## Help With Charging For Ingredients Only

By 3LittleBeesCookies Updated 1 Aug 2010 , 3:32pm by 3LittleBeesCookies

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 5:50pm
post #1 of 20

Many of you have said in forums that you started out just charging friends and family for the cost of ingredients and not the labor involved in decorating cakes. I'm thinking of doing that, but am unsure of how to figure it all out. How did you figure it out when you had to use partial items--only four eggs from a dozen, for example? In that example, would you charge for the entire dozen that you purchased or just the cost of the four that you used? Don't mean to sound silly. I bake mostly from scratch and some of the amounts are small, such as a tsp or two of vanilla in the batter. Should I just not worry about those small amounts? I just want to make sure I am reimbursing myself correctly, especially since I won't be charging labor! Any insight is welcomed. Thanks, everybody!

19 replies
BecuzImAGurl Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 6:10pm
post #2 of 20

I dont even bother to count down to the exact cent. If something is let say dont cost much, I will just charge for the whole carton of eggs or if something is more expensive then charge half the price. I mean drive to the market uses up gas money right?

kansaslaura Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 6:18pm
post #3 of 20

It's really pretty simple.

Eggs-- let's say you paid \$1.20 per dozen, which would make them 10 cents per egg.

Flour-- weigh what the amount of flour in your recipe. What did your sack of flour cost you and what does it weigh? Easiest is to figure price per ounce and multiply.

Vanilla, Same thing. A small bottle of vanilla is more costly than you think. 2 Tablespoons = one ounce -- 1 tsp = 1/6 ounce. If you're buying small bottles of vanilla extract they're probably around 2 ounce bottles. Just divide--

It takes time, but once you break down the recipes, keep the figures in a notebook with prices paid so you can adjust if prices fluctuate.

These figures are a must know to keep track of expenses. Without them you have no idea of profit vs loss.

Another thing to consider is power usage, etc. Yes, you can figure that out--and it does add up.

tinygoose Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 6:29pm
post #4 of 20

I would give them the shopping list, and have them deliver it to your house. No gas. If they want the leftovers back, save it for them. I mean if they are getting the cake for free, why can't they can do the running to the store and spend time shopping, etc.

It doesn't matter if you have vanilla in your house (don't use yours) if you are making them a cake and need 3 tbp of vanilla, tell them you need 1 1/2 oz of vanilla.

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 8:36pm
post #5 of 20

Thanks. Great tips!

matthewkyrankelly Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 8:53pm
post #6 of 20

Personally, I would charge partially for thing that I use anyway (eggs, vanilla, flour etc). And charge fully for items that I don't use(pans, obscure ingredients, one time only purchases).

kansaslaura Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 10:39pm
post #7 of 20

I don't think equipment, pans, mixers, "hardware" if you willl should be considered an ingredient.

The only way I'd charge for a pan is if the individual wanted it in a disposable pan or they wanted to keep the pan you used.

Now box, yes I'd charge for the box the cake was going in if the deal was paying for ingredients only. The cost of my boxes are figured into the cost of my cakes, I treat it as an ingredient.

elvisb Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 10:55pm
post #8 of 20

I figure out what the cost is and round up to the nearest dollar. Then it's a nice easy figure and then I'm kind of getting paid for electricity, water, etc, that you can't really measure.

tigerhawk83 Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 1:01am
post #9 of 20

Somebody on this site posted an excel spreadsheet for this exact purpose - I think it was called "home and hobby matrix" - she designed it so that you filled in your supply costs and it calculated your expenses but unlike "Alice's matrix" which you'll see in the business forum, it doesn't assume labor costs, profits, rent expenses, etc. You might try searching for it here on CC.

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 2:18am
post #10 of 20

Great!! I am going to search for that matrix. I probably wouldn't charge for the pans, unless they wanted a shaped pan that I don't have like a character cake.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 2:44am
post #11 of 20

Just keep in mind that copyright law prohibits you from collecting ANY amount of money for character cakes. Unless you've gotten permission or paid royalties (bought a Decopac kit or edible image). Those pans are included with that. The Wilton character pans are for home use only.

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 4:26am
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Just keep in mind that copyright law prohibits you from collecting ANY amount of money for character cakes. Unless you've gotten permission or paid royalties (bought a Decopac kit or edible image). Those pans are included with that. The Wilton character pans are for home use only.

