Sheet Cake He!!

Decorating By ConfectionsCC Updated 22 Apr 2011 , 1:22am by warchild

ConfectionsCC Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 2:17pm
post #1 of 37

Ugh, for starters, I do not do sheet cakes AT ALL, tried them, hated them, moving on! I advertise myself as a custom cake boutique....that alone should scream "these are higher end cakes, not a grocery store". This means of course, my prices are HIGHER than a grocery store, and yet, people STILL bug me with getting price quotes and then freak out when I quote them $100 for a cake, and their exact words EVERYTIME "Did you know that walmart sells cakes for feed like 45 people for $30?" YES, I do know this, go get one of theirs, I am not, will not, will never, make a cake the quality of walmart's at their price. Have a good day. SORRY I HAD TO VENT. No, I dont really speak to customers that way, but somedays i wish I could!

36 replies
m_willford Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 2:44pm
post #2 of 37

Vent away! icon_smile.gif I mentioned to someone at my BIL's wedding that the cupcakes and cutting cake were their gift from my husband and I, and they asked how much it would have been. Well, at $2 a cupcake, 6 dozen cupcakes is $140! Then another $50 for the cake.....

Their jaw kind of dropped and I'm sitting there thinking that if they knew how many hours were put into just the stupid fondant flowers on top of the cupcakes, like the 2 1/2 straight hours I sat kneading coloring into fondant to nearly perfectly match her deep colored wedding bouquet - with carpal tunnel- they wouldn't be so shocked.

Why should we price our quality product for the same a throw-it-together place does? Have they not seen CakeWrecks? Ugh...

Chiara Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 2:52pm
post #3 of 37

The one thing is that people don't realize these cakes that they buy are made elsewhere, frozen and shipped from overseas. So most of the decorating is done in house but not too many details are required. Hence lower costs. I am not naming companies or countries but I think you would understand.
It is ok to vent.
For one, it would be cheaper to buy a gift for a couple then it is to make a cake as a gift.

lyndim Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:00pm
post #4 of 37

Also people don't realize the time that goes into making and decorating the cake. If cake decorators charged by the hour the price would be outrages!

m_willford Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:11pm
post #5 of 37

Man, I would have made a killing with my BIL's cake/cupcakes at minimum wage! LOL! And at any other career, the length of time I've been doing this and my skill level, I'd be making double minimum wage...

Why do people not have a problem paying their mechanic $100 an hour, but not their cake decorator? It's just as physically demanding and technical...

Nellical Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:28pm
post #6 of 37

You are not alone! Our cakes are made from scratch, never frozen which means they are made the same week as the delivery. We use only Italian Meringue Buttercream, nothing with shortening, which means the frosting taste like heaven! When people eat our cakes, they toss their heads back and their eyes roll up. Then they look at me with a glazed look (like they just had some good loving) and say how amazing the cake tastes, then they proceed to eat as if their lives depended on it. EVERY time!!!

We charge $8 a serving and have a minimum of $500 for a custom cake. We have a cafe in front and are open evenings three nights a week for dessert. That is when people can come in for a slice of cake, creme brulee, or macarons. Sometimes I make cream puffs with real pastry cream. Nothing fake, real delicious food.

By the time I have done all of that baking and then decorating the custom cakes, I am exhausted. My legs take two days to stop feeling sore and for me to stop limping. I never get a day off, I work seven days a week; five days a week in the bakery, sometimes six, and the other two days doing the business end. or running the errands. I put my heart and soul into this bakery and the product we make. And still people call and complain of the price.

We are a high end bakery and we have a very high end product. People go to restaurants and pay $6 for a dessert that tastes nasty and is not made with fresh, natural ingredients but they complain about $8/serving for a decorated cake. It is crucial that all bakers and decorators unite and educate people instead of handing them crap and charging nothing for it. Even the home bakers, especially the home bakers. If you charge too little, you are paying for that client's cake in time, money and your physical well being, not to mention the time not spent with your family. You aren't doing anyone but the client any favors, plus they think it's okay to take advantage of all bakers.

