How Much Is This Cake Worth?

Decorating By gigiofknb Updated 14 Oct 2011 , 4:19am by KoryAK

gigiofknb Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 4:50am
post #1 of 24

I have never charged for a cake before, always done it for family and friends. I have had someone ask me to do a cake for her wedding next year. I have 2 cakes, if I can post them and if someone would give me a rough estimate on what these cakes would be sold for I would really apreciate it. Thanks for all the help
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2164295
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2010682

23 replies
doramoreno62 Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 5:12am
post #2 of 24

I think just about everyone on this site would say the price depends on the ingredients, time, labor and most importantly (for me at least) how many servings they want.

jason_kraft Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 10:43am
post #3 of 24

You do great work! We would charge in the $6/serving range for those cakes, that includes the cost of renting a commercial kitchen, since in CA it is illegal to sell cakes without a licensed and inspected kitchen. If your state allows you to legally sell homemade cakes you could probably charge a little less depending on your cost structure.

TexasSugar Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 2:09pm
post #4 of 24

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-694973-pricing.html

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-7143772.html

For me it's $3 for butter cream and $4 for fondant a serving. The gumpaste flowers would be extra.

KoryAK Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 4:17pm
post #5 of 24

My base price is $7.75/serving for buttercream or fondant. For the Hawaiian cake, I'd charge $8.75/serving PLUS $20 each styrofoam separator layer PLUS $6-7 each sugar hibiscus PLUS $30 for the custom board PLUS $50 minimum if you have to make the chairs.

The Lily cake would be $8.25 if I was able to to an "innie" pin-tuck (like with an impression mat) or $8.75/serving for the piped lattice as shown PLUS $5-6 each lily.

gigiofknb Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 2:01am
post #6 of 24

Thanks everyone. I was basically asking to see if I gave the brides a descent priced gift. Everyone is so helpful here. The brides I make cakes for are friends and appreciate the cakes that I do and thats all the compensation I need. I love my brides. icon_smile.gif

Wildgirl Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 2:44am
post #7 of 24

You do amazing work! icon_smile.gif

Jenise Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 3:16am
post #8 of 24

I have been wondering this alot lately also! I just did a 1st birthday cake for a friend and only charged her $60 because I always feel guilty taking someones money since this is fun for me. btw, it was for 40 people and was a 4 teir Minnie Mouse cake.

tarabara Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 3:29am
post #9 of 24

KoryAK, how do you come to the cost per serving on your cakes and the price for the decorations you make? I'm still figuring all this stuff out...I made 120 gumpaste roses (some of them pretty large) for my sister's wedding cake. I didn't charge her because she's my sister but I feel like I'm just taking a stab in the dark when I'm pricing cakes for other people. Since I'm newer at this (just doing it for a few months now) I don't know if it's fair to price things based on time since it may take me longer to make them than it does other people. Any advice...anyone?

southerncross Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 3:58am
post #10 of 24

Along these same lines...it seems customary to charge per serving. Even Wilton distinguishes between "wedding" and "party" serving sizes. How do you determine the servings in a cake....is it just arbitrary based upon your belief in what is a sufficient serving size. Do you use a different serving amount if it is a celebration or regular cake rather than a wedding cake?

I charge a set price per tier...and tell my customer the range of servings they should get out of each tier.

I charge for gumpaste flowers at .75 each

tarabara Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 4:25am
post #11 of 24

Southerncross, just to clarify, you charge .75 per gumpaste flower, regardless of size or complexity? A cutout blossom, a calla lily, a hydrangea--all of these are varying levels of difficulty but none of them takes me as long as a large rose (which is the only one I have a picture of). Are all these typically charged at the same price point? Altogether, I take around 30 minutes to make a big rose--even if I take longer than most, it seems that .75 wouldn't be paying oneself enough???
(It's not letting me add an attachment so maybe this link will work: http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2178998/2179001)

Apti Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 6:44am
post #12 of 24

gigiofknb--You gave each of those brides a gift that would be between $500 to $1,000 depending on geographic location. If the brides had to purchase those cakes from a custom baker, they would have paid those prices.

I recommend that everyone with pricing questions read this article by CakeBoss. You don't have to purchase their software, but everyone who has it says it works very well.

http://www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx

If you are not currently licensed, you will need to see if the bride needing the cake next year will be having her reception in a venue that requires wedding cakes to be from a licensed baker.

southerncross Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 1:19pm
post #13 of 24

Tarabara, yes, I only charge .75 per flower. I can turn out the roses fairly fast (although I'm sure they aren't as good as yours but I've no complaints). Pricing is always an interesting issue. Those of you who charge $7 for a serving live in areas that can support that price point. (for those others living in your area who charge $2 a serving are probably making no profit).

