Hi everyone! I just strated decorating cakes this year. This weekend I made a cake for an event that I held in my home. It was inspired by one I saw here (I LOVE CAKE CENTRAL). I thought it turned out great and it must have because I just got an order for that same cake just from someone seeing the picture (she wasn't even there). This is my first order. . .YEAH!!!!! But it was completely unexpected and I feel totally unprepared. How do I charge for a cake??? And this wasn't just a plain cake with decorations. It consisted of two - 2 layer, 8" square cakes, sculpted, and covered in fondant (3 different colors). In retrospect, I probably could have done it with 1- 8" cake and 1- 6" cake. It wasn't extremely difficult, but the fondant was a little more work. Please help me!!! I told her I would get back to her ASAP. Oh yeah, I make the cakes and the fondant from scratch, and I live in the Chicago area. It would take me a lot of time to break down exactly how much the materials cost for each cake. . .for example, I don't even know how much many cups of flour are in each bag. So, I'm just looking for the simplest way without selling myself short. Thank you!!!
Do some quick online research and find out how other bakers in your area are charging for fondant, and then price it around the same neighborhood as that. Don't worry about charging too much, because if you're in the same range overall she won't find a substantially lower price if she calls around. If she liked the cake and she wants it, she'll pay for it. I assume that Chicago is on the more expensive side, so I wouldn't plan on charging less than $4 a serving for fondant AT LEAST, and probably more depending on what the market is like. Especially since you're baking from scratch and you're putting that work into it.
costumeczar is right. Your area is in the 'high price' range so something along the lines of $4-5 a serving.
You mentioned it was scuplted......that is the high end of pricing; fondant also.
Base the $ of servings on how much cake you have to bake - like you said, 8" sqs so that's 32 servings.
32x5 = $160.
do you have a picture you can post of the cake?
Here's a pic of the cake. I based it of on one I saw here from saj_stuff, but I didn't use rounds because I couldn't figure out the best way to cut it, and I prefered the smooth look of the fondant. I also created a stencil and painted the logo on the cake. the carving wasn't that difficult, but it was the first time I tried it. Even the fondant worked well with me. So it wasn't that hard of a cake to make. But , you guys think I should definitely charge per serving?
I think the per-serving pricing tends to make the most sense for the customer, so I'd go that way. However, you should feel free to do a minimum charge if you think people will call and want a cake to serve ten people that will still take you four hours to do! I charge a base of $150 for some of my sculpted cakes because they take so long, and if it ends up being more than about 30 servings the price will go up from there. I tell people it's $5 a serving, with a minimum of 30, for instance. It doesn't matter to me if they only have 15 people coming to their party, the sculpted cakes take a while to do regardless, so I have to charge for them. If you prefer to do it for a flat fee, just make sure that you specify how big it will be when it's done so that the customer knows what she's getting.