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    • thecornflake
    • By thecornflake 8th Nov 06, 12:31 PM
    • 296Posts
    • 272Thanks
    Cake making for money
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 06, 12:31 PM
    Cake making for money 8th Nov 06 at 12:31 PM
    Not sure if this should go here, but I figured people who bake cakes would be more likely to be in the OS section than anywhere else.

    I'm fairly good at cooking, and I make homemade cakes quite often.

    I know some people make money doing this, so I have a few questions -

    Do you have to do specialy decorated cakes to do it, or can you sell just standard cakes - sponges, cookies etc?

    How do you sell to people? Is it mainly family/friends/word of mouth?

    I haven't really done any real proper decorating before but how easy is it? Like making pirate ships, wedding cakes etc etc?

    I work full time during the week so it would only be something I could do at weekends but I love cooking and if there's a little bit of money to be made I'd like to give it a go.
    Last edited by thecornflake; 08-11-2006 at 12:33 PM.
Page 1
    • leni
    • By leni 8th Nov 06, 12:50 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 458 Thanks
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 06, 12:50 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 06, 12:50 PM
    hi, I'm hoping to evetually be a professional cake decorator with my own shop. Currently I bake and decorate cakes for friends and family, but very slowly word of mouth is creating interest.

    The issue with cake baking is the health and hygiene side of things. Because I'm only making cakes for friends and family, and more or less just covering the costs of the cake, it's not so bad but if you are going to advertise, you'll need Environmental Health to check your premises and such.

    In regards to how easy cake decorating is, I'd say you need to be cretive and have patience! Practice makes perfect and I'm recommend enroling on a course (local adult educations sometimes offer 10 week courses for about !!!163;40)

    Once you have mastered covering a cake in sugarpaste then it does get easier, as does mastering piping royal icing.

    I'm making 10 x 4" christmas cakes to give out as presents but also to "advertise" the fact I can do cakes.

    This month I've done 2 cakes, 200 cupcakes and have 4 more cakes to do, plus my christmas cakes. I also work full-time and sometimes it's hard to fit it all in.

    Contact your local Sugarcraft Guild -
    they offer lots of support and good information and if you become a member, you can get your insurance through them for about !!!163;10, providing you don't make more than !!!163;4k in a year selling your cakes.
    Last edited by leni; 13-09-2008 at 9:40 AM.

    DEBT FREE for the first time in 10 years and with savings!

    1st Baby due May 2011 it's a BOY
    • muz
    • By muz 8th Nov 06, 12:59 PM
    • 143 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 06, 12:59 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 06, 12:59 PM
    Hi Leni, I also do a few cakes for friends and families, and I would be really interested in your ebook if you don't mind? I am doing a 25th wedding anniversary and a Wallace & Gromit cake for the school fair this week, and it is VERY time consuming!!
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 8th Nov 06, 2:40 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 06, 2:40 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 06, 2:40 PM
    One thing you will have to do if you are cooking for sale to the public in your own kitchen is a hygiene/food & safety qualification. My friend used to do buffets and she had to have her kitchen inspected regularly. She also had to have a separate fridge to store her buffet food in, and I think there's some regulation about not having laundry facilities in your kitchen. Also you need a dedicated handwashing basin within easy reach- ie not the kitchen sink.

    These regs may vary from local authority to local authority but there will definitely be something. Sorry if that's put you off
    • organic wanabe
    • By organic wanabe 8th Nov 06, 4:01 PM
    • 801 Posts
    • 755 Thanks
    organic wanabe
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 06, 4:01 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 06, 4:01 PM
    Could certainly be a way to make money - I just had coffee in a Garden Centre and they were charging !!!163;1.70 for smallish bits of cake and brownies that did not look as nice as the Weetabix Brownies which a lot of us make thanks to reading this board. I reckong that I make a whole try of brownies for less than this and they look more appetising and no doubt taste better!
    • flourgirl
    • By flourgirl 8th Nov 06, 4:59 PM
    • 3,423 Posts
    • 44,884 Thanks
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 06, 4:59 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 06, 4:59 PM
    I agree with thriftlady. You will need to have your Health and Hygeine certificate, need to inform the Environmental Health people and you will need Insurance before you can sell to the general public. The regulations for ""Flour Confectionary" are not quite as strict as if you wanted to bake savoury's.
    • MATH
    • By MATH 8th Nov 06, 5:00 PM
    • 2,931 Posts
    • 5,603 Thanks
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 06, 5:00 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 06, 5:00 PM
    I'm well narked as I've just type a long reply and the PC has lost it LOL

    My friend has run a sucessful cake business from home for many years. She livs in a typical upper-class huntin-shootin-fishin type village (think Midsommer). Even in Green-wellie county people are only willing to shell out for wedding cakes, even when they order the most elaborate birthday concoctions they only want to pay Tesco/Asda off the shelf prices! So she now only takes wedding comissions.