Okay, I need to get in the bakery and make white roses and purple orchids for a big wedding cake next month. (I was lucky enough to take an orchid class with Ron Ben-Israel last month!)

Stick to your guns, everybody!

Nel

ConfectionsCC Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 5:28pm
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nellical

You are not alone! Our cakes are made from scratch, never frozen which means they are made the same week as the delivery. We use only Italian Meringue Buttercream, nothing with shortening, which means the frosting taste like heaven! When people eat our cakes, they toss their heads back and their eyes roll up. Then they look at me with a glazed look (like they just had some good loving) and say how amazing the cake tastes, then they proceed to eat as if their lives depended on it. EVERY time!!!


Nel




OMG That is a hilarious descriptions! I LOVE IT LOL!! I am priced mid to upper end in my area, but I have not had but maybe 2 people complain about prices, and guess what! They went and bought sheet cakes instead! I am perfectly fine with loosing a customer or two to a sheet cake...if they can not afford the cake, or do not appreciate the artistry that goes into the cakes, than their money will be better spent else where! I do work with budgets, I understand the economy, but I will not go down on price just because some one else has decided to produce cakes cheaper! There are only one or two custom decorators in my area...my prices are comparable...

jammjenks Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 5:53pm
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfectionsCC

their exact words EVERYTIME "Did you know that walmart sells cakes for feed like 45 people for $30?"




I've had that too. If I'm a particular mood that day, I'll say, "Good. I NEVER want to be as cheap as they are."

My calendar stays booked weeks in advance, so losing one cheapskate every now and again is not a big deal to me. icon_razz.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 6:13pm
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfectionsCC

their exact words EVERYTIME "Did you know that walmart sells cakes for feed like 45 people for $30?"




I'm not sure I would have a polite answer if some dummy actually blurted that out to me. icon_confused.gif

shaibaer Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:42am
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfectionsCC

their exact words EVERYTIME "Did you know that walmart sells cakes for feed like 45 people for $30?"




My response would be "Did YOU know that Duff from Ace of Cakes charges a MINIMUM of $1000 per cake? I only charge $XX (or whatever)... that's like a 75% off cake! Totally better deal!"

ConfectionsCC Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:50am
post #11 of 37

I DID have someone blurt that out to me! I was speechless!! My only thought was, well their cakes are made in a huge factory, frozen, and mass produced with low quality ingredients. Mine are all fresh, homemade, and only include the highest quality ingredients!

Kitagrl Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:53am
post #12 of 37

What has been interesting to me is a few times I've done a cake for a friend and have said "Just pay me what you have or what you think its worth".

I learned I probably shouldn't do that because #1: They will probably unwittingly undervalue the cake or #2: They will just plain take advantage.

Most people have not price checked custom cakes....they need to though.

Jenn2179 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:55am
post #13 of 37

When I get asked about sheet cake I just tell them I don't do them. I have pink boxes st my shop and had a customer tell me if I didn't have such nice boxes I could lower my prices. But yes I get many a shocked customer when I tell them the price.

ConfectionsCC Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:26am
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn2179

When I get asked about sheet cake I just tell them I don't do them. I have pink boxes st my shop and had a customer tell me if I didn't have such nice boxes I could lower my prices. But yes I get many a shocked customer when I tell them the price.




This might be a little off subject, but I am soo looking forward to my custom boxes hehe icon_biggrin.gif Needless to say, after I gave the customer the final quote today, she has yet to call me back after needing to discuss it first icon_razz.gif

Mo-Mo73 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:49am
post #15 of 37

good for you all sticking to your guns...i havent done a cake for money in a long time...the last time i did the mother complained about my price and i vowed to NEVER sell cakes again...i use to be a hairdresser and its the same thing...NO ONE KNOWS HOW MUCH WORK, STRESS ON YOUR BODY, SUPPLIES, ETC. caking or hairdressing ( =p ) really takes...just doing cakes for my family costs ME money and its always a gift from me...they will never know..then again its therapy for my as well...just wanted to put my two cents in...

