How to price a birthday cake - it's not just a bit of sponge
Updated: Apr 19
Are you happy with your own method of cake pricing? Are your customers happy with your cake prices? I believe that any potential customer has the right to ask for an breakdown of costs relating to their cake. How many times have you not heard back from a prospective customer after you have spent time working out the cost of a cake design that they would potentially like you to create? Maybe you would get a higher response if the customer actually knew the breakdown of where their money is being spent!
As any cake maker will tell you ‘it's not just a bit of sponge’. That’s why I would like to share with you the pricing of one of my cakes here at Lily Blossom Cake Creations, Liverpool's Best Online Cake Service.
If you asked me “how much would it be to buy your #Safari #WildOne 1st birthday cake?” This particular cake design would cost £95 (cupcakes are priced separately).
I imagine that some potential customers would think that £95 was expensive which is why I wanted to provide a breakdown of how my cake pricing works which will give you a much better understanding of how your £95 will be spent.
People may think “she must be loaded if she’s charging £95 for a cake, after all it’s just a bit of sponge, isn’t it :)
Although it would be lovely, I don’t actually receive £95 for creating this particular cake as I do need to purchase items, ingredients, accessories etc to create your special occasion cake and bring everything together to make your cake look and taste fabulous for your loved one and special occasion.
Only a portion of the cake pricing is actually for my labour (that’s the time it takes for me to plan, prepare & create your cake). Therefore, with a view to keeping customer's fully informed I will share how I have priced one of my cakes which will help customers understand how I have arrived at the cake price and whether they think it is a fair price for the hours of planning / work / labour involved to produce their special occasion cake for their loved one. I am more than happy to provide a breakdown of cake quotation prices for all future customers, please just ask me!
As soon as I have the full description of the required cake design or sometimes the customer will send me an inspirational photograph to give me an idea of what they would like, I will then create a similar cake design (although not exact), then I will start to estimate the costs for the size of the cake required & I will work out the costs for all the details of that particular cake design that they would like.
In the past, I have under-estimated the costs for certain cakes which have taken much longer than I had planned, but I have re-adjusted the pricing to re-create that cake in the future when I have realised the ‘actual’ costs involved and the ‘actual’ time it took to create that particular cake.
I like to create high quality cakes made with high quality ingredients, and I also like to
keep costings as low as possible for the customer, I have, on many occasions, not charged enough for my labour or a particular item required for the cake, but I have never requested additional money from a customer.
Here is the pricing breakdown for the Safari ' Wild One'
1st Birthday Cake - Priced at = £95
£13.65 Dried Flowers & Palm Sphere https://www.etsy.com/shop/EricaFlowersDesigns
£13.00 Acrylic Wild One & Name Charm https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CloudsandSprinkles
£5.00 4 x Animals (Toys)
£9.90 Cake Sponge (@£3.30 per layer – 8" Round Extra Deep – 3 layers)
£1.00 Icing Sugar 1kg (Quality wholesale)
£4.00 Anchor Butter 500g (Quality wholesale)
£0.78 Vanilla Bean Paste (2 tablespoons)
£1.20 Strawberry Conserve (Seedless) (Harleys)
£2.50 Extra Deep Cake Box
£1.65 12” silver round cake board
£1.50 White fondant to cover the board) 500g
£54.18 Total Price for Materials / Ingredients / Supplies
£40.82 For this cake I charged £5.83 per hour for 7 hours of labour to create this cake.
The National Minimum wage per hour is £9.18. I don’t charge the minimum wage
for my labour or I would have added 7 hours x £9.18 which would result in a total
of £64.26 labour instead of £40.82.
If I was charging the National Minimum wage to price my cakes the total price for this cake should be:-
£54.18 Ingredients / Supplies
Actual Cake Price Total should be: £118.44 (£23.44 under-priced – what a bargain!)
Planning, Preparation & Labour
Baking the sponge cake layers
Preparing the buttercream & fillings
Leveling the cake sponges, preparing the cake & applying a smooth buttercream finish.
Stenciling the buttercream with green leaves
Research & Ordering Dried Flowers / Acrylic Topper & Name Charm / Mini Party Hats
Shopping for ingredients: Butter, icing sugar & cake filling (Strawberry Conserve),
Shopping for cake supplies: Toy Animals, Cake board & box, fondant
Ongoing washing dishes & tidying up
Fuel costs - free delivery Merseyside
Creativity / skill / labour
I hope you have enjoyed the cake pricing of this cake as it is a guide to the pricing of all my cakes here at Lily Blossom Cake Creations.
All cake makers will have their own strategy for pricing cakes depending upon the following:-
Price of ingredients sourced (they could be cheap, but I don’t choose cheap ingredients as I prefer high quality)
Price of cake design elements, ie. Cake topper, flowers, hand-made fondant items
Price for the service of the cake maker – individual pricing for their skills / talents – everyone will have their own pricing strategy.
Every cake design is different. Ingredients may sometimes be less, but the labour could possibly be longer. If you are wanting a cake quotation, you have every right to ask how the pricing works, which will help keep you informed of exactly where your money is being spent.
I often explain to customers with regards to pricing flowers that if you want 10 silk roses, they are £4 - £4.50 each per high quality silk rose and the high quality fresh roses are also priced the same but it all depends on many factors and where you shop. 10 silk or fresh roses will quickly add £45+ to the price of your cake.
Now you know the answer to the question ‘how much is the Wild One 1st Birthday Cake” after reading this blog, the price would be £54.18 for all the ingredients and the elements that are needed for the Wild One 1st Birthday cake design and I will charge £40 for my labour to plan & create the cake & put everything together for you and deliver to you for free within the Merseyside area - how amazing is that?
Every cake creation will have a different amount of hours that will need to be spent on your cake. Sometimes it may take 1 day or it may take 3 days, every cake quote will be different.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about how the cake pricing works at Lily Blossom Cake Creations with regards to one of my cakes. The same principles apply when pricing all of my cakes and I hope it demonstrates how your money is well spent.
07765 585591 to discuss your requirements.
Thank you for reading, I look forward to hearing from you soon
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