What should you charge extra for in your cake business? Oh wow! What shouldn’t you charge extra for in your cake business?! Haha – I joke… I joke… kind of. And how do you justify these extra charges? Simple really. You know why. I know why. A reasonable customer should be able to understand also.
Most of us cakers would generally have some base prices in which we would be charging out basic buttercream cakes out at or a simple fondant covered cake with no extra decorations.
A starting point is always handy to have, and then you can build your price up from there.
But that’s not what I am really typing about here today. I’m talking about those little extra touches to cakes that actually seem really little, but are in hindsight, quite time to consume. Or quite nicky picky to achieve.
Those little details that might actually add an extra $30-$50-$80 on to a cake, but as sole owners of our business, scared to lose business, we sometimes throw these in free of charge.
STOP DOING THIS RIGHT NOW!
I used to do this myself and would find myself slaving for nothing. And then once the customer gets the cake and tells their friends what price they got it for… I was kind of just digging myself a cakey hole.
So I stopped.
Then I got smart. And I started to charge for these ‘little’ extras.
But do you know what? I still offer a cheaper alternative, just in case the customer can’t afford that extra special touch.
Below are some of those ‘little’ extras that I never actually charged extra for. But they are something that I believe every baker, hobbyist or not, should be charging extra for.
7 Extra Cake Business Charges & How to Explain (Justify) Them
1.) Rainbow layer and rainbow swirl cakes.
In my opinion – rainbow layer cakes are the bane of my existence. I just don’t have 6 of the same sized pans laying around to make this process easy. And I began with just one pan when I very first started.
Believe it or not, I didn’t charge any extra for rainbow layer cakes. I simply did the extra baking, and put my patient pants on while waiting for each separate layer to bake, cool and then level each also.
Nowadays, I obviously charge extra for rainbow layer cakes, but I always offer an alternative to a rainbow swirl cake. Yes, I still charge extra, because of the time it takes to split the batter, color, add to the pan and swirl. But it is NOWHERE NEAR AS MUCH as a rainbow layer cake.
I suggest charging $10-$30 more (for between 4 inch and 14 inch cake).
2.) Two-toned icing on cupcakes, or piping around cakes.
In all honesty, I don’t charge a whole lot extra for this, but it does take a little longer to again, split the bath of buttercream, color both, and then try to get a nice even balance of both colors in the one piping bag.
I generally charge about .25c extra per cupcake for this. Both the money and the time spent adds up when you are doing 100+ cupcakes.
3.) Flavored buttercream and fondants.
Just like our different flavoured cakes, flavoured buttercream uses extra ingredients, most of which are more expensive than the usual recipe. Whether you are making buttercream and fondant from scratch, or ordering these pre-made, it is possible to add flavouring, and it should be charged accordingly, not free of charge so we are out of pocket.
4.) Edible gold leaf.
I hope that EVERY cake maker charges extra for the edible gold leaf. I mean, c’mon… that stuff is expensive! And I hope that you not only charge a ‘little’ extra – like if you think you are only going to use one sheet, you only charge the cost price of one sheet.
No, no, no, no, no… if you have ever used gold leaf before, you know that you usually end up using a little more than needed, whether the creation needs it, or you’ve simply just lost it from a gust of wind, or it’s stuck to your utensil and shriveled up.
And you definitely don’t charge a cost price… no, no, no, no, no… add some profit onto that leaf cakers! It’s delicate stuff. Apart from a profit… add your time spent to adhere to that good gold glory!
5.) Red, black or dark purple buttercream or fondant.
Hey… I might actually be the only one here with this opinion, but it is my opinion.
Charge extra – it doesn’t have to be a lot – but just charge extra for the deeper shades of buttercream and fondant. It’s darn hard to accumulate the skillset to create these colors from scratch and to do it well. Either that or you are buying it pre-made which costs more than making it from scratch. As I said… it doesn’t have to be a lot… it can be $0.50 per cupcake and up to $10 extra for a 8 inch fondant cake, but it’s definitely extra c
Now, I know that most of you would probably charge for flowers – because let’s face it, they cost a fortune and we can’t afford to fork this out of our own pockets. But… Do you charge extra than what the florist charges you? If not… YOU SHOULD BE!
Yes, you should be adding a 10-50% percentage on top so that you can justify the run around getting quotes from florists, picking the fresh flowers up, prepping the flowers to be food safe and attaching them to your cake. Even if the customer supplies the flowers and you add them to the cake – charge $1 amount per stem that you need to wrap and insert/attach. It’s all precious time!
7.) Any extras that you get made especially for the order.
Just like the flowers… if you are having to order anything in particular to fill this order, whether it be you buy macaroons from a local bakery because you don’t make them. Or a custom cake topper. Or if you are adding edible images to cakes and cupcakes. Don’t just simply charge the cost that you are paying them for. Add a 10-100% percentage for your time and effort!
Charge extra for add-ons that take extra time, effort or cost.
Rainbow layers, flowers, gold leaf, metallics, two-toned icing, flavoured icing, red and black icing and speciality items can be charged extra for.
You can still offer a cheaper alternative, just in case the customer can’t afford that extra special touch.
So, what’s something that you charge extra for that is not on the list above? Something that I should add on to my list to help out other cakers?!