Pricing of cakes has bothered me for a very long time. Only doing cakes for friends has given me a lot of opportunity to give loving gift cakes. At times when some have asked how much I usually said it was a present and occassionaly gave a rough estimate. Well, this time, after being asked to do a cake for a friend, I sat down and priced out the materials alone of the cake that would be needed which ended up being $64-$70. This amount seemed a bit rich for our food bill at the time so I sent this amount through. A message came back not long after saying it was all off, I didn’t need to do the cake – well, I guess it was a bit rich for their pocket too. I didn’t mind but felt bad – how would they know where I was getting the prices from, would they think I was trying to get extra money out of it? So I began investigating.
Prices above are for a normal chocolate mud. I will be working on a buttercake and fruit cake and vegan cake versions. The fondant includes enough to cover the board for a nice finish And amount of cake batter for a nice 4" height cake. As for the chocolate, it is lower cost of eating chocolate, not cooking chocolate for better flavour. The electricity seems to be approx for 1 1/2 hrs.
Naturally this is approximate. Cut a few things out, add a few things, change a few things and we end up with different result but for today here is this one.
As for pricing for hours worked, If average wage for cake decorator/bakers etc were $500-$600 per 38 hr week.
Average hourly rate would be $15.
If this is correct, for an 8" cake, I would need to make the cake, extra icings, flowers/figures, ganache, cover and decorate in 3 hours to have the cake sell and be worth $90 – $100 dollars (which seems to be the average for this size decorated cake by a cake decorator (correct me if I’m wrong). That is: 3hr x $15 = $45 wages + $52 materials = $97
A 6" and 10" marriage cake, I saw for $300. Other decorators prices weren’t too far off this cost. If the cost of materials are similar to the one above, $300 less $90 materials equals $210 profit. $210 divided by $15 per hour equals 13 hours to complete a marriage cake – to prepare, make, bake, ganach, cover, make decorations, decorate and clean up. Well, will be timing myself for a simple one.
From memory, this fruitcake here for a friend www.flickr.com/photos/jahfa2009/3572265027/in/set-7215761…
cost me about $297 for materials. Hours taken were approx 70 hrs for the flowers, birds and bible etc and 30 for covering, frilling, piping etc. So if I were to add up 100 hrs by $15 it would be $1500 plus $297 for materials, a total of $1797. Is this realistic?
I would love to have your tips, corrections and advice. Also times it might take for you to complete a cake (birthday, marriage) beginning to end.
Also, what about all the cake tins, smoothers, cutters, tape, moulds, rolling pins, stencils, mixer, etc etc that we spend our money on in between times. – do you use some method of depresiation?