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Slow decorator= overpriced cakes? - Page 3

post #31 of 38

I think it depends on where you live and competition as to the price you can charge.I think $110.00 is fair.
 

post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

I love that mold! I use isomalt in mine too.


Oooh, I never even thought of that!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

Wow that Martha Stewart mold is less than $9 here....that's less than the Wilton molds

It was $14 at mine, went back yesterday and bought another, lol.

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by shebysuz View Post

Annabakescakes, have you watched " how to create cake font: The Krazy Kool Cakes way" on YOUTUBE? I was about to throw my stupid tappits out because I was tired of fighting with them. This video shows a great way to use them and now it only takes me a few minutes to write on a cake board or cake.

I did look at this, shebysuz, and I don't think I like it. I suppose I could try it, but I am certain I like my way better. haha

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.
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post #34 of 38
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrostedMoon View Post
 

 The castle, pail, shovel, and sea shells are hand sculpted from marshmallow fondant.  Sand is crushed cookie crumbs.  Doesn't that seem like a long time?  Remember that doesn't include baking time, or time to make the frosting and fondant.  So all in all, oven time aside, it probably took me about 9 hours to make this cake.  If supplies/costs are about $20, and I pay myself a measly $10 an hour (never mind that sculpting time should be closer to $25 an hour!), that makes this cake $110.  Is that what you would charge? How long would this take you?

 

Sandcastle and sea shells with bucket and shovel in the sand. 8" round 4 layer cake covered in buttercream with marshmallow fondant waves and hand sculpted decorations. Sand is cookie crumbs.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 From start to finish that cake would take me about 3-4 hours including baking, frosting, torting, decorating. I would charge about $85. Stitches is exactly right.  If you give yourself a time frame you can complete it in that time frame.  I had to discipline myself that way when I first started decorating.  I still give myself a time frame!  

Ms Pinky LaRue, LLC -  Licensed, Inspected, Insured and Legal!

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Ms Pinky LaRue, LLC -  Licensed, Inspected, Insured and Legal!

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post #35 of 38

I will start giving myself a time frame , it's a great idea. 

Sweet Delites
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Sweet Delites
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post #36 of 38

because of my problems I  an't work straight through always...I am trying to set a stopwatch when I am actively engaged in making the cake...then add on time for shopping and planning and clean up..

post #37 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the feedback!  I apologize for not getting back to this thread sooner.  A sick child, a husband away on business, and 6 sculpted fondant figures plus other sculpted decorations between two orders kept me busy!

 

During this crazy week I very much kept your advice in mind.  I wouldn't call my sculpting/decorating style leisurely, but I definitely get caught up in the details, going over everything a million times to make sure it's right.  This past week I tried really hard to not do that, especially when carving and icing the cakes.  It definitely helped.  I thought they would look awful, but it turns out all that nit picking I did along the way really did get taken care of with one final smoothing instead!

 

I do create a plan of action for my cakes, which includes a list of everything I need to make, buy, or track down in my supply room.  Unfortunately I have very little cake dedicated time that doesn't get affected by family stuff.  Hopefully that will change once the kids are back in school. Right now I plan what night I'm going to do what, and try to do as much non-food stuff as I can during the day (tracking down supplies, covering cake boards, etc).  While I very much envy those that can crack a bucket open and get to work, I am committed to my fondant recipe and I feel the flavor changes too much with time, so that can't be made too far ahead or in batches too big. I save the extra bits to create sculpted figures that aren't going to be eaten, but that's it.  I do plan on making a couple of batches of frosting and trying the freezing trick.  That I'm sure will help.

 

I also realized that, while I'm not super new to baking/decorating, I am constantly dealing with a learning curve.  For example, we got a new oven with a convection bake feature a while ago and I am still experimenting with the best way to bake, how long, why my cakes don't have straight edges despite being baked in straight pans, etc etc. It's driving me crazy! I've also switched to americolor and have had a learning curve with how it changes my fondant.  Then there's the crazy humidity we've had this summer, the fact that there are some nights that even with the A/C on my work area is about 78 degrees, and there hasn't been a single order that every step has gone the way I expected it to.  Most nights I end up googling how to handle one problem or another, which all takes time.  

 

I do think my sculpting is getting faster.  I'm a very visual person, so I agree google images is a big help.  I might find ten different images that I like, and while my final product looks nothing like them, I'm able to look at what I like about those other images and figure out how it was done.  I tend to see things in parts, which is a huge help with sculpting!

 

The tappits don't take too much time for me, but once the fondant is rolled out very thin and is a bit dry, I cover it with saran wrap and then use the tappit over it, pushing it down and moving it around to smooth the edges.  Then either the letter is stuck to the table and I use knife to pick it up, or I use the saran to pull it out of the tappit.  Not my favorite part of decorating, but it works.  I did go buy the Martha Stewart mold.  Very cool!  I really wish there was one without the little designs though.  I couldn't use it for any orders this past week, but I've got a pink ruffle cake coming up that just might work!

 

So I plan to sort of average how long I THINK a cake should take me with how long it actually takes me, and charge based on that.  As time goes on hopefully there will be less of a difference between the two.

 

THANKS AGAIN!

post #38 of 38

I find myself working slow sometimes and what I'll do is set the timer for one hour and challenge myself to see how much I can get done in that amount of time.
 

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