So this is something I want to discuss with everyone of my potential customers. PRICE. First and foremost please remember you are asking about a Custom Cake. Not a cake you can just walk into a grocery store and ask to have ready in 30 minutes. I've received a lot of "its just cake" and "that is way to pricey" comments lately after I spend my time (free of charge mind you) working on quotes and drawing cakes.
I blame the sticker shock on TV shows to be honest. They show these amazing cakes being made and they don't show what people are being charged. Let me explain a little bit about pricing in hopes to end the "sticker shock" of most. Lets talk scenarios. Say you and the family went out to Outback for dinner. You decided to purchase the Carrot cake slice for dessert. Thats' $4.79 for a SLICE of dessert cake... that cake in full feeds at least 15 people so that whole carrot cake would cost you $71.85. $71.85 for a plain dessert cake -- not customized, not decorated to fit your personal theme, and NOT made to order. You are willing to pay that right? Of course you are... otherwise Outback wouldn't have it on the menu at that price.
When you order a cake from a grocery store or cheaper cake shop/ bakery you can be sure that you are getting a previously frozen (I wont tell you how long, it might make you sick to your stomach) cake and the customization that you are allowed are very minimal. Cheaper ingredients, like buckets of icing full of chemicals for preservation purposes, are produced in large quantities to save on pricing as well. (eew) I'm not saying don't hit up your local walmart for a cake -- sometimes a cake like that will the occasion just fine (they are great for smash cake photo shoots!)
NOW lets gets into MY cake ingredients. I order HIGH quality ingredients.. my vanilla alone runs me $40ish for a small bottle. I make my own icings, I bake from scratch, fresh, made to order baked goods. I also never add extra chemicals for preservation purposes. This is why my prices are higher. You are paying for QUALITY. So, you placed an order with me... you want to know what goes into it? I make these cakes like I'm making them for my own kids.
I put in... well to be honest I never counted.. once I get past the 8hr mark on a cake I tend to stop looking at the clock. Anyway, I spend numerous hours designing, prepping, baking and decorating. I don't get to go to family activities on Thursdays and Fridays because Im' working. Custom cakes even require specific tools and equipment. Cutting knives, impression mats, molds, modeling tools, support dowels, airbrush kits, ribbons, cake boards, etc. Lowes knows me by name now because of the larger cakes I've made and I've needed their help designing structures that would make it so your cake didn't' collapse. Yes, I do take all these tools into account when pricing a cake and I also have to add in the probably most expensive part of the cake -- labor. Sorry ladies and gents I cant work 40+ hours on a cake (I have on wedding cakes) and pay myself less than what a fast food employee makes. Now i will step off my soap box in hopes that you've seen the multiple factors that go into pricing a custom cake for you. I have my average prices but that doesn't mean we cant try to work within your budget. So all in all please remember... its not "just" cake... its INGREDIENTS, SUPPLIES, MY TIME away from my young children, MY TALENT that I work on constantly to improve and learn more -- its my edible art that I put a ton of love into because nothing makes me happier than seeing that little kids face when they see their very own cake for the first time or that beaming beautiful bride when she walks in as a new Mrs. and tears up when she sees her wedding cake and tells me it is perfect!!!