how much for a cake

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012 ( 39 moms have responded )

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i am just starting a bussiness of cake decortaing, how much do people pay for cakes, i have never bought a cake in my life, i do cute detailed work i've made repunzel, which according to a pricing guide should be around $150+ is that outside the normal range or am i just tight....

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[deleted account]

Don't sell yourself short--the risk in this upstart is very minimal, so there is no reason not to go for it!



You make your kid's cakes because you are GOOD at it--you will cater to mom's like me, who couldn't bake a box cake if our lives depended on it. We exist--I promise. I've actually only ever been to one birthday party where the mom baked the cake, and she happened to be a professional chef. The bulk of your cakes will be lower end $30-$40 range, but if you are one of only a few in your area to do it, you will get the occasional pricey custom cake.



Design a website and some cards--even if you only sell 5 or 6 cakes a year, you'll break even and make a little fun money.

Print 4x6 postcards to leave at local birthday venues, children's boutiques, children's photographers, etc. You can print about $500 for less than $100

You can buy a year of web hosting for about $60, and most hosting services offer a free web builder with a hosting purchase. They are basic sites, but that's all you need: an About Me page, Gallery to show your work, and Contact Me page.



Your only other expenses should be a business licence and probably some certifications for food (I don't do food, you'll have to check on that).



Are you in the US? There are TONS of tax write offs for having a business in your home--that alone can help you break even on your investment.



ETA: Also, BRAND yourself. Make your name THE name to toss about when it comes to cake. Everybody knows Coach bags right? They're really not that special, but people pay $300 a pop for them. Everyone knows David Edmondson, right? He's not all that either, but he is THE wedding photog for the rich. Make yourself the baker everyone wants.

Bobbie - posted on 05/14/2012

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The business of making cakes have gotten very competitive. Not only in the designing but in the flavors and home baking from scratch area. If you are using a cake mix and decorating is more your focus then the price should be much lower than the homemade, from scratch cakes that offer Vegan and glutten free cake that tastes fantastic. The woman who does the special cakes, pies and cupcakes for me charges $20 for a dozen decorated cupcakes made completely from scratch. They are presented in a beautiful silver heavy paper cup with a great design, not just average paper cup papers, and are in a great sturdy silver pan style with clear round high top so as not to mess of the cupcakes. Her cakes are priced by what ingredients, hours of time and difficulty in pipping or fondant are involved. She helps decide the price by finding out how many people you wish it to serve. She has a price list made up of pricing per serving as well as difficulty.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/22/2012

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Our area does not require a professional kitchen if your business is a sole proprietorship. I know a couple of bakers who started out at home. They just require a pet-free kitchen, non-porous surfaces, and a space large enough to store the cakes below a certain temperature (and there are cleaning rules).



This is the same here in NS, Canada. The lady I bought my wedding cake from does it out of her own home. She does WONDERFUL work. it is utterly amazing!

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Iridescent - posted on 06/10/2012

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The most I ever paid was $300 for my wedding cake. Next - $165 for 9 separate undecorated cakes for each child to decorate their own, plus 1 6" 3 layer Lego cake with fondant. It was freaking awesome, and 2 of those individual cakes were slightly more than the others in that whole price breakdown because it was for children who can't have dairy, soy, gluten, citrus, or goat's milk plus the icing packs for those cakes specifically. Plus, these were all made by one of the stars of the Food Network. :) The most I'd pay for a birthday cake (just one typical cake) is $40, and that's really pushing it.

Erin - posted on 06/06/2012

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I think $150 is too steep. I wouldn't pay it even if it was super cute. Sorry.

Bobbie - posted on 05/14/2012

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yes Shawn you have a valid point about food regulations. They have really killed the small home businesses in my state. My state, Maryland, has the following laws,
Separation

The area used to produce food must be separated from living areas. In most cases, this means there must be a door blocking the kitchen from the living room and dining room. Some states specify that the kitchen and tools used for preparing food commercially must be separate from the kitchen and tools used to prepare food for those in the home.

