How Much Should I Charge For A 14 Inch Cake.

Baking By JBCC Updated 6 Mar 2016 , 5:12am by karmen.wong

JBCC Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 5:32pm
post #1 of 18

I'm making a 14 inch doubled layered red velvet cake, with white chocolate filling and cream cheese frosting on the outside. The cake will be covered with both white and black fondant. The total cost of ingredients including tax, will be about $73. But i'm unsure on how much to charge for the cakes. I know a lot of you guys say to triple the cost of the ingredients or to charge per serving. My price per serving is $3.50, but that seems like way too much to charge. Any suggestions? Please HELP!!!

17 replies
-K8memphis Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 5:40pm
post #2 of 18

oh no $3.50 per serving would be under pricing in my neighborhood so.. at least stick with that

JBCC Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 6:29pm
post #3 of 18

But wouldn't that put the price between $161-224 dollars. that seems like a lot. 

-K8memphis Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 6:33pm
post #4 of 18

charge $73 then if it's not worth it

-K8memphis Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 6:34pm
post #5 of 18

think if you took 78 of your closest friends out for dessert -- how much do you think the bill would be? at least $250

Jinkies Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 6:46pm
post #6 of 18

@JBCC ‍ You're saying your price per serving is $3.50, but you feel bad charging that?  Why?  You're never going to have a profitable business if you feel bad charging for your work.  

costumeczar Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 7:06pm
post #7 of 18

The cost of my ingredients was always right around 15% of the price I charged. So if it was $73 for the ingredients, I'd charge $486 for that. Which is around $7 a serving based on the serving chart ranges that a 14" cake serves. With both white and black fondant on it that sounds like a lot of time, so that's probably right. $3.50 is definitely not too high, and is probably too low depending on how much you want to make per hour plus profit plus covering expenses other than the food costs.

JBCC Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 10:05pm
post #8 of 18

Thank all of you for your comments and help. Its just so hard for me to put a big $ amount on my cakes because I know some people won't pay for it. I always end up feeling bad when a customer walks away for "excessive pricing". But I know I can't cheat myself.  

Jinkies Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 11:18pm
post #9 of 18

There ya go.  No matter what you charge, some people will walk.  Stick up for yourself and your hard work.  Not everyone is willing/able to pay for custom work and that's ok.  That's what Walmart is for :)


Webake2gether Posted 3 Mar 2016 , 1:12am
post #10 of 18

Feelings can't or shouldn't be a factor in business. When we do things based on how we feel we find ourselves cheated, burned out and with the cheap cake lady name tag. If you make a great product then charge for it. @Jinkies ‍ is absolutely right there are other options for those who can't or won't pay your prices and there isn't anything wrong with people choosing walmart bc custom cakes aren't for everyone just like custom made furniture or luxury cars aren't for me lol. I can't afford them and I know it. If I had to make a rough guess I'd probably be at the $7 per serving mark as well give or take a little for the difference in cost of ingredients and materials. That's a lot of servings and the cost shouldn't go down bc they are getting more quite the opposite actually. Pricing is one of the hardest parts of running a business but stick to making a profit you won't regret it :) 

Cakes_and_Faith Posted 3 Mar 2016 , 5:13am
post #11 of 18

Hey there, just a couple of questions: what area are you in and who are you making the cake for?

When I price my cakes, I do take into account that I'm in a small town where everyone knows someone that bakes cakes well and are always looking for the best price. With that being said, you never want to sell yourself short. Contrary to what most non-bakers believe, baking is hard work. It takes skill, preciseness, standing for long periods of time, wear and tear on your equipment, investing in quality ingredients, etc. so you want to get a good profit for your work. The only time I would consider lowering the price slightly would be for close family and friends (unless you decide to do it for them as a gift for whatever reason). A good way that I have found to determine the price that I would like to charge is looking at the investment I've put into the cake (which you have priced at $73) and how much I would like to be paid per hour including bake time. For example, if you want to get paid $12 per hour and it will take you about 8 hours to complete the cake, that would equal to $96+$73 investment (+delivery fees and other expenses if any)=$169+. 

I hope all the best for you! Pricing is the hardest part of the business but your hard work is worth a fair price just like anyone else would like to have in their business.

