Sunday, March 24, 2013

My world of cakery

Cakes are expensive-in my opinion-which is why I have always tried to keep my prices as low as possible. But even then, it can still be pricey. Honestly, I can't say I would be able to spend $50 or more on a cake. Believe me, I understand if it is not in ones budget. I toil all the time deciding what to charge for a cake and I was explaining to my mom the other day how much work goes into these things that most people have no clue about. While I sat and listed off what one cake costs of my life, she told me I should share it with everyone. So to all my cake friends who also labor arduously in the sugar world, here is the beginning to end of just one cake:

1. We have to take the order. Whether by phone or in most cases for me, email. I check my email daily and work out details with clients and prospective clients on cake orders. Typically, I spend a lot of time deciding on the right size of cake giving several estimates and then also looking up and thinking of ideas for their cake. This can take anywhere from a half hour to a couple hours. Sometimes I am sent a picture and told to copy it. Those are pretty easy orders but those do not come frequently.

2. We have to buy the supplies. This includes everything for baking, fondant, boards, dummies, boxes, decorations, etc. Usually I have everything on hand and only have to order once a month. But sometimes if there are accessories, I can spend many hours looking for things on the internet and at craft stores.

3. Baking the cakes. Someday I will have double ovens and the baking part will not take as long but with my single oven, it can take quite a while. It is easiest when the whole cake is one flavor but most the time it isn't. Don't forget all the dish washing and cleaning when I'm done.

4. fillings/butter cream coating/royal icing. I have to make enough butter cream for the coating on the cake and if butter cream is not used as the filing, I have to make the separate fillings.Usually I need at least a little royal icing for decorating. Again, more dish washing and cleaning afterwards.

5. Carving, filling, icing the cake, and covering with fondant. This is what I do usually the day before the cake is to be ready.

6. Decorating! Someday, I really hope I can hire someone to do step 3-5. I completely love this part and look forward to it. I probably average 2-4 hours per cake. Sometimes a little more, sometimes less.

7. Clean up! Decorating cakes destroys my kitchen. Probably takes about an hour to get my house liveable again.

8. Delivery or waiting for pick up. I have to work my schedule to meet the needs of when the cake needs to be given to the client. 

So, for a simple one tier cake, I probably spend a total of 8 hours. BUT, also keep in mind, what the cake costs me. Fondant alone is very expensive. So to estimate low, let's say the cake costs me about 35% of what I charge right now. Seriously, I hope you're wondering by now why I even bother. Well, it's because it's my hobby and I love it. One more thing to consider; I do all of this with 4 kids under 6- one of which is 4 months old. Not that it should matter to you. It is not your fault I have kids to work around. I just hope you have a better appreciation for all us cake people out there and the time and effort we put into these confectionery pieces. Also, it is a good lead into my next paragraph which is never fun to do but now you understand why these darn things cost a lot.

I'm not sure how many noticed but I raised my prices a few weeks ago. Not by much but by enough to compensate for the ever increasing gas and food costs. I am also getting more orders than I can handle at the moment. When my baby is older I can go full steam but for now, I need to limit my orders. I apologize in advance if I am overbooked on a day you need a cake. Also, if I have already given you an estimate, it is still good. I will not increase the price on you.

Thank you so much to all of you. I have had so many referrals and you have no idea how much I appreciate it. I don't advertise so that is the only way I get my business. Someday I will do a FB page and reward referrals and do promotions. Thanks again everyone!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Western style wedding

The bride, I am told, is 69 years young. How cute? Right? I got to meet her and she was darling. The filling was bananas and raspberries. That was new for me but looked good!

Vintage wedding cake

It's hard to see the lace stenciling on this but it turned out so pretty! I couldn't stop staring at this cake all day. BUT, my biggest nightmare happened. Can you find it in the bottom picture? I absolutely wanted to die!!!!! And stupid me for not bringing back up supplies. Lesson learned. Weddings are supposed to be perfect in every way and it's times like this I want to quite doing cakes. Mistakes happen and I will forgive myself eventually. Arg. It WAS just so perfect before that. Oh, and look at my new cake stand. It's super pretty!

Sweet 16 cake

The girl this was for used to be my beehive at church. I can't believe she is 16! I love the black stenciling on the pink. So cool!

Hunting cake

I was pretty maxed out this week so this cake had to be simple.

Carnival Cupcake wedding

200 cupcakes! My biggest cupcake order ever. My friend made the confetti sprinkles which took her all day. I actually enjoyed doing this more than I thought I would.

Monster High birthday cake

Never heard of Monster high before. I kinda like the style of it though.