memonakhalid Posted 18 Jan 2014 , 11:39pm
post #1 of

I really need some help here. I am pretty new at selling cakes and just got my first order. The person has asked for a cake that I recently made. I dont know how much to ask for this particular design. Its a 6 inch by 4 inch cake simple butter pecan cake with coffee buttercream and covered in fondant. Attaching a pic for u guys to look at. Really need help pleaseee.

 

26 replies
enga Posted 18 Jan 2014 , 11:47pm
post #2 of

Forgive me I thought this was your work. Something like this would probably start at $9.00-$12.00 a serving. That is a beautiful cake!

memonakhalid Posted 18 Jan 2014 , 11:50pm
post #3 of

thank u. How much would u charge for this cake?

enga Posted 18 Jan 2014 , 11:58pm
post #4 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by memonakhalid 
 

thank u. How much would u charge for this cake?


That is you, haaa haa, (just went to your page) I thought you meant they showed you pic to make, please excuse my confusion.

 

For a 6 inch with all the detailed work I don't think you should charge under $12.00 per serving.

 

You are very talented!

memonakhalid Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 12:03am
post #5 of

Yes this is my work. They liked one of the cakes that I had recently made for my son's teacher. They want exactly the same cake.

 

Thank u so much. I just try to do my best.

costumeczar Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 12:18am
post #6 of

AI'd charge at least $100 for a 6" version of that. Don't be surprised if you tell them the price and they say it's too much. People don't expect to pay more than about $25 for a cake, so unless they know how much custom cakes cost they won't want to pay that much. Don't back down and lower the price, though. Just because they can't afford it doesn't mean it isn't worth that much.

jules87 Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 12:51am
post #7 of

If you are planning on doing this as a business you need to work up a spread sheet.

 

Figure how much all your ingredients cost - 1st price

 

Figure out how much you personally should be paid per hour for your time and how many hours it will take you to make the cake. Don't forget to include  mixing and baking time! - 2nd price(depending on your area this can range from $10-$16 per hour)

 

After that, figure out how much your 'business' should make, a minimum of 20%, up to 30%.-add up the first 2 prices and then figure 20% of that cost. This cost will go to buying new equipment, tools, etc. -3rd Price

 

 

Add all that up and that will give you what you should charge for your cake.

 

You have to take into account the area you live in. It honestly doesn't matter what someone is NYC would charge for that cake, because if no one in your town is willing to pay for that you wont be selling anything. BUT, DO NOT try and compete with grocery store cakes-remember that you are making everything from scratch. Its a tricky thing to figure out because you don't want to undersell your work(because you are VERY talented) but you also want to be able to actually sell cakes.

memonakhalid Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 2:25am
post #8 of

thank u costumeczar, I really appreciate your suggestion.

 

Thank u jules87. U have explained it so well. Thats exactly what I am going to do now. Thank u so much.

howsweet Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 2:48am
post #9 of

That comes to $146 for me. If that's an edible image on the tag, it would add $10.

memonakhalid Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 10:21pm

Yes it is all edible.

howsweet Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 10:32pm

AAs in using an edible image printer.

Apti Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 12:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

I'd charge at least $100 for a 6" version of that. Don't be surprised if you tell them the price and they say it's too much. People don't expect to pay more than about $25 for a cake, so unless they know how much custom cakes cost they won't want to pay that much.   [YOU will need to learn HOW to educate the customer that YOUR cake is worth luxury pricing.]  Don't back down and lower the price, though. Just because they can't afford it doesn't mean it isn't worth that much. 
 

Welcome to the forum.  The specifics of cost/location/legal or not legal/ etc., only you can answer.  Your cake looks lovely, but a more professional finish on the edges of the exposed cake board beneath the fondant will add value to your presentation.   Since you are new to this forum, you may not know that the question of pricing has literally been the subject of millions of posts on this forum.  Do a forum search for the terms, how much to charge, what price, etc., and you will find some excellent material.  

 

Since this is your first order, the suggestion to charge $100 sounds good.   The people asking for this exact cake may have no idea that it may cost over $25 (and even that number may sound high).  After all, "it's only a tiny cake made with butter, flour, sugar, and eggs, right?"   These same people may have an idea that a 6" x 4" high cake serves 2-4 people, and an 8" x 4" high cake serves 8.   