JBCC Posted 4 Mar 2016 , 3:06am
post #12 of 18

@Jinkies and @Webake2gether ‍ , you guys are right I have to be fair to myself first and foremost. I don't want to be know as the cheap cake lady, or the baker you can walk over. I've decided on my price, and have presented the customer with it, now I am just waiting on her response. Hopefully she appreciates the benefit and hard work of real baking.  Because you CAN'T go to Wal-Mart and ask them to fill your cake and cover it with fondant. 


Thank you all for your help!!!

dariusjgeorge Posted 4 Mar 2016 , 9:14am
post #13 of 18

Just love how everyone brought their suggestions together! Hope you're going to flourish JBCC !

costumeczar Posted 4 Mar 2016 , 12:38pm
post #14 of 18

Not wanting to pick on you, @Cakes_and_Faith ‍ , but if you're only adding your wages to the cost of your ingredients you're not going to make enough to cover expenses  and profit. Not to mention paying self-employment  taxes, licensing fees, insurance and all the other expenses that go into a business. You should look at that formula again because you should be charging more than just your hourly wage plus expenses!

littlejewel Posted 4 Mar 2016 , 2:12pm
post #15 of 18

Dang JBCC $73 for just the ingredients. That sounds very expensive. What area do you live in? Do you buy any of you ingredients in large quantity? I'm guessing you are.a scratch baker, me to. I'm trying to think of ways you can cut the ingredients cost. I buy my sugar in 25lbs at sam',s club, also buy Philadelphia cream cheese, and sour cream there. I buy my butter in Wisconsin because it's close and sometimes it's only $2 a pound, I buy cake flour,bread flour ,cream, and chocolate at Woodman's( Wisconsin, northern Illinois and chicago land grocery store). Walmart can order somethings for you that aren't on shelf. I make my fondant, but know a lady that will allow me to oder with her from a catlalog that way we spend less a piece and benefit on less shipping cost. Don't be afraid to charge what you need to make a profit. Good luck to you

Pastrybaglady Posted 4 Mar 2016 , 6:14pm
post #16 of 18


Quote by @JBCC on 1 day ago

But wouldn't that put the price between $161-224 dollars. that seems like a lot. 


It is a lot, but a 14" x 4" cake is a lot of cake and cake costs. You wouldn't pay it and I wouldn't pay it, because we can bake and decorate. You are selling to people who cannot.  What is too much is up to the customer.  You need to price according to what it is worth for you to do it.  If there are too many cheap cake ladies in your area you may not realistically be able to make a go of it.  If you just love making cakes keep it as a hobby, but if you're trying to build a viable profitable business the bottom line is really important.

Singerssoul Posted 4 Mar 2016 , 9:18pm
post #17 of 18


Quote by @Pastrybaglady on 1 hour ago


Quote by @JBCC on 1 day ago

But wouldn't that put the price between $161-224 dollars. that seems like a lot. 


It is a lot, but a 14" x 4" cake is a lot of cake and cake costs. You wouldn't pay it and I wouldn't pay it, because we can bake and decorate. You are selling to people who cannot.  What is too much is up to the customer.  You need to price according to what it is worth for you to do it.  If there are too many cheap cake ladies in your area you may not realistically be able to make a go of it.  If you just love making cakes keep it as a hobby, but if you're trying to build a viable profitable business the bottom line is really important.

I bake from scratch, without preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. I also do not use anything hydrogenated or with high fructose corn syrup. If that size cake was ordered from me, then it would start at about $200. That would be for a basic flavor with American buttercream frosting/filling, and have only my standard bakery style frosting. Artesanal buttercream, specialty flavors, and decorations would go up from there.    If a client chooses not to order from me based upon pricing, then my product was not what they are looking for.  I charge fairly for my area and the nature of my product. 

I agree with @Pastrybaglady, if you intend to make it a business, then you need to think like a business and price yourself accordingly. If it is a hobby, then as long as you are complying with local selling laws, price according to that. 

karmen.wong Posted 6 Mar 2016 , 5:12am
post #18 of 18

I charge 3.50 per cupcake - and cupcakes are always the most cost effective (affordable) on my list... buttercream cake is next.. and then fondant after that. depending on the time and decorations it can go up to $10 a serving. I woulndt do a cake for 3.50 a serving. youll never make any money 

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