Price the Cake!

Business By LadyViola Updated 6 May 2014 , 1:44am by SystemMod1

LadyViola Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 10:12pm
post #61 of 254

310 servings? That is alot of cake. The serving sizes were assumed according to the picture and Earlene's serving size chart. The chart I used has larger serving sizes than the Wilton chart. Either way, I still don't think 3,000 would be unreasonable. That's alot of work!!

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 10:17pm
post #62 of 254

I use Wilton - if I were doing that center concaved tier I'd use a 9", not an 8 to get that much curve!  

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 10:29pm
post #63 of 254

A

Original message sent by FromScratchSF

Actually, now looking at it I think the serving amount was under-estimated.  All my cake is 2 flavors of cake, 3 different buttercream fillings, then ganached then fondant.  That's a 6 tiered cake, I think it's a 6x9x9x12x14x16 = 310 servings, even though the 9x9 was carved to be 6" in the middle, you still pay for the cake.  Base price @ $8/serving = $2,480

2 hours carving +double stack @ $25/hour = $50 Sugar bow w/ edible broach detail = $125 The monograms look pre-purchased so no charge, but if I were to make them with the amount of glitter in them it's be another $100 Stencil work on 2 tiers = $200 or so Quilting on a 16" tier with pink candy pearls = $40 30 or so sugarpaste cosmos = $450

I estimate it would take at least 3 weeks prep time making and coloring all those cosmos Bow would also need to be made in advance, takes less then an hour but I charge in hour increments, putting it on with additional "ribbon" around the tier, 1 hour Center broach - could be 1/2 hour, could be more depending on how much detail I want to put into it Baking cake - 4 hours Tort/fill - another 3 hours Carving - 2 hours (I'm a perfectionist) Ganache/fondant - I'd allocate a full 8 hour day, but would probably take 10 with the concave double barrel Stack & add final decorations, 6 hours Make the bottom black separator disk for the cosmos - another hour

So for me, if I were to replicate that cake exact, (assuming the client did not want an upcharged flavor or filling) that actually puts me $3,445 plus delivery

one look at uour cakes....And that's why you get the big bucks! Lol! Let me know if you want another "intern" I would love my cakes to be that perfect. Yesterday, I took an hour ganaching a cake to make it perfectly straight up and down all the way around. I froze it for an hour and wrapped it in Saran Wrap and stuck it back in the freezer, took it out this morning and dropped it on the table, it bounced and hit the floor!! All 4 layers slid, and ganache cracked... Tried my damnedest to fix it, ran out of time and presented a wobbly looking cake.

ellavanilla Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 10:38pm
post #64 of 254

has anyone contacted swank to see what their final charge was?

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 10:51pm
post #65 of 254

icon_surprised.gif

ellavanilla Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 10:53pm
post #66 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

 

 

Actually, now looking at it I think the serving amount was under-estimated.  All my cake is 2 flavors of cake, 3 different buttercream fillings, then ganached then fondant.  That's a 6 tiered cake, I think it's a 6x9x9x12x14x16 = 310 servings, even though the 9x9 was carved to be 6" in the middle, you still pay for the cake.  Base price @ $8/serving = $2,480

 

2 hours carving +double stack @ $25/hour = $50

Sugar bow w/ edible broach detail = $125

The monograms look pre-purchased so no charge, but if I were to make them with the amount of glitter in them it's be another $100

Stencil work on 2 tiers = $200 or so

Quilting on a 16" tier with pink candy pearls = $40

30 or so sugarpaste cosmos = $450

 

I estimate it would take at least 3 weeks prep time making and coloring all those cosmos

Bow would also need to be made in advance, takes less then an hour but I charge in hour increments, putting it on with additional "ribbon" around the tier, 1 hour

Center broach - could be 1/2 hour, could be more depending on how much detail I want to put into it

Baking cake - 4 hours

Tort/fill - another 3 hours

Carving - 2 hours (I'm a perfectionist)

Ganache/fondant - I'd allocate a full 8 hour day, but would probably take 10 with the concave double barrel

Stack & add final decorations, 6 hours

Make the bottom black separator disk for the cosmos - another hour

 

So for me, if I were to replicate that cake exact, (assuming the client did not want an upcharged flavor or filling) that actually puts me $3,445 plus delivery

I really appreciate that you took the time to price out how you work. I'll bet a lot of rookies wouldn't consider most of what you'd charge beyond the cake and frosting. 

As we can all see, there is a huge difference between a $350 cake and a $3500.

 

I see this topic becoming really helpful to all bakers and I hope that we keep doing it. Perhaps a separate forum if it become popular!

