Square Cake Questions

Decorating By teresadutton Updated 12 May 2014 , 4:04pm by cakebaby2

teresadutton Posted 4 May 2014 , 12:46am
post #1 of 46

I am a newbie and I am going to be making a square 2 tier (10" and 8") cake soon. Do you dowel these just like you would a round? Do you double layer just like you would a round? Any secrets I need to know about the corners?

 

THANK SO MUCH!!

45 replies
enga Posted 4 May 2014 , 1:36am
post #2 of 46

I dowel two tiered cakes just to be safe. Yes you do. For your corners It depends what you will be covering your cake with. If you want them razor sharp 8O these two ladies have got your ticket!

 

Sharp edges for a crusting BC

 


 

HTH

 

PS, the secret to icing square cakes is to really build up your edges with icing, don't worry about using to much because you will be taking off the excess.

kakeladi Posted 4 May 2014 , 1:43am
post #3 of 46

..............dowel these just like you would a round? Do you double layer just like you would a round?.................

 

Any and all shaped cakes are treated the same when tier-ing.  In other words, yes you double the layers IF you need that many servings.  And yes, you dowel.  For those sizes all you need are 4 dowels - one in each corner 2" in from the edge of the smaller size.  In this case you are putting an 8" on so you would mark the cake with a 6" square pan inserting the dowels at each corner.  "Dowels could easily be plastic drink straws - don't even need bubble ones since there is not much weight to an 8"er.

teresadutton Posted 4 May 2014 , 2:03am
post #4 of 46

THANK YOU BOTH!!

teresadutton Posted 4 May 2014 , 2:09am
post #5 of 46

Ok so you don't HAVE to double layer?? Wouldn't that make the cake look pretty short? She wants a 2 tier but it only needs to feed about 20 - 25 people...what would you do?

enga Posted 4 May 2014 , 2:25am
post #6 of 46

I torte each cake, so each tier (2 cakes) will have four layers, is that what you mean by double layers?

 

An 8" and a 10" is going to give you a lot of cake depending in which serving size you use.

 

http://www.thebakerspantryco.com/cake-guides/

thecakewitch Posted 4 May 2014 , 2:42am
post #7 of 46

A

Original message sent by teresadutton

Ok so you don't HAVE to double layer?? Wouldn't that make the cake look pretty short? She wants a 2 tier but it only needs to feed about 20 - 25 people...what would you do?

8" and 10" cakes, both 4"high is 82 servings to me. If that's the size they ordered, no matter how many guests they're going to feed, they still need to pay for 82 servings.

enga Posted 4 May 2014 , 2:47am
post #8 of 46

She wants a 2 tier but it only needs to feed about 20 - 25 people...what would you do?

 

I would do a 4" and a 6".

kakeladi Posted 6 May 2014 , 11:22pm
post #9 of 46

..............She wants a 2 tier but it only needs to feed about 20 - 25 people...what would you do?........

 

You, as the professional, need to educate the public.  Yes, a 4 and 6 would be much better but if she still wants an 8 & 10 then you *charge!* for that much cake.  Being that it will serve 82 then it should be no less than $225 and probably much more.  The 4, 6 combination serves about 25-30 so it should cost *no less* than $90.

teresadutton Posted 6 May 2014 , 11:39pm
post #10 of 46


$225.00?? Holy Cow I don't know  where you live but I would NEVER get an order if I charged that for a cake.  What size pieces do they go off of to get 82 servings?That seems like a lot! Guess I need to move so that I can make more money selling cakes! LOL

enga Posted 6 May 2014 , 11:49pm
post #11 of 46

*edited

howsweet Posted 7 May 2014 , 12:01am
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by teresadutton 
 


$225.00?? Holy Cow I don't know  where you live but I would NEVER get an order if I charged that for a cake.  What size pieces do they go off of to get 82 servings?That seems like a lot! Guess I need to move so that I can make more money selling cakes! LOL


Seriously? Where do you live? Are we talking about US dollars? I do professional work, so lesser quality work might not go for as much (not saying you do lesser quality work) , but my base price for 82 servings is $410. And that's before I've added a bow, a flower or lots of stripes. I use the Wilton chart for servings, so an 8x8 plus a 10x10 would be 82 servings.

kakeladi Posted 9 May 2014 , 3:36am
post #13 of 46

.............Seriously? Where do you live? Are we talking about US dollars?...................

 

Yes, US dollars.  I did some very quick figuring in my head using $2.50 per serving x 82 = ......."should be no less than $225 and probably much more."

I have been retired for about 5 yrs so prices must have gone much higher but I was just trying to point out how to figure pricing.

