Sweet_Chely Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:09pm
post #1 of

Hi, i need help , iam new to this, i always do cakes for my family free, but now i have people asking me how much for my cakes, next saturday i have a cake to make for a 1 yr old, of a mickey mouse, but each time they ask me how much, their always expecting me to say around $30 - $50 bucks !!! thats not even how much i waste on to make the whole cakes, so how do u guys charge, do u double what ur gonna waste on doing the whole cake or per hr? i really need help pleaseeee. iam gonna put a picture up of the cake iam gonna do, so u guys can tell me around how much u guys think i should charge for a cake like that ( this cake i did not make, i got it off the internet) for sum reason i cant load of the pix, its 2 cakes with fondant with dots everywhere, and on the top its a smaller cake for the head and ears ( so it 3 round cakes stack up ), and n the very bottom it has yellow mickey feet sticking out of the cake.
LL

27 replies
jenng1482 Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:25pm
post #2 of

Three major factors go into pricing this cake:

1 ) Permission from Disney, of course, to replicate their copyrighted characters
2) Operating out of a licensed, commercial kitchen or properly under a Cottage Food Law
3) Overhead costs, price your area market will bear

mommachris Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:55pm
post #3 of

I sent you a pm.

mommachris

Apti Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:10pm
post #4 of

Welcome to the forum! As you will see in the thread below, and after you read the attached links to other recent threads, it is impossible for anyone on this forum to tell you "what to charge", since there are FAR too many variables specific to you & your baking.

Here is a fabulous, recent, thread about How Much to Charge. If you haven't read the thread and all the links provided by vgcea, it is well worth the time to read all the information.

How much to charge:

Exact title of thread: How much to charge
Author of thread: MallorieH
Date of thread: Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:23 am
Link:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-7308992.html#7308992

j92383 Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:22pm
post #5 of

While it's true that no one can tell you how much to charge because of all the reasons listed above. I believe your question was how much we would charge for a cake like the one in picture. I would charge $4.50/serving and I use the wilton party servings chart.

vgcea Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 11:12pm
post #6 of

^^ No, not really. OP asked how others charge (quite different from what others would charge) and how she should charge, so Apti's response is still appropriate as is yours as you answered the title of the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet_Chely

Hi, i need help , iam new to this, i always do cakes for my family free, but now i have people asking me how much for my cakes, next saturday i have a cake to make for a 1 yr old, of a mickey mouse, but each time they ask me how much, their always expecting me to say around $30 - $50 bucks !!! thats not even how much i waste on to make the whole cakes, so how do u guys charge, do u double what ur gonna waste on doing the whole cake or per hr? i really need help pleaseeee. iam gonna put a picture up of the cake iam gonna do, so u guys can tell me around how much u guys think i should charge for a cake like that ( this cake i did not make, i got it off the internet) for sum reason i cant load of the pix, its 2 cakes with fondant with dots everywhere, and on the top its a smaller cake for the head and ears ( so it 3 round cakes stack up ), and n the very bottom it has yellow mickey feet sticking out of the cake.


AZCouture Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 11:16pm
post #7 of

Just out of curiosity, do you do a lot of e-mail correspondence with clients?

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:01am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Just out of curiosity, do you do a lot of e-mail correspondence with clients?




LMAO!

This looks like at least $3.50 a serving to me. Earlene's serving chart. But, if you see below, \\/ \\/ \\/ \\/ \\/ \\/ in my signature line, I have a licensed, inspected, commercial kitchen that I spent $18,000 fixing up.

Apti Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:41am
post #9 of

Sweet_Chely, we aren't used to "text speak" here. Many of us have a very difficult time reading text without proper capitalization, spelling and punctuation.

Thanks.

AZCouture Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:47am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Sweet_Chely, we aren't used to "text speak" here. Many of us have a very difficult time reading text without proper capitalization, spelling and punctuation.

Thanks.


And the reason I asked what I did, was because everything you can do to impress customers helps. That includes a solid pricing structure and well written professional communication that makes it clear they (the decorator) are confident in the value of their work. I won't say I'm the best at it, but I definitely double check myself before sending correspondence to a client.

