I Need Help On This One!

Business By Carriemyvoice Updated 24 Aug 2005 , 1:51am by Mac

Carriemyvoice Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 8:58pm
post #1 of 41

Okay guys,
I need as much help on this as I can get. I am going to be doing some cakes for a local restaurant in town and she only serves lunch. I use to do cakes for her about 4 years ago for free and she would let me advertise in both of her locations. Now I will be charging her since no real advertising will be done. icon_wink.gif
Here is what I really need help on. I want to do inexpensive cakes so that she and I both can make money on them. She charges $1.50 for her desserts and one of my cakes will serve about 12-14 people the way that she cuts them. Sooooo... what kind of cakes should I do, I want them to be delicious so people will ask where they came from and hopefully want one. icon_surprised.gif
Okay Dawn, I know you will have some in put on this icon_biggrin.gif and Lord knows I need it....what should I charge?!?!?!?
Roll up your sleeves and put on those thinking caps, I need it! detective.gif
Thanks so much!

40 replies
GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 10:09pm
post #2 of 41

You're too funny!!

Obviously you're going to have to keep it simple. Simple dessert cakes be cost effect yet look decadent.

Are these going to be sheet cakes or rounds? Have you thought about the Oreo cakes and Snickers cakes?

Also, since she will be slicing them, they need to be decorated in a way that still looks nice cut (I'm assuming the customer won't get t see the whole cake).

Concentrate on flavored cakes such as chocolate and banana. OOOO! You're in the south, make a great red velvet cake (I have an awesome doctored mix recipe which equals low cost).

She's going to want to make a profit (probably 50%). So you need to keep your costs way down which means nothing fancy. She's going to be making at least $18 on each cake (gross not net) (12 servings at $1.50 per serving) she shouldn't want want to pay more than $10 or so. I wouldn't. Which means you have to keep your costs below $5-6 per cake. That's going to be hard to do.

We need to know how much profit she is willing to drop to before we can figure out what all you can offer. What is her minimum profit margin?

Carriemyvoice Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 12:37am
post #3 of 41

Okay here we go,
I love the idea for sheet cakes but I personally like layers. I usually do 3 8 inch layers for most of my specialty cakes, but in this cake I could do just two. I just think layers look more appealing.
The customer won't see a whole cake, she slices them and puts them on a seperate plate covered with plastic wrap. (not my idea of course)As far as her minimum profit margin goes, I am clueless there. I will have to ask.
$10 is exactly what I had in mind, but did not know how to keep my cost that low. I love the idea of a snicker cake and oreo sound great, I have never made those. I do have a red velvet cake that is to die for but...is costly. Would you care to share your recipe?
Flavor is a must, and yes in the south, the more fattening the better thumbs_up.gif . (go figure) LOL
I do know that she makes banana pudding and always has cookies that she bakes, so I won't be making a lot of cakes for her except for holiday times. Everyone loves cake at holidays. She usually just calls ahead and asks for a cake or two that week.
I will try to link my original message, never did this before....

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 1:15am
post #4 of 41

If you are selling them for $10- you absolutely cannot do your cost for more than $5, unless you are doing it for the advertising, which you stated you are not. So, cost is going to be a major factor.

I agree, layers look better... just needed to know where you were headed before we started networking ideas.

Definitely stick to doctored mixes. You will no way be able to do scratch for $5 total cake and icing.

I would do the red velvet,
maybe a decedent chocolate, Raspberry Kisses and a Banana Cake. Things like this.

I have great doctored recipes for all of these that should be low cost for you that I am always glad to share.

Actually it will take up a whole lot of space for all these recipes. So, send me an email and I'll be glad to forward them your way. Anyone else that who would like them can do so also.

