The subject for my blog post today is all about costing cakes, this is a tricky subject and is an area that many cake decorators struggle with.
I follow various fab cake pages mainly on Facebook and various cakey types on twitter and if there is one subject that reappears time and time again its “how do i cost cakes” and how much do i charge???
This can be a bit of a subjective matter as it depends on what you are offering, where you are based, competitors in your area and your level of skill.
For example when i first started decorating cakes and making cupcakes they were certainly not to the standard I make now, and back in the day i would make mainly for family and friends and just cover ingredients and supplies as it was a hobby and I needed to practice but now I would like to think there has been some improvement since then in the standard of my work.
But you will find as your expertise and confidence begins to grow more often than not so will the price because your more skilled at what you do and you will probably decide to start up a small business so you will have to begin costing your cakes effectively to make the business pay for itself.
I always relate making and decorating a cake a real skill that not everyone can do just just like being a dress maker or a jewellery maker ,i haven’t a clue therefore if I want something to be made specially for me I have to pay for the expertise of someone else to do it for me.
So Can i bake and decorate a cake to look like a bag, actually yes i can but you have to pay me for the hours i will stay up decorating and perfecting that cake, baking it, shopping for the ingredients, delivering it to you etc…..
The reason i think cake bakers/ decorators struggle with price is because the perception is that for the customer “its only a cake” and for the baker they think “they wont pay that much” so feel they cant charge the appropriate price.
I am as guilty as anyone else when it comes to costing but after much research and number crunching I believe my costing is fair.
Only recently a fellow cake maker was challenged to matching a bespoke cake in price to that of a supermarket cake, you just can’t make a comparison have you seen the ingredients in a supermarket cake? Have a look the next time your in a supermarket
You see if your making a cake have you included all the cost incurred such as:
supplies, board box,,even dowels, ribbons etc…
do you know how much profit you make on each cake after covering your cost?
There are various apps you can use to help cost your cakes but I tend to use an excel spreadsheet as I tend to play around with my formulas.
Basically the most simple way of costing your cakes is to take your ingrediants and double it you will achieve a 50% gross profit then add on your supplies, and that is just the basic cost of your cake,then add on your labour, utilities etc….. I really break it all down to get a fair cost that I am happy to charge and what the customer is happy to pay.
So decorators when costing cakes be honest with yourself,and value your work, and customers it’s not “just a cake” it’s a cake made especially for you by someone who really loves what they do and wants to create something for you that is very special
So please feel free to comment, and share the ways you calculate your cost, I might do a workshop focusing on pricing and costing cakes sometime in the future so subscribe to my blog and watch out for upcoming post.