Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Well, the time is almost here, im nearly ready to start my cake business! So excited!

But im having trouble pricing my cakes.

I tried to do the ever suggested, call up local bakeries/cake decorators to find out their prices... but ive stumbled upon a problem, there arent any! The nearest one to us, is about a 45 minute drive away... and they only make a few certain "staple" cakes, that are lovely, but a small range so, not much to go by. Ill be driving up there to have a look at prices (can only see prices in their display book in store), also, the only local cake decorator (or the only one who advertises on the internet at least) is charging ridiculously low!! I pretended to be a customer wanting two different cakes on seperate occasions, wanting a quote. I know thats not nice to fib, but she gives off a very unhelpful, unaproachable vibe and i wouldnt dare tell her i was wanting to know because ill be her competitor! Anyway, she quoted me a mere $75 for a doll cake (you know the ones using the doll tins) this was including the doll, fondant and buttercream decoration, with glitter and a rich chocolate cake with filling!!!! And then for a two teir cake with a few decorations, about $120.... just crazily underpriced, which is a bit scary. Im a beginner and i know my cakes and my time are worth more than that!!!

 

i just dont know what to charge. Im really lost.

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Well Penny
1st off, it really isn't fibbing. You did a legitimate enquiry. I created a "fake" email address, & when I want to do enquiries, be it cake or whatever, I use that. Not my real name & can't be traced or tied to my FB page. So you are sort of in new territory. I live in a fairly affluent city, so I could price accordingly. But I know CWB member, who although is near a large city, her area where she lives is quite rural, also 45-50 min away. She said if she charged like the city decorators, customers would just laugh. Say no thanks. So she had to adjust her pricing to reflect the area she lived in. Now personally, that Doll cake at $75, is not that unreasonable. If it is a simple BC crumb coat & 1 layer of fondant with a few small decorations, like small fondant flowers. You don't get that many slices from that small doll tin. I always made accompanying cupcakes because the cake was so small. Now the 2 tier cake, that totally depends on the size of the tiers. I did a 14 x 3" & 10 x 3" 2 tier, torted, covered in fondant. Ribbon & real roses. Customer was an aquantance, & well heeled. Plus as I said, I'm in a affluent area. Charged $250. Included dilivery & set up @ hall. Now where my sis-in-lw lives in the next city..... No way could I charge that amount there. It would have been probably $175-200. And she is only 25 min away.

Where are you located?

Hiya ladies, sorry June I only just saw your reply... Thanks for your input! I forgot to mention about the doll cake though, that I told her it needed to feed 20 kids, as I knew this would mean she would either have to add more layers to the cake (make it taller) or do some cupcakes also. That's why I felt the price was too low.
Jawueline, I'm in Western Australia so cake pricing is probably quite different here? I managed to get a few semi local ladies pricing, they all seem to charge $25 an hour for their work, along with the costs of the ingredients and things like cake boards, maybe if I come in slightly under that ill have an advantage. I have a feeling I'm not going to have too much trouble finding willing customers but. Apparently there is a demand for cake decorators within a decent radius of where we live... Even though there are alot of cakers, most of them are unregistered and some of them aren't very good. So there are alot of people looking for someone, and also, where I live 80% of the families are fly in fly out to work on the mines while the wives stay at home and spend the money... So they don't mind paying for a nice cake. This is coming from two locals, one who sells cookies and donuts, the other who sells wedding/baby shower/birthday invites in the area :-) here's hoping!

First I need to say I am not a business owner YET. I am doing my research, websites are great! I don't have to talk to anyone for pricing. I live in Missouri, near St. Louis. I was working on my business plan and researching prices. I have determined the pricing for my business. What size is does she want the two tier cake to be?

What I did was make a spread sheet  of all my ingredients and how much they coast for example 1gal milk cost 2.99 but I only need 2c for my cake since the are 16c in a gal I divided the coast and that would tell me how much I spent on that cake I would do this with all my ingredients total it up to find out how much I spent to make the cake don't for get to add in the price of cake board dowels anything you use then I X that by 3 and that how I get my price. They have software out there to help with this like the cake boss http://www.cakeboss.com. Good luck hope this helped http://www.cakeboss.com/VideoTour.aspx

Here is a copy of what I use

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Thank you Sharnette. I am using box mixes with some of my own add-ins to make it more moist or whatever I think it needs to be. But this is very helpful if I ever get a big order. I had my pricing, but it is not for 3D cakes, its is just for simple 6-12 cakes, buttercream or fondant with increased pricing depending on how long the cake would take if it has a lot of decorations.

Thanks ladies! Well today a lady I know found out I'm starting a cake deco business and asked for a quote on a peppa pig cake.
She wanted a 10" round with a nice vanilla cake flavour. This is the picture she showed me (I've attached it) I could tweak it a bit, had to include the number 3 somewhere on it.

The cake itself was going to cost me $25 as it was a good vanilla cake with a syrup using vanilla pods and also Swiss meringue layer/crumb coat as she doesn't like buttercream and fondant decoration like the picture of that cake.

With the ingredients cost, and my decorating time and delivery and all that, I quoted $80. Is that unresonable? I know everywhere is different but were you are, is that bad? She messaged me back saying she couldn't possibly justify spending that much on a cake for a 3 year old but thanks anyway. I thought it was pretty reasonable. I know one lady who would have charged her $130, and another lady who wouldn't do it for her at all because anything under $150 is a "waste of her time" and another lady who would charge only $95 so I'm below all of them being my first "paid" cake. Was a bit disappointing. I even offered to make a peppa pig cake topper for $35 as a substitute to put on her supermarket cake and she said no too much.
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Well
Here where I am Penny with a boxed mix + & time... It would have been min $75-$85. If I added my time & subtract, would end up making $25-30. That's not very much profit. Good cake isn't cheap. Don't worry Penny, be patient, I am sure you will have other offers.
Thanks June :-) I really tried to make it reasonable, I'm not too worried, I've gained plenty of interest ppl are waiting for me to finally say "I'm open for business" haha.. But since she was my first real quote I just felt a bit deflated and needed reassurance that I wasn't overpricing! I think ill continue to stick to my pricing plan. If the lady half an hr away can charge $180 minimum for any cake, I can sure charge $80!!

Yes
I agree...... :o)

http://bakecalc.com/

The first is a website someone gave me - way easy to use. Second, I have attached a pricing matrix from another cake site (the only useful thing from the site). Feel free to change any costs on any of the pages to fit your specific needs.

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