How Should I Price This Cake To Sell?

Decorating By mariak Updated 7 Jul 2008 , 2:14am by arnab

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mariak Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:17pm
post #1 of 31

I know, I know, everyone is probably so tired of this question but I am very bad for under pricing so I thought it would be nice to get some suggestions. I did this cake last week for my son and even though I would have liked George to look more like he did in the movie I think the cake turned out cute. A friend asked how much I would charge to do this for someone else. The problem I have is that for my kids I do big cakes that are a lot of work but I don't mind since it is for my kids. When poeple see them at the party or see pictures they love the cake but expect more of a grocery store price. They don't understand how much time and work goes into these cakes. I want to be fair but I don't want to go to low just so friends can afford these cakes. Maybe I need to get richer friends. icon_lol.gif
Anyway this cake is a ten inch square chocolate with an eight inch round white on top. It is iced in buttercream with everything else being MMF. I do all right in pricing the actual cakes but when it comes to the fondant and figures I just don't know how much I should charge. Thanks for any advice. icon_biggrin.gif

30 replies
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jmt1714 Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:27pm
post #2 of 31

personally, I'd say no less than $4 a serving, IMHO

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springlakecake Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:30pm
post #3 of 31

What sizes are they?

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southrnhearts Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:35pm
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ozzynjojo Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:38pm
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I'm not sure if this might sound crazy to you, but......starting price would be a least $100. No lower, higher yes, I'm just thinking off the top of my head.....
Good Luck!!!

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reese04 Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:47pm
post #6 of 31

definately no less than $100. Think of how many hours that took you! Great Cake btw. thumbs_up.gif

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nglez09 Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:52pm
post #7 of 31

I would not charge less than $150 if I sold cakes, and I do't even know how many it feeds! I'm assuming about 85?

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notjustcake Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:57pm
post #8 of 31

I know what you mean!!!!!!! I'm the same way but I good at telling you how much I would pay for a cake only cause I know how much work goes into a cake. Well the lady I did this for gave $100 for this
8" square vanilla bc filling, 4" round chocolate bc filling, fondant mask painted with violet pearl dust and gold dragees, name painted with gold and gold dragees, fondant diamonds and spiral and more dragees, yes tons of work!!! so I say at least $100 for yours your cake is bigger and more professional looking than mine.

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clsilvus Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:57pm
post #9 of 31

Great cake! I don't know about pricing though, sorry.

What I'd like to know is where you find the time to make a cake like that with 6 kids!!! and # 7 almost due. That is even more amazing than the cake!

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swingme83 Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 6:59pm
post #10 of 31

seeing as how my mother always thinks i charge too muc ($5 a dozen for choco chip cookies) i would have priced that around $60-75. I figure $35 for the 10", $15 for the 8 inch, $10 for the figured and anywhere from 5-15 for the fondant. sorry if that wasnt much help. I just wouldnt get anyone to pay $100+ for a cake around here

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Ladivacrj Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 7:03pm
post #11 of 31

I would go by the serving/slice, $3.00 seems fair.

Some charts say a 10 inch serves 30 at 2 inch pieces. And an 8 inch serves 20.

It would put it at $150.00, wow that sounds high.

I was no help, sorry.

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angelas2babies Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 7:05pm
post #12 of 31

I think $100 is a fair price. Your work is clean and very professional looking! Great cake!! Curious George looks adorable.

I have the same problem, and I enjoy decorating so much that sometimes I'm okay with under-pricing myself, but at least I set the price, so it's my own fault.

Good luck. Again....wonderful cake.

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29apr00 Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 7:13pm
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I'm going to be the voice of the consumer here. icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif I paid for my daughter's first 3 cakes, then decided i was tired of paying for them and started making them myself. The last one i paid $100 for and for me, that was just way too much to pay for a birthday cake.

