
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Here's my blog entry for today: http://www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2013/03/another-grocery-store-wedding-cake.html

 

and an old classic. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/search?q=it+isn%27t+just+flour+and+sugar

 

Feel free to show them to clients when they ask about why your cakes cost so much.

Spireite Posted 7 Mar 2013 , 8:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

Here's my blog entry for today: http://www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2013/03/another-grocery-store-wedding-cake.html

 

and an old classic. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/search?q=it+isn%27t+just+flour+and+sugar

 

Feel free to show them to clients when they ask about why your cakes cost so much.

Great Blog Costumeczar, I have only ever baked the fruit layers of a wedding cake, there's no way I would feel up to completely decorating one as well! icon_smile.gif

SugarRush239 Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 5:57pm
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I know this is an old post. But my mom and I recently started a small at home business just to try it out. My mom finds baking relaxing and I find decorating very relaxing. I have a full time job so the cake stuff isn't something I depend on. However, I truly hate when people complain about prices. We make everything from scratch (including the fondant). I think the $125-175 for the 3 tier cake is very cheap! I usually charge $150 for a 2 tier 8&6 inch cake. Sometimes people think this is over priced but I usually don't even make half profit. By the time you purchase ingredients, your electricity, gas it takes to drive everywhere, and not to mention the time it takes to make a cake...you're pretty much making about 25%. I used to charge less but I wasn't even matching what I spent, sometimes I was spending more than what I charged. Of course I was new and was totally unaware of how much it really took to make a cake. Anyways... my point is, don't be afraid to charge! If they don't like it then they can go somewhere else. I hate losing customers due to pricing...but it's pointless to spend all that time making something and not gain any profit from it. You might as well give away the cake at that point. 

sixinarow Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 9:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarRush239 

I know this is an old post. But my mom and I recently started a small at home business just to try it out. My mom finds baking relaxing and I find decorating very relaxing. I have a full time job so the cake stuff isn't something I depend on. However, I truly hate when people complain about prices. We make everything from scratch (including the fondant). I think the $125-175 for the 3 tier cake is very cheap! I usually charge $150 for a 2 tier 8&6 inch cake. Sometimes people think this is over priced but I usually don't even make half profit. By the time you purchase ingredients, your electricity, gas it takes to drive everywhere, and not to mention the time it takes to make a cake...you're pretty much making about 25%. I used to charge less but I wasn't even matching what I spent, sometimes I was spending more than what I charged. Of course I was new and was totally unaware of how much it really took to make a cake. Anyways... my point is, don't be afraid to charge! If they don't like it then they can go somewhere else. I hate losing customers due to pricing...but it's pointless to spend all that time making something and not gain any profit from it. You might as well give away the cake at that point. 

Totally agree. I figure it as time I could've been spending with my family. I love cakes, but if someone wants me to take time and energy away from my family, they need to pay me (or them) for it! :)

sixinarow Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 9:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

Here's my blog entry for today: http://www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2013/03/another-grocery-store-wedding-cake.html

 

and an old classic. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/search?q=it+isn%27t+just+flour+and+sugar

 

Feel free to show them to clients when they ask about why your cakes cost so much.

Loved your blog! Especially "flour and water makes glue, not cake." icon_biggrin.gif

liz at sugar Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 11:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford 

I know this is probably going to offend several, if not many, people but I just don't understand the problems with pricing.  And these threads pop up every single day. How can you even contemplate starting a business without knowing ahead of time what you're going to charge for your product?  Does a grocery store or hardware store open without all prices firmly in place and even marked on the shelves?  Does a car dealership open without stickers on every window?

 

How can you even hope to have a profitable business when you have no idea what it's going to cost you to produce your cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc., and how many you have to sell to reach your break even point?  Are you even planning on having a profitable business? 

 

There's more to it than "everybody loves my cakes and so many people are telling me I should start my own business".  If you don't take care of the business side of it, you're not going to have a business for long.

 

This.  And on top of this, the time it takes you make and decorate a cake is an expense.  It doesn't come out of overhead, and it isn't profit.  Profit is what is left after you have paid for supplies, labor and overhead.  It can be used to reinvest in your business, or to give yourself a bonus.  It is mind boggling how many people go into business without the most basic math needed to run a business.