[email protected]

doodlebug Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 3:01am
post #5 of 41

icon_smile.gif cali4dawn...I would like to have your recipes if you would be willing to share. icon_smile.gif Thanks in advance. icon_smile.gif

[email protected]

m0use Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 3:53am
post #6 of 41

Cali4dawn, I would like these recipes as well please. The more money I can save the better since my husband just let me get my first Kitchenaid and he said I have to start making some money on my cakes.
Thanks in advance, [email protected]

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 4:44am
post #7 of 41


Carriemyvoice Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 2:56pm
post #8 of 41

I would love the recipes. Here is my email
[email protected]
I appreciate your help with this Dawn. You're a peach!
If you need a recipe or anything from I will gladly share. Just ask. thumbs_up.gif

I am going to add up my cost for these cakes and some others and make her a list with prices (for her only) since she will be getting a cheaper price than the customers would. This way she will know exactly what type of cakes are available and she can call ahead of time and order exactly what she wants. It will save me from scrambling around for a quick fix too.

Wish me luck!

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 7:32pm
post #9 of 41


m0use Posted 5 Mar 2005 , 4:00am
post #10 of 41

Got your email Dawn- thanks.

nanni Posted 7 Mar 2005 , 10:26pm
post #11 of 41

Cali4Dawn-Count me in!! I just love new recipes and ideas!!! You are wonderful to share your knowledge and ideas with us!

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 7 Mar 2005 , 11:31pm
post #12 of 41

nanni- need your email address

MrsMissey Posted 8 Mar 2005 , 1:01am
post #13 of 41
Originally Posted by Carriemyvoice

Okay guys,
I need as much help on this as I can get. I am going to be doing some cakes for a local restaurant in town and she only serves lunch. I use to do cakes for her about 4 years ago for free and she would let me advertise in both of her locations. Now I will be charging her since no real advertising will be done. icon_wink.gif
Here is what I really need help on. I want to do inexpensive cakes so that she and I both can make money on them. She charges $1.50 for her desserts and one of my cakes will serve about 12-14 people the way that she cuts them. !

I hope you don't mind that I jump in on this one since most of what I do is for restaurants. Since the cakes I sell to the stores are all from scratch I can't help you with box mix recipes..sorry!

I'm sure you are really excited about your new adventure and you should be, just make sure you will be making a profit! Here are some suggestions to help keep your costs down..some you may already know but others may not!

Instead of buying PAM or another brand of grease/flour...make your own..cheap, easy and no overspray:
Just mix equal parts of oil, crisco and flour..I do a cup of each! Mix it up and that's it. It works great. Brush it on your pans with a pastry brush!

Unless you can get your boxes and boards REALLY cheap, see if the store owner will let you re-use the boxes or better yet use plastic cake containers that can be washed and used over and over!

Buy bulk whenever possible. Eggs, for instance, are 1/4 the price at BJ's or Costco then at the grocery store.

To save time and if your mixer is big enough...always make double! Extra cakes can be frozen for months!

You might consider doing two layers instead of three.

Now for the really anal part...I weigh everything! It is a great time saver, less dirty dishes, much more accurate and your results are more consistent!

Most importantly...write down everything you do..that way there is no guess work! Customers like consistency!

That's all that I can think of off the top of my head but if I think of anything else I'll let you know!

Hope this helps! Whew...that is my longest post ever!

-TenderHeart Posted 8 Mar 2005 , 1:58am
post #14 of 41

Missey, what helpful tips! How kind of you to share them with everyone. icon_smile.gif I think it would be a great idea to start a new thread just of "Money-Saving Baking/Cake Decorating Tips." thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif (For this purpose, I will create a "frugal gourmet" emoticon--Maybe the baker with only half of his hat.... icon_wink.gif )

nanni Posted 8 Mar 2005 , 4:04am
post #15 of 41

Dawn-it's [email protected]

ihavasweet2th Posted 15 Mar 2005 , 2:14am
post #16 of 41


I too would love to have the recipes mentioned. I sure do appreciate and enjoy all of your input on this forum.


