Are you the family’s go-to person for baking delectable cakes and cupcakes?
Does your passion for creating mouthwatering treats extend beyond just your loved ones’ celebrations?
If you find joy in baking and have dreamt of transforming your skills into a small business, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will guide you through the exciting journey of transitioning from a home baker to a successful small business owner.
Discover how to carve out your niche, attract your target audience, and build a brand that stands out in the competitive baking industry. We’ll also address the practical aspects of starting a baking business, including pricing your products and implementing effective marketing strategies.
So, grab your apron and preheat the oven, because we’re about to embark on a delightful adventure that will transform your baking skills into a sweet and rewarding business, like I did.
Define Your Baking Niche
1. Identifying your specialty:
Cakes, cupcakes, pastries, etc.
When establishing your small baking business, it’s crucial to define your niche.
Consider the types of baked goods you excel at and enjoy creating the most. Do you have a flair for crafting intricate and elegant wedding cakes?
Are your cupcakes known for their unique flavors and creative decorations?
Perhaps your specialty lies in delectable pastries or custom-designed cookies.
Identifying your specialty allows you to focus your efforts, refine your skills, and become known for delivering exceptional creations in that specific area.
2. Understanding your target market:
Kids’ birthdays, weddings, special occasions, etc.
Once you’ve determined your specialty, it’s important to understand your target market.
Think about the demographic and occasions that align with your baked goods. Are you targeting parents organizing memorable birthday parties for their children?
Or do you envision providing stunning wedding cakes that make couples’ dreams come true?
Consider other special occasions like anniversaries, baby showers, or corporate events.
By identifying your target market, you can tailor your products and marketing efforts to appeal to their specific desires and needs.
3. Differentiating yourself from the competition
In a saturated baking industry, it’s essential to find ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Analyze what sets you apart and use it to your advantage. Maybe it’s your secret family recipes passed down for generations, your commitment to using only high-quality and locally sourced ingredients, or your ability to create custom designs that truly capture the essence of each occasion.
Highlight these unique selling points in your branding and marketing efforts to showcase why customers should choose you over others. Emphasize the value and benefits you provide, such as exceptional taste, attention to detail, or personalized customer service.
Setting yourself apart from the competition will help you attract loyal customers who appreciate your distinct offerings.
By defining your niche, understanding your target market, and effectively differentiating yourself, you’ll position your small baking business for success. Remember, finding your unique place in the market will not only attract the right customers but also allow you to cultivate your passion and showcase your talents to the fullest.
Where to start with a cake baking business
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 your cake creations 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 baking with what you have
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.
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Thank you, this keeps my blog running so that I can keep providing all my printable resources for free.
What equipment do you need to start a cake decorating business
Here is a basic list of equipment you need to start a baking business, but don’t worry about the long list. If you’ve been baking for your family, you will have most of these items on hand and may just need an item here and there:
- Stand Mixer: Essential for mixing cake batter, frosting, and other mixtures consistently and efficiently.
- Oven: A reliable oven for baking your cakes to perfection. Consider the size and capacity based on the volume of cakes you plan to produce. You can always start out with your home oven and upgrade to a bigger oven as your business grows.
- Cake Pans: A variety of cake pans in different sizes and shapes to create diverse cake sizes.
- Mixing Bowls: Assorted mixing bowls in various sizes for preparing and mixing ingredients. Tip – Get yourself the mixing bowls with a handle, it will make your mixing a whole lot easier.
- Measuring Tools: Measuring cups and spoons for accurately measuring ingredients.
- Spatulas: Offset spatulas for smoothing frosting and icing on cakes, as well as rubber spatulas for scraping bowls and folding in ingredients.
- Piping Bags and Tips: Piping bags and a selection of tips for creating decorative designs and borders on cakes.
- Cooling Racks: Sturdy racks for cooling cakes after baking.
- Cake Turntable: A rotating cake turntable to make decorating easier and smoother.
- Cake Leveler or Serrated Knife: To level and trim cake layers for even and professional-looking cakes.
- Cake Decorating Tools: Various tools like cake combs, fondant smoothers, fondant cutters, and modeling tools for shaping and decorating cakes.
- Pastry Brushes: Brushes for applying syrups, glazes, and egg washes to cakes.
- Cake Boards and Cake Boxes: Sturdy cake boards for transporting and displaying cakes, along with cake boxes for packaging and protecting finished cakes.
- Baking Sheets: For cookies and other treats.
- Food Processor or Blender: Useful for grinding nuts, making purees, or preparing fillings.
- Rolling Pin: A rolling pin for rolling out fondant, dough, or pie crusts.
- Kitchen Scale: A scale for accurately measuring ingredients by weight.
- Decorating Tools: Additional tools like a cake lifter, decorating brushes, stencils, and edible markers for more intricate decorations.
- Edible Supplies: Edible decorations like sprinkles, food coloring, edible glitter, and edible pearls.
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.
How to determine your 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 the supplies and ingredients.
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.
What can I bake to make money?
Here’s a list of yummy items that you can bake to sell:
Custom Cakes – themed cakes, butter icing cakes, fondant cakes and printed picture cakes
Cupcakes – A variety of flavors and eye-catching decorations make cupcakes a hit at parties and events.
Cookies – Classic favorites like chocolate chip, sugar, and oatmeal cookies, as well as decorated and specialty cookies.
Brownies – Rich and fudgy brownies, with options for add-ins like nuts, chocolate chunks, or caramel.
Macarons – Delicate and colorful French macarons with a range of flavors and fillings.
Cake Pops – Bite-sized cake on a stick, decorated with various coatings, sprinkles, and designs.
Donuts – Traditional fried or baked donuts with glazes, fillings, and creative toppings.
Scones – Flaky and slightly sweet pastries that pair well with coffee or tea, often flavored with fruits or spices.
Pies – Traditional fruit pies, creamy custard pies, and savory pies like quiches or pot pies.
Tarts – Miniature fruit tarts, tartlets, or tart shells filled with custard, ganache, or curd.
Artisan Bread – Freshly baked loaves of bread, including sourdough, baguettes, whole wheat, and specialty varieties.
Pastries – Flaky croissants, Danish pastries, turnovers, and puff pastry creations like Napoleons or éclairs.
Muffins – Grab-and-go breakfast treats, featuring flavors like blueberry, banana nut, or bran.
Cheesecake – Classic and flavored cheesecakes with toppings like fruit compotes or chocolate ganache.
Specialty Desserts – Unique or seasonal treats such as cake rolls, dessert bars, cannoli, or bread pudding.
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.