Stacked Cake Price Question

Decorating By specialtycakesbysara Updated 11 Aug 2011 , 3:39pm by auntiem9597

specialtycakesbysara Posted 6 May 2011 , 2:17pm
post #1 of 22

Just wondering if any of you have a set price on stacked cakes. I have 3 baby shower cakes coming up within the next 3 weeks. They are all either 6" and 9" or 6" and 10" stacked round cakes. Buttercream with fondant accents. Do you think like $55 is too much for these types of cakes?? The lady that is hosting the parties isn't 100% sure on the number of guests, but she wants those size of cakes. So I can't say "xx amount per serving". Plus, I would rather have a set price since they are all relatively the same type of cake. Thanks.

21 replies
brenda549 Posted 6 May 2011 , 2:32pm
post #2 of 22

I say wayyy to little for stacked cakes.

My customers pay for the amount of cake they receive, not the amount of guests they invite/show up. Also, stacked cakes require more time and attention to support structure and also more materials. I also go with the 1x2x4 inch slice standard for all cakes (not just weddings).

So for a 6" and 9" round stacked cake $187 (44 servings @$4.25 per serving).

For a 6" and 10" round stacked cake $212.50 (50 servings @$4.25 per serving).

Even if you go with party size servings (2x2x4 inch slices), that would be 30 servings for the 6 and 9 and 38 servings for the 6 and 10. You are being paid less than $2.00 per serving. If that is the going rate in your area, then so be it. However, is that covering all of your costs? Materials, ingredients, electricity, and most importantly TIME? Remember to include what you consider a reasonable hourly wage for your time.

cakegirl1973 Posted 6 May 2011 , 2:34pm
post #3 of 22

For a 6" and 10" stacked cake, I charge at least $75.00. Could be more, depending on the decorating.

TexasSugar Posted 6 May 2011 , 6:01pm
post #4 of 22
Originally Posted by specialtycakesbysara

So I can't say "xx amount per serving". Plus, I would rather have a set price since they are all relatively the same type of cake. Thanks.

Of course you can say a price per serving. As was pointed out above, they are paying for how many servings they cake want serves, now not many pieces they are going to cut off of it.

The price of a certain size cake and the price per serving should equal out to the same thing.

If you charge $24 for a 6in cake, and the cake serves 12 people, then the price per serving is 12 divided by 24, or $2 per serving.

When you start to figure the cost of your cake, you aren't looking at the price per serving. You are looking at how much does that cake cost you as a whole to make, how much time you have invested in it, how much your time is worth, and how much profit you want to make. Once you know that information you can then figure the cost of the cake, and break it down to a price per serving. The price per serving just helps it make it easier for you to do the the math, and to keep your pricing consistent.

TexasSugar Posted 6 May 2011 , 6:14pm
post #5 of 22

By the way, $55 is way to little!

I just did a 3 tier - 6in, 8in, and 10in round cake. I iced it in ganache and then fondant. Counting the chocolate, cream, fondant and all the other supplies (cake and fillings, boards, dowels and so on) I spent well over $100 on what I needed to do the cake.

Cakes are expensive to make, especially when you start adding up all the little things you use while doing them.

KimmyD Posted 6 May 2011 , 6:30pm
post #6 of 22

I will agree with those who said you're charging way too little. I live in a small town, so I only charge $1.75 per serving for JUST basic buttercream. Fondant and extra decor costs extra....and a 6" & 10" would be $87.50+tax.

specialtycakesbysara Posted 6 May 2011 , 7:58pm
post #7 of 22

Thank you everyone who responded. I always have the hardest time pricing out my cakes. I once had a lady tell me that she thought $50 was too much for a two tiered staked cake and that "it doesn't even come from a bakery".

TexasSugar - I have read the post that you reply when people ask about prices. I get what you are saying, I just don't want to say, "my price is xx per serving". I would rather have a flat fee. Especially since these cakes are all ordered from the same person. Thanks for your input!! icon_biggrin.gif

TexasSugar Posted 6 May 2011 , 9:48pm
post #8 of 22

You can give her a flat rate. As I said it is the same thing in the end. A 8 in cake that serves 24 people is either $48 or $2 a serving. (Using $2 as an example.) So you can tell her $2 per serving or you can tell her $48. They both mean the same thing. I always give out both, that away people are aware of how many servings they are getting. Especially if they don't know for sure what they want, and I list a couple of different options.