Cjsmommy2012 Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 5:41pm

I will pm you

Pearl645 Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 12:42am
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Sweet_Chely, we aren't used to "text speak" here. Many of us have a very difficult time reading text without proper capitalization, spelling and punctuation.

Thanks.

And the reason I asked what I did, was because everything you can do to impress customers helps. That includes a solid pricing structure and well written professional communication that makes it clear they (the decorator) are confident in the value of their work. I won't say I'm the best at it, but I definitely double check myself before sending correspondence to a client.




What do you mean by a solid pricing structure? Do you mean pricing per serving of BC and fondant cakes? I'm interested. I still don't have a solid price structure for cakes. Only cupcakes and cookies.

AZCouture Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 1:01am

I don't charge differently for bc versus fondant. It's more work for me to leave a cake uncovered, perfecting all the edges and smoothness, so BC customers pay just as much. But yes, a pricing structure. The ability to give an accurate quote on a project, whether it's cake, cookies or lollipops.

jason_kraft Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 2:26am

$$ might be OK for small, simple cakes, but usually you'll want to charge $$$, or even $$$$ for larger cakes with complicated designs.

MissMona Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 4:50pm

I'm confused....does "waste on"=ingredients?

BailiasCakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 6:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

I don't charge differently for bc versus fondant. It's more work for me to leave a cake uncovered, perfecting all the edges and smoothness, so BC customers pay just as much. But yes, a pricing structure. The ability to give an accurate quote on a project, whether it's cake, cookies or lollipops.



Do you not have more material costs with a fondant covered cake? Do you not put down a layer of buttercream or ganache before the fondant? That means more more materials which increases the costs by an average of 30%.

jason_kraft Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 6:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

I don't charge differently for bc versus fondant. It's more work for me to leave a cake uncovered, perfecting all the edges and smoothness, so BC customers pay just as much. But yes, a pricing structure. The ability to give an accurate quote on a project, whether it's cake, cookies or lollipops.


Do you not have more material costs with a fondant covered cake? Do you not put down a layer of buttercream or ganache before the fondant? That means more more materials which increases the costs by an average of 30%.



Smoothing BC can be labor-intensive, and if you are correctly factoring in market rates for rent and hourly wages the additional labor probably outweighs the savings in materials.

BailiasCakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 6:48pm

and to answer your question...
I price on cake size/sevings and complication. For what you have pictured, it looks to be a 10" round [$62], 8" round [$44] and 6" round [$30]. That would serve 45 guests. As the decoration are pretty simple except for the ears, I would leave it at base prices, equaling $136. At $3 a serving, that seems reasonable for a custom cake.

FYI, I calculated my cake prices based on costs and servings. I have a spreadsheet if you would like to see it.

AZCouture Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 6:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

I don't charge differently for bc versus fondant. It's more work for me to leave a cake uncovered, perfecting all the edges and smoothness, so BC customers pay just as much. But yes, a pricing structure. The ability to give an accurate quote on a project, whether it's cake, cookies or lollipops.


Do you not have more material costs with a fondant covered cake? Do you not put down a layer of buttercream or ganache before the fondant? That means more more materials which increases the costs by an average of 30%.


Smoothing BC can be labor-intensive, and if you are correctly factoring in market rates for rent and hourly wages the additional labor probably outweighs the savings in materials.


Yep! There is literally no difference in costs for me. 99% of my cakes are fondant anyways, so you bet I'm covered.

MJbakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 7:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

and to answer your question...
I price on cake size/sevings and complication. For what you have pictured, it looks to be a 10" round [$62], 8" round [$44] and 6" round [$30]. That would serve 45 guests. As the decoration are pretty simple except for the ears, I would leave it at base prices, equaling $136. At $3 a serving, that seems reasonable for a custom cake.

FYI, I calculated my cake prices based on costs and servings. I have a spreadsheet if you would like to see it.




