cuppycakez Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 1:07am
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A[URL]http://cakecentral.com/g/i/3067701/default/sort/display_order/#[/URL] hello my fellow bakers. I need your help/advice . This is my first time selling my cakes i just always made cakes for family and close friennds. This cake is due aug3 which is rhis sat gor a babyshower. I have worked with fondant before and tier cakes but never have made cake from scratch. This will be my first. I did a practice round with a recipe i found on loine it tasted like angel food cake but denser and not so fluffy. it was dry to me but i was thinking if i made it moister woyld it be a problem cuz the cake will be a 3 tier 6"8"10" 4" high each tier.... Would it fall apart ? Also i wanted to know do you think i undercharged for this cake i charged $80 im kinda afraid to charge more since.im starting out. Also i wanted to know when do i start baking when do i fill and crumbcoat? For the filling it will be fresh strawberrys and wippedcream will it soak the cake? Do i keep it in the fridge after i fill and crumb coat? When do i do that its do sat @12pm when can i cover and deco it i make my own mmf. Do i need to refridge it after i cover the cake in fondant? any suggestions advice please and thank you !

61 replies
Lucky6 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:06am
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AWow just wow

IAmPamCakes Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:17am
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AI already answered part of your question earlier, in your other post about this same cake.

Annabakescakes Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:24am
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Yes, you undercharged. How did you come up with $1.08 as your serving price? I would've charged at least 3 and a half times more. Yes, whipped cream will soak into the cake. And leave it refrigerated the entire time, unless you want to poison everyone. 

 

Is that even going to cover your costs, buying strawberries and such? It is going to be expensive. 

jennicake Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:41am
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1.  Add up the cost of all your ingredients

2.  Figure out how many hours this is going to take you to do.  

3.  Figure out how much an hour of your time is worth

4.  Multiply #2 and #3.  Add to #1

 

You absolutely undercharged at $80.  If you are just starting out and don't feel right charging what a cake that size should cost, then dont charge at all.  Treat it as a hobby/practice... just make the cake and give it away.

 

IAmPamCakes answered all your other questions in the other thread.  It's generally not a good idea to start more than one thread for the same question.  You will get duplicate answers, and people wont take you seriously... which will lead to you getting less answers anyways.  I know you're new here, so thats just some friendly advice.  

cuppycakez Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:42am
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AThank you. sorry i meant like do i need it to be refriderated before i put the fondant when it only has the crumbcoat or as soon as i crumbcoat do i need to put thw fondant im sorry if my questions are stupid i just dont want to mess up and im nervous. And i dont know.what the hell i was thinking i just thought if i had a vheap price with my first couple cakes i can get more custumers or idk im embarresed :/

cuppycakez Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:45am
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AShe answerd part but thank you for.your advice

jennicake Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuppycakez 

Thank you. sorry i meant like do i need it to be refriderated before i put the fondant when it only has the crumbcoat or as soon as i crumbcoat do i need to put thw fondant im sorry if my questions are stupid i just dont want to mess up and im nervous. And i dont know.what the hell i was thinking i just thought if i had a vheap price with my first couple cakes i can get more custumers or idk im embarresed :/

 Because you have whipped cream for filling, your cake will always need to be refrigerated.  You dont need to chill it before putting the fondant on, but it will always need to be in the fridge when its not being eaten.

 

If you offer a cheap price for your first couple cakes, word will spread and you will become the cheap cake lady.  You dont want that!  You know how much time, money and energy goes into a cake.  Charge what you are worth!  Once you realize you are working for $2/hr or free, you are not going to enjoy this anymore.  

AZCouture Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:49am
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AGet thru this order, and don't take any more paid orders until you can sort out a sensible pricing arrangement.

IAmPamCakes Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:54am

A^^THIS And, practice practice practice with recipes and techniques until you are confident in your abilities, and know how to price your work. Also, don't forget to check with your health department about licensing, laws, etc. Good luck on your cakeventure.

cuppycakez Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:07am

AThank you ..... And yes i when i explained what i was trying to acheive with this price thats exacly what my mom told me about the cheap cake lady. Yes thats what im going to do i havent accepted any other orders becuase i know i need to get everything staightend out first. Again thank you everybody for your advice

jason_kraft Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:18am

AHave you gotten your cottage food license from the county? If not, you cannot legally accept this paid order and should refer it to a licensed bakery in your area.

