In the United States, the wedding industry is a $72 billion business and cake is a big part of that. If you’re a baker with a passion for cakes, starting your own wedding cake business can be a lucrative endeavor.
But it takes more than just being able to bake a beautiful cake; there are some legalities and logistics involved in starting a wedding cake business.
In this post we will tell you everything you need to know before getting started, including:
- What you need to start your own cake business
- The legalities to be aware of
- Pros and cons of starting a wedding cake business
- Tips for pricing your cakes
- How to find customers for your cake business
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The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Wedding Cake Business
Wedding cakes are a big business. They are often the centerpieces of wedding receptions, and can be very elaborate.
If you have a passion for baking and decorating custom cakes, starting a wedding cake business may be for you.
What do you need to start a wedding cake business?
Before you launch your business, you’ll need to do some prep work. It is a good idea to come up with a business plan so you can start your home business right.
Research the local market: Is there a business opportunity you can tap into? Is there a gap in the market?
What do other cake designers sell in your area?
Develop your brand: You will want to register your business, pick a logo and develop good branding for your cake business.
Find the right supplies: You will also need to purchase the necessary equipment, including ovens, pans, and frosting supplies.
Market your business: Once you have started your cake business, you’ll need to promote it through social media and advertising campaigns.
With some hard work and dedication, you can turn your cake-making hobby into a successful business.
You need to have a business idea and some marketing skills.
The Pros and Cons of a Home Cake Business
A home cake business has many pros and cons. Obviously if you love baking and enjoy being in the kitchen, then this kind of work may seem like a dream come true.
However, it is important to be aware of the possible pitfalls:
Pros of Starting a Wedding Cake Business
Running your own cake decorating business will allow you to be creative and experiment with new decoration techniques and tricks.
Of course, you will often have to create different kinds of cakes according to a customer’s idea but you can often put your own twist on things.
Low start-up costs
Other than the basic baking equipment and space to make your cakes, you won’t need to spend too much money to launch your cake business.
Ingredients will be paid by the customers when you get orders.
Freedom to work when you want
A home bakery business will allow you to set your own hours.
You can work when you want and take time off in the wedding off-season which is typically the winter.
You can also work in the evenings only if that works better for your schedule.
This is a great job for a stay at home mom who wants to make extra money.
Great Earning Potential
When it comes to wedding cakes, there is big business to be had.
According to The Knot, in 2022, the average cost of a wedding cake was $500. Even with quality ingredients and your hours of labor, there is still a huge opportunity to make a nice profit with your baking business.
If you grow your business to include birthday cakes and other desserts, you will be able to boost your side hustle even faster.
No Qualifications Necessary
You don’t need any special skills or qualifications to start a wedding cake business; all you need is an idea for an exciting new venture, some determination and, of course, baking experience!
Downsides To Starting A Home Bakery
Difficult to scale your business
It may be more difficult to grow a home cake business than a professional bakery because of limited space and time for baking.
At some point, you will need to likely hire people to help you and/ or rent kitchen space somewhere.
No financial stability
There is no guaranteed income with a home bakery that sells wedding cakes.
Once you are established, you will get new clients through word of mouth but in the beginning it can be difficult to know how much money you will be making year to year.
Weddings only happen once
This may seem obvious but you are unlikely to get any repeat customers for your cake making if you only focus on wedding cakes.
Weddings are a one and done deal so you will constantly have to keep marketing your products to get new bookings. This is the same for all industry professionals from wedding planners to photographers.
Of course, customers will recommend you to friends who are getting married so you may get “repeat” customers that way.
Brides are not the easiest customers
A wedding day is a huge occasion for a couple and they will expect everything to be perfect.
While you may be able to get away with small mistakes with a birthday or baptism cake, your wedding customers are paying top dollar for the best and expect nothing less.
Brides can be difficult to work with and very demanding so if you are not good at handling stress, this may not be a good fit for you.
How do you start a wedding cake business?
The steps to starting a wedding cake business include researching the market, developing a business plan, and setting up your bakery.
Here’s a step by step guide to starting your business off right:
Step 1: Research The Market
You need to research the market before you start your wedding cake business to make your business idea is viable.
