so-- my business is a small wholesale/custom retail baked goods biz. i manage a bakery, and when not on their clock, i'm on the clock of my business.
i've got a (tentative) order for the following: a german chocolate cake for 30(ish) decorated in a woodland theme (think, a buche de noel on it's side, with more attentive and refined decoration, lots of little meringue mushrooms and so forth).
everything is super-scratch-- i cook a caramel, which i then cook into a pastry cream made with brown sugar and fold in organic shredded coconut, freshly whipped cream, and pecans for the filling, and make italian buttercream for the crumb coat & icing. the cake won't be draped in fondant, but it will have fondant accents.
SO. i'm looking at doing a very tall 9" decorated woodland multiple-layer cake to serve around 30. I'm looking at around 100$ as a price.
What do you think, bakers? Adequate? Too much? Too little? I have a feeling it will send the customer running, but this is the nature of what I do and I fear I've been undercharging and losing money in an effort to be accommodating.
Really, the cost is in the quality (and subsequent labor) surrounding the product itself, with the time and labor for decoration coming in second as a pricing consideration.
Any thoughts would be SO appreciated. Thank you in advance.
AHow much will you be spending on ingredients? How long do you estimate the cake will take you start to finish?
the low-end estimate i have for ingredients would be around 20, but could easily be a bit more when all is said and done. i'm investing in some product that i don't already have in my inventory, but i'm absorbing that into the cost of a maintained repertoire of specialty goods for crafting such cakes.
as far as labor goes, between making the buttercreams, caramel pastry cream filling, cakes, macaron mushroom caps, little fondant woodland flowers & blades of grass, grated cake crumb forest ground, and so on... i'd guess around 4 hours.
maybe my production speed is lagging, but i think in baking time alone it makes sense, so long as everything is executed in sensible succession.
thank you for your response, and i look forward to your further input.