I've Never Sold A Cake Before Need Help In Pricing!!

Business By pamlovestobake Updated 10 Nov 2013 , 11:29am by Smckinney07

pamlovestobake Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 6:37am
post #1 of 10

AI have been asked to sell one of the cakes I made for the wilton cake decorating class 1. It's a 9 inch chocolate mudcake (pam's recipe from here) filled with butterscotch mousse and frosted with SMBC and decorated with 5 roses on top, 3 dot groups all over and a rosette border. [IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3136726/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

A little background on me. I'm a home baker by hobby I have only made cakes for family without much decorations. I just finished the wilton course 1 and this was my project. My friends on fb saw it and I am now getting requests to sell them. I made everything from scratch except the filling which I used pudding. I live in an expensive town where there is a ton of bakeries so competition and pricing is steep I was originally planning to ask for $30 but know I'm not sure. And I have no idea how to use pricing matrix. Can anyone can help me out with this?:-(

9 replies
jason_kraft Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 6:43am
post #2 of 10

ACheck out the Pricing Formula link in my signature below. Don't forget to include the cost of your California cottage food operation license in your overhead.

pamlovestobake Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 7:08am
post #3 of 10

AThanks I'll check it out but I don't have a license yet. The requests caught me off guard since I've never sold any cake before. I also have no idea how to become licensed.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 7:14am
post #4 of 10

AA good starting point is below, you will need to follow up with your local dept of health (usually at the county level) to apply for a license. Until you have your cottage food license you cannot legally charge for cakes, but you could still give the cake as a gift.


pamlovestobake Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 7:26am
post #5 of 10

AWow thank you so much I had no idea I wasn't allowed to sell cakes! I've been selling pies, tarts and flan's for a while now:o in fact there's a lot of people here that are not licensed but sell elaborate wedding cakes from their homes.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 3:49pm
post #6 of 10


Original message sent by pamlovestobake

Wow thank you so much I had no idea I wasn't allowed to sell cakes! I've been selling pies, tarts and flan's for a while now:o in fact there's a lot of people here that are not licensed but sell elaborate wedding cakes from their homes.

It's actually not just cakes, you can't sell any food to the general public in California without a license. As long as the food does not need to be refrigerated you are probably OK selling under a cottage food license from your home, your local health dept should have more info. The cost for a license is usually in the $100-300 range, and liability insurance (not required but strongly recommended if you have significant sales volume) is $300-500/year.

pamlovestobake Posted 10 Nov 2013 , 3:16am
post #7 of 10

AThis is news for me! there's an entire network of home bakers here in town that bake and sell their goods especially since the bakeries around here charge an arm and a leg for a simple cake. I'll be looking into getting licensed if I decide to run a home based business. I'm not 100% sure yet since this is more of a hobby for me. Thank you for your help:D

cakebreezy Posted 10 Nov 2013 , 4:03am
post #8 of 10

I use this formula

cost of ingredients(and supplies)X3


hourly rate(you determine what you are worth per hour based on skill and demand) X amount of hours put in(including getting ingredients and clean up)


Delivery charge if applicable


That's worked for me for always. 


I think 30$ is way to little for that cake, the grocery store around me(NJ) charges about 30$ for a similar cake


Good luck :)

pamlovestobake Posted 10 Nov 2013 , 5:27am
post #9 of 10

AThank you so much cakebreezy! I had absolutely no idea how much a cake like this would go for! here in southern California prices are ridiculous even in grocery stores. I was thinking cheap prices for my friends but I wouldn't like to lose money on a cake I worked so hard on:-)

Smckinney07 Posted 10 Nov 2013 , 11:29am
post #10 of 10

AI would be very careful with giving discount to friends, it can be a fine line. It's a great way to practice, giving cakes to friends/family...or whatever you plan on doing.

I completely understand wanting to jump in and start selling cakes but if you start out super low you will gain a customer base. The quicker/better you get you will most likely realize your undercharging, raise your prices & you'll lose your customer base. I mean no disrespect but most people underestimate the time they actually put into each cake, when starting out, it's difficult not to and they end up undercharging.

Just consider your ingredients, your time (baking, shopping, cleaning, consulting, designing, & decorating), supplies (cake boards, internal support, etc.), you won't have as much overhead as a large bakery but you will still have some, and the things Jason mentioned in his posts-his website is very helpful.

Just some things to think about! Your cake is lovely by the way! Good luck.

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