Small Business Idea: Start a Cake Decorating Business

small business idea start a cake decorating business

Starting a cake decorating business is a brilliant idea because people love to buy delicious, beautifully decorated cakes for all the special occasions in their life. From a simple layer cake to a three-dimensional design, extravagant cakes are all the rage right now. You can make kids birthday cakes, graduation cakes, wedding cakes, and so much more.

Let’s talk about how to get started as a cake decorator.

Expand Your Current Skills

Perhaps you love to bake and you love to decorate the cakes that you make. If you have already made some basic designs, challenge yourself to make an extra special cake. Look for design ideas in magazines or online and try to duplicate them.

Attend Cake Decorating Classes

Check to see if your local community college offers courses in baking and cake decorating.

decorating cakesAs well, a few years ago I met a gal that was attending cake decorating classes offered by Michael’s (the craft store). They offer cake decorating classes in the evening that will teach you buttercream icing skills, how to create icing flowers, how to make and decorate with fondant, and more. They also sell many of the decorating tools you will need. If you are in Canada you will find that Canadian Tire has a new section in their line of kitchen products that is filled with cake decorating tools and products from Wilton and Cake Boss.

Attend Business Classes

The more passionate you are about operating a cake decorating business the quicker your business will grow. And as it does you will need to develop other skills that will ensure your business is successful.

If you have never operated a small business before, consider taking some classes in business management including business licenses and insurance, customer relations, buying and selling, product development, etc.

You will also learn how to price your product so that you can compete with others while still making a nice profit.

Donate a Cake or Two

To be successful you want to get the word out about how beautiful and delicious your cakes are. An excellent way to do that is to donate a few well designed cakes. If a good friend of yours is hosting a birthday party for their son or daughter offer to make the birthday cake. If a family member or friend is getting married, offer to make their wedding cake.

Once you are comfortable with that and begin receiving referrals from these events, look for larger gatherings that you could work with.

Contact a local party planner and chat about some of their upcoming events. Ask to meet with them and bring some cake samples for them to taste. Offer to do a free cake for one of their events in exchange for referrals for new business.

Build a Beautiful Portfolio of Your Cakes

Everytime you make a new cake take as many high quality pictures as you can and build a portfolio that shows off all of your work. You can print the pictures and put them into a nice binder with labels that include the flavor of the cake, type of icing, and type of event.

Once you have that created, use the same pictures to build an online portfolio. That way party planners and other new customers can view all of your amazing cake designs online.

Marketing Your Cake Decorating Business

Connecting with party planners and building and showing off your portfolio are great ways to market your cake decorating business.

cake slices for tasting Now it is time to expand your marketing and attract new customers.

Social media is a good way to quickly spread the word about your business. Use Pinterest to display all of your pictures from your portfolio. Use Facebook and Twitter to share all your current designs.

Talk about the events you are currently working on and any new cake flavors you are testing.

Come up with cool ideas for kids birthday parties and share them on Facebook. Remember to update your social media accounts at least once a day, and more often, if possible. This will build momentum and spread the word about your business.

Once your cake decorating business grows, start signing up for local Bridal shows. Build a professional booth with pretty colors and a party atmosphere. Have a large sign created with your business logo too. Bake some lovely cakes a few days before the Bridal show and have them on display in your booth for all the brides to see. As well, make sure to bring a few freshly baked cakes that you can cut up and hand out as samples for all the brides to taste.

And always remember to have business cards created by a professional so that you can hand them out to every bride that tastes your cakes. That way they will know who to call when they need a cake decorator.

Check out these nice online cake decorating classes too.

Photos courtesy of


    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 04/23/2014 11:28 a.m. #

      There is definitely a demand for beautifully decorated cakes. If you have the talent, which sadly I do not, you could easily market to parents in your local community. Every birthday party the girls attend have very beautiful cakes.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 04/24/2014 9:22 a.m. #

        Thanks Shannon! That is a great idea to market to parents in your community. All the kid's birthday parties will surely bring in some nice business.

    • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

      Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr 04/23/2014 3:24 p.m. #

      My mom can decorate cakes pretty nicely but mine generally look like something a kindergartner might have done. And that might actually be an insult to kindergartners! LOL! I don't have the patience for cake decorating although I love looking at beautifully decorated cakes ... right up until they make me hungry! And between you and me - I'm not a big fan of frosting. I eat the cake and leave most of the frosting behind. Yeah, I weird. :)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 04/24/2014 9:26 a.m. #

        I have met others that do not enjoy the frosting either. Often times it does have too much sugar in it.

        Like you, I am not much of a decorator either (wish I was), but my mother was more like your mother. I remember the cakes she made me for my kid birthday parties. She would stay up all night putting them together.

    • Stephanie @ Money Saving Mayhem

      Stephanie @ Money Saving Mayhem 04/24/2014 8:56 a.m. #

      What a fantastic small business idea! Right off the top of my head I can think of a few people that are looking for beautifully decorated cakes for upcoming special occasions. And after looking at these photos of cakes, I want some! :)

      P.S. - Tanya, I'm with you. I strongly dislike frosting, however, certain stores offer a "whipped" frosting that is super duper FANTASTIC!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 04/24/2014 9:36 a.m. #

        Thanks very much Stephanie! A special cake is apart of pretty much any occasion and people love them.

        The whip frosting that you mention sounds very good.

      • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

        Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr 04/24/2014 4:57 p.m. #

        Yeah! I'm not the only weird one! Woot! Woot! People always give me strange looks when I scrap off the frosting. I like a little bit but sometimes bakery cakes have almost an inch of frosting on them. I don't mind the whipped frostings as much and I like ganache, but that's chocolate so clearly it's in a class all of it's own!

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 04/24/2014 1:10 p.m. #

      Hey Sicorra,

      Okay, so now it's time for the weirdo, LOL. I love a buttercream frosting....the whole family does except for my sister who likes the whipped icing. Poor girl always volunteers to do the cake but we tell her no way, we want sugar LOL.

      I've tried to decorate cakes myself but susto...that's not happening :).

      Thanks for sharing this great idea. I thought of a couple of people who can do this for a living...they can get down on some cake decorating.

      Hope all is well...let's catch up soon friend!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 04/25/2014 3:18 p.m. #

        I like buttercream frosting too, as long as it isn't filled with tons of sugar.

        I am not even sure what whipped icing is....

        This would be fun to do for a living for a creative person, I think. Personally, I would probably eat all the profits :-)

    • Christy Uplifting Families

      Christy Uplifting Families 04/24/2014 1:21 p.m. #

      I would love to learn how to decorate cakes. It always looks like so much fun even though I am not always creative. ;)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 04/25/2014 3:18 p.m. #

        It definitely looks like fun Christy!!

    • Stephanie @ Six Figures Under

      Stephanie @ Six Figures Under 04/24/2014 6:26 p.m. #

      My mom has a little side business doing cakes, though she doesn't charge enough and often does them free for friends and people at church. She is pretty amazing at it. She also teaching cake decorating.

      I live far away from my mom, so I always do my kids cakes myself, but there are lots of people who are willing to pay. It's a great idea for a side income!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 04/25/2014 3:20 p.m. #

        That is so cool that your mother is into cake decorating. Charging enough can be tricky when you are trying to help out friends.

        I just saw your post on Craftsy and I added their cake decorating classes to the end of my post. I never knew they offered those classes. Cool idea.

    • Corinne @ One Income Life

      Corinne @ One Income Life 04/28/2014 2:33 p.m. #

      This is a great idea! I'm always in awe of those beautifully constructed cakes, maybe cause I'm a mediocre baker. If you have the skills, the market for this seems to be hot right now.

      Hope you have a wonderful week!

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