A personal pet peeve is people that have 'flat rates' that don't make sense. The ones that have $25 for an 6in, $30 for a 8in, and then $40 for a 10in. When you price per serving them, the numbers just don't add up.

6in - $25 (serves 12) is $2.08 a serving
8in - $30 (serves 24) is $1.25 a serving
10im - $40 (serves 3icon_cool.gif is $1.05 a serving

When people that that, to me there is no rhythm or reason they have the prices they do, other than they pick them out of the air.

Another thing to note is that you don't have to do the cost per cake for every cake you do. Find the average and work from that. If you do a lot of 6 and 10in cakes, then figure the cost and time involved in that one, including your supports and such. Then divide it by the number of servings. At that point you can adjust the price per serving up to a rounded number and go from there. Then no matter what the size you have a number to work off up.

For me the price per serving makes math easy. As long as I know the price per serving and have the serving size chart I can price any cake. And it allows you to be consistent in pricing.

You can always do the math and have your 'flat' rate written down beside each cake size.

specialtycakesbysara Posted 6 May 2011 , 10:11pm
post #9 of 22

Thanks very much!! I appreciate your input. I understand what you mean. I think my problem is that I constantly underprice myself and then feel that I HAVE to stick with that price. For example, the lady that is ordering these 3 cakes is a friend's friend. I charged my friend $40 for a 6 inch and an 8 inch stacked. She is my friend, so I wanted to cut her a deal, but now I feel that I have to stick around that price for this person. I know, I'm a mess. LOL. icon_biggrin.gif

TexasSugar Posted 6 May 2011 , 10:19pm
post #10 of 22

No you don't. You tell your friend that that is her discounted price, and not for other people.

You don't have to keep undercharging. You need to make sure it is worth your time and money. Are you even making enough to make for what goes into the cake?? If you aren't then why are you doing it?

Chonte Posted 6 May 2011 , 10:20pm
post #11 of 22

absolutely not! just because you gave one person a discount does not mean you have to give everyone a discount.

specialtycakesbysara Posted 6 May 2011 , 10:23pm
post #12 of 22

I enjoy making cakes. I don't make the cakes to pay my bills. I do charge enough to cover my costs, and then I usually end up making a few dollars an hour.

TexasSugar Posted 6 May 2011 , 10:37pm
post #13 of 22

I don't make cakes to pay the bills either. But my time is worth something. I spent 14 hours working on that cake for my SIL, and while I love her and my brother, I don't love them enough to give up my weekend to make a cake for nothing in return. icon_smile.gif That is my free time (work a full time and a part time job) I am giving up for cake.

If you have a husband and/or kids, then the cake time is taking you away from them, and that time shouldn't be undervalued.

In the end you have to do what you feel comfortable with, but please be careful. In my 10ish years on cake message boards, the biggest thing I have seen lead to cake burn out is pricing, not charging enough, because there is usually a point when you start to resent the time spent for nothing in return.

carmijok Posted 6 May 2011 , 11:29pm
post #14 of 22

You go TexasSugar! You are absolutely right in everything you are saying. I had a lady (who was friends with someone who'd been to a baby shower where I'd done the cake) she called Wednesday afternoon with a last minute request for a cake for Saturday morning...seemed a bit desperate...I said I usually have to have 2 weeks notice, but if it wasn't going to be a tiered cake and not too elaborate I might have time. Well she assures me this 'just a layer cake' and sends me the picture of the cake her sister absolutely loves and wants for her graduation. Not only was it 'just a layer cake' it had an 18 loop 2-color bow with a gumpaste graduation hat & tassel (with the year on it), a diploma and it was COVERED in fondant cut out swirls and dots and, well you get the drift.