    As well as Health and hygene issues you may need to consider

    1) Can you actually bake and decorate to a high standard. I have seen a number of 'bought from someone who "does cakes"' and they can look like roadkill! (I'm sure yours will be brill) but if the public is paying they won't accept anything but perfection. Consider enrolling on a basic decorating course and a floow up sugar craft/flower course.

    2) Is your kitchen adequate for professional baking? Do you have the right equipment and tools? Will buying all the necessaries outweigh any profit? Stands and the like cost a fortune.

    3) Do you enjoy baking/decorating enough to do it a lot. My friend had 15 wedding cakes due the same day and lived, breathed and slept cake for months, remember a cake may need to be made well in advance and decorated in layers over a period of a couple of weeks. Do you have enough storage space for spectacuclar works of art in progress?

    4) How much will pubilc liability insurance cost? Someone needs to pay out if you poison someone, they choke to death on your macaroons, or trip and break a leg walking up your drive to collect a cake.

    5) Will exisiting house/car insurance be valid for your business. If you burn down your house baking 18 dundee cakes back to back, or cause a fruit cake pile up delivering in the family Mondeo are you covered.

    6) Do you have access to the right kind of people to use (and more importantly pay for) your service. Think of ways you can network with wedding venues and dress designers.

    7) Financially how will you run, sort it out in advance and you will look professional. Will you charge and ordering fee to cover the outlay of ingredients (I would recomend you do) think or hire fees for expensive cake stands too!

    What ever you decide good luck

    Last edited by MATH; 08-11-2006 at 5:02 PM.
    Life's a beach! Take your shoes off and feel the sand between your toes.
    • r.mac
    • By r.mac 8th Nov 06, 5:09 PM
    • 4,736 Posts
    • 15,803 Thanks
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 06, 5:09 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 06, 5:09 PM
    Brilliant post MATH - think you have covered just about everything I had thought of and about a milion other things that hadn't occurred to me!
    r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
    Originally posted by aless02
    I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response
  • tawnyowls
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 06, 5:48 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 06, 5:48 PM
    The HSE really have tightened up on this - I saw at our local fete that all cakes had a list of ingredients attached to them, and on enquiring, was told that this was in response to HSE demands; they couldn't sell them without the ingredients list, and it had to be clearly stated if the product contained nuts (which you would think would be rather unnecessary for a Coffee & Walnut cake, but there you are!)
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 8th Nov 06, 8:04 PM
    • 5,052 Posts
    • 39,881 Thanks
    Have you thought about WI markets? Well worth looking into, haven't done this for 20 years or so, but I used to make some muck needed money this way when my children were little, and may do so again in the future. In my experience they used to give a lot of support with the legal hygeine type requirements etc.
    • debbym
    • By debbym 8th Nov 06, 8:15 PM
    • 460 Posts
    • 2,747 Thanks
    WI markets let you be a stall holder at their sales for a peppercorn fee and you don't have to join the jam and Jerusalem brigade to do it. But bear in mind that you may well be stepping on other stall holders toes and face tough opposition.
    WRT HE regs - you need to have a washable floor in the kitchen (i.e. not carpet); no pets; somewhere to safely store the cakes so they don't get contaminated (maybe a second fridge?); no washing machine in the kitchen; separate hand and dish-washing sinks (although if you have one of those one and a half ones this could be all you need). Your local office should be able to give you a check list before you start advertising! Good luck.
    • whatatwit
    • By whatatwit 8th Nov 06, 8:57 PM
    • 5,387 Posts
    • 15,339 Thanks
    If you are looking at charging money for the cakes, don't forget to register for tax.
    HMRC will be in your phone book, it has to be done within a time limit of starting 3 months, i think :confused:
    Even if you don't expect to make any or much profit, you should register as no doubt some kind neighbour or competitor will bubble you to HMRC.

    An aunt of mine did a lot of sugarcraft work including spectacular wedding cakes. She used to deliver those to the reception venue, then she knew they had arrived safely. As previously mentioned, check all insurances cover self employment.
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no: 203.
    • patchwork cat
    • By patchwork cat 8th Nov 06, 10:36 PM
    • 5,655 Posts
    • 8,745 Thanks
    patchwork cat
    A few years ago I watched a programme where people tried to raise 2K in a month or whatever. 1 woman took to making christmas cakes and made a fair bit. That would not involve any fancy decorating and would be topical to get you of the ground and I believe they sold like the proverbial!!!
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