First Wedding Cake, Need Advice Please!

Business By dawnybird Updated 31 May 2012 , 8:37pm by leah_s

dawnybird Posted 30 May 2012 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 14

I've never done more than two tiers of cake; used straws for support and that was fine. I've just been asked to do a very simple 2nd-wedding cake. She wants 3 tiers, but is only expecting 50 people at the wedding. I'm thinking 10", 8" and 6". Can someone please tell me approx. how many that will serve? I only have to deliver it less than a mile down the road. I don't even have a clue what to charge her. She has her own topper and only wants minimal decoration on the cake - no fondant. She first told me her budget was $75 - $100!!! I told her there was no way, but that I would get her a price and she can decide whether she can do that or not. She does want fillings.
Please, will someone advise me on servings and a fair price to charge? Thanks for the help!

13 replies
jason_kraft Posted 30 May 2012 , 5:26pm
post #2 of 14

Which state are you in? Some states do not allow you to legally sell food made from home so you would need to rent a commercial kitchen, other states allow you to sell food made in your home kitchen with certain restrictions.

If you are legal, you'll need to estimate the cost of ingredients for this cake and how many hours it will take you (including shopping for ingredients, prep, baking, decorating, and cleanup). This will give you a baseline to help determine your cost, then you can add a profit margin to come up with a price.

According to the Wilton charts a 6/8/10 round will serve 74, so it's doubtful your price will be anywhere near the customer's budget -- a typical price for tiered cakes is $2.50-5/serving, or $185 - $370.

dawnybird Posted 30 May 2012 , 5:31pm
post #3 of 14

Thanks, jason_kraft. I'm legal! Can anyone give me an estimate on number of servings, please?

cupcakemkr Posted 30 May 2012 , 5:42pm
post #4 of 14

As jason_kraft mentioned a 6/8/10 will feed 74 and what should be charged is based on the cost of making the cake + profit margin. Please do not use straws to support your tiered cakes, it doesn't matter how far they are travelling, straws are not sturdy enough to support the cakes above. Look into SPS supports, they are well worth the money!

mburkett Posted 30 May 2012 , 5:44pm
post #5 of 14

Check out the Wilton's wedding serving chart and Erlene's.

Wilton Wedding

Wilton Party


Erlene's puts you at 58, Wilton Party 52, and Wilton Wedding 74.

$100 is not enough for a cake to feed 50 in my opinion. Basic bakery 8" round cakes out of the case cost $50 where I come from. (Unless you're at Safeway).

dawnybird Posted 30 May 2012 , 6:07pm
post #6 of 14

Oops! Sorry, jason_kraft! Somehow I totally missed seeing your last paragraph! Okay, that gives me the tools I need to make a decision. One last thing, please: Where do I buy the SPS system? I googled it and I keep getting generic cake support sites. Thanks so much, everyone for your help.

mburkett Posted 30 May 2012 , 6:24pm
post #7 of 14

Bakery Crafts brand SPS (wholesale from their site), retail at Global Sugart Arts.

dawnybird Posted 30 May 2012 , 8:00pm
post #8 of 14

Okay, thanks!

cakecoachonline Posted 31 May 2012 , 8:15am
post #9 of 14

If someone said to me that they had a budget that low for a three tier cake, personally I would not even consider it. The price of the ingredients and box and board alone is a major part of the lower figure. Plus you have ribbons, your time and your stress. People who are basically asking 'Can you knock me up a cake' which is what this lady is asking, for very little money should be pointed in my opinion towards the nearest supermarket to purchase a machine made creation. The more cake decorators that take a firm stand about these customers who want something for nothing, the more the industry as a whole will have less trouble truly getting paid what they deserve.

carmijok Posted 31 May 2012 , 5:10pm
post #10 of 14

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dawnybird Posted 31 May 2012 , 6:37pm
post #11 of 14

Great advice from all of you. Thanks. I'll definitely heed your greater experience!

BlakesCakes Posted 31 May 2012 , 6:42pm
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by cupcakemkr

Please do not use straws to support your tiered cakes, it doesn't matter how far they are travelling, straws are not sturdy enough to support the cakes above.

This may be YOUR OPINION, but it is NOT true.

I have experience traveling with multi-tiered cakes using bubble tea straws for support and have had no problems whatsoever. Another option would be the Wilton hollow dowels, which are really just very large, thick walled STRAWS, as are the legs of the SPS.

Straws are hollow cylinders, the strongest & most stable of supports. As with all supports, they must be cut level and placed properly. I also use foam core boards as my cake boards, adding even more stability.

I do also use one or 2 central dowels, too, depending on the size of the cake & length of travel.


kakeladi Posted 31 May 2012 , 8:34pm
post #13 of 14

........cupcakemkr wrote:
Please do not use straws to support your tiered cakes, it doesn't matter how far they are travelling, straws are not sturdy enough to support the cakes above..........

.........This may be YOUR OPINION, but it is NOT true......

OH SO VERY, VERY TRUE!!! as is the rest of your informative post.

leah_s Posted 31 May 2012 , 8:37pm
post #14 of 14

Info about SPS is in my signature line. Oasis Supply has a good selection of SPS. I never make a cake without SPS for support.

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