How To Price Individual Cakes For Guest Tables

Business By TJLane Updated 26 Sep 2012 , 2:58am by sweetcakes

TJLane Posted 9 Sep 2012 , 7:29pm
post #1 of 14

Hi! I'm new here but would welcome some advice and input! I have my own little bakery going and provide cakes for a well known local restaurant and several private customers as well. One of the restaurant's customers got engaged over a slice of one of my cakes icon_smile.gif The moment is understandably memorable for her and she insists that no matter how it comes to fruition that she wants that cake for her wedding cake. Due to the complexity of the receipe...this is a cake batter that while it can be baked as 3 - 9" layers cake or smaller, it falls every time when baked in larger layers or as a sheet cake. When i explained this to her she said she would even be happy with smaller individual cakes for the guests tables and a 9 inch cake for the couple to cut - there will be 100 guests. It has a creamcheese icing (which she wants) and she said just normal icing with a piped trim is fine as since it's a Spring wedding they are using flowers to decorate the cakes. It is a citrus cake and I am not sure what to charge her since I will be making several fully iced cakes. Most guests tables have 8 to 10 seats per table. Thus, by my math, if I do a double layer 6" I would only get 6 slices so that's not going to work...I am thinking a double layer 8" cake of which she could get 10 nice slices each. If we go that way, I am looking at 10 - 8" double layers cakes fully iced and trimmed, plus a 9" 3 layer cake for the Bride and Groom. Thanks for helping this budding baker![/i]

13 replies
jason_kraft Posted 9 Sep 2012 , 7:46pm
post #2 of 14

You would price individual cakes the same way you price any other cake, by adding up your costs for each cake (ingredients + labor + allocated overhead) then adding your profit margin.

CWR41 Posted 9 Sep 2012 , 9:27pm
post #3 of 14
Originally Posted by TJLane

Thus, by my math, if I do a double layer 6" I would only get 6 slices so that's not going to work...I am thinking a double layer 8" cake of which she could get 10 nice slices each.

Have you seen the industry standard serving size chart?
6" serves 12
8" serves 24
If you provided 6" cakes at tables of 8-10 people, I'm sure everyone would get a plentiful slice, and they wouldn't cut it into only 6 servings leaving none for the remaining table guests.

vgcea Posted 9 Sep 2012 , 10:16pm
post #4 of 14

CWR41 is right on. I would go with 6 inch round cakes per table for the guests. Jason has given you good tips on pricing. While you're at it, check out the thread on "Economies of Scale" on the first page of this forum. There are some tips there you might like to consider.

costumeczar Posted 9 Sep 2012 , 11:46pm
post #5 of 14

6" cakes will be enough for each table. Price them higher than you'd think you should, because you'll need boards for each one, and they're a pain to transport and decorate compared to one larger cake.

crushed Posted 10 Sep 2012 , 12:35am
post #6 of 14

Last summer I did 18 six-inch table cakes and I totally undercharged. They take much more time than a regular "per serving" price would suggest. They are also a pain in the ass to transport.

Good luck!

costumeczar Posted 10 Sep 2012 , 1:52am
post #7 of 14

I wouldn't do them for under $50 each...You can also figure that they'll either take longer to bake because of all the little batches you'll need, or that you'll have a lot of waste if you decide to cut them out of sheet cakes.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 10 Sep 2012 , 2:16am
post #8 of 14

I don't completely understand. Aren't you selling this cake now? If you do, wouldn't you just charge that much?

Godot Posted 10 Sep 2012 , 7:52am
post #9 of 14

If the couple does decide to go with 6" cakes on all the tables make sure they know that a cake this small is about the size of a toilet roll. They might want something bigger that doesn't 'disappear' up in the middle of a 10-top.

They can always choose to skip the dessert after the meal and serve larger slices of cake instead.

TJLane Posted 25 Sep 2012 , 8:23pm
post #10 of 14

Thank you all for your input. It was priceless! The majority of my business is commercial since I bake for a local restaurant for resale. However, as Brides are want to do, they are now looking at a cake buffet for the wedding guests consisting of 8-10 individual 9" 2-layer cakes of of Red Velvet, Carrot Cake without Nuts, Pink Lemonade and Key Lime Cake (2-3 of each), plus one-3 layer 10" Key Lime cake for the bride and groom cake. I will use the pricing guides previously given, but now that I'm looking at larger cakes I'm thinking along the lines of $40 per cake for the 9" cakes and $60 for the 10" cake, plus delivery and setup. Please let me know if you think I'm high or low. Thank you all again for helping me with this icon_smile.gif

jgifford Posted 25 Sep 2012 , 9:20pm
post #11 of 14

I would charge at least $80 for the 9" and $100 for the 10" - plus delivery and setup. And that's still relatively low.

CWR41 Posted 25 Sep 2012 , 9:23pm
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by TJLane

Please let me know if you think I'm high or low.

I realize they aren't tiered, but I think $1.25 pp for 9" and $1.58 pp for 10" is too low.

costumeczar Posted 25 Sep 2012 , 9:38pm
post #13 of 14

Too low!

sweetcakes Posted 26 Sep 2012 , 2:58am
post #14 of 14

I just want to point out that the cakes on the buffet will probably be cut into wedges and not the traditional wedding cake slice. You may want to pre cut them so that the number of slices is predetermined. I think you would be better off with 8" and 9" cakes, the 10" would mean a large 5" wide wedge/slice on the plate.

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