Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake


I feel completely frustrated over this.

I am self-taught baker for almost 2 years. Last week I was working on my first guitar cake (pic attached).

I took a day off from my primary work. Spend days to preparing stuff and more than 12 hours to assemble it together. My pinky toes went actually numb over so much standing in the kitchen and my carpal tunnel syndrome is coming back with each cake.

What gets me are stupid comments from people who have NO CLUE what it take to make pretty and edible cakes. I had 2 people saying that I will make more money off of that cake than I would make at work since I took day off, which is nonsense. They think it costs me nothing and all the money I make is just profit for me.

I charged $75 for guitar marble cake (3" tall) with nutella buttercream. It was made out of 10" and 9" round cakes - 3 layers, handle was not edible. I hand painted  it to make wood effect on it.

When I heard comments about me making lots of money, I got so mad/disappointed , it almost made me cry. How unfair is that??? I don't charge too much! Or do I? After all, I hardly make $30 on my cakes. Is it even worth it? I can't stand those comments and don't know how to deal with it. It is so unfair to talk about something you have no experience with and assume what is not true at all. ...

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Well said Sharon!!!! :o)

Amen, Sharon!!!  And don't ever, ever get down on yourself because you are "on the heavy side."  I think for far too long women have been programmed to believe their looks define their self-worth.  I, for one, do not agree with that.  It is what's inside that counts - a loving heart, now  that is the true definition of beauty! You go, girl! :)

Sharon Spradley said:

I am with everyone else on here ...your price was definately too low I would have been at about $150 and I to am just a 2yr baker but I am done with working for nothing, and at this point that is for anyone including friends. Even now I am still lucky to be making $5 an hour and on some cakes I have spent up to 35 hours straight, no sleep but for those cakes I am making what I am worth. As a newbie to this business I think we sell our selves short however I also know if it takes me longer than someone that has been doing it for 20yrs  then I cannot ask the customer to pay for that. Do not let people's silly comments get you down your work is awesome and they are probably jealous cause they know they could not do it in a million years. I always get down on myself because I am on the heavy side and soemtimes feel my kids could be embarrased of me, but I have found that they are so proud of me and for what I can do with a cake and that they love being able to show others what their mum created that for me that has become the "priceless" part out of the decorating business. Keep up the good work and hold your head high.

Sharon I agree with Dee.  I am on the heavy side myself, ok way past the heavy side.  I have days when I feel bad about myself but I am usually pretty happy.  Dee is correct it's about what's inside.  I am a very kind and giving person.  I usually think of others before myself and that is what gets me in trouble. I have decided that nothing will get in the way of my cake decorating and I have been called out for that but my attitude is "Who cares?"  I don't do muck for myself and that is the one thing I do so as they say out here in California "You go Sista'"  We all here for you and support you.  Just jump on line and you have hundreds if not thousands of people in your corner. 

Yep, as they say here in Kentucky - "all y'all sistas go!!!!"   This is a wonderful site.  Unlike some of the other "cake" sites, everyone (well almost everyone :) here is SO supportive and giving of their time to help each other out. Having been on the receiving end of that support several times I have to say - I just love you ladies!

Thank you so very much for all your comments! I actually had another person talking about my guitar cake and saying how much I had to make off of it. It is ridiculous.  Well, lesson learned and there is no way I would make same cake for same money. I think I learn to value my work with each cake more and more. I also talked another baker in area whose prices are very similar to mine and we both decided to raise our pricing since everything went up as well. Before, when people I know asked for 8" cake, I had hard time to ask for $25 dollars. Now, my 8" regular cake starts at $40 with buttercream only. I got tired of turning my stove on for little or no money. Besides, people around already know my name and what kind of cakes I do.

It still gets me to get emails and after giving my quote - not getting reply, but I am glad for free weekends as well.

Anyway, thank you very, very much for your advices and  opinions.

It is all about being healthy.  NOT what the media & the world thinks we should look like physically. They just released a study blowing the lid off old data that heavy people could not be healthy & physically fit.  Heavy people CAN be fit. I am SOoooo tired of the bone thin "look".  My daughter fought anorexia as a teen. Very difficult time. She now, at 32,  realizes she will always be a little larger in the hips & thighs.... that is the way she is built. She tends to fluctuate 7 lb up & down  Her hubby loves her either way. I battle the bulge too, but I am pretty active with excercise & stretch yoga. At 61, am not going to get freaked out.... love myself where I'm at & strive always to be better.  Dee is right when she said it is about being supportive, to ourselves first, to our family,  friends & cake friends.  Cakers on this site, as Dee said are supportive.  

This site rocks!!!      :o)

I don't think you charged enough. I think that cake should have easily went for at least $150 or more. You have to take into account your value as a artist, which includes your artistic ability. Trust me you won't go to your local grocery and pick up a cake like this.

"your cake is beautiful..... Some people just don't know all the work we do to make a nice cake......  

The cake is beautiful and worth a lot more than 75 dollars. Yes, people do not realize all that is involved in making a cake!!! Don't let them get you down!!! They don't know any better and have no idea of the time involved and hard work!!! Hang in there and keep your faith!! You do great cakes!!!

Some people just don't get it....they don't realize the time and effort these creations take. I had a woman make rude comments after she described the elaborate cake she wanted, and I gave her a quote. I then proceeded to very politely give her the name of a cake boutique in town and also a bakery in the neighboring town, and wished her a wonderful event. She had a 'change of heart' the next day - gee, I'm thinking she got prices from both of them and found out I wasn't a money sucking maniac - and asked me to do her cake. Oh, I'm sorry...I recieved another booking for that date and am unable to make your cake. I'm not usually a nasty person, but please don't insult me and then come back and expect me to bake for you - I don't need anyones business that much...neither do you!!

Good for you Joann

Love it....  you all of a sudden got very busy.....great come back    :o)

First of all, and you already KNOW this, your cake is beautiful! I can only aspire to have the kind of skill and patience! Secondly, $75 was way too little for a cake with that much detail. I would have asked for $100 easy. IT LOOKS REAL, and that is, my dear, the entire point.

I am amazed at how people watch shows like Cake Boss and since they really don't see all the work that goes into a cake, (let's be real, Buddy pawns off the work to his team and simply assembles it at the end, and then takes the credit)... they think it's easy. Just pop out the cake, would ya?

There are times, I am sure, we've all felt like crying, especially when it comes to prices. I have had many people tell me I should charge more for the work I put into mine, but I fear the commercial bakeries too much. In the back of my mind, I am always thinking, "Yes, it's a 1/4 slab cake, it should be comparable to a bakery's cake". Even though I have WORKED in a commercial bakery and know they cheat and use pre-made cakes. I am lucky enough to have a few dedicated repeat customers, people to vouch for me and put in good words for me.

Charge $10-20 more than you think you should ask for. I try to do that instead of settling for a commerical bakery rate, and there has never been an argument, except from family members, they think they should get a huge discount because we are family. Even if you CRINGE when you ask, do it anyway. It's all about negotiation, right? If they balk at it, explain why. Leave it at that. Call their bluff and let them walk if they want. You know they won't get a better cake anywhere else :)

The worst that can happen is that they will say no. That is their mistake, not yours. But when they say yes, you will feel vindicated and worthy. You have mad skills, and should be proud to ask for more $!

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