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 11:03pm
post #67 of 254

I'm glad!  I know a lot of people take a look at a cake and don't see all the little details until you do this for a while.  Any time a client sends me a photo I literally break down each and every element that would go into reproducing the cake, then make changes on how I'd do it.  You have to learn to look and see everything - even that extra 16" black disk at the very bottom of the source cake that is covered in black fondant then filled in with cosmos.  How many of you caught that extra detail?  icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 11:37pm
post #68 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

 

 

Actually, now looking at it I think the serving amount was under-estimated.  All my cake is 2 flavors of cake, 3 different buttercream fillings, then ganached then fondant.  That's a 6 tiered cake, I think it's a 6x9x9x12x14x16 = 310 servings, even though the 9x9 was carved to be 6" in the middle, you still pay for the cake.  Base price @ $8/serving = $2,480

 

2 hours carving +double stack @ $25/hour = $50

Sugar bow w/ edible broach detail = $125

The monograms look pre-purchased so no charge, but if I were to make them with the amount of glitter in them it's be another $100

Stencil work on 2 tiers = $200 or so

Quilting on a 16" tier with pink candy pearls = $40

30 or so sugarpaste cosmos = $450

 

I estimate it would take at least 3 weeks prep time making and coloring all those cosmos

Bow would also need to be made in advance, takes less then an hour but I charge in hour increments, putting it on with additional "ribbon" around the tier, 1 hour

Center broach - could be 1/2 hour, could be more depending on how much detail I want to put into it

Baking cake - 4 hours

Tort/fill - another 3 hours

Carving - 2 hours (I'm a perfectionist)

Ganache/fondant - I'd allocate a full 8 hour day, but would probably take 10 with the concave double barrel

Stack & add final decorations, 6 hours

Make the bottom black separator disk for the cosmos - another hour

 

So for me, if I were to replicate that cake exact, (assuming the client did not want an upcharged flavor or filling) that actually puts me $3,445 plus delivery

 

 

wow --two hours to carve that?

 

it would be whittled to nothing if you cut on it for two hours

three weeks prep time to make a coupla dozen flowers--you could grow them from tiny seeds in that amount of time icon_biggrin.gif

 

three hours torte & fill if you stop for a two hour lunch

 

stack & add final decor 6 hours? the stencil is gonna take some time but you have to do the quilting when you did the fondant--it's a bow some pearls and the stencil--if you free handed the black decor it couldn't take six hours

 

that's a very fine cake and i'm not taking a drop from it--it's gorgeous and not be taken lightly

 

but dang you've got bucketfuls of extra time built into that schedule

 

you could do that much more efficiently than that

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 12:06am
post #69 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

has anyone contacted swank to see what their final charge was?

 

 

no but i checked their web page and fondant is $5.50 per

 

their cakes include two hours of decorating time additional is fifty bucks an hour

 

so in two hours they could do the pearls and bow and some of the stenciling at least

 

the flowers & topper & sculpted tier are additional

 

how long would the stencil take?

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 12:19am
post #70 of 254

K8, you bring up an excellent point - the time I allocate in my schedule to do anything is padded for more then I think it will take.  Experience has taught me that when working with employees, answering phones, dealing with outside kitchen staff, answering emails etc, sometimes a simple task can take forever.  At any rate, my time tables are always padded with the goal of it taking less time to do.  If I only made an american buttercream, the cake was one flavor, I didn't bother with ganache, and I made "close enough" cosmos. I have no doubt it would go a lot faster.  

 

I would start the cosmos 3 weeks in advance.  I wouldn't be working on them 8 hours a day for 3 weeks, sorry if you got that impression!    

 

I would totally give myself 2 hours to carve that double-barrel.  It's so high on the cake and such a focal point it would have to be perfect.  Taking it off is easy - putting it back on, not so much - and ganaching something like that could potentially take forever.  In fact of all the details that's the one I'd be the most shaky about based on my skillset.  I have no doubt others could bang that out faster.

 

K8, would would your time table be and what would you price it as?  Did you already post that and I missed it?

LadyViola Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 12:38am
post #71 of 254

AFromScratch, you are so right about using a 9 inch instead of 8 inch. I didn't even think about going larger for the concave shape. But see, that's why you get to charge $3500 :D.

kvand Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 12:49am
post #72 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyViola 

 

 

Here is the note I wrote on my cake page: https://www.facebook.com/notes/violas-custom-cakes/cake-pricing-explained/492430020803655

 

 

Feel free to use/copy/modify it. I actually modify it from time to time myself and will probably add more to it. I made it because I got tired of justifying my prices to people. I still think my prices are cheap for what I do. And you wouldn't believe the numbers of customer complain to me that they got a cake from xyz cake shop and were sorely disappointed. You get what you pay for.

