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How to Price Your Cakes

Learn how much to charge for your cakes in this free video, brought to you by your friends at Howcast. To expand your cake repertoire, check out the courses at CakeMade:


Hi, I'm Bronwen Weber of Frosted Art Bakery, and I'm teaching a course "Contemporary Wedding Cakes with Classic Piping Techniques". In this course, you'll learn to make a silver plateau out of chocolate, you'll learn to ice cakes quickly and easily, you'll learn to make really fast gum paste flowers, and do a lot of different piping techniques.

But today, I want to talk to you about something that I get a lot of questions about: how to price cakes. It's a very tricky one. Most people, right off the bat, forget to account for their time and the time that it takes to decorate a cake. Cake takes so much time, and you have to remember the time that it takes talking to the client about the cake. You've got to remember all the time that it takes you to go buy your ingredients and hunt down that special tool you need or find that silicon mold. All that time needs to be accounted for, and your client needs to pay for that. You don't. That is the time that you're giving them and allotting to them. So labor is your biggest expense, and you have to account for it. You are worth a whole lot. Your time is worth just as much as my time, as anybody's time, so do not forget to charge for your time.

If you had to make a guess as to percentage-wise, I would say that your food cost should be about 15% or so, 15%. So if you think about what you're charging now for your cakes, if your food cost is more than 15%, you might want to think about that. If you're thinking, "Oh, well, this has about eight pounds of butter and that costs $50, so I need to charge $75 for this." Then you got to think again because you've got to get that food cost lower. Your labor is worth a whole lot more than butter is. Just think of your time with the cakes as time away from your family and from your friends. So you need to account for that time, and your client should be paying for that. Your family shouldn't be.

A lot of bakeries sell their cakes per serving, and that's how we do it because it's an easy thing for clients to understand, "Oh, how much per serving?" So one thing that you should get in line is: How big is your serving? Get a standardized serving chart, and really stick to it so that you can charge accordingly. Another thing to consider is geography. If you're in New York City or Los Angeles and the amount per serving is some standard price, your price should probably fall in line with that. Yours shouldn't be a third of it because then you're just making a third of the money everyone else is. That seems silly.

A lot of people say to me that clients in their area won't pay this certain amount of money for these cakes. Well, they certainly won't pay for that if you give them that same cake for half the price. If you charge half the price today, you'll never get three times the price in the future. You need to commit to a price and wait for the clients to catch up. They'll get there. I promise. If they want good quality cake from a good quality cake decorator, they will pay the price. And just remember, when you're buying a piece of art, like a painting, it's not the paint and the canvas that you're paying for. It's the artist's time and his schooling and his techniques and his skill. And that's what they're paying for, too, when they're buying a cake from you.

So those are things you need to consider when setting prices for your cakes. To learn how to make a cake like this with everything you see here, cake, icing, modeling chocolate, and piping, please check out my online course "Contemporary Wedding Cakes with Classic Piping Techniques". I really hope to see you there.

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