How Much Should I Charge?

Decorating By Mittu Updated 2 Jan 2012 , 5:33am by sweettreat101

Mittu Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 12:13am
post #1 of 16

Hi!

I am a new baker. So far I have only been baking for friends and family for fun. Recently I've started getting orders. I was wondering how much I should charge. I do not want to over charge or be ripped off either....

This was basically a from scratch cake. It was made of 4* 9inch butter cakes, expensive vanilla extract,vanilla powder. Butter cream made entirely of butter and with a homemade raspberry filling.[/img]

The Doll was a gift to the birthday girl so. How much do you think I should charge for the cake. Being a newbie it took me a whole day to do the decorating, hence I am not considering labor. i want to build my skills before I do that. The Ingredients alone costed me $40. Except the doll everything was made by me.[img][/img]
LL

15 replies
Mittu Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 12:23am
post #2 of 16

This was my first fondant cake. I usually make fresh cream pastries.

armymom5906 Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 2:29am
post #3 of 16

This is a cute cake! Keep up the good work!

AZCouture Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 2:29am
post #4 of 16

Those two cakes have two layers each?? Really? I'm having a hard time with several things here. Those look like 6" maybe 7" single layer rounds, what the heck is 'basically from scratch', and where did the $40 go? Not trying to be argumentative, but those things just jumped out at me. icon_smile.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 2:48am
post #5 of 16

I say keep working at it. I have to be honest I would not pay high custom cake prices for that type of design work.

Mittu Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 3:28am
post #6 of 16

@AZCouture- Lol! Those were 4 *9 inch cakes each cake torted in 2, so 8 layers in all. I made the cake from scratch not using mix. I made the filling at home. and the frosting too. I guess the picture angle doesnt make it look like 9 in rounds! I don't even own a 6 or a 7 inch pan so I am pretty sure it wasn't 6 or 7 inches icon_wink.gif About the $40 bucks.... the butter itself comes to $10, I used half box of chocolate fondant. 1lb of regular fondant, and other stuff adds up....(I am not that much of an expert to be making my own fondant!)

QTCakes1 - I am most certainly working towards better stuff. This was my first fondant cake so I dint want to bite off more than I could chew. I am not expecting high custom cake prices, just wondering is 50 -55$ reasonable.

QTCakes1 Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 3:37am
post #7 of 16

[quote="Mittu
QTCakes1 - I am most certainly working towards better stuff. This was my first fondant cake so I dint want to bite off more than I could chew. I am not expecting high custom cake prices, just wondering is 50 -55$ reasonable.[/quote]

But I think you just hit the nail on the head. If your ingredients cost you $40 bucks, why would you want to sell a cake for $55 and profit nothing. Some may say your profited $15, but you had to pay for gas to get the ingredients, electricity to bake and make frosting, etc. And what about how much you get paid for your wok? Are you wanting to make $1.50 an hour? And how long did it take you to make? If you can knock out a cake in 2 hours total with an ingredient cost factor of $10 bucks then $55 may work for you. These are some of the things you may want to consider when making a cake worthy of selling.

Mittu Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 3:54am
post #8 of 16

@QTcakes1 - thanks for your reply icon_smile.gif Yep! I know if ingredients cost me 40, 55 might seem not feasible. The thing is that this lady wanted a Princess doll cake, I quoted $40-50 . Then she changed her mind and wanted a rockstar cake!. This was 1.5 days before the event!!!! hence this haphazard design. I din't have too much time to do more shopping! And she was low balling for 40$ and thought $50 was higher end... hence I posted here to see find out how its done usually! And to answer your question I thought since I am a newbie and a housewife I thought my investment will be time and to make cakes for friends and family to improve my skills . Hence I dint put in too much for labor.

cookiekisses Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 5:09am
post #9 of 16

QTCakes1, Mittu was very clear that this was her first fondant cake and that she is looking to improve. It is not necessary to jump down her throat; every good decorator has to start somewhere.

