Getting started – Where to sell?
There are many places that you can sell cakes and other sweet products.
- Car boot sale
- School fairs
- Online shop
- Selling to local stores
- Setting up your own shop
Remember location is important. Before you decide to make a real go of baking, first find out what sells and where.
So you have all the skills to bake delicious and tasty cakes? If so then you could make money baking. You could actually make quite a lot of money baking!
Take a look at our guide for starting up a baking business below:
The baker in you wants to spend your days making chewy cookies and decadent cakes. The entrepreneur in you wants to be your own boss and call the shots. But the realist in you knows that you may not have the resources or the time to start your own retail bakery.
The solution could be a home-based bakery!
This type of small business lets you bake to your heart’s content, be your own boss, and work from home, instead of leasing an expensive storefront and hiring a squad of employees.
If you’re trying to figure out how to start a bakery business from home, you’re in the right place. Here’s a step-by-step guide to turning your home kitchen into a small-batch production powerhouse.
Here are tried-and-true tips on how to sell baked goods online so you can focus your time and energy on creating delicious cakes and treats!
I was in the bakery business for over eleven years, and 75% of our orders were online sales for the last six of those years.
Online cake orders saved us time as they eliminated unnecessary consultations (providing more time for baking or decorating cakes). Even better, our online shop kept all of our bakery orders organized in one place in a detailed calendar.
Not Sure If You’ve Got the Skills to Start a Home Baking Business?
A home bakery is a business, just like a retail bakery. While it has its own set of rules and regulations, it must still abide by the same principles of great baking, customer service, cost control, and marketing.
5 Steps to Starting a Bakery Business From Home
- Create your business entity and acquire the proper licenses.
- Plan the bakery menu.
- Get the right equipment and supplies.
- Review your overhead costs and price your products accordingly.
- Start baking!
If you’re not sure if you have all of these skills, it may be time to invest in an education by attending pastry school to help you with both the pastry and business skills. With Escoffier’s online program in baking and pastry, you can earn a diploma or an associate degree—from home—in less than 60 weeks!
*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.
Steps to start selling baked good from home
- Create a business plan
- Know the legal requirements of running a home business
- Get business insurance
- Register an LLC
- Check the tax regulations
- Choose your baking niche
- Determine how you will sell your products
While you might be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love to eat baked goods, finding someone who loves doing the baking is another story. But for some people, not only is baking a creative outlet and a great stress reliever, it’s also a great business opportunity.
Although the traditional brick-and-mortar bakery has its merits, starting at home is a good way to get rolling, as there’s a low barrier to entry. You can launch your business faster by using your home kitchen and all its baking utensils.
There are also fewer expenses required to start. Without the need to rent a property or build a bakery, the bulk of your budget can go toward buying quality ingredients and marketing your business.
The ideal home-based bakery e-commerce solution
Create an online store for your business with Jotform Store Builder – no coding experience needed! Enable customers to place orders and make payments online.
Ovenly founders Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin started in their Brooklyn home before growing to a company with over 70 employees. They are proof that learning how to start selling baked goods from home can be profitable if you have the blueprint for success.
In this piece, we’ll explain the steps you need to take to start a home-based baked goods business.
How to start selling baked goods from home
If you’re serious about baking more than a few buns on the weekend, you should create a business plan that details how you’ll manage your time, finances, and inventory, and how you’ll market and sell your products. This plan will serve as a guide you can refer to as you scale, making it easier to keep operations on track.
Know the legal requirements of running a home business
Overlooking the laws and regulations on home businesses is a recipe for disaster, especially when it comes to food service, as you could incur huge fines. You may need a permit or license to sell homemade food, so check with your local government and state health department before proceeding.
Get business insurance
While you’re working from home, it’s crucial to have a business insurance policy to safeguard against potential mishaps. Whether it’s a fire in the kitchen or an angry customer claiming ill effects from a bad batch, having insurance will give you financial protection and peace of mind.
Register an LLC
A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure that offers business owners limited liability protection and pass-through taxation, which enables the owners to declare business taxes on their personal tax returns. However, if a limited liability company goes into debt, the debtors cannot lay claim to the owners’ personal possessions.
This venture into baking might start as a hobby for spare cash, but it’s best to do things by the book so you don’t lose your home in a lawsuit. Set up a limited liability company to protect your personal assets.