This will help you determine what type of cake businesses are popular and where you should focus your marketing efforts.
Take a look at the local cake bakers and attend wedding expos to see what your competition is doing.
Look at how much they charge and the kinds of service they offer.
You’ll want to create a business plan that outlines what you plan to make and how many cakes you hope to make each month to turn a profit.
Step 2: Register Your Business & Get Insurance
You’ll need to contact your local authorities to see what kind of license you need to make and sell cakes from home.
Food business regulations vary depending on where you live. In some areas there are cottage food laws that allow small business to operate out of their home.
You may need to complete a food safety course to learn about food hygiene and preparation.
One tip: if you find you cannot legally open a wedding cake business from home but still want a baking side hustle, consider starting a dog treat business instead! The laws are often less strict for animal food products.
Check with your local Department of Health to see exactly what is required of small businesses in your area.
You will also want to register your business name and potentially set up an LLC once things get going.
Starting a wedding cake business can be very risky.
You need to take steps to protect yourself and your business from potential financial losses or even get sued.
One way to do this is to get insurance.
Liability Insurance will help cover things like property damage, theft, and even accidents that may happen during the course of your business. Having insurance will help make sure you’re protected in case something bad happens.
Step 3: Get Your Supplies
To start an at-home wedding cake business, you’ll need the following:
-A kitchen with adequate counter space and storage for ingredients
-Access to a oven or stovetop
-Enough decorating materials (piping bags, frosting tubes, etc.) to outfit several cakes per day
You’ll also want the following baking supplies that you likely already have at home:
- Baking pans
- A stand mixer
- A bakeware set with cookie trays and other necessities
- Cardboard circles for the bottom of your cakes
- Basic kitchen items such as a spatula, spoons, sieves and measuring cups
Step 4: Determine The Kinds Of Cakes To Bake
Obviously the type of wedding cake you will make will depend largely on the orders that you receive but you can definitely market yourself as a certain type of baker too!
You must decide what you will sell your wedding cakes to. This includes deciding the price, the flavors, and any special features that your cakes will have. You need to be aware of what you can and can’t offer your customers.
It is important to make sure that you are fully prepared before starting this business so that you can provide the best possible service to your customers
Choose a theme or style that you’re passionate about
When you’re creating your cakes, it’ll be easier if you have a specific idea in mind. This will help keep your creativity flowing and ensure that each cake turns out as expected. Themes like cherry blossoms or simple elegance are popular choices among home bakers due to their versatility.
Look on the wedding planning websites for ideas of cakes that are popular right now.
If you’re thinking about starting a wedding cake business, you’ll need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Wedding cake trends change every year, so it’s important to do your research.
One of the biggest trends right now is naked cakes. These are cakes that are not iced or fondant, so they have a more rustic look. They’re usually decorated with fresh flowers or fruit, and they’re very popular for backyard weddings or destination weddings.
Another trend is using alternative ingredients like olive oil, lavender, or matcha powder in your cake recipe. This is a great way to add flavor and interest to your cakes without going overboard.
Get as much baking experience as possible
Obviously you may have a lot of background training in making cakes but even still, it is important to perfect your basic recipes before launching your business.
First, start by perfecting your craft. Take some classes or consult with a professional baker to learn the ropes.
You’ll need to be able to make flawlessly iced and decorated cakes that taste as good as they look. Attention to detail is key but you will also need to work quickly and efficiently.
To perfect your basic recipes, you need to learn how to make them the same way every time. This will help you create consistent and quality cakes that customers will love.
Basic recipes include ingredients, measurements, and methods that should be used in all your cakes.
You need to learn these recipes well enough so that you can make them without having to look at a recipe or refer back to one.
By perfecting your basic recipes, you’ll ensure consistency in your cake production and improve the quality of each cake.
The more consistent your cake production is, the better people will feel about it and the more likely they are to return for future orders.
Step 5: Marketing Your Wedding Cake Business
Every business needs customers but how do you market your wedding cake business?
It doesn’t matter how good your cakes are if you don’t have any orders!
There are a variety of ways to market your wedding cake business. You can use online marketing, print advertising, and social media.
