How much is a cake? This is one of the most common queries we get sent and the answer is; how long is a piece of string? The price of cakes vary greatly depending on the flavour, size and design so it’s not a simple answer. Recently I have been repeatedly reading fellow cake makers posting Facebook statuses defending their pricings and it makes me really sad.
Running a cake business is hard work. It is hard enough running a business from home but it’s even harder running it from a premises, something I have learnt recently. It is equally hard trying to compete with “hobby” cake makers – people that maybe make a couple or few cakes a week on a part time basis and who don’t necessarily have many overhead costs. You cannot compare the two and it would be wrong to do so.
So, how much is a cake? What really goes in to the pricing of a cake? Well, our cakes use the highest quality ingredients. We use proper butter in our icing sugar (no margarine or substitutes here!!) We use good quality vanilla and for our custom cakes and wedding cakes we use the highest quality sugarpaste. Sugar and butter are not cheap. Currently there is a vanilla shortage which has meant our usual Vanilla supplier has gone up from £34 a litre to £84 a litre. We have found an alternative that is still high quality but it’s still not as cheap as it used to be. Our butter has gone up 40p per 250g and some brands we use in baking have almost doubled in price recently.
Ingredients aside, this does not take into account all the other running costs a business has – gas, water, electricity, insurance, website costs, delivery charges for ingredients and most importantly, labour costs! I’m really proud that I have been able to move my business into a premises and now have employees. And those employees, as well as myself, need to be paid for our skills and labour. I have spent over 7 years honing my skills and training, there’s always something to learn in the cake world which is why it’s important to keep this training up. And it’s this main area that is why our cakes cost what they do. We want to give you the best and to do that, we have to work really hard and really long hours to ensure you get the best.
Here are a couple of examples of a cake you can get at Tesco for £10, Asda for £10 (madeira cake with jam & buttercream, cannot be customised in any way) or from Heaven is a Cupcake which starts from £50 – can be customised in any size, flavour/filling, choice of colours and personal message. It’s great you can get these cheap cakes but if you want bespoke & high quality then you have to pay a bit extra!
I hope this goes a little way to explain why our prices are what they are and I hope that it helps other cake makers think about their pricing structures.