Make money baking cakes

Are you the go-to person whenever a friend or family member needs a cake?

Do you enjoy baking and decorating your kids’ birthday cakes?

You can start a cake baking side hustle to make an extra income. You can even go full time if you wanted to, baking cakes is the main income for a lot of people and yes, I used to be one of them.

Where to start with a cake baking business

You can just start by letting people know that you are baking cakes for birthdays and other occasions.

Don’t underestimate word of mouth in this industry. If someone loves your cakes, they will let other people know.

If you create a good quality product people will return every time. The great thing about birthdays are that everybody has one and they come around every year.

Share photo’s on social media

Set up a Facebook page and start posting your past cake creations. I grew a Facebook page really quickly just by posting all my creations regularly. Just keep posting, people will start enquiring soon enough.

Tip: Take good quality photo’s in good lighting. Your photo’s are the first thing potential customers see.

Instagram and Pinterest are also good options to showcase your cakes.

Also try placing ads on online classifieds sites and choose your area where you want to advertise.

Start small

Start where you are. Use what you have.

– Arthur Ashe

I love this quote when it comes to starting a small business. Start in your own kitchen and use the baking tins you already have.

Especially with cake decorating, the tools can get expensive. You don’t need all the tools to get started. Just start and use what you have. If you really need something, then buy it piece by piece as you need it.

I also did this when it comes to the little details like color gels and powders. When my next cake order required green, yellow and pink, for the icing, that’s all I bought. If the next order maybe needed pink and blue, then I already had pink and just bought blue.

This is how I built up a large collection of colors. They actually go a really long way before you need to replace a color.

I did this with everything I needed like cake tins, tools, cutters, molds etc.

Food safety

Do your research on food safety and hygiene requirements by contacting your local council.

Costs and what to charge

If you want to make money baking, you need to do some calculations.

Things you should work out:

  • How much ingredients cost per item
  • Cost of packaging
  • Other hidden costs like electricity used.

First you need to work out what it will cost you to make a cake or cupcakes. Then you’ll be able to work out how much you should charge to make profit.

Tip: Also look around at what other local bakers charge, so you can see what the range of prices are.

Cake pricing

Ok now to work out what to actually charge for your cakes.

Cake price = Cost of ingredients and overheads + Labor and profit.

Personally I like to do a simple calculation. Cake price = cost of ingredients and overheads x 2 or x 3 (depending on the amount of detail on the cake)

I also check what local bakers are charging and make sure that my prices are in the ball park. Another thing that you should take into consideration is you skill level and labor (hours to create).

Good tip: Always ask for a 50% deposit to secure the booking. Work out everything you need for the order like ingredients, cake board and packaging material and use the deposit to buy all supplies.

The balance is then payable before or on collection of the cake. All supplies are already paid and work completed, so this was normally pure profit for me.

Ideas for special occasion treats to sell

Cakes – themed cakes, butter icing cakes, fondant cakes and printed picture cakes

Cupcakes

Decorated Cookies

Brownies

Marshmallow treats

Baking cakes can be a fun business and creative way to earn an income.

Just remember to manage your time well, cake decorating can be very time consuming, but this too will get better as you sharpen your skills.