Check the tax regulations
A sales tax permit is often free, but you may need to pay taxes on sales or food items. Refer to local business information websites or your state government to determine what tax you need to pay. By putting money aside each month, you can collect enough to cover your annual sales tax bill when the time comes to file your business tax return.
Choose your baking niche
While you may be tempted to offer as many items as possible, it’s better to limit your offerings in the beginning. Focus on one or two items that are your specialty, and make them better than any of your competitors’ similar offerings.
Finding a niche — like gluten-free bagels or vegan cookies, for example — allows you to stand out as a specialist and makes it easier to make a name for yourself among a small, dedicated customer group.
Determine how you will sell your products
When you don’t have a traditional brick-and-mortar bakery, you have to think outside the box for selling your delicious goods. Will you head to the local farmers market every Saturday or rely on your friends and family to spread the word about your new venture?
While these options can bring in some sales, another option that may be more fruitful is selling baked goods through your own online store. This way, you can reach a wider audience that extends beyond word-of-mouth or in-person encounters.
If you’ve never built an online store before, the thought of setting one up might seem daunting. Jotform Store Builder is an excellent option for online bakery businesses because it’s so easy to use and doesn’t require any coding experience.
Here’s how Jotform Store Builder enables you to sell baked goods from home:
- It provides a helpful starting point. With over 100+ industry-specific store templates, you don’t have to start your online store from scratch. Instead, you can choose a store template that meets your business needs. Simply drag and drop your logo, list your products and pricing, and change the app icon and color scheme to personalize it.
- It makes adding useful functionality easy. Jotform Store Builder offers over 80 widgets to add whatever functionality you need — product lists, images, and videos, for instance — so your online store is engaging and comprehensive.
- It gives you important operational tools. Every online order is stored in Jotform Tables, where it’s easy to track and manage details. You can also create reports to better understand your customers and sales patterns, such as seasonal trends.
Baking is a fun and rewarding activity, but it can also be a great way to make extra money. If you enjoy baking and spending time in the kitchen, what better way to supplement your income than by incorporating your hobby?
Thankfully, there are several ways you can use your skills to earn extra income with a baking side hustle. This article covers 11 specific ideas, so read the descriptions and see which one might be the right fit for you.
If you love baking and have a knack for it, why not start a home baking business? Have friends or family ever told you that you should sell your baked goods?
Starting a home bakery is a great way to make extra money while doing something you enjoy. You can bake cakes, cookies, pies, bread, or whatever else you like and deliver them to customers in your area.
Another way to use your baking skills is by designing custom cakes for special occasions. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations often call for unique cakes that reflect the personality of the person or people involved. If you’re creative and have a good eye for design, a cake business could be a great side hustle.
The best way to start selling your delicious baked goods on a small scale is through friends and family. Talk to people you know, including neighbors, co-workers, and others in your network.
Before you start a home bakery, it’s important to check your state’s guidelines. Some states allow you to sell baked goods made in a home kitchen, and others do not. You can research cottage food guidelines in your state or check with your county’s public health office.
Sell Baked Goods at a Farmer’s Market
If you’re looking for a way to reach more customers, selling baked goods at a farmer’s market is an excellent option. Farmer’s markets are very popular, and they provide a great opportunity to sell your products to people in your community.
To sell baked goods at a farmers market, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. In most cases, you’ll need to be licensed and registered with the state or county. You may also need to comply with certain food safety regulations. You should also check the rules and regulations of the farmer’s market, as some have restrictions that may impact you.
Write Recipe Books or Ebooks
There are several ways to make money from recipe books and ebooks. You can sell them through online platforms like Amazon, or you can create your own website and sell them directly to your customers.
Amazon is a popular choice for authors because you can sell paperback books without investing in inventory. Through the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program, Amazon will print and fulfill orders as they’re received, which means you don’t need to buy hundreds or thousands of books before you sell them.
Another possibility is to offer an ebook for free in exchange for email addresses, which allows you to build a mailing list of potential customers. This is a great way to promote other products or services you offer.
Create and Sell Printables
Are you skilled in the kitchen and love to bake? If so, you could start a side hustle creating and selling printables related to cooking or baking.
Printables are essentially documents that can be printed out and used for a variety of purposes. They can be recipes, checklists, planners, ingredient lists, or any other type of document you can think of. And since they’re digital files, they can be sold online very easily.
