I have been approached to do a cake decorating party (2hours) for a kid's birthday (10 kids). The idea is I would prebake little cakes, travel there (about 35 minutes drive), brings tips/icing/spatulas/etc. and show the kids how to decorate their own little cake (a 6"maybe?).
I'm thinking this could easily turn into:
3 hours of pre-event labor (shopping/baking/cleaning)
70 minutes travel round trip
2 hours for the actual event
1/2 hour clean-up after
Does anyone think this is realistic timing?
Not sure what to charge - I see magicians and entertainers charging all sorts of hourly and/or event rates. I was thinking $250 (that would cover ingredients, gas, mileage, time)
Also, other than have them each decorate a little 6"cake is there anything else you might suggest?
Cupcakes maybe? Could get those cheapo plastic tips that way when you lose them it's no big deal. How old are the kids? Because age will determine what they can do and how much you'll be running around. As far as clowns go, $250 sounds about right (used to work for one). Just remember to leave at the scheduled time, no matter how much the kids (or parents) beg you. Oh, and bring a little extra, Murphy's law.
AI recently did a cooking/decorating party for my 8 year old, with 16 little girls in attendance. One of the activities was decorating a 5" round cake that I had covered in buttercream. The girls used bags and tips (leaf, swirl, plain) to decorate, added sprinkles and flowers I had pre-made. I did a quick demo and then let them loose, Don't forget you will need boxes for the kids to take home their creations, label the boxes or expect tears! Some kids went crazy, there was 6" icing on top of the cakes, couldn't close the boxes! Some kids needed only a little time, others took a good half hour. Maybe have a backup activity someone else could supervise while the more detail-oriented kids are continuing! We went through a LOT of icing, I only made ABC since quick and easy.
I did this once for a group of kids. I recommend using disposable bags and tips. Covering the tables with disposable tablecloths. Bring a roll of paper towels and a box of baby wipes to clean their hands. Kids love using toppings such as sprinkles, candies, mini oreos, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, etc. on their creations. How about 4" size cakes? Definitely need boxes marked with a marker. Having your icings already tinted and bags prefilled helps. Have way more icing than you think necessary. Also you'll need a cake circle or sturdy paper plate for each cake. Have the kids bring one of dads old tee shirts to wear over their clothes. You'll need a lot of spatulas if icing their own cakes versus just piping on decorations.
AOooh, $250? For all that work?? Ten individual cakes, packaging, an hour on the road, and then two hours of your time? Nevermind the supplies and ingredients.... sounds really really low.
AI did one last weekend for six girls, and without the little three tier I made for the family for later, it was $800 for the decorating party part.
Taking that order also meant other orders for the day were out, so I had to take into account lost income because of me needing to be at the party, so I had to make sure I was compensated as well as I would have been had I been available for other orders that weekend.
I would do 4 cupcakes per kid. Teach them how to decorate 2 as something not too difficult - an animal, pirate, etc. and then let them decorate the other two however they like with sprinkles, candy, etc.
Bring all disposable stuff (bags, tips) and containers for the kids to take them home. $300 is probably reasonable
Amy observation is that royal icing is easier to clean up after -- just saying
7 hours plus 10 cakes(or 40 cupcakes) yikes.... like I said before: $250 is reasonable for a clown.... Clowns don't have all that stuff to prepare. We just put on our makeup, take our bag of tricks and go (and sometimes it's just face painting).
Yes, I felt like $250 was low too. I already told the mom and have agreed on this price. But moving forward I will raise this. I will look at this first time as a learning experience and based on what I go through will adjust accordingly. I also found where you can order kids chef hats and aprons pretty inexpensive and will offer as an add on for additional charge.
Thank you all for your input! I love coming to this forum to bounce ideas off of all of you.
You're going to find that two hours is a loooong time to try to amuse a bunch of kids when all they have to decorate is a 6" cake. I used to do two hour decorating classes for older kids, and I did a bunch of demos then had them decorate the cakes according to a theme. They could do whatever they wanted, but I usually said to make it a garden if we were doing flowers, that kind of thing. They provided the cakes and I provided the icing and it was a huge pain in the butt. If I had to do the cakes too, forget it.
I think the way I did it was the first part I showed them how to ice the cake, then while the icing was crusting I did some demos, then they smoothed the icing out, then the decorated after a few more demos. There were always kids who ignored me and ended up with big piles of icing and were finished in ten minutes, then some who were so slow and deliberate they had to take their stuff home to finish.
Yes, I hear you! Well, the "demo" cake I am doing will serve as the birthday cake, so I figure some of the kids might just like to watch some of that.
I am sure that after doing it a first time I either may never want to do this type of thing again or get better pointers for next time.
I don't see this mentioned anywhere, but how old are they? And if you're intending on teaching them how to ice, and smooth….you need tools for every one of those kids too. You have TEN turntables? Ten scrapers? Ten palette knives? ;) Stick to the cute fun stuff. Two hours held their attention their fine (from my job that I spoke of earlier), and they didn't need icing and the "boring" stuff to do it. They'll appreciate an almost completed cake, that all they have to do is stick pretty stuff on. And, the relatively neat area afterwards, that won't require heavy cleaning, oh yeah that too. ;)
AI agree with AZCouture, I gave my girls a smooth buttercreamed cake and let them at it with pre-made fondant flowers plus lots of sprinkles and bags of icing. It lasted about 20 minutes, to fill a 1.5 hour party I had six activities, three decorating related and three taste test/eating games. And this was for my daughter, you couldn't pay me enough to do this for someone else's child!
I don't think I would tackle this at all. I just don't think you can get paid enough. The cakes should cost you at least $35 a piece and that's conservative. Then, as someone pointed out, it's hard to keep some children's attentions for very long. I've had so many projects that I thought would take a while and the kids just breezed through it, leaving me scrambling for other activities.
Ask the host if there will be other adults to help. Ask for help with set up and break down. Remind the host to have other activities for the speedy ones.
I think you're gonna be exhausted and if you don't charge enough, ticked off too.
Atwo hours is a long time to hold anyone's attention especially for munchkins -- you need to just about have them mix & bake the cakes to fill up two hours-- or make cookies or something-- gingerbread houses maybe
i would have them make some chocolate molds too
but what about 3-d cookies
everytime i make this pumpkin i get happy --
this was striped before i baked it -- all baked in -- it was just for fun -- disregard the chocolate glue
these fit together and stand up--3-d cookies are a ton of fun -- trim while hot-- then microplane to fit
challenge those little brains and fingers -- do chocolate molds, let them ice the cake if not mix and (you) bake it-- teach 'em how to de-pan it, set it up on the board, ice it -- you could do some cream cheese mints in molds -- shoot can i come?
idk about the money -- i'm just trying to fill up 120 minutes -- they would go wild for some of this stuff --
AWe did "lollipops" out of modelling choc too, just two ropes of mod choc twisted together and rolled up in spiral. Had to zap mod choc in microwave for winter party though, the little hands weren't strong enough to knead it!
We also made thumbprint cookies. There's lots you can do but you will need lots of help and it all costs more $$ in materials!
Plus the mums who helped me put away quite a few bottles of wine post-party....