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Pricing & Freezing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
First off, how is everyone gaging there prices? I recently did a 7 tier cake that fed over 200 people. It had LOT's of flowers on it. I charged $5.50/slice. Talking to the caterer that was there, he said he would of charged AT LEAST $3200 for the cake, but dod not explain his way of pricing. Just said that he prices per design, not by slice.

Secondly, I freeze my cakes in stages. As soon as it comes out of the oven. Then, I take it out, torte & fill it, then put it back in. Then I take it out again to frost, and add fondant if I am doing fondant. Then back in the freezer it goes. I take it out a few hours before delivery. I live in AZ, and temps outside can easily exceed 100 degrees in the mid summer. And even right now we are having 80-90 degree days. The problem is, that sometimes, the bottom tiers are still frozen when people go to cut them. How do I resolve this issue?
post #2 of 11
There are hundreds of threads here on how to price cakes. Please use the search feature.

Also, it sounds like you're wasting a lot of time doing all that freezing in stages, but if that works for you, great. You need to let the cake defrost, boxed, in the fridge overnight. Taking it out a few hours before the event will allow it to warm up to room temperature.

I bet your clients were PISSED that they had frozen cake served at their events! That's a really big error.
~ Sherri
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~ Sherri
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post #3 of 11
uniced cake will thaw much faster than a cake covered in fondant. May I ask why you are putting them back in the freezer? I've experienced AZ heat ..... do you have weak or no air conditioning? Otherwise I agree with the above that I think its a wasted step to refreeze.

I was hired just to cut a wedding cake once. They bought it from a local bakery and just wanted "a pro" to come in and cut it. (easiest money I ever made! icon_biggrin.gif ). Anyway ..... When i cut into the bottom tier, it was still partially frozen. The above poster is right ... people noticed and they didnt' have a happy reaction to it.

What is SO funny about this cake that I cut is that it came from a bakery that actually advertises "we never freeze our cakes"! icon_lol.gif The same bakery where my co-workers bought me a birthday cake and my supv had to take it back because it was so frozen we couldn't even cut it! icon_lol.gif
post #4 of 11
I dont live in AZ, in GA actually, and am fairly new to cakes, but I dont freeze mine, IndyDebi do you freeze cakes at your shop?? Does freezing them help with moisture??? Just curious as to why people freeze cakes, especially with fondant on them, (new to fondant too) lol.
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Make each day count!!!
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Make each day count!!!
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post #5 of 11
I don't know why you freeze it so much. I don't freeze my cakes at all unless I HAVE to because I have to bake ahead. Then then only freezing that happens is when the cake is naked. Then I let it thaw wrapped up and torte/ice and chill it in the fridge before I put on the fondant and then it goes back in the fridge. You don't have to freeze it so much, and having it be frozen and a little thawed, and frozen again, and a little thawed again, and so on you are probably doing more harm than good to your cake.

As for pricing... it's an individual thing. My base wedding price is $6/serving and flowers and such are extra. Pricing questions are hard to answer because we don't know your costs. You need to make sure that you account for eveything that goes into your cake and make sure you are compensated for your time as well.

icon_biggrin.gif
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

......only freezing that happens is when the cake is naked. Then I let it thaw wrapped up.....


Me, too .....once I take it naked out of the freezer, the cake never goes back into the freezer OR refrigerator. FYI, i dont use perishable fillings so if you do, you have to calculate 'frig time for that. But since I dont' want my cakes in the 'frig ever, that's why I dont' use perishables.

But I would bake on Monday/Tuesday for a Sat wedding; wrap and freeze for a couple of days. Freezing adds moisture to a cake. I LUV'D it when a bride would ask me if I froze my cakes and I had the opportunity to say, "You tell me. 2 of these sample cakes have been in my freezer for 3 weeks. One was baked this morning. you tell me which is which."

They always (!) picked the wrong one. Twice. Always. thumbs_up.gif
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I duess I freeze mine over mostly due to lack of space. I rent space in a commercial kitchen, but it isn't my own kitchen, and there isn't really any extra space. As for freezing and unfreezing and putting back in the freezer again. I learned that technique from the Queen of Cakes, Sylvia Weinstock. She actually did another freezing step. Putting it in the freezer right after baking to lock in the poisture, taking it out to cut for the torting, but not putting the filling in yet, and putting it back in the freezer for a while befrore actually filling and moving on.
As for fillings, I do use a lot of perishable ones. My customers seem to like my cakes partly due to the fillings I use. So, I have to watch the temp. I am going to try taking them out the night before though. I have 3 wedding cakes due this Sat. So, wish me luck that everything runs smoothly. At least it's not in the hundreds here yet...just the 80-90s icon_smile.gif
Also, I have had frosting start to kind of melt (if that's the right word, not from being frozen, just from being frosting and it being hot out) while delivering when it is 110+ outside. Even with a freezer plate underneath and the AC blowing as cold as it will go.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmeventcoordinator

Also, I have had frosting start to kind of melt (if that's the right word, not from being frozen, just from being frosting and it being hot out) while delivering when it is 110+ outside. Even with a freezer plate underneath and the AC blowing as cold as it will go.


In the many many threads about frozen buttercream transfers, the advice will be "you have to work fast because the FBCT will start to melt within seconds after coming out of the freezer." So if a FBCT made of BC icing will melt right away, after being moved from 0 degrees to room temp, why wouldn't BC icing on a cake do the same thing? icon_confused.gif

anything put in the freezer will freeze, turning any internal liquid (moisture) into ice crystals, which when moved to room temp, will return to a liquid state and thus equals "melting".

I allow my icing to crust "naturally" .... i.e. "air dry". Once its crusted, I never have to worry about it "melting" because its not "frozen.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Do you use real butter, or shortening? My buttercream is very simple. Just butter, powdered sugar, and heavy whipping cream. I get the best reviews about it. But, have had a couple of times where it gave me trouble. Not very often though (really only like 3 or 4 times in the last 4 years). But, I think that's partly because of how I normally work with it. The couple of times I had issues with the buttercream itself, it was well over 115 degrees outside.
post #10 of 11
You're using an actual buttercream, not shortening-cream, so with butter, any heat over body temperature is going to negatively affect your icing. Your buttercream would beat the pants off of any shortening-based icing taste-wise, obviously, but adding some shortening would not be a bad idea to help stabilize it a bit. I personally cannot stand shortening-cream, yet being in Houston, it's just not practical for me to be using an all-butter buttercream. If you decide to experiment a bit, Penguin Elite is a really good high-ratio shortening. It's sold by BakeMark and Dawn Foods and other wholesalers, so you should be able to get some fairly easily.

I'm with you on using perishable fillings. Creating divine, scratch fillings that are as amazing as the cake is truly an art in and of itself.
~ Sherri
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~ Sherri
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post #11 of 11
Do they not have a walk-in fridge where you rent? Chilling rather than freezing will probably make a big difference. When you go from being completely frozen to the extreme heat you are going to have a lot more condensation on your cake which will look like it's melting (though I'm sure with the AZ heat you do get actual melting). I'd suggest adding some high ratio shortening to your icing too... maybe 1/2 and 1/2, but I'd start with 1/4 to 3/4 butter and see how it goes. All shortening BC is icky to me (my personal taste preference not ethical preference or anything) so keeping the butter in there will help. Your customers would probably revolt if you switched to all shortening since they are used to the rich buttery flavor of your normal BC... LOL.
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