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Actual costs of making a wedding cake...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have been really glad to see the recent posts about specific pricing about cakes and the decorators who are willing to share financial information about their cakes. We all know that the average consumer has no idea of the actual cost of making a cake, be it a party cake or a wedding cake.

Would you be willing to share information as to your actual cost and the total price of a wedding cake with the following details:

5 tier square cake: 8", 10", 12", 14", 16" with 3 tiers of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and 2 tiers of white cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting and covered with fondant. Decorations consisting of Earlene's Enhanced Lace Mold - Shirley (left and right) on each corner, so that each side has the left and right corner decorated with the lace. This will require 40 lace pieces as the bride wants a cake with no "back", but would be completely the same all the way around, except for the custom made topper the bride is providing. She wants a small pearl border around the bottom of each tier. SPS to be factored in for support. On the larger tiers she would like me to cut out some of the flower pieces of the Shirley lace and use as a decoration connecting each corner piece. There will be no flowers at all on the cake. She wants to cake to be all white in the fondant and lace decorations. I think that dusting the lace with white super pearl dust would be nice.

So given that information, what would be the actual cost to you for making this cake, and what would you charge the customer? I know that costs and prices fluctuate from area to area, but it would be nice to see what the actual cost to the baker is.

I look forward to reading your responses!

Thanks,
Pam
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
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Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
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post #2 of 14

If you add in EVERYTHING it takes to run a business including advertising, office supplies, taxes, blah blah blah, the net is about 43% of the gross. I think it's hard to say that this or that cake cost X amount, because if it cost $100 and you spent $20 on the materials, that doesn't mean that you're taking home 80% of the total money that you take in over the course of a year. You have to figure that there are other expenses that come into play.

 

A better question might be what percentage of your total income do you keep at the end of the year, or what's your taxable income after expenses compared to your gross income before expenses. I'm working on my taxes now, and my taxable income after expenses was about 57% of my gross. I could have knocked that down if I eliminated some things like advertising in certain places, which I might do this year.

post #3 of 14

pam, are you a hobbyist or a business?

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #4 of 14
It shouldn't be too difficult to add up all the ingredients and supplies necessary to make the cake, add in your own labor estimate (multiply number of hours by your hourly wage), then add overhead on a per-order basis (depending on order volume). That would be your cost, to determine your price you would need to market research to find out what level of markup is appropriate for your area.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

pam, are you a hobbyist or a business?

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division. I do not have a store front/bakery at this time. I work a full-time job in addition to my home bakery, and am not in a position to leave my regular job at this time. I consider myself a business, but without some of the overhead that store front bakeries have. I too calculate my overhead into my cake prices, and agree that the final net profit cannot be calculated until the taxes are done. I understand all the business part of being a decorator. I did my business plan as part of my initial paperwork when I applied to be a home baker.

I was working on a estimate for a wedding cake as described in my opening post, and just started wondering what this cake would actually cost other decorators around the country. That's why I posted my question. I thought since bakers were responding to other threads asking what they would charge for specific cakes, that I would ask about the request for a cake that I received. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

Pam
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
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Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
post #6 of 14

gotcha

 

y'know how some use wilton's or earlene's

 

and if wilton's then maybe it's party servings or wedding

 

or if it's mff or mmf

 

boxers or briefs wait that's a different forum icon_biggrin.gif

 

so in my mind--i'm thinking there's another important distinction

 

between hobby baking and business baking

 

so that's why i asked so we would know which way to go to help/advise/comment

 

where hobby baking is mostly for friends and for fun with a once in a blue moon pricing question about an order for a cake that is out of the usual comfort zone

 

and i'm really happy you are able to be a business wish everybody that wanted to could be

 

i would price that cake at $4.50 - $5 per serving plus delivery & tax--i use wilton wedding serving chart

 

i think that decor would be included in the base price

 

if it was densely covered with the lace pieces a $50 upcharge would be in order

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

gotcha

y'know how some use wilton's or earlene's

and if wilton's then maybe it's party servings or wedding

or if it's mff or mmf

boxers or briefs wait that's a different forum icon_biggrin.gif "

icon_biggrin.gif

Thank you, for the humor, I really needed that:smile: Some days are killer in a law office, and today was one of those days! Very glad to finally be home and able to think cake and relax...lol.

Thanks for the input. It was already starting to look like the actual charge would be in that neighborhood, but I was concerned about the actual cost of baking it and decorating it. I'm not charging for the costs of buying the 2 mold pieces ($39.99 each) because that is an investment that will benefit my business, and was on my wish list for a future purchase anyway. The biggest expense for ingredients is going to be for the fondant which calculated at $160.00 for 40 pounds and another $10.00 for gum paste (those figures include shipping). I am setting up everything in Cake Boss and still have to finish costing out some ingredients and other items I use for cakes so that I can calculate the actual cost to physically make the cake.
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
post #8 of 14

I work from home too, so my costs will be different than a storefront's. It just doesn't make sense to use only ingredient cost to calculate your prices, since that's like a client saying "how long does it take to make wedding cake?" If you say 4 to 5 hours they think that's all the time you put into the business, which we know is just wrong. I just tell people who ask me that questions that it's a full time job, and sometimes more than full time in the busy season!

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm not using just the actual cost of the ingredients to cost out the cake, I was just interested in seeing how much you thought it would cost to actually make the cake, and in the end, the price you would quote to the customer. Ingredient costs vary from place to place, and the overhead and other factors are calculated into the final price. But sometimes I like to know how much something cost in different areas. That's all. I guess that "actual ingredient costs" is a closely guarded topic and not open for discussion.

I appreciate all the comments and the time you took to respond.

Thanks.

Pam
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptanyer View Post

I'm not using just the actual cost of the ingredients to cost out the cake, I was just interested in seeing how much you thought it would cost to actually make the cake, and in the end, the price you would quote to the customer. Ingredient costs vary from place to place, and the overhead and other factors are calculated into the final price. But sometimes I like to know how much something cost in different areas. That's all. I guess that "actual ingredient costs" is a closely guarded topic and not open for discussion.

 

Not a secret at all, I just don't cost out every single cake individually. It's all part of the bigger picture.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I do cost out all the cakes for clients. I started doing it with my first wedding cake and it is just part of my "routine" when I get an order. I don't cost out cakes I do for family as my gift to them for birthdays, etc. I very seldom have more than 3 or 4 cakes per month, so I can afford the little extra time to cost things out. Once I finish entering my base costs in Cake Boss, it will be easier. But that is just the way I operate, not just for my cake business:)
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
post #12 of 14

Maybe the shipping is really high, but I noticed Global Sugar Art has 20lb tubs of Satin Ice for about $50 right now. 

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

Maybe the shipping is really high, but I noticed Global Sugar Art has 20lb tubs of Satin Ice for about $50 right now. 

I saw that, but I am using Pettinice this time. I love the feel of Satin Ice, but don't like all,the problems I have had in the past with elephant skin and tearing.
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
post #14 of 14

Just thought I would pass it on since you're buying so much! But if you know it doesn't work for you, then it's not much of a saving I guess...

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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