I shared this on my FB page because it freakin' rocks!! Thank you for sharing!

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 1:57am
post #73 of 254

A

Original message sent by FromScratchSF

:o   Anna that's horrible!!!  SO sorry that happened!!!

It certainly never happened before, there is a first time for everything, right? Lol

Shoulda seen my face, and if my grandma was there, she'd have washed my mouth out with soap!!

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 1:57am
post #74 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyViola 

FromScratch, you are so right about using a 9 inch instead of 8 inch. I didn't even think about going larger for the concave shape. But see, that's why you get to charge $3500 icon_biggrin.gif.

 

 

Correction - in LA LA land I'd quote $3,500 - but I'd probably never make that cake.  I'd change so much of that design I really don't know what I'd come up with, but my design aesthetic is "less is more", so I'd probably drop several details, especially the diamond quilting and hot pink.  I also stop my cakes at 5 tiers.  They are just too heavy to try and get around in this city.  The cake as pictured would be, what, 25 pounds or more of ganache alone?  Ug.  No bueno.  I couldn't even get it in and out of my walk-in!

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 2:05am
post #75 of 254

A

Original message sent by FromScratchSF

K8, you bring up an excellent point - the time I allocate in my schedule to do anything is padded for more then I think it will take.  Experience has taught me that when working with employees, answering phones, dealing with outside kitchen staff, answering emails etc, sometimes a simple task can take forever.  At any rate, my time tables are always padded with the goal of it taking less time to do.  If I only made an american buttercream, the cake was one flavor, I didn't bother with ganache, and I made "close enough" cosmos. I have no doubt it would go a lot faster.  

I would start the cosmos 3 weeks in advance.  I wouldn't be working on them 8 hours a day for 3 weeks, sorry if you got that impression!    

I would totally give myself 2 hours to carve that double-barrel.  It's so high on the cake and such a focal point it would have to be perfect.  Taking it off is easy - putting it back on, not so much - and ganaching something like that could potentially take forever.  In fact of all the details that's the one I'd be the most shaky about based on my skillset.  I have no doubt others could bang that out faster.

K8, would would your time table be and what would you price it as?  Did you already post that and I missed it?

Umm..I'll say it since K8 hasn't yet. Touché!

That stencil is A ROYAL PITA, and would easily take me over 2 hours. (And then I would stick my finger in it.)

Seriously, I need to estimate it taking much longer, and getting started much sooner. While I don't have crazy Jen skillz, I know I can do much better because I can see my mistakes, and imperfections, and know that cake will be worth way more than $340 of my time, and I'd die before I brought that mess to the reception. Or lie, and say I was stricken with cataracts or struck my a car and made it with both my arms in casts. Or both.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 2:45am
post #76 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

K8, you bring up an excellent point - the time I allocate in my schedule to do anything is padded for more then I think it will take.  Experience has taught me that when working with employees, answering phones, dealing with outside kitchen staff, answering emails etc, sometimes a simple task can take forever.  At any rate, my time tables are always padded with the goal of it taking less time to do.  If I only made an american buttercream, the cake was one flavor, I didn't bother with ganache, and I made "close enough" cosmos. I have no doubt it would go a lot faster.  

 

I would start the cosmos 3 weeks in advance.  I wouldn't be working on them 8 hours a day for 3 weeks, sorry if you got that impression!    

 

I would totally give myself 2 hours to carve that double-barrel.  It's so high on the cake and such a focal point it would have to be perfect.  Taking it off is easy - putting it back on, not so much - and ganaching something like that could potentially take forever.  In fact of all the details that's the one I'd be the most shaky about based on my skillset.  I have no doubt others could bang that out faster.

 

K8, would would your time table be and what would you price it as?  Did you already post that and I missed it?

 

 

 

the two hours @ $25/hr that you are charging is not decorating time?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 3:06am
post #77 of 254

So, shame on me.

 

I did not follow the rules of WeddingbyColor.com.  I created an account under the false pretense of being a bride.  There was no option to join as a vendor.  I did come clean in the very beginning of the post.  Only fair.

 

"Ladies, please forgive me.  I am not a current bride.  I am a cake artist.  I felt compelled to come and comment on this photo to help end the perpetual misfortune that befalls so many brides.  It is just impossible to get THAT cake for $340.  

