Forum: Cake Decorating Business

Cake pricing for Beginners

Hello Everyone,

I just recently started my own Cake Decorating business, I’m new at this and I’m curious about pricing and how much to charge my customers. I don’t want to charge to much, but at the same time I don’t want to be known as the “Cheap cake lady” LOL. Like how much would I charge for a 2 tier birthday cake? Or a 3-4 tier wedding cake? All my cakes and frosting/icings are made from scratch, and are always made fresh to order. I appreciate all you’re feedback!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lailaas-Sweet-Cakery/289945001053227

Lailaa https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lailaas-Sweet-Cakery/289945001053227

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12 Replies

Karin Giamella ...

Pricing is the toughest part of this business and varies by region. I would recommend doing research on your local bakeries; view the quality of their work and get some prices from them on a few levels of cakes from basic to elaborate. Then see how you cakes measures up and price from there. Keep in mind that people expect to pay less if you’re a home baker because you don’t have the overhead that a traditional bakery does. But also becareful not to underprice your work. Good luck!

Alecia ...

I’m new and still figuring out pricing too. if you are buying your supplies for retail prices, you are not getting supplies as cheap as a bakery would, but then you don’t have the overhead they do. There is a pricing matrix that someone made up and emailed out, and it helps making pricing easier. I’ve charged $65-$75 for a 2 tier bday cake and felt like it was fair to me and they are repeat customers now, so I know they’re happy! I notice that you do a lot with fondant though, so your pricing would be different. I cover my cakes with just buttercream.

Karin Giamella ...

$75? I’m getting my cakes from your Alecia! lol. Even butter cream cakes in NJ start at $4.50 per slice. I would just caution anyone to not underprice their work. Your time and effort is valuable.

Tiffany Palmer ...

Pricing is so hard! I have a really hard time with it too. You have to value your time and talent though! I can’t say much though, because I know I undercharge lol. Hopefully a few more will have some ideas for you on where to start. :)

MommysBest ...

Hi there. When it comes to pricing, don’t try to compete with others. You can figure out your over head costs: ingredients, supplies, electricity, tax, etc. and the just add how much you think your time is worth. And make your clients appreciate how your prices reflect your quality. :)

Karin Giamella ...

Great articly Mommysbest!

Lailaa ...

Thank you all for the feedback, I always second guess myself when it comes to pricing. Good to know I’m not the only one SweetBee LOL. And as far as the other Bakery/Grocery store here (That I absolutely love). They don’t use any fondant on their cakes or cupcakes. I spend a Lot of time on my cakes making sure I meet and exceed my customers needs.Hopefully with Patience Experience and time, I will learn how to price my cakes and not feel guilty. Because at the end of the day, Seeing the look of excitement and amazement on customers faces, Is So worth all the hard work and stress we go through!!! Thank you all for the great Advice Ladies!! :-D

Kendra Hicks ...

I price everything per serving based on the Wilton Party Chart and the Wilton Wedding Chart. When a potential client approaches about a cake, I ask them how many guests they’ll be serving so I can give them an estimate on price. I try to come as close to the actual number of servings they’ll need without going under, however, I price my cakes based on the actual servings a cake yields versus the amount they need. After the initial estimate, one of two things happens: I never hear from them again or they’re ready to book. Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty! Been there, done that and I’m so over it. If you don’t value your own work then why would anyone else? If they just want a cake then they can go to the supermarket. They’re getting a work of art, a centerpiece, and dessert made by you so you should charge accordingly. Good luck!

Lailaa ...

Kendra you are so right!!!! With me being new and just starting out, I charge my customers less. And with all the time effort and sometimes sleepless nights I’m putting into my cakes. My prices that I’m charging don’t add up. I just made a Tangled themed Birthday last weekend it was a 9inch covered in fondant. And I charged $40. :-/ I’m still kicking myself for it! I had a lady call me yesterday wanting a cake for this saturday, I told her because it’s so last min (within 72 hrs) That the total would be $70, so she said it was too high. I felt bad, but I know I can’t keep undercharging myself and my time. Thanks for all you’re advice You’re cakes are beautiful by the way! :)

Donna Tokazowski- Cake Hatteras, Hatteras N.C. ...

I have been having similar issues. I think I have it almost straight.
Things I have learned: As Kendra said, If you don’t value your work, no one else will.
You don’t want to please all the people all the time. You want to have your pricing to a point where some of the people are saying, “That’s too high”.
After you figure in your cost for materials, electricity, water, gas…what are you making an hour?
I have it figured this way, If you are not making a decent wage then basically you are providing a public service. You are providing cake or free cake for the general public. I don’t know about you all, but I am not in the financial position to provide the general public with free cake.
Please don’t take me the wrong way. this is the conversation I have been having with myself for the past two years since I have moved out of my kitchen and into my commercial kitchen.
I have upped my prices and still have people coming for cake. I think I could still stand to go up a little bit more and still not scare people away.
As Blue Sheep Bake shop has already stated, this has been one of the hardest parts about cake decorating.
I know how to make a good cake.
I know diddly squat about business, but I am learning.

“Confidence is a very important thing. But confidence isn’t something you just develop by saying I’m going to do this or that. You really have to believe it.” – Donald Trump
You have to believe in yourself, be confident in what you do.

Karen MacFadyen ...

You must add up the cost of all the ingredients including box board ribbons etc. Be aware of parking fees, postage and packing from online sugarcraft warehouses and sundries like this. Also I would advise keep a close note of the amount of time it takes you to design, consult, bake, clear up, decorate, deliver etc. As this is where time seems to disappear. I would always hunt around in my local area to find out rough prices for similar styled cakes from bakeries, and ensure as a home baker I was charging less – but use their prices as a guide, since they have all the overheads of a shop. Some cake decorators I have spoken to simply do not charge enough for their time, nor even price in for equipment replacement. But you have to make sure your product is every bit as good as the local shop too – in order to get paid a sensible sum of money for your time.

mydearbakes ...

I agree that the tough part is pricing. Perhaps, you can surf some of the websites/blog that sells cakes in your country? Some might have a price list that you might just be able to use it for a bit of reference ;)