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 your 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 consuming. 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 customers gets the cake, is super wrapped 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.
1. Rainbow layer and rainbow swirl cakes
In my opinion – rainbow layer cakes are the bain 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 of a rainbow swirl cake. Yes, I still charge extra, because of the time it takes to split the batter, colour, add to the pan and swirl. But it is NO WHERE NEAR AS MUCH as a rainbow layer 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 bacth of buttercream, colour both, and then try to get a nice even balance of both colours 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.
Check out these Craftsy classes:
3. Flavoured buttercream and fondants
Just like our different flavoured cakes, flavoured buttercream using 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 edible gold leaf. I mean, c’mon… that shit’s 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 for 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 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 that good gold glory!
5. Red, black or dark purple buttercream or fondant
Hey… I might actually be the only 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 colours from scratch and to do it well. Either that, or you are buying it in pre-made which costs more than making from scratch. As I said… it doesn’t have to be a lot… but it’s definitely extra charge worthy.
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 percentage on top so that you can justify the run around getting quotes from florists, picking the 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 a dollar 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 especially to fill this order, whether it be you buy macaroons from a local bakery because you don’t make them. 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 percentage for your time and effort!
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?!
7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Cake Business
Simply fill your details below and I will send you my PDF with some things you may not know / have thought about before starting your cake business.