I Need Help With Pricing A Full Sheet Cake

Decorating By Daniellemhv Updated 17 May 2007 , 9:39pm by steffla

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Daniellemhv Posted 17 May 2007 , 3:00am
post #1 of 16

My future mother in law needs a cake to feed about 80 people next month. I looked a little on the internet and figured thats about a full sheet cake. right? Well I make her office cakes every month and I use a 11x15 and she gives me $20. Which i think is really nice because we are really close and I would absolutely do them for free. I don't know how big a full sheet cake is so I don't know how much cake mix/icing/filling I need.

My BF said to just add $10. so...$30....Does that sound about right for a full sheet cake for a close family member?

I have no idea.

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step0nmi Posted 17 May 2007 , 3:12am
post #2 of 16

1/4 sheet = 9 x 13 = 24 servings (Cut 4 down, 6 across)

1/3 sheet = 11 x 15 = 30-35 servings (Cut 5 down, 7 across)

1/2 sheet = 14 x 19 = 40-50 servings (cut 6 down, 8 across)

3/4 sheet = 2 11 x 15 side by side = 60-70 servings (cut 7 down, 10 across)

Full sheet = 2 14 x 19 side by side = 90-100 servings (cut 8 down, 11 across)

I got this from someone here on CC! Maybe this can help you out! But, I don't think that $30 is enough. That is a LOT of cake. Check Wilton's Website for the amount of batter and cups of icing you'll be using and you'll see that that is not a sufficient price. But, if you want to do that for a "future" mother in law then it would be nice for HER.

Good luck!

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sbcakes Posted 17 May 2007 , 3:22am
post #3 of 16

I charge $60 for a 12 x 18 sheet cake. I think that if you are doing it for you MIL, then $30 is good, because that is like half of what it should cost! My MIL asked me to make a cake for her mom's birthday last week. It was just a 12" round...I didn't charge her-I felt too bad!

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Daniellemhv Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:24am
post #4 of 16

so can i bake 4 9x13's? and place them together. Because I don't have a 14 x 19.

How many cake mixes go in one 9x13? It says one but do any of you put in more? because I like them to rise and get level with the top.

I told him to tell her $50. If she doesn't like it then we can go lower. I don't know any details about the cake so its hard to price it, but I told him I would probably do. Half chocolate with chocolate ganache filling, and half vanilla with BC filling (maybe raspberry mousse) and all covered in BC. So I will need, cake, eggs, oil, butter, crisco, sugar, cake board, heavy cream, chocolate, foil, etc.

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indydebi Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:51am
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by Daniellemhv

....I told him to tell her $50. If she doesn't like it then we can go lower. .....

80 servings for $50 is $0.63 per serving. Mother in Law or not ....ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? (Can you see my Mom-Finger wagging in your face, young lady?)

Right before popping into this post, I had JUST posted a comment about "....if you're not convinced of the value of your cakes, then how can you expect to convey to your client the value of your cakes?" If she doesn't like it you can go lower????? Heck, I dont' like the price of anything I pay ... but it is what it is.

My pricing for sheet cakes is based on one layer, not torted, with 2x2 servings sizes at $1.50 per serving, all BC. They are welcome to cut them any size they want, but if that means they need more cake then they can order and pay for more. I'm not eating the expense because their family is used to eating 4x6" pieces. And I don't do anything smaller than 11x15.

11x15: 35 servings = $ 53
12x18: 54 servings = $ 81
14x22: 77 servings = $116
24x18: 108 servings = $162

Give her a discount because she's family ..... or give it free. But don't "give it away" with a 62 cent price tag.

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suzmazza Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:13am
post #6 of 16

I am in PA too (I go to Erie quite often), and here in SW PA you can expect to pay between 68-80 dollars for a sheet cake from some very reputable bakeries. I personally charge 70 for a full sheet to remain competative, and if its a little more detailed than normal, I tack on 5-10 dollars. I know some people on CC charge considerably more, but the market here just wont allow for it, when you can go to 3 well known AMAZING bakeries and get a phenominal product for the same amount of money. If its for your future mother in law, I say cut her a break and charge between 50-60 that way you aren't eating up your entire profit margin, but she still feels like shes getting your "family" discount! Good luck!

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keonicakes Posted 17 May 2007 , 12:24pm
post #7 of 16

great info.

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Daniellemhv Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:29pm
post #8 of 16

I understand what you're all saying, but I make my family/close friends cakes for free. So charging her to make a profit is something I just can't do. If she referred someone to me and they wanted a cake then it would be different. She knew I was looking to do more cakes so she said I could make their office cakes every month for practice, but since her office has a cake budget of $20 a month thats what she paid me. Which is fine by me. They used to get their office cakes at walmart. and when i'm busy I just tell her I can't do it, like this month i took a "vacation" from making cakes and she got the office cake at walmart. I just want to make sure I can cover all the ingredients. I exactly have extra money to cover it. But thanks everyone for your opinions, it makes me not feel so bad about $50.

