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Price This Cake! 2/14/2013

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, my name is Sarah. Im from California and I am a self-taught home baker. I made this Tinkerbell cake for a birthday party last week and charged $60 for it. Bottom tier is 10" and top tier is 6", and the cake is covered with MMF and decorated with MMF accents. The whole cake is frosted with Ganache, by the way. Im still relatively new to cake decorating, so I am unsure and fairly confused on what to charge for my cakes.

 

Tinkerbell Cake!! Bottom Tier is a Marble Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, and the Top Tier is a Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. All of the decorations are made of MMF, and the cake is also covered in MMF.

 

 Bottom Tier is a Marble Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, and the Top Tier is a Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. All of the decorations are made of MMF, and the cake is also covered in MMF.

 

Bottom Tier is a Marble Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, and the Top Tier is a Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. All of the decorations are made of MMF, and the cake is also covered in MMF.

 

*Also, my family tells me I charge too cheap for my cakes, but whenever I try to raise the price, I hardly get any orders... Any suggestions for this problem???

post #2 of 22

I would charge $220 for that cake.  Pricing cakes is one of the hardest things for a new cake decorator to grasp as well as training the customers what to expect.  There are many threads online (and in these forums) that can help, some people have a base price for a 2 tier cake and then add for fondant and how many decorations, some charge by the portion and then add for fondant and decorations.

 

The bottom line for you is:  How much did your materials, overhead etc cost.  How many hours did you put into the cake (including the planning, shopping, baking, decorating and possibly delivery)?  You should be charging at least minimum wage (if not more) and in this case at $60 you didn't charge anywhere near that.

 

You can also research other bakers in your area and see what they charge for custom cakes.  Walmart and Sams club and what they charge do not count as their cakes are not in the same category.  You should have your prices in the same neighborhood as the local bakeries or else you are underselling them and cheapening their work and businesses. 

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 22

By the way, that is a beautiful cake!

post #4 of 22

I love it! For me, I would charge for 50 servings, and it would be $175.

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #5 of 22

Your cake is very beautiful and yes you do not charge enough money!! It probably cost you more than sixty to make the cake when you include labor,materials and electricity!!! Wow you basically gave the cake away!! You definitely have talent in making cakes. Maybe someone else here will be able to give you some pointers. I only do caking as a hobby and do not sell them.

 

You should take your picture of cake to a baker in the area you live in and ask them what they would charge and what size the tiers are if you were to get a cake from them. Then you will know how much to charge for your cakes. That way you will be able to tell your customers that the baker in the area you live charges $$$ for the same cake. If you chose to be competitive with them you can undersell them but you need to charge more than 60 dollars. Good luck/Mary
 

post #6 of 22

I would have charged $200 for the cake.  I've been where you are and made a commitment this year to making my business be successful then I needed to value my work and time.  I've lost a few orders but at least I wasn't spending 10 hours doing a cake for $100.00!  With your talent you'll get there pretty fast!

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much for your replies and compliments!!! I agree, I put way too much into cakes than what I get out of it. I do like your ideas about asking local bakers what their prices are, and seeing how much they charge for certain size cakes. I live in a very small town, and the next big town is an hour away. So im sure people are willing to drive an hour from here to buy a properly charged cake, so I could definately give it a shop here. 

 

I love how the cakes turn out with the ganache underneath, but I just can't find a good Buttecream recipe that will hold under fondant. Mine always sags and droops, or has the big bulge around the middle. Thats another reason on why I feel uncomfortable charging more. Im still practicing and learning.. 

But thank you again!!! You guys always inspire me, I love your cakes!

post #8 of 22

Did you make tinkerbell? That alone would be $45 for me. I put the cake at $225. It is a very nice cake!

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sissys Goodies View Post

 

*Also, my family tells me I charge too cheap for my cakes, but whenever I try to raise the price, I hardly get any orders... Any suggestions for this problem???

 

I'd rather do 1 cake for £150 than 3 cakes for £50.

 

It's not how many orders you get that's important...  it's your profit.  And doing a lovely cake like that for such a low price means you really won't be making any profit at all!!

 

It's taken me a while to finally realise that my time is precious to me!  I won't take an order for a couple of pounds profit.  I'd rather spend time with my kids or doing things around the house that I keep meaning to do.

 

Someone I know has a fab saying...  The person who works for nothing will always have plenty to do.

 

Suzanne x

Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow, I love that quote Relznik!!! It's absolutely an eye-opener. Doing these cakes definately takes huge amounts of time away from my daughter and family. The things we do for chump-change, huh. I believe my time means more! 

And Tdovewings, no I didnt make the Tinkerbell. Its a candle that I bought from PartyCity. I thought it fit pretty good though. 

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik View Post

 

I'd rather do 1 cake for £150 than 3 cakes for £50.

 

It's not how many orders you get that's important...  it's your profit.  And doing a lovely cake like that for such a low price means you really won't be making any profit at all!!

 

It's taken me a while to finally realise that my time is precious to me!  I won't take an order for a couple of pounds profit.  I'd rather spend time with my kids or doing things around the house that I keep meaning to do.

 

Someone I know has a fab saying...  The person who works for nothing will always have plenty to do.

 

Suzanne x

Thanks Relznik, I have found a new signature line!  It's the straight gospel! 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sissys Goodies View Post

Thank you all so much for your replies and compliments!!! I agree, I put way too much into cakes than what I get out of it. I do like your ideas about asking local bakers what their prices are, and seeing how much they charge for certain size cakes. I live in a very small town, and the next big town is an hour away. So im sure people are willing to drive an hour from here to buy a properly charged cake, so I could definately give it a shop here. 

 

I love how the cakes turn out with the ganache underneath, but I just can't find a good Buttecream recipe that will hold under fondant. Mine always sags and droops, or has the big bulge around the middle. Thats another reason on why I feel uncomfortable charging more. Im still practicing and learning.. 

But thank you again!!! You guys always inspire me, I love your cakes!

 

What I did while I was still in the practicing and learning stage is this:  For my friends and family I would do their custom cake for cost of materials and if they felt like giving me a tip to kick in for some of my time, well then great.  This applied A: If I had the time, and B:  If it was a cake that I wanted to do that would look great in my portfolio. 

 

I would make sure to tell my family and friends "If I was selling this cake on the open market, I would sell it for XYZ amount.  But for you, I will do it for the cost of the materials"  This way they wouldn't go and tell friends of theirs that they got this gorgeous cake for only $60 or whatever the materials cost, they could tell their friends how much the cake would cost them if they would like to order from me.

 

I also agree with the poster above, I'd rather do less cakes and make a decent profit, rather than more cakes and have no time and no profit. 

post #13 of 22
Thats an awesome cake! Kudos!
post #14 of 22
**head - work table**

$60? That's barely $1.00 per serving. And, it looks great.

No wonder people have trouble paying my professional prices. Why would they?

Seriously, the cake is adorable. They got a steal.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #15 of 22
By the way $315. That 45 servings plus fondant. I'm assuming tink is not hand made.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
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