How to Plan your Home Bakery’s Weekly Work Schedule
A few of my students have asked me for tips on how to plan your home bakery’s work schedule to prevent burn-out, but still make a substantial income AND spend time with my family.
As humans, we can’t speak about our work schedule without including our family responsibilities in the conversation!
There’s one struggle that EVERY home baker faces more often that we would like to… This struggle is none other than overworking ourselves.
The struggle gets especially hard to micromanage when you are baking part time on top of a normal day job, right?
To be more thorough and provide more perspective, I realized that I need to hear how other home bakers schedule THEIR work week because I can only speak as a full-time baker & wife, but not a part-time baker and mother!
So I’ve asked some of my amazing Instagram friends (7 of them), who also bake from home, how they plan their home bakery’s work schedule.
Some are single, some only bake part-time, and some have up to 4 kids ranging from infants to college students!
I’ll first share what they had to say and then lastly include my own schedule, plus a summary of key points that I’ve picked up across the board.
And to help you plan better and be more efficient, I’ve created a free Weekly Planner for you to download and use in your own business! Here’s how to get it:
1. Join my free Resource Library for Home Bakers,
2. download the planner and
3. print it out 😀 Simple.
Lindsay from Freckle & Flora Home Bakery:
Check out Freckle & Flora Home Bakery on Instagram!
“I use my baby girl’s nap times for any admin during the day (and to shower 😂) but that gives me about an hour to reply to emails etc. And then my ‘work’ day starts at 18:30 once she is in bed for the night.
As most of my orders are due for the weekend, lately I’ve been trying to have Mondays – Thursdays as my actual baking days. Fridays are decorating and detailing days.
Unfortunately, I often end up working the day away on Saturday and Sunday while my husband is home and able to take care of my daughter. But we are trying to get it done during the week so those can be family days.
I love focusing on macarons and cookies because they have a longer shelf life.
Macarons I can prep up to 3 months in advance so they are perfect to work on when I have extra time or really allow getting ahead and managing my time as I please.
Decorative cookies are definitely the most time consuming but they are my Home Bakery’s biggest attraction.”
Nicole from Bake Toujours:
Check out Bake Toujours on Instagram!
“I have two days a week where my kiddos go to school. I usually try to fit all production into those days. I have a production sheet and inventory sheet and just see what’s low and plan for the week accordingly.
I try to do my bakery shopping when I grocery shop for the house, but sometimes I need to run errands and do production that same day. Then I’m usually pressed for time and map out a plan to do a few things each night once the kids go down.”
Candice from Eat More Cake:
Check out Eat More Cake by Candice on Instagram!
“I’m married, but don’t have any kids yet. I do an inventory check and shop on Sundays. Mondays – Wednesdays I prep ingredients and make frosting. Thursdays – Fridays I bake.
Saturdays I decorate and do deliveries. I do everything in the evenings since I work full time during the day.”
Dusty from Dusty Rose Cakes:
Check out Dusty Rose Cakes on Instagram!
“It’s a very hard balancing act, for sure!! I’m a mom to not only an 18 month old, but also a teenage son and a daughter in college. I also run a cleaning service for two hours every morning.
I write out my baking list on Monday mornings and make sure I have everything for the week. Then I get baking and planning the week’s orders.
I can do 4 bakes per day and I try to be done by Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays I make buttercream and start decorating.
I try to get all my prep work done before bed time. Then after I get my daughter down, I decorate. I usually have everything done by 21h30, then I can chill and watch Netflix, do yoga, or spend time with my boyfriend.”
Tam from Sweetly Sifted:
Check out Sweetly Sifted on Instagram!
I am married! At the moment I work out of our apartment. My husband wears noise-cancelling headphones when the mixer is on and I keep him sane with cake scraps and Netflix ✌🏻
As I work full time as well, I usually have a week-long work plan with baking on Mondays usually, prepping any décor on Tuesday and Wednesday buttercream and fillings on Thursdays and decorating anytime.
I rest in between, whenever I can! Sometimes I think I am crazy for taking so much on but I love it!
I always make sure that I limit pickups on Fridays and Saturdays only, leaving some of Saturday and all of Sunday for me and husband to have together.
I have Mondays off work so I usually spend the whole day prepping planning answering emails and baking cakes, cupcakes, making cookie doughs, macaron shells, etc…
Astrid from Astrid’s Home Bakery:
Check out Astrid’s Bakery on Instagram!
“For me, it’s easier… I’m single! Hehe, so I have a pretty flexible schedule. I tell my clients that orders need to be placed a week in advance, so that gives me the chance to plan ahead, buy any supplies and try out recipes (if I am doing something new).
I also like to bake one day and decorate the next day. I usually rest on Sundays as I’m very involved with my church.
So, that’s pretty much how I manage my time. I do take last-minute orders but only if I know I have the time.”
Amie from Hot Hands Bakery:
Check out Hot Hands Bakery on Instagram!
“I split my time between freelance digital marketing and baking. Mondays – Fridays I usually work on the computer for the first half of the day and bake in the afternoon.
