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How to price a cake

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I am completely NEW to this site. I have tried to spend a lil time here and there looking through things and I'm sure there is still Plenty to read/see.. I bake from home and have just recently been asked to do some custom orders. Both are for kids bdays. I need to give an estimate /price quote but don't really know how or what is "too" much or too little. Do u pass on the same costs for ur boxes/boards etc? Do you charge a labor rate when it's a time consuming cake?
My customers order are as follows:
1 wants 30 waffle bowls with cupcakes in middle decorated to be like a sundae
The other wants
Me to replicate a cake in shape of cubes to represent a game called mindcraft <- which I never heard of! This is mostly time consuming And requires measurement skills! Lol
I'm a bundt cake and cupcake seved old fashioned kinda girl~ breaking into the cupcakery & custom cake biz... I would love any info or advice suggestions as well As make a couple friends icon_smile.gif thank you in advance!
*kim*
post #2 of 15
Welcome! Just to give you a heads up, these kind of questions about pricing pop up almost everyday. The search feature is great for finding new and old posts about pricing, business practices, the do's/don'ts...lots of resources from some really great bakers/business people. The CC member Jason Kraft is the go-to business person...be sure to check him out.

I'm a home baker too...but I'm limited to friends and family...NJ doesn't have cottage food laws. Be sure that you live in an area with cottage food laws before diving into a baking business. There is criteria that usually has to be met before such exchanges are permitted. This protects you and your clients.

I know this wasn't specific help, but I hope it guides you in the right direction.
post #3 of 15
Check out the Pricing Formula link in my signature below.

BTW the game they are talking about is probably Minecraft, if you do a google search for "minecraft cakes" you should find several examples and youtube tutorials.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the replies~ I do believe we have cottage food regulations/laws here
I will check it all out because I do want to be legit! Jason I don't know how to check your link under ur signature something?!? I'm sure it's an easy task I'm putting to much thought into icon_surprised.gif) lol when I'm home later on the laptop I will play around on the site.
And yes it was a game called minecraft and he sent me a link on the "how to of assembling it" ... I just didn't know how one charges for that with being fair in all.

Any more tips/advice/ help I'm all ears! Thanks guy icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 15
Here is a direct link to the pricing formula article:
http://jasonkraftblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/the-magic-pricing-formula/
post #6 of 15

Welcome to the forum.  As mentioned by a previous poster, although the question, How to Price Cakes, is new to you, it is a question that is asked a minimum of once a day on this and other cake forums.  Here is a superb article by a CakeCentral member:

 

http://www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx

 

If you do a key word search on this site (or even google) for "how to price cake", you will come up with reading for hours and hours and hours.  Most of it sums up to the information presented in the article above.

 

Happy Caking!

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti View Post

 As mentioned by a previous poster, although the question, How to Price Cakes, is new to you, it is a question that is asked a minimum of once a day on this and other cake forums. 

 

 

LIAR!

 

You know you meant to write two hundred and thirty seven times a day.

post #8 of 15

So, I've looked at Jason's formula a few times.  Here is my problem.  Someone sends me a picture of a cake with tons of design on it.  How do I give them an estimate without knowing the amount of time it's going to take to make it?   That is where I am failing myself when it comes to pricing.  Is everyone just guessing?  Maybe I'm not a good guesser. 

 

Does anyone have a set price for 3D fondant figures, or are you just pricing those in supplies and hours it takes to make cake? 

 

 

Sorry if that was confusing.  I'm desperate to get my prices updated this year.  I'm tired of working my butt off for no money.

post #9 of 15
I estimate the time it will take to do a particular design. Maybe there is piping that I assume will take 3 hours to do- I charge 3 additional hours of labor onto the price of the cake.
If it's new to me, I can still figure out roughly how long it should take, within reason. After that, it should be easy to figure it out. As far as figures go, I calculate them just like a cake - supplies, overhead, time.
post #10 of 15

lori--it's experience that tells you how long something should take to make--and then there's how long it actually takes--

 

but even among pros it varies tremendously--some of us have worked in time sensitive environments and we are fast--some of have stayed up all night too many times and we are pokey but perfect--so if one never has to hit the hard deadlines with someone breathing down your neck--they never get the speed--but time is money--

 

it's experience--a certain amount of decoration (x amount of time) should be included with each non-sculpted cake -- anything after that predetermined amount gets the upcharge

 

the faster and more efficient you are the more money you make because you can do more--

 

i don't think like i'm giving you much to go on--but that's the best answer i know

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

Reply
the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

Reply
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmPamCakes View Post

I estimate the time it will take to do a particular design. Maybe there is piping that I assume will take 3 hours to do- I charge 3 additional hours of labor onto the price of the cake.
If it's new to me, I can still figure out roughly how long it should take, within reason. After that, it should be easy to figure it out. As far as figures go, I calculate them just like a cake - supplies, overhead, time.

 

So, recently this lady asked me to make an 8" rainbow layer (6 colors/layers on the inside), with rainbow chevron on the outside (over buttercream icing) and a fondant paint palette and fondant paintbrush on top.   I quoted her $67 dollars.  Her reply back to me was "Yikes!  I've never paid that much for your cakes in the past".  

 

:(  People just don't get it.....and she's a good customer.  It irritated me so bad, that I called the local bakery and got a quote.  I told her this place starts at $94 dollars for that cake.  And that's not including the outside decorations!  This is so frustrating.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriMc View Post

So, recently this lady asked me to make an 8" rainbow layer (6 colors/layers on the inside), with rainbow chevron on the outside (over buttercream icing) and a fondant paint palette and fondant paintbrush on top.   I quoted her $67 dollars.  Her reply back to me was "Yikes!  I've never paid that much for your cakes in the past".  

icon_sad.gif   People just don't get it.....and she's a good customer.

She may be a good customer, but it doesn't sound like she's in your target market if she's not willing to set a reasonable budget for a custom cake. If your prices were set too low, you can expect this scenario to play out over and over again with repeat customers, so you may want to readjust your marketing strategy at the same time you change your prices.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


She may be a good customer, but it doesn't sound like she's in your target market if she's not willing to set a reasonable budget for a custom cake. If your prices were set too low, you can expect this scenario to play out over and over again with repeat customers, so you may want to readjust your marketing strategy at the same time you change your prices.

I realize I am going to run into this.  Can't do anything about it now, unfortunately. 

 

So Jason, according to your formula, you really aren't doing a per serving price right?  Every cake is individual based on the amount of time and supplies it takes?

post #14 of 15
I've lost business to *family* because I explained that I needed to actually start making money for my work. People are cheap.
And these *family* members are business owners, who understand what business and making money is about.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriMc View Post

So Jason, according to your formula, you really aren't doing a per serving price right?  Every cake is individual based on the amount of time and supplies it takes?

Depends on what the customer is expecting. For a simple single tier party cake I'll just quote a flat price, but for a multi-tier cake or wedding cake I will present the price on a per-serving basis in addition to the total quote. You are correct that the formula does not produce a per-serving price, you can break that down separately depending on the serving size.
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