Fire Truck Cake Done & Lessons Learned :)

Decorating By shalderman Updated 8 Jan 2015 , 1:00pm by julia1812

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shalderman Posted 8 Jul 2007 , 8:25pm
post #1 of 14

Well I did this cake for a friend's little boy who was turning 3. I'm new to cakes overall and have been charging very low (materials cost plus a bit) cause at this point I'd rather do the cake for experience and my profile than not do it cause my friends can't afford it icon_smile.gif Though I make it clear they are getting a deal icon_wink.gif

Anyway I've learned a few things

1) Never again to charge only $35 for a 3D fire truck cake! (What is a "normal" price for these - mine below was three 9x13's cut up (didn't quite use all of it) w/buttercream & some fondant and chocolate accents)

2) Red BC icing is a HUGE pain to ice a cake with - encourage people to choose red fondant for this cake in the future LOL

3) Icing square cakes is hard! Anyone have any tips on this? My corners ended up with too much icing

4) Chocolate cake is a pain for crumbs! I think I should have crumbcoated & froze a touch Oy....

5) I need to play with fondant modeling some more but I think I did ok.

But my friend loved it and her son was in heaven icon_biggrin.gif And everyone was amazed - one friend of hers was across the room and someone mentioned the cake looked great and she said "where is the cake?" - she thought the cake was a toy fire truck sitting on the counter! icon_biggrin.gif

13 replies
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sweetcakes Posted 8 Jul 2007 , 8:35pm
post #2 of 14

you did an excellent job, 3 9x13s thats a big cake. now come up with a price ready for your next order of this cake so you are prepared. if it was mine id charge about 175.

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grama_j Posted 8 Jul 2007 , 8:44pm
post #3 of 14

How cute is THAT !!?? GOOD JOB !

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Cakepro Posted 8 Jul 2007 , 8:45pm
post #4 of 14

Your fire truck cake is fantastic!! The $35 price tag almost made me faint, though.

I'm doing the same cake this week and charged $125. Your cake is well worth that much money, so next time, don't be shy about charging appropriately!

I especially love the dalmation and hydrant/hose/water. Very, very cute and creative!!

~ Sherri

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SugarBakerz Posted 8 Jul 2007 , 8:47pm
post #5 of 14

this is an amazing piece of art you created! Be proud of yourself, it is lovely! You definitely gave her a friend discount... I am bad about sticking to pricing too, but I have to learn because when shop opens and I am paying taxes I have to remember overhead and my family. I agree build your gallery too, but also give yourself some leeway, if they tell everyone what they paid for a great cake they will soon start expecting it. For instance last year while "building my cake gallery" I did every cake for my sister's family for free, and I mean every birthday for her, her DH her kids, anniversaries, school functions... evenctually I put the brakes on and said ok, costs at least please.... she stopped ordering anything from... are you ready for the funniest part of all.... she is LOADED, well her DH is.... but she would rather go to wally world than buy a cake from me because she refuses to spend money for a castle cake! What I am saying is, get what you are worth... next time, get at least $150 for that cake, but it better be more, you are worth it, it is great!

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shalderman Posted 8 Jul 2007 , 9:07pm
post #6 of 14

Yeah I know I WAY underpriced it - though I'm pretty sure it covered materials no problem (I used Walmart's $.78 cake mixes which are really good BTW icon_wink.gif ). Anyway I didn't realize how much I underpriced until I did the actual cake part. The accessories were a breeze!

I can't believe $125-150 though :O I never would have guessed that high. I was picturing more like $75-95. Guess I have lots to learn icon_smile.gif Like I said I've been telling people what the "normal" retail on cake like this is and then telling them the price I'll give them. I just did a 2 tier (8 & 10) cake for a friend for this weekend, fondant covered and a gumpaste top decor and charged her $55 but let her know it would have been close to $100 at least "normal". She realizes the cost of a good cake though at least. I plan to increase my prices gradually as I get better. I hope to have a "real" business some day icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for all your nice comments!

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guccigraham Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 11:56pm
post #7 of 14


Love the fire truck, really good job! Would like to make it this week for my 4 year old grandson's b-day. Tell me how did you make the ladder that is on top of the cake?

Muchly appreciated

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guccigraham Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 11:57pm
post #8 of 14

me again , also what did you use for the wheels, did you just use oreos and iced them, or put fondant over

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howsweet Posted 17 Aug 2013 , 12:38am
post #9 of 14

 That's really cute!  I'm sure you made the party boy a happy little fellow. You did an incredible job!


I would have charged $35 for the dog and fire hydrant. I usually charge something like $375-$450, but I would do it in fondant and include a custom base with a road and grass, etc. and I make a living doing cakes. One of the nice things about doing it in fondant is you don't have to color the icing and people don't really have to eat the red fondant.


Corners - practice. icon_biggrin.gif

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hbquikcomjamesl Posted 17 Aug 2013 , 4:02am
post #10 of 14

That would also be a good cake design for a 51st birthday of someone like me who grew up on Emergency. And yes, I'd agree that deep red BC is a pain in the butt (cf. the strawberries on my strawberry marble cake, never more than a deep pink!), though my inclination in a case like this, if I had a food-safe airbrush (with a food-safe supply of compressed air for it), would be to shoot the red, over maybe pink frosting.

At any rate, yes, you really did charge far too little for it.

And "SugarBakerz," there's an old saying: a miser is one who becomes rich by seeming poor, while an extravagant person is one who becomes poor by seeming rich.

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goodies lady Posted 8 Jan 2015 , 3:17am
post #11 of 14

Very nice job on this cake.  I am just starting to do sculpted cakes and love it. Keep up the good work and remember you are worth way more than what you charged for this one.

Goodies Lady

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2xMiMi Posted 8 Jan 2015 , 12:48pm
post #12 of 14

AGreat job and such a cute cake

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pj22 Posted 8 Jan 2015 , 12:57pm
post #13 of 14 you're the baker I lost the order to?! Just kidding!!! (I'm in VA) At those prices, it sure is a sweet deal for your friends! Yeah, just make sure to increase your prices, as your work is so neat!

For the 8/10 2- tier cake, the servings would be around 40-50, and with fondant and gum paste decor, I'd charge at least $5/serving, coming out to $250+... So even the $100 is pretty low.

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julia1812 Posted 8 Jan 2015 , 1:00pm
post #14 of 14

AWow, friend you have

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