Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

hi,

i have received an order for a Zombie cake, which I have never done before, the customer wants a zombie crawling out of a grave with a grave stone and i was thinking for 9 inch i should charge say 35-40 pounds does that sound reasonable?

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I don't know what the market will stand in your area Lynette, but that doesn't really sound enough to me.  You have to consider the amount of ingredients you will need to use (and fondant/gumpaste, colours etc).  Then your time and skill in cooking, sculpting decoration etc.  Can you get away with more do you think?

actually customer has just said she wants a smaller cake and i have said with what her budget there wont be much detail, i usually aske customer what their budget is and the accommodate to it, so it will be a small round cake with a gravestone and a zombie crawling out it, i think when people first ask me to do cakes they dont expect the time and cost involved. i always find it difficult to set prices? i know you usually triple your ingredients but its hard to calculate your time of cooking, sculpting etc.

Lynette
I am mostly a hobby baker, but have sold a few cakes. What I do is I write down when I start and when I finish. That's baking the cake, icing, covering cake with fondant, making any figures etc. Surprising how much time you spend when you track it. To me, your "labour" cost is usually the most $$ compared to your ingredients. If you do this on a regular basis, you have pretty good idea what will fit into someone's budget. :o)

Fair enough then Lynette - as you say, smaller and not much detail can be priced at a more favourable budget.

lynette conlon said:

actually customer has just said she wants a smaller cake and i have said with what her budget there wont be much detail, i usually aske customer what their budget is and the accommodate to it, so it will be a small round cake with a gravestone and a zombie crawling out it, i think when people first ask me to do cakes they dont expect the time and cost involved. i always find it difficult to set prices? i know you usually triple your ingredients but its hard to calculate your time of cooking, sculpting etc.

I am a hobby baker as well, but in case I ever do begin to sell cakes, I've done my research. Most people think prices for cakes are too high, but I believe they are not taking into account the time one puts into a great cake. Not to mention quality ingredients.

i agree non bakers dont have a clue how much time it takes i even get eyebrows raised by family! but it take hours to decorate a cake for it to be done right!! i dont think it pays to be full time.

We just talked about this at our cake club meeting last night. One member said she is getting tired of trying to "barter" with customers. Her prices appear clearly stated on her website, but they call thinking if they talk to her, they can talk " her prices down"????? She doesn't even try to explain anymore, she just says go somewhere else. She does point out however that we have a very large grocery chain here that has a bakery and there 8" one tier cake is $35!!! Crappy boxed mix with icing out of a bucket. How many people would a 8" cake feed?? 4, maybe 6 people?? That's pretty darn pricey for a "cheap" cake.

What I do is ask the customer to purchase the ingredients and I charge for my labour and any of my personal stuff I used. In doing so they will see the cost of purchasing these things, so the next time they want a cake, they have a choice. 

Good idea Surine
But it would have to be off a specific list I provided..... :o)

oh! yes June, I gave them the list of things I would need, and the funny thing about it when they see how much it takes out of them they opted at times. I bake as a hobby, but I put a lot of effort into decorating (self taught)

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Me too Surine
Just a hobby. I wish my family would ask for cakes.... But they either forget..... most of the time.... or they all like those crappy Costco cakes.... Yuk.
Would love to do a cake once a month.... Not about the money.... but artistic outlet..... :o)

I am a hobby baker that is trying to get a small home business started with icing sheets and cakes (plus small catering jobs!).  I found an app for my android tablet called Cakeulator.  Just put in your recipe and it costs it out including time used.  The pricing is updated daily using all types of currency.  It gives me a better idea of what to charge.  i hope that helps!  

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