Just Curious...what Would You Charge For This Cake?

Decorating By tinygoose Updated 28 Sep 2008 , 4:11am by sari66

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tinygoose Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:15am
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Hi all,
I originally did this cake for a relative as a family favor and charged her $100 which didn't even cover my cost for it (once you factor in the babysitter), but like I said she was family. I am now getting requests for it, and thought I would run it up the old CC flagpole and see what you guys thought. I have a number in mind, but was hoping for a general consensus.

What would you charge for this one? It cost me about $50 in materials, and takes approx. 15 hours of labor if it goes right in the first try. I make 2 gumpaste plates and handles in case one breaks because they take 4-5 days to dry and there is no time to redo it if it breaks. The brush embroidery is very labor intensive to do. This one is done in 3 colors: white, green, and lavendar then dryed and portions are gilded in gold luster dust. The cake is made from scratch and torted with SMBC, all quality stuff. I live in Northern California. Thank you guys, I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Here's the cake and plate.



6 replies
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vanillabean Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 2:20am
post #2 of 7

Goodness, how pretty that is! So delicate and sweet. How big is it?

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linstead Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 2:43am
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Wow icon_surprised.gif don't know how much to charge but I did save the photo to my favs. That is gorgeous. How large is it and what size pan did you use?

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kakeladi Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 3:53am
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Not a penny less than $150. I don't know the size of the cake so it's hard to judge; just that you have $50 in supplies/ingredients.....I can just tell it is **WORK!** icon_smile.gif

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tinygoose Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 4:32pm
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The cake uses one batch of my scratch cake which serves about 20 wedding cake slices. I used the large doll pan and carved it a bit. I don't think you would really buy this cake on a per slice basis. If additional cake is needed an undecorated cake can always be added or thrown in. I think the value of this cake is more its wow factor, uniqueness, and labor involved. I ended up telling telling my friend I'd do it for $350 which after materials, ingrediants, and paying the babysitter (they get $10-$15 per hour in this neck of the woods!) I think makes me something like $10-12 per hour. Thanks for the nice comments and your imput, I do appreciate it.

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tinygoose Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 5:41pm
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Wow, I just got the nicest message from my friend who requested a quote on the TeaCup cake that I have to share it.....

First, here is my reply to her Teacup price request...sorry this is soooo long.

Hi Job,
Thanks for the nice comments. I always dread answering the "how much are your cakes question?" Ok, so hear goes..... If you were Joe Schmoe (sp) off the street I would tell you $550-$650 depending on if you wanted a different type of flower, # of colors, etc.

Ok, have you picked yourself up off the floor...? I know it seems like an outrageous amount for a cake, but it's not really just a cake. The main thing with this cake, as with many of my cakes, is that they are very labor intensive. To recreate this cake it would take at least 15+ hours and that is if everything goes right the first time, which if something can go wrong....you know. The one in the picture took waaay longer if you count design and practice time--add two weeks here.

The plate & handle are made of gumpaste, I make two in case one breaks. They take 4-5 days to dry before you can handle them enough to decorate.

The cake itself is from scratch of course, carved, torted & covered in swiss buttercream, and then covered in fondant. The flowers are made from piped royal icing in white and lavendar, with green leaves. They are piped two petals at a time! Then brushed with a perfectly dampen paintbrush, too wet and they smush to dry they drag. Then you the next two petals, etc, alternating colors for each layer. There are about 3-4 layers and 15 or so petals per flower. The leaves are also brushed.

The gold edge is the same technique only a different piping tip, done in white royal icing, dryed, and painted with several layers of gold luster dust. There is a base under the plate that is 1/2" thick cakeboard and is covered in fondant colored to match. Then some of the leaves and flowers are highlighted with additional color, then the whole thing is dusted with pearl luster dust.

Anyway, to answer your question. For you, I would do this cake for $350. I know this is still probably way more than you were thinking. I try to explain to people where this pricing comes from, most people have no idea what is involved in creating something like this. Love,

Here is my friends response....I thought it was so sweet of her, and I feel truely blessed in the friend department right now.
While I appreciate the explanation. I understand, as perhaps many other people do not, what goes into these cakes. (Remember I do have a lot to do with Weddings and parties and cakes with the catering and the wedding photography with Heather.) So I am not surprised by your quotes. That said I am honored, flattered and thrilled that you would give me such a discount and I thank you for that tremendously. As I said, no idea when I will be asking you for this, I was thinking a milestone like 50th birthday (3 years away.) or maybe 25th sobriety (no idea on this one, she may have even passed this already) but I of course will keep you posted. I will also, if it's ok with you, show you off to Maryellen and ask her to recommend you to her clients. You are very talented! I know we say it all the time, one day we will actually follow through - we must get together to visit soon.
Love you,

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sari66 Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 4:11am
post #7 of 7

Beautiful cake and what a great friend!

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