People Are Asking For Prices And I Am Stuck. Please Help!

Baking By BakedbyMommy Updated 2 days ago by -K8memphis

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BakedbyMommy Posted 1 week ago
post #1 of 34

So I've been practicing like crazy and giving my cakes and cupcakes to friends, neighbors, etc for feedback. It's been going extremely well too. I made my logo, facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BatterNBakedOfficial (which I invite everyone to please like) and my hubby is working on my website. 

I started working on pricing and a slow rate because I didn't think that I would ever get an order so quickly. Well, I was wrong. I have been getting really good reviews and lots of people have been tagging me on orders, etc. So now I am stuck.

I have a template and I know the average pricing, but I feel that once it's in writing, I can't take it back. 

Here in North Texas, 6" standard (2 cake, 1 icing) cakes start at about $35

and up

Cupcakes $20 and up (i've only found 1 person who charges $20. Everyone else starts at $25)

My plan was to charge no less than $2.75 to $3 per slice, but when I calculate everything, I feel like it gets too expensive. 

People Are Asking For Prices And I Am Stuck. Please Help!

I think charging $33 to $36 for a standard 6" is ok ...but then $55 for an 8" etc seems a lot???

Then I separated standard from taller cakes. I feel I should charge more for a 6" to 8" cake...but how much is too much?

All of these prices are me going back and forth with myself, nothing is written in stone yet. Any help is appreciated.

-Melinda

33 replies
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SandraSmiley Posted 1 week ago
post #2 of 34

Hi Melinda,

I can't tell you how much to charge, but I can tell you that I would not even consider these prices and I live in the sticks in middle Tennessee, not so different from North Texas.  If you start out selling at a reduced price, it will be near impossible to increase your prices to a more reasonable rate.

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BakedbyMommy Posted 1 week ago
post #3 of 34

@Sandra You think this is too low?? Omg, i thought it was too steep. 

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SandraSmiley Posted 1 week ago
post #4 of 34

Yes I do.  I charge a minimum of $4.00 per serving and more if it is an elaborately decorated cake.  You should probably have a minimum, say $50.00 for a simple 6" cake, so that it is worth your while to go in the kitchen. Remember, you cannot compete with Walmart on prices, so don't even try.  They cannot compete with you for quality, flavor and decorating, so it all works out.

Don't worry if people think you are too high.  There will always be a ton of people who think they should get a four tiered wedding cake covered with gum paste flowers and a modeling chocolate sculpture topper for $40.00.  You do not want them for a customer anyway.  Good customers come slowly, but they are worth the wait.

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BakedbyMommy Posted 1 week ago
post #5 of 34

@Sandra

Yes I do.  I charge a minimum of $4.00 per serving and more if it is an elaborately decorated cake.  You should probably have a minimum, say $50.00 for a simple 6" cake, so that it is worth your while to go in the kitchen. Remember, you cannot compete with Walmart on prices, so don't even try.  They cannot compete with you for quality, flavor and decorating, so it all works out.

Sandra, I don't know why, but I felt like hitting $4 was too much for an at home baker. I've paid $120 for a sheet cake before, without a problem. I guess I was only considering the cost of ingredients but not what I am worth and the cost of using things like electricity, buying cakes boxes, etc. 

Don't worry if people think you are too high.  There will always be a ton of people who think they should get a four tiered wedding cake covered with gum paste flowers and a modeling chocolate sculpture topper for $40.00.  You do not want them for a customer anyway.  Good customers come slowly, but they are worth the wait.

I agree. I sold a dozen of cheesecake cupcakes for $25 and I felt like it was too low. I don't want to have that feeling. I want to know that I charged a decent amount and kept in mind that this is my business, not Walmart. Thank you so much!

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SandraSmiley Posted 1 week ago
post #6 of 34

If you want to get serious about pricing, you need to carefully calculate your costs, all of your costs, including gas for delivery or picking up ingredients, use of electricity, etc. - everything, then decide how much you want to make on the project and add that amount to the cost of making the cake.  I don't have the patience to do all that because I do this for fun and only sell the occasional cake.  Even so, I ain't givin' it away, lol!

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SandraSmiley Posted 1 week ago
post #7 of 34

If you paid $120 for a sheet cake, then you already know that good cakes are not cheap (and cheap cakes are not good)!