ConfectionsCC Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 4:10am
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo-Mo73

good for you all sticking to your guns...i havent done a cake for money in a long time...the last time i did the mother complained about my price and i vowed to NEVER sell cakes again...i use to be a hairdresser and its the same thing...NO ONE KNOWS HOW MUCH WORK, STRESS ON YOUR BODY, SUPPLIES, ETC. caking or hairdressing ( =p ) really takes...just doing cakes for my family costs ME money and its always a gift from me...they will never know..then again its therapy for my as well...just wanted to put my two cents in...




Mo-mo, I understand! My mom is a hairdresser, I am a cake decorator...I am beginning to think it take a very special personality type to be successful in any type of service business like these! I never question prices of someone who is doing a service job, if their work is good, or best, I will pay the price. I just wish everyone could see it like that!

staciessweets Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 4:29am
post #17 of 37

Also people watch to much of those cake shows. They what a Bentley cake for the price of a Pinto cake.

Marianna46 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 4:54am
post #18 of 37

Wouldn't it be nice if all those people on cake shows would talk about their pricing every once in a while? That would wake a lot of people up! They give you Bentley cakes at Bentley prices.

scp1127 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 9:08am
post #19 of 37

Marianna, it is up to us, not TV shows, to educate the public. The cakes on my site give thr tier sizes, number of servings, price per serving, and the total amount. Then I say that other styles and sizes are available. It is a great conversation starter. The very first thing we discuss is number of guests and the budget. People do not like to do the cake dance any more than they want to do the new car dance.

mcaulir Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 9:52am
post #20 of 37

Without trying to be a smart***, I'm always shocked at everyone's shock.

People don't buy large, custom cakes every day. Most people might buy one for a wedding, or an anniversary party, and most of us only plan one or two of those in our lives. Maybe some people buy a custom cake regularly, but those people would be in the minority.

How on earth would they know how much money, time or effort these things take us to do if they've never done it themselves? If prices are listed on a website, of course people shouldn't be surprised, but they don't expect to be able to cut 24 servings from an 8inch cake, because most cakes people make aren't 4 inches high, and don't serve 24 people.

Plus, regardless of how they could work it out, it's going to be a shock to be asked to pay over $100 for a cake, because (and I know this is kind of sacreligious here) it is just a cake, and $100 is a heck of a lot of money.

I'm sure it's annoying to hear all the time, but I'm not sure why anyone's surprised that people get a shock when they hear prices.

sweetmonkeycheese Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:37pm
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nellical

We have a cafe in front and are open evenings three nights a week for dessert. That is when people can come in for a slice of cake, creme brulee, or macarons. Sometimes I make cream puffs with real pastry cream. Nothing fake, real delicious food.



Nel




I wish more places did this!!! I was just posting about why icecream shops stayed open at night, but not a bakery or cupcake shop! they moved the post to another board so no one saw it.

I would love to be able to do this

ddaigle Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:02pm
post #22 of 37

Ok...in defense if sheet cakes, not all sheet cakes are synonymous with walmart. If y'all have been around CC long enough to remember Thanh Thanh's cakes (who I am fortunate to work with), she also does many gorgeous high end sheet cakes. They are not for everyone. I personally hate doing kit cakes, but have to at work. I find that a lot of people do not want tiered cakes..not due to price, but for functions, they want the ease of cutting a sheet cake.

nicunurse Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:32pm
post #23 of 37

I too get the "shock" factor when asked the price of a custom cake. Most folks have no idea the amount of time and effort that goes into creating a spectacular cake. They see a picture and think that they can get that cake at the Walmart price. I spend alot of time educating people that what they see on TV is tons of people behind the scenes working on a cake for days. It's not done in 1 hour!

ddaigle Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:40pm
post #24 of 37

Oh and I see for those of you that couldn't afford Ace of Cakes $1000 cakes, they have now made their cakes more "affordable" by offering 8" round cakes $250!!!! Really? And I only say that because of the designs they are offering. I know some areas charge that much for a 8" round, but you must look at their pics. I'm not impressed.

