Friday, February 10, 2012

Sittin' on a Dock with a Cake

So I have made cakes for young Kaben on several occasions, but when Tara (his Mom) from the Car Barn called and told me that her Dad was turning 70, I knew we would make him an awesome cake too!

One of Kaben and his grandfather's favorite activities together is sitting on the dock of their beach house.  That's a theme I can work with!!

I don't want to go all Jerry Seinfeld here, but what's the deal with molded figures?  I work and work on them, and I'm still never 100% happy with them!  I spent at least 6 hours working on these 2 figures alone.  Like most things, I guess I just need more practice to get better and faster!

For the other bakers out there that do wedding cakes, how do you price "other" cakes (like birthday cakes)?  Including the figures, I spent a good 11 hours on this cake.  The artistic side of me really enjoyed making it, but the business side of me thinks that the same amount of time could have made a (higher-priced) wedding cake.  Do you price differently for wedding / birthday cakes??


  1. My wedding cakes and birthday cakes are priced the same. I live in a market where people for the most part don't understand why decorators charge so much for cakes so I try to make it as simple as possible to understand. It would take the same amount of time for some birthday cakes that it does for wedding cakes. To me cake is cake.. and some clients find it wrong that cake decorators charge more for wedding cakes than other celebration cakes... I blame the wedding industry for that one. I used to live in NJ so I know there its a little different but in other places its hard to try to justify the cost of something when people go to Walmart to buy a cake.

  2. My point exactly, Kima! I (try to) charge the same too, because my time and materials don't cost less for a birthday cake. If anything it can take MORE time! I just get these gasps of horror when I tell someone the sculpted birthday for their six year-old will be $500. I sell a premium product and I understand it's not suitable for every occasion. I guess some days I am weaker than others!

  3. I think your figures are brilliant! I totally get your pain on the pricing front. I charge the same for wedding cakes as birthday's the time that is the expensive part. That said, I think I am still under charging for mine as I often under-estimate how long some features will's a steep learning curve!

  4. I do not make wedding cakes, but I would charge the same. You know I make a lot of sugar decorations for my cakes, they are very time consuming and I do charge extra for them.
    If they want a sugar Minnie Mouse I charge one price, it they want just a Minnie fondant cut out on the cake, I charge a different price. It is not the same to make a sugar figure than a fondant cut out, or using icing sheets. It is hard for people to understand that. Another thing to do to our never ending list:educate the client.
    This cake is lovely and you did a great job with the modeling figures.

  5. I'm unable to contribute in the pricing as i'm not an expert baker like you. But your figurines are perfect!

  6. I'm just interested what everyone has to say... I've been wondering the same thing so it's great to hear others' thoughts. Also, wedding cakes are usually priced per slice so do you price birthday cakes per slice? And since wedding cakes are usually sliced smaller, do you go by the same slice size for birthday cakes or larger?

    1. Lydia, I use the same sizing charts for all cakes. It's easier for me AND the client. And on pricing, I price all cakes by the serving and then estimate an art charge based on the amount of detail or extra work (like molded figures) the design will require. I charge by the hour for the artwork.

    2. That's a really sensible approach! My problem at the moment is I keep underestimating how many hours the art will take...

    3. Thank you!! Would you mind sharing your sizing chart? Or size of a slice?


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