Pricing & Size For Sculpted Cake

Business By MavericksMommy Updated 12 Apr 2008 , 11:30pm by MavericksMommy

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MavericksMommy Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 3:52pm
post #1 of 8

I know everybody is always asking how to price things, and I apologize for asking yet another pricing question- I am very new to this price thing and the last time I guessed (the only other cake I sold) I posted what charged and everyone said I undercharged by about 1/2.
I am going to be sculpting a Lightning McQueen cake from 2 8" round layers and I thought I'd do a 1/2 sheet cake underneat for a road. This is for 25-30 people (some children). I have a couple of questions:
1) Is the extra 1/2 sheet too much cake for this amount of people?
2) what should I charge? I have no idea when it comes to pricing carved (and MMF) cake.
This is for a co-worker/friend to take to her Nephew's party but her sister is paying for it.
Thanks for any insight you can give me!

7 replies
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tiptop57 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:29pm
post #2 of 8

May I ask.....

You are offering cakes without testing them, timing them or costing out the product? Am I correct in my assumption? Because you are rather new your not sure the size of the cake and how many it will serve, correct?

You're in a pickle. I have some assertive lessons I developed and follow and this would break my rule number four. icon_sad.gif

#4) When you perfect a new design or flavor combo then price it out and add it to your product list. (I'm going to add that after you have been doing this awhile, you will get a better feel for the cost, timing and servings of your product with your new designs and you can forego this practice from time to time.)

So until then, you might want to get a body of work together then offer those styles or similar for sale.

I know my answer didn't help you at the moment but it did bump your question back up and someone else might be able to help you better. icon_smile.gif

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costumeczar Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 5:41pm
post #3 of 8

If you're brand-new at pricing, and you're not sure about the per-serving thing (since it sounds like you'll be making more cake than they'll need) you could do it by your time. Figure out the cost of your ingredients as your base price, then estimate how long it will take you to shop for ingredients, prepare, bake, decorate and clean up. Then decide how much you'd want to be paid by the hour and figure your "wages" for the cake, and add it to the base price. You'll probably find out that it's more than you'd think to charge off the top of your head, but if you think of it in terms of your hourly wage it's easier to stay firm on pricing.

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MavericksMommy Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 8:05pm
post #4 of 8

Thanks for the replies!

TipTop57, I guess I've always approached cake decorating the "Duff" way. I like know my limitations, but I try to challenge myself- that's part of the excitement. I first think about a design and work it out in my head and then execute it when the time comes. I've done several sculpted cakes before and have a firm idea how to do the car cake, I guess I just don't really worry about it, if it doesn't work one way I'll try another. I never thought of doing a set of designs with pre-set prices, I've always just done them as custom cakes. Your idea is an interesting way of doing it though.

CostumeCzar, Since I've already said I'll do this particular cake, I like your idea of figuring out my materials and then estimating my time, I bet it will be more than a number off the top of my head.

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Mac Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 12:55pm
post #5 of 8

The Cake Boss is an EXCELLENT tool to use to figure your cake prices.
CC members get a 10% discount.

Kellym from CC developed it...I love it.

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mamacc Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 1:35pm
post #6 of 8

Pretty much all my cakes are custom made for the client. I don't have the time to "practice" anything...I already spend a LOT of time on each cake as it is. Basically I charge a minimum of $100 for each sculpted cake, and then add on to that depending on how complicated the cake is. If you haven't done many cakes you may want to practice a little though...icon_smile.gif Plus, I didn't charge as much when I first started doing cakes.

I'm actually doing a radiator springs style lightning mcqueen cake in early May. I'm just doing the car, no sheet cake and it's for about 25 people.

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TheButterWench Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 6:26pm
post #7 of 8

After much reading I've figured out that sculpted cakes make 20 to 25 % less servings than a similar sized regular cake,

but I've been pricing them 20- 25% higher.

Because of the work. That's the base price for my simple pieces.

They can actually go up from there and my base prices starts at about $50.00.

So to make simple lumps and bumps on my smallest cake the price will be $62.50 ( for 8" and smaller and the 1/8th of a sheet)

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MavericksMommy Posted 12 Apr 2008 , 11:30pm
post #8 of 8

Thanks everybody for the input. I ended up charging her $75 since I'm still new to carving and she's also a friend. That way I can cover my expenses (I estimate them to be about $50) and have a little for my time and effort.
I finished the cake today and am very happy with it- but boy was it time consuming! I had premade and tinted my MMF, made the tires, & then baked my cake last night and made the buttercream and details today- along with carving and putting it all together. It took me 7 hours just to carve and decorate! I hope I get faster at this! Anyway, I have put the picture in my photos.
Thanks again everyone!

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