Pricing your Cakes as a Home Baker

22 Nov

Pricing your Cakes as a Home Baker
The most important thing to remember when pricing your cakes is that no one can bake a cake quite like you. Therefore, what you charge is totally independent of what other bakers charge. However, it is important to research what is going on in the market with others within the cake world. This information will help you set the best market value for your cakes.

Step One: Call local grocery stores, bakeries, and home bakers

The best way to get an idea of what others are charging is to call various places in your local area. This research will give you an idea of what the market is willing to pay. When you call, you simply want to ask, “What is your price for ????” Act as if you are a customer inquiring about an actual cake so that you can get an idea of what they are charging! Its important to get an idea for cakes in Buttercream as well as cake in Fondant (Sugarpaste)…..then you need to make note of all this info that they give you on paper so that you can get an idea of what others are charging. Take several of the prices they give you and come up with an average.

 Here are a few cake cakes you might want to get pricing for:

· A typical sheet cake (1/4 sheetcakes are regularly used for birthday cakes in most areas)
· A special occasion cake…. say for example an 8 in round cake in buttercream with with icing flowers on it 
· A wedding cake –Per serving pricing! Ask what their pricing is for a round wedding cake iced in buttercream for 100 people…… some may give you a base price or a per serving price!
Step Two: Figure out what Your Actual Cost Per Cake is

For a typical 8 in birthday cake, a sheet-cake and then a tiered wedding cake….

After completing step one, you should have a better idea of cake prices in your local area. As stated earlier, you’ll only use this information as a reference because your cakes are unique and what you charge is based on your time, ingredients, and expertise.

However, you should price your cakes according to your local area. Just because I may be able to get $6 per serving for a wedding cake does not necessarily mean that is what the local prices in your area will be….

Here are some things you need to consider for your individual local area!

· Wages
· Housing
· Average annual income

Are things higher in your area than most other places? If so, you need to charge more. Do people on average earn higher salaries? If that’s the case, you need to charge accordingly. Do you get the idea?
The next thing you need to do is calculate your actual cost per cake. This includes all ingredients and packing materials such as cake boards, boxes and so on!

Most people charge 3-4 times what the cake cost them to make.

Here’s another way to come up with your prices.

If your goal is to make $25 on every cake, simply figure your total cost per cake and add $25 to it. This strategy works well for birthday and special holiday cakes.

Wedding cakes are usually sold by the slice and your price is totally up to you based on your time and expertise.

As you make the decision for what you’re going to charge for your cakes, you need to consider the factors that make your cakes unique. Although, you researched what other bakers charge, their prices should not be the basis of how you set your prices. To put it plainly, they are not your competition. You must think of yourself in a separate class of your own. Here are a few things that could make you different:

· You may offer original and customized designs for your customers. You take the time to find out what the client wants and you come to as close as you can to what is agreed upon. Unlike some bakeries and grocery stores who offer templated cakes with just a few changes.

· You may use family recipes with your cakes. This is why your cakes are extremely unique. No one else uses your recipe.

· You may offer the best ingredients. Some even bake their cakes with the freshest ingredients and some of them are shipped directly from the manufacturer because you can’t get it in stores.

· You may deliver and set up your cakes. This is a valuable service for those who are planning events such as weddings, anniversaries, and large birthday parties.

· You offer the best customer service. You listen to your clients and follow up to make sure they’re satisfied. You build relationships with those who buy your cakes.
There is no one formula to use when pricing your cakes. Every area is different. However, as a cake baker, you must charge what you’re worth. Regardless of your price, if you bake a great tasting cake and love your customers, they’ll become raving fans and beg for more.

You must believe in your decorating ability if you are going to get a fair price for your cake. If you don’t believe in yourself its tough to expect anyone else to. You must know that your cakes taste great and that your abilities warrant being paid a fair price. When someone gives you compliment on your cakes that should show you that your cakes taste great and beautiful as well so you deserve to be paid for your hard work. A lot of us are not used to getting compliments and we are not sure how to take a compliment. Next time someone gives you a compliment remember to politely say Thank You I do appreciate that. And know that YOU are a great decorator.

We must remember as home bakers that we work very hard on each cake we create. When you turn on your oven it costs you money, when you are decorating a cake you are not able to spend that time with your family. You should be paid for your hard work. When we hire an attorney or anyone else to provide a service for us we don’t tell them, well you know I could go down the road and get a cheaper attorney, like people say to us often times regarding walmart and other large retails grocery stores. You must realize with every cake your creating it costs YOU in one way or another, maybe the costs are minimal however your time away from your family is something you will never get back. Therefore make sure that you charge for your time to create those one of a kind cakes that most cannot purchase from walmart or other local grocery stores. Just a little something to think about the next time a friend or family member wants a free cake from you!!

What I have done myself to price my cakes is, I called around and got local prices especially local home bakers. I priced my cakes just under theirs in the beginning, once I got more experience I priced mine just above theirs, because I could create cakes and do things that they did not.

Realize you may get a lot of ohh my, your prices are too expensive!!! But hang in there you will find those who are willing to pay what you are worth. Don’t let it get to you, it is not a personal attack on your abilities, people are so used to going to Walmart and paying for a cheaper cake, but if you can educate them and show them how your cakes and your expertise is different from Walmart, people will begin to see the quality that you can offer them..

I wish you the best and may you realize just how valuable you are to the world of cake decorating!!


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