It's a 10" and 8". I'd say $50-60. icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif Yeah it's a 2 tier cake, and is coverd in fondant, but do you really think it's worth $150+?? I think it would be a different story if it were a 6 tier wedding cake that you spend all week on, as opposed to a birthday cake you can do in a day or 2. Do you want to do cakes for friends again in the future? If you do, i'd think a more reasonable price would be better than the per serving price. JMO.

BTW - this is in no way saying your work isn't worth $150+! Your cake is absolutly beautiful and i can't wait to do something like that!!

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biviana Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 7:19pm
post #14 of 31

I'll say $100 sounds fair. IMO. Not less. I do make figurines in gumpaste and they are a lot of work.

BTW...Wonderful cake. I love George!

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cakecre8tor Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 7:32pm
post #15 of 31

I really think with pricing you have to go by what your area dictates. I would have probably charged $50-$60...Like I said in a post earlier this week I had someone cancel a $30 cause it was too much...however I generally don't turn on my oven for less than $30 icon_biggrin.gif

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jmt1714 Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 7:33pm
post #16 of 31

IMHO it doesn't matter if it takes you 2 hours or two days, pricing is based on size and technical requirements of the cake. it doesn't matter if it is a wedding cake or a birthday cake or whatever cake. $150 really is NOT a lot for a high quality cake.

I was at the MACS show this weekend, and I had to laugh when I heard one of the judges tell the audience the first rule is not to underprice yourself. As he noted, people will routinely pay $150 for a haircut/color (I know I pay $55 for a cut that takes 1/2 hour). They are paying for that person's skill. Why would it be any different for a cake?

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Price Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 8:42pm
post #17 of 31

I think $100 for a cake that size is more than fair, especially if you are modeling with gumpaste or fondant. Anything less and you are pretty much giving the cake away. For instance, figure the cost of a cake mix (unless baking from scratch), sour cream, pudding mix, eggs, etc. To make a 10"square cake nice and high, it takes close to 3 recipes. The 8" round, about 1 1/2. Then figure the cost of your icing. I make mine with high ratio shortening, butter and heavy cream, plus the extracts and flavoring. Figure the cost of the fondant you are using for the figures or accents. Don't forget to account for heating your oven, running your mixer, hot water for cleaning up, etc. By the time you figure your true cost, if you ask for less than $100 your not getting much for your time and effort. I decorate as a hobby and love giving cakes as gifts to my family and friends, but if I was baking for a living, I would charge $100 easily.

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Sugarbean Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 9:34pm
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I'd charge $50-65 for that cake...

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jenbenjr Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 9:53pm
post #19 of 31

I also think that it just depends where you live. Although I am sure that you did have a lot of work in that cake and it does deserve $100 IMO, but if I had told someone that price where I live......they would probably laugh in my face! So I think you just have decide what someone might pay for it....not 'how much you could get' Did I make sense just now? LOL

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keonicakes Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 10:01pm
post #20 of 31

My 2cents...
You know, I think a lot of people don't place too much monetary value on cake. I happen to be one of those people. So if your going to do a cake for someone who only plans on spending what a store would charge, then pump out something VERY simple. HOWEVER, I have found that people who are willing and able to pay for a cake of this caliber are people that are looking for the WOW factor and something that people will remember. So my point is CHARGE CHARGE CHARGE! Your cake is absolutely worth at least $100.00. It's not just a cake, it's edible art. My gosh, people pay thousands of dollars for a red dot on a blank piece of canvas...........
Just my thought on this. icon_wink.gif

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kelleym Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 10:40pm
post #21 of 31

Ok, I'd say $60-$70 WITHOUT the handmade toppers, at least $100 WITH them.

Whether or not people will pay for the toppers is a different story. It takes the right kind of buyer for that. I personally only make those toppers if it's a labor of love (like I did for the Backyardigans for my son's birthday cake) or it's something new that I really want to try and I'll do it for pretty much free.

How many hours did you spend on those toppers? That took SKILL, hon. We are not flipping hamburgers for minimum wage. Every bit of that cake took skill, practice, training, and knowledge. Don't undersell yourself. Value your time for those figures at at least $15/hr. And that's the bare minimum.

