Cake Pricing

Decorating By jwhiting12 Updated 25 Jul 2012 , 5:01pm by pmarks0

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jwhiting12 Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 1:06am
post #1 of 7

I am pretty new to selling the cakes I decorate and I am horrible at figuring out pricing, especially for people I know. A friend of my moms' wants a 3 tier buttercream cake plus a smash cake for her granddaughter's first birthday. There will be 2 fondant/gumpaste bows and several fondant accents. My mom wanted to tell her it would be $60...I laughed at her, but when I told her it might be closer to the $100+ range she looked at me like I had 3 heads. Oh and I'm also delivering it 45 miles away. Any advice would be so appreciated!! Thank you!!

6 replies
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leah_s Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 1:31am
post #2 of 7

Well, to start with the delivery fee would be $90.

But other than that you haven't given us enough info to help you. How many servings? 3 tiers is a description but not really and indication of size.

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DancingCakes2008 Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 1:33am
post #3 of 7

I too have trouble with pricing, but I think you should go closer to the 150.00 mark plus charge for a delivery fee. If prices for supplies and gas in your area are the same as here then the $100 range MIGHT barely cover your cost. But at $60 you would be paying for most of the cake yourself.

Have your mom go shopping for supplies with you and she will quickly learn the cost of "just a cake".

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pmarks0 Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 2:24am
post #4 of 7

Ask your mom if she feels you should be working for free? Essentially she's saying your time isn't worth anything. But she's also basing her idea of pricing on grocery store pricing.

If you give us an idea of the sizes of the tiers, or the number of people that they want the cake to serve, then you can get a better idea of cost. For example ,if you're looking for 74 servings, that would be 6/8/10 round and for me, would be $222 at $3/serving for buttercream. If the fondant accents aren't too intricate and are few, I might not charge for them, but otherwise, could add an addition $20-30 depending on what kind of bows and how long they take. And as Leah has said, delivery costs for sure. I don't know how Leah does her calculations, but if it's per mile, I would be charging the total amount driving to get there and back. If you're making a 6" smash cake, that is equivalent to an additional 12 servings (even though it isn't being served) and using the same pricing model, would be an additional $36. So, the cake + smash cake, before fondant decor and delivery is $258,

I think your mother needs an education on what a custom cake actually costs. If you went with her pricing, as someone else has said, I don't think you'd even be covering your costs. Besides your cake ingredients, you've got fondant, gumpaste, cake circles, drum board, dowels, box(es) plus your labour and utilities.

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akaivyleaf Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 4:16pm
post #5 of 7

Even in a grocery store you won't get 3-tier anything plus an extra cake for 60 bux...

What sizes are the tiers, what flavors are the tiers, fondant covered or buttercream covered with fondant accents...

Then a delivery fee... 90 miles isn't around the corner.

I probably would be willing to provide the "smash cake" as a favor for a friend of the family, but a discount on my time, talent and expertise most likely wouldn't occur.

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jwhiting12 Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 4:52pm
post #6 of 7

Thanks ladies! I'm feeling much better about charging her what should be charged. The sizes are 10/8/6ish (sculpted, since I don't have a proper pan) plus the 6 in smash cake. It is supposed to be for 50 people. The fondant is not really a big deal at all so that part I'm not concerned with. I'm more concerned with the red and black buttercream that she wants lol.
I don't mind giving people a deal, mainly because I'm just starting out and the experience is worth more to me at this point but I'm not busting my butt for free.
I am definitely giving my mom a list of supplies with costs plus how long it took me from start to finish so she knows just how much these cakes are worth icon_smile.gif
Thanks again!

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pmarks0 Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 5:01pm
post #7 of 7

Good for you. Just be sure to charge for the number of servings in the cake you make, not the number of servings your customer wants. I'm assuming she asked you for a three tier which obviously feed more than 50 servings. Because you could make it a two tier and just take the 6" that would have made your third tier and use it for the smash cake, saving her some money.

As for the colours, you haven't said when the cake is for. You should colour your buttercream several days ahead as the colour will deepen over time. You don't have to have add a ton of colour necessarily to get the shade you want if you start early. Also, they also say to start with pink and then add the red, and start with brown and add black, I believe. Just be careful because too much colour will affect the taste.

If your customer wanted red and black fondant accents, instead of the buttercream coloured, I'd suggest buying the fondant. That's what I did when I had to do a which buttercream with red and black accents a couple of years ago. It's in my photos.

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