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How To Make Money Baking Cakes From Home

Can you bake a great cake?

Do your neighbors ever tell you that you should be selling cakes from home?

Have you ever wondered how to start a baking business from home, how to make money baking cakes from home?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then maybe you need to consider a home-based food business. Most states have a long list of bakery items they’ve okayed for selling baked goods from home. Legal and profitable bakery items include not just cakes, but also cookies, pies, doughnuts, loaf breads, rolls, biscuits, fruit pies, pasta, tail mix, granola, and a long list of gift items like dried herbs, jams, jellies, salsas, and popcorn balls.

You aren't limited to just selling cakes from home. Once you have mastered selling cakes from home in person, you can learn how to sell baked goods online.

Some states will cap your permitted annual sales at $50,000 — but that's still a nice contribution to the family budget from a hobby you enjoy. If you are a master cake baker, know one thing: There's always a market for great home-baked cakes. You can even grow a reputation as the master baker of one kind of cake, whether it's fruit cakes, bundt cakes, chocolate cakes, tropical fruit cakes, or beautifully decorated cakes for birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions.

Great cake bakers can build a great business just selling cakes. Your customers will flock to your home business for your signature cake, but they will also buy easy sweets to bake and sell as additions to their orders. Sell the cupcakes for the bridal shower as well as the wedding cake. Or give your customers the option of sending holiday cookies and bundt cakes along with their fruitcakes.

So, what do you need to know when starting a home-based cake baking business?

How To Start A Cake Baking Business From Home

The first thing you will need to consider before selling food from home is something that is easy to overlook: What will you call your business.

It's perfectly OK just to relate to your customers under your own legal name. If you do, there is no need to file any paperwork or get a "DBA," as "doing business as'' registration from your city or county. But you do need to use a business name consistently so your customers can Google your name and business address on their phones to get your number and directions for picking up cakes.

The most important thing to keep in mind about how to start a cake baking business from home is that every state has rules on selling food from home. Every successful home bakery business has to play by the rules. Most states are OK with your establishing a profitable sideline, but at least at first baking from home regulations usually mean you won't:

  • Ship or sell products across state lines. It's OK if someone comes to your home from another state to pick up an order, but if you carry or ship an order across state lines you need state and federal permits.
  • Sell a lot of cakes from a home based-bakery website. Selling cakes on Facebook from your personal page is usually OK. It's also OK to use Facebook ads to locate new customers.
  • Offer your top selling baked goods to supermarkets or other retailers. That puts you in the role of wholesaler, which involves getting state and, sometimes, federal licenses.

Keeping your home baking business simple at first is the way to greater profits and more fun with your baking. You can always take on the administrative issues of becoming a bigger producer of great cakes as your business grows.

Labeling your products may also be an issue. In some states, you will be required to package each cake, including a label "This Product Was Baked in a Private Home." Most states won't let you sell cakes from your home to food trucks or restaurants (although you may be able to sell cakes you bake in a commercial kitchen you can rent by the hour).

And if you still need information on questions like:

  • Do I need a food vendor license?
  • Do I need to take a food handler's course?
  • Do I have to charge sales taxes?

Ask your local health department. They are a great place to get in-person advice on starting your home baking business.

Additional Resources

Customer Communication | Food Photography | How to Price a Product | How to Promote a Home Baking Business | How to Sell Baked Goods From Your Home | How to Sell Food From Home | How to Sell Home Cooked Food Online | How to Sell Homemade Food | How to Sell Homemade Food Legally | Starting a Food Business Checklist

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