Inspection

The area to be used for commercial food preparation in the home must clear an inspection. The inspector will ensure that the commercial food preparation area is separated from living areas, that all appliances and tools are thoroughly clean, that the floors and work surfaces are thoroughly clean and well-maintained, and that there are no insect or rodent infestations. Once the home food business has passed inspection, you will be granted a certificate, which must be displayed in the commercial work area.


Read more: Regulations for a Home Food Business | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5087182_regula...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/14/2012

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Have always done my own event cakes. From scratch, butter cream frosting, and whatever design I come up with.

But, if you look, depending on the area, specialty cakes are PRICEY!!! Lowest I've found so far is $3.95/serving, with the highest being $7.95/serving (and in this area, it's all by the price of the serving, not the entire cake price.)

Make sure you are fully abiding by ALL health department rules/regs/etc. And good luck

Cyndel - posted on 05/12/2012

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It is a little different, but I sew, and I charge for supplies, plus $7 per hour it takes me to make the project from start to finish, plus a little extra for hand embroidery or other embellishments that take plenty of time and skill.

So I would charge by the hour; just figure out how much time it takes you to do most cakes, and add a little more for the more time consuming and skill oriented decor.



For certain cake types, size, and decor, $150 makes since. But you also have to take in consideration the people your baking for, what they want and are willing to make and let them know why your prices are what they are for certain cakes, $35 for a cake that takes 6 hours or more just to decorate isn't giving you the respect for your time you deserve. Just find a good balance.

I hope this helps!

Sal - posted on 05/05/2012

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Hi all I have set up my facebook page have a look I know you can't it ad you are o/s but just for fun.... Cakes by Sal

[deleted account]

My hubby to be makes our kids b-day cakes..he makes a killer choc fudge cake with fresh cream and strawberries.He is not a professional.

We get parents staying just to taste the cake lol.Lets just say there's no left overs, the kids love it and adults alike lol.So now the cake has gained height and layers since he first made it.DELISH.:-p

[deleted account]

man i feel out of the loop, i only barely recognize Coach and have no idea who David Edmondson is except now i know he's a photographer....

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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thanks kelly, i am currently getting my portfolio of photos full, making super cakes for friends and family, and a few for community events, like the anzac day cake i'm making (i'm aussie) and you are right there is little set up cost involved i am just lacking the experiance in pricing...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/22/2012

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I buy all my kids b-day cakes from SuperStore. They have AWESOME cakes. They are butter pound cake and I tell you those cakes are the BOMB! Costco has awesome cakes too, also butter pound cake, with a layer of pudding stuff in the middle (just a bit too big for us).



We pay no more than $25 for a slab - 12x9 (except the one time my daughter got the Barbie cake). It feeds 15 - 20 kids. It is decorated with whatever theme you want. We got "Cars" for my boys 1st b-day, it even has an actual figurine for them to keep from the cake. My daughter just goes for a regular round with chocolate icing, piping and flowers now. She is getting older... :(

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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i so know what you mean i have always made our cakes too, and i really love the unusual wow type cakes that i frankly couldn't afford to buy, and my mum made ours as kids, so paying for one is not an option for me, but because people are asking and i have some interest already just from our own peronal cakes and the ones i've done for fiends i tought i'd make the most of it.....

[deleted account]

i'm a cheap bastard, i make my own cakes for like $10 or less, and i'm pretty good at it too. so i'd probably never buy from a cake shop unless it was for a ton of people which, with my current supplies, i would not be able to provide for.



if i ever went into making cakes for special occasions, i would probably charge $15 to $20, depending on the size of the cake and how much work i put into it. i've actually thought about it, but everyone would rather buy from Walmart xP

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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yes make the cake, too the pricing guide i found was either by slice/serve or 3-4 times cost price, so my estimate to make reunzel was about $40 to make, it was red velvet cake, dark choc dairy free ganache and fondant and served around 30 people dessert size pieces (i did really count as i found the pricing guide afterwards) and my sons pizza was probally 50+ to make choc mud, ganache fondant and hand made toppings, it was made for him but i entered it in a comp the day before his b'day and was pretty big

Mrs. - posted on 03/22/2012

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I spent around 50 bucks on at an upscale bakery in my city for my daughter's pink velvet, organic, multi-layered, decorated cake. I live in Canada so you have to adjust, as the Canadian dollar is quite strong right now (If you don't live in Canada, that is).



