Question About A Price Of A Plain Wedding Cake

Decorating By nanni Updated 4 Feb 2005 , 5:35am by SquirrellyCakes

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nanni Posted 14 Jan 2005 , 11:37pm
post #1 of 10

I was approached at work by a lady who wants a wedding cake for her stepdaughter in May-only thing she wants is strawberry with white icing-no tiers, no fancy borders, no design (later stated maybe initials in Lavender thats all). They are going to put the flowers and a topper on it at the reception site-usually wedding cakes go for about $1.50-$2.00 per person (this will be for 150 people)-I feel guilty charging that much for actually a nothing cake-what do you think??

9 replies
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awela Posted 15 Jan 2005 , 3:32am
post #2 of 10

Cakes prices depend on the area that you live. But for a wedding cake you should not charge less than $2.50 per serving. Good luck. thumbs_up.gif

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nanni Posted 15 Jan 2005 , 4:17am
post #3 of 10

thanks-I just feel guilty since there will be nothing special about it on my end other than baking and icing it. I really hate doing such a plain cake anyway=not used to doing anything plain anymore-gave those days up after taking classes a few years ago, but I have not done very many wedding cakes and the ones I have done have had designs on them-enough to warrant the price but this seems odd to me.

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trisha1972 Posted 16 Jan 2005 , 3:28pm
post #4 of 10

She wants it "plain" do it plain, and charge your basic price. I have one in April that is that way. They want three free standing cakes with four roses in the middle of each and garlands. I'm charging my most basic price.

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Godiva Posted 17 Jan 2005 , 4:02pm
post #5 of 10

And dont' forget that you still need to factor in your costs and time/labor.
How much to you pay yourself the hour? How much do the ingredients cost you? Cake flour isn't cheap, and last I checked, butter isn't either.
Plus you'll spend in average 5 to 6 hours working on it, beginning to end...
Plus the electric bill, the gas (if you use)...You should not be cheaper than the bakery...

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debbieann Posted 1 Feb 2005 , 1:51am
post #6 of 10

my sheet cakes are price at $33.00 with your photo on it and without a photo is $26.00. I also make character cakes of all types and they are $30.00 so what do you think of my prices. If you think my prices are too high let my heard whom ever has an suggestion what I should charge.
Other prices are: 11x15 price at 60.00 and 12x18 price at price at $77.00 and for an extra layer for an 9x13 is 15.00, 11x15 - 20.00 and 12x18 - 25.00.PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHTS ARE. [email protected]

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briansbaker Posted 1 Feb 2005 , 3:29am
post #7 of 10

P.S. I believe cali4dawn has a contract on cakes too. I hope she don't mind that I brought her name up. icon_biggrin.gif But I do believe she was allowing us to email her for a sample contract.. I also believe that she is the one that said a cake is a cake period. wedding or not!
I found this in the cake disaster forum..

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:47 pm


This is why I get all money in advance and have a contract stating I am not responsible for acts of God. This includes non-wedding cakes. I don't know understand why so many decorators only have contracts for weddings. A cake is cake... period.

Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:36 pm

Anyone is welcome to email me at [email protected] for a copy of my contracts (I have 2).

I believe in cali4dawn, she is a very helpful person.. She has good spirits with everyone here new or old to the baking world. Thanks cali4dawn thumbs_up.gif

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GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 1 Feb 2005 , 3:55am
post #8 of 10

Well, OK... I hope I don't fall off the pedestal you just placed me on. icon_wink.gif Thank you so much for such a sweet and sincere vote of confidence!!

Yes, it was me. A cake is a cake. Actually, the less decorating a cake has on it the harder it is to produce. Think about it this way: You will be adding NOTHING to cover flaws. icon_cry.gif It has to be perfectly smooth. Perfectly level, the whole nine yards. Charge what you charge and stop feeling guilty.... right now!!! That's an order! icon_confused.gif icon_razz.gif

If you want a copy of my pricing matrix or contracts I'll be glad to send it to you. This way you will feel better about charging the correct amount for your area since you will use your local food pricing in the matrix. Remember, I need to know if you use word, excel or works on your computer for any of these items.

[email protected]

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ihavasweet2th Posted 4 Feb 2005 , 1:31am
post #9 of 10

Hey Debbieann!

I think I'm going to move to where you live!! I guess instead of asking are your prices too high I would ask if you have people willing to pay the price you are asking. If you do and your busy with what orders you get then I say go for it!! I haven't done character cakes for a few years now mainly I just do weddings, graduations, anniversaries, just big celebrations, but when I did do character cakes I got $12-$15 for them. I usually do 12x18 sheet cakes and just raised my price from $25 to $30 about a month ago. I say if you have customers willing to give what you are asking then I wouldn't question it! If I may ask what part of the country do you live in and do you live in a big city?


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SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Feb 2005 , 5:35am
post #10 of 10

I agree that you really do have to take into consideration what the prices are in your area. This is what I always tell folks, check out the better bakeries in your area, also check out the prices of grocery or "Big Box" type cakes. Search the Internet and see what the average prices of people advertising in your area is. Figure out your costs. Compare the product you are offering to a product of a similar quality. Similar quality isn't usually what you find at a grocery store counter or a BIg Box store. Are you doing cakes from scratch, well then generally the price is a lot higher. Are you doing doctored up cake mixes, well that price is higher. Are you doing cake mixes as per the package, well that price is going to be similar but still higher. Because you are baking fresh, you are baking according to the customer's wishes, you are taking longer to decorate. Generally your costs are going to be higher. If you are doing a custom made cake - that is a design or transfer or something that isn't available through a local bakery, well your price should reflect that. After all you are going to be spending a lot of time designing that cake. The time you spend is being taken away from the time you could be making other orders up, so that is also a factor. For example a large wedding cake. Say you need one day to bake, one day to make up icing, one day to decorate. Then you need a few days or even weeks to make up gumpaste or fondant flowers. Well that time takes away from you doing other orders, so that is a factor.
I think that for many areas the price of somewhere around $30 is pretty average for a character cake. Grocery stores here charge around that. Personally I would charge about $35. I haven't seen a character cake for $15 in more than 10 years. My prices for sheet cakes would be lower than the higher ones you are stating, but much higher than the lower ones. A lot of it depends on what decorations will be on it, the kind of cake and filling and icing too. I make my cakes from scratch and use butter and cream and real chocolate etc.
The bottom line is that you have to be happy with your prices. If you are trying to undercut or price similarly to a grocery store, well your prices are too low. But if you are in the ballpark of a good bakery, you are probably in the right price range - higher for custom of course.
The thing is, if you charge too little, well you will have lots of customers, but you will have to work that much harder to make any kind of income. Plus, when you go to raise your prices to a more realistic one, well you are going to lose customers - guaranteed! They will accept a modest price increase but not a drastic one. Say you sell one cake to a customer for $15 but you end up with 10 more customers and you try to raise your price to a more realistic $30, well they are going to feel cheated.
That is why I say be sure you are happy with your prices because you won't be looking at a huge increase for awhile.
I have to agree that those wedding cake prices seem awfully low almost anywhere you could live. Haven't seen prices below $2.50 a slice and in most places, $3.50 per slice is the minimum. I cannot make a character cake for $15 cost, even if I used a cake mix as per the package, all shortening icing. The cost of the board and the box would finish me and I would be making it at a loss.
Interesting topic as always, though isn't it?
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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