Hawaiin Pineapple Cake

July 27, 2008 Jasmine
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…Okay so my aunt was having her 50th birthday party yesterday. Hula dancers, hawaiin theme, the whole works. I called my other aunt to offer up some cupcakes but, my birthday aunt, her sons girlfriend, was already in charge of the cupcakes. So she asked if I’d like to do the cake instead?

I said sure thing. But I let her know although I am great at decorating cupcakes, our cake skills still need some work. She said that was fine.

I asked her exactly what she wanted for cake, she said she wanted a 2 layer yellow hawaiin pineapple cake with white frosting and coconut on the side.

Okay the cake. I tried a new yellow cake from smittenkitchen.com. That lady gets like 200 blog comments and recently did this cake for a wedding for a friend.

I used that cake and put crushed pineapple in with it. It was 3 small layers of cake. We tried a new frosting which is called Whimsical Bake House Buttercream, we put that in between the layers and cut up strawberrys. I wanted to try the frosting the lady used on smittenkitchen but a dozen raw eggs in the frosting with elderly people attending didn’t sound like a good idea.

I did the baking, researched the recipes, helped get the frosting together, told Joe how she wanted it to look and he decorated it. I think he did a fantastic job andI thought the cake was perfect looking.

Good thing we took pics before we left.

Okay, 2 problems. I put this cake on an 8 inch cardboard circle and then put it on top of a white paper doiley. Somehow when they moved the cake out of the box and onto their platter they managed to lose a chunk off the bottom. See the right side of the cake?

My aunt asked me to cut the cake and serve it to whoever was standing in line. I was very disappointed this cake crumbled because it was so moist. We dried off the crushed pineapple before mixing it into the batter. I need to do this again with NO pineapple and see what the deal is. Taste wise it was awesome. Everybody loved it.

I asked my aunt if I should keep searching for a better recipe. She said no, it looked great and once its cut people would rather have a delicious moist cake that falls apart than one that is dry. My 2 elderly cousins(in their 70’s) were worried they wouldn’t get a piece. They loved it too and 1 friend of my aunt asked her if I made this from scratch and that it was delicious. Of course all the cake was gone.

The only thing I baked in this picture is the cake. Everything else if someone elses.

So here are my 2 questions:

1. What would you be willing to pay for a special order cake themed to your party? Baked fresh from scratch. This is a 3 layer cake but keep in mind they are small layers and = about 2 regular layers. There is fresh strawberrys in the middle of two layers. There is crushed pineapple mixed in with the batter. Pineapples on top and coconut on the side. This cake is very moist and delicious.

2. Would it be a problem if this cake was so moist it falls apart while you are cutting it?

hahahahhaa

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Entry Filed under: cakes

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gill  |  July 27, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Its a moist cake, so it will fall to pieces, some people will mind, some will not. Price I would charge at least $10, how many would that cake serve, its hard to figure out on your photo. Or maybe $1.25 to $1.50 per person/slice?

  • 2. jasmine  |  July 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Gill,

    Well $10 would be a problem since we spent $11.35 just in ingredients. lol

    Basic cake recipe $3.45 +
    Icing $1.45 +
    Pineapple $3.20 +
    Fresh strawberrys $2.50 +
    Coconut .75 = $11.35

    The box and inserts would be about another $3.50

    So $14.85 just in ingredients/packaging not to mention labor.

    Baking a cake from scratch takes alot more time than pulling out a box mix too. Unfortunately, I could not find cake flour anywhere so I had to make my own. I added baking powder and all purpose flour and cornstarch and then I had to sift that 12 times.

    Note to self, find cake flour!!! LOL

    I am thinking that plus baking time was about an hour.

    Joe decorating is another story.

    I didn’t time that either and it is hard to time something when you don’t do it all at once. Putting together and whipping up the frosting. This frosting had to actually beat 20 minutes in the mixer. haha

    Letting the cake cool and then tossing it in the fridge to let icinged layers get really cold and then add on more layers, etc.

    So without allowing for any “away from the cake times” or the “frosting in the mixer for 20 minutes all by itself”, maybe 30 minutes? But then there is chopping up the strawberry’s. Coloring the icing to do the boarder around the top.

    I didn’t realize til later that we needed crushed pineapple, not chunks to mix in the batter so Joe crushed that himself. lol

    It is a 3 layer cake but is enough cake wise for a 2 layer cake so basically 16 slices.

    All said and done we probably spent a good 2 hours on this cake(3 if including away times) plus $15.00 in ingredients/packaging.

    I am thinking no less than $40.00.

    When we did the 2 small 8 inch round cakes for the 4th of July, that was alot easier. The ingredients/frosting was about $3.50, packaging was in the plastic containers sent out which would be 16 x .085 = $1.36. So basically $5.00 for ingredients + packaging.

    No in and out of the fridge when decorating. Just frost the cake and then he did do some stars and a flag with a stencil he had made.

    But $5.00 in ingredients/packaging is alot different than $15.00

    We sliced the 4th of July cake up and sold it for $2.00 a slice or 2/$3.00

    So if you do the math:

    $5.00 divided by 16 slices = .31 cents per slice. Each slice basically sold for $1.50 so it is marked up 5 times roughly.

