So often I see people uploading photos of cakes to Facebook groups asking how much they should charge, just to get a stream of comments with different amounts, in different currencies, with no indication of how the person got to that price. There are so many factors to take into consideration when pricing your cakes; your location, your experience, your ingredient prices, do you work from home or do you rent a space, I could go on.
If you’re a hobby baker and thinking about taking the leap to sell your cakes or maybe you are selling your cakes but you’re just not sure on your pricing, below I’m going to go through things you may want to consider when working out your prices. Plus I go through it all in a step by step video, which you can find below.
I know from personal experience pricing your cakes isn’t easy but hopefully by the end you’ll have a better understanding of what to say when someone asks for a cake.
Click below to watch me go through everything you need to know when pricing your cakes⇩
Your Ingredients & Materials
When putting together the price to give your customer, whether it’s for a cake, cupcakes or even little treats like cakesicles, the first thing you need to work out is how much is it going to cost you to make. So this is your ingredients and all your materials, including boards, dowels, fondant, ribbon, any special toppers you may need to buy, plus the box.
When it comes to ingredients you need to know exactly how much the flour, eggs, sugar, butter etc will cost for each cake. The easiest way to do this is to take the price of your flour for example and divide this by singular quantities. So if you buy a 1kg bag of flour that costs £1.00 for example, you know that 1g is £0.001 (£1.00 ÷ 1000g = £0.001). So if your recipe calls for 250g of flour your going to use £0.25 of flour. You want to do this for all your ingredients and store the amounts in a spreadsheet or notebook. It’s also worth working out your most popular cakes, just to speed things up.
The reason this is going to differ for everyone is things don’t always cost the same depending on where you live. You might also buy in bulk at wholesale, whereas someone else buys from a local supermarket.
My biggest tip is every few months just check your prices haven’t changed. Check the cost of eggs or cake boards hasn’t gone up for example, as you will need to reflect these changes in your prices.
How much is your time worth?
Once you know how much your cake is going to cost to make the next thing to work out is how long will the cake take you to make from start to finish, and how much is your time worth. This is so important as just like with any job you want to be getting paid for the time that you’re working. So this includes preparing the cake, working on the cake, any time to make toppers and decorations and finishing the cake. Plus don’t forget clearing up, as we all know this can take ages.
In the video above I go through things to think about when working out how much you are worth, and how much you should change. Just like with any job the more experience you have the more you can charge. If you’re new to decorating cakes you probably won’t be charging as much as someone who has been doing it for 10 years. In the video I go through things to think about and tips for working this out.
How much to charge for delivering a cake
When working out your time don’t forget to think about if the cake is being picked up or delivered. If you need to deliver the cake, how long will it take to get to the venue, set up and get home, and how much petrol will you be using? These are things to think about is someone has asked for the cake to be delivered.
Ok so what are the overheads for your bakery or home baking business. Think about things you have to pay out within your business. This can be anything from electricity, ovens, mixers, rent if you hire a space, insurances, leaflets, advertising… These are all things that need to be covered in the price of your cakes. Work out how much these add up to and then work out how many cakes you’ll be making each week, or month, or year and work out how much you need to add onto each cake to cover your business costs.
Plus you might also want to add a little more for profit to cover time spent in your business answering emails and gathering pictures if this is something you do.
Also do you sell wedding cakes, do you exhibit at wedding fairs, do you offer consultations with samples. These are all things that need adding into your overheads. I see people often asking why wedding cakes costs more than birthday cakes. People who make wedding cakes often offer consultations and samples, they spend time designing and sketching out a design, which may not be done for birthday cakes, plus wedding fairs can cost hundreds of pounds, and all these business costs and time need to be recouped in the cost of the cake, just like if it was any other business.
Do your research
One thing I talk about in the video is research. Research your local area, research what others are charging, know your market. Make sure you check out the video for lots of tips on what you need to research when calculating your prices and what you should charge.
Putting together your cake price for your customer
I know from personal experience how hard it can be putting together your prices, but the biggest piece of advice I can tell you is when working out your prices you need to be comfortable with them. There is nothing worse than spending hours making a cake to realise you haven’t made any money. But there is a balance, you have to earn money you are happy with, but also price your cakes so people are happy to pay your prices. The more experience you have it does get a easier I promise. Just don’t sell yourself short. No at home baker is going to ever going to be able to compete with supermarket cake prices and you shouldn’t either. You are offering freshly baked, custom cakes, so if someone if coming to you for a cake, don’t sell yourself or your business short.
One thing I did want to mention that I talk about in the video is if you are thinking of selling your cakes make sure you look into the rules and laws in your local area first. Contact your local council to check you are able to sell your cakes, contact the HMRC or your equivalent in your country to let them know you will be selling your cakes and register that you are self employed if this is something you need to do.
I really hope this has been helpful and will be useful if you’re trying to work out your prices. Let me know in the comments below if there is anything else you factor in. Plus if you haven’t already you can subscribe to my YouTube channel for Free cake decorating video tutorials.
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