How to Set Base Prices

Update: Cake Pricing Calculator as seen at the end of this article now available here.

We’ve talked about why you don’t want to be the cheap cake lady and the proper way to price your cakes. Now we’re going to learn how to set base prices for your different products to streamline and simplify the pricing process. You’ll only have to do this math once to get your base prices.

Once you  figure your costs of individual ingredients, supplies, materials, etc that we talked about before you will then use that to figure the cost of each size of cake you make. 

1. Single Batch Costs

The first thing you’ll want to do is determine the cost of a single batch of cake, any fillings you use, and your icing. After you have the cost of each batch you can then use that in a formula to price actual cakes.

You will use these batch prices to plug into a quick formula depending on the size of cake you are making. For example (using completely fictitious numbers for ease) a 10″ round three layer, single tier cake with buttercream icing and filling will take 3 batches of cake batter and 1 batch of icing to produce. So that formula will look like this:

(3 batches cake x 4.65 cost of ingredients) + (1 batch buttercream x 8.50 cost of ingredients) = 22.45

You now know that every cake this size will cost you $22.45 in ingredients alone. 

2. Basic Materials Costs

Now you will add your cost for your basic naked cake board, packaging, ribbon border, etc.

The equation for that will look like this:

(1 box x 1.50) + (2 cake boards x .65) + (1 ribbon x .45) = 3.25

Every cake this size will use these basics so you will always charge $3.25 for this basic order.

3. Basic Hourly Wage Costs

Next you need to figure your hourly wage for decorating a plain and simple cake.  Let’s figure a plain cake based on 1 hour of baking/prepping, 1 hour of order taking/shopping, and 1 hour of decorating.  This one hour of decorating is for a buttercream iced cake with very minimal decorations that only include a buttercream border and polka dots or stripes. As an example let’s use $10.00/hr. 

The equation for this is:

3 hours labor x 10.00 = 30.00

4. Utilities Costs

Now subtotal the materials and ingredients:

22.45 + 3.25 = 25.70

After you have this subtotal add your utilities cost to this:

25.70 x 20% = 5.14

5. Bare Minimum Base Price

Once you have those numbers add them all together and this is the price for the 10″ round three layer, single tier cake with bare minimum decorations and a naked cake board. You will never, ever charge less than this. 

22.45+ 3.25+ 5.14+ 30.00 = 60.84

This is the base price you can use as a starting point. You probably won’t ever charge this price because most people will not order a plain basic cake. But it will make it easier for your next order.

6. Use Base Price to Figure Price of More Detailed Cakes

Say that you have a customer who wants to order a cake with detailed piping, fondant stripes, and a sculpted 3D cake topper. How do you price this quickly and easily?

What I do is determine the cost of these items as well. I personally charge an additional flat fee per tier for any fondant used as it’s difficult to determine exactly how much will be used. For the topper I figure the cost of supplies and how much time it will take to complete. The detailed piping I figure the amount of time it’ll take to pipe at my premium hourly rate. Here’s what it would look like to add those details:

60.84 base cost + (10.00 x 1 tier fondant) + 3.50 topper supplies + (1 hour topper making x 15.00) + (2 hours piping x 15.00) = 119.34

This particular cake would be $119.34. 

You could also add an additional charge for what some bakeries call an “art fee” and that’s generally a flat fee for any sort of artistic work you will be required to do on top of these charges. So in addition, those bakeries would charge the flat fee for the piping detail and sculpted topper. That would look like this:

119.34+ 25.00 art fee = 144.34.

Your new price would be $144.34.

So I hope that all made sense! I use these figures in a spreadsheet for easy use. I can plug in the basics for any size cake and get my base price. 

Here’s an example (with completely fictional prices and combination of ingredients) of what that spreadsheet would look like (you can’t see the formulas).



After you create these base prices you can make yourself a quick reference guide using the blank printable that I have created for you! You can fill in the number of servings and your base cost on each size of cake listed. Then you can turn to it when you need to do a quick quote for a cake. The following is an example of how you can fill it in.



Get yours inside the Bakery Forms Packet, now with an editable version available! Find it at the bottom of this page here.

Printable forms, policies, contracts for your home or retail bakery.




Cake Pricing Calculator as shown in this article now available! Find it here!

Don’t forget to Pin!

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