I Need Help With Pricing A Cake For A Wedding!!!

Decorating By Amy3575 Updated 21 Aug 2011 , 5:53pm by patjobes

Amy3575 Posted 19 Aug 2011 , 10:49pm
post #1 of 21

I am making a 3 tierd wedding cake. I have average up all of my cost for ingrediants. But not sure on what I should price it as. I don't want to be too high but don't want to sell myself cheap. I was think of charging around 140.00 or 150.00 for the cost. It is a really simple cake, I just have to make a ribbon out of buttercream icing and going to make chocolate roses to put on it. What do you think!! I need help!!! icon_confused.gif

20 replies
jason_kraft Posted 19 Aug 2011 , 10:50pm
post #2 of 21

How much is your cost of ingredients/packaging, how long will it take you to make the cake, what's your hourly wage, how much annual overhead (i.e. insurance) do you have, and how many orders do you anticipate filling per year?

Narie Posted 19 Aug 2011 , 11:49pm
post #3 of 21

Normally you charge by the serving. You will need to explain how large the cake is and then we can figure out how many servings and make a suggestion of how much you should charge. If your tiers are 6, 8, 10; that is a small cake that will serve 72. If your tiers are 6, 10, 14; you have a much larger cake that will serve 128. These are for round cakes. Square cakes make more servings. In other words more information please.

Amy3575 Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 6:21am
post #4 of 21

It is a square and they are 8, 12 and 16. It is a really simple cake. She just wants it iced white with buttercream. Then I am going to make it look like a ribbon around the bottom of each layer and making chocolate roses.

kelleym Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 2:33pm
post #5 of 21

That's well over 200 servings. Have you called the other bakeries in your area and ask what they charge for tiered buttercream cakes? You'll probably find it to be in the $2.00/serving - $6.00/serving range.

$140.00 or $150.00 will barely (if even) cover your costs for a cake that large. You'll be paying them to make the cake. Do you have any experience with wedding cakes?

kokopuff Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 2:52pm
post #6 of 21

Don't undersell yourself!This is what I used to do.I sold my sculpted cakes for $25 just because I wanted to do them.I found out later the lady down the road wouldn't even touch them for less than $150...she sells quite a few of them too...I should be slapped I know!I have since learned alot of valuable lessons and new cake designs etc.and have adjusted my prices.

leah_s Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 2:59pm
post #7 of 21

Simple cakes are generally the most difficult. I find buttercream ribbons impossible to do. 8/12/16 is 232 servings in squares. That's a REALLY big cake.
From me that cake (all bc) would be $3 a serving = $696 + $30 for equipment + $50 delivery = a total of $776. PLUS the handmade flowers.

katboss Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 3:20pm
post #8 of 21

if you are only charging $140 for a cake that will feed 200 people you are charging .70 a serving!!!! Try taking the cost of your ingredients and multiply that by 3, see what you come up with. I read somwhere that that is a good starting point. just make sure you are adding in everything you need to make the cake (boards, dowels, etc.) also if you are delivering it you should charge for that as well. I just made my first wedding cake last month 3 tiered hexagon almond cake with raspberry and lemon filling, although I can't charge for cakes yet the ingredients cost me $200 so if I were to charge I would have started at $600.

cakestyles Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 3:33pm
post #9 of 21

Have you figured out your profit if you charge $140-$150?

How much will the ingredients, boards, supports etc., cost you?

Have you estimated how many hours it will take you to bake, decorate etc?

How many servings does the bride need? Does she need 230+ servings of cake?

I also think an 8" on top, especially a square tier is a little too big, unless the topper is pretty high and full.

Narie Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 3:43pm
post #10 of 21

232 servings is a very large cake. Even if you are a rank amateur and charge only half of Leah's price, at $1.50 the cake would be $348. That large a cake is a lot of work and any price under $400 is a major bargain. Call around and find out what other bakers are charging. Have you included the price of equipment? Cake drum, support system etc. Who is going to help you carry that monster? Will you need to pay an assistant? Chocolate roses- more supplies and time.

Have you ever made a tiered cake, and are we talking about two cake layer tiers?

glendaleAZ Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 3:57pm
post #11 of 21

When I calculate a price, I do it by first identifying how many hours are involved in baking/decorating the cake, and then times that by an hourly rate that I charge. I think you said that you have already calculated your supply cost, but don't forget to include your cost for water, electricity, paper towels, dish soap, etc. It's these items that will add up quickly.

Good Luck!

Amy3575 Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 9:05pm
post #12 of 21

That is kinda the bad thing about this area, there are only the store bakeries(like wal-mart, county market, grocery stores in general) All the actually bakeries in this area have closed up and went out of business. So I have been stumped on what would be a fair price to start charging. I usually for all my other cakes just go by what the store sell theirs for and go alittle lower to start. Then if it is a special one then I start charging extra for. I called one of the store bakeries here and they say that starting out before the do anything is $301, so if I up my price to $275 does that sound fair. I haven't quoted her anything yet.