Love your avatar, btw. Does that include cakes done for family? What about the character pans that aren't licensed characters, like the teddy bear and train pans? Just curious. Thanks!

bonniebakes Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 4:20pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3LittleBeesCookies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Just keep in mind that copyright law prohibits you from collecting ANY amount of money for character cakes. Unless you've gotten permission or paid royalties (bought a Decopac kit or edible image). Those pans are included with that. The Wilton character pans are for home use only.

Love your avatar, btw. Does that include cakes done for family? What about the character pans that aren't licensed characters, like the teddy bear and train pans? Just curious. Thanks!

Yes, it does include cakes done for family, if you are accepting payment. When purchasing the character pans you are, in essence purchasing a limited use "license" to make cakes in that shape for home use only - no selling.

The teddy bear and train are generic shapes, not recognizable licensed characters, at least not to my knowledge, and therefore can be reproduced for sale. However, if you can't legally bake from your home in your area, then accepting any form of payment - even from family - and even if it's just reimbursement for ingredient costs - is not legal... for any baked goods.

Unfortunately that's the situation I'm in... baking from home kitchens is not allowed in my County unless I have a separate, licensed kitchen (which I don't).

sweettreat101 Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 7:54pm
post #14 of 20

I have done both. Have them pickup the ingredients and bring them to me or purchase them myself and have them pay me back. The eggs are easy to figure out as someone had mentioned. For the vanilla and oil I usually add either .25 to .50 depending on how many layers I am baking. It they are not paying labor for their cakes then you should be able to keep the extra ingredients anyways. I even made a friend buy her own oil and vanilla she didn't mind at all.

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 5:42pm
post #15 of 20

Thanks, again. Have located the baking Matrix. LOL. I feel like I am Keanu Reaves.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 7:14pm
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3LittleBeesCookies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Just keep in mind that copyright law prohibits you from collecting ANY amount of money for character cakes. Unless you've gotten permission or paid royalties (bought a Decopac kit or edible image). Those pans are included with that. The Wilton character pans are for home use only.

Love your avatar, btw. Does that include cakes done for family? What about the character pans that aren't licensed characters, like the teddy bear and train pans? Just curious. Thanks!

Wilton's licensed cake pans are stamped for 'home use only' on the pan. There are a couple other pans that I know of that aren't your standard characters (Pooh, Mickey, Tinker Bell...) that are stamped for how use one. One is the flower power pan. I am pretty sure there is another but I can't think of it.

Copyrights also extend past the use of the pans, you can't recreate those images in any way out of buttercream, royal icing, fondant, home made edible images and so on.

As far as the question about charging for supplies, I would only charge what is used for the cake, unless it is an item that you had to buy especially for the cake, such as a filling, and something that you probably wont be using on another cake soon. I also wouldnt charge for any cake pans or anything, unless it is an odd pan, because you get to keep them and use them later on.

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 6:19pm
post #17 of 20

Thanks, Texas Sugar. You are always so sweet in the forums. I guess it's the name.

TexasSugar Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 6:28pm
post #18 of 20

Aww Thank you.

cakeprof Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 6:57pm
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Just keep in mind that copyright law prohibits you from collecting ANY amount of money for character cakes. Unless you've gotten permission or paid royalties (bought a Decopac kit or edible image). Those pans are included with that. The Wilton character pans are for home use only.

This is technically incorrect. The effect of copyright law is not prohibit you from collecting money for character pans. This implies that if you make a character pan or use copyrighted characters and if you do it for cost or for free there is no infringement. Copyright infringement is not based on the receipt of profit.

Copyright protects material from being infringed upon--that infringement is not based on profit but on the reproduction of the protected material.
The production of a character on a cake or in the form of a cake violates the copyright hence the holder of that copyright can pursue legal action claiming that holder suffered damages from the infringement (no profit is required). Profits are relevant in terms the infringer would be liable for.

Now realistically only the most vindicative copyright holder would go after someone who is not profiting from an infringement but they could. But it is important to know that giving away a character cake to a friend does not protect you from legal action. They are licensed for home use only not for distribution in any form.

3LittleBeesCookies Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 3:32pm
post #20 of 20

now, that just scared the bejeezus out of me. but, i don't *think* i will have too many character cakes.

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