 

Here are some excellent articles on "How did you arrive at that price?", and what a serving size looks like and how to cut a cake:

 

How To Cut a Wedding Cake:

http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

 

Wilton wedding serving size chart

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

 

Lark Cake Shop Cake Serving Guide:

http://larkcakeshop.com/CakeServeGuide2.pdf

 

Pricing Cakes Like a Pro (Craftsy)

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/09/pricing-cakes-like-a-pro/

 

How Much to Charge for my Cakes?

http://www.cakeboss.com/CakeStuff/Articles/HowMuchShouldICharge.aspx

 

New cake business at home...help!

http://cakecentral.com/t/742057/new-cake-business-at-home-help

How'd you arrive at that number?

http://staceyssweetshop.blogspot.com/2011/08/howd-you-arrive-at-that-number.html

 

Sample Cake Serving Sizes -- made of Paper or Cardstock

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=142470&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

memonakhalid Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 12:43am

thank u so much Apti, these links are so informative. Thanks

Apti Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 12:55am

You are very welcome!  Each of those links has been helpful in my "learning how to cake" journey.     I appreciate each person who took the time to write and photograph and draw all this wonderful information and share it freely!

howsweet Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 1:13am
Quote:

Lark Cake Shop Cake Serving Guide:

http://larkcakeshop.com/CakeServeGuide2.pdf

 

 

 

I would say be careful with this serving guide if you decide to use it.  When they suggest cutting an 8 inch cake into 28 servings, those are even smaller than the wilton chart which says 24 servings.

 

To their credit, at least they don't make claims about giving at least 2 square inches. Well, they rounded it up to 2, didn't they? But at least they didn't say that the serving size is based on 1x2x4.  And I like that they address that difference guests may not all like the same size slice.

 

I thought it was a little odd that on one page of their site they gave 28 servings as the maximum for an 8 in cake and on another 24, the Wilton standard. I'm not sure I'd see them as the last word in cake charts and I just don't see going offering than Wilton slices.

memonakhalid Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 5:11pm

Thank u everyone for all of the great suggestions. I have finally decided not to price the cakes according to per serving. Instead I just took out a basic cost of the cake per size for both butter cream and fondant covered cakes plus a little profit. And I have separately priced each item like if they want a rose so add that cost to the cake and so on. I think it makes it easier this way for me at least.

costumeczar Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 5:28pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by memonakhalid 
 

Thank u everyone for all of the great suggestions. I have finally decided not to price the cakes according to per serving. Instead I just took out a basic cost of the cake per size for both butter cream and fondant covered cakes plus a little profit. And I have separately priced each item like if they want a rose so add that cost to the cake and so on. I think it makes it easier this way for me at least.

that's kind of how I do it, too.

enga Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 10:01pm

memonakhalid I'm glad to here that you are doing what is best for you. While we all can offer our opinions and ideas it is ultimately up to you as to how to price your cakes.

 

We all live in different areas, work with different markets, and pay different costs for ingredients.

 

The reason I answered with the $12.00 per slice (6-8) is because of you outstanding sugar flower talent, the thinness and detail of your ribbon, and clean fondant work which all give you room to up charge.

 

Even if you offer your customers BC or fondant cake for basic prices of $3.50 to $6.00 per serving (in your area) with the flowers and ribbons being an extra charge, and they will definitely want them after seeing your pics, you  stand a chance to make a nice profit.

 

Good Luck with your cake endeavors!

AZCouture Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 10:45pm

AYou watermark your work, but haven't done any kind of pricing research? Odd.

memonakhalid Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 12:00am

AZCouture, I watermark my pics because some lady was using my pics to show as her own work. Took me a long time to get it removed from her site. I didnt want the same issue to arise again so taking precaution. I have always been baking cake for my own kids and friends for fun. Never actually thought of selling them till I just recently was asked by a few people for a quote.

memonakhalid Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 12:05am

thank u so much enga. When I actually calculated the cost of this particular cake it did come out to $12 per serving. I just wanted to make sure that my prices are not too high but after doing a little more research I found out that its not the price I am telling people its the people themselves. They want regular grocery price for professional cake. They just dont seem to understand what actually goes into making a personalized cake. I think those kind of people are better off buying a cake that is kept in freezer for days and months and then iced with a boxed icing which have tons of preservatives in it. For now I think I am better off making it for my kids and friends only. I will love to cater people if they are willing to appreciate the time and effort I am putting into making the cake for them.

