I know I am not alone in the cake making community when I say I need to increase my confidence when pricing and quoting for my work.
Although I wasn’t actually charging for most of the cakes I’ve made to date, I know what they should have been priced at for full paying clients. With an eye to the future business I’ve kept a careful record of costs, so over time I’ve built up an increasingly realistic picture of materials, ingredients and time expenditure required for different types and styles of cake.
Despite this, whenever someone asks, as a paying client, about cake costs, I can feel myself wincing a bit inside at the thought of saying the final figure to them (I so much prefer doing it by email!)
Why? Because all too often the response goes something like this:
“How much?! It’s only a cake! I can get one from the supermarket for £30!”
And that isn’t a great thing to hear.
So, let’s break this down:
- It’s not only a cake…it is an edible piece of art, the centrepiece to your table, created just for you, designed to reflect you and the occasion you are celebrating.
You will definitely not be able to find something like this in your local supermarket. Your cake is an individual, one off, piece – just like with clothes, paintings, restaurants and cars, you should expect to pay more for cake exclusivity 😉
- Look at the ingredient list on a £30 supermarket cake. Goes on a bit, doesn’t it? Lots of nasties.
If you are ordering from a reputable crafts person, with high standards, they will be using just a few ingredients, all of the best quality…organic butter, free range eggs, high cocoa content chocolate, Madagascan vanilla extract…well, you get the picture. No nasty palm oils, synthetic essences or long lists of preservatives.
A gluten free baker will need to carefully check all baking and decorating ingredients, including sugarpastes and colourings, to ensure the integrity of the gluten free-ness of the cake. Sometimes ingredients need to be specially ordered. That all takes time and effort.
£30 wouldn’t cover the basic cost of ingredients for most custom made cakes, never mind the labour.
- The larger the cake and the more complex the structure, the more it will cost.
It stands to reason that a single tier, circular cake with a couple of small figures and ‘Happy Birthday’ written on it is going to cost less than multiple tiers and complex shapes. Doesn’t it?
- A bespoke cake takes time to design, plan and to execute.
Coming up with a final design that you’re happy with may involve several consultations, multiple sketches and the pushing of feasibility boundaries.
Your cake creator wants you to LOVE your cake so will put a lot of time, thought and effort into the design.