How Do You Charge For Party Cake Servings Vs. Wedding Cake Servings?

Business By bittersweety Updated 6 Jun 2014 , 4:48am by SystemMod1

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bittersweety Posted 12 Jan 2013 , 6:32pm
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hey all,


so i recently got my bakery's website up and running and i was updating the cakes section as far as serving sizes and cost goes...well, i always went by the rule that a cake is a cake and regardless of whether they are cutting it for wedding size servings or a party size servings (ie wedge slices) the cake istelf is the same size and therfore it will be the same amount per serving... but now i'm questioning... my rates start at $3.00 per serving.. but how do i justify selling a cake that would serve (for example) 50 people at a small wedding for $3.00 a serving compared to someone who wants the same size cake for 20 people at a birthday party...? the wedding people would cut it as wedding size servings and the party people would cut is as slices... i'm just a bit confused on this... what do you do to clarify to a customer the differnece between serving sizes, but also not to discriminate against the brides and end up charging them more just because they are getting more servings out of their cake bc they have to cut them smaller....? do i just base all cakes off of wedding size servings and say tough cookies for those who are going to be cutting big ole slices at a birthday party? uugghhh


does this all make sense?  i'm getting myself all confused...

29 replies
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AZCouture Posted 12 Jan 2013 , 6:45pm
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That's why a lot of us don't charge any differently. I treat every order the same, and don't use any other serving chart but one that is slightly more generous than Wilton. Cake for 50 for a wedding is priced the same as cake for 50 for a birthday. Now of course, each cake no matter what is priced according to the work involved, but the occasion the cake is for is *not* the determining factor for price.

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-K8memphis Posted 12 Jan 2013 , 6:53pm
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yes what AZ said plus if they want to serve a larger serving slice they order more of my pre-determined size servings


and you want to inform them on these sizing choices as a matter of fact part of the ordering process


some people have a dummy cake serving size portion so clients can get an idea visually at the consult


1x2x5 or 1x2x4 sounds small but looks plenty big enough on a plate

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javajammer Posted 12 Jan 2013 , 7:37pm
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AZCouture- Would you mind sharing the serving chart you use? Thanks:-)

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Dayti Posted 12 Jan 2013 , 9:14pm
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This is a serving chart created by Earlene Moore which gives slightly larger portions than Wilton:

Most people use either Wilton's or Earlene's (I use Earlene's). She has a whole bunch of useful info on her website, it's worth a browse.

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bittersweety Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 12:37am
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AThanks ladies! I decIded to switch to earlenes from wilton and that'll. give people a little bigger piece. if they don't want to pay $3 a serving for a 30 serving 10 inch cake simply simply bc they plan on cutting mammoth pieces...well tough

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AZCouture Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 12:51am
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It pretty much splits the difference between Earlene and Wiltons. Earlene's on it's own is too much cake for me.

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AZCouture Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 12:53am
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I can't direct you it cause it's something I created myself from one my friend gave me. I took it and tweaked it out to show every possible serving combination there is. It's a full page long, double columns. When someone asks for cake for 100, I can look at my chart and make several suggestions of tier amounts/sizes, etc.

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Chellescakes Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 3:11am
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Cake is cake , I don't care how many pieces it gets cut into , my serving size that I charge for is a one inch by two inch piece.  They can cut the cake into quarters if they like but it is still going to be charged by how many one inch by two inch pieces the cake yields. 

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Godot Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 9:07am
post #10 of 30

Cake is cake. We have one serving size and all our cakes start at the same per serving price.


Every single cake that leaves the shop has instructions on how to cut and store the cake, and a cuttting chart. Every single cake. Even those 8" round one layer cheapies with icing and sprinkles. We COA in every way imaginable - and a cutting chart helps. if they return an complain that the cake only served eight people then we can ask why they didn't cut according to the chart.

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javajammer Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 5:28pm
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Great idea Godot!

