Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

A few weeks ago a woman that I know through working with our local school fundraising committee, emailed me for a quote to do a christening cake/birthday cake. Without asking more info I said that my prices started at $100 and went up from there depending on the level of decoration required. I never heard anything more about it. No worries; all well and good.

Then last week someone else was chatting with me and told me how this woman had been telling everyone at a party they were at, that my cakes were too expensive and she couldn't believe I was charging so much blah blah blah, but the kicker was "I'm thinking of doing some cake decorating and charging reasonable prices"!

At first I was shocked as I had seen her on several occasions and she had said nothing to me. Then I started to doubt myself and THAT was the worst! All it had taken was some uninformed trailer trash to make me think I was being unreasonable!

Why did I give that comment that power over me? Because secretly I can't believe people pay so much for a CAKE that I bake and decorate because I certainly wouldn't!!
But then I would be able to make my own and deep down I think I assume everyone else could do the same if they put their minds to it!! I know, I'm an idiot! I'm not being at all logical and not everyone has the time, patience or inclination.

So what did she get for her child's christening cake? An unmemorable, store bought slab cake with a bit of piped buttercream and some writing No other decorations. This cake cost her $140; but I'm too expensive remember.

I did this christening cake for the weekend and charged $150 for it. It was 10x10in chocolate mud cake/ganache/fondant.
http://www.cakeswebake.com/photo/christeningcake-booties1?context=user

THEN a "friend" of mine celebrated her daughter's 18th birthday. She told me that she didn't get me to do the cake as I was expensive, then proceeded to tell me how she had got this 10inch round cake covered with strawberries and chocolate for $160, she had to drive 45min away to get it and bring it back; but I'm too expensive??

Apparently it's fine to charge if you have a store, but not if you run your business from home! I'm not about to change what I charge as people have free will and I'm not going to be emotionally blackmailed into dropping my price for anyone. I have plenty of return business and customer testimonials and that's good enough for me.

Those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.

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I just think that people just don't get it.   If you bake from scratch, ingredients alone could cost a lot more than people even realize.   Then there is your time, cost of materials, ect, ect.    All these things that people don't even give a second thought to.     People will spend money on what they think is important and cake isn't that important to everyone.   GASP.  

OMG... I have the SAME issues. Too expensive, then they spend ridiculous money at a local shop. Or, sometimes they just assume that I will be too expensive and don't bother asking. What bother's me the most is when I'm invited to the party and not asked to do the cake. "Oh, we didn't want anything fancy, so we just bought a Costco sheet cake." I can do sheet cakes that look and TASTE better than mass-produced ick! And I will do them for a similar cost. Our friends and family know we've been struggling financially. That $35-60 dollars could make a lot more difference for us than just throwing it away to a chain store. A few of those a week could keep my dream alive. But with the slowed-down rate of orders this year and lack of little sheet cake/cupcake jobs, I'm going to end up working at WalMart and giving up caking. :(

I had a little rant on my FB page the other day. It applies to ALL enquirers of cake not just brides!

Things that make you go hmmmm!

For brides to be out there who are thinking ok I have the dress, booked the venue, the photographer, the band (dj) now I'll get the cake and hey it's ONLY cake so I only want to spend $200 but I want it to be 3 tiers, feed the world, have all hand made flowers and figures and I want it delivered and set up; how did you arrive at $200 for all that?
Firstly, if you think 'it's only cake' then why aren't you buying it from the supermarket? I'll tell you why. It's because you know they won't/can't do what it is you want. 

What you want ISN'T 'just a cake' it's a statement. It's a complex combination of making a statement about who you are, impressing your guests and providing a delicious dessert all rolled into one.
You want a piece of edible art.
So before you ask for the world on a budget that won't provide that, and get all bent out of shape because I won't do what you asked for the price YOU have determines, do your research. Look at what you are asking to be done, check out the prices that sort of cake is going for; be realistic about what you can afford and THEN come and discuss it with me.
People can 'see' the value in a dress, a band, a DJ etc but seem to be blind when it comes to cake. After all they could just make one at home - can't do the same for a fab dress or a band or a DJ! And they could whip up a cake if they wanted to, they just don't have the time! It's not that hard! I think that's part of the underlying subconscious. There's also the assumption that if it's store bought, it must be better!

I think your friends are crazy.  They would rather pay more and drive farther than buy one of your cakes.  I had that happen to me recently.  I quoted a 9 inch vanilla buttercream with vanilla cake for $25 and she ordered the cake but she changed it to red velvet cake with cream cheese icing with walnuts so I called her and told her it would be $35 not $25 and that was the last I heard from her.  Stick to your prices.  Advertise outside the box and get new clients.  Give away free cupcakes to your kids soccer team or your job.  So people can taste the quality of your products.  Good Luck!

I looked at your christening cake in the above link and let me say that $150.00 was quite reasonable!!  Your cake is beautiful!!  Let me just say, don't ever doubt your prices....if people want cheap cakes let them go to the grocery store because that is what they are getting...cheap cakes....I am just new at this myself so I am by no means an expert. I do know this....if you under price yourself people will begin to think your cakes are no good.  Baking and decorating cakes are a time consuming process and when you consider how you decorate to the way a store decorates, there is no comparison.....don't doubt yourself for a minute!!!! Just my two cents......

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