sweetheaven2829 Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 2:13pm
post #1 of

ok guys really need help with this one, I am making a 4 tear all black foundant with red and silver decorations wedding cake next month and I have no idea what to charge for this, Really I have no idea how to price any of my cakes. Im just starting out and have only been making cakes for family and friends.  Can anyone help with some ideas

33 replies
shanter Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 4:28pm
post #2 of

It is not possible for us to tell you what to charge. We don't know where you are, what the going rates for store vs. custom cakes are in your area, what ingredients cost, etc. You need to figure out your expenses, figure out how many hours it will take to make the cake and clean up and multiply that number by what you want to earn as an hourly wage (cannot be lower than minimum wage), and including something for your overhead (electricity, wear and tear on your equipment, etc.). Delivery and set-up charges are added separately. Some people charge for tastings. I've heard good things about the Cake Boss softwear for pricing.

 

Good luck.

cai0311 Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 9:19pm
post #3 of

Cake Boss software will help you figure out what your cake cost you to make.  Then you can add in what you want to make per hour and the program will give you a total cost.  Take the cost, divide by the number of servings in the cake and you get an average of a per slice price you should charge.

 

If you don't want to buy the program (highly suggest it though, I have had it for 2+ years and love it) you can figure the price on your own.  Factor in everything:

all ingredients

paper towels

water

electricity

license fees

insurance fees

non stick spray

gas to go to store(s) to purchase needed stuff

fondant

gum paste

floral wires

floral tape

support system for tiers

wooden dowels hammered all the way through the cake (unless you are using SPS)

cake boards

cake drums

ribbon to go around drum to make it pretty

prep time

mix time

fill time

ice time

special decorations time

clean up time

 

Until you know what a slice of cake truely costs you, you won't be able to accurately price it.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 11:23pm
post #4 of

AWhere are you located? Some states require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen in order to legally accept money for cakes.

Apti Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 1:48am
post #5 of

As mentioned above, we can not help you with pricing suggestions; there are simply too many variables.  I totally agree with the suggestion for CakeBoss software.  Here is an excellent article about pricing cakes:

http://www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx

p.s.  CakeCentral members get a 10% discount!

 

You will gain even more information from this article, Top Mistakes Made by New Cake Businesses:

http://www.cakeboss.com/TopMistakes.aspx

 

If the wedding is being held at a restaurant or business venue, they may require that any cakes brought in for weddings be from a licensed baker.  You may wish to check with the bride-to-be and see where the wedding will be held. 

 

Good luck with the cake.  Let us know how it went!

kazita Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 1:55am
post #6 of

AWas wondering where you were at Jason with your you can't sell cakes in some sstates without a license stuff. She says in her post that she's only made cakes for family and friends so I highly dought she has the license

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 4:05am
post #7 of

A

Original message sent by kazita

Was wondering where you were at Jason with your you can't sell cakes in some sstates without a license stuff. She says in her post that she's only made cakes for family and friends so I highly dought she has the license

I'm quite sure you mean 'doubt', NOT 'dought'.

While I find quite a bit of what Jason says truly irritating, he makes quite a few very valid points. This is one of them. In most states, you need to be licensed, permitted and insured to sell cakes, this can require an expense, which can be as little as a business license or a full commercial kitchen. You need to factor this expense in when you price your cake, whether it be $35 at the county clerk office, or $100,000.

kazita Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 4:30am
post #8 of

AYes I meant doubt And yes Jason makes valid points but he does it ALL the time. I'm sure she's a hobby baker and doesn't have a license

jason_kraft Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 4:37am
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by kazita

I'm sure she's a hobby baker and doesn't have a license

If the OP doesn't have a license but lives in a state where it is legal to sell baked goods from a home kitchen without a license, then she can charge for the cake. Otherwise she would only be able to legally charge $0.

If she does have a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen, the cost of that kitchen (which can vary widely depending on location) needs to be figured in to the price.