150 sounds way outside the range of what I would pay or could get at a local, even swanky designer cake joint.



And sorry, are you actually making the cake or just decorating it?

September - posted on 03/22/2012

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We buy our cakes from a friend that owns her own business. She makes some pretty lavish and very beautiful cakes. She charges $1.50 a slice for most of her cakes. Of course her wedding cakes are a bit more but I’m not sure how much more. I’ve only ever ordered b-day and anniversary cakes from her.

[deleted account]

No more than 50 euro for a kids birthday cake and for a wedding cake its anywhere from 300-1000.That depends on tiers, detail, cake jewellery/cake toppers and flavour of the cake on the inside as well as the finishing layer on the outside.

I am paying 500 euro for my two tier wedding cake mostly due to the hand damask detail on the outside.

Brianna - posted on 03/22/2012

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all depends on the layers and how hard it is to do. i make mostly wedding cakes. i usually charge for a vanilla or chocolate 2 tier plainly decorated fondant cake about $300.

Michele - posted on 03/22/2012

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For fun, you should look at www.cakewrecks.com



It is absolutely hysterical.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/22/2012

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We did buy a Barbie cake (that stood tall, like a Barbie)for my daughter 6 years ago from Super Store, it was awesome! It was $50. I would never do that again either. Way too much for a birthday, IMO.

[deleted account]

We bought a birthday cake for the girls one year. $30. I wouldn't do it again cuz that's too much. I'm super cheap though, so don't ask me. ;)

[deleted account]

For kid cakes, I paid in the $25 ball park for the 1/2 sheet cake. Honestly,. kids are not picky about the cake flavor, the icing, all they want to see is their favorite design. But this past birthday I dicthed the cake altogether becasue I was sick to my stomach of leftovers. I made a batch of plain sprinkled cupcakes instead.



For specialized baby shower cakes, I chipped in with someone for the $80 cake and it fed about 30-35ish people. It was a pretty cake and all, but honestly- I thought it was overpriced.



Specilized wedding cakes are too variable and personalized per client to price.



Good luck to you!

Mother - posted on 03/22/2012

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"and i make a few of the basic b'day cakes you know the type sponge cake,butter icing cute shapes and theme type cakes and they are the 40+ dollar mark, but these are BIG event cakes and very complex"



Ok, that makes more sense. So, not just your run of the mill everyday birthday cake. I've never had a big event cake, aside from our wedding. We still only fed 60 people. Our cake was mostly fake!!! LOL I think it was around $200 and was fondant, which I know brings the price up a wee bit.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/22/2012

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Here is a link to the lady I bought mine from... She has a gallery of cakes she has made. It is only a limited gallery.



http://www.enticing.ca/





You can view her comment about pricing as well. i know this is out of your area but it gives an idea of an "across" the broad feel... ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/22/2012

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Well I had my wedding cake made privately by a cake decorator. it was not very big. It fed 15 people. We paid $235 for it.



We had a 2 tier 9" square bottom with a 6" square top, carrot cake for our wedding, with cream cheese and butter cream icing. With 5 sugar flowers. Like I said, the cost was $235 but that also included delivery.



Yep, if they are cakes for BIG functions and there is fondant or butter creams used. Decorative accessories made from fondant or sugar. Piping and beading. It is costly. Especially if they are specific type cake. I would be prone to say, depending on the quality of cake and workmanship, $150 is LOW.



This person WAS the cheapest. One business wanted $500 for a plain basic wedding cake, with minimal decoration, including piping...

