How to Start a Cake Business from Home

Have you ever thought about starting your own cake business? I’m sharing all the lessons I learned during my years as a professional cake decorator, so you can figure out if this cake decorating journey really is for you.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Welcome back to Cake Week! For five jam-packed days, I’m teaching you how to make professional looking cakes at home, so you can avoid those high bakery prices. You can find links to all posts in the series HERE.

I've always thought running a cake business out of my home would be a great way to earn extra income! I know I'll be coming back to this post again and again—she outlines everything you need to know to get your cake decorating business up and running!

At the beginning of Cake Week, I mentioned that I ran my own cake business for a couple of years. Crazy, right?

It was a lot of fun, but most of all, a HUGE learning experience. Starting a business is one thing, but starting a cake business is another!

There’s more to think about then just where to buy confectionery sugar at the lowest price. You have to know what demand is like in your area, how much to charge, and how many weekends you’re willing to dedicate to the craft.

All in all, I’m glad I did it, but I’ll be honest—it wasn’t the business for me. However, I don’t want that to discourage you! The purpose of this post is to share all the lessons I learned along the way. I want you to avoid my mistakes, and figure out if this cake decorating journey really is for you. Because if it is, you’re in for a wild ride!

Here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Do it Because You Want to—Nobody Else

If you’re considering cake decorating as a business, you probably get a ton of complements on the cakes and cookies you already make. I’m also guessing you have Pinterest boards full of fun ideas to try, and when friends and family have special events coming up, you use it as an excuse to try new skills.

That’s exactly how I started.

But here’s what happened—once I began making cakes for profit, it didn’t feel as fun anymore. All I felt were tight deadlines and a whole lot of pressure. Yuck.

Now, I do have to say, a site like Creative Savings also has tight deadlines and pressure involved with it, but there’s a difference. I LOVE what I do! It’s still work, but it’s work I love. I can’t stop thinking about new posts to write and how to improve what I’ve already written. I’m literally obsessed with my job.

So before anything else, make sure you love love love cakes. Even though you may only be thinking side business right now, you must have a non-negotiable passion for frosting and sugar. Remember, this will take time away from your family or other commitments, so you have to be obsessed with it!


2. Make Sure It’s Legal

While it’s fun thinking of new designs and playing with frosting, it’s not so fun dealing with the red tape surrounding any food business.

Depending on your state, you may have certain requirements to meet. Sometimes it’s a separate oven, other times it’s a whole other kitchen! You will probably need an inspection from the health department too. See, I told you it was crazy!

However, it’s also very necessary if you want to keep your business on the up-and-up. Doing your first few cakes “under the table” might sound appealing, but you can’t be protected if you’re not a legal entity. You also don’t want to get stuck with a lawsuit because someone was sick after eating your cake.

Michelle Green is one of the instructors at Bluprint and covers all the legal things you need to know in her course, How to Start Your Cake BusinessShe’s been in the biz over 10 years, so I totally trust her advice!

Cake Business Online Class

You can also learn more about your tax obligations in my post, What Every Work-from-Home Woman Needs to Know About Taxes.

3. Know Your Market

It’s always a good idea to know what cake businesses offer in your area, and for how much. Do they do crazy cakes? Wedding cakes? Mini cakes? Everything? Do some market research and price yourself competitively with them.

Whatever you do, don’t compete with the grocery stores. Just don’t. Your cakes {even if they are extremely simple} are worth more than $20. If you undercut your pricing you will burn out…and fast. You have to love what you do, but if you’re barely making more than the cost of the ingredients, I promise you won’t love it for long!

Many customers will not understand this way of thinking. Take my advice and let them go to Publix to pick up a cake instead. You don’t want to waste time trying to please them. In fact, one of the reasons why I quit my business was because I under-priced myself and wasn’t making any money. It’s still my biggest regret.

4. Network and Promote Your Business

Now that you have all the legal stuff out of the way and know how to price yourself competitively in the market, it’s time to let potential customers know you’re in business!

  • Order a set of pretty business cards. It will be tempting to use a generic design from Vistaprint, but you want your business to stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this is to upload your own logo {you can get one for $5.00 through Fiverr}, with a collage of your own cakes displayed on the back. Keep it simple, but make it your own.


  • Start a Facebook page. A website is a great asset down the road, but I suggest you start with a Facebook page first. This page will list your contact information and showcase all your beautiful cakes!
  • Find places to network. Word of mouth from friends and family is great, but I received the majority of my referrals by selling cupcakes and cookies at my local farmer’s market. I always had free samples and a photo album of my work. This resulted in a lot of higher-paying clients for weddings and bigger events.

I’ve really only scratched the surface of what’s involved in starting your own cake business—there’s so much to discuss!

I mentioned Michelle’s course before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The modules alone are incredibly worth it—she covers not just the legal end of things, but also how to organized when taking orders and the best places to market yourself locally and online.

Plus, if you’re still confused about pricing, she gives you a breakdown of all costs you need to consider, and practical guidance to make sure you’re charging what you’re worth. Honestly, I wish this course had been around when I started my own business!

Start a Cake Business Course

Remember, you have lifetime access and can work your way through the modules whenever you have a spare moment!

Enroll in the cake business course HERE.

Cake decorating can be a really rewarding experience. Watching people ooh and ahh and enjoy the masterpiece you spent the last three days working on is incredibly fulfilling, even if it does get destroyed in a matter of minutes!

Have you ever thought about starting a cake business?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve thought about doing this! I think it’s so neat that you did. You’re so right about not trying to compete with grocery stores. I took a cake business class at a local shop a few years ago, and they said the same thing. I think her exact words were, “I wouldn’t even turn my oven on for $20.” haha I have to ask, did you ever run into a bridezilla or have a wedding disaster? Just the idea of that makes me stressed.

    1. Thank goodness I never actually ran into any bridezillas! 🙂 Although I did have some brides that really tried to lower my already low prices. One bride gave me a hard time about my price of $1.00 per serving on a multi-tiered cake that was heart-shaped, covered in fondant, and filled with a specialty filling. Anywhere else, that cake would have easily cost her more than double what I charged her.

  2. A cake business or any baking business really sounds like so much fun! I do see the downside to not pricing them high enough though. I’d need to drastically improve my baking skills if I ever wanted to do this.

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