Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Custom Cake Pricing

How easy is this cake?  Well of course that depends on your skill level.  I've been at it for about ten years and it takes me about four hours to do a cake like this.  I find getting a cake smooth tends to be the hardest part to learn for most people.  All you need to make the rest of this cake is some small circle cutters and a knife.  Well some colors, fondant and an owl template helps a lot.  We charge $3.75/per serving for a round buttercream cake and the. $30/hour for artwork and extra supplies.  This is a 6" and 9" and feeds 34.  34 x 3.75 = 127.50.  I would add another 1-2 hours for extra time.  You would need to account for all the time it takes you to mix all these colors and it adds up.  If I only add one hour/$30 that would make the total cake cost $157.50.  Would you pay that much?  Do you think it is too much?  Think about it for a minute before you read on.  I know if you make cakes your opinion will be skewed a bit.  

Now, I don't know how much a cake similar from a big box store would cost.  Said store probably has all their cake layers arrive baked and frozen and their icing is shortening based and comes in 5 gallons buckets.  I'm not trying to be a "snob" about it, I'm just pointing out some of the reasons those stores are cheaper.  The cost of  the ingredients are of course vastly different.  When you buy butter in four pound packs instead of 1,000 pounds at a time, prices are worlds apart.  Lastly, let's consider labor costs.  I don't know how much big box store bakery employes make, but I'm going to be generous and say $10/hour.  I know that after my years of experience, training and education entitles me to more than that.   I would say if you made this cake from buying supplies, baking, washing dishes, making icing,washing more dishes, and such you would have at least eight hours of time in the one cake.  If you subtract $20 for the supplies (a general guess) $20 for overhead (electricity, rent, licenses, insurance, gas,water trash removal etc) it leaves $117 (157.50-20-20=117). Now $117 divided by 8 hours = $14.63/hour.  Now do you still think we charge too much?  If you were a cake business person, how would you do it different?

Accompanying Smash Cake


  1. I definitely think that your cakes are worth more - any 2-tier cake should be a minimum of $175 or $180 or more - based on your quality, experience and design style.

  2. I love how you break this down. I always get the "I need cookies at a reasonable price" request. And to that, I say that you can get reasonably priced cookies at the grocery store. But for custom products, you must be willing to pay custom prices. They are a luxury item, not a necessity.


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