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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apart from my sisters wedding cake i havent done one but that was kind of why i was scoping prices i made a pretty complex baptism cake for a friend,the theme was all things bright and beautiful, it had lots of flowers, butter flys, lady beetles bees etc, and someone who saw it has been asking who made it as they are looking for a unique wedding cake, i'd like to be confident in my price quote, reasonable but seen as they are all hand made and 100% unique i don't want to rip myself off either

[deleted account]

I agree with Jodi, check out your market. I know that *I* like to buy unique cakes and pay a little more for them, but I like doing it because not many others do it, so it makes his party stand out. My baker does the unique cakes, but I know the bulk of her business is less expensive sheet cakes, and wedding cakes.

Can you do wedding cakes? People pay several hundred each for those--even the skimpier ones.

[deleted account]

I've paid $175 for a cake for J before, but it's not my norm. Usually, I spend between $65 and $100 for his cakes, and they usually feed about 20-25 people.

The $175 one was a 2-tier pirate themed cake that had to feed about 50 people. Our baker also does the licensed theme sheet cakes for like $40 each, but I like more unique designs, so I pay a little more for them. You do have to get a license if the cake is copyrighted.



Our area does not require a professional kitchen if your business is a sole proprietorship. I know a couple of bakers who started out at home. They just require a pet-free kitchen, non-porous surfaces, and a space large enough to store the cakes below a certain temperature (and there are cleaning rules). Every state, county, and city is different, but you can find out everything you know from your local Small Business Administration or Chamber of Commerce.

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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oh and my little profile pic is the top of repunzels tower with repunzel...not sure if you can see it

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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i know what you mean which is why i thought i'd throw it out there, i live rurally and there are only private decorators, and no one locally in my neiche market, and when i have been checking on line the prices seem exravagant to say the least, (my $150 is in the lower price bracket)

and i used to own a cafe so i know how fussy the council can get

Jodi - posted on 03/22/2012

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Sal, I do see where you are coming from. I'm not sure where you live, so I couldn't say whether there was a market. I think you need to check out the potential in your area via other suppliers. Like, who else is providing this stuff, who are their market, how much are they charging, that sort of thing. Lots of research :)

Jodi - posted on 03/22/2012

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Sal, you will need to use a commercial kitchen :) So glad you have access to one. I wasn't trying to be condescending or anything, hope you know that. We had to jump through hoops just to put in a Coke drinks fridge!!



Anyway, yeah, I think $150 is targeting a very specialised market. If it is even there. I don't know anyone who would pay close to that for a kids' cake :\



Go out and research. Do you have cake shops nearby? Go and explore their books of samples. Pretend you are looking for some reason and ask prices on things. Just keep in mind that for the average child's birthday, most people would not pay that much. Not even close. So you would have to focus on a very specialised market.

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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and i make a few of the basic b'day cakes you know the type sponge cake,butter icing cute shapes and theme type cakes and they are the 40+ dollar mark, but these are BIG event cakes and very complex, i made a pizza for my son with hand made toppings salami, grated cheese,mushrooms, pineapple, chocolate ganache, fondant, and the repnzel was for my daughter, just made them to get practice....i'm making a yum cha basket for my hubby soon, and an anzac day cake for a service here, just don't know what to charge in future

Sal - posted on 03/22/2012

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yeah i know the regulations are there, but i have use of a commercial kitchen if i need one, and i'm like you i have never payed for a cake either...

Mother - posted on 03/22/2012

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WHA-?? 150$ for a a cake?? Is this like a kids birthday cake?? OMG....I'd never pay that. Sorry, not trying to dampen your spirits. the most I ever paid for a cake was $35 bucks. It had to feed way more then we normally would feed and it was a theme cake of Dora with a train that went around it.....that actually worked. I thought that was expensive.



Can you post a picture??

Jodi - posted on 03/22/2012

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Sal, have you checked out your local council's Food Handling regulations, and the requirements for a food business? Some of them can be really anal about your food prep areas. Like, beyond what your standard home kitchen would be. I'm not to be a killjoy, but knowing what I know, before I did this, I'd make sure I could meet the legal requirements.



With regard to how much people pay for a decorated cake? Well, for a kid's birthday cake, I, personally, wouldn't pay more than about $30.....I suppose for a milestone birthday some people might pay much more for a cake, but the average person doesn't have that budget. But then, I only paid $60 for my wedding cake, so.....who am I to judge that one :P

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