Even if you do have your license, you probably won't be able to use whipped cream if it is considered a potentially hazardous food (meaning it must be kept refrigerated).

bubs1stbirthday Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:50am

I would be wary of using anything that needs to be refridgerated at all times - assuming that you are doing a cake that someone wants to put on display they will not be keeping it in the fridge. If you do go ahead with it perhaps dry off the sliced strawberries as you would with tomato for a sand which (using paper towel?) you could put a thin layer of jam on the cake to try and help minimise seepage.  

lizzystreats Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 6:02am

I would not be taking any huge cake orders if your just starting out. Its best to start small and work your way up. yes you way under charged and the customer knows it. 3 tier that size is min 200 but live and learn.

always have your recipes in place before starting a business do not practice on your customers. Also if your cottage law your can not be using whip cream since its not shelf stable. be careful and follow the rules through your state. You may get a non dairy whip cream that some cake stores carry and Smart and final carry. Now take a step back and start making the decorations for your cake NOW so your not rushed for time. Good luck

carmijok Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 8:43am

AWhy are there two posts on this same subject?

Lucky6 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 8:57am

A

Original message sent by carmijok

Why are there two posts on this same subject?

she posted twice....

LIllybell23 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 3:09pm

    I think people were a little harsh on you.  When you are starting out it is so hard to know what to price and everything is really confusing and if you don't charge anything at all then you will lose a ton in the actual cost of the cake so I totally get what you were doing... Also depending on the area of the country you live in the price of cakes will vary greatly!!  I live in Arkansas which is a very low income state with a fairly low cost of living so everything here is cheaper.  The cake bakeries around here only charge about 1.00 to 1.50 per serving and that is still a lot more than walmart and the grocery stores around here... I am in the process of raising some of my prices but most of my customers are friends and I want my cakes to be affordable for them.  And if I charge much more than that then they won't be able to afford it and I don't want that.  Its not a get rich quick scheme but I enjoy it and I usually double my cost and that is my goal...If you live in Texas or California then obviously things would be very different. The people in my town also are not high maintenance customers at all and that makes it where I don't have to charge as much because they never complain and are really easy to work with. 

  Also things may not go super well at first everyone has their horror stories and you just have to be patient with yourself.  Don't get discouraged you will do great but it takes practice and time!  I have been decorating cakes for 7 years now and I still have a lot to learn.

  Don't feel stupid these are all legitimate questions!  Also I would not recommend filling a cake with whipped cream it will be stressful...:(

Sarah
 

BatterUpCake Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 3:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIllybell23 

    I think people were a little harsh on you.  When you are starting out it is so hard to know what to price and everything is really confusing and if you don't charge anything at all then you will lose a ton in the actual cost of the cake so I totally get what you were doing... Also depending on the area of the country you live in the price of cakes will vary greatly!!  I live in Arkansas which is a very low income state with a fairly low cost of living so everything here is cheaper.  The cake bakeries around here only charge about 1.00 to 1.50 per serving and that is still a lot more than walmart and the grocery stores around here... I am in the process of raising some of my prices but most of my customers are friends and I want my cakes to be affordable for them.  And if I charge much more than that then they won't be able to afford it and I don't want that.  Its not a get rich quick scheme but I enjoy it and I usually double my cost and that is my goal...If you live in Texas or California then obviously things would be very different. The people in my town also are not high maintenance customers at all and that makes it where I don't have to charge as much because they never complain and are really easy to work with. 

  Also things may not go super well at first everyone has their horror stories and you just have to be patient with yourself.  Don't get discouraged you will do great but it takes practice and time!  I have been decorating cakes for 7 years now and I still have a lot to learn.

  Don't feel stupid these are all legitimate questions!  Also I would not recommend filling a cake with whipped cream it will be stressful...:(

Sarah
 

So you are advocating selling cakes without a license or health inspection? And tax evasion?

LIllybell23 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 3:49pm

I'm not sure where you got that idea lol I am just standing up for people learning to decorate cakes... why do you think she is evading taxes and not getting a health inspection and how do you know she doesn't have a license?  I am just saying that you have no idea what area of the country she lives in and so you really don't know how much she should charge... Also the laws that she has to follow are different in every state. I just now saw all the posts about making sure you are legal and yes that is necessary and I would agree I was mainly referring to all the posts before it that were jumping on her for her prices being too low
 

MimiFix Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 3:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

So you are advocating selling cakes without a license or health inspection? And tax evasion?

 

A common answer, similar to what we find on topics such as copyrighted cakes: "Everyone else does it."

Godot Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:03pm

I'm not sure that people were so harsh abou the pricing bit at all.

 

What concerns me most was that the OP has taken an order and, three-four days before the cake is due, is asking questions about the most basic routines, and how to so the cake.

 

Get your ducks in a row, and THEN start your business.

Godot Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:04pm

I'm not sure that people were so harsh abou the pricing bit at all.

