Combining a love of baking with running a business makes perfect sense if you love creating sweet treats. Running a cake making business from home is a flexible, family friendly way to make money.
You have the additional bonus of being self employed and being your own boss. Many people set up their businesses from home to escape the stresses of 9 to 5 jobs. With low start up costs as well, it really can be the icing on the cake!
Baking from home can fit in with your already established family routine. You can work the hours that suit you, whether this is evenings or during school hours. It can be a great way to make money on maternity leave.
It means you are there to do school runs or nursery pickups but you are earning money too. Don’t leave your cake making dreams on the back burner any longer!
What Type of Cake Business To Start?
The first decision is an important one. What type of homemade cakes are you interested in selling?
There are so many cake businesses out there so specialising in something different from other local businesses can help boost your takings.
Working out your niche right at the start can help you plan marketing, branding, and of course your cake business name!
Where would we be without gooey, rich and chocolatey brownies? Brownie businesses are popular because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want a brownie from time to time?
Your products could range from letterbox brownies to gourmet brownies for large corporate events. You could also set up an arrangement with some local businesses to buy your goods.
You will need to come up with a different spin to your business so that it sets you apart from other bakers.
Getting yourself noticed over those first few months can be tricky in the cake trade. Perhaps looking at food allergens and gluten free options will broaden your audience.
Wedding & Birthday Cake
Celebration cakes, such as for weddings and birthdays, will always be needed and command a premium price, so this can prove a good choice.
It does require a very skilled set of hands in terms of fondant icing and sculpting. You might need to do a designated course, such as sugarcraft, to improve your skills and offer a great product.
You can self teach as well by following YouTube tutorials. There is always going to be a demand for celebration cakes. As well as birthdays and weddings you also have; Christenings, gender reveal parties, engagement parties and graduations.
It can be quite a pressurised trade to be in. Wedding cakes mean wedding photos so your creation needs to be flawless. You may encounter the odd Bridezilla.
You also need to work to a deadline and be prepared to liaise closely with customers. It requires good communication skills, perfect presentation and patience.
Afternoon Tea Business
Afternoon tea businesses have increased in popularity over the years. Businesses offering afternoon teas from home have become a big hit since the lockdown due to Covid.
You can make up afternoon tea bundles for events, personal purchases and fairs. Afternoon tea businesses can offer a set menu or a choice of menus, depending on requirements. People will pay a premium for an exquisite treat.
You may find that there are certain times in the year when afternoon teas are more popular. Mother’s Day, Easter and Valentine’s Day might be very busy but then other times are quiet.
It just means you might need to use your imagination a little. Come up with a festive menu, summer picnic options and special deals.
Cupcake businesses are popular for a host of reasons. People just love a small yet perfectly formed sweet treat.
There are so many flavours and recipes to experiment with and you can offer bespoke orders for your clients. Cupcakes can be ordered for a special family meal or something big like an alternative to a wedding cake.
There are plenty of cupcake businesses out there so you need to find an angle to work your way in. In the cake making industry, you need to stand out from the crowd and offer something unique. Selling your cupcakes at local events and food markets is a great way for people to notice you.
How to Start a Home Cake Baking Business
Starting up a home cake baking business involves careful thought and planning.
We take a look at all the aspects you need to consider before you get started. This includes the legal side of things which is imperative to stay on top of.
Also, we share our tips on marketing and having all the correct certificates in place. As a self employed cake maker, you need to understand everything you need to do to be compliant and successful.
Selling Cakes From Home Legal Requirements
Your legal requirements as a cake business owner will be the most essential aspects to be familiar with.
Failure to comply with the legal requirements can mean fines or even being asked to close. It might seem a little daunting but it’s straightforward and easy to do once you know what’s required.
Our guide talks you through all the steps you need to take.
Register with HMRC
You need to register your cake business with HMRC.
Ideally, this should be one of the first things you take care of. It is very simple and can be completed online in a few easy steps. Legally however, you don’t have to complete this step until the second year of trading as a business.
This is essential even if you do not think you will make it over the tax threshold. It allows HMRC to remind you of your annual tax returns and make sure your correct NI is calculated.
Our guide on legal requirements to set up a business offers more in depth information on trading structures you might wish to consider for your cake business.