You can also participate in trade shows and networking events.
Another idea is to create a website for your business.
The most important thing is to find the right marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience and generate sales.
Here are some ways to find customers for your wedding cake business:
Get Listed on Wedding Websites
Wedding cake businesses can be profitable if you do things right. Listing your business on popular wedding planning websites is one of the best ways to start off.
These sites are frequented by brides and grooms, so listing your bakery will put you in touch with some serious clients right from the beginning.
In addition to online listings, consider placing ads in local newspapers or magazines targeting weddings as well as weddings venues yourself.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to reach out to potential customers this way!
Create Your Own Wedding Cake Website
Starting your own website is a great way to showcase your work and to give customers more information about what you offer. You can use my guide to starting a small business website here.
On your website, make sure to include the following information:
- An about me page
- A portfolio with lots of photos of different styles of cakes
- Reviews from satisfied customers
- A list of the types of cake you can make (sponge cake, fruit cake etc)
- A contact me page including links to all your social media channels
Make sure your website URL and social media handles are the same as your wedding business name.
Promoting Your Cake Business On Social Media
Another important part of your wedding business marketing is to create social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok.
Post photos of your cakes and list any promotions that you are offering. Encourage friends and family to “like” your Facebook page and share your posts.
Photos are one of the most important factors when starting a wedding cake business. They can show potential clients what your cakes and services look like, and they can help you build your brand.
You need to take great photos to show potential clients what your cakes and services look like, and you need to do it in a way that builds your brand.
There are many ways to take great photos of your cakes, but some tips include using natural light, taking close-ups, and shooting in RAW format.
Good photography will help you sell more cakes online, in person, or even through print ads. It’s essential for any budding bakery owner!
You should make sure to watermark all your cake photos.
Attend Bridal Events and Wedding expos
Attending a bridal event is a great way to network and meet potential clients. Everyone there is shopping for vendors for their wedding so you are bound to make some great contacts.
It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the wedding cake industry and see what other businesses are doing that could be of interest to you.
Make sure to have flyers or brochures with pictures of cakes that you have made (your portfolio) and samples for potential customers to try. Most wedding cake vendors at Wedding shows have a large display cake at their booth to show customers what they can provide.
Carry Business Cards
Business cards are an important part of any cake business. They help people find and contact you, show off your logo and branding, and promote your cakes in the community.
Carry enough cards so that everyone who might be interested in buying a cake from you has one available at all times.
You can get cards make at a site such as Vistaprint or Etsy.
Network with other wedding industry professionals
Make contact with other people in the wedding business such as photographers and wedding planners and ask them to share your business with their clients if you do the same.
Wedding venues may be willing to recommend you for cakes if you provide them with samples and your business cards of your company. You can also give their clients a discount to further encourage them to promote you.
Get Listed on Search Engines
Getting your business listed on search engines is one of the most important steps you can take to success. It’s through Google, Yahoo!, and Bing that most people find businesses online, so having a presence there is essential for finding and engaging customers. The process of getting found on line is called SEO.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the ranking of a website or web page in relation to other websites by using techniques such as keyword research, on-page optimization (including title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt tags), link building, and social media engagement.
By optimizing your website for search engine results pages (SERPs), you’ll increase traffic from potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer. The higher up your site appears in SERP listings, the more likely it is that people will click through to learn more about what you have to offer.
The best way to get started with SEO is by doing some research into which keywords are popular in your industry and targeting those terms throughout all of your content marketing efforts.
You can also target long-tail keywords that may not be as well known but are still relevant to your business.
Once you’ve identified some targeted keywords and begun incorporating them into various sections of your website, it’s time to start building links.
Links are important because they indicate to Google that your site is authoritative and worth considering for the search results page for a given keyword. You can build links through article submission sites, blog commenting, social media sharing, and other activities that will help boost your website’s visibility.
Once you have a healthy mix of organic (unpaid) and paid traffic coming into your site, it’s time to focus on marketing efforts that can help convert visitors into customers.