 

Liz

PeasNTatersMom Posted 31 May 2013 , 7:57pm
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AI am having a really difficult time with pricing. I had a lady contact me for a wedding cake for her daughter. She wants a 3 tier (one layer each tier) chocolate cane with white buttercream frosting, red roses with vines cascading down the side of the cake, and a long quote written on the side. She asked me about this last Tuesday but said she'd get back to me on when she needs it. This morning she messaged me to say she needs it on Tuesday (today is Friday). I work Saturday and Sunday nights, have a specamial needs child at home and school is out for the Summer. This doesn't leave me much time to get the cake done. I can do it, though, and had planned to go ahead and make the roses today so they can be drying. I could see that she was online when I told her $50 for the cake...she logged off about 5 minutes later and has yet to message me back.

jason_kraft Posted 31 May 2013 , 8:01pm
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A

Original message sent by PeasNTatersMom

I am having a really difficult time with pricing. I had a lady contact me for a wedding cake for her daughter. She wants a 3 tier (one layer each tier) chocolate cane with white buttercream frosting, red roses with vines cascading down the side of the cake, and a long quote written on the side. She asked me about this last Tuesday but said she'd get back to me on when she needs it. This morning she messaged me to say she needs it on Tuesday (today is Friday). I work Saturday and Sunday nights, have a specamial needs child at home and school is out for the Summer. This doesn't leave me much time to get the cake done. I can do it, though, and had planned to go ahead and make the roses today so they can be drying. I could see that she was online when I told her $50 for the cake...she logged off about 5 minutes later and has yet to message me back.

You are better off letting this one go, you probably underpriced this cake by at least a factor of 3x-5x. Check out the pricing formula link in my signature for an overview of how to price cakes.

kikiandkyle Posted 31 May 2013 , 10:11pm
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Definitely don't get upset about losing this $50 order, you are spending that on ingredients, never mind utility costs, overhead for your other expenses and then your time. 

 

Remember that when you price yourself as the cheap cake lady, people expect cheap cakes. 

cakefat Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 12:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeasNTatersMom 

I am having a really difficult time with pricing. I had a lady contact me for a wedding cake for her daughter. She wants a 3 tier (one layer each tier) chocolate cane with white buttercream frosting, red roses with vines cascading down the side of the cake, and a long quote written on the side. She asked me about this last Tuesday but said she'd get back to me on when she needs it. This morning she messaged me to say she needs it on Tuesday (today is Friday). I work Saturday and Sunday nights, have a specamial needs child at home and school is out for the Summer. This doesn't leave me much time to get the cake done. I can do it, though, and had planned to go ahead and make the roses today so they can be drying. I could see that she was online when I told her $50 for the cake...she logged off about 5 minutes later and has yet to message me back.

$50 for a 3 tier cake??? Please tell me this is a typo. It doesn't matter where you live..there is no possible way to charge $50 for this cake.

It is so grossly underpriced, it's just not believable. 

 

It seems that just your time is worth much much more than that.  Besides what kind of person gives you such short notice? That's an automatic "NO" for me.  

AZCouture Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 1:18am
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A$50? What the, why the? No!

Pyro Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 3:28am
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Walmart will be pissed, you're undercutting them with 3 tiers at 50$.

cakefat Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 3:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro 

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

 

haha!

Godot Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 5:43am
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A

Original message sent by Pyro

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

★snork★

Evoir Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 7:14am
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A

Original message sent by cazza1

What people really need to realise, if they are starting a business, is that a custom cake is a luxury item.  If people can't afford it then they should not get it.  And if they really want it then they should have to pay, and people asking a pittance only undervalue the whole market.  Other businesses do not operate this way, so why should the cake industry. Good luck to those earning thousands.  I for one am pleased to see some peoples artistic skills being rewarded. Just because it is edible does not mean it is less valuable artistically than other forms of art.

Absolutely agree with you Cazza. You nailed it.

vgcea Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 8:35am
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A

Original message sent by PeasNTatersMom

I am having a really difficult time with pricing. I had a lady contact me for a wedding cake for her daughter. She wants a 3 tier (one layer each tier) chocolate cane with white buttercream frosting, red roses with vines cascading down the side of the cake, and a long quote written on the side. She asked me about this last Tuesday but said she'd get back to me on when she needs it. This morning she messaged me to say she needs it on Tuesday (today is Friday). I work Saturday and Sunday nights, have a specamial needs child at home and school is out for the Summer. This doesn't leave me much time to get the cake done. I can do it, though, and had planned to go ahead and make the roses today so they can be drying. I could see that she was online when I told her $50 for the cake...she logged off about 5 minutes later and has yet to message me back.

$50?!!! You're joking right?