Set Up Business Bank Account
Your next step is to look at setting up a business account.
This isn’t necessarily a legal requirement but it does make good business sense. It keeps all your business finances separate from your personal account.
It allows for a clearer vision of what is coming in and going out. When it comes to completing your tax return, it is just far easier all around.
Environmental Health Registration
This is something you should do early on in the set up phase of the cake business.
Registering with Environmental Health can take a few months to complete so you want to do this ASAP. You can contact your local council to get the ball rolling and you will need to be inspected before you can start operating as a business.
You can prepare for this by downloading the Safer Food Better Business booklet.
Kitchen Requirements for Cake Making Business
Having a visit from the EHO for that first inspection to make sure your food business is compliant can seem very daunting.
Being prepared for an EHO home visit and knowing in advance what they will want to see and ask can help keep you focused. Your kitchen should be clean and pay special attention to all the areas where food preparation will occur.
Be sure to have your food hygiene certificate on display if you’ve obtained one, and any other relevant information.
Make sure you have the appropriate equipment and everything is clean and stored safely. Avoid having cluttered counters and make sure the floor is clean. Empty the bins and be ready to show the inspector where you wash your hands. This should be a separate sink from the kitchen one.
To create the best first impression possible, have a clean around the downstairs areas too. There isn’t any point in cleaning the kitchen and then having to walk through an untidy house.
Food Hygiene Certificate
Although not an actual legal requirement, having a food hygiene certificate is good practice.
You need to show your compliance with food hygiene practices. This will be difficult to demonstrate without taking part in the relevant food hygiene course.
It also ensures you are aware of all the UK food laws and will run your business within these laws. It also helps you maintain that level of professionalism which can go a long way in the world of self employment.
See Also: Hygiene Certificates for Home Baking
Cake Business Insurance
As a self employed cake maker, you need to take out insurance to protect your business.
Insurance, such as public liability insurance, will ensure you are covered in the event of a claim being made against you.
It also offers protection should a customer have an accident while collecting their cake. I can also help with potential financial losses to the business.
Food Labelling for Homemade Cakes
Allergies are on the rise and attention needs to be paid to food labelling.
This is important on any cakes you are selling and all packaging should clearly list all allergens. You can buy these in bulk from places such as eBay or make them yourself and print them off.
You can take part in a food allergens course if you wish to gain more knowledge on the main allergens to be aware of.
How to Advertise & Grow Your Cake Business
The key to a successful business is advertising. Without your name being out there you are not going to build a customer base.
When people purchase cakes, they often use your services time and time again. A good reputation helps your company grow.
Great ways to advertise your new cake business include:
- Social Media. In a world where Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok are so widely used, it makes sense to use these platforms to your advantage. Social media, in this day and age, is used by the younger and the older generations. This means you will attract a broad range of age groups which is always a positive thing.
- Local fairs and markets. Booking yourself a stall at local events is a great way of drumming up business. You can have some free samples on your stall to entice people in. Have some business cards at the ready too.
- Posters and flyers. Keep fit and advertise at the same time by popping flyers through doors in the neighbourhood. You don’t have to pay the earth for these either.
- Advertising in shops. Ask your local shops and other services if you can pay to stick a flyer up in the window. This can be a great way of getting those extra orders.
- School Playground. Hand some sneaky cards out to the other parents while you are waiting for your child. Often people love to support small businesses.
- Local newspaper. This will cost you, and prices vary depending on the size of the ad. But it can be a great way to get noticed.
- Build a website. You don’t need to be an IT genius to do this. You can keep it basic and still have it look professional. Having it linked to your emails, socials and phone number mean everything is linked together.
Other Home Business Ideas
If you’re looking for business ideas, particularly for businesses you can start with no money our series of guides is here to help!
- Cleaning Business Set Up Guide – cleaning and housekeeping is in hot demand. A great business if you love creating a tidy and clean environment.
- How to Start a Dog Walking Business – caring for other people’s four legged family members can b e a great way to start your own business.
- Selling Food From Home – it doesn’t need to be all about the cakes, you can have a home catering business. You can even sell takeaway from a home kitchen.
- Become a Childminder – if you have a passion for little ones, you can create your own home business around caring for them.
- Starting a sweet business – if all that baking is too much trouble, some artfully arranged candy is always popular.