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Daniellemhv Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:30pm
post #9 of 16

Oops....... I meant to say "I Don't exactly have extra money to cover it"

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abeverley Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:41pm
post #10 of 16

My full sheet cakes are $75.

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janebrophy Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:44pm
post #11 of 16

When I make cakes for family members that are going to be a significant expense (usually my mom for people at work), instead of charging her, I just let her buy the ingredients for the cake. Then we both feel good about the deal! icon_smile.gif

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jenbenjr Posted 17 May 2007 , 4:49pm
post #12 of 16

Hi, I am in PA too....pretty much right between Pittsburgh and Erie and I understand the whole "market" thing. There just isn't enough demand around here to charge alot for cake. Although I would love to make as much as some of the people charge on here, it just isn't gonna happen. Even though the cake is for close family, I still wouldn't ask any lower than $50. They should understand that that is alot of work and cost in materials for you. I think if they really appreciate what you do then they won't have a problem with that price!!! thumbs_up.gif

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Daniellemhv Posted 17 May 2007 , 7:00pm
post #13 of 16

Thanks everyone. I appreciate your input

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steffla Posted 17 May 2007 , 8:00pm
post #14 of 16

Okay I am really confused here. I have seen three, four, probably five different explanations of the size of a sheet cake. When someone calls me and wants a full sheet cake, what size dimensions is that??

I know it feeds about 70-80 people because that is what all the bakeries say but what is the size as far as pans?

Also, I am trying to decide my prices and I called 6 or 7 bakeries in my town and surrounding area that do wedding cakes and such. They were almost all $80 for a full sheet cake, but one was $100 and one was$58!!! What would someone like me price who does cakes only so often but they are always specialty cakes as far as design and never look like your basic bakery cake. So am I charging more for the specialty or less to compete with price???? So confused....TIA

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indydebi Posted 17 May 2007 , 8:19pm
post #15 of 16

steffla, this is exactly why (as I've posted a number of times) that I REFUSE to use the terms "half sheet" or "full sheet". Believe me, the general public has no idea what size they are either .... they are just using the lingo. A sample conversation:

customer: how much is a sheet cake?
bakery: $75
customer: how many does that serve?

Shouldn't you have an idea of how big the freakin' cake is before you try to order one?????

When I am asked "how much is a half sheet cake?", I just turn it around and ask them how many people they are wanting to serve. Then *I* tell THEM what size cake they need.

The good thing about sheet cakes is you can just do the math when figuring servings (I've used this example so often that I just have it saved in a word document so I can cut-n-paste it in here):

With square or rectangle cakes, it's easy to just do the math to figure your servings.....

Single layer:
11x15 cake: 2x2" servings = cut columns/rows of 5x7 = 35 servings
11x15 cake: 2x3" servings = cut columns/rows of 5x5 = 25 servings

12x18 cake: 2x2" servings = cut columns/rows of 6x9 = 54 servings
12x18 cake: 2x3" servings = cut columns/rows of 6x6 = 36 servings

These are based on a single layer cake. If you bake two layers, then you will probably cut the pieces into 1x2" pieces to yield different serving amounts.

Double layer (pieces are 4 tall same as a wedding cake):
11x15 cake: 1x2 pieces = cut columns/rows of approx 10 x 7 = 70 servings
12x18 cake: 1x2 pieces = cut columns/rows of approx 12x 9 = 108 servings

Just do the math.....!

What would you price a sheet cake at? My recommendation is to come up with a good base price per serving (mine is $1.50 for a 2x2") and go from there. Dont' worry about the actual size of the pans .... figure the servings of the pan sizes you have and work from there.

Dont' get hung up on labels ("half sheet"). Find out what the customer NEEDS and go from there.

My sheet cake price list shows:
(1) size of the cake (dimensions such as 12x1icon_cool.gif
(2) Serving size of the piece of cake (2x2" or 2x3")
(3) The number of pieces you can get with each cutting dimension (on the 12x18, I show the client that they can get 36 pieces if cut 2x3 and they can get 54 pieces if cut 2x2)
(4) Price (which is $1.50 per serving using the 2x2 size

Anyone who is interested in seeing a copy, PM me your email and I will be happy to send it to you.

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steffla Posted 17 May 2007 , 9:39pm
post #16 of 16

Wow thank you so much - great explanation!!!

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