SugaredSaffron Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 11:28am
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One does one layer on each tier mean? Like a cake that is literally 3-5" tall?
 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 1:16pm
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AI was wondering the same think. One 1" layer per tier? One 2" layer per tier?

SugarRoseCakery Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 4:19pm
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AHi fellow cakerers! I'm in the UK and $50 doesn't seem like a lot for a 3 tiered cake! I'm not sure what the currency exchange rate is, but I'd say that was about 30 quid. I'd say that was severely undercharging, regardless of how deep the tiers are! I would also suggest sending the woman a polite message saying that if you do not receive confirmation that she wants the cake within the next however many hours then you're very sorry but you won't have the time to make it. Personally I love the challenge of last minute cake orders, but I always make sure the customer knows the confirmation deadline, and I like to take a phone number too, otherwise you run the risk of the customer confirming that they want the cake without you having sufficient time to make and decorate it.

Incidentally, with regards to pricing, I was recently contacted by a lady who wanted a cake for her little girls birthday, but it had to be lactose free and gluten free. I keep my prices as low as I can as I'm just starting out professionally, but obviously, that sort of cake needs special ingredients which cost more to buy. The sort of cake she wanted would usually be around £40 (cheaper than most cake makers in my area), so having worked things out, I quoted her £45. This was too expensive for her. I wish her luck in finding someone cheaper!

I do think the general problem is that a lot people just don't realise the time and attention it takes to make and decorate a custom cake. They think that they can get a bespoke cake at supermarket prices :grin:

SugaredSaffron Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 6:18pm
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AIf the tiers are 1"-2" then fine whatever, but I can't believe that anyone is thick enough to price a 3 tier for $50/£30.

vgcea Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 6:41pm
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A

Original message sent by SugaredSaffron

If the tiers are 1"-2" then fine whatever, but I can't believe that anyone is thick enough to price a 3 tier for $50/£30.

I agree. No matter the size of the tiers there's additional materials and time involved in stacking. And add to that flowers and all the extras poster mentioned. $50? Come on.

cakefat Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 11:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 

If the tiers are 1"-2" then fine whatever, but I can't believe that anyone is thick enough to price a 3 tier for $50/£30.

Evidently they are because the poster is still going to do it or still considering it.  You can lead a horse to water...

 

Even if you lived under a rock in the lowest cost of living area in the world- it would still be extreme underpricing.

Actually - the cake maker will be paying the client to make this cake for only $50. incredible logic there. icon_confused.gif

PTDixieGal Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 5:58am
post #208 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakefat 

Evidently they are because the poster is still going to do it or still considering it.  You can lead a horse to water...

 

Even if you lived under a rock in the lowest cost of living area in the world- it would still be extreme underpricing.

Actually - the cake maker will be paying the client to make this cake for only $50. incredible logic there. icon_confused.gif

I would like to know what these people honestly think goes into it...I mean, now I'm relatively new to this, so I'm not an expert but even I know enough to know that three tiers for $50.00...that just doesn't compute. My sister's wedding cake is four tiers and it's well over $200, probably in the $300 range.

Cher2309b Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 6:25am
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Sorry; I can't find a source for this poem but I think it's quite apt:

 

 

ONLY A SPONGE

You're ever so clever - I'll get you to make
for my mother's birthday a beautiful birthday cake
Only a sponge - that's all I need
('only a sponge', I thought, 'only' indeed)

Make it look pretty, she'd like it in pink
put one of those frills on - no - two frills I think.
Insert some ribbon and cover the board
remember to put 'Happy birthday to Maude'

As for the flowers, her favourite's sweetpea
and orchids and roses - well just do all three.
Mustn't forget some embroidery things you know,
flowers and ribbons and birds on their wings

You'll charge me 'nine fifty'?
Well that's a bit steep
It's ONLY A SPONGE
and they're ever so cheap!!

PeasNTatersMom Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 7:10pm
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AWow. I can't believe how rude some of you are here. I am just getting around to reading the comments here and I am very surprised. I guess I expected more guidance and support than shock, disgust and disbelief - not to mention being called "thick". I am new to this, beyond baking as a hobby. My work doesn't even compare to most of what you do. I learn more with each project I do. I feel that the practice I am getting is payment in part - and I'm covering cost of supplies and making a (very) little bit for my time as well. I do plan to adjust my pricing a bit - I am working on that now. I posted here seeking help and maybe a safe place to vent my troubles, where I thought people would understand. I posted a seperate thread and appreciate very much the kindness I received there, so to those I thank you. A little kindness goes a long way in making someone's day. :) Everyone else? I'll just say I wish you all the best.

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