There are many different ways to do this, but some common strategies include developing an attractive website design, creating compelling content that resonates with your target audience, setting up email campaigns targeting potential customers who may be interested in what you have to offer, and using targeted ads on online platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
If you want to learn more about SEO, I highly recommend checking out Neil Patel’s website.
Step 6: The Wedding Cake Order
Once you have your first customer, it is time to start planning their cake.
Make sure you are available the week before their wedding date and then schedule a cake tasting with them. Show them your portfolio of cake designs and ask them to show you the things they are interested in.
Most wedding bakers take a deposit at the time of booking and then final payment on the day of cake delivery.
How To Start Your Own Wedding Cake Business: FAQS
What are the costs of starting a wedding cake business?
Starting a wedding cake business is not too expensive compared with other side hustles.
The costs of starting a wedding cake business include equipment and materials, hiring employees (if necessary), and advertising.
High-quality ingredients are not cheap but the cost will be offset by your prices.
There are many ways to start a wedding cake business without spending too much money upfront especially if you have a good kitchen to bake in and the right equipment already.
There are many options for financing your startup costs, including loans from banks or credit unions as well as angel investors or crowdfunding platforms.
How do you price your wedding cakes?
How do you price your wedding cakes? Your rate will depend on the amount of time the cake takes you to make and the ingredients used.
You can charge different for different types of cake. For example, you might charge more for a larger cake or a specialty cake.
You also might charge more if the cake is decorated in a specific way or is made to accommodate special dietary requirements.
Determine your pricing structure:
Your pricing structure is the way you charge for your services. It includes the price of your cake, decoration, and delivery.
There are a few things to consider when setting your pricing structure.
You need to determine what type of cake you want to sell (traditional or nontraditional), how much decoration you’ll need, and how much delivery will cost.
Make sure to have amounts decided for delivery outside of your city.
You also need to factor in overhead costs like rent, insurance, and marketing expenses.
You’ll also want to consider how long the cake will take you to determine a good hourly rate for your labor.
Your goal should be to make a healthy profit while still providing excellent service.
Your pricing structure should be simple and easy for customers to understand.
You can use percentages or fixed prices with no hidden fees.
How To Transport Cakes To Wedding Venues
How do you get your perfect wedding cake from your home to the cake table at the wedding venue?
Wedding cakes are delicate food products that require special care during transportation.
Ideally you would have a vehicle with a large flat floor such as an SUV or mini-van.
Make sure the cake is well-chilled before transporting and lay it down carefully on non-skid mats that you can get at the dollar store. In cases it might be easier to assemble the cake at the wedding location.
Drive very carefully and slowly to the venue. However slow you think you need to go, go even more slowly!
Any sudden movements or stops may cause the cake to shift and get damaged.
How can I scale up my wedding cake bakery?
Once your delicious cakes start becoming popular for weddings in your area, you may be ready to grow your business.
One way to do this is to start creating other special event cakes. There are so many special occasions that need a fun celebration cake, such as:
- Bridal Showers
- Baby Shower cakes
- Bar Mitzvahs
Plus, there are other wedding desserts such as a grooms cakes.
If you really want to have year-round business, consider making other specialty cakes in the off season.
You can also start selling other related items such as a custom cake topper to go with your cake. Another idea is to start a home-based cookie business too!
Another way to grow your business is to open your own shop selling cakes. A boutique cake shop is the ideal way to really build your bakery business.
Starting A Cake Business: Final Thoughts
A wedding cake business can be a fun and rewarding way to use your baking skills to make a profit.
With the right planning, there is no reason your business can’t be a success.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or expanding an existing bakery, there are a few things you need to do to get your business off the ground:
- Decide what kind of cakes you want to bake. There are many different styles of wedding cakes, from simple and elegant designs to over-the-top masterpieces.
- Consider what kinds of cakes you’re good at making and that fit your baking style.
- Research the competition. Find out who else is baking wedding cakes in your area and what they’re charging for their services. This will help you set your own prices and find ways to stand out from the competition.
- Get the necessary supplies and equipment
- Market your business non-stop
- Consider making cakes for other occasions such as birthdays, bridal showers and baptisms. Also consider offering cakes to fit any budget to get more business.