Usually I end up baking one night during the week and one day during the weekend.
My husband mostly works at home when he’s not traveling, so we just coordinate schedules. Sometimes we’ll take a day off during the week together and work Saturday, etc.”
Aurelia from Philosophy of Yum:
Check out Philosophy of Yum on Instagram!
Yep, so I’m married and a full time Home Baker! Over the past 6 years of baking full time at home, I have come to realize a sobering truth:
If I’m overworked, it is MY fault and no one else’s.
I used to bake for every day of the week because I was afraid my clients would move on to another bakery if I turned them down. And the biggest motivation for baking every day is obviously that I didn’t want to lose out on money.
I baked this way for 3 years and completely exhausted myself… It was not pretty.
If I had to list all the family and friends I turned down for BBQ’s, picnics, birthdays, dinners, etc., this post would be like 10 000 words long. It’s so bad and sad.
My husband played a KEY role in this area. I was so mad at him for not understanding my obligation to bake every day.
By God’s grace, He often surrounds us with people who love us more than we love ourselves.
I decided to stop baking for Sundays and eventually for Mondays as well. This meant that I was off the whole weekend. The exact days my husband is off as well.
What happened to my clients? They just started planning ahead. In fact, my new work week made my bakes appear more exclusive! So rad!
What happened to my profit? Well, after I learned how to stop undercharging for my bakes, my profit is seriously almost exactly the same as when I worked 7 days a week.
What happened to my quality of life? It’s a million times better!!! I now actually have ENERGY and HEALTHY relationships and TIME. I finally have a LIFE.
So guys, don’t fall for it. YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE. You are your own boss, so you need to learn to be a KIND one.
I now have a timetable (which I HAVE to stick to ALWAYS). I bake for 2 coffee shops for Tuesdays and Fridays. I bake for a local deli for Wednesdays. And the rest of my business comes from direct clients. I bake for Saturday mornings, but by noon it’s all done.
With direct clients, it works great for me to do all my baking the day before clients collect. And then I decorate everything the morning of their collection. But I do take care to prep all the decorations the day before, i.e. making sauces or jams, making chocolate decorations, chopping nuts etc.
So I work Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday mornings, Thursdays, Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. So I basically work 4,5 full days a week and from noon on Saturdays I am (very intentionally) free the whole weekend!
RELATED: Home Bakery Time Management – How to get your baking done faster!
I permit an exception at the end of each month, since folks over here love spending money on bakes when they get their pay checks!
During such a week I will work the whole Wednesday & Friday as well, but not on the weekend.
Resting on weekends with my husband, friends and family has increased my quality of life DRASTICALLY!! In fact, it has also helped me to recover from my work week better so now I bake with a LOT more speed and precision during the week.
And yes, I have thanked my husband and apologized repeatedly for being such a near sighted workaholic.
The Most Important Thing in Home Bakery Time Management:
Let’s be honest here. We LOVE baking. We gravitate towards it and it’s not going to stop any time soon.
My first step towards a balanced, healthy work life was to ACKNOWLEDGE that I can’t just carry on and hope that my work life and family life magically holds together. It doesn’t work.
I get it, there’s always stuff that NEEDS to be done. But taking at least 1 day where I have NOTHING to do with baking, has increased my passion & work performance drastically.
>> Don’t abuse your passion, rather set rules in place to maintain it.
You NEED to set up a schedule for your work week (including at least 1 day of TOTAL REST) and stick to it NO MATTER WHAT.
If YOU don’t respect your rules, then no one else will. Don’t make exceptions. It’s never “just this once”. If you allow clients to twist your arm once, they will do it again.
Just last week someone phoned me last minute and asked me to bake a gluten free cake for them for the next day.
My policy is that orders need to be placed at least 3 business days in advance. It is plastered all over my website. These folks were too late, so I politely said no, but then they even offered to pay me more!
PAUSE and digest for a minute, no matter how nice and persuasive they are!
By now I’ve learned how to politely decline, but in the beginning I had to spell out the consequences for myself:
# Aurelia, if you do this, then you will be working till 10pm and start working again at 6am.
# If you do this, then you won’t be able to spend any time with your husband tonight.
# If you do this then you will be teaching the client that it is totally okay for them to bribe you! You will be teaching them that you can be won over when they wave an extra $10 bill in your face.
# Do you really want to be someone who is manipulated by sweet speeches and money?
And what was my conclusion (in my mind)?
NO! I don’t want all those things to be my reality!
Spelling out the consequences for myself gave me the perspective I needed to politely decline orders that cross my boundaries.
RELATED: 6 Easy Steps to Deal with Difficult/Dissatisfied Home Bakery Clients.
So once again, here’s the most important thing:
If YOU don’t respect your rules, then no one else will.
Don’t make exceptions. It’s never “just this once”. If you allow clients to twist your arm once, they will do it again.
In the end, something will suffer. And if YOU suffer, your husband, kids and friends will also suffer.
