Sissys Goodies Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 9:56pm
post #1 of

Hey everyone, my name is Sarah. Im from California and I am a self-taught home baker. I made this Tinkerbell cake for a birthday party last week and charged $60 for it. Bottom tier is 10" and top tier is 6", and the cake is covered with MMF and decorated with MMF accents. The whole cake is frosted with Ganache, by the way. Im still relatively new to cake decorating, so I am unsure and fairly confused on what to charge for my cakes.

 

Tinkerbell Cake!! Bottom Tier is a Marble Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, and the Top Tier is a Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. All of the decorations are made of MMF, and the cake is also covered in MMF.

 

 Bottom Tier is a Marble Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, and the Top Tier is a Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. All of the decorations are made of MMF, and the cake is also covered in MMF.

 

Bottom Tier is a Marble Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, and the Top Tier is a Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. All of the decorations are made of MMF, and the cake is also covered in MMF.

 

*Also, my family tells me I charge too cheap for my cakes, but whenever I try to raise the price, I hardly get any orders... Any suggestions for this problem???

21 replies
Rewolf399 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:12pm
post #2 of

I would charge $220 for that cake.  Pricing cakes is one of the hardest things for a new cake decorator to grasp as well as training the customers what to expect.  There are many threads online (and in these forums) that can help, some people have a base price for a 2 tier cake and then add for fondant and how many decorations, some charge by the portion and then add for fondant and decorations.

 

The bottom line for you is:  How much did your materials, overhead etc cost.  How many hours did you put into the cake (including the planning, shopping, baking, decorating and possibly delivery)?  You should be charging at least minimum wage (if not more) and in this case at $60 you didn't charge anywhere near that.

 

You can also research other bakers in your area and see what they charge for custom cakes.  Walmart and Sams club and what they charge do not count as their cakes are not in the same category.  You should have your prices in the same neighborhood as the local bakeries or else you are underselling them and cheapening their work and businesses. 

 

Good luck!

Rewolf399 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:12pm
post #3 of

By the way, that is a beautiful cake!

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:30pm
post #4 of

I love it! For me, I would charge for 50 servings, and it would be $175.

remnant3333 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:35pm
post #5 of

Your cake is very beautiful and yes you do not charge enough money!! It probably cost you more than sixty to make the cake when you include labor,materials and electricity!!! Wow you basically gave the cake away!! You definitely have talent in making cakes. Maybe someone else here will be able to give you some pointers. I only do caking as a hobby and do not sell them.

 

You should take your picture of cake to a baker in the area you live in and ask them what they would charge and what size the tiers are if you were to get a cake from them. Then you will know how much to charge for your cakes. That way you will be able to tell your customers that the baker in the area you live charges $$$ for the same cake. If you chose to be competitive with them you can undersell them but you need to charge more than 60 dollars. Good luck/Mary
 

DanaG21 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:41pm
post #6 of

I would have charged $200 for the cake.  I've been where you are and made a commitment this year to making my business be successful then I needed to value my work and time.  I've lost a few orders but at least I wasn't spending 10 hours doing a cake for $100.00!  With your talent you'll get there pretty fast!

Sissys Goodies Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:57pm
post #7 of

Thank you all so much for your replies and compliments!!! I agree, I put way too much into cakes than what I get out of it. I do like your ideas about asking local bakers what their prices are, and seeing how much they charge for certain size cakes. I live in a very small town, and the next big town is an hour away. So im sure people are willing to drive an hour from here to buy a properly charged cake, so I could definately give it a shop here. 

 

I love how the cakes turn out with the ganache underneath, but I just can't find a good Buttecream recipe that will hold under fondant. Mine always sags and droops, or has the big bulge around the middle. Thats another reason on why I feel uncomfortable charging more. Im still practicing and learning.. 

But thank you again!!! You guys always inspire me, I love your cakes!

tdovewings Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 10:58pm
post #8 of

Did you make tinkerbell? That alone would be $45 for me. I put the cake at $225. It is a very nice cake!

Relznik Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 11:00pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sissys Goodies View Post

 

*Also, my family tells me I charge too cheap for my cakes, but whenever I try to raise the price, I hardly get any orders... Any suggestions for this problem???

 

I'd rather do 1 cake for £150 than 3 cakes for £50.

 

It's not how many orders you get that's important...  it's your profit.  And doing a lovely cake like that for such a low price means you really won't be making any profit at all!!

 

It's taken me a while to finally realise that my time is precious to me!  I won't take an order for a couple of pounds profit.  I'd rather spend time with my kids or doing things around the house that I keep meaning to do.

 

Someone I know has a fab saying...  The person who works for nothing will always have plenty to do.

 

Suzanne x

Sissys Goodies Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 11:06pm

Wow, I love that quote Relznik!!! It's absolutely an eye-opener. Doing these cakes definately takes huge amounts of time away from my daughter and family. The things we do for chump-change, huh. I believe my time means more! 

And Tdovewings, no I didnt make the Tinkerbell. Its a candle that I bought from PartyCity. I thought it fit pretty good though. 

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 11:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik View Post

 

I'd rather do 1 cake for £150 than 3 cakes for £50.

 

It's not how many orders you get that's important...  it's your profit.  And doing a lovely cake like that for such a low price means you really won't be making any profit at all!!

