How Much Is Your Most Expensive Cake (Per Serving)?

Business By vgcea Updated 12 Jun 2012 , 6:39am by Evoir

vgcea Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 11:26pm
post #1 of 38

I just "cakebossed" my new carrot cake recipe and icon_eek.gif even I am shocked. $3.92 per cupcake with a basic swirl! I went back and tried to recalculate but no show. It is what it is. Now I'm kinda "scurred" to cake boss the Italian cream cake icon_lol.gif

It appears the only place I may be able to cut costs is in materials (bulk boxes and inserts) as I refuse to change the recipe.

So what's your most expensive cake?

37 replies
FromScratchSF Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 11:44pm
post #2 of 38

One million dollars. icon_biggrin.gif

It' an impossible question - just like the "how much do you charge" question, because what I factor into the cost of my cake has no bearing or relevance on what you factor into the cost of your cake.

But I can say - I make pretty high quality cake and not even my carrot (for JUST ingredients) are my COG that high. If you sell cake you need to start buying in bulk and wholesale, otherwise you'll never make a profit.

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 12:03am
post #3 of 38

Yeah, even with the recent increase in food prices the cost of my ingredients is no more than 15% of my retail prices. So if the COST of one cupcake is $3.92 that would mean about $26 per cupcake?? (If I'm doing that right)

Where are you shopping? Holy cow!

vgcea Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 12:25am
post #4 of 38

I LOVE that one million dollars response LOL!!!

So many assumptions:
Let me clarify:

I'm not asking because I need help with my pricing. I was curious what each person's most expensive cake is. No where in my post did I ask for help with pricing. Simple question: how much is x? Meaning the answer would be unique to each person.

The $3.92 is not the COGS, it's the selling price. Where did you both get that it's the COGS?

You know what they say about assumptions?

FromScratchSF Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 12:38am
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

I just "cakebossed" my new carrot cake recipe and icon_eek.gif even I am shocked. $3.92 per cupcake with a basic swirl! I went back and tried to recalculate but no show. It is what it is. Now I'm kinda "scurred" to the Italian cream cake icon_lol.gif

It appears the only place I may be able to cut costs is in materials (bulk boxes and inserts) as I refuse to change the recipe.

So what's your most expensive cake?




When people say this it generally means that they input the cost of all their ingredients and were shocked how much one cupcake costs to make. You didn't say "retail" anywhere here so we assumed that was what you were talking about. A home baker or someone buying all their ingredients at Safeway could easily have COGs at $3.92 - A retail price of $3.92 is odd for a cupcake!

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 1:25am
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

I just "cakebossed" my new carrot cake recipe and icon_eek.gif even I am shocked. $3.92 per cupcake with a basic swirl! I went back and tried to recalculate but no show. It is what it is. Now I'm kinda "scurred" to the Italian cream cake icon_lol.gif

It appears the only place I may be able to cut costs is in materials (bulk boxes and inserts) as I refuse to change the recipe.

So what's your most expensive cake?



When people say this it generally means that they input the cost of all their ingredients and were shocked how much one cupcake costs to make. You didn't say "retail" anywhere here so we assumed that was what you were talking about. A home baker or someone buying all their ingredients at Safeway could easily have COGs at $3.92 - A retail price of $3.92 is odd for a cupcake!




That's what I thought you meant too. $4 for premium cupcakes isn't so unusual, to tell the truth. That's why the brides have a stroke when they think they cost 75 cents and realize that the wedding magazines have lied about how they'll save you money.

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 1:27am
post #7 of 38

Oh, and my most expensive basic cake is probably about $5.50 per serving for fondant. That would include whatever decorations they want other than something super-time consuming.

FromScratchSF Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 1:35am
post #8 of 38

Well, I guess if you mean what's the most I've charged per serving for a wedding cake - around $14 I think?

vgcea Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:15am
post #9 of 38

Thanks for the responses ladies.

@ Costumeczar I totally get it now because I REALLY wasn't expecting that price when I was clicking away at the ingredients and materials. Yep, I can relate with the brides now icon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:20am
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Thanks for the responses ladies.

@ Costumeczar I totally get it now because I REALLY wasn't expecting that price when I was clicking away at the ingredients and materials. Yep, I can relate with the brides now icon_lol.gif




Yeah, I tell them that they'll save money in the short run by buying cheap cupcakes from Costco, but when they look around and see how many leftover, half-eaten nasty cupcakes there are at the end of the reception they'll realize that was money wasted. Good cupcakes aren't cheaper than buying a piece of cake. Plus, you need to buy more cupcakes than cake servings because people tend to help themselves to the cupcakes and eat more like the pigs they are as opposed to being served a piece of cake from someone else who's cutting it. They usually end up costing just as much, if not more, than a regular wedding cake.

Chellescakes Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 11:36pm
post #11 of 38

I charge , $6.00 for my basic cupcake. They are more work than decorating a larger cake . If they have elaborate decorations I can go as high as $15 . I really never know why people think they should be a cheaper option.

jason_kraft Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 12:05am
post #12 of 38

We have charged up to $10/serving for cakes, although our multi-tier cakes usually end up in the $5-7/serving range. Cupcakes have gone as high as $5 each but are usually $2.50-3.50.