Etsy is the most popular platform for buying or selling printables, so it’s a great place to start. You could also set up your own website and sell printables through Podia.
Passive Income with Printables – Free Workshop!
Access this free workshop and learn how to generate passive income by selling printables on Etsy. You’ll learn about the types of products that sell, how to get your Etsy shop set up, and how to make sales and ensure that your shop is a success.
This is the perfect side hustle if you:
- Want to work from home
- Don’t have much time
- Like the idea of selling on Etsy
- Don’t have prior experience
Start a Blog or Niche Website
While writing will be a big part of your work for this side hustle, you’ll also get to do some baking related to the articles you write.
Blogs and niche websites can make money in several different ways, including display ads, affiliate programs, publishing sponsored content, and selling physical or digital products.
The downside of starting a blog or niche website is that you’ll need some patience. It may take 6-12 months or longer before your site starts making money. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, the long-term potential is unlimited. It’s possible that your little side hustle blog could turn into a lucrative business.
You could start a general baking blog or website, or you could specialize in a particular topic, like cake design.
Become a Freelance Writer
If you like the idea of writing about baking, but you don’t want to start your own blog or niche website, you could work as a freelance writer. Many blogs and websites hire freelancers to create content, so there are plenty of opportunities.
As a freelance writer, you can start making money almost immediately. There’s no need to wait 6-12 months to grow your own site before you’re profitable.
There are also many other types of jobs and projects for freelance writers aside from working for bloggers and website owners. You could write magazine articles, columns for local newspapers, or even ghostwrite a book or e-book.
Read our article to learn how to become a freelance writer.
Start a YouTube Channel
There are several ways to make money from a baking-related YouTube channel. You can earn money through advertising, affiliate marketing, product sales, or direct sponsorships.
The key to making money from YouTube is to build a large audience of engaged viewers. This takes time and effort (similar to building a blog or niche website), but the long-term income potential is outstanding.
Video content is extremely popular, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Starting a YouTube channel is an excellent option if you’re interested in using your baking skills to build an online business.
Start a Podcast
The monetization options for a podcast are very similar to blogs and YouTube channels. You can make money from sponsorships, affiliate programs, or by promoting and selling your own products or services.
This is another long-term business model that offers unlimited income potential but requires several months or more before you’ll earn any money.
Create Online Courses
Online courses are a great way to teach others everything you know about baking. You can create short, introductory courses or longer, more in-depth courses that cover specific topics. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Your baking side hustle could involve creating a single course, or you could expand by creating several different courses. You can also bundle your courses together, which is a great way to make money by increasing the average order size.
Become a Cake Decorating Instructor
If you’re good at cake decorating and enjoy teaching others how to do it, why not become a cake decorating instructor? There are always people who want to learn how to make beautiful cakes. As an instructor, you can teach them everything they need to know about cake decoration so they can create their own masterpieces.
To become an instructor, start by finding a local community center or cooking school that offers classes in cake decorating or similar topics. Next, put together a portfolio of your best work and reach out to see if they’re looking for instructors. Alternatively, you can rent a venue and host the classes.
This side hustle idea could also be combined with creating an online course on cake decoration or related topics.
You know the presentation of your food is just as important as the taste. Good food photography can make all the difference when it comes to getting people to order your cakes or desserts.
Stock photography is a very competitive industry, and you’ll need a large portfolio of photos to make any type of significant income. However, you can also combine this side hustle with others on this list to increase your income potential.
For example, if you sell homemade baked goods, you could take time to photograph your creations before you sell them. Then you can make money by selling the baked goods and also by licensing your photos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to sell homemade baked goods?
It depends on your location. Some states allow the sale of homemade baked goods and others do not. You’ll need to check your state’s cottage food law or check with your county’s public health office before starting a bakery business.
What can I bake at home to sell?
There are many different types of baked goods you can sell through your small business, including cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, pastries, pies, cinnamon rolls, bread, croissants, etc.
How do I sell baked goods as a side hustle?
Final Thoughts on a Baking Side Hustle
If you’re skilled in the kitchen and love to bake, there are many ways for you to turn baking into a profitable side hustle. This could involve starting a small business to sell your baked goods, creating baking-focused content, or teaching others to bake.
