That was the issue I had when I first started caking as well. I ask clients the following questions before I provide them with a quote: - flavour - size/servings - icing type - decor/theme they are looking for - photo examples if available, or I’ll draw out a sketch if they don’t have one available.
I have a base pricing per serving for basic buttercream or fondant work and go from there. Now that I know my skill level I also factor in decorating time, additional ingredients etc. I also try to keep on top of what other customer decorators are charging as well. That helps me gauge if my prices are too low, too high or in the average ranges.
Personally, I’ve gotten to the point where my price is my price – take it or leave it. As much as I love being in the kitchen the time away from my family takes a toll so it really needs to be worth my time and effort. I’d much rather do fewer quality cakes at the price I deserve than wear myself out with budget cakes and scraping by to make a profit.
Good luck – you’re work is definitely worth the money!