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Are small cakes a hassle?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering how everyone charges for cakes, especially small ones (6-8 servings). If it's covered in Fondant, I tend to charge $4 per serving. But even then, it seems more trouble than it's worth (profit-wise). I am definitely grateful for even these opportunities, but to potentially live off cake decorating, I wonder how it can be done most effectively. [:

How do you go about small cakes, do you have a minimum? Or how do you factor in time in the expense and how do you present that to a potential cake client, who may think in costco or vons price terms?

post #2 of 19

Just start at a minimum price and size and tell people they may have leftover cake and it freezes well.

i do this quite a bit with my customers, and they don't' mind one bit!

post #3 of 19
People who think in Costco prices need to stick to buying their cakes at Costco. Those are not your people.
post #4 of 19

Yes, a minimum order is key. I read a funny thread here where a groom wanted his wedding cake recreated for their 1st anniversary. He explained the details, decorating, etc. The baker was excited . He didn't complain too much about paying $10 a serving.


He want two servings. Ha!

post #5 of 19

Smaller cakes may be cute, but they're a PITA, IMO.  We have 5" cakes at work and nobody likes them because they tend to slip off the cardboard after being stacked and/or while you're icing them.  They also don't sell anywhere as well as our sheet cakes.  Ditto our 8" cakes.


I don't have a business, but if I did, I would probably have a minimum smallest size and tell people to freeze the extra.

post #6 of 19

I only make a 6 inch cake if it's going to be on top of another cake. :D Otherwise, 8 inches is the smallest cake I offer. 

post #7 of 19

I have a $150 minimum and have made several 6 in cakes for that price. But usually they are more like $80-$135 and  just part of an order. If a previous customer wants a cake that's under the $150, I go ahead and do it.


I charge $5 per serving, plus decorations. This cake was $150, but I felt like I undercharged and that's because smaller cakes really do tend to be more work for the price. If the cake had a bottom tier, it wouldn't have been that much more effort, but would have been at least $160 more.

post #8 of 19

howsweet- amazing cake!

post #9 of 19

Thanks, I just copied a picture they'd found.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much! Really sound advice--I think I'm ready to go back to the drawing board now and rewrite some standards for my website! :D

One more quick question, how do you factor light, medium, and heavy decoration in addition to your per serving price?

post #11 of 19
I don't know who you're asking, but I don't. I charge for each thing. Like extra stripes, big number 1, ball trim, etc. On the cake above, I charged per letter, for the glove, pockets, tees, clubs, grey top of cake,handle, zipper, zipper tag. If i don't do it that way, I'm liable to underestimate the work and under charge.
post #12 of 19
All you need is a minimum order policy and a good understanding of the ingredients and labor required for different types of decorations. We focused more on birthday cakes and our minimum order was an 8" round (starting at $44 for basic BC), if a customer wanted a 4" or 6" round that's fine, but it would be priced the same as an 8".

If a customer requested a design that would take an additional 2 hours and $10 in ingredients to complete, we would charge an extra $80 or so (factoring in hourly kitchen rent, hourly labor, ingredients, and markup).
post #13 of 19

I don't have anything to add other than that's a cute cake, howsweet!

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Makes total sense. And it's true, I think I have been neglecting to factor in the time, but it definitely deserves it! Luckily I work from home so there's really not much overhead. But it makes sense to charge for each extra thing individually. 

I will definitely be incorporating these practices in now when I correspond with clients.



post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill View Post

I don't have anything to add other than that's a cute cake, howsweet!

Thanks, Annie :D

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