The only reason I offered to do it for "free" (meaning no profit in it for me, other than supplies) is because I AM new to this whole endeavor. I mean, what if the cake turns out terrible? I can't consciously charge her for that. Ya know? She doesn't really want anything spectacular.
It's better to give a refund for a bad cake than give away a good cake for nothing.
Ukrops is a grocery chain in VA. And actually, my local one just closed. heh. They use pound cake. They charge an extra $100 for fondant. Which I think tastes so nasty anyways. Their base price for a crappy cake was $350.
Edit: I asked Charm City Cakes to do my sons first birthday cake a while ago. I sent them a picture. It was only for 35 people. Their cost without delivery? $500. I said "no thanks, I can make my own." For $500, Duff himself better show up dressed as the Cat in the Hat. lol.
This is the battle all cake decorators who charge for their time are fighting though....we know we take a loss if we charge anything less than X amount $ for the cake, but so many people think for X amount they better get something way above and beyond. Where I live $500 is barely middle of the road as far as pricing goes, and this is for bakeries nowhere near the fame level as Charm City.
A simple cake is just canned icing spread on an undoctored cake mix made in a pyrex casserole dish. A tiered cake with smoothed homemade icing, handmade decorations, and scratch (or doctored) cake using special supports to keep it up takes skill that one has practiced over time. It may not be fancy, but it's not simple.
It's with the first few cakes you sell where you set up your rep. If you give away simple cakes in the beginning, then you will have a huge uphill battle to climb later on down the road when you suddenly want $5 a serving for your "simple, cheap cakes" just so you can break even.
I speak from experience, trust me! The #1 fatal flaw of a cake decorator starting out selling them is charging cost or giving them away to start out. Even if it's only $1 a serving, charge -something- for your time. Otherwise all you have done is open the door to letting friends and family expect lots for nothing and telling potential customers the same thing too
- Lady Gaga
- Lady Gaga