    If we did the same math with this cake:

    $15.00 divided by 16 slices = .94 cents per slice. If we marked it up 5 x it “should” sell for $4.68!!!

    That would be a $75.00 cake. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!! LOL

    I think that is too much myself.

    Since I am the one who made it and know what all went into it and the time and
    all I can easily say $40.00.

    I could probably even convince someone else of this if the cake didn’t fall apart when cutting it. LOL

    I am making this again, but am on a quest to find cake flour first. I seen the cut cake on that ladys website and it was not in pieces. hahahaha

    As far as a basic store cake goes, out here you can get an 8 inch 1 layer cake for $8.00. A 2 layer is about $13.00. But they are not filled and are made with a box mix, no fruit, no coconut, no special order. So just based on that I could see this cake maybe going for $25.00.

    But like I said my time involved is worth alot more. That is the thing with anything home made is the time involved and the extra detail that is put into something.

    If I were doing a basic 2 layer cake from scratch like the 4th of july ones I would say $18.00 – $20.00.

    WHat I need to do is have the option for people who want the $20.00 cake. ANd then have options for more elaborate ones. I also want to get into doing specialty cakes. Cakes they can’t get from the store.

    Online I have seen topsy turvy cakes, purse cakes, castle cakes, princess tower cakes, etc.

  • 3. Sonshine  |  July 28, 2008 at 9:44 am

    cute cake! For a layered specialty cake I would think something around $35 would be a fair price.

    If you are going to do just a sheet cake with frosting and such on the top then I would probably just $20 for that one.

    Something else to consider for figuring out the price of the cake…tally up the amount for the ingredients and round to the nearest dollar and then charge something like an additional $5-$7/hour for your labor. I might also charge an “oven fee”, seriously your oven is getting wear and tear from the extra usage along with your utilities. šŸ™‚

    Too bad you live sooooo far away from me…I’d hire your services. šŸ™‚

  • 4. Gill  |  July 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    so are you saying there are 16 slices to the cake?

  • 5. jasmine  |  July 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Gill,

    I guess it depends on how you want to cut it. These wouldn’t be “weddding cake slices”. These would be huge slices.

    When I make an 8 inch round cake I cut it into 8 slices. This is double that so you would get 16 longer thinner slices.

    If you were going by wedding slices you could probably get 32 or so.

    Sonshine,

    You are so sweet! I agree with you about the sheet cake. I made another cake yesterday for hubbys potluck using the same recipe, no pineapples though and a different cake flour recipe and it is awesome. I will post pics later!

  • 6. jasmine  |  July 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Oh Sonshine,

    I forgot to say minimum wage here is $7.50. My hubby makes alot more than that per hour.

    In the beginning it is “easy” to charge a smaller amount because you think, hey I am making a little extra. But what if someone comes up and wants a big order?

    I need to charge enough to make sure I am making money so that way when I don’t feel like baking yet there is an order you do it anyway. Does that make sense?

    Like this pineapple cake. It cost us $15.00 just to make it.

    If someone gave us $20.00 or $25.00 is $10 extra bucks worth the fact we spent a good 3 hours on it?

    My dh makes alot more money at his regular job. If this does take off is it really fair for him to come home and make minimum wage decorating a cake?

    Its just not worth it.

    That is what I tell myself with the cookies/brownies.

    I need to make sure I charge enough so that it is worth my time.

    That pineapple cake cost $15.00 and 3 hours involved. $40.00 wouldn’t even be enough, IMO. But I am assuming we can get to know the recipe/get faster at decorating and knock it out in 2 hours.

    Some people I know charge 3 x ingredients/packaging and the add on hourly labor.

    There are other things too like clean up time, using extra gas electricity, going to the store and shopping etc.

    There is alot involved and I need to find a happy medium between everyone getting a fair price.

    AT 3 x ingredients and say $15.00 an hour that cake would of cost $90.00!! I don’t think so. LOL

    I still need to make sure I don’t shortchange myself on the labor though. I did the cake again yesterday and just making the mix and sifting and putting batter in the pan etc took me 40 minutes!

    Baking from scratch is alot more time consuming than a box.

    Taste alot better too.

    I think in the future what would save time is if I take an hour and make a bunch of cake mix up. Then that way it would probably cut down on the over all time for everything.

  • 7. Jessie's Attic  |  July 31, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Beautiful cake hon, when are we gonna get together and cook lol

  • 8. jasmine  |  July 31, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Hey sweetie I have missed you!!! We had to cancel the beach trip for this weekend cause Joe got an extra day of work on Saturday.

    We need to plan a day to get together. Are you getting up and around okay?

  • 9. Nic  |  August 9, 2008 at 8:11 am

    It looks delicious! I like moist cakes, so I don’t care if they fall apart while serving. You’re going to cut it and eat it anyway!
    I can’t give you advice on the money thing… I think in euros and that’s a little different!

  • 10. jasmine  |  August 13, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Hi Nic,

    I have it all figured out now and I made the cake again and it did NOT fall! Yeah!

  • 11. Dangerously Delicious Rec&hellip  |  August 13, 2008 at 9:50 am

    […] so end of July I did the same cake batter as from the Hawaiin cake but no pineapples at all and I used a different recipe for cake flour. I made a mini cake for me to […]


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