How to price your cakes.

I started doing this for my Grandchildren but I have people wanting me to make cakes. I can not do it for free going in the Black. How do you price your cake and time. Please help.

K. Nugent, Dayton, Tx.

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Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

This is probably one of the hardest parts of this business – as “newbies” we all make the mistake of charging less because we are not 100% confident of our work – but even if you are new – price your goods right from the very first day – trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Figure out how much it costs to make your cakes – ingredients, time to bake & decorate, time to design cake, equipment, etc. Bakers always forget to pay themselves for their time – assign a per hour rate and add this to the cost of the cake.

Once you have a basic idea of YOUR out-of-pocket cost, then you can decide how much of a profit you’d like to make. I suggest you call around to find out what other bakers/bakeries are charging for their cakes and try to price your product(s) accordingly.

For me, the easiest way is to charge clients a “per serving” charge for buttercream and for fondant cakes – for example if you charge $3.50/serving for fondant cakes – simply multiply this amount by the # of servings the client wants – some bakers prefer to charge a flat fee for the different size cakes – at the end, it’s really up to you, but make sure that you not only cover your costs, but that you make a profit – even if it’s a small one while you are making a name for yourself – hope this helps!

MsGF ...

I agree that pricing by the serving is the best way, it makes it simple and quick to come up with a price for someone. Years ago the rule of thumb was to take the cost of all your ingredients, take that number and times it by 3 and that would be the cost.

There is more to cake than people realize. The water you use to clean and wash up, the hydro, the gas in your car to pick up ingredients and deliver the cake, and for the stove (I cook with natural gas), the parchment paper to line your pans, the soap and other cleaners to clean up, paper towels, your time, the tools.

Don’t sell yourself short. And remember price your cakes to come out ahead and not short. The area you live in will also have a bearing on your prices.

Good luck, there is lot’s to think about.