Whatever route you choose, your baking side hustle could be the perfect way to earn extra cash doing something you love. With some hard work and creativity, you can definitely make money from your baking skills!
Disclosure: Information presented on Vital Dollar and through related email marketing is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. Please see our Disclosure for further information.
We used Shopify for over 6 years as Amycake’s Bakery’s online store to sell our cakes, cupcakes, and other treats.
Customers could browse our products online, customize their cakes, choose their pickup time, and enter their payment online. The Shopify system sent the customer an order confirmation email and sent our bakery a confirmation of each order.
Shopify is currently offering a free trial and a $1 per month membership for your first three months–check it out!
Set-up and Design
The Shopify template I purchased from Envato Elements
If you want to change anything on your website, no problem! It’s easy to log in and make adjustments accordingly.
Shopify helps you keep track of the inventory of the prepared baked goods on your website. Once out of stock, they will be marked as “sold-out” to prevent other customers from ordering that product.
You’ll get an email and a notification on the Shopify app (on your phone or iPad) when you receive any order. You can also keep track of orders online and mark them as fulfilled when they are picked up.
How to Sell Cakes Online with Date Picker
If you’re like most bakers, you’ll need some advanced notice to prepare your made-to-order cakes and treats. At my bakery, we required 7-14 days’ notice on many of our bakery recipes. Some products needed more advanced notice than others.
You can add a Booking App to your Shopify store for an additional monthly fee. I used the Shopify app BookThatApp to organize my orders and allow customers to select a pickup date.
BookThatApp helped manage my orders and set custom availability for every baked good on my website. Additionally, it organized my bakery’s orders on a digital calendar. It then sent customers an email reminder a couple of days before their pickup.
The app Store Pickup and Delivery is another excellent choice for an online calendar if you plan to offer delivery and store pickup or shipping.
Customer Rewards and More
Shopify has a ton of options for customization. Free apps like Loyalty Lion let my customers earn Sweet Treat Rewards Points when they bought our baked goods online.
Another one of my favorites was Product Options. The app Product Options allows customers to customize cakes online to the smallest detail imaginable—like specifying buttercream colors or adding messages on top of icing flowers.
You can check out more options in the Shopify App Store.
Shopify starts at $29 per month. Try Shopify today for free, then $1 per month for your first 3 months.
Working out a business plan
Don’t spend any more than you have to on your start-up. Lots of big businesses start small, for example Laura Ashley began on her kitchen table. M&S started with a market stall and Tesco was just a couple of local grocer’s shops at the beginning. Consider using your kitchen as your workplace before moving somewhere bigger.
Plan Your Bakery Menu
Once you understand the rules and regulations and have your company set up, you can start the fun part!
Many home-based bakeries make cookies, breads, muffins, cupcakes, or cakes. As your own boss, you can choose to make whatever you like best (and choose not to make anything that you don’t enjoy). Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts baking and pastry student Katie Sualog makes legendary biscotti in her home-based bakery!
Make sure to keep local laws in mind while planning your menu! Remember, in most cases the end-product must be shelf-stable, so anything that requires refrigeration is usually not an option.
One of the best things about a home bakery is that they’re flexible. Let’s say you go to the farmers market one weekend to sell pre-cut slices of banana bread. You hear from a few people that they love your banana bread, and wish they could buy a whole loaf! Well that’s easy for you—next weekend, you can offer both slices and whole loaves for those who want them, versus having to stick to a predetermined menu. You can also switch things up whenever you like, experimenting with different ingredients or scaling back when things get a bit too busy.
Not sure what to bake? An education in Baking & Pastry Arts from Escoffier introduces students to many different types of baked goods. And with the online program, students can practice their techniques right in their home kitchens—perfect for the aspiring home-based baker.
Get Your Equipment and Supplies
Once you know what you’ll be making, you can get what you need to execute your offerings. Whether that’s assorted cake or muffin tins, bread tins, cupcake wrappers, piping bags and tips—make sure you have everything ready to go and a place to store it all.
Some states’ cottage food laws require that you keep your bakery equipment separate from your personal kitchen equipment, so keep those extra space needs in mind. Make sure to track the cost of all of your supplies, so you can account for them when you price your menu and do your taxes.