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:42pm
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle

Ok...in defense if sheet cakes, not all sheet cakes are synonymous with walmart. If y'all have been around CC long enough to remember Thanh Thanh's cakes (who I am fortunate to work with), she also does many gorgeous high end sheet cakes. They are not for everyone. I personally hate doing kit cakes, but have to at work. I find that a lot of people do not want tiered cakes..not due to price, but for functions, they want the ease of cutting a sheet cake.




I was just thinking the same thing. I used to think "bad" of sheet cakes and make fun of them until I bought the Sharon Zambito's video. The cakes, especially the first one are decorated so nicely that I wanted to make one. I don't sell cakes, so I don't have to deal with customers saying all these things, but my opinion of sheet cakes has changed...if they are high-end and beautifully decorated. Then again, the price might go even higher!

indydebi Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 5:00pm
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle

Ok...in defense if sheet cakes, not all sheet cakes are synonymous with walmart. If y'all have been around CC long enough to remember Thanh Thanh's cakes (who I am fortunate to work with),


I am envious! You get to work with a master!!!!


As far as pricing, someone recently posted on another thread (scp, was it you?) that while cakers will voice frustration with "the public doesn't know how much a cake costs", these same cakers will NOT put pricing on their website so the public can DO the pricing research that cakers wish they would do. My pricing was posted loud and clear on my website AND I had a "budget wizard" that I created where the client could figure the cost right down to the dime before they even picked up the phone.

My pricing was never a secret.

Even if your pricing has a "starts at" system, I find that you have to do the math for them. My favorite example is the coffee comparison: No one thinks $4 for a cup fo coffee is expensive ..... until they have to buy 200 of them. ANd I swear, when you do the math for them and tell them "that'll be $800, please" their reaction will be "$800 FOR A CUP OF COFFEE????" icon_lol.gif

Marianna46 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 8:54pm
post #27 of 37

As ever, Debi, you're right on the mark! We could all do a better job of educating our clientele.

nicunurse Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 9:38pm
post #28 of 37

Debi, the coffee comment is right on!!! I work two nicu jobs, have 5 kids and a grand baby. I spend my weekends with the girls making cakes. After a few "just pay me on top of supplies, etc" and got totally %&!!@#, I had to set a per slice serving! And this was for friends!! My time is to valuable to have taken advantage of!

sweetmonkeycheese Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 3:48pm
post #29 of 37

I would love to one day have the confidence to make a sheet cake, they scare me as a hobby baker (I will put a big fat crack in a cake that big torting it!!!) I love all the real state you have a sheet cake to make a picture/ design. Stacking round cakes seem so much easier than dealing w/ a monster cake! Mad props to those can handle a sheet cake!

imagenthatnj Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:10pm
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetmonkeycheese

I would love to one day have the confidence to make a sheet cake, they scare me as a hobby baker (I will put a big fat crack in a cake that big torting it!!!) I love all the real state you have a sheet cake to make a picture/ design. Stacking round cakes seem so much easier than dealing w/ a monster cake! Mad props to those can handle a sheet cake!




Sweetmonkeycheese (I love your name!), you don't have to tort.

Most sheetcakes are one layer with frosting on top and sides.

The ones with filling in the middle, you do with this and take off the dome (if there is one).

http://www.pastrychef.com/SHEETPANS_p_1271.html

There are extenders:

http://www.pastrychef.com/SHEETPAN-EXTENDERS_p_1270.html

And even higher pans:

http://www.pastrychef.com/SHEET-CAKE-PANS_p_1263.html

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