AZCouture Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 12:14am

AIt's not out of line, a price like that. But I wouldn't refer to anything that small in terms of per serving pricing, it's just too much for most peoples brains to process.

My small cakes are generally around that much, and talk pricing as "cake to serve xxxx will be in the range of xxx to xxx". It's easier for people to process a whole dollar amount for their beautiful little cake, rather than what it's costing them per slice.

Smaller cakes are a PITA, and should be priced accordingly, no doubt. It's taking you just as long to make as a 10", you're spending just as much time with the client regarding details as a larger cake, etc.

Most of us have highminimum orders to cover our time, because slinging five $50 8" round cake orders out every weekend would be ridiculous, for a small shop anyways. I'll take the one 2 tier cake for $250...get it? Either way, minimum order, and don't talk about it in per serving price. I wait until well over 50 servings to do that.

memonakhalid Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 12:20am

Yeah thats pretty obvious so I told them the price of the full cake as it is instead of per serving because she wanted a cake for a birthday party. I even offered to sit down and discuss how much she is willing to spend so we can design a cake according to that. So lets see if they reply back. I have my fingers crossed till then.

frost52 Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 12:36am

AYou should ask Jason Kraft! He's really smart about this kind of thing. I'm kind if surprised he hasn't posted on here yet! Maybe he will shortly.

AZCouture Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 12:53am

AI'd get a solid confirmation about what she will spend before making any appointments or sketching anything. Time is money. I'd hate to spend an hour with someone and not be sure I'd be handed money afterwards.

Apti Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 1:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by memonakhalid 
 

...I just wanted to make sure that my prices are not too high but after doing a little more research I found out that its not the price I am telling people its the people themselves. They want regular grocery price for professional cake. They just dont seem to understand what actually goes into making a personalized cake. 

In UK countries, these would be referred to as "Bespoke Cakes".  Here is a brief explanation of the term as used in fashion:

 

The term bespoke in fashion is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men's clothing, analogous to women's haute couture,[4] in contrast with mass-manufactured ready-to-wear (also called off-the-peg or off-the-rack).

 

Perhaps we should start a trend calling custom cakes, "haute couture cakes"???   Here's a fun article about haute couture in fashion:      http://shine.yahoo.com/fashion/haute-couture-means-buys-much-actually-costs-160000418.html

 

Maybe y'all could even hire movie stars to eat your haute couture cakes?  [In the article above, Nicole Kidman walked the Oscars in 1997 in a peacock green Christian Dior Haute Couture gown (and was reportedly paid $2 million to do so).]

enga Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 1:20am
Quote:
Originally Posted by memonakhalid 
 

thank u so much enga. When I actually calculated the cost of this particular cake it did come out to $12 per serving. I just wanted to make sure that my prices are not too high but after doing a little more research I found out that its not the price I am telling people its the people themselves. They want regular grocery price for professional cake. They just dont seem to understand what actually goes into making a personalized cake. I think those kind of people are better off buying a cake that is kept in freezer for days and months and then iced with a boxed icing which have tons of preservatives in it. For now I think I am better off making it for my kids and friends only. I will love to cater people if they are willing to appreciate the time and effort I am putting into making the cake for them.


Your family and friends are very lucky,lol. I make celebration cakes for mine mostly in BC, I only have two real wedding cakes under my belt so far the rest were dummy cakes. As far as my fondant and sugar flower skills, I'm a work in progress. My forte is geared more towards pastries, entremets, tortes, and other baked goods.

 

I have been taking a break from caking on the side. I am taking a long hard look at what I really want to do as far a cake decorating. I will say that I'm leaning more towards a cafe style rather than an actual bakery or cake shop. One that offers cakes with simple designs with unique flavors along with other treats and breads made with healthier ingredients.

 

I have used cake bases and high ratio shortening in the past in a rented commercial kitchen which is now closed. I want to take on a totally different approach when and if I decide to find another one to rent. I'm perfectly happy right now wowing my friends and family with my creations.

 

Wow, this post has moved quite a bit, now I feel OT :razz:

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