How Much Should I Charge For This Cake. Pic Included

Business By Porch21 Updated 6 Jul 2016 , 10:22am by cakebaby2

Porch21 Posted 22 Mar 2016 , 6:10pm
post #1 of 17

900_how-much-should-i-charge_98559056f18aaa55749.jpgHow much should I charge for this cake. It will be red velvet with cream cheese icing on the inside  

16 replies
sweetchariot Posted 22 Mar 2016 , 6:32pm
post #2 of 17

8" square? Flavor cake? Just saw your tape measure.

I personally use premium ingredient and don't skimp. So my cost would be so much more than many.

i would personally charge cost of ingredients plus about $50 at least. Time to gather ingredients, color and design fondant, etc.


Porch21 Posted 22 Mar 2016 , 7:26pm
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Yea I make everything from scratch with pretty good quality ingredients too but I'm always underselling myself.thank you for your input this helped me a lot :) 

-K8memphis Posted 22 Mar 2016 , 7:54pm
post #4 of 17

i don't see anything on there that would take much time to make -- no more than 10 or 15 minutes for all of it -- a stick, a ball, two tube shapes and some buttons -- buy pre-colored fondant -- work smarter -- those are right out of the bucket colors -- bam

kakeladi Posted 23 Mar 2016 , 5:20am
post #5 of 17

Unless you have a mold the # of buttons needed might take some time to make up but otherwise I agree w/K8

Cakes_and_Faith Posted 23 Mar 2016 , 9:29pm
post #6 of 17

I'm in GA and charge $35 for a 3 layer 9-inch red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting (no fancy pipe work or fondant). But this cake has some lots of color and great details along with fondant that I would probably charge at least $60.

costumeczar Posted 24 Mar 2016 , 3:06am
post #7 of 17

If I was charging by the serving for this it would be at around $128-$160, $4-5 a serving. Assuming my normal expenses, the ingredients would be around $20, then you have the utilities, gas to go to the store, operating expenses, hourly wages and some profit. My average net on each cake is right around 54%, so after all expenses a $160 cake would net me around $86. If you add up all the time involved including communicating with the customer, invoicing them, other paperwork, making your shopping list, shopping, baking, making icing and decorations, and decorating it, you'll probably put 3-4 hours into even a simple cake like this. (You have to factor in ALL of your time, not just the time spent on each cake. Weekly bookkeeping? Cleaning up? A section of each activity has to be assigned to each cake to cover your costs.) 

So if you net $86 and you put in 3-4 hours (let's say 3.5 hours to be even about it) and you want to keep 15% for profit (goes back into the business, not your salary) you'd end up earning roughly $21 an hour. In a world where some places pay $15 for minimum wage, that's about the least I'd want to make for a skilled profession and if I was the business owner. Which I am, so I aim for around $30 an hour at the least.

cakebaby2 Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 8:25am
post #8 of 17

I'm a hobby baker (over 30yrs) and this site has really opened my eyes to some of the "pro" bakers out there that I used to trust with special occasion cakes for my kids birthdays mostly.

Now I never used "home based" decorators, I went to pretty high end bakeries. Many times I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the actual cake itself but thought I was treating my kids to something special when they stopped having the parties at home with family and we started hiring halls. I join CC and read about the bakeries and others opening a packet of mix and cracking an egg or two into their mixer and passing it off as scratch baked "using the finest freshest ingredients", many times being advised not to tell the customer unless they asked. But the pricing threads should be enough to warn any customer off, and this is not directed at the OP in particular

It's so unprofessional that someone would take an order from an unsuspecting customer and not know how to price it before taking the order?

This site has thousands of questions like this, and loads of threads explaining it to the last teaspoon of real vanilla (or even Betty Crocker pretend cake) and still it mushrooms up again and again.

it really does look unprofessional, and I apologise for the HUGE text...I did something daft with my keyboard and cant fix it  

cakebaby2 Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 8:38am
post #9 of 17

I'd add that it's not so much that people are confused over pricing it's that on joining a site like this (professionals as opposed to home bakers) someone wouldn't research the numerous threads on pricing before starting a new one. 