As to 'what size pieces' use the Wilton wedding cake chart - a 'size/serving' is a piece 1"x2"x4" (OR 2"x2"x2"). I don't remember sq cake servings but a 10" round would serve 49 and a sq yields more. 

teresadutton Posted 9 May 2014 , 11:10am
post #14 of 46

I live in rural Missouri. I just run my business out of my house. When I started I did my research on what people were charging, I mainly looked at what stores were charging and no one/ no store is charging anywhere near 225.00 for a cake of that size, the prices ranged from 80 to 110.00. I wanted to be cheaper than them so I am at $70.00. I know in this economy and in the area no one can afford 225.00 for a cake (unless maybe a wedding cake). So as far as prices go it is all relative to where you live and what peoples habits are where you live. I even had a lady ask me the other day if I would take Food Stamps!! lol

MimiFix Posted 9 May 2014 , 12:49pm
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by teresadutton 
 

... I wanted to be cheaper than them so I am at $70.00.  

 

Teresa, $70 for the square 2 tier cake (10" and 8") in your first post?

teresadutton Posted 9 May 2014 , 1:56pm
post #16 of 46


yes

AZCouture Posted 9 May 2014 , 4:38pm
post #17 of 46

Then don't sell them. Some areas truly cannot support a custom cake market. You don't see Coach or LV opening up shop and selling their $1,000 handbags for $100 because that's all the residents can afford do you?

AZCouture Posted 9 May 2014 , 4:39pm
post #18 of 46

Yeah, and you say you're a newbie. So get out of it while you can. :D

Claire138 Posted 9 May 2014 , 4:46pm
post #19 of 46

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 
 

Then don't sell them. Some areas truly cannot support a custom cake market. You don't see Coach or LV opening up shop and selling their $1,000 handbags for $100 because that's all the residents can afford do you?

 

Excellent point.

-K8memphis Posted 9 May 2014 , 4:50pm
post #20 of 46

or you could up your game and make your cake fit the market you have to work with-- work toward being the higher priced caker in the area--do your cakes better than the competition so you can charge a little more--watch your costs so that you can provide a great product but using all kerry gold butter is probably 1) not available in your area and 2) would price you out of your own market--

 

because when people celebrate--they spend like they never would for any other occassion  -- work and market yourself toward being there for that--

 

rural mo is pretty rural but you can still be the dooney of  'dooney & bourke' for rural mo--takes time

bilbo Posted 9 May 2014 , 5:30pm
post #21 of 46

Baking and decorating are a lot of work. You're basically making minimum wage for the hours you put into baking/decorating after you take out supplies. If you're doing it for a hobby, great but if you are trying to make money, for the prices you are charging wouldn't it be better to get a part time job? Less stress, no dealing with clients trying to talk you down on an already zero-profit price and no messing up your kitchen -- leave the baking for fun! 

AZCouture Posted 9 May 2014 , 6:04pm
post #22 of 46

A

Original message sent by bilbo

Baking and decorating are a lot of work. You're basically making minimum wage for the hours you put into baking/decorating after you take out supplies. If you're doing it for a hobby, great but if you are trying to make money, for the prices you are charging wouldn't it be better to get a part time job? Less stress, no dealing with clients trying to talk you down on an already zero-profit price and no messing up your kitchen -- leave the baking for fun! 

I agree. What's the appeal of selling cakes when no one can afford to buy them at a rate that is fair to you? Something else to consider, if there are already established decorators there, leave what semi viable customers there are to them. Really, there may not be enough to go around. Where is that blog from costumeczar when I need it....

natt12321 Posted 9 May 2014 , 10:34pm
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 
 

Yeah, and you say you're a newbie. So get out of it while you can. :D

 

OP, I cannot stress enough the value of taking this piece of advice and seriously considering it.

Not EVERYONE can make a business out of selling cake, no matter how good you are, in some places it just doesn't work.

Evoir Posted 10 May 2014 , 5:46am
post #24 of 46

I must concur with what the other experienced decorators have told you here. This is not a viable business where you can make any kind of living giving your time and expertise away like you are planning on doing.

 

$70 for 80 portions? 88 cents for a dessert portion?? I don't know ANYWHERE that you can buy dessert for 88 cents, let alone one that has been freshly baked from scratch, filled with quality fresh ingredients, then decorated to suit the theme and colours of one's celebration...to be the centrepiece for somebody's special day.

 

It is clear you have not thought about this very much, because nobody in their right mind would spend thousands of dollars building a home-based or store-front cake business, thousands of hours learning the skills of cake decorating and baking, plus book-keeping, ordering, cleaning, administration, tax stuff, advertising...and then NOT CHARGE enough to cover a basic minimum wage for themselves, let alone their COB expenses (and profit!)!

 

I also wanted to add: you should not have THAT big a difference in your prices for a wedding cake vs a different kind of celebrations cake. Often times you will do MORE decorating work for a birthday cake than a simple wedding.

 

For 80 dessert portions, my STARTING price would be $560 (that is $7 a dessert portion), whether it is for a wedding, or another event. There usually is a small premium dealing with wedding clients due to the tastings, sketches, consultation and general hand-holding.  Can everyone afford it? Hell, no. Not everyone is my client. But I have more enquiries and people wanting cakes than I have time to make them.