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BakedbyMommy Posted 1 week ago
post #8 of 34

@sandra

If you want to get serious about pricing, you need to carefully calculate your costs, all of your costs, including gas for delivery or picking up ingredients, use of electricity, etc. - everything, then decide how much you want to make on the project and add that amount to the cost of making the cake.  I don't have the patience to do all that because I do this for fun and only sell the occasional cake.  Even so, I ain't givin' it away, lol!

I guess I was only looking at the ingredients and materials needed, not at anything else. Either way, I agree. I need to re-evaluate my pricing and stop worrying. 

If you paid $120 for a sheet cake, then you already know that good cakes are not cheap (and cheap cakes are not good)!

Exactly, and that was years almost 10 years ago. Thanks again Sandra!

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Gingerlocks Posted 5 days ago
post #9 of 34

I don't know what area you live in but I can just tell by looking at your prices that they are far too low. I really really encourage you to go through and price out what it costs to make a 8" buttercream cake because I think at those prices you are paying people to make a cake for them. Check out this pricing blog and see what actually goes into pricing out your work, I hope it helps you https://thelittlespoonbakingblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/price-this-cake-with-me-giant-cupcake-edition/

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BakedbyMommy Posted 5 days ago
post #10 of 34


Quote by @Gingerlocks on 6 hours ago

I don't know what area you live in but I can just tell by looking at your prices that they are far too low. I really really encourage you to go through and price out what it costs to make a 8" buttercream cake because I think at those prices you are paying people to make a cake for them.

I'm in North Texas, about an hour from Dallas. I've been messaging people and asking prices for a 6" standard and 6" cake-6" tall and i've been getting like $40 to $60. Today blew my mind though....a woman told me she charges $18 for a dozen of cupcakes,$25 for standard 6" and $35 for a 6"-6" tall. I'm like...WTF?! I know for a fact that her prices are way too low and she cannot possibly be getting profit unless someone is buying everything for her and she's not spending a dime. I re-evaluated my pricing

Check out this pricing blog and see what actually goes into pricing out your work, I hope it helps you https://thelittlespoonbakingblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/price-this-cake-with-me-giant-cupcake-edition/

Thank you so much! I read the blog post, and completely agree. Some people undercharge which makes it so hard for others. This is the 3rd person I come across, in this area, that charges less than $40 for a 6", 6" tall buttercream cake. 

I currently have someone who asked me to make a 6" inch, 6" tall fondant cake and the theme is super girl. My ingredients easily come out to about $25. I couldn't imagine charging $60 for it because I'd feel exactly as you said, like im paying people to make their cakes! 

With that said, I am also so scared to go higher lol. As I said, I looked over my pricing again and instead of leaving flat prices, I started at my minimum and will quote people based on the calculations of ingredients, material, commute, home expenses, and labor. I think that will be best for now. I've been so stressed out over this but I am feeling more confident as I speak to everyone here and continue researching. I need to just put what i feel is right and not worry if the customer thinks it's too high. Quality comes at a price. Here is the updated prices I came up with:

People Are Asking For Prices And I Am Stuck. Please Help!People Are Asking For Prices And I Am Stuck. Please Help!


-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 4 days ago
post #11 of 34

you seem to be afraid to quote prices much over a hundred dollars although you do have a few -- for example the 4" tall 10" cake is $75 so the 8" tall 10" cake should be $150, not $105 -- you seem to be doing prices that look good -- just figure out a base price per serving and simply multiply -- round it to a reasonable number if you want but your pricing needs to make sense -- 

your 6" cake is about $4 per -- your 10" cake is $3 per serving -- no es bueno

your serving sizes start on target but are very large for your larger cakes -- you can get almost 40 servings out of a 10" cake

if you have what you want -- great -- but otherwise your chart is confusing and you might want to re-think this

the 6" and 8" cakes don't need to be on a chart -- add 50% more of the base price for 6" tall cakes and 100% more for 8" tall cakes --

best to you

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Gingerlocks Posted 4 days ago
post #12 of 34


Quote by @BakedbyMommy on 15 hours ago

With that said, I am also so scared to go higher lol. As I said, I looked over my pricing again and instead of leaving flat prices, I started at my minimum and will quote people based on the calculations of ingredients, material, commute, home expenses, and labor. I think that will be best for now. I've been so stressed out over this but I am feeling more confident as I speak to everyone here and continue researching. I need to just put what i feel is right and not worry if the customer thinks it's too high. Quality comes at a price. 