I told her because it was a rush job and there was so much detail and gum paste work it would be $112. She then said she had a budget of $50. I told her that my base price for a buttercream square cake that size was $58 and that was with minimal decoration. This is figured on a cost per serving rate. There was no way I could do that cake for $50!

I tried to find ways to cut back but the lowest I could go (without the cap, the diploma and a much smaller bow) was $85. Nope. She still said it was too high. Fine with me! I just saved knocking myself out buying supplies and working til the wee hours of the morning for next to nothing. Oh...and she wanted it delivered 30 miles away too. (I charge $20 for that).

I'm fortunate to be able to not depend on cakes for a livelihood...but even if I did I'd still say no to something like this. I'd rather make a few cakes for more money than a ton of cakes for little.

specialtycakesbysara Posted 7 May 2011 , 12:47am
post #15 of 22

I agree. I seem to always short change myself. Thanks to you wonderful ladies, I am not going to do that anymore. TexasSugar thanks again for your kind words and suggestions. I really do appreciate it. icon_biggrin.gif

Carmijok, I am so glad that you don't have to do that cake.

TexasSugar Posted 9 May 2011 , 6:55pm
post #16 of 22

Just keep repeating to yourself... My time is valuable. icon_smile.gif

We have all been there, where we want to make every cake we can. We understand. We are just speaking from the 'future' a little bit here, and are reminding you, you aren't Walmart. You can't do a huge cake for $20. icon_wink.gif

jason_kraft Posted 9 May 2011 , 9:42pm
post #17 of 22
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

A personal pet peeve is people that have 'flat rates' that don't make sense. The ones that have $25 for an 6in, $30 for a 8in, and then $40 for a 10in. When you price per serving them, the numbers just don't add up.

6in - $25 (serves 12) is $2.08 a serving
8in - $30 (serves 24) is $1.25 a serving
10im - $40 (serves 3icon_cool.gif is $1.05 a serving

When people that that, to me there is no rhythm or reason they have the prices they do, other than they pick them out of the air.

We have flat rate pricing for party cakes, and I've structured our pricing so the per-serving price drops as the cake gets bigger. This is to encourage customers to order larger cakes, which bring in more revenue and more profit than the marginal increase in labor and ingredients involved in a larger cake vs. a smaller cake.

Think about it this way: if your per-serving price was the same for all sizes, you would charge the same for 2 quarter sheet cakes as you would for 1 half sheet cake, but the cost for the former is higher.

TexasSugar Posted 9 May 2011 , 10:25pm
post #18 of 22

My price per serving is the same, but I don't do a lot of cakes either.

My point on the above, was to be consistent. To have the prices you have for a reason, not just to pick numbers out of the area. I have seen the prices that make no sense at all, where the numbers jump up and down.

If you knock off .25 per serving as they get into hirer numbers that's one thing. But to just pick random numbers out of the area is something different, which is what I was talking about above.

camomama5 Posted 9 May 2011 , 11:18pm
post #19 of 22

Do I charge for a wedding cake only by the slice multiplied by the number of servings? Is that generally how you reach the final price or is there typically more involved?

camomama5 Posted 9 May 2011 , 11:39pm
post #20 of 22

Sorry I don't know how that happened. I meant to post that question as a separate topic.

mcaulir Posted 10 May 2011 , 4:11am
post #21 of 22

I'm probably in the same situation as you, OP. I do this for fun - I only do one or two a month at most - and I like the fact that it takes me away from my husband and children - it's my 'me' time. The whole rest of my life is my husband and children!

I charge enough to cover costs, and enough extra so that all my friends and acquaintances don't feel like they should get a big, elaborate, free cake for every big and small event in their lives.

I happily do anything for family free. As long as you feel like you're being compensated for what you do, charge whatever you feel comfortable with. As you get more used to asking for cash, it will come easier.

auntiem9597 Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 3:39pm
post #22 of 22

I agree with TexasSugar. You have to learn how to say no sometimes, otherwise you end up resenting the cake you are working on and it may not be your best work, gives you a bad attitude, and can burn you out fast! I have found this very true in most aspects of life! If they are not willing to plan for it and pay for it and your time, it is not worth doing. Go to a movie with your hubby instead!

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