How To Start A Cake Decorating Business: What to Consider

June 22, 2018 372 views

Image of A strawberry cake

The Information You Need Before Starting A Cake Decorating Business

Cake Decorating Business Overview:

Traditional cakes like Grandma used to make have been coming back – but with a twist. The baking of uniquely decorated, scrumptious cakes is a talent; today the decoration is becoming an art form.

Today, brides-to-be are having Victorian tea parties as their wedding shower themes, and high-end downtown areas are selling premium cake-on-a-stick or cut-cake-in-a-box delights.

Today, innovative cake decoration includes 3-D lifelike cakes, photo cakes, and cakes that use sugar-crystallized edible flowers.

Specialty wedding cakes and other special-occasion cakes will always be in demand, so a cake decorating business is usually simple to start and grow into a lucrative business.

Skill Set:
  • Using food coloring
  • Brush embroidery techniques
  • Cake toppers
  • Making Different types of icing
  • Make and apply Decorating Skills
  • Creating ruffles
  • Latticework
  • Creating messages on cakes
  • Floral icing decorations
  • Creating leave decorations
  • Sculpting and molding cake designs
  • Handle the necessary ovens and other baking equipment adequately
  • Baking
  • Knowledge of various cake recipes
  • Color coordination
  • Proper storage and delivery of your finished cakes
  • Common Business Skills
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

Depending on your location, this job typically has longer hours that span from early in the morning to early evening.

You must be prepared to bake and decorate on weekends and sometimes last-minute as well.

As with a bakery, only a bit more specialized, cake decorating requires time to mix ingredients and bake the basic cake base. Sometimes, as with 3-dimensional cakes, it can take several hours to cut the cake as required for the design.

Additional hours are needed to prepare fillings and icing, mold crafted edible decorations, and do the actual decorating of the cake.

Some cake decorators will spend an entire day crystallizing edible flowers and creating marzipan designs for cake decorations so that they have them on hand.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up or In The Future:
  • Oven(s)
  • Cooling racks.
  • Turntables for easier decorating
  • Separators for multi-layered cakes
  • An airbrush
  • Bowls and spatulas
  • Icing tubes
  • Icing bags and accessories
  • Rolling pins
  • non-stick boards & mats
  • Various sizes and shapes of cake pans, including for cupcakes
  • Heavy-duty mixer
  • Icing bags
  • A large variety of Decorations for cakes
  • Cake boxes
  • Delivery van or truck
  • A digital camera to photograph your finished products
  • A 3-ring binder or website to hold a portfolio of your cakes
  • Menus, flyers, brochures
  • Essential Office Equipment
  • See Our List of General Retail Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
  • In addition to our list of common business expenses, your cake decoration business will require a budget for the ongoing cost of acquiring baking supplies, and packaging.

If you are just starting out, a couple of cakes per week leaving your house will be fine without a license. However, if your business becomes more regular, you have two options: get a zoning permit for commercial sales in your neighborhood or rent a kitchen area, both of which may require Health Department Inspections and permits.

See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

The average startup cost will vary from a few hundred bucks if you already have a lot of the equipment to thousands of dollars if you want top-of-the-line equipment such as ovens and other kitchen tools and decorating gadgets. You can start off small and expand your crew and equipment as you grow.

Special Requirements for This Business:
  • You may decide to obtain additional certification in the baking industry.
  • You need to create cakes that not only rival but surpass other bakery cakes in taste and appearance by a large margin to be successful.
  • You should design your business around a “one-of-a-kind” theme or niche with creativity and innovation in mind.
Pros and Cons:


  • Easy to start
  • Smaller investment compared to other businesses
  • You have the advantage of being your own boss and setting your own hours
  • Provides a creative outlet
  • Completely expandable


  • Work will probably entail weekends and longer workweek hours
  • Customers can be difficult when dealing with stressful special occasions (such as with a wedding)
  • You must possess a high degree of patience and attention to detail or results could be disastrous
  • You may have to work harder and spend more money in order to create a solid reputation
  • Your business is based on special occasions, any missed deadlines, or decorations that customers are unhappy with turns into stress and problems for you.


A Day in the Life of A Cake Decorator

I am a professional cake designer. Have any questions for me? | The Guardian

How To Make it in the Cake Decorating World | Artisan Cake Company

The Secret Life Of a Cake Decorator – Cake Style

A Day in the Life of Cake Boss | Huffington Post

Cake Decorating Articles

How to Start a Cake Decorating Business From Your Home | Chron.com

1000+ ideas about Cake Business on Pinterest | Pinterest

Cake Decorating Techniques and Baking Tips | Real Simple


Cake Decorating Training Resources

Explore cake decorating classes on Craftsy | Craftsy.com

Cake Decorating Classes | Jo-Ann

Cake Decorating Forums

Cake Forum – Cake Decorating Community

Baking Forums | Baking Forums.com

Cake Decorating Forum | Cake Central

Cake Decorating Forums | CakesDecor

Cake Decorating Community – Cakes We Bake

Forums | My Cake School

Cake Decorating Books:

The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating

The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible: Over 150 Techniques and 80 Stunning Projects

Wilton 902-1232 Cake Decorating for Beginners Guide

Professional Cake Decorating 2nd Edition

Wilton Decorating Cakes Book (The Wilton school)

100 Buttercream Flowers:

Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy’s Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets:

Artisan Cake Company’s Visual Guide to Cake Decorating

The Complete Book of Icing, Frosting & Fondant Skills

Elegant Lace Cakes: 30 Delicate Cake Decorating Designs for Contemporary Lace Cakes

The Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes (Betty Crocker Big Book)

Cake Decorating Recipes:

Cake Decorating Recipes | Good To Know

Sweet Treats – Recipes | Wilton

How to decorate a cake – piping and simple decorations | BBC Good Food

Fabulous cake decorating ideas, Recipes and Cake Pictures | Make-fabulous-cakes.com

Your Guide to a Beautiful (and Delicious!) Cake | Real Simple

Beautiful Cake Decorating Ideas – How to Decorate a Pretty Cake | Countryliving.com

Decorating Cakes: The Basics | Allrecipes Dish

How to Decorate a Birthday Cake | Martha Stewart

Cake Supplies:

Baking Supplies – Cupcake & Cake Supplies | Party City

Cupcake & Cake Pop Supplies | Nycake.com

Craftsy’s supplies | Craftsy.com

Cake Supplies | Cake Supply Shop.com

Cake Decorating Businesses For Sale

Businesses For Sale in US | BusinessesForSale.com

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