And yes Jason makes valid points but he does it ALL the time.
Umm, I'll try to make valid points less often then? ;)

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 5:19am

A

Original message sent by kazita

Yes I meant doubt And yes Jason makes valid points but he does it ALL the time. I'm sure she's a hobby baker and doesn't have a license

As a licensed commercial baker who has spent considerable amounts of money to become one, i think everyone needs to know the legality of selling cakes. This is one of the points he makes that never gets old.

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 5:23am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


If the OP doesn't have a license but lives in a state where it is legal to sell baked goods from a home kitchen without a license, then she can charge for the cake. Otherwise she would only be able to legally charge $0.
If she does have a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen, the cost of that kitchen (which can vary widely depending on location) needs to be figured in to the price.
 

If she's already accepted an order for a 4 tier cake but hasn't figured out what she's charging, I'll bet she is NOT a operating out of a licensed kitchen.

 

And is it just me, or does it suddenly seem like there are all sorts of posts about "I am making this cake but I have no idea what to charge!"  lately.  I get that there are many people just starting up their business.  I don't care if you are operating out of your home or a storefront.  You have no business calling yourself a business if you are selling cakes without having a pricing structure in place FIRST.

 

Before you agree to sell your very first cake, you need to figure out how much you are going to charge.  Even if you are ridiculously underselling (and that's a whole other thread!!), the words "Sure I'll make your cake"  should not even come out of your mouth unless you ALREADY know you are going to charge $X per slice for it.  Just sayin'.

shanter Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 5:27am
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 

If she's already accepted an order for a 4 tier cake but hasn't figured out what she's charging, I'll bet she is NOT a operating out of a licensed kitchen.

 

And is it just me, or does it suddenly seem like there are all sorts of posts about "I am making this cake but I have no idea what to charge!"  lately.  I get that there are many people just starting up their business.  I don't care if you are operating out of your home or a storefront.  You have no business calling yourself a business if you are selling cakes without having a pricing structure in place FIRST.

 

Before you agree to sell your very first cake, you need to figure out how much you are going to charge.  Even if you are ridiculously underselling (and that's a whole other thread!!), the words "Sure I'll make your cake"  should not even come out of your mouth unless you ALREADY know you are going to charge $X per slice for it.  Just sayin'.

 

*Like*

 

P.S. Jason, you are a wealth of information and we need you.

Godot Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 7:31am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 


I'm quite sure you mean 'doubt', NOT 'dought'.
While I find quite a bit of what Jason says truly irritating
, he makes quite a few very valid points. This is one of them. In most states, you need to be licensed, permitted and insured to sell cakes, this can require an expense, which can be as little as a business license or a full commercial kitchen. You need to factor this expense in when you price your cake, whether it be $35 at the county clerk office, or $100,000.

 

 

Wow.

vgcea Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:12am

Wha...? Lemme go ahead and sort y'all out real quick:

 

Godot. Pick your jaw off the floor. Why're you acting brand new?

Kazita. Fall back! #TeamJason

Shanter. *Mimics whiney voice* "Jason, we need you." icon_confused.gifI've got my eye on you icon_confused.gif. #JasonStan

Jason. *nothing new*

OP. Seriously?!

The rest of you. Carry on.

 

*Exits left*

SugaredSaffron Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 10:27am
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 

Wha...? Lemme go ahead and sort y'all out real quick:

 

Godot. Pick your jaw off the floor. Why're you acting brand new?

Kazita. Fall back! #TeamJason

Shanter. *Mimics whiney voice* "Jason, we need you." icon_confused.gifI've got my eye on you icon_confused.gif. #JasonStan

Jason. *nothing new*

OP. Seriously?!

The rest of you. Carry on.

 

*Exits left*


ROFL

sweetheaven2829 Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 1:11pm

thank you to those that are not rude!! I am doing this for a friend that wants to pay me that is why I have asked the question. guess I should have made that clear.  I do this for a hobby...sorry if you pros got offened by me asking a question

Dani1081 Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 1:59pm

vgcea - I'm with sugaredsaffron on this one - ROFLMAO!!!!!! HILARIOUS! I think you're impressions were pretty spot on - thank you for the smile!