Just out of curiosity, what serving chart are you using to get these amounts? I use Wilton's party chart, and I see 60 servings if its a 10", 8" and 6" . If i were to do this cake, it would be $240.00 But, it all depends on who your marketing.

There are a few servings charts out there that people use, so you need to know which one your using before you price a cake.

AZCouture Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 7:26pm

6-8-10 serving only 45 guests? Wow...that's giving the farm away in my world.

MJbakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 7:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

6-8-10 serving only 45 guests? Wow...that's giving the farm away in my world.




I agree!

jenng1482 Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 8:11pm

I developed a serving chart to use by splitting the difference between a "Party" and "Wedding" servings. My servings should come out to be approximately 1.5x2x4.5. I sell a 10" for 30, 8" for 18, and a 6" for 8 servings.

BailiasCakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 8:19pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

and to answer your question...
I price on cake size/sevings and complication. For what you have pictured, it looks to be a 10" round [$62], 8" round [$44] and 6" round [$30]. That would serve 45 guests. As the decoration are pretty simple except for the ears, I would leave it at base prices, equaling $136. At $3 a serving, that seems reasonable for a custom cake.

FYI, I calculated my cake prices based on costs and servings. I have a spreadsheet if you would like to see it.



Just out of curiosity, what serving chart are you using to get these amounts? I use Wilton's party chart, and I see 60 servings if its a 10", 8" and 6" . If i were to do this cake, it would be $240.00 But, it all depends on who your marketing.

There are a few servings charts out there that people use, so you need to know which one your using before you price a cake.




The 6" on top really is just half a 6" ball, so I didn't count that for more than 4 servings. As for my serving chart, I did the math based on the square inches. I found that Wilton's is off by a lot. A 8" round is 150.79 square inches at 3 square inches per serving, that is 16.75 servings. A 10" round is 204.20 sq. in. at 3 sq. in. / ser. = 26.18 servings. I have no desire to over quote my servings just to up my prices.

It is great to use Wilton as a guide, but I got frustrated with not having enough batter and icing for projects so I calculated batter amounts and icing amounts and found that Wilton's amounts are off there too.

elda76 Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 8:43pm

Hi

A friend of mind who bakes a lot gave me this idea to work out your costs. I also did a spreadsheet and calculated what my batter costs me.
I then did another and did a costing sheet. I wrote down the time I spent on different things on the cake and decided on what I am going to charge per hour.

1. Admin
2. Mixing batter
3. Mixing icing
4. Leveling, filling, crumb coat
5. Covering the cake in fondant
6. Decorating
7. Piping
8. Models
9. Flowers

Write down how many minutes it takes you to do everything. I used a stop watch to time myself. I started with an hourly rate that wasn't that expensive because I still work slowly, but once I am faster I will increase my rate.
I added the cost of batter, icing, fondant, and labour and then I got the total, I then added the cost for the cake board, box and a small amount for food colouring or ribbon, etc.
Add all your totals together and then you have your price to sell your cake.
I also used Wilton's guidelines for servings but the amounts are off. So now I weigh my batter after I mixed everything and then I can determine how much to put into each tin.
I am not sure how you will work out the cost for your gas, because we use electricity in South Africa for our ovens.

Hope this will help

P.S Once you worked out your prices stick to it. If they think it is too much then they can go to the shop and buy a cheap cake. You put in a lot of work and time into the cake so they have to pay for quality!

pmarks0 Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 9:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by elda76

I added the cost of batter, icing, fondant, and labour and then I got the total, I then added the cost for the cake board, box and a small amount for food colouring or ribbon, etc.
Add all your totals together and then you have your price to sell your cake.




