Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The price of cake...

I get asked to quote for baking and decorating a cake a lot, and sometimes I'm told my price is too expensive! I thought I'd explain the elements involved in the price. 

From the initial enquiry, there can be email after email going back and forth which can involve working out prices, finding examples of previous work and examples of cakes and calculating ingredients and costs (especially for more decorated and intricate cakes). These emails all take time, and although I used to be a typist in my previous job I can spend a lot of time emailing people. When the order is placed, the order form needs typing up and the boards and other equipment all need ordering in, which again takes time. 

When it comes to baking the cakes, Jo's Cakes only uses quality ingredients which don't come cheap, including free range eggs and fresh fruit. I could use a packet mix as some other cake companies do, but I believe a cake should be baked properly from scratch. 

When the cake has baked, it needs a day to cool and rest and is then decorated - which obviously takes sugarpaste and a lot of skill and technique! If the cake is a fruit cake, it will have taken a lot more ingredients including brandy and mixed fruit, have taken longer to bake, require a layer of marzipan and take an extra day as the marzipan needs to dry before the sugarpaste can be applied. This is all for a simple cake. For an intricate cake design, with figures or models to make and more decoration, there can be many hours work involved. The minimum wage is £6.08 an hour, so even before the cost of the ingredients and materials are taken into account, baking and decorating a cake which costs £40 only allows for 6 hours of work including baking which can take 2 hours alone, and there can be many more hours of work that go decorating into a cake! 

There's a saying I read somewhere - "good cake isn't cheap, and cheap cake isn't good", and it's certainly true! 


  1. Great idea of enabling those who wished to note down their thoughts to do so.Job Order Form

  2. As someone who bakes at least 6 Christmas cakes as gifts each year for family and friends I certainly admire all the time and effort put into your fabulous cakes. Mine I'm afraid are just bog standard royal icing cakes left to look like snow as I don't have a steady enough hand for levelling out but even they cost enough to do so well done Jo with your fabulous creations!

  3. fab article and totally agreed! :) xxx