Thank you to everyone for having such nice things to say about the wedding cake I made. I’m definitely still learning and each time I come away with more knowledge on how I could have done it better.
This time, I kept a running spreadsheet as I was working so I could get a feel for what the actual costs and quantities were.
Here’s what I used:
- 26 eggs
- 6 lbs. powdered sugar
- nearly a gallon of milk
- 36 oz. shortening
- 18 sticks of butter
- 26 tsp. vanilla
- 11 cups granulated sugar
- 16 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
- approx. 5 lbs. fondant
- 3 oz. navy blue gel dye
- and a cup or two of cornstarch
Crazy, right? Even crazier is that I bought more than I used of pretty much everything. I’ve got 3 boxes of butter chilling out in my fridge that I didn’t need, and an entire tub of shortening. Keeping a spreadsheet like this will help me to not over-buy in the future as I become more familiar with exactly how much stuff I need.
So, what does it cost to make a 3 tier wedding cake? This one was about $108. Nearly half of that is the price of fondant. I could have gotten the cost down if I’d payed attention to the price of some items and was more aware of exactly how much of each item I really needed. I think I could recreate the exact same cake for $80 if I had it to do over again.
That’s just the cost of the ingredients though. I spent around 40 hours on that cake, so if I were to charge someone $200 for it, that would have me making about $2.30 an hour after subtracting the ingredient costs. Not exactly lucrative. I’ll need to figure out how to get my costs down, and more importantly my time expenditure down, before I can even think about trying to use this skill as a source of income. I’m more than happy to do it for family and absorb all the costs myself, but I’m not interested in working that hard for spare change for people I barely know.
I’m making another cake in September for some friends of ours and I will be charging them the material costs this time, but still no labor costs. I’m still really happy to do this though because I see it as a gift we can give our friends, and it’s another trial run to see if I can lower my costs and time expended. I’m pretty excited to use this cake as my little “guinea pig” to show me if this is a viable business venture for me.
One great thing about making wedding cakes…leftover jam.
I canned the rest of the strawberry vanilla jam and I’ve been putting it on everything. I can’t believe I’ve almost finished this jar! I’ve already bought some figs I intend to turn into jam too. I’m hooked!