SugaredSaffron Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 2:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetheaven2829 

thank you to those that are not rude!! I am doing this for a friend that wants to pay me that is why I have asked the question. guess I should have made that clear.  I do this for a hobby...sorry if you pros got offened by me asking a question

If its a gift for a friend and she wants to be nice and give you a gift in return then set any amount you want. If you are doing it for her quid pro wuo then you need to work out how much all the ingredients are going to cost you, how long its going to take you and then add your wage. I'm assuming because its for a friend you wont want to make any profit on it.

I'm not going to get into the legal battle that will probably ensue, but I'm sure there are plenty who'll be able to help. Hope it goes well for you x

Spuddysmom Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 3:39pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetheaven2829 

 I am doing this for a friend that wants to pay me

 OP, the responses reflect that the pricing question is constantly asked as if the poster didn't bother to use the search engine for the answer on their own first. Anyway, aside from some excellent answers to your original question; you will now find out that once you accept payment, any form of payment, even from a friend, you no longer are a "hobby baker" especially in the eyes of the IRS. Aside from that, you may really enjoy the Cake Boss software - it is user friendly and a huge eye-opener when it comes to figuring out what your product is costing you.

BakingIrene Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 4:21pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetheaven2829 

ok guys really need help with this one, I am making a 4 tear all black foundant with red and silver decorations wedding cake next month and I have no idea what to charge for this, Really I have no idea how to price any of my cakes. 

Sorry to point out the obvious but...NO YOU ARE NOT MAKING A CAKE.

 

You are DISCUSSING making a cake.  Never in my life would I start baking a cake before the price was agreed on with the customer.

 

Better make sure you are legally permitted to do so in your state/province/county.

 

THEN do your price homework.  

Make a grocery list for every item you will use, and add in the prices that YOU will have to pay.

Calculate how much time it will take you from planning to shopping to delivery, and multiply by your desired hourly rate (which by law MUST be at least your local minimum wage).

You want to cover the overhead like the cost of a license and kitchen rental ( or electricity) and wear and tear on equipment, so make sure you add that $$ in too.

 

The total number you get from the above is the absolute minimum you should charge for any cake.

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 5:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetheaven2829 

thank you to those that are not rude!! I am doing this for a friend that wants to pay me that is why I have asked the question. guess I should have made that clear.  I do this for a hobby...sorry if you pros got offened by me asking a question


You should find out where the cake is going to be served.  If it is at someone's house, then that's fine.  If it's going to be at a banquet hall or some other venue you NEED to make sure that they will allow a cake from an unlicensed decorator.  Many venues will not and your friend is going to have a huge problem when they won't let your cake come in the building.

Apti Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 5:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetheaven2829 

thank you to those that are not rude!! I am doing this for a friend that wants to pay me that is why I have asked the question. guess I should have made that clear.  I do this for a hobby...sorry if you pros got offended by me asking a question

Sorry you were exposed to one of the ongoing problems with CakeCentral forums.  Sometimes the topic strays from the original post. Forum posts don't allow the filters or questions that occur naturally in face-to-face conversations.

 

As mentioned in the CakeBoss "How to Price Your Cakes" article, pricing for hobby bakers is very difficult because it is usually something that is a first-time experience.  You've been baking cute cakes for fun and putting a lot of time and love into your creations, and suddenly, somebody wants to pay you!  After the initial thrill of being asked wears off, then you think, "Oh my goodness!  How much should I charge?"  This is the question that every single new hobby cake decorator asks.

 

Unfortunately, there are just so many variables that it is almost impossible for someone else to help out with a pricing suggestion.  Your ingredients, the time it takes you to decorate, the pricing and competition in your geographic area, rural or urban, local town hall or 5 star hotel venue, etc.   I just made 2 birthday cakes for my dad; one for his surprise breakfast with family and friends and the other for the staff at the Alzheimer's facility where his wife of 40 years is living.  The first cake (basketweave with trees) for the surprise breakfast took me about 7 hours to decorate, and the recipe, pumpkin spice, cost me about twice as much as my white or chocolate cake recipes.   The second cake, buttermilk chocolate, only took about 50 minutes to decorate and the ingredients cost far less that the pumpkin spice.

