Help! Cake Pricing Question!

Decorating By EstherLee Updated 7 Feb 2012 , 6:45pm by Nellical

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EstherLee Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 3:41pm
post #1 of 8

HI Everyone,

I just got an email asking for this:

I want a Suitcase cake for my travel themed bridal shower april 01 2012

Feeding about 50 people
-maybe 3 images with eiffel tower, rome, and greece
-writing: May your life together be one great adventure

Can anyone help me with pricing for this? I know it all depends on the recipe but even a ball park figure would help and then I can calculate my recipe costs more precisely to fit closely enough.

Thank you!

7 replies
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TexasSugar Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 8

You figure the cost of your ingredients and supplies.

What your time is worth, and about how much time it would take you.

And how much profit you want to make.

Honestly even a balk park form 10 different people that tell you 10 different things won't really help ya out, since you need to charge enough to cover what it costs you to make the cake and what your time is worth.

There are way to many varibles out there for people to price other people's cakes. Baking from scratch, cake mixes or docotored cake mixes costs differently. Buying premuim ingredients, shopping at the grocery store or buying bulk costs different amounts. Buttercream vs homemade vs store bought fillings cost different amounts. Buttercream vs buttercream and fondant vs ganche and fondant cost different amounts.

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leah_s Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 4:43pm
post #3 of 8

I totally agree with Sugar. MY price has little bearing on YOUR price.

However, since you asked, if I got that order it would be $260, delivered.

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EstherLee Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 4:46pm
post #4 of 8

Thanks for the tips on pricing ladies. I'll keep that all in mind.


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sillywabbitz Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 5:20pm
post #5 of 8

Esther, if you're going to be doing a lot of orders etc you should really look into the Cake Boss software. It will help you clarify your pricing! It's awesome. I had a hard time defending my pricing prior to getting the software but now I know how much the actual cake is costing me,down to the box and the boards and how much I pay mysefl in time. The software I think is $150 but there is a cakecentral discount. It's a one time fee and free support and the staff is AWESOME. It's the best investment I made in my very small baking business. FYI, it also tracks your invoices, recipes, and makes shopping lists for you! I can't say enough about how much it has improved the management side of my business.

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kristiemarie Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 7:41pm
post #6 of 8

If you don't want to spend the money on the software yet (you're just starting or it's just a side line gig for example) you can make yourself a pricing matrix. Basically, you use Excel to list out EVERYTHING you use for your cake.

I am just looking at getting started with my business but I've worked out my pricing matrix to almost exactly where I want it so when I DO start, I can just plug and quote.

What I did was make an excel sheet for each item I wanted to know the cost of.

One is cake ingredients done from scratch. (Using box would be slightly different as you can't really half or quarter it.)
I figured out ahead of time:
--how much 1 batch (cake) equals in cups and how much each batch costs you
--how many cups each cake will require by size (6" or 8" 2 layer)
--add all of the cakes together to get my final cup total
--divide by the number of cups in 1 batch and you get your total number of batches needed to complete the order

That will give you your total ingredient cost.

Make sense?

If you do it all by formula ahead of time, basically when you go to input your order you plug in some numbers and get your total in minutes.

You can do this with anything that requires ingredients.

Your time, well, you have to decide what you want to be worth per hour. Or if you want to charge just by the hour or by the design AND the hour (meaning you charge for fondant figures as well as charge a base per hour)

List any supplies you used; cake boards, dowels, support...whatever...and each cost associated with those.

Then I just list the total cost on a final sheet and add all the things together. If you want a markup, which I believe is normally from 15-30%, you just add that on to the end. To get your cost per slice, you just divide the number of servings by your total. This can also be useful for creating your invoice.

I hope this didn't muck things all up for you. icon_biggrin.gif

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Shannon1129 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 2:49pm
post #7 of 8

I made a recent suitcase cake (I THINK it's in my photos) and we charged $220 not delivered. I know sometimes it's nice to know at least in what ballpark to start quoting from! The best of luck!

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Nellical Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 6:45pm
post #8 of 8

We did a LV suitcase several months ago with 5 travel stickers, a luggage tag, LV logos printed all over it. $400 delivered. It was 11"x15" I still would have charged the same for a smaller cake because t took about 10 hours to decorate it.

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