Where's your profit? You've added in all of your costs together, and your wage is a cost not profit, but you haven't allowed for any mark up for profit. Once you have your costs, you should add a 25-30% mark up for profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

I found that Wilton's is off by a lot. A 8" round is 150.79 square inches at 3 square inches per serving, that is 16.75 servings. A 10" round is 204.20 sq. in. at 3 sq. in. / ser. = 26.18 servings




How did you come up with 3 sq inches for the size of a piece? On the Wilton chart, which is the industry standard used, a piece is 1x2x4 which is 8 cu inches. You can't really measure a cylinder or a cube in square inches, which is what a round and square cake tier is. You need to measure volume. Volume of a square is easy - length x height x width. So an 8" square 4" high cake is 8 x 4 x 8 = 256 cu in. Divide that by the 8 cu inches in an industry size piece, and you get 32 pieces which is what the Wilton chart says. Volume for a round cake is pi x radius squared x height. So, for those of us who have been out of school a while, pi = 3.14, radius = 1/2 x diameter. So for a 10" round 4" high cake the radius is 5". Thereforee the volume would be 3.14 x (5 x 5) x 4 = 314. Divide that by the 8 cu inches in the standard size piece and you get 39.25 pieces. Wilton says 38 which is taking into account the rounded "corner" pieces you get and have to compensate for.

For me, this cake would cost $275 basing it on the Wilton chart for an 8" and 10: round, and half of the 6" round or 68 pieces.

BailiasCakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 11:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

I found that Wilton's is off by a lot. A 8" round is 150.79 square inches at 3 square inches per serving, that is 16.75 servings. A 10" round is 204.20 sq. in. at 3 sq. in. / ser. = 26.18 servings




How did you come up with 3 sq inches for the size of a piece? On the Wilton chart, which is the industry standard used, a piece is 1x2x4 which is 8 cu inches. You can't really measure a cylinder or a cube in square inches, which is what a round and square cake tier is. You need to measure volume. Volume of a square is easy - length x height x width. So an 8" square 4" high cake is 8 x 4 x 8 = 256 cu in. Divide that by the 8 cu inches in an industry size piece, and you get 32 pieces which is what the Wilton chart says. Volume for a round cake is pi x radius squared x height. So, for those of us who have been out of school a while, pi = 3.14, radius = 1/2 x diameter. So for a 10" round 4" high cake the radius is 5". Thereforee the volume would be 3.14 x (5 x 5) x 4 = 314. Divide that by the 8 cu inches in the standard size piece and you get 39.25 pieces. Wilton says 38 which is taking into account the rounded "corner" pieces you get and have to compensate for.

For me, this cake would cost $275 basing it on the Wilton chart for an 8" and 10: round, and half of the 6" round or 68 pieces.[/quote]

I said square inches, not cubic, determine serving count as does Wilton : "Serving amounts are based on party-sized portions of approximately 1.5 x 2 in. Cakes from 3 to 6 in. high" which is 3 square inches or with a 4" high cake, 12 cubic inches (wedding cakes are 1"x2").

So with your examples,
- an 8" square 4" high cake is 8 x 4 x 8 = 256 cu in. Divide that by the 12 cu inches in a party size piece, and you get 21 pieces
- a 10" round 4" high cake is 3.14 x (5 x 5) x 4 = 314. Divide that by the 12 cu inches and you get 26 pieces.
- half a 6" ball is (4/3)(3.14)(3x3x3)/2 = 56 cu in. Divide that by the 12 cu inches and you get 4.7 pieces.
I'm up to 51 servings with your cubic serving math.

I think cake prices should be based on the cake, not the serving count. I give my customers both sizes and they tell me their serving intensions before I draw up a cake.
And just because Wilton has been around, doesn't make them always right. And from what I have seen, there are more and more serving charts out there to show that.

FromScratchSF Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 12:05am

Huh. I see MATH and I run and cry in the corner, but BailiasCakes, yours does not look right.

I don't want to debate or get in a multiplication contest because I will loose. For reals. I only want to point out: you may think it's great that you are giving out so much cake to your clients. But it doesn't matter what chart you make up - the venue, caterers, and restaurants ALL use Wilton as a cutting guide. So if Wilton says a cake has 120 pieces, but you made a cake that you determine has only 100, I guarantee you there will be over 20 pieces left over that the caterer didn't cut. Which means the client can very well get mad that you oversold cake and they'll want a refund, eventhough you actually gave them over 20 pieces of cake... for free.

Just food for thought when going rogue.

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