 

It's taken me a while to finally realise that my time is precious to me!  I won't take an order for a couple of pounds profit.  I'd rather spend time with my kids or doing things around the house that I keep meaning to do.

 

Someone I know has a fab saying...  The person who works for nothing will always have plenty to do.

 

Suzanne x

Thanks Relznik, I have found a new signature line!  It's the straight gospel! 

Rewolf399 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 11:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sissys Goodies View Post

Thank you all so much for your replies and compliments!!! I agree, I put way too much into cakes than what I get out of it. I do like your ideas about asking local bakers what their prices are, and seeing how much they charge for certain size cakes. I live in a very small town, and the next big town is an hour away. So im sure people are willing to drive an hour from here to buy a properly charged cake, so I could definately give it a shop here. 

 

I love how the cakes turn out with the ganache underneath, but I just can't find a good Buttecream recipe that will hold under fondant. Mine always sags and droops, or has the big bulge around the middle. Thats another reason on why I feel uncomfortable charging more. Im still practicing and learning.. 

But thank you again!!! You guys always inspire me, I love your cakes!

 

What I did while I was still in the practicing and learning stage is this:  For my friends and family I would do their custom cake for cost of materials and if they felt like giving me a tip to kick in for some of my time, well then great.  This applied A: If I had the time, and B:  If it was a cake that I wanted to do that would look great in my portfolio. 

 

I would make sure to tell my family and friends "If I was selling this cake on the open market, I would sell it for XYZ amount.  But for you, I will do it for the cost of the materials"  This way they wouldn't go and tell friends of theirs that they got this gorgeous cake for only $60 or whatever the materials cost, they could tell their friends how much the cake would cost them if they would like to order from me.

 

I also agree with the poster above, I'd rather do less cakes and make a decent profit, rather than more cakes and have no time and no profit. 

n8rd Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 12:15am

AThats an awesome cake! Kudos!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 12:43am

A**head - work table**

$60? That's barely $1.00 per serving. And, it looks great.

No wonder people have trouble paying my professional prices. Why would they?

Seriously, the cake is adorable. They got a steal.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 12:46am

ABy the way $315. That 45 servings plus fondant. I'm assuming tink is not hand made.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 12:48am

A

Original message sent by Sissys Goodies

*Also, my family tells me I charge too cheap for my cakes, but whenever I try to raise the price, I hardly get any orders... Any suggestions for this problem???

You have taught them to expect inexpensive. You will need to find clients who are willing to pay reasonable prices or re-train your current clients. Retraining is tough!!

Apti Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 1:01am

 

*Also, my family tells me I charge too cheap for my cakes, but whenever I try to raise the price, I hardly get any orders... Any suggestions for this problem???

I agree with the others, your cake is beautiful and you are charging far too little.  However.....and this is a BIG "however", unless you have a customer base in your geographic area that WILL pay premium prices, you may not have an appropriate location to make high-end cake designs at a profit.  

 

Your customer base is NOT family, friends, or friends-of-friends.  Your target customer base for high-end, custom cakes are people who are willing to pay $225 for a 1st birthday party for their kid and 20-30 friends; people who are willing to pay $350 for a custom anniversary cake that looks like a golf course, etc. 

 

If you try and raise your prices and "hardly get any orders", those are NOT your target customers.  The answer is that you must do some serious business thinking AND do a time-consuming, rigorous breakdown of all your costs for ingredients/supplies/overhead and time. 

 

Many people recommend the software recommended in this article:  "How Much Should I Charge for This Cake?"

 

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

 

I wish you well.

tracyaem Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 1:01am

Your cake is great! I would have charged $175 plus the cost of the Tinkerbell toy.

 

It's hard to put a value on your work, but remember it's your time that's the main commodity (not the flour, eggs, etc). I have a spreadsheet for every cake I quote that has the actual costs (ingredients, boards, boxes, etc) and has a mock schedule so I can see how much time it will take. I make sure I'm getting at least a set amount per hour. If I can't get at least that, I'd rather spend my time with my kids (or relaxing and watching bad TV when they're in bed!).

COButterfly Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 3:06am

Suuuuuper cute cake!  Good job!  I would have charged about $3/serving for it, plus more for the topper.

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 6:41pm

I have to say that I am SO GLAD we are doing this! In the past, so many acted like their prices were well guarded secrets. If they told you, they would have to kill you icon_rolleyes.gif

 

I think the openness and honesty in pricing will seriously help change the mentality that "people won't pay for a beautifully done cake" Heck, yes, they will! My prices are low, compared to some on here, and others charge HALF (or less ) than what I do.  But these "high priced" businesses have customers, so obviously, people WILL PAY GOOD MONEY FOR A WELL DONE CAKE! 

Godot Posted 17 Feb 2013 , 2:23pm

$421

crustdust Posted 17 Feb 2013 , 2:35pm

APricing cakes and baked goods in general can be a though task. At restaurants it's a lot easier because it's a written menu and there is no way for me change the price (I am a professional chef). It has happen to me before that people tried to pull the "but at Sam's club it's only $20..." card. To be honest, it drives me crazy. The grocery store doesn't give me deals on ingredients either and I think a lot of times people forget (or ignore) about that. My "favorite" right now are the beggars on Facebook "oh I want this, I want that.. send me some!"

Okay, I am done ranting.

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