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acholloway Posted 14 Mar 2007 , 10:42pm
post #22 of 31

First, your cake is absolutely fabulous!

Where I live, in a very rural area, you can only get "professional" cakes at Wal Mart or Brookshires. There are no bakeris unless you drive 45 minutes to an hour. Having said that, people here would still not pay $100.00 for a birthday cake. They just don't realize how much time and effort goes into these things. Anyway, I would be lucky to get $50.00 for this cake. So, as it has already been stated, you should probably consider the area that you live in. I, personally, don't think $100.00 is too much for this caliber of cake.

Good luck!

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ttatummm Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 1:37am
post #23 of 31

I say that your cake is worth $100.00 minimum, I'd probably charge $120 to $140. That is a lot of work, not to mention skill.

Granted, a lot of people won't pay that much for a cake, which is fine, they should purchase a basic cake then. What is amazing is there are plenty of folks out there that will pay that much. Honestly, I would have never paid that much for a cake, but I also never excepted someone to sell me such beautiful creation dirt cheap, so I learned to make them myself.

You can alway let friends and acquaintances know that you can make them a very nice but less involved cake if that fits their budget better.


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alibugs Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 1:46am
post #24 of 31

how much did you spend on the stuff to make the cake??????? and how long did you spend on it????

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bethola Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 1:48am
post #25 of 31

At least $100.00 if you can get it. In my area....nah...people want THIS caliber cake at Wally World prices. Having said that:

keonicakes: I just learned how to do a YELLOW dot on black canvas today in my painting class!! Think that might be as much as a red dot! LOL

Beth in KY

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Janet2007 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 1:52am
post #26 of 31

My mother is a cake decorator and I am starting out now myself. She told me that you can only charge what the customers are willing to pay. Don't underprice but remember where you live and base it on it. I don't know what I would charge but just remember where you live and tell them the basic cake is X amount but each fondant figure you do is X amount. Good luck and that is a really cute cake! icon_biggrin.gif

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keonicakes Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:06pm
post #27 of 31

Hey Beth,
How about posting a picture of your yellow dot masterpeace and we can hold an auction. Abstract is worth a lot isn't it? lol icon_lol.gif

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BlairsMom Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 8:46pm
post #28 of 31

Sorry I can't help with the pricing because I am horrible at it myself and think I undercharge, but I had to post and say your cake is wonderful. I love all the little details with George and the mini cake. I can see why people would be asking you about making their cakes!

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nefgaby Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 8:59pm
post #29 of 31

Hi, Beautiful cake! What I do is multiply my TOTAL cost by 4 and that is what I charge. Don´t forget the add everything in your cost, down to a small % of your electric bill. Also, for fondant figures, add extra $10-20. HTH. Oh, just a question, are the balloons fondant too? Too cute!

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mariak Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 1:29pm
post #30 of 31

Thanks everyone for your advice and nice comments. Sorry I haven't gotten back to this but with the site down and my little one sick I just haven't had a chance. I was thinking a little less than a hundred but I know that if I told anyone around here that price they would freak out. The thing is that like some of you said, I myself would never pay a hundred dollars for a birthday cake for my three year old even though I know that it is worth that much. That is the main reason I started making cakes. My first son's first birthday I ordered a cake from a grocery store and paid thirty dollars for something that looked like my son had done it. He is eight now and boy have my cakes improved mostly because of this website. I have never had the time to take classes so this site has been great. I am getting better at the figure molding so I think George only took me an hour. To answer nefgaby, the balloons are made out of fondant stuck on wires. It was a real pain to get them to stay up. The total time in this cake is so hard for me to say because it is split up so much. I have to squeeze in decorating during naps and after the kids go to bed. Oh well I guess I will have to stick to doing simple cakes to sell until I can find someone who is willing to pay for a more elaborate one. I just love making the really detailed cakes even though they are more work. Luckily I have enough kids birthdays that I can at least make them for them. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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