[email protected]

montanakate Posted 15 Mar 2005 , 2:36am
post #17 of 41

Dawn, I would love copies of your recipes if I could? Thanks a bundle,
kate - [email protected]

flayvurdfun Posted 15 Mar 2005 , 3:21pm
post #18 of 41

OK Carriemyvoice what have you done with your dilemma???? I would be very interested in hearing what you have done..... thumbs_up.gif

MrsMissey Posted 15 Mar 2005 , 3:24pm
post #19 of 41

Yep..I was wondering how things were going too!?? Update please!! icon_wink.gif

emi Posted 17 Mar 2005 , 7:13pm
post #20 of 41

cali4dawn, if not too late, can I ask you to email me your recipes?
[email protected]

By the way, I love your butter icing you posted awhile back. I've been using it ever since, and everyone loves it.
One question: How much cocoa can I use to make it a chocolate icing?
again, thanks

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 18 Mar 2005 , 7:24pm
post #21 of 41

added cocoa? As much as you like.

I make my chocolate icing by mixing a a batch of my bc with a batch of my ganache.

angelkiss013 Posted 26 Mar 2005 , 4:35am
post #22 of 41

cali4dawn...me too I would really love to have your recipes
I'm a newbee here and I will take any recipes or info that are so " sweetly" given... loll !

Thanks a lot... icon_lol.gif

[email protected]

Kathee Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 12:10am
post #23 of 41

Hi Dawn,
I'm new to this board.......could I possibly get your recipes? Thank You in advance!!
[email protected]

AngelWendy Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 12:33am
post #24 of 41

Wow, I have NEVER seen cake for $1.50 a slice in a restaurant. They're all $3.50 or more around per slice here in New England and greater Boston area. I think she maybe has to raise that rate a bit for you to charge enough to even cover your costs and for her to make some profit. I don't think I'd do a full two layer 9" cake for less than $15, seriously. If it's fancy decorating, you're talking $25 for a cake.

I'd say do basic chocolate cake - the doctored recipe maybe, or maybe just regular cake mix (supermoist) with buttercream frosting with butter.

If she wants a chocolate decadence cake, which costs far more to make, you will have to charge her more for it and she will have to make those slices more expensive, too.

I'm not sure if you're going to get your money or time's worth doing this long term, are you? Can you ask her if you can put some flyers or cards in the lobby or on the register, or a note in the menu about the cake supplier with contact information.

Best of luck!

veejaytx Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 3:24pm
post #25 of 41

I'm getting in here a little late, but am catching up on all (or most of the posts) and would like to have those great recipes, Cali, and thank you for sharing!
[email protected]

RhondaK Posted 1 May 2005 , 2:50am
post #26 of 41

Can I get the doctored recipe for the Red Velvet Cake?? I would really appreciate it.

Also, do you have good recipes for the Oreo and Snickers as well? I have seen recipes, but if you have something special you are willing to share, I am all ears!!! icon_lol.gif

[email protected]

Thanks, Dawn!!!

ashianadotkom Posted 1 May 2005 , 4:32am
post #27 of 41

Can you please give me any tips how you got into baking for a restaurant

Thanks so much

cakegal Posted 2 May 2005 , 1:39pm
post #28 of 41

Hey dawn.... I know it's after the fact on this post, but could you email be your cake recipes you mentioned in this post...
Thank you...
my email addy is: [email protected]

pejmo3 Posted 31 May 2005 , 10:50pm
post #29 of 41

I was reading your post about needing a cake that is about $5.00 to make. I don't know if this is the kind of cake you would want but its a big hit here in GA. I make them all the time and its real easy and you can make a bunch of them in advance or make mini ones and the owner of the eating astablishments can dust them with powdered sugar before serving and people will love them. I call it a sour cream pound cake and its to die for. If you want the directions just email me and I will be glad to send it to you. Hope this helps a bit. thumbs_up.gif

pejmo3 Posted 31 May 2005 , 11:01pm
post #30 of 41

I would also love some doctored up recipes if any of ya'll would like to share them. My email address is [email protected]

Thanks so much.

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