Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

What is your take on charging for cake samples?  The samples we offer are 4 cupcakes of different flavors.  In the past we have not charged but are now tossing around the idea of charging $5.00, if they book the cake we will deduct this charge.  On the fence :(  Thank you in advance for your input on this.

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I know so many of you know bake up cupcakes for sampling but I just never felt they were tasted same as an actual cake. 

I would usually have some extra batter when bakeing so I'd bake up a 5 or 6" layer and freeze it.  When I had 2 of the same flavor would put them together w/filling and cut them into 1x2x4" slices and wrap those in plastic wrap.  Put those back together like a cake and wrap the whole thing w/plastic again.  When needing a sample I can pull out as many slices as needed.  When you have different flavors on hand it's easy to offer several choices.  I also found most people never finished even one slice. It was so wastefull to be throwing so much cake out, so I started splitting & filling just one layer so the piece now offered was 1x2x2 and when you offer 2 or 3 flavors usually most of that would be eaten and I wasn't throwing out so much good cake!

I never had to charge unless they asked for a special flavor that I had to make up special just for their tasting.

Hi Lynne :)  Thanks so much for your feedback on this.  We started out using wedges of cake for samples.  We would ice the entire piece, took too much time.  Then we went to cupcakes, this was quicker.  I like the idea of slices.  You just pipe icing across the top, right?  Would you mind telling me how you present your samples?  Thank you and Happy Easter.

I would actually ice the whole layer as one would any cake; top & sides then cut it into slices which were wrapped.  Sometimes I would not have any finished slices on hand, then I would take pieces, inject some filling and pipe a bit of icing on.  Usually I'd cut a sm slice of fondant for one so they would have an idea of 'what fondant was' :)

I'm not a fancy person :(   I usually just presented 2 or 3 small pieces on a sm plastic plate w/fork and some water for them to drink. 

If anyone wanted more than what I offered as samples, they had to pay for a cake.  IF they ordered I'd deduct that from the price of their order.  Not many did.  That usually was only if someone wanted a very special flavor that I usually didn't make.    HTH

I think we are going to charge $5.00 for 4 cupcake samples.  We'll see how that goes.  I brought up your suggestion at the shop today.  If we are finding that customers don't like paying for samples I think we just might give your idea a try :)  Thank you so much!

I just did samples for 5 brides... I bake mostly for friends and family so never charge for samples.  I have them each choose 4 flavors then bake all at once.  The ones I just did... each bride got a box of 18-24 cupcakes.  I know that is WAY over the top but again... most of mine are people close to me anyway.  I was thinking the same thing about the expense and time put into doing the samples... But I have figured out how to do my recipes by making 1/4 of a recipe at a time so I don't have so many left overs... but the people I work with love when I do samples and have leftovers!!!

Jeri - how do you make 1/4 of a receipe? What if there are odd # of eggs for example?? :)

thank you, Jeri, for your suggestion :)  I'm sure EVERYONE enjoys when you have to provide samples! 

We are a shop and have started charging $5.00 for 4 cupcake samples.  If they book the cake with us we deduct the charge from their order, so far so good :)

When I was baking a particular flavour I would just make extra and always have some tasters in the freezer ready to go.  I would charge a nominal fee - deductable from the cost of the order when they place it.   I don't think it is particularly time efficient to make the samples as a specific task - but to increase a mix - and whilst all the mixing bowls and mixers and spoons need washing up from an order - increase the bulk to make spare and cook at the same time.  Otherwise you have all the bother of clearing up the kitchen for a small amount of money.  Just a thought!   I worked out to always be mindful of the time it actually takes to create something and work out the most time efficient way of doing it. 

Hi Karen, we do the same thing at the shop with flavored cakes.  We always have some fun flavor on hand :)

You're right, time is money.  Actually, since we started charging for the samples we have less people NOT picking them up... go figure! 

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