Chellescakes Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 12:19am
post #13 of 38

I should add for cake , My price per serving is based on a 1 inch by two inch by four inch piece. and that starts at Five dollars for a fairly plain decorated cake to up to 15 dollars for elaborate decoration and large amounts of sugar flowers that I specialise in .

SoFloGuy Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 12:54am
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

I charge , $6.00 for my basic cupcake. They are more work than decorating a larger cake . If they have elaborate decorations I can go as high as $15 . I really never know why people think they should be a cheaper option.




Because people don't know. A box mix will make 12 big dessert slices and 24 cupcakes. People will also read here and see that a person says it takes 5 seconds to swirl a very nice looking frosting on top of a cupcake. People don't know that a cupcake is about the size of a wedding slice.

What I would say is I don't know how anyone can pay $6 or $15 for a cupcake. I saw some of your pictures and the items are very nice and the answer is that people who pay that much can afford it and have a lot of disposable income.

erin2345 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 2:23am
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

I charge , $6.00 for my basic cupcake. They are more work than decorating a larger cake . If they have elaborate decorations I can go as high as $15 . I really never know why people think they should be a cheaper option.



Because people don't know. A box mix will make 12 big dessert slices and 24 cupcakes. People will also read here and see that a person says it takes 5 seconds to swirl a very nice looking frosting on top of a cupcake. People don't know that a cupcake is about the size of a wedding slice.

What I would say is I don't know how anyone can pay $6 or $15 for a cupcake. I saw some of your pictures and the items are very nice and the answer is that people who pay that much can afford it and have a lot of disposable income.




My favourite kind of customer! icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 6:40am
post #16 of 38

I'm not as talented as most of you. My basic fondant cakes are $5.00/serving.

For cupcakes, my Black Forests are $4.00.

My most expensive homestyle cake is my German Chocolate at $89.00 for a 9 inch cake.

I am the highest priced in my area except for those who are cake artists.

Sorry vcgea, I think those of us who don't use Cake Boss thought that it only kicks out the cost. I thought it was the COGS too.

Evoir Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 7:19am
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin2345

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

I charge , $6.00 for my basic cupcake. They are more work than decorating a larger cake . If they have elaborate decorations I can go as high as $15 . I really never know why people think they should be a cheaper option.



Because people don't know. A box mix will make 12 big dessert slices and 24 cupcakes. People will also read here and see that a person says it takes 5 seconds to swirl a very nice looking frosting on top of a cupcake. People don't know that a cupcake is about the size of a wedding slice.

What I would say is I don't know how anyone can pay $6 or $15 for a cupcake. I saw some of your pictures and the items are very nice and the answer is that people who pay that much can afford it and have a lot of disposable income.



My favourite kind of customer!
icon_biggrin.gif






Lol, mine too!

O.P. Your original calculation seems spot on to me too...thankfully my clients know I bake from scratch so they understand where the money goes!

And as to your most expensive cake serving question...for me anyway it was for a 50th birthday cake I did last December. 30 guests, $3000 cake = $100 per guest. However it was a highly extra-ordinary event and client!

Chellescakes Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 10:12am
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

I charge , $6.00 for my basic cupcake. They are more work than decorating a larger cake . If they have elaborate decorations I can go as high as $15 . I really never know why people think they should be a cheaper option.



Because people don't know. A box mix will make 12 big dessert slices and 24 cupcakes. People will also read here and see that a person says it takes 5 seconds to swirl a very nice looking frosting on top of a cupcake. People don't know that a cupcake is about the size of a wedding slice.

What I would say is I don't know how anyone can pay $6 or $15 for a cupcake. I saw some of your pictures and the items are very nice and the answer is that people who pay that much can afford it and have a lot of disposable income.




The price may seem high , but I don't use box mixes, my cupcakes are actually mud cake , and all my decorated cupcakes are covered in ganache and fondant, usually embossed and highly decorated, Besides which I hate doing them and I guess my price reflects that.
I never hold a grudge if someone goes elsewhere because they can't afford my prices, I came to the realisation a good while ago , that I would rather not do a cake than discount the price to get the job and them hate myself and the cake while I did it.
I will say that after tasting my cake and looking at the sample flowers and decorations that I have for people to look at when they come for a meeting , I have never had anyone not book a cake with me. Some have tried to bargain with me as in I can get them from such and such for X amount , however they have usually come back to book with me when I wish them a happy wedding and hope that they will be happy with the cake they can get from such and such as I am sorry but I can't match their price.

I am happy with my niche market , but my prices aren't really overly high for where I live.

scp1127 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 10:27am
post #19 of 38

Chellescakes, I pay $7.00 for a single cupcake from a lady in the somewhat depressed market of Martinsburg, WV. She is my favorite baker. I don't even consider this market as viable for my business, but she does just fine. If it is worth it, they will pay.