Promote Your Home Baking Business
Showing up with baked goods ready to sell is a start. But with some marketing and promotion, you can get people excited about finding your stand at the local farmer’s market.
How to make money from cakes
Home cooking, especially baking cakes and cupcakes, is very fashionable right now. This is thanks to celebrity chefs and cooking programmes like the Great British Bake Off. People will pay good money for high quality baking. You can sell your food at parties, fairs, and even at local food markets.
The beautiful thing about earning by baking is that it’s straightforward, flexible and enjoyable. It isn’t something that you necessarily have to do on a regular basis if you don’t want to. But if you’re ever short on cash, the option is there. All you’ll really need is a few good recipes and a reasonable idea of what people want to buy.
A solid marketing strategy is the icing on the cake
For example, with Jotform Store Builder, you can create QR codes that link back to your online store. Add these codes to flyers and business cards to spread the word about your new bakery business and make it easy for customers to find your store online.
You can also stir up interest with enticing photos and memorable branding. With the right marketing strategy and the tools to support it, your business is more likely to grow and thrive.
Weebly is an affordable website builder that offers a free plan perfect for the home-based bakery. Like Shopify, you can add a date-picker to your baked goods through a Booking App for an additional monthly fee.
They offer free and paid apps to help you target customers online and through social media platforms. With Weebly’s integration of Square, in addition to selling online, you can quickly sell your baked goods in person at your store or local farmer’s market.
Make Sure You’re Legally Set Before Doing Anything Else
A home-based bakery is a business, which means it’s still subject to state and local laws around food, business licensing, and taxes. Additionally, there are nuanced laws surrounding the sale of food items from one’s home.
Here are some general guidelines, but since laws vary from location to location, make sure to consult your local food and business regulatory agencies before moving forward!
Learn Your Local Cottage Food Laws
Home bakeries are generally covered by a section of law called cottage food. This classification separates home-based bakeries from commercial or retail operations that have designated storefronts or production kitchens. Commercial bakeries have to meet certain requirements for equipment and sanitation, while cottage-food operations are exempt from many of those rules.
To make sure these home-based food businesses don’t get too large (in order to prevent large-scale operations from skirting the regulations of a retail bakery), cottage bakeries usually have a sales limitation. They also have rules regarding who you can sell to. A cottage bakery is generally for direct-to-consumer sales only, so you couldn’t sell to a local grocery store or bakery.
The first step in the process is to assess the rules where you live. Your state and local health departments should be able to provide additional information on your area’s cottage food laws.
Create a Business Entity and Get Licensed
When you start a home baking business, there are other legal issues to consider before you tie on your apron. Some states require you to carry a business license to operate your home bakery. You may need a food manager license from the health department as well, depending on your state.
You should also set up a business entity, like a limited liability company (LLC). Setting up a company, versus operating your business as an individual or sole proprietor, protects your personal assets from legal liability in the event of a lawsuit. You may also need an insurance policy. Make sure you check with a cottage food expert and/or an attorney for advice on the best way to proceed.
Organize Your Finances and Plan for Taxes
One of the cardinal rules in business is to always keep your business banking separate from your personal banking. This means setting up a separate business bank account, which you can do once you’ve created your company.
You may also have to charge sales tax and/or food tax on the items you sell. You’ll need to keep careful track of your sales and document their breakdowns so you can ensure you pay the proper amount of local and state taxes.
MOST PROFITABLE GOODS TO SELL IN BAKERY
1. Cakes Cakes are one of the most profitable products sold in most bakeries. The most popular types are chocolate cake, red velvet cake, cream cake, strawberry cake, cheesecake, carrot cake, banana cake, rainbow colored cake or unicorn cake.
2. CookiesCookies are another of the most profitable products to sell in a bakery. Due to their small size and cheap production cost, their profit margin is high. The best selling types of cookies are: chocolate chip cookies, hortbread cookies, sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, gingerbread cookies and peanut butter cookies.
3. Bread Bread is usually one of the top 3 best-selling products in most bakeries. The best selling types of bread are especially white bread, multigrain sourdough, brown bread, wholegrain bread and brioche.
4. Buns Buns are another of the top selling products in bakeries in the U.S. and in many other countries around the world. The most popular types of buns are plain, sesame, ciabatta, milk, cream and whole grain buns.
