I've been asked by my husband's coworkers to make a cake to celebrate the December birthdays. They'd like it to look like a basketball court with a 3D basketball in the middle. When they celebrate birthdays, everyone just chips in a couple bucks to cover the cost. I know they can't afford a $80+ cake. My husband always complains that I don't charge enough, but I'd rather charge little and get to make the cake and gain experience (and maybe more jobs from them in the future) than not make the cake at all.
What would you charge for a 9x13 decorated as described above? I'm not a professional baker, but a teacher so this is definitely extra work for me. Who knows though, this could lead to more opportunities. I plan to start a family and stop teaching next year, so a cake business on the side would be nice!
First you need to look at whether or not is legal to sell cakes made from home, some states have cottage food laws that allow it, while other states require you to have a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen.
To price a cake, you need to add up your costs, including ingredients, labor (# of hours * your hourly wage), and overhead (the portion of utilities, insurance, etc. applicable to that cake), then add an additional 20-30% for your profit margin.
If they can't afford $80, chances are the cake you mentioned will be out of their price range. Our 3D cakes start at $250, but we've sold regular 9x13 cakes with simpler 2D decorations for $80-90.
Hi hokiefan, off-topic, but we just visited VT this weekend... my daughter's #1 choice (future vet in the family).
I find pricing by the # of servings to be much easier.
A 9x13 will serve 24 and the ball cake (if using the sports ball pan) will serve at least 12 so the whole thing will be 36. At an average price of $3 per serving that would mean $108.
You could cut the price down to $80 by using a mini ball pan cupcake instead of the sports ball.
Take Jason's suggestion of adding up what your supplies would be: equipment used (a sm portion of the cost of pans, spatulas, mixer etc) cake mix/ingredients; icing ingredients; cake board; box;(a sm portion of the cost of) water, gass, electric, time away from family . It all adds up soooooo quickly!
My husband always complains that I don't charge enough, but I'd rather charge little and get to make the cake and gain experience (and maybe more jobs from them in the future) than not make the cake at all.
You have to be very careful with this. Because yes you gain experience, and maybe you do get some jobs in the future, but those that order cakes from you from situations like this will be expecting grand cakes for cheap prices. Not to mention getting burnt out working hard producing cakes for very little.
I'm a hobby baker for family and friends. My pricing is much like Kakeladi, $3 a serving for buttercream. Because while I love my family and friends, my time is worth something, not to mention the cost of doing a cake. Why should I give up all my free time (I already work two jobs) to do a cake for very little?
I am very much past those days of doing any and every cake that I get asked to do. As I have been telling one of my past students, at this point, I would much rather play with a cake doing what ever I want on it, trying out something new and giving it away for free, then to have people do me a 'favor' by ordering a cake they don't want to pay me much for, so I can practice.