 

How long is this cake going to take you to buy ingredients for, mix and bake? Then cool, and clean up? Are you going to freeze the layers? Make buttercream? Make fondant? Buy fillings? Make fondant decorations? Buy a cake board? Use any equipment? Clean up afterwards? Your hours, plus ALL the ingredients and materials, plus a portion of your rent/mortgage, or the rent on your bakery, phone and electricity account, plus a portion of the running expenses for your business. Plus you car expenses if you deliver it.

 

I know in MY business I could not make a two-tier cake, once accounting for all the costs including my wage, for $70. As in, all my expenses for that ONE cake would be greater than $70.

 

It sounds harsh, but what you are proposing is not a viable business model. If you love making cakes and decorating - please find a way to do it so you don't work for LESS than nothing, so you don't burn out, and so you don't kill off other professionals' businesses in your area. You might be able to participate in a charity organisation like Icing Smiles. Or do part-time work for a real bakery that can pay you a living wage.

AZCouture Posted 10 May 2014 , 1:49pm
post #25 of 46

AI really love [@]costumeczar[/@]'s no nonsense opinion about it. [B]No[/B], there's [B]not[/B] enough work to go around. And it's just not a business that can survive everywhere. But people want to force it, bend to the budgets, and ultimately complain about not making any money. The well dries up, and is poisoned for years, if it can ever make a comeback in some areas, that's a blessing.

Norasmom Posted 10 May 2014 , 1:58pm
post #26 of 46

If the OP continues to make cakes at the prices she is stating, we won't need to advise her, she will realize on her own the value of charging what you are worth.

 

OP, please do not enslave yourself in the name of the economy.  The prices you will be charging are literally zero profit, so maybe you should simply bake for fun and give cakes away as gifts.

 

Then, find an area near you that will pay good prices for a cake.  I don't market in my own town, but one mile away I do all of my business, in the next town over!

 

Good luck.  Remember to charge what you are worth, not what people can afford!!

-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2014 , 2:28pm
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by teresadutton 
 

I live in rural Missouri. I just run my business out of my house. When I started I did my research on what people were charging, I mainly looked at what stores were charging and no one/ no store is charging anywhere near 225.00 for a cake of that size, the prices ranged from 80 to 110.00. I wanted to be cheaper than them so I am at $70.00. I know in this economy and in the area no one can afford 225.00 for a cake (unless maybe a wedding cake). So as far as prices go it is all relative to where you live and what peoples habits are where you live. I even had a lady ask me the other day if I would take Food Stampsarrow-10x10.png!! lol

 

 

good on you for doing your research -- if you can control your costs and show profit/promise go for it-- factor in all the costs involved including utilities like hot water and paper towels etc.

 

yes right again --pricing is all relative-- it's not only not an easy business it's even getting harder but far be it from me to discourage you-- go for it -- you got as much chance as anybody else--sure you could perhaps have a better chance in a high population but you're gonna run into a ton of competition --ain't easy anywhere--

 

bloom where you're planted--see if you can do some desserts for a restaurant or wrapped baked goods for a truck stop near the highway

 

best to you, teresa

-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2014 , 3:31pm
post #28 of 46

this used to be an abandoned gas station because it was by passed when the highway was put in-- so it was the boonies of the boondocks--and just look at it now -- i love patrick oconnells story--he's an hour & a bit outside wash dc--lovely rural-ish farm-ilicious rich bountiful area-- unbelievably inspiring story of rags to riches--he started catering with an electric skillet and a wood burning stove if memory serves--had to ford a stream to get all his stuff packed into the vehicle--omg-- like catering ain't hard enough--he used to go to the library because they had no heat--fabulously inspiring

 

http://www.theinnatlittlewashington.com/history.shtml

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_O%27Connell_(chef)

 

Quote:
  the Inn at Little Washington was met with immediate success and notoriety despite antagonism from many locals

 

not at all that anyone here was antagonizing but he had bazillions of hurdles to climb over-- i'm just saying:

"nothing worthwhile is easy"

teresadutton Posted 10 May 2014 , 4:53pm
post #29 of 46

I didn't even read everyone's responses . I am sure you all mean well, but yeah, thanks for the encouragement.

teresadutton Posted 10 May 2014 , 4:55pm
post #30 of 46

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

 

 

good on you for doing your research -- if you can control your costs and show profit/promise go for it-- factor in all the costs involved including utilities like hot water and paper towels etc.

 

yes right again --pricing is all relative-- it's not only not an easy business it's even getting harder but far be it from me to discourage you-- go for it -- you got as much chance as anybody else--sure you could perhaps have a better chance in a high population but you're gonna run into a ton of competition --ain't easy anywhere--

 

bloom where you're planted--see if you can do some desserts for a restaurant or wrapped baked goods for a truck stop near the highway

 

best to you, teresa


THANK YOU SOOO MUCH K8memphis!! I love this "bloom, where you're planted" That is EXACTLY what I intend on doing!!! THANK YOU!!

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