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leah_s Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 5:44pm
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AIf you have determined that $3 per serving per the W chart meets your income needs, then you MUST charge more per serving if you use Earlene's chart, or you'll be giving away free cake. Earlene has done many, many fine and outstanding things for the cake community, but that serving chart is a big disservice.

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Chabela Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 6:06pm
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Servings of 1"x2"x4 or 1"x2"x5" are a good piece for any occasion cake. The price always depend on the decoration you do on it. Make a sample of a cake serving in styrofoam cover with fondant, very nice and attractive to the sight and show it to your customers, so they can get an idea of the serving size. 

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nhbaker Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 6:40pm
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I've have used Earlene's chart from the start and yes, I tend to agree, that is a bit on the generous side, especially if the venue follows the wilton cutting guide to a "T".  However, I find the upside to that is that it always works great for party servings, no reconfiguring needed.  Plus, I use it as a selling point so when people are wavering on how much cake to order I tell them the chart I choose tends to be on the more generous side so they shouldn't worry about being short.  Yeah, I may be giving away a little extra cake but I'm fine with that and is what works best for me.


As far as serving price for occasional cakes vs. wedding cakes -- KEEP THEM THE SAME - you'll save yourself a lot of headaches.  When I first did up my website, I had them priced differently and you wouldn't believe how people tried to weasel around things -- had people actually book a wedding cake consult and then show up and say we're just going to order an occasional cake for their wedding because it was cheaper!  I also had several people that wanted me to explain the difference between a wedding cake and an occasional cake and why they're less expensive, blah, blah, blah.  So it didn't take me long to change the pricing on my website.  Ultimately, the final price is up to you as far as your custom occasional cakes but at least by listing a base per serving price, it'll keep the riff-raff from calling to order a custom cake for a Walmart price.   Make sense?  Here's how I have my occasional cake pricing listed on my website (you're welcome to use it if you'd like)


"Because occasional cakes are so individualized, it's almost impossible to have a set pricing structure. Basically, the per serving price is same as wedding cake prices (above) , however, additional charges for complex designs or design elements may be involved so it's best to call for an estimate".

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Annabakescakes Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 3:03am
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AI uses Earlene's for years, but switched a couple weeks ago. I wanted to try the "tiered caker" app from "calculated cakes" for my iPhone, but you can't use a custom chart, you have to do Wilton's. So I used a cylinder volume calculator and figured up the cubic inches of about 10 Cake sizes, divided by 8 (standard serving size of a cake 1x2x4=8 ) and low and behold, the Wilton chart was pretty much correct, while Earlene's went way over!

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komalali Posted 13 Mar 2014 , 1:57pm
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AI need to know about earlence cake guide that the serving are for two layer cakes? Im new in this business and I want to know if I do 6 layer cake or 8 layer cake thats 6" pan size, how will I know how many people does it serve.. ? Wilton chart shows layer and inches I could understand the lace points and difference between bride and groom cakes.. hello needed thanks.

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leah_s Posted 13 Mar 2014 , 5:47pm
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The standard tier is always 4" tall in these charts.  If you do tiers that are 6" tall, then you need to create your own serving chart, but if each serving is bigger, you must charge accordingly to make a profit.  


8" tall tiers are two 4" tiers of the same size, stacked, so you can use the standard charts.


You will be losing money by using Earlene's charts.  The Wilton charts are the industry standard and provide plenty of cake.

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komalali Posted 13 Mar 2014 , 5:51pm
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AOh...thank you so much, I ask people if cake is the only dessert at the party.. Cox I guess they need more cake if it's the only! I use Wilton as a guide .. never used earlence! Thanks once again for the help.

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BeesKnees578 Posted 13 Mar 2014 , 10:22pm
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I have recently started using Wilton's wedding size servings for both wedding and party, I was using the two different charts before.  I tend to make my cakes about 5" tall, so they are a little more generous than the 4" tall Wilton model.

