Pricing Intricate Cakes

Looking for advice in developing a clear consistent cake pricing system. We are a fairly new bakery and like to have very set policies in place with each new phase of development. Our basic cakes are simple to cost and price. We are now receiving orders for fondant, tiered custom cakes. Is anyone willing to share their methods or even better send me a copy of detailed bakery pricing sheet that has worked for your business?

Jolly's

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jchuck ...

Well Jelly Good Fellows
I don’t sell many cakes, I’m mostly a hobby baker. But I do know you cannot sell your cakes for anymore than your particular area/market can bear. I suggest you check out bakeries, decorators in a 5-10 km radius. Phone around…email for a quote…anonymously of course. I created a email address just for that purpose. There are a few sites… Cake Boss ( cake software, not the cake show), Cakulator that are helpful in giving you a break down on how to charge. Hope this helps….

Jenniffer White ...

I price my cakes with a per serving price. That price includes a smooth finish, and basic decorations (swiss dots, simple piping, ribbon, etc.) For more intricate designs (detailed scrollwork, lacework, sculpting, etc.) I determine the number of hours it will take me to complete and I charge an art charge based on the extra decoration. So a basic cake for 100 would run $375 (3.75/serving) and then 5 hours of piping at $20/hour would add another $100 to the price of the cake. I used to charge a small ($5) fee for each tier over 2, but I stopped doing that as I got better with working with tiered cakes. I’m very upfront with the customer about this, and if I underestimate the amount of time it will take, that’s my fault – I don’t charge the customer any more. I wore a stopwatch a lot in the early days to help me determine how much time things took; Now I usually get the time down really close.

jchuck is right that the market in your region will determine the prices you can charge, but that doesn’t mean you have to make “champagne” cakes on “beer” budgets.

Kara ...

I agree with Jenniffer, it’s basically a base price plus the charge for the extra work. How much you charge will depend on how much you think your time is worth. I don’t know that you’ll be able to have a fixed price list that you can hand to customers for custom cakes since every one is different and requires a different amount of time invested.