I do understand that fear, but let your work speak for itself; if is quality cake, ingredients, good customer service and beautiful design people will pay it. 

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grama_j Posted 4 days ago
post #13 of 34

What are other home baker in your area charging....... if you go way above them, your won't get off the ground.......

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BakedbyMommy Posted 4 days ago
post #14 of 34


Quote by @Gingerlocks on 53 minutes ago


Quote by @BakedbyMommy on 15 hours ago

With that said, I am also so scared to go higher lol. As I said, I looked over my pricing again and instead of leaving flat prices, I started at my minimum and will quote people based on the calculations of ingredients, material, commute, home expenses, and labor. I think that will be best for now. I've been so stressed out over this but I am feeling more confident as I speak to everyone here and continue researching. I need to just put what i feel is right and not worry if the customer thinks it's too high. Quality comes at a price. 

I do understand that fear, but let your work speak for itself; if is quality cake, ingredients, good customer service and beautiful design people will pay it. 

Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it. 

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BakedbyMommy Posted 4 days ago
post #15 of 34


Quote by @grama_j on 23 minutes ago

What are other home baker in your area charging....... if you go way above them, your won't get off the ground.......

Well thats my dilemma. As I mentioned above, I've come across home bakers that charge $60 for a 6" round/6" tall cake but then there are some who charge $35-$45 for that. For cupcakes, I've met ppl who start at $30 a dozen for buttercream only, but the other day I came across two people who sold for $25 and the other $18. I am definitely not going below $25 for a dozen of cupcakes because I take pride in my work. I offer amazing flavors and a beautiful finish and I am passionate about it. It's from scratch, measured, carefully baked and I just think that if I stoop to their level and charge $20 or $25 for cupcakes, that is all they will ever be worth. Plus, at that price, I would make no profit because ingredients alone add up to about $20 depending on what kind they request. Lets not forget commute, my hourly pay, home expenses, etc. I am not trying to make a living off of this but I also don't want to end up wasting my money to bake cakes for people.

I don't plan on going above them. However, If they're charging $20 (which I think is way too low), then yes, my prices will be above them. 

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BakedbyMommy Posted 4 days ago
post #16 of 34


Quote by @-K8memphis on 3 hours ago

you seem to be afraid to quote prices much over a hundred dollars although you do have a few -- for example the 4" tall 10" cake is $75 so the 8" tall 10" cake should be $150, not $105 -- you seem to be doing prices that look good -- just figure out a base price per serving and simply multiply -- round it to a reasonable number if you want but your pricing needs to make sense -- 

I am so afraid! I hit $100 and I start freaking out and re-evaluating and then I end up low again. I'm all over the place. I completely agree with you. I ended up figuring out base prices but when the larger cakes hit $100...I get nervous and go backwards. So I'll put $90 or something around there. I was multiplying and again, I was so scared to start with those prices. I definitely want to start between $3.50-$4 per slice. 

your 6" cake is about $4 per -- your 10" cake is $3 per serving -- no es bueno

I LOL so hard at "no es bueno" I could almost picture you shaking your head at me. I know, I know, it's a complicated mess. But you can see that once I hot a certain amount, I get into fetal position and freak out. This is something I am working on.

your serving sizes start on target but are very large for your larger cakes -- you can get almost 40 servings out of a 10" cake

I actually went based off the the Wilton serving size chart per pan. So a standard 10" can serve 40 people? Can you link me to a better chart than wilton?

if you have what you want -- great -- but otherwise your chart is confusing and you might want to re-think this

Ditto. I've been looking this over and over for the past month already. I am feeling more confident now. I've decided to set a base price per serving and sticking to it.

the 6" and 8" cakes don't need to be on a chart -- add 50% more of the base price for 6" tall cakes and 100% more for 8" tall cakes --

6 and 8 are really popular around here, which is why I added them. So I should remove all 6 and 8's? I am going to be recalculating everything and hopefully finalizing my sheet. 

Thank you so much for your input!




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grama_j Posted 4 days ago
post #17 of 34

You also might ask yourself what YOU would pay for a cake of the same size...... 

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SandraSmiley Posted 4 days ago
post #18 of 34

BakedbyMommy, it sounds as though you want to do cake decorating much as I do, mostly for fun, but you want to make a decent profit for all the effort (and considerable expense) involved.  Again, don't worry what people think about your prices.  You do not NEED their business, you just want to do a few cakes on a regular basis, so you have the upper hand.