-K8memphis Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 11:06am
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i do not recall many on here opening a packet and calling it scratch -- there have been many questions about 'what do you say when asked scratch or mix' but not many openly saying that they do one and say the other --

and if one understands the movement that closed a thousand bakeries -- it is that the homemaker is not just empowered -- she is well and fully even overly equipped to bake her heart's content -- then at the event someone else wants a cake like that -- where she's as shocked as anyone it turned out beyond her wildest imagination -- and so she asks how much to charge -- it happens over and over and over and over -- it's how thousands started -- it's normal -- the order comes in before the duck has a half chance to even lay an egg --

and no they/we don't have all our business ducks in a row and the constant shock and scolding 'you better have your sh*t together there like the love child of Ron Ben Israel and John Rockefeller BEFORE you take your first order' -- please give it a rest --

when people say that i just marvel --they don't understand how this thing often works

there are zillions of home bakers on this site

there's no problem to anyone asking anything they want to know whether they research it first or last -- we used to be the 'there's no such thing as a dumb question, ask away' site --  i prefer that attitude myself

Porch21 Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 12:53pm
post #11 of 17

I'm sorry if this question or similar ones like this are posted a lot. I should've searched first but I was kind of in a rush. To the commenter who said its unprofessional to ask how much or not know how much to charge before taking on a order is just crazy. Most home bakers who are just starting out undercharge and usually end up not making a profit, breaking even, or loosing money. I saw in another post on this site that people think just because you're a home baker and the cake or product isn't coming from an actual store, it should be cheaper. That's hardly the case. So when we ask questions like this it's so we can get a guesstimate of what we should be charging for our services so we don't loose money and so we don't end up overcharging the customer  

hippiecac Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 3:30pm
post #12 of 17

$125, assuming it's an 8" square

Webake2gether Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 6:41pm
post #13 of 17

I've only been on cc about a year now and I have to say that I am apprehensive about posting questions not because I can't take an honest answer bc I can but bc sometimes the comments I read are so out of left field and really not necessary to the question being asked. That being said of course pricing questions come up constantly and I agree that people should really have their  ducks in a row when running a business but sometimes things happen in a way where the ducks are a little out of order however I do feel like to run a proper business a top priority should be getting pricing worked out asap.  I had my pricing all in place before we opened and guess what I ended up revamping my prices bc they weren't completely accurate. So it's a constant learning curve in the beginning now if you've been doing it for 10 years I would hope they'd all be in a nice and tidy row. There are cakes that still make me stop and do some research  before I know exactly what to charge.  I'll probably catch grief about posting this and regret even saying anything but that will just further my initial point  cc is not the same anymore :(  

-K8memphis Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 6:48pm
post #14 of 17

yes but then the price of eggs goes up as well as gasoline so you're steadily having to react after a period of time --

and hey vanilla is only up $2 a pint at sam's -- that's not bad at all -- it's doubled in price before

yjflores1 Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 7:01pm
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I would do 50$. If you are delivering 60.grinning.png

carolinecakes Posted 3 Jun 2016 , 7:38pm
post #16 of 17

Well it's going on 5 years that I have been a part of CC, and most of that time I have been lurking in the background. I was the eager beaver in the corner, pen and notebook in hand, voraciously taking notes. Seriously I have a binder full. Then a pricing question would crop up and I would run for cover, there would be dozens of comments similar in tone to cakebaby's. At first, I didn't get it , what's the biggie, someone needs help pricing their product. Still cowering in the corner I got an education.....location, overhead, utilities, insurance, labor, to name a few all impacted pricing. Things have tamed down now, mostly pricing questions get answered civilly, which is refreshing.


That said...........yes there are countless threads about every topic you could think of, but sometimes not everyone has time to research or the site is buggy. Isn't this forum a place to ask questions? 

Also what's the big deal with all the animosity between scratch cake bakers and doctored cake mix bakers. I fall into the former category, that's my comfort zone, to each his own.

I have learned a lot on CC and now try to help if I can, if a question bugs you, don't  lose any sleep over it, just move on. Someone else will be happy to lend a hand.


cakebaby2 Posted 6 Jul 2016 , 10:22am
post #17 of 17

There used to be a definition in the Business Section that it was for professional bakers, that's what threw me with the question of how much to charge for a square cake with a few deco's on the top of it. Not as K8 routinely pipes up about homemakers doing cakes for the first time. I have no animosity to box mix makers just as long as they are upfront with their ingredients. I don't bother with the forums much now as most of the expertise has drifted away, but I suppose you cant run a business in these straightened times and hang about on CC all day waiting for a newbie to ask a question.

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