Cake Pricing

The Basics

This involves a spreadsheet of ingredient prices and quantities and accounts for bake, assembly and foundational frosting time. Every cake is custom made to order from scratch, which is why even my simplest cake will cost more than a grocery store cake. On average, the base price is about $5.50 per serving for layer cakes, the most commonly requested treat. 

The Design and Application

Every design is unique, whether closely inspired by an image or imagined from a list of prompts. I often do research, draw sketches and explore techniques before even picking up a palette knife or piping bag. Each technique looks different but all are applied with great care. For ease of pricing, I created a few tiers based on an assumption of another hour worked, though sometimes I spend more time than I account for. From the basic price, the tiers increase in $20 increments. 

Extra Costs

Some flavors, techniques and structural elements can add additional costs, as well as certain services. Special sculptural and tiered cakes often require delivery and on-site set-up, for example. Sometimes I loan out cake stands or servers for a refundable deposit. 

“A Piece of Cake”

A lot of work, skill and experience go into making each and every cake.

I have decades of experience making art in a variety of media, from fine arts to graphic design, a great foundation from which to explore with buttercream and beyond. I took up baking for family gatherings after my mom forgot sugar in a lemon pie, which adds up to decades of baking experience. Hours upon hours of practice drawing and painting and exploring new techniques, as well as refining an artistic voice, also contribute to what you see here.

When you break it down like this and consider scale — those 4″ cakes take almost the same amount of time to bake as a 9″ cake, though there’s a bit less surface area to cover for the decoration — it often doesn’t seem like the math adds up to a good business model. But I love it. I love making art and I love seeing the joy in people’s faces when they see them for the first time. I love getting messages about how hard it is to cut into them, not because they’re not beautifully tender, but because they are ephemeral pieces of art. 


Cake commissions

The Bake Shop

Whether you’re new to the site or you’ve placed an order before, when you go to commission a cake, you’ll now bop over to a Square powered site, where you can include details about your order within the e-commerce model.

Square payments

I’ve tested out a number of ways to accept payments for cake orders and run into countless challenges. Square is a trusted, reliable payment service which is good news for both of us!

Why the change(s)? As my baking hobby has grown into a business, I’ve needed to find ways to streamline the business processes so I can spend more time doing what I love — making you delicious, beautiful cakes! At first I was able to take orders and accept payments casually, but it became difficult to keep track of requests across multiple platforms and to keep up with payments and taxes. For a while, I tried to use both Square payments for in-person orders and the built-in e-commerce platform within WordPress, but keeping up with different payment systems made bookkeeping more challenging and the built-in e-commerce platform caused site outages that meant orders may not get through, plus managing transactions on the back end was a true nightmare. While it’s not ideal to send you to a separate site or to accept payments without guarantee a commission will be accepted, this is currently the most effective way for me to manage the financial side of things without sacrificing my mental health or turning down more cake orders. 

Please note, if you submit an order and payment for a commission I am unable to accept, I will refund you! 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as my business practices evolve, and also if I’m a little slow to respond to emails, process transactions or send off invoices. 

Feel free to email me with any questions!

My cakes are featured in the University of Alaska Southeast literary and arts journal Tidal Echoes! 

I submitted photos of some of my favorite cakes from the past year to the journal and found out in mid-March that I had been selected to be published! 

I’m in great company with talented writers and artists, including featured visual artist Lily Hope, whose art I love (and sometimes wear). I’m also a big fan of her as a human in general. 

On the topic of Lily, I was honored that she asked me to model her Black Lives Matter Allies arm band, woven in Chilkat technique and modified from Alison Bremner‘s art.

Yes, this post is ostensibly about me being published in Tidal Echoes, but it has now evolved into a Lily Hope appreciation post and I’m not mad about it. Go check out her art, buy yourself some earrings and join me in the fan club.  

Oh, and you can pick up a copy of Tidal Echoes online at or at a handful of shops around Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

I’ve baked more and more over the years, but never so much as during the pandemic. Suddenly, an occasional hobby became a bit of an obsession — for me and the people around me. 

In previous years, I would bake for holidays, dessert auctions and birthdays. I loved experimenting with flavors and making them beautiful, but the decor was pretty traditional, or perhaps modern-rustic — a popular trend. 

The first really out-there cake was the trash bear. I suppose I had been aware of sculpted cakes for some time, but had never tried it. I was also growing more aware of modern, creative techniques and aesthetics in baking. This cake combined both, with cake sculpting, fondant and use of the grass tip. The trash bear was a hit.

Sculpted trash bear cake

I made more creative cakes, like a mountain with trail for the Trail Mix fundraiser or an emoji cake and cupcakes, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I found niche — buttercream painting. 

It was for the Girl Scouts auction. I drew inspiration from artist Ashley Mary, who makes beautiful paintings and collages with organic shapes, bold colors and swatches of pattern. I used my small offset spatula to paint on the buttercream frosting and bright pink ganache. It was fun and exciting and, thankfully, well-received. 

Abstract buttercream painted cake

When COVID hit in March, the occasions to bake strangely increased and the distraction was welcome. I bought 4″ cake pans from Gourmet Alaska and started baking small, artistic cakes for individuals, couples and small families. Sometimes they were for birthdays or anniversaries, but sometimes they were just for fun. We all needed to find a little joy. 

And that’s how I somehow ended up baking, on average, four or five cakes a week. Is it a hobby? An obsession? A side side hustle (yes, two sides, because there’s already a side hustle)? 

With working from home and limited socializing, why not bake?

Abstract buttercream painted cakes