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morganchampagne Posted 13 Mar 2014 , 10:49pm
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ASee...this is why I need to stop being a lazy bird and just make my own serving chart. My tiers are closer to 5" than 4 and I use Earlenes chart, my pricing structure has always been based on that. Huh.

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AZCouture Posted 13 Mar 2014 , 11:06pm
post #21 of 30

AMy chart is a little more generous than Wilton, but not as generous as Earlene's, it basically splits the difference. And it's wedding servings, I don't use party servings for anything. Tiers are about 5" tall, I've just never liked the sometimes squatty look of 4".

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ReneeFLL Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:20am
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AI charge the same basic price per serving regardless if it is for a wedding or some other party. The more complex the design the more money I charge.

I get annoyed when someone charges different prices for the same work. Dry cleaners do it and it ticks me off. A ladies blouse cost more for cleaning than a man's shirt. Makes no sense to me.

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CakeDiosa Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:43pm
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argentina Posted 29 May 2014 , 12:21am
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AHi, I am not sure this will help, but at the bakery I work for , the reason they charge per serving for a wedding cake is because wedding cakes are tiered and require supports , therefore they are more involved, they also need separator plates and thicker drums, all adding to the cost, as opposed to a single birthday cake that is only using a thin gold cardboard and no supports or drums and usually a simple decoration, we also make wedding cakes higher than regular birthday cakes. And we never use serving sizes to price birthday cakes. Maybe this gives you another perspective, hope it helps :smile:

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AZCouture Posted 29 May 2014 , 4:00am
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AWell of [B]course[/B] something that has more materials, more labor, more attention costs more. That's not anything anyone should be confused about. It's when that same tiered cake that's ordered for a birthday party, or some other celebration, is priced differently. And I don't know about you, but I do plenty of birthday cakes that cost a lot more than some of the wedding cakes I've made

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Minh Cakes Posted 29 May 2014 , 11:31pm
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AI make wedding cakes, but to me pricing per serving doesn't make any sense at all! Just because a cake is half the size, doesn't mean I have only half the work. I still have to take time to mix batter, bake, make fillings, level, torte, fill, crumb coat, color the icing, cover in fondant and wash up - no matter the size of the cake. Not to mention all the communication with client, shopping, planning etc.

I'm very interested to know your opinions on this, and how you account for that work when you price per serving. Thanks!

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morganchampagne Posted 30 May 2014 , 4:10am
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AI have to be honest and say I never really grasped the concept of "price by serving" either. My pricing is something like materials+labor+profit with consideration to market price of course.

I have a serving chart but it's really for me to determine how much cake I need to make. Not a pricing tool.

****I am not saying that pricing by serving is WRONG. Just a disclaimer

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SugaredSaffron Posted 30 May 2014 , 10:42am
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AWe don't charge by serving, and if we did it would make the cakes seem a lot more expensive then they actually are.

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indydebi Posted 5 Jun 2014 , 3:58pm
post #29 of 30

They can cut the dang thing in half for all I care and serve it to two people but my pricing was always based on the Wilton wedding serving chart.


Those who do not charge per serving really are .... they've just already done the math.  "This $100 cake serves 25." (which is $4/serving).  This $100 cake serves 50."  (Which is $2/serving).  Per-serving is just the total price broken down.  A price per serving gives the customer an idea of what they are going to spend.  ("A cake at $4/serving means for 100 people, I should plan to spend at least $400.")


Neither method is wrong.  I just preferred having the price-per-serving set so I didn't have to work up the cake price from scratch every single time.  Less work for me! :-)


But to answer the question in the title of this thread?  I never did charge two separate prices.  


I cannot imagine a conversation in which someone orders a 8" cake and is told "$90". Then client says,"Oh it's a party cake" so the baker says, "Oh, in that case the price is $60." icon_confused.gif

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SystemMod1 Posted 6 Jun 2014 , 4:48am
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Thank you for your participation.

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