Mini Christmas Cakes, great idea or puddings for the rest of the year?

When debating whether to bake a christmas cake range for my new business this year, I posted the question on my Facebook page (Murphys marvellous cakes) of whether anyone actually likes christmas cake? Personally I would eat the icing and marzipan and leave the rest so wasn’t keen on the idea. Based on the mixed response I got from Facebook I decided to bake a mini Christmas cake range to cater for the couple of people at each christmas dinner party who love christmas cake. I thought, they could have their own beautifully decorated christmas cake as a present – great idea?
Well I baked 3 christmas cakes, I cut one into little 2″ squares and bought some round cutters for another intending to ice beautiful little cake rounds.
They turned out well, they looked a bit rough until the marzipan, icing and little snowflakes and other decoration went on but I am very pleased with how they look –

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I posted pictures to Facebook and Instagram, grinning with pride as everyone ‘liked’ them and put lovely comments. A success I thought.
So then to sort out the boring stuff, packaging, pricing etc.
I had thought I would charge roughly £5-£8 per cake and thought that may be a bit steep but once I sat down and worked out all the costs I was shocked to find they had cost me the best part of £5 to make! Not even counting the hours it took to marzipan, ice and decorate each one. With a big gulp I realised I would need to charge around £10 per cake to make them even slightly worth while. I looked at the little pretty cakes on my table and felt disappointed that all the hard work I’d put in to them may have been a waste of time and even worse, might make me a loss!
I have attended one school craft fair with these cakes so far where the feedback was that they looked great but were too expensive.
If I still have lots left nearer Christmas I may sell them off cheaply just to cover costs to local shops to see if they can shift them but hoping it doesn’t come to that.
To be continued………

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