I enjoy making big, fancy cakes, so I do not blink an eye for going up to $500.  Only once have I quoted a cake higher than that and I didn't get the job.  Of course, no one else did either.  The bride and her sisters made the cake themselves.  I really wish I could have seen it.

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-K8memphis Posted 4 days ago
post #19 of 34

believe me, I understand the fetal position with pricing -- although with the years now accumulated  I have no problem saying "buh bye" to an order if they won't make it worth my while -- except i'm retired for health reasons right now -- I really like your idea of $3.50 to $4.00 per slice -- in fact I like $4 per serving best -- for buttercream and $5 for fondant -- base price -- so let's role play -

*ding-a-ling -a-lin,g ding-a-ling-a-ling* -- "oh hi bakedbymommy -- I need to order a cake for blabla date -- I would like 130 servings in a tiered buttercream covered cake -- 12x9x9x6 with that pretty watercolor effect so popular now -- i want most of the color on the 8" tall middle tier with a bit of color splashed on the top & bottom tiers -- in  beautiful blue/green teal dominant color with raspberry and a little dab of yellow -- not bright primary colors but muted artistic opalescent colors -- i want you to use your creativity -- how much would that be? and i need delivery -- it will be a forty mile round trip from your address"

***now you do the math and answer me blush

(use this cakulator http://capitalconfectioners.com/cakulator/cakulator.html -- this thing is a gem -- play around with it -- it's invaluable)

(https://www.wilton.com/cake-serving-guide/cms-baking-serving-guide.html#q=wedding+cake+data+chart&start=17 and use the third column, the wedding cake column not the party column which is the second column)

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SandraSmiley Posted 4 days ago
post #20 of 34

I want to make that cake for you, -K8memphis!  It sounds beautiful!

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-K8memphis Posted 4 days ago
post #21 of 34

sandra! that's too cool!! hahahaha

although it's a teeny little bit more than 40 miles :) 

no money? no order! -- lol

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BakedbyMommy Posted 4 days ago
post #22 of 34


Quote by @grama_j on 7 hours ago

You also might ask yourself what YOU would pay for a cake of the same size...... 

Yea you're right. I saw a fondant 2 tier cake and thought to myself, that has to be over $100. The woman only charged $75. So it's really tough out here.


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BakedbyMommy Posted 4 days ago
post #23 of 34


Quote by @-K8memphis on 3 hours ago

believe me, I understand the fetal position with pricing -- although with the years now accumulated  I have no problem saying "buh bye" to an order if they won't make it worth my while -- except i'm retired for health reasons right now -- I really like your idea of $3.50 to $4.00 per slice -- in fact I like $4 per serving best -- for buttercream and $5 for fondant -- base price -- so let's role play -

That is true. I really wouldn't care if someone says "oh, you're way too expensive." I would just kindly thank them for the inquiry and wish them luck on their search. Yes, I am going to start re-re-evaluating my prices lol. 

*ding-a-ling -a-lin,g ding-a-ling-a-ling* -- "oh hi bakedbymommy -- I need to order a cake for blabla date -- I would like 130 servings in a tiered buttercream covered cake -- 12x9x9x6 with that pretty watercolor effect so popular now -- i want most of the color on the 8" tall middle tier with a bit of color splashed on the top & bottom tiers -- in  beautiful blue/green teal dominant color with raspberry and a little dab of yellow -- not bright primary colors but muted artistic opalescent colors -- i want you to use your creativity -- how much would that be? and i need delivery -- it will be a forty mile round trip from your address"

***now you do the math and answer me blush

OMG...ok lets see......

130 servings x $4= $537.16

Food Coloring in blue green yellow raspberry= about $25

cake ingredients: $38

Buttercream about 4 batches (2 butter, 1 veg shortening, 2 tbsps vanilla , about 2lbs sugar)= $33

My hourly rate: $16/hr ( i dunno lol) cake takes 5 hrs=$80

Dowels, Cake boards, box & other misc materials: $25

Travel: $44 (going and coming?)

Gas: $12

=794.16? (Why do I feel like I am so off lol)

I think I messed up because I am confused. Did the serving size base price cover the ingredients for cake and buttercream? I guess I need to figure out what the $4 per slice covers and then I can get a better answer.

This was tough!!!!

