How Do I Price My Cakes?!

Business By Nessa1331 Updated 9 Apr 2014 , 12:27pm by bakingk8

Nessa1331 Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 3:58am
post #1 of 8

AI started making cakes a while back and never really knew how to price them. I was just kinda doing them for family and friends but then I started to catch on and get good business. I basically charged based on supplies and labor, I didn't want to charge a lot because I was just staring out. After a while, I had to give it up because it just wasn't worth the amount of work I was putting in. I recently decided to get back into cakes and Im thinking of making this a career. I want to do everything the right way and charge the way Im supposed to but there are so many serving charts that I don't know which one to use. Some of the serving sizes seem so small, I feel like I would be ripping someone off by charging $2 for such a small serving. I also do all my cakes in fondant, most people charge extra for that. Any ideas on which serving chart I should use or any extra charges I should make based on design??

7 replies
kaylawaylalayla Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 4:12am
post #2 of 8

AFrom what I've read most people are between wiltons (smaller)and earlenes chart (larger). You have to include in your price more than labor and supplies, with stuff like overhead, licensing fees, and other such stuff.

There is a very helpful man named jason kraft and I have a feeling he will be here any minute to tell you to check out a link in his signature. You should do that.

Anyways, the best bpiece of information that I get from reading threads like these is that if you are making custom cakes then you (as in we, most bakers) are not our target client, because we would never spend 100-200 $ on a child's bday cake. But there are people out there who will pay you what your work is worth and that's who you needto sell to

Edited for many many typos. Geeze its almost like a foreign language.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 5:19am
post #3 of 8

ACheck out the Pricing Formula link in my signature below. $2/serving is actually pretty low for a high quality custom cake.

MimiFix Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 2:15pm
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by Nessa1331 
... I recently decided to get back into cakes and Im thinking of making this a career. I want to do everything the right way...  

Congratulations on moving ahead! Does the right way include getting licensed and using a commercial kitchen? If so, check with NY Ag & Mkts. You'll need the Article 20-C license since your business products don't meet the Home Processor rules. The people who work there are great. Call the Rochester office for help 585-427-0200.

Nessa1331 Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 3:21pm
post #5 of 8

AThank you guys for the input.

howsweet Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 3:40pm
post #6 of 8

$2 per serving is insanely low. Think of it this way - most of us can't fathom paying $150,000 for a car, but that's what some cars sell for.  Find out who your customers are going to be. By definition, they are not people who think $2 a serving is a lot because you can't make a living selling high end cake for that price.  try figuring out how many cakes you can make in a week, multiply it times $2 a serving and then figure out how many of your bills you can pay at the end of the month.


If you're serious about doing this as a career, look at what professionals who make a living in the business do because they are doing what they must to survive.

howsweet Posted 8 Jul 2013 , 3:50pm
post #7 of 8

Btw, I was talking about Wilton's chart, not Earlene's. I used Earlene's when I first started because she claims you can't cut as many servings as Wilton says. One day I was cutting one of my own cakes at a party and had no problem getting the Wilton servings.  If you read her notes on her chart she says this became a problem while cutting a square cake which leads me to wonder if maybe her cake or icing sticks to the knife or something??? Because there's nothing more simple than cutting a square cake. She also lets you know she only actually measured a certain number of pans and that the others are only estimates.


And speaking of estimates -- beware of any other miscellaneous charts out there because they can be crazy wrong. I saw one that claimed you could get more servings than is possible in the physical world.

bakingk8 Posted 9 Apr 2014 , 12:27pm
post #8 of 8

Great that you are going back into it, especially if it's what you really love to do. Is it mainly custom work you do? If so I would charge per project and not have a standard pricing. When I'm pricing up cakes I find out exactly what the customer wants first, we sit and use an app called "cake slicer" This helps to show the customer how many servings they can get out of their cake and you can then play around with serving sizes. Some want smaller portions, some want larger but this allows you to incorporate all of that in. Once the customer is sorted on size and shape you can work out all the baking costs per serving and then add on the decorating/time costs. 

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