I live in very very poor area with real un/underemployment nearing 20%. My costs of ingredients is much lower now because i raise my own chickens and trade extra eggs for fresh butter from my neighbour. Based on the cost of my ingredients and overhead (yes, Jason, I'm legal), my profit margin is 4x....when I baked in California, the margin was 10x (and I wasn't legal).

Your customer base AND your costs determine your pricing. In all fairness, I must add that baking is not my sole income nor is it necessity so I can afford to keep my pricing low. I have no competition with 50 miles so I'm not taking business from others. I have a modest skill in decorating and I think of my pricing a baker's pro bono work so that the 99% can celebrate as well as Wall Street.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 1:26pm
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross

Based on the cost of my ingredients and overhead my profit margin is 4x....when I baked in California, the margin was 10x (and I wasn't legal).



I'm not sure what you mean by a profit margin of 4x or 10x, does this mean you were charging 4x and 10x the cost of ingredients + overhead? If that's the case your profit margins would be 75% and 90% respectively, but somehow I doubt you have included the cost of your labor in that calculation.

KoryAK's higher prices probably reflect the increased costs of getting ingredients and supplies shipped to Alaska.

southerncross Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 1:33pm
post #15 of 24

Jason....when you work in an office for just your labour, what do you consider your profit? For the baker, the profit margin is compensation for your labor. If you have employees, they are part of the baker's overhead along with lights, supplies, etc. Sad but true fact of capitalism is that employees are fodder.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 1:39pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross

Jason....when you work in an office for just your labour, what do you consider your profit? For the baker, the profit margin is compensation for your labor. If you have employees, they are part of the baker's overhead along with lights, supplies, etc. Sad but true fact of capitalism is that employees are fodder.



Working in an office as an employee is very different from running your own business. As a business owner, the cost of your time and your employees' time is labor cost and needs to be incorporated into COGS before you can take profit.

Some related costs like fringe benefits and payroll taxes can be treated as either labor or overhead, but in either case they are still part of COGS.

The cost of your labor is compensation that accrues directly to you, whereas the profit margin accrues to the retained earnings account of the business. You do not want to treat these as interchangeable, especially if you have an LLC.

QTCakes1 Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 2:07pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarabara

A cutout blossom, a calla lily, a hydrangea--all of these are varying levels of difficulty but none of them takes me as long as a large rose (which is the only one I have a picture of).




Totally off subject, but I always find things like this interesting. I can knock out roses all day, but hydrangeas, take me EVER. Yes, I said ever. icon_biggrin.gif

aligotmatt Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 2:25pm
post #18 of 24

If you're not looking for an actual price, then yes, you gave good gifts. Huge gifts, more than anyone else probably gave. And they were both well executed, so good job.

gigiofknb Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 7:11pm
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

If you're not looking for an actual price, then yes, you gave good gifts. Huge gifts, more than anyone else probably gave. And they were both well executed, so good job.




Thanks. That's all I was wondering. Wasn't asking to make it a major discussion, lol, just wanted to know very roughly. Thanks EVERYONE for your input. It's great to know that the cakes I make as a hobby for family and friends is a nice gift. The way the economy is and the fact that, some young people find marriage a waste of time, I am proud to give a gift such as this. I think marriage is a gift and the union is important. (am I showing my age? lol) Again THANK you everyone. My brides have all been pleased with their gifts. I have not been doing wedding cakes long and find they bring lots of joy to the brides they are gifted too.

Torimomma Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 8:45pm
post #20 of 24

Those cakes were awesome and if you had offered one to me in lieu of a "monetary" gift I would have been DELIGHTED! Where I am a cake like those would probably be about $350-400.

KoryAK Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 9:46pm
post #21 of 24

For pricing add-ons, I base it on how long an item will take me and how much I hate doing it icon_smile.gif

Here in AK, the lowest "real" (as in not the no-name moms on craigslist) bakers charge $3-4 per serving. We use all butter, no mixes, etc... and have high end talent so we charge more.

gigiofknb Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 11:29pm
post #22 of 24

KoryAK...I looked at your cakes and they are MUCH higher end then mine. I do it for fun and stress relief (believe it or not). lol Your cakes are beautiful. Thanks for your responses.

Apti Posted 14 Oct 2011 , 1:35am
post #23 of 24

WOW! KoryAK, I'm with gigiofknb--your cakes are AWESOME! That Pagoda Cake is unreal. I am SOOOOOOOOO impressed.

KoryAK Posted 14 Oct 2011 , 4:19am
post #24 of 24

Thanks! :blushing:

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