(use this cakulator http://capitalconfectioners.com/cakulator/cakulator.html -- this thing is a gem -- play around with it -- it's invaluable)

(https://www.wilton.com/cake-serving-guide/cms-baking-serving-guide.html#q=wedding+cake+data+chart&start=17 and use the third column, the wedding cake column not the party column which is the second column)

Ok, I was definitely using the wrong column

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SandraSmiley Posted 4 days ago
post #24 of 34

Just because others are falling into the trap of giving away their cakes for little more, and probably sometimes less, than cost, doesn't mean that you have to follow suit.  Never take an order for which you feel  you are being taken advantage.  It will just make you resentful and burned out on cakes entirely.  Another thing that I do is quote a reasonable price for a cake, then give twice the value in decorations and sometimes extra servings, but that is because I want to do it.  It costs me little except my time, and I enjoy and want to do it.  Makes a really happy and surprised customer.  I don't do this will all of them, of course.  Just for special people.

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BakedbyMommy Posted 4 days ago
post #25 of 34


Quote by @SandraSmiley on 39 minutes ago

Just because others are falling into the trap of giving away their cakes for little more, and probably sometimes less, than cost, doesn't mean that you have to follow suit.  Never take an order for which you feel  you are being taken advantage.  It will just make you resentful and burned out on cakes entirely.  Another thing that I do is quote a reasonable price for a cake, then give twice the value in decorations and sometimes extra servings, but that is because I want to do it.  It costs me little except my time, and I enjoy and want to do it.  Makes a really happy and surprised customer.  I don't do this will all of them, of course.  Just for special people.

Thank you Sandra! I definitely do not want to feel like that. I met someone today who charges $45 for a dozen of plain buttercream cupcakes in my area and we spoke this whole morning. She too, said that she started high because she had a salon where everything was high quality but charged less than most places. She had amazing business but once she started increasing and trying to grow, customers left and preferred going elsewhere for the higher prices. She regretted it. My issue is having 20 ppl in my area charge 35 and then mine 60+ lol


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SandraSmiley Posted 3 days ago
post #26 of 34

They will probably not be in business very long because they are paying people to order from them.  You have not mentioned what market you prefer, children's birthday cakes, celebration cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes.  Maybe you could choose your speciality, practice some quick, easy decorations which still look very impressive.  If you can produce the product quickly, you can sell for a lower price.  Craftsy has a class on just that sort of thing.  You still shouldn't go as low as the sillies around you.  That is just nuts.

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BakedbyMommy Posted 3 days ago
post #27 of 34


Quote by @SandraSmiley on 2 hours ago

They will probably not be in business very long because they are paying people to order from them.  You have not mentioned what market you prefer, children's birthday cakes, celebration cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes.  Maybe you could choose your speciality, practice some quick, easy decorations which still look very impressive.  

I love making cupcakes, whether they are for a professional settings or bday's. I prefer mature cakes vs kiddie cakes but I'd love to gain experience on both. I am also interested in baking for large events and weddings as well. I think my specialty will be cupcakes and birthday/celebration cakes for now. I actually just signed up with my daughter for a buttercream masterclass at hobby lobby this monday! I am definitely looking for classes to strengthen my skills. 

If you can produce the product quickly, you can sell for a lower price.  Craftsy has a class on just that sort of thing.  You still shouldn't go as low as the sillies around you.  That is just nuts.

I will definitely look on Craftsy. I saw bluprint has online classes. I asked a woman how come her prices were so reasonable for a 8" fondant cake and she said "unfortunately, I need to compete with other bakers."

 


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-K8memphis Posted 3 days ago
post #28 of 34

$550 to $680 is a good price for a cake like that $4 to $5 per serving -- point being all the stuff you added up there except the delivery (and tax) has to be deducted from the $550 to $680 -- and whatever's left is your pay  --

you did good -- practice saying that in the mirror -- "that's $550", "oh, twenty dozen cupcakes that's $625" just make stuff up and use big dollar amounts so it's easier to say in real life --

but anyway -- don't know if that helped you any but that's how it's done -- best to you 

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SandraSmiley Posted 3 days ago
post #29 of 34

Blueprint is a program that you join for a fee, don't remember if you can pay monthly or if it is for a year at a time.  It gives you accessibility to all Craftsy classes as long as you are a member.  You can, however, purchase Craftsy classes individually without any membership and have access to them forever, which is what I choose to do.  I wait until they have a sale where all classes are $19.99 each.  They are well worth every penny.

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SandraSmiley Posted 3 days ago
post #30 of 34

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