5. BagelsBagels are one of the most popular baked goods sold in bakeries. The best sellers are plain bagels, bagels with grains (with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or a mix of grains), as well as pumpernickel bagels, salt bagels, blueberry and egg bagels.
6. Sweet rolls The best selling types of sweet rolls are cinnamon rolls, chocolate rolls, raspberry, strawberry and lemon rolls. One of the best goods to sell in bakery.
7. Puff pastryPuff pastry is a great seller and one of the top must-haves of any bakery. The most popular are puff pastry with: cheese, apple, vanilla, ham, chicken, spinach, nutella, strawberry and raspberry.
8. Mini pizza & Pizza slicesA popular product that brings in big profits in many bakeries are mini pizzas or slices of whole freshly baked pizza. This is a good way to attract additional customers to the bakery. After all, a lot of people love pizza.
9. SandwichesA great product that sells well in almost every bakery is also sandwiches, especially with ham, cheese, tomato, chicken and egg.
10. DonutsA very popular product that should not be missing from any bakery are also donuts. The most popular types of donuts are glazed donuts, chocolate filled donuts, peanut donuts, fuit filled donuts, cream filled donuts and powdered donuts.
11. Croissants A very popular baked product that no bakery should be without is croissants. The best selling croissants are those with chocolate, cream, and various sprinkles. Croissant sandwiches are also great sellers.
12. Tarts & minitartsTarts and mini tarts are a great product to sell in a bakery and have many admirers. The best types of such tarts are spinach and cheese tart, tart with , strawberries, raspberry and blueberry tart and also apple tart and egg tart.
13. PiesPies are another of the best goods to sell at bakery. The most popular are apple pie, pumpkin pie, cream pie, custard pie, meringue pie, galette and chiffon pie.
14. Cupcakes & MuffinsCupcakes and muffins are very profitable bakery items that are very popular. The best types of cupcakes and muffins to sell are chocolate, chocolate chip, vanilla, cream, hazelnut and red velvet.
15. BaguettesBaked goods that no bakery should miss are also biagiettes. Not only regular baguettes, half-baguettes, and those with olives sell well.
16. CoffeeCoffee is one of the most profitable products to sell in a bakery as it has a high markup and is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It is worth offering different types of coffee from a good coffee machine such as black coffee, espresso, latte, iced latte and cappuccino.
17. PretzelsPretzels are another popular baked goods that sell well at the bakery. The most popular ones are pretzels with salt, sesame, and poppy seeds, cinnamon sugar pretzels, and seed mix pretzels.
18. Garlic breadA popular bread that has many lovers is various forms of garlic bread. Garlic half-baguettes and garlic buns are the most popular ones.
19. Pralines & chocolatesPralines and chocolates are also products that are ideal for bakery sales. They do not take up much space, are perfect for a small gift or treat and very profitable.
20. Focaccia & rissino Italian baked goods are some of the tastiest in the world and very profitable to sell. The best of these are focaccia and grissini with olives, tomatoes, rosemary and garlic.
21. Granola & yoghurts with frutis and cerealsAlso notable products good for bakery sales are granolas and yogurts with cereals, fruit, chocolate, honey or maple syrup. These are particularly profitable products in bakeries located in busy areas such as downtown.
22. WrapsA product to consider for sale in busy bakeries are wraps. Similar to sandwiches or mini pizzas, many people like to eat them during breaks from work or school.
23. Gluten free baked goodsMore and more people are choosing to buy gluten-free products, so it’s a good idea to have at least a few of these types of products in your bakery’s inventory, such as gluten-free bread, rolls, and pastries.
24. BiscuitsVarious types of sponge cakes are also a very good product to sell in bakeries. They can be sold by the piece or in packages of several or a dozen pieces.
25. Flatbreads (tortilla, naan, pita)Flatbreads such as tortillas, pita and naan are also products that are ideal to be sold in the bakery.
26. Fresh squuezed juices & waterDrinks such as water and fresh-squeezed juice are also some of the best-selling products in bakeries. Many people are thirsty and the demand for such drinks is always high. Soda sales can often be profitable as well.
27. French macaronsSome of the most popular sweet treats for sale at the bakery are French macarons. Not only do they look pretty, but they also taste delicious, so they are perfect for bakery sales.
28. Milk, butter, cheese, jam, ham (in residential areas)If bakery is located in a residential area offering products like milk, butter, cheese, jam, ham and others can also be very profitable.
