Hi, I'm new to cake central and don't know if this is the exact right place to post this question.
I need some advise on what to charge for a doll cake. It's for a 4th b-day and the mother will provide a real doll (Disney's Sleeping Beauty). She wants the dress on the cake to be the same as the dolls, sleeves, collar, colors and all! I'm planning on using fondant on the skirt and bodice. The doll cake will sit on top of a 12" round cake (or larger if necessary to get the right effect).
She also wants a batch (probably 20) of star shaped cookie pops decorated like wants as favors for the girls. I've never done cookies for any other customers, so I'm really at a loss with this!
Does anyone have any suggestions or advise on how to price this out? Also, any suggestions on decorating this cake?
Thanks in advance,
Welcome and yes, you have posted this question in the right place! Although others may disagree with the following, here is what I suggest. Take the cost of all of your ingredients and packaging (and I mean everything!) and times it by three and round it up if you choose. I think that is a fast, fair and easy way to come up with a price, you could always adjust if you want to! Your total costs may be higher or lower than someone living in a different area and that would be reflected in your price! Try it and see what you come up with! Happy baking, Missey
Hi there, I love doing these cakes and a number of years ago I figured out a way to make it easier and more stable. I have posted this on another site and thought it might come in handy for you.
Also, you may want to mention to the mother that the easiest way to cut up a Wondermold cake is to cut it lengthwise down the centre, then turn these two halves down horizontally so that the un-iced part is underneath, then slice in equal portions. Most people try to cut it like a normal cake and the slices are so high, they are awkward. Also, if you board the Wondermold cake the way I have suggested, it makes it easier to serve and you will get enough portions for 20 or more.
Regardless of whether you cover it in fondant or buttercream, remember to place little ropes or strips or strings of icing in several places down the skirt so that when you ice or put fondant over them, you will get the folds hanging in the skirt for a more natural look.
The Wondermold isn't deep enough on its own for a Barbie cake, so you need an extra layer or two of cake underneath so that Barbie can go inside the cake and the cake starts at her waist. I use petal pans. A 9 inch and sometimes a larger one - up to the 15 inch size. Of course you can do it with the round or even place the Wondermold - on a dowelled sheet cake.
First of all, the top of the extra layer or layers of cake has to be iced. Also fill if you are using more than one layer as your bottom cake that the Wondermold will sit on.
I found a great way of keeping Barbie clean and also coring the cake and keeping her enclosed and stable. An empty paper towel roll - well two actually. You are best off boarding the Wondermold and also using a strong cake base for the whole cake. So you mark the centre of the underneath of the double covered boards that the Wondermold will sit on, I places them covered sides out and glue gun the two together. Then I cut a hole large enough for a paper towel inner tube to fit throughthe centre. So you work the paper towel cardboard roll straight up through the bottom or underneath side of the boarded Wondermold cake and then remove. This will core your cake. Alternately, you can just fill with icing between the Wondermold cake and the additional layer, no boards and core from the top down. I have found that this works well, undowelled too. It just makes the cakes slices a little more awkward because of the height of them. Ok, so if you boarded the Wondermold, and now you have cored it, you also need to core the layer cake this is sitting on. So you centre a board the same size as the boarded cake on the lower cake and mark off the centre of the lower cake, then core the centre again using the paper towel roll. You will want to put 5 dowels in the centre of the marked area on the lower cake around the cored hole. Place some icing sugar in the area where the Wondermold will sit on the lower cake. So now you place the cored Wondermold cake over the dowelled lower cake and line up the holes. So now you are going to take a fresh paper towel inner cardboard tube. Insert Barbie so that the tube starts at her waist - it is a tight fit - Barbie's hip's will make it a really tight fit. So you check to see if the paper towel roll when inserted with the Barbie, will be too long for the height of your lower cake and the Wondermold combined, and you slice off the correct amount from the bottom of the paper towel roll. Now cover the roll with foil or plastic wrap and reinsert the Barbie up to her waist. If the height of your combined lower levels and the Wondermold, will be much more than the enclosed Barbie in the paper towel roll, then you will want to also place a dowel inside of the enclosed Barbie/roll so that you have a centre dowel that goes though all of the layers to the bottom . Otherwise the Barbie in the roll acts as your centre dowel. So now you are ready to decorate.
I tranport these doll cakes using a moving box. I cut the front flap all the way down. Then I completely line the box with foil and tape it well. I line the bottom with that rubbery shelf liner that stops any movement - I get it from the Dollar Store. You can cut off the top flaps if the box is high enough to enclose Barbie or tape them all up in a vertical position. So you tape the front flap back in place. Then I take another piece of foil and tape it in place over the top of the opened box. When deliverd, a utility knife is used to cut the front flap that was taped, open.
The cost of the cake really depends on where you live. I charge by the serving and for a cake like this, I'd charge $1.50/serving but I don't use fondant on mine. I also haven't done one that sounds as detailed as the one you're doing. You might want to up the price to cover the extra cost of fondant and decorating.
When I do doll cakes, I bake two cakes, one in a pyrex bowl and one in a ring mold. They are the same diameter so they stack nicely. I wrap the doll's hair (keeps it out of the way when decorating) and legs (waist down) in plastic wrap. Then I cut an X in the bowl cake and insert her all the way down and through the hole in the ring mold until her feet hit the board.
I've never done cookies for a customer before either. I have done cookie pops for holiday gifts though. I use the recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor. It holds up really well. The sticks never slip and the cookies don't break.
As far as decorating the cake goes, Wilton had a doll cake contest a few years back. I know it always helps me to look at what others have done.
WOW! What a lot of help you all are. So many good ideas and suggestions. Actually, some of the what's been mentioned I did think about, like wrapping the doll in plastic wrap or a paper towel core. But I didn't think about it in such detail! Pricing info helped too. I sort of use a cost++ method already, so it just confirms that I'm doing things sort of right. I've actually called some bakeries, described what I'm looking for as if I want to order a cake, just to get ideas on price in this area. I'm in NJ and I think pricing is somewhat moderate to higher, but always want to be competative.
I'm actually a Wilton Method Instructor here in NJ, so I'm very familiar with the Wilton site and the doll contest. Just haven't done one this elaborate yet. Thanks for all the suggestions, it was a big help.