 

Good luck with the wedding cake.  I hope  your friend has a lovely wedding day with a beautiful cake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kazita Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 8:31pm

A

Original message sent by sweetheaven2829

thank you to t.hose that are not rude!! I am doing this for a friend that wants to pay me that is why I have asked the question. guess I should have made that clear.  I do this for a hobby...sorry if you pros got offened by me asking a question

Yeah sorry to say there are some rude people here...I don't think they mean to be rude they are looking out for your best interest but it still comes across as rude. Do make sure you can take your cake into the venue.. Wouldn't want to do all that work and than not have it aloud into the venue. As far as the cost cover all your ingredients than the rest is up to you if you want to charge for your time than do so but if you dont charge for your time be prepared for calls about selling cheap cakes and thats where you tell them that was your gift was to not charge for your time A lot of people on here charge by the slice Such as just an example $3.00 per slice and they use the wilton chart to see how many slices the cake that they are making yields. Lots of people come on here asking how much to charge it seems to be a loaded question. But if you do make more cakes in the future to sell dont undersale yourself Now let's see how much grief I get for this answer

kazita Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 8:42pm

A

Original message sent by vgcea

Wha...? Lemme go ahead and sort y'all out real quick:

Godot. Pick your jaw off the floor. Why're you acting brand new? Kazita. Fall back! #TeamJason Shanter. *Mimics whiney voice* "Jason, we need you." :? I've got my eye on you :? . #JasonStan Jason. *nothing new* OP. Seriously?! The rest of you. Carry on.

*Exits left*

Yeah right!! NOT!! I'LL NEVER BE TEAM JASON!!

vgcea Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 


ROFL

icon_biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani1081 

vgcea - I'm with sugaredsaffron on this one - ROFLMAO!!!!!! HILARIOUS! I think you're impressions were pretty spot on - thank you for the smile!

Thanks. We aim to please hehehehe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazita 


Yeah right!! NOT!! I'LL NEVER BE TEAM JASON!!

No sweetie, you won't... EVER!icon_evil.gif Make some space for Shanter while you're at it.

shanter Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 
Shanter. *Mimics whiney voice* "Jason, we need you." icon_confused.gifI've got my eye on you icon_confused.gif. #JasonStan

 

Whiney? WHINEY???  No, no. You're thinking of my sister.  icon_evil.gif

kazita Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:10pm

ANever Ever is right!! Hes never even made a cake ...just did the business end of it Shanter is completely welcome on my team!!

SugarQueenie Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:14pm
FFS ladies...way to scare off a newcomer. Can we adapt a ignore list on this forum so that people can simply ignore posts by users who annoy them? It makes it difficult to sort through threads to find useful information when you have to dodge one hateful comment after another. 
 
BRB spell checking 5 times so that the spelling and grammar police don't get me.
jason_kraft Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:27pm

A

Original message sent by SugarQueenie

Can we adapt a ignore list on this forum so that people can simply ignore posts by users who annoy them? It makes it difficult to sort through threads to find useful information when you have to dodge one hateful comment after another.

This.

If someone posts an off-topic negative comment about someone else, I find it's best to just ignore them, even if the comment is about you or someone you agree with. It's been my experience that the troublemakers will eventually either tone down their rhetoric or leave the community (voluntarily or not).

I also think it's a little silly to divide people into "teams" as if this is a race for high school class president or a bad reality show. Everyone here has generally given the OP similar advice: follow the law in your area, don't underprice yourself, and take into account your ingredients, time, and overhead. If you want to manufacture drama, take it to another thread.

vgcea Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 9:44pm

The whole ''team" thing is meant to be facetious and was used to bring some humor into a thread that needed to be lightened up. Now if anyone is taking that seriously, well, they have bigger issues than this thread or space can address. 

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