MimiFix Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 9:21pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy3575

That is kinda the bad thing about this area, there are only the store bakeries(like wal-mart, county market, grocery stores in general) All the actually bakeries in this area have closed up and went out of business. So I have been stumped on what would be a fair price to start charging. I usually for all my other cakes just go by what the store sell theirs for and go alittle lower to start. Then if it is a special one then I start charging extra for. I called one of the store bakeries here and they say that starting out before the do anything is $301, so if I up my price to $275 does that sound fair. I haven't quoted her anything yet.




Hon, you can go ahead and take a wild guess at how much to charge this customer. But if you're going to be in this business to make a decent living, please re-read some of the excellent advice about pricing. You must learn the cost of your products. And know how much you're paying in overhead and incidentals. There's no long-term joy in paying people to be your customers.

cakesbycathy Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 9:55pm
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy3575

That is kinda the bad thing about this area, there are only the store bakeries(like wal-mart, county market, grocery stores in general) All the actually bakeries in this area have closed up and went out of business. So I have been stumped on what would be a fair price to start charging. I usually for all my other cakes just go by what the store sell theirs for and go alittle lower to start. Then if it is a special one then I start charging extra for. I called one of the store bakeries here and they say that starting out before the do anything is $301, so if I up my price to $275 does that sound fair. I haven't quoted her anything yet.




That size cakes serves 232. You want to charge $275. That's 84 CENTS per serving. Seriously. You are paying her to make the cake really.

First, you are going to make absolutely NO money on this cake. Depending on the design you might even end up coming out of your own pocket for expenses. Second you will have spent how many hours baking, decorating, delivering, sweating, and make NO money.

If this is a hobby then maybe that's okay. But if you are running a business then treat it as such and price appropriately. You really shouldn't try and undersell the bakeries. That hurts everyone, including you.

If the bride doesn't like your price then too bad. Let them go somewhere else.

Narie Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 10:53pm
post #15 of 21

Wait a minute! Why are you charging less than a grocery store? Aren't your cakes tasty? It sounds like you are saying to a customer, "If you don't care how good or bad a cake is then order from me-'cause I'm cheaper. " That has to be a first for Cake Central.

AliBakes6167 Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 12:30am
post #16 of 21

I was thinking this too - any home baked cake as far as i'm concerned is better in quality than a supermarket cake. If the bride wants something special for her wedding i'm sure she'll be ok paying you more than what the going rate at a grocery store cake would be. Yours is going to be personalized, tasty and most likely made with loveicon_smile.gif you can't beat that at a grocery store!!

Narie Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 1:05am
post #17 of 21

AliBakes6167 - Thank you for explaining that more politely than I did. I sort of lost it when I read her comment about underpricing the grocery story.

kakeladi Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 1:13am
post #18 of 21

Please, Please, *Please*!!! Listen to what you are being told here. You are hurting other decorators when you sell your product soooo cheap! icon_sad.gif
Yes, it HURTS us. You must learn that YOU are WORTH what you charge. If a local grocery store is charging $300 then you should be charging NO LESS than $350 but more like $400.
Don't let any bride cry on your shoulder. If they don't wnat to pay your price let the go down the street and get a sub-quility cake because that's what lower prices equate to.
You don't have any pix posted so we can't judge your work......it could be worth even more.

Candice56 Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 1:19am
post #19 of 21

All great advice above listen to it..
They are expecting something better tasting and looking and that's why they are looking to you for this.
I'm sure they have already tasted Walmart and Country Mart cakes and that's why they came to you knowing it will be something wonderful and not Walmart.
Charge what you are worth and they are looking for something better give it but also charge for it.
You will hate doing this cake if you wind up doing it for free our out of your pocket

cakestyles Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 1:30am
post #20 of 21

My cost just for ingredients averages out to about $1 a serving (I bake from scratch).

So even before I figure in all of my other costs i.e. insurance, license fees, utilities, hourly wage and profit, I'd be losing money on that cake if I took your advice and sold a 232 serving cake for $275.

That's why so many of us are telling you that you'll be "paying this lady out of your own pocket to make her wedding cake"

We're not trying to give you a hard time, we're trying to show you how if you undercharge for this cake, you'll be taking money out of your own family's budget to make it.

Now, looking at it like that....do you still think you should charge just $275 which is less than $1 a serving?

Do you want to take money out of your household budget to make somebody a cake? If you do, than by all means go ahead and charge her $275 but just be aware that that's what you'll be doing.

Please rethink your pricing methods because they'll end up costing your family a lot of money.

patjobes Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 5:53pm
post #21 of 21

yes a lot of good advice here, dont undersell yourself, handmade homemade and hand decorated cakes cost money as they are designer items so to speak,if you keep on charging cheap you will begin to hate doing cakes, i can sort of see where your coming from as it does sound a lot of money, but if you say 4.00 per serving it doesnt sound so bad does it, but you do not want to use your own money to make this cake you need to make it worth your while with a profit, because you will have to cover insurance etc as well it all adds up, a board here a couple of dowels there extra gas air con etc etc it all adds up doesnt it,
anyway i wish you luck on this cake and hope you sort your pricing out soon good luck

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