The term is discretionary income. That is the amount left after food, shelter, and clothing, etc. It is what is available for non-necessities. Disposable income is income after taxes. Obviously in the baking business, when researching demographics, we need to look at the area's discretionary income. My only reason for posting this is because of all of my posts about researching demographics for business plans and market research in the business forum.

Evoir Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 10:36am
post #20 of 38

Good point!

Chellescakes Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 11:13am
post #21 of 38

On the point of disposable income, I have found with the Global Financial Crisis , and the carbon tax that is about to be imposed on us in this country, people are not buying houses , or being as extravagant with big ticket items like Big Screen TV's and Holidays, but when it comes to having a party or wedding , they are quite willing to spend more as sort of a reward or being frugal in their day to day life.

I work only on word of mouth advertising ,I don't need to advertise elsewhere as I have enough work to keep me busy. I have often been told by people that they have been 'saving up' for one of my cakes , since such and such event.

Evoir Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 1:34pm
post #22 of 38

Cellescakes - to be fair, we have not had any GFC fallout to deal with directly as Australians. I run my business the same way, word of mouth. I turn down more jobs than I take. I think our economic resilience has a lot to do with simply avoiding the GFC's recession effects thru sound economic management. Something to be proud of!

The carbon tax too is being generously offset with govt assistance. Again, people are not doing it tough here at all, as it is in the USA where most CCers are from.

vgcea Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 7:57pm
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I'm not as talented as most of you. My basic fondant cakes are $5.00/serving.

For cupcakes, my Black Forests are $4.00.

My most expensive homestyle cake is my German Chocolate at $89.00 for a 9 inch cake.

I am the highest priced in my area except for those who are cake artists.

Sorry vcgea, I think those of us who don't use thought that it only kicks out the cost. I thought it was the COGS too.




I can see how my post could have been misleading. I'll be sure to be very specific next time.

vgcea Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 7:59pm
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir



O.P. Your original calculation seems spot on to me too...thankfully my clients know I bake from scratch so they understand where the money goes!

And as to your most expensive cake serving question...for me anyway it was for a 50th birthday cake I did last December. 30 guests, $3000 cake = $100 per guest. However it was a highly extra-ordinary event and client!


icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif Wow! I can imagine.

AnnieBeeVee Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 12:49pm
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir


And as to your most expensive cake serving question...for me anyway it was for a 50th birthday cake I did last December. 30 guests, $3000 cake = $100 per guest. However it was a highly extra-ordinary event and client!




Is that the 4-tier "Jaqui's 50th" cake? Then it looks to be more than 30 servings, even if there were only 30 guests... The questions was the price per serving not guest... How many servings was that $3000 cake? Just curious to get an accurate per-serving price for a cake like that - which is beautiful by the way, I bet she LOVED it!

SoFloGuy Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 4:54pm
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir


And as to your most expensive cake serving question...for me anyway it was for a 50th birthday cake I did last December. 30 guests, $3000 cake = $100 per guest. However it was a highly extra-ordinary event and client!




What made it so expensive and can you post a link to pictures of it?

AZCouture Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 6:57pm
post #27 of 38

Some things you can't approach with a *per serving* mentality. If I told someone my grand piano cake was $30/serving, they'd die. I would too. It ceases to be a per serving cake when you're doing something like that, and is better discussed as "this highly detailed project with realistic blah blah blah....will be xxx$ total".

SugaredSaffron Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 8:08pm
post #28 of 38

I don't think I'll get charging per serving, like AZCouture says, if you have a very elaborate cake, loads of suagr flowers, hand painted etc its going to seem like an outrageous amount 'per slice'. We just charge for the cake over here, we don't divide it into servings, although UK standard servings are smaller than the US so it would seem like less.

SoFloGuy Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 9:01pm
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron

, although UK standard servings are smaller than the US so it would seem like less.




I can't imagine a slice of cake being much smaller than a Wilton wedding slice.

akaivyleaf Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 9:21pm
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

I charge , $6.00 for my basic cupcake. They are more work than decorating a larger cake . If they have elaborate decorations I can go as high as $15 . I really never know why people think they should be a cheaper option.



Because people don't know. A box mix will make 12 big dessert slices and 24 cupcakes. People will also read here and see that a person says it takes 5 seconds to swirl a very nice looking frosting on top of a cupcake. People don't know that a cupcake is about the size of a wedding slice.

What I would say is I don't know how anyone can pay $6 or $15 for a cupcake. I saw some of your pictures and the items are very nice and the answer is that people who pay that much can afford it and have a lot of disposable income.




I don't necessarily see it as being able to afford or have disposable income... that is the case for all of our clients when they all have ovens at home. They are paying for the ability to do what we do, and they simply cannot do. Or won't take the time to do and choose to spend their money in that manner. To which I'm grateful in many respects.

I wouldn't pay 15 bux for a cupcake, I'd fire up my oven first. But everyone doesn't have the same skillset.

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