29. Meat bread & meat pieInteresting types of baked goods that can be very profitable are all kinds of bread, pies and meat rolls. Popular examples of such products are meat buns, bacon bread, stuffed french bread and garbage bread.
30. MeringuesMeringues are also a well-selling product in bakeries. Small, large, with fruit, in various flavors, as well as with sprinkles, glaze or other additives.
Price Your Baked Goods to Ensure Profitability
Pricing your baked goods takes much more than simply looking at what your competitors charge and doing the same. Your baked goods must cover your costs of ingredients, labor, and additional overhead like business fees and farmers market fees, with some still left over for profit. But how do you figure out all of those numbers?
Calculate Your Food Costs
Build a spreadsheet of each ingredient that you use, plus the cost of each in common denominations. For example, you could list the costs of:
- a pound of flour
- a pound of sugar
- a dozen eggs
- a stick of butter
- a tin of baking soda
- and so on.
Then, use that information to calculate the food cost of each recipe.
Maybe you plan to sell cupcakes. Based on your spreadsheet, you can calculate the cost of the flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, eggs, etc. that go into your recipe for a single batch. If a dozen eggs cost $3 and you use two eggs in your recipe, you’ll know that the cost of those two eggs is $.50.
Let’s estimate that your cost per batch of cupcakes is $5.00. Then, divide that total batch cost by the number of cupcakes in a batch. For a $5.00 batch that yields 24 cupcakes, your cost per cupcake would be $0.21 $5.00/24 cupcakes = $0.21 per cupcake. Remember, this is only the cost of the ingredients required to make the goods.
Calculate Your Labor Cost
Next, assess how long it takes you to make a batch of those cupcakes. Perhaps it takes you two total hours to mix the batter, bake, decorate, and package two dozen cupcakes.
How much could you expect to be paid hourly if you worked in a bakery? Let’s say you would be paid $15 per hour. So a total batch of your cupcakes is worth $30 of your time.
Now, we can figure out the labor per cupcake. Divide the total dollar value of your time by the number of cupcakes. $30/24 cupcakes = $1.25 labor per cupcake.
Calculate Your Overhead Costs
Consider what other expenses you’ll incur for your business. This could include fixed costs like farmers market fees and a monthly website. It also includes variable fees that change based on how much you sell (like labels and packaging costs) plus cooking needs (think parchment paper and cupcake liners.)
These values can be hard to estimate before you have some experience and know approximately how many items you’ll sell per month, but do your best to estimate a total monthly overhead, and divide it by the number of items you expect to sell per month. When getting your start, you may want to under-estimate your sales so you don’t dig yourself into a hole from the get-go.
For easy math, let’s say your monthly costs are $100, and you sell 400 items per month, for an overhead cost of $0.25/item. $100 overhead/400 items = $0.25 per item.
Assess Your Cost of Goods Sold
Cost of goods sold (referred to in the industry as COGS) is the total cost of producing all the items you plan to sell. Add each of these individual costs up to get your cost of goods for a single cupcake!
In our example: $0.21 food cost + $1.25 labor cost + $0.25 overhead costs = $1.71 per cupcake.
Now you have an absolute baseline for your sales price. Anything under $1.71 and you’ll lose money on every cupcake. Anything over $1.71 and you’ll make money on every cupcake.
To get your shop’s COGS, repeat this process for each item you sell.
Ready, Set, Bake!
Bake plenty of your best treats, package them nicely, and head out to sell! Most home bakers sell their goods onsite at events like farmers markets and county fairs. Check your local and state regulations for where you can and can’t sell home-based bakery goods.
You may (depending on state regulations) also be able to sell your baked goods online. If this applies to you, a simple website can let customers place orders throughout the week that you can deliver whenever it’s convenient for them. Be sure to include a disclaimer about how far in advance customers need to place orders to ensure they’re delivered on time.
🎂 Tips for Success
There are a couple of vital steps to consider before setting up your online store.
Identify Your Niche
Your online baking goods business will start with a handful of food items you know you can bake very well. It’s tempting to start big and offer as many baked goods as possible. However, choosing what you are good at will set you out as a specialist, whether your niche is an All-Pie bakery or delicious vegan cookies.
