Help - first wedding cake costing

Forum: Cake Decorating Business

Hi everyone. I have recently set up my own cake making business after making cakes for friends and family for over 3 years. I have had my first request for a wedding cake price but am really struggling! I have worked out it will cost around £110 for all ingredients including box, boards, dowels etc. It is the attached picture but as a three tier, one lemon, one chocolate and one vanilla along with sugar paste flowers. They also want two separate cutting cakes to serve 150 people (I’ve never heard of these before but am guessing they are just separate cakes to cut up to serve so they can leave the main cake on display??). Any advice would be greatly appreciated please :)

Charlotte's Cake Cottage

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5 Replies

kakeladi ...

Can’t help w/pricing but I’m guessing the request for ‘cutting cakes’ is what we in the states call a kitchen cake. It usually is a sheet cake depending on how many servings you need it can be any size 12×8; 9×13; 11×15 12×16 or 12×18 cut & served out of the kitchen. They usually are 4" tall (2 layers) filled & iced but only decorated w/borders. That way guests don’t know they didn’t get a piece of ‘the’ (main) cake. Sometimes the bride’s cake is such a design that it can not be made big enough to serve all guests, other times the bride thinks it’s cheaper to go w/kitchen cakes. Some decorators lower the price on these a bit making brides think they are getting a bargain :) As an example say the bride’s cake serves 105 that you price at $5 per serving but she has 200 guests – you make up the # of servings by offering a slightly cheaper ($4 per serving?) undecorated kitchen cake. Other decorators make their ‘kitchen cake’ exactly the same – with all decorations etc – and charge the same per servings price. Hope that helps you understand the difference.

Karen's Cakes And Bakes. ...

I’m sure they are lots of cake pricing guides online,but When I baked for a Country Market co-operative,we were always advised to triple the cost of all our ingredients,etc,to give a base selling price and this works quite well for me as then some of your labour is taken into account too. Cutting cakes are usually sheet cakes as kakeladi said,simply decorated to ensure enough servings for all the guests.There are plenty of portion guides online for different sizes/shapes of cake. I hope this helps you work it out.good luck.x

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

Karen’s Cakes and Bake has quoted a piece of advice I’ve heard. As an easy rule of thumb, you would charge 3-4 times the cost. Sometimes, I have had to figure in 4 times the cost of ingredients and the cost of labor. Kitchen/ cutting cakes are exactly as stated above. Of course, it won’t take you as long to decorate 2 sheet cakes as it takes to decorate and cover a tiered cake with fondant.
The cake you have shown also has gumpaste flowers on it. Some bakers charge so much per blossom. Something else you need to keep in mind is that different areas can charge differently. For instance: I am located on an island. Any specialty sugar craft item I need has to be ordered online. The closest Walmart is an hour and a half away and the closest Michael’s Craft Store (for cake decorating supplies) is 2 1/2 hours away. I charge a premium for a premium service, in a very touristy beach location. My prices might be a little bit different if I lived closer to a city where supplies were readily available.
Be sure you don’t under cut yourself. You will start to resent your customers. Make sure you are paid what you are worth!
Good Luck!

ChezEslie ...

I would definitely charge extra for the gumpaste flowers and the two extra cakes. I would recommend a couple of sheet pan cakes. I would charge also for the work it took to work with the fondant. You do charge 3-4 times the cost because you’re charging for the labor. Think of yourself as a car mechanic! Beautiful cake!

Graham Cook ...

Hi Luvvie.
Was reading a post on this site about pricing cakes but can’t find it again…from a professional cake maker. Basically it was:-
total cost of materials (ingredients, boards,ribbons etc etc) plus
your hourly rate (she charged £20 – £30 per hour !!!) you’ll have to estimate plus
£15 – £20 utilities (gas/electric, lighting etc) plus
30% of the above total to cover costs of buying tools and sundry kit
This, in her example worked out to over £800 for a four tier wedding cake with just a couple of large flowers on it and a small star wars scenario round the back of the cake. It was very nice but sounded quite expensive for what it was but somebody paid for it without question.
Her overriding message was don’t sell yourself short or be swayed by comments like “it’s just a cake”. It is in fact a centre-piece for the whole wedding day and people are prepared to pay for that fact.
Hope this helps and good luck with the business.
P.S. a cutting cake is exactly what you said…..don’t forget to include it in your pricing (obvs).