Girl's Castle cake
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You are going to get all kinds of info on a ? like this :(
Some will say you must figure out how much in $$ you have into it, then deciede how much per hour you want to make etc, etc.
I cling to the older method of charging per 'slice'. For that we need to kmnow the sizes of the tiers. From what I see on this site most are charging around $5 per slice for fondant work, but it also depends on where you are located - big city vs rural & your skill level - which looks good - your cake is very nicely done.
1) If you're going to talk about a wage, you have to consider more than how long did it take you to make. It's that and how much time did you spend:
talking to the customer
packaging it up to go
planning the design
shopping for supplies
cleaning the kitchen
waiting for the customer to arrive
recording everything in your records
taking the photo
Also, you have to consider the time spent trying to get customers. Obviously that wouldn't all apply to just one cake, but it's time spent -- stuff like:
working on your facebook page
cropping the photo for the picture
adding it to your website
2) Price should be determined by market price. Not your costs. Not what you want to make as a wage. You use market price to back into those things and see if it's worthwhile to do. That doesn't mean get quotes from three cheap cake ladies or other people who don't know what they're doing. It means checking out the higher priced bakeries or cake people in your city. Those are the people charging what the market will bear.
First, it was my gift to the girl, second, it served more than 50 people, and last, it was key lime flavor with almond and lemon buttercream. It took me more than 5 hrs to decorate it without the baking part. I cost me a lot of money to make it cause I had to buy tools but then again, I do get to keep them. Anyway, I would love to have an idea what to charge for my cakes so I don't scare customers away. Thank you.
This kind of thinking can get you into trouble. You DO want to scare off some customers which frees you up to cater to the ones who understand and appreciate good cake.
If that cake serves 50, and to properly quote it out, I really need dimensions, not number of servings because I know what I charge per serving for a certain size cake. What you call 30 servings, I may call 36. Anyway, I would charge $422. I have to qualify that by saying my cakes look a little more professional, so I don;t know how you allow for difference there.
Specifically, the base would be a drum with ribbon trim, the vines would be thinner, the flowers would have centers, the doors would have divider down the middle and handles and the castle trim would be continuous (merlons and crenels). And I'd put something under the windows, even just a straight window sill, but they could really use some greenery and flowers, too. These are all things you could have done and the thick vines are a very common beginner thing. When I first started, everything was too fat.
Please don't take this criticism in a way other than intended, which is to help someone who shows true promise.
Thank you howsweet. I do appreciate your honesty although I think I'm gonna need to see a therapist after this LOL. I know I could have worked harder on this but since it was my first castle and I was not getting paid for it, I think working for about 5 to 6 hrs in one day, without counting the baking part, it was good enough. I shouldn't say that but it's true. I did asked my friends there how much they would pay for it and they just said they wouldn't spend more than $200 on a cake. So guess who I wont be selling cakes to.
Good for you! Please understand my criticism was to bring you up to a price more toward $450. These darn cakes are so much work and the things I mentioned would just add that extra touch to command a high price, does that make sense? The cake you made was gorgeous and I'm sure even more impressive in person. I'm not trying to take away from that. It's a lot of work to do for free.
Oh please howsweet, I am very thankful for your words. After they told me they wouldn't pay more than $200 for a cake I said to myself "I am so glad I didn't do more". They all loved the cake and started taking many pictures of it and they told me I should start my own cake business. I don't think people really appreciate the work. It's not that they don't believe they cost a lot of money, it's just that they wouldn't pay so much for a cake. I would love to start my own business. Decorating cakes relaxes me...I can't wait to see the final work.
It's just not possible for people to understand how much work goes into caking.
The cable shows perpetuate the idea that everything is done in an instant, and trouble free at that.
One lady ask how much a tiered cake would cost w/Minnie Mouse theme. Price was quoted to her.
She then ask how much for cupcakes similar to above. Price was quoted.
She then ask how much for all the fondant piece work. No cupcakes, just the Minnie/Mickie pieces, stars etc...I told her @ that point that the fondant could be purchased @ hobby stores & that I do not offer the pieces for sale exclusively.That was the end of the conversation. She will either go to Walmart or try to make her own @ which point she will realize why my pricing was appropriate for the amt of wk involved.
There are excellent threads on CC re: pricing of product. They are tremendously helpful. Good luck.
You might hate weeding out people who want Hollywood cakes for free, but unless you want to be known as the cake lady who does 'cheap' Hollywood cakes, price accordingly.
howsweet said: Price should be determined by market price. Not your costs. Not what you want to make as a wage....
This is exactly what I was trying to say. Yes, there is a lot that goes into trying to price things.
The people you talked to who won't pay $200 for a cake just don't have any idea what it takes besides "a little flour, sugar and egg". As you found out it takes not only that but special tools, knowledge, skill, time, and lots of talent!
If I understand right that is a BIG cake - 16 & 10 sqs each 3" tall. It would serve far more than 50 people! More like double that :)