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How much would you pay for a birthday cake?

(24 Posts)
seeker Sat 08-Sep-07 09:34:26

I make novelty birthday cakes for family and friends. I love doing it and at the moment, I either charge nothing or at the most the cost of materials plus a fiver or so. But people are starting to ask me to do them and I don't want to make them for a stranger for nothing. Trouble is - they take anything up to 5 hours - and if I charged sensibly for my time they would be ludicrously expensive. What is the most you would pay?
FOr example, this morning I've just finished a pair of ballerinas - 3D - not flat- with frilly tutus and hair to match the birthday girls. If you look at the websites for London cake shops, I reckon you'd have to pay at least 90 quid for something like that - but nobody in their right mind would pay that, would they?

SueW Sat 08-Sep-07 09:40:35

Some people will pay it - someone always will if it's what they want - but if you don't live in the right part of London or Cheshire your market might be very limited.

We've always made our own cakes for DD and last year she and her friend took on the decorating themselves.

seeker Sat 08-Sep-07 09:47:21

I know - that's why I'm doing a bit of research I do live near "Islington-on-Sea" aka Whitstable! Thing is - if I don't charge 50 pounds or so it won't be worth my while and I'd rather stick to doing it for fun - and I wouldn't pay that for a cake!

ChasingSquirrels Sat 08-Sep-07 09:57:47

You could always just say £50 (or whatever) and see how people react. If you aren't bothered about building it up as a business you have nothing to lose - you keep manking them for friends and family at cost and if anyone else is prepared to pay then you make one for a proper profit, if they aren't prepared to pay you haven't lost anything as you wouldn't want to do it for less and you aren't trying to build up goodwill.

seeker Sat 08-Sep-07 22:00:17

Bump - just in case anyone else has any thoughts.

dollyk Sat 08-Sep-07 22:03:00

I have paid £70 once it was a lovely cake but i thought it was over priced , but I have paid between £25 - 30

dollyk Sat 08-Sep-07 22:04:17

my mum paid £100 for my dd christing cake but it was huge

more Mon 10-Sep-07 14:21:34

You just have to get the right people to ask you grin.

I like making novelty cakes as well.
I make them for free for family only, but would charge £40 if it was for somebody else, as I am by far not a professional.

I have calculated that by charging £40 that will cover all the costs of making the cake plus give me something like £10-20 profit (depending on what kind of cake they want).

£10-£20 is not a lot for all the time you put in.

Can you upload a picture of the ballerina cake please? It sounds fantastic.

maddiemostmerry Mon 10-Sep-07 14:29:07

I also make novelty cakes and people have suggested making them for others. However, I find that people would not be prepared to pay more than £20 for them which doesn't really make any profit.

Clary Tue 11-Sep-07 12:36:35

I went to a party last year where the venue made the cakes and they were a caterpillar and a ladybird - like, the easiest things to do!

They were pretty with little insects on the boards etc but would not take that long. Prices at the venue were from £25 but I bet these were more like £50.

(btw it was without doubt the worst party bag cake I have ever tasted, dry, dusty, claggy. Even the kids refused to eat it! Sure yours aren't liek that seeker grin)

MaureenMLove Tue 11-Sep-07 12:43:23

I charge between £25 - £35 for my cakes. Probably not enough, when you take into account the time spent on them, but it certainly covers the ingredients and bottle of wine when you've finished. Some of them are on my profile, if you're interested to see what you get for your money!

PandaG Tue 11-Sep-07 12:45:37

def. not enough Maureen - those cakes are brill! YOu obvoiusly have at least one of the same books I do!

Hulababy Tue 11-Sep-07 12:54:10

Have a look at the prices of your compeitiors - the hgih street places like Waitrose, Marks & Spencers, local bakers, etc. and then compare. Peole will often pay more for personalised and for freshly made, rather than shop bought.

For example, Waitrose cakes are on here. A non personalised cake are about £13 to £50.

funnypeculiar Tue 11-Sep-07 12:55:24

I love the castle cake maureen smile

JodieG1 Tue 11-Sep-07 12:56:22

We paid about £65 for a large sqaure cake for dd's birthday and the same for ds1's, we used the same man as it was very good and tasted lovely. Personally I'd rather buy birthday cakes like this rather than cook them myself, I do bake and cook a lot but in our family birthday cakes are always bought to order.

Firefox Tue 11-Sep-07 12:59:55

It depends on what you want to achieve by making cakes for other people - are you doing it for profit, to gain more experience, for personal satisfaction or something else?

I would expect to pay around £20 for a shop bought cake, approx £60 and upwards for a cake from a bakery. If I wanted personalisation and specific ingredients/type of cake, I would expect to pay over £100 for a large cake.

If the people who want you to make them a cake, you should price according to what they want - ie consider size of cake, cost of ingrediants, cost of decorations, cost of your time. If you are not charging for profit, just be careful people aren't asking you for making cakes as a cheaper alternative to what can be bought commercially.

JeremyVile Tue 11-Sep-07 13:06:47

Dont know if this will help you decide either way but is possibly an interesting comparison.
We had the jungle cake for DSs 1st birthday and it was very well done. The prices are lower than you would need to charge but then I imagine you could offer more personalisation?

seeker Tue 11-Sep-07 13:15:20

The MArks and Spencer's cakes are a bit of an eye-opener. I'v e only looked at the really expensive London ones (which are bonkers prices!) and Tescos ones, which are rubbish but cheap. I think I'll ask 50 for the next one and see what happens.

More - I haven't got a picture of the ballerinas but I know somebody who took one at the party. I'll put it on here wwhen I get it, if I can work out how! I have to say, I was ridiculously pleased with it!

more Tue 11-Sep-07 13:27:22

I look forward to it smile

seeker Fri 21-Sep-07 13:12:48

If anyone wants to see my ballerina cake it's on my profile page - I think!

seeker Fri 21-Sep-07 13:13:22

No it isn't - sorry!

seeker Fri 21-Sep-07 13:21:18

There now!

belgo Fri 21-Sep-07 13:22:38

wow that ballerina cake is beautifulsmile

Wisteria Fri 21-Sep-07 13:30:08

I used to make novelty cakes, still do but I now refuse to charge and only do it when I want to offer IYSWIM.

Reason is, my cakes were often very time consuming [proud emoticon!], involving turreted fairytale castles that stood 30cm high and all sorts of wacky things.

I found that (unless you are in London or similar v affluent part of the world) people are just very loathe to pay more than £15-20 for a novelty cake and I once worked out my hourly rate at about 25p/hour.
One lady asked me to make a fairytale castle for her daughter when she saw the one I'd done for my own and I said it would be £75, as it took 2 full days to make - she said she'd rather buy the caterpillar cake in asda for a fiver!! That's when I decided to stop.

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