 

What concerns me most was that the OP has taken an order and, three-four days before the cake is due, is asking questions about the most basic routines, and is asking how to even DO the cake that he/she accepted an order for, and is also asking basic baking questions.......

 

 

 

Get your ducks in a row, and THEN start your business.

jennicake Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:19pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIllybell23 

I'm not sure where you got that idea lol I am just standing up for people learning to decorate cakes... why do you think she is evading taxes and not getting a health inspection and how do you know she doesn't have a license?  I am just saying that you have no idea what area of the country she lives in and so you really don't know how much she should charge... Also the laws that she has to follow are different in every state. I just now saw all the posts about making sure you are legal and yes that is necessary and I would agree I was mainly referring to all the posts before it that were jumping on her for her prices being too low
 

I dont think anyone "jumped on her" for prices being too low.  It was all helpful advice.  If you look at it really... a cake that size would cost about $40 (or more) in ingredients and supplies.  For someone who is new, thats also about 8 hours of work (prep time, baking, decorating, clean-up) -- if not more.  But even at 8 hours, she has paid herself only $5 an hour.  I'm sure her time is worth more than that!

 

So yes... price is too low, and she will grow to hate doing this if it continues.  I think all the advice on pricing better is to her benefit.

 

Also, she did ask if she undercharged.  The comments about undercharging weren't just out of left field.  

LIllybell23 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:26pm

Maybe the price is too low but things can be said nicely and a lot of people weren't being nice and I think that it is good to encourage new bakers because it can be very difficult at first.
 

reginaherrin Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:38pm

I don't think anyone that posted about undercharging was being mean at all.  I think all the advice given was correct and said in an appropriate manner.  I too wonder about her taking an order and then asking about it a few days before it is due.  I also wonder if she knows how to properly stack a 3 tiered cake since it seems like she may not have done it before since she is just starting out.  I totally understand undercharging as well since I did when I started out and this site really helped. I would not use whipped cream for the filling, just use a buttercream, it will be much more stable and easier.

AZCouture Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 4:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot 

 

 

 

Get your ducks in a row, and THEN start your business.

 

But I thought you were supposed to open shop, "borrow" photos from other people, take orders you have no clue on how to do, demand tutorials and instructions, cry and whine when people don't jump to hold your hand thru a project, come back here and tell a story about the rude mean customer who demanded a refund, and lastly, get pats on the back and get told "everyone starts somewhere".
 
That's not it, huh? Coulda fooled me.
Godot Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:10pm

ADamn hunny - if that's the order of things then I did it all wrong....

IAmPamCakes Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:13pm

ASeriously, AZ? No fair. I did all the math on my own, got legal and everything. I could've had someone else do it for me the whole time?!

AZCouture Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmPamCakes 

Seriously, AZ? No fair. I did all the math on my own, got legal and everything. I could've had someone else do it for me the whole time?!

Right? So did I. I didn't have the nerve to start selling cakes before I knew I was ready. It's a shame that this business is picked to just jump into with zero thought of any accountability.

Smckinney07 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 5:31pm

AI wouldn't try a new recipe on a customer, especially if you arent happy with the flavor. You said it was dense and not so fluffy, if you don't like it chances are they won't either. I wouldn't serve something I wouldn't eat myself-good rule of thumb. I wouldn't use an angel food cake under fondant, then stacking either-maybe other people do it I have yet to find a recipe that can hold everything up and remain light and fluffy.

As for pricing, I think you've realized that you already have. I understand wanting to build a customer base as well as the excitement of jumping in, but if you rush yourself you won't be able to build a business that will last. The liscencing is very important as well, so let's assume you've done that, I don't know but the above comments about pricing ans structure are all true, and I strongly recommend you take their advice-these people own/have owned successful businesses. It's not meant to be rude or harsh, just honest so please don't take offense.

If you were to keep taking orders and not be compensated properly for your work you will eventually get burnout. More importantly, when you go to raise prices you'll have issues (I believe there was a post about this the other day-a girl started pricing way too cheap, realized it, then wasn't sure how to tell her repeat customers she was raising prices). It is difficult starting out but if you go about it the right way you will avoid a lot of headaches in the future.

The cake you are working on, I would have started already. You need to make the shoes ASAP, they need time to dry properly. I'd also go ahead and bake your cakes, make your mmf, and BC today. You also need to make sure you have the proper equipment, a baseboard for the entire cake to set on (something heavy enough to hold the weight of all three tiers-they can be heavy), internal supports, cake boards or foam core for each tier, and a box to carry your cake in (either separate boxes and assemble on site or one box already assembled). Torte, layer, crumb coat your cake tomorrow (or tonight) let sit to rest, add BC and mmf the night before its due. Don't leave that til the last minute!

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