AZCouture, I know my camera does not always catch the exact looks of my cakes. Trust that Mittu knows both the size pans she used and the cost of her ingredients. In addition, she may live in a place with more expensive food prices.

Mittu, if you feel comfortable charging $55 this time, then go ahead, as long as you know that you are only making back cost this time. As your skills improve, you'll look back at this and laugh since you'll be charging much much more for fondant cakes.

Good luck!

melanie-1221 Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 5:15am
post #10 of 16

When I started out I would make cakes for friends and family and only charge them for the ingredients. I needed the practice so my time was not an issue. The fact they would pay for me to practice and I didn't have to invest any of my own $$ at that time was all I needed.
Eventually you will be able to charge more, and you will be banging out cakes 2 at a time and buying your ingredients in bulk at a lower cost. For right now keep plugging, you are doing nice work and as long as it is not costing you $$, and you are a hobby baker, just enjoy what you are doing.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 3:13pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mittu

The thing is that this lady wanted a Princess doll cake, I quoted $40-50 . Then she changed her mind and wanted a rockstar cake!. This was 1.5 days before the event!!!!



In the future, if the customer decides to switch to a more complicated design, you need to change the price to reflect the cost of the new design. You also reserve the right to refuse changes if they are too late in the process (or charge a premium to make up for it).

You'll probably also want to check if it's legal in your state to sell food made from home. Some states require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen, even if you are just charging for ingredients. If you are not operating legally you are opening yourself up to a lot of risk for very little reward.

jgifford Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 3:35pm
post #12 of 16

That's a very nice cake for a beginner and charging $55 for it is a little on the low side. I agree with the others in that you need to research local laws, etc., but if you're getting serious about cakes as opposed to cream pastries, you need to work on the pricing issue. This is a problem for most bakers starting out, especially hobby bakers. There are many discussions on this site regarding pricing, and they could really help you, when you have time to look at them. There is also software available to assist you with costs and pricing.

Don't be afraid to charge adequately - - include something for your labor next time. Even if you're a newbie, you are still taking time away from yourself and your family to do this.

QTCakes1 Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 3:49pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiekisses

QTCakes1, Mittu was very clear that this was her first fondant cake and that she is looking to improve. It is not necessary to jump down her throat; every good decorator has to start somewhere.




What jumping down the throat are you talking about? I think I explained my concern quite well and the OP understood, so I don't even know why your crying about it.

Annie Creative Cakes Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 4:26pm
post #14 of 16

It is a very nice cake. Next time try to set your price with your client first, make them understand that your time is valuable and also your creativity. I tell people that I use the best and from scrach and I use my imagination for every cake that I make, so if they cannot pay me they are welcome to go buy a cake at Wallmart or elsewhre. So keep up the good work and enjoy what you do.

ljslight Posted 27 Dec 2011 , 4:33pm
post #15 of 16

I would charge $50 for the cake alone. The doll would be extra $ and I would charge at the very least $20 more for fondant.
I tend to be on the cheap side, as I too am a hobby baker.

sweettreat101 Posted 2 Jan 2012 , 5:33am
post #16 of 16

My let people know that my prices start at 45.00 and go up depending on the size of the cake and design. This way if they think my base price is to high they can go somewhere else. I did the same thing making cakes for nothing when I started out. I was glad to get the practice and pictures and not have to pay for the ingredients. Don't let harsh words of others hence your love for cake decorating. And yes it is illegal in some states to bake cakes from your home but if you are making cakes for friends and family I don't see the problem. Most people who have a problem with home bakers are people who have store fronts. I understand that they have extra costs and have to charge more for their cakes but If I could get a beautiful cake that tastes great at a lower cost then I would choose a home baker. The lady that made my wedding cake 21 years ago baked cakes out of her home and she did a beautiful job and everyone loved it. My mother in law pain 125.00 for a three tiered cake. Keep up the great work.

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