Before I entered into the wonderful world of cakes I, like most people thought cakes were of reasonable price. You know, like the classic woolies mud cake or the fun coloured decorated slab cakes you get for $20 or less..
In fact, I bought one of those slab cakes for my own Engagement party about 7 years ago!
I remember it was pink and white and cost me $20! Bargain haha
Of course this was before cake decorating really became a thing, now everyone is doing it.
These store bought cakes are mass produced by big companies and can afford to have low prices as they make profit in other areas.
Our small home businesses cannot afford to make cakes like this. We would be out of business and pocket, and would lose sleep with the amount of cakes we would be producing.
Us bakers/decorators are often are overworked and underappreciated.
Everyone sees the beautiful cake pictures we post, but don’t always see what goes on behind the scenes .. all the late nights baking, decorating, washing dirty dishes over and over again, the costing, calculating every cake enquiry, the back and forth with every client to ensure you have every tiny detail to create the work of art they are after. The hours of invoicing, pricing, shopping for ingredients, trying new recipes, and sometimes starting over with a cake all over again if it fails – FOR FREE !!
Sometimes without the customer knowing you are putting more hours into their cake then they are paying because YOU want it perfect, because it’s a reflection of YOUR work.. YOUR skill. I personally will not let a cake walk out my door if I’m not happy with how it looks or tastes.
Of course every cake is different in so many ways, so therefore it costs different.
The more detail = more time we have to work on it = more money you have to spend.
You are paying more for our time then the actual ingredients it costs to make that cake.
For example my 9 inch standard size cake costs $32 in ingredients, then I add my hourly rate $25, which is much less then what I am paid as a qualified chef! Then add use of equipment – this is my cake tools, spatulas, bowls, mixers etc all the things I need to help me make that cake.
Then add on the utilities, gas, electricity, water, oven use etc. everything else that goes into baking a cake.
Then I have my petrol and car costs, business insurance, council fees, rent of the kitchen I’m using, all these add up and all of a sudden you have a $150+ cake. And that’s with no extra decorations.
I would like people to understand all the work that goes into a cake and I know some people will never comprehend it or agree with it, but you wouldn’t argue with your electrician or plumber about their bill, you pay it. Same goes with cakes, this is our job as well, we are trying to make a living too.
I don’t mean this to sound harsh either, I know words and tones are often misinterpreted when they aren’t spoken in person, but this is just the reality of this industry and hopefully it becomes clear and gives you an insight into what goes on behind the pretty pictures I post on social media 🙂
Most of us bakers/decorators started out doing this as a hobby then fell in love with it and made our dream into a business. Who doesn’t dream of working and running their own successful business form their own home? I LOVE what I do, and I am so passionate about it, I hope I never lose this passion and make a successful career out of it. Don’t get me wrong, it is damn hard work, but it is so worth all the sleepless nights, messy hair, dirty aprons, hot kitchen and cake failures haha
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a chef, I’ve been in kitchens for over 10 years now and recently became a Head Chef last year, so I feel that my skill and experience would definitely exceed the knowledge of what you call a “home baker” these days.. not to say they aren’t talented in their own way, but most of us are self taught bakers. I know I am! To be honest when I started baking and making cakes 4 years ago, I couldn’t bake a cake to save my life haha but I kept at it and kept practicing every style, flavor I could find and think of and eventually got better. I was addicted to everything cake and still 4 years on I am lol. The internet is an awesome place to learn with an abundance of YouTube videos and tutorials to learn from, I’m sure anyone could do anything these days! Its awesome!
I do believe the more experienced you have though, the more you should be worth. But I honestly can’t go around charging a $500 mini cake just because I’m a chef. No one would ever pay that.
I still want to be fair to my clients so that they feel they are getting value for their money, but on the other hand, I can’t run a business if I don’t make money. that’s just the reality of it.
Hopefully this helps everyone understand the worth of a cake and how much effort and love we put into our creations.
It is really a 24/7 job!
And I love every second of it!