 
Currently, there is a discussion on a very popular cake decorating thread.  Many of us have  what the normal cost  of that cake would be in our area.  Currently, the average cost is $1485
 
Furthermore, I am disappointed in royallyyurs for not returning to share photos of how her $340 cake was delivered.  You can see photos of it at www  dot lasphotography01 dot com/p359134276.    Now THAT is a $340 cake.
Annabakescakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 3:17am
post #78 of 254

AHahahaha!!good for you! I was thinking about it, but am much too lazy! I was also wondering if anyone has contacted John and Jen yet?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 3:18am
post #79 of 254

I have also submitted the story to CakeWrecks.

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 4:00am
post #80 of 254

K8, thank you for having an interest in dissecting my time table and pricing, however I'm not interested in having it critiqued and won't be answering any more questions about it.  I posted what I would charge and how long I would allocate - lets stick to the spirit of the thread.  I'm much more interested in seeing how much others would charge, including you, and how long you would take to make it.  Maybe by telling us your method and pricing I may learn how to manage myself, staff and bakery more efficiently, which I am always on the look out for!

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 4:05am
post #81 of 254

OK ladies, I'm just sayin, it's one thing for us to discuss methods, pricing and whatnot over here, it's another thing to post on the bride's site like that.  Maybe she loved the cake, maybe she hated it, but it would be very easy for her to think we are also making fun of her, which is not cool.

 

I like these threads, but if we want to have freedom to post them we need to be sensitive to the fact that was a major part of someone's life and not directly make fun of them or their decisions like that.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 4:14am
post #82 of 254

AI feel for the bride, it looks like she has good taste and planned a gorgeous wedding and reception. I, no way, think she was to blame, I do think she had a predatory bakery, looking to make a couple bucks and was used by her. When the baker said she could do it, she had no reason to doubt her, and being on a tight budget is no reason to be shameful. I was on a very tight budget for my wedding as well, if I wasn't a baker, I might have ended up with a simulate cake or worse. (A sheet cake!!)

While the bride was victimized, she was not a victim because she is smiling, happy and beautiful on her wedding day. Kudos to her for making the best of it.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 4:18am
post #83 of 254
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

OK ladies, I'm just sayin, it's one thing for us to discuss methods, pricing and whatnot over here, it's another thing to post on the bride's site like that.  Maybe she loved the cake, maybe she hated it, but it would be very easy for her to think we are also making fun of her, which is not cool.

 

I like these threads, but if we want to have freedom to post them we need to be sensitive to the fact that was a major part of someone's life and not directly make fun of them or their decisions like that.

 

Let's be clear.  It was not the bride's personal blog.  It is a website for brides.  Perhaps she did love it.  I would be awful surprised that someone loved their cake so much yet didn't post a photo of it, but it's possible.  I don't think there was anything about my post that made fun of her.  I do think people will think I am trying to educate them regarding expectations of price.

 

I was VERY careful not to mention the name of this site or any clues that would lead someone from there to here.  That would have been very not kewl.

 

I think anyone, who reviews my posts, will agree that I typically take great care to be very sensitive.  With my clients I am extremely sensitive to the fact that this is a very important part of their life.  That is also why I take great care to specify my limitations and not inflate my skills.

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 4:21am
post #84 of 254

OK I just wanted to put that out there in case anyone else got the idea to create an account and pile on as some tend to do from here.  Just trying to stay positive!  

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 4:24am
post #85 of 254

While I feel for her (if in fact she was disappointed in her cake), I still hold firm that she is doing a huge disservice in misguiding the other members of that site.

 

They read her post & assume they too will be able to get that big beautiful cake for $340.  

 

Facts remain she either purposefully mislead all the readers, knowing she was getting a smaller cake, or she neglected to correct the misinformation.  Her happiness, quite frankly, is irrelevant.  

CarlaG Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 5:57am
post #86 of 254

I read the brides posts on the wedding blog site. She seemed very excited about the baker doing her cake. Even mentioned she had done a cake for her future MIL, which she included a picture of. So she certainly couldn't have been surprised or disappointed.

I agree with those who wish the bride had followed up on her blog that her cake was not  a replica in design or size of the dream cake she posted.

vgcea Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 6:51am
post #87 of 254

I love this thread. That.is.all!

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 10:20am
post #88 of 254

A"Whittled to nothing", k8 you're nuts lol.

ApplegumPam Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 10:35am
post #89 of 254

Oh my lordie.....  AND they are smiling?????   wow - I will NEVER understand how price can be the ONLY factor in purchasing.... seriously how can THAT be value for money??
 

LisaKinVA Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 1:47pm
post #90 of 254

I am just stunned by the $340 cake...stunned.  My wedding cake was $250 and it looked so much better than that.  Of course, it was a nothing-fancy-tastes AWESOME cake.

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