One of my very favorite small business books is The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz. His book was instrumental in helping me whittle down the product list for my online bakery and increase productivity. (While you’re at it, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz was a massive help for my baked goods business).
Check Local Laws And Regulations
The first step to establishing your home-based baking business is reading about the regulations and laws that come with it. Depending on the state, you may only be able to sell your cakes or baked goods online if you are baking out of a commercial kitchen.
You should get permits or a business license in your state to avoid legal issues. A quick check with your city or county officials will give you this information.
If you are a home bakery, another critical thing to look out for is the cottage food law in your home state. This law allows home bakeries to use their unlicensed kitchens to produce homemade food for sale.
Cottage food laws list some “cottage foods” home bakers can safely make. They also require you to label each homemade product and provide secure packaging. The product might need to state that it has not been inspected by local health departments if made in your home kitchen.
Some states will also require a monthly sales tax, while others will require a food tax. You can look at your state’s official websites for sales tax permit information.
Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
💭 Why Bother Selling Cakes Online?
You’re probably thinking, “This post was really long and sounds like a lot of work; is selling baked goods online really worth the effort?”
I’ll tell you firsthand that it was initially a lot of work figuring out the best way to sell cakes online. You must take pictures, create listings, upload them on your website and manage payments. But as time passed, I found that selling baked goods online paid off tremendously.
Here are a few reasons why:
Online Orders Save You Time
You can sell your home-baked goods on an online marketplace or e-commerce platforms, and there will be no need for you or any employee to ticket or serve customers. Your online platform can ask all the necessary questions for cake orders, simple or more detailed.
This gives you more time to create your baked goods. Customers submit their email addresses, phone number, and order information online, reducing possible errors.
Keeps You Organized
Selling cakes online can keep your business organized, not to mention that digital marketing is also way more accessible and better for small businesses.
There are several online software options and marketing avenues available, whether you are looking for ways to advertise or a way to keep up with your books and direct sales.
Helps You Reach New Customers And Increase Sales
When you sell your baked goods online, you can reach new potential customers outside your town! Happy customers who loved your grandmother’s apple pie recipe or your fantastic cake decorating skills will leave positive reviews and feedback on your site.
This will encourage new customers to try out your goodies for themselves. Selling cakes online can is a great way to increase your online presence to a broader audience.
For my business, online sales grew to 75% of our business and were vital during the pandemic when we were short-staffed.
Convenient Shopping Experience
Many people are still hesitant to leave their bubble for health and safety reasons. With your home business functioning online, you give your customers a more convenient and safe shopping experience.
The online option can leverage your sales if you already have an existing baking business.
Saves you money
Selling your cakes and cookies online will also help you save some dollars. A lack of a physical store is not always a hindrance.
With an online store, you won’t need many staff members and will save on utility bills. Selling online will also take the pressure to find the perfect location off your back and save you the rent.
Best of luck with your online bakery business! Please comment below if you have any questions about my favorite eCommerce platforms for selling baked goods online!
Thanks for Reading. ❤️
Book Like a Boss
While I went with Shopify to sell baked goods online at my bakery, Book Like a Boss is an even easier online ordering option for the smaller home-bakery owner.
The Book Like a Boss Date Picker and Customizable FAQ
Suppose you don’t plan on shipping your goods, or you’re looking for a quick way to organize an online schedule. In that case, Book Like a Boss is perfect for selling cakes online.
It has plenty of customizable options and also offers automated payment transactions. Customers can select a pickup date and time for each baked good you provide.
You can adjust the availability of products and how much notice is needed for each cake or baked good. You can also easily offer classes and cake consultations to fit your customer’s needs.
I spent some time setting up a Book Like a Boss account. Still, some settings needed some tweaking for baked goods since it is primarily an online scheduler. Each time I reached out, their customer service was fast and helpful.
You can sign up for a 14-day free trial with Book Like a Boss; no credit card is required.
📅 Choosing a Website Platform and Online Calendar
When choosing the best platform to sell cakes online, you first need to ask yourselves these questions:
- Are you planning to offer ready-made baked goods or made-to-order cakes and treats?
- Are you planning to ship your products or only offer in-store pickup or delivery?
Then it comes down to the price per month, transaction fees, and which website features will make running your online bakery easier.
I recommend three e-commerce platforms for selling baked goods online, whether from your storefront or home-based business.