Hey everyone, I'm a newbie/amateur cake maker, currently just making cakes for fun or for family and friends birthdays. I'm hoping to eventually get into the cake making business full time (maybe in a few years) so, aside from needing a lot more practice in the meantime, I'm trying to research into what my costs would be, my likely turnover etc.
I recently made an Alice in Wonderland "Mad Hatters Tea Party" cake (picture in "my photos") and wondered if someone could give me an idea of what sort of price I would charge for something like that? I apologise in advance for the poor photo quality and the fact that poor Alice lost her legs during transportation (obviously I would never give something like to a customer!) but if that hadn't happened and it was a professional cake, what sort of price would I be looking at? It was only a small cake (would serve 6-10 people depending on portion size) and I would say took me about 12-14 hours altogether, mainly on making the figures, as this was my first time making them.
It's hard to say because of the small size of the cake. The figure work alone is worth $150 - $200, depending where you are, but I don't know anyone that would want to pay that much for decorative work on a 10 serving cake.
That cake is really pretty, but the level of detail is generally something you'd reserve for a "hobby" cake (ie: you're doing it for free or your own pleasure), or a very large order for a corporate event, wedding, or quince, where they're paying $500+ anyway and have an expectation of paying a lot for a grand cake.
Thanks Kelley, much appreciated. I did realise I'd be unlikely to make such a small cake with so much detail on it (I only made it that small because there weren't many of us going to the party and then I got a bit carried away making all the figures!) but I probably should've said that, shouldn't I!! lol
Would you be able to give me an idea of what you think the smallest serving size should be for a cake with that much detail on? Or maybe where you would have scaled back the detail/done something differently etc? I really appreciate the feedback.
You could do it on any size cake, as long as your customer doesn't blink when you say, "and the hand-sculped figures will be an additional $200.
Generally you would find that level of detail on very upscale cakes where price is not an option, such as Ace of Cakes/Carlo's Bakery cakes, where the buyer is literally spending thousands of dollars for every single bell and whistle.
Also, you might want to consider competition cakes. Click here and scroll to the middle to see Earlene's comment about the level of detail on her cute "wildlife" competition cake - "Not one of my customers would be willing to pay for the level of detail on this little cake."
For a paying customer, you would probably want to simplify down to just one or maybe two figures, and eliminate the sculpted dishes and food. You can find different ways to portray these on a cake that aren't so time consuming.
You made a very cute cake - there's NOTHING wrong with that level of detail when you're doing it for your own pleasure, (ie: getting carried away ). Just be prepared for people to not be willing to pay you for the time it takes to do it. Don't get me wrong, those types of people are out there, but they are not your average customer.
Thanks Kelley, I totally understand what you're saying and it's great to get that sort of information from someone with actual experience of the business. Lots of things to keep in mind! Thanks again, much appreciated.