I sincerely hope that this post has given you some clarity and perspective on how to plan your Home Bakery’s work schedule!
RELATED: How to Get Your Baking Done FASTER – without Buying Fancy Gear!
If you have any questions or concerns, just comment below and then we can chat about it.
It’s Jassie here. When I don’t even have an order,how do I actually go about baking? How do I go about during that phase of my home baking biz?
Hi there Jassie! This YouTube video will help you to understand how to get started and get your first orders >> https://youtu.be/COqlYhPCNqY
I’m so glad I found your blog. With you only baking no more than 24 hours in advance of pick up, how do fit it all in? Or are you baking cookies/brownies earlier — then how do you keep everything fresh?
Hey Alyssa! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying my blog 🙂 And great question! In this blog post I explain how I get my baking done faster >> https://philosophyofyum.com/tips-boost-baking-productivity/
Hi,I work full time …but love baking .I would like to open up a bakery from home?Part time for now ,how can one do that and have a full time job.
Hey Farahnaaz, thanks for reaching out 🙂 You can absolutely do this part time or after hours! That’s how I started too. This blog post will help you >> https://philosophyofyum.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-starting-a-home-bakery-business/
I can’t thank you enough. There is a lot I’m learning from you. And thank you for sharing your experiences. I’m starting to bake from home and I planning to launch in November. I live in Abu Dhabi and working as a freelance personal trainer. I have clients only on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I will have my product either picked up or delivered. At the moment I’m not driving so I will have to take a bus or taxi to deliver my product. Now before I launch it, I’m wondering if you have a blog or video that talks about schedulIng orders, delivery schedule, delivery fee, pick up etc..
I’m a bit overwhelmed actually on how to manage delivering to clients.
Hope to hear from you.
Hey Fatima, glad you’re learning a lot 🙂 Congrats on already getting clients and orders! I’m so proud of you! The truth is that there unfortunately isn’t a “one size fits all” schedule in home baking – that’s why I included tips from so many different bakers. Every home bakery is unique because every home baker and their clients are unique. My best advice is to use the Google Calendar App on your phone to map out for yourself when you’re doing what. You’ll need to test and see what works for YOU and then make improvements to your schedule over time.
How do you see a business working with just one kind of product like just cupcakes or just no bake cheesecakes or cookies??
Hey Cindy, thanks for your question 🙂 It works beautifully! During my first year I only made different flavours of cupcakes with great success. One of my students ONLY bakes pies and her Home Bakery is thriving! Remember that you can have SO many different flavours of one type of bake. But please bake what you love and are comfortable with. You don’t have to bake only 1 type of treat.
Awesome! Thank you for you suggestions!! How did you first get your product out there for people to see and order for purchase?
Wow.. I really enjoy reading it I love baking and making cakes and desserts but I m tired by Sunday evening .. I over work myself .. now ur write up u
have given me goals for quality of life ..
The little lemon bakery
Hey Shweta, thanks for your comment 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been overworking yourself. MOST bakers struggle with this, so know that you’re not alone! So glad these tips have helped you!
First of all, I am sooooo happy I found your blog!! What is reuired of home bakers to seel to coffeehouses, deli’s. etc?
Thank you so much in advance!
Hey Patricia! So sorry for my tardy response… Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed my blog so far 😀 Once you have your license you are automatically permitted to sell wholesale (restaurants, coffee shops, etc.). However, some countries and states have stricter rules than others. You need to find out the details from your local health & safety offices to be sure 🙂
What is your scedule for your bakery
Hi Riley! I do share my schedule in the post – just read it carefully 🙂
Hello. Just stumbled upon this post. I’ve slowed down my baking because I’ve felt like I’ve run out of time to do it. I see people saying that they begin baking for the week as early as Monday, and prepare buttercream on Tuesdays/Wednesdays. All of that sounds smart, but I tend to worry alot about freshness,moisture, and flavor. If I put a cake in the freezer, will it have a stale taste? If I prepare my buttercream in advance, will it take on other flavors – even if it’s wrapped well? Cupcakes seem like they would definitely dry out if placed in the freezer. I clean my fridge thoroughly before I place any cake or icing in it but I still worry about flavor.
Hi Stephanie, thanks for your comment 🙂 I totally agree with your beliefs on freshness and flavour! Believing in freshness and quality is a great thing – the world needs more bakers like you. There are extensive blog posts and YouTube videos that show how to freeze cakes. Personally I choose to never freeze any of my cakes or make anything in advance. When a client gets a cake from me it is never more than 24 hours old in total. I usually bake my cakes the day before collection and then ice them the morning of collection so that everything is as fresh as possible.
However, this is not everyone’s preferred way of baking. If freezing cakes will give you 90% more quality of life and only subtracts a small amount of flavour then it might be worth investigating. If you don’t TRY that way of baking you’ll never know if it works for you. Watch every video, and read every blog post you can find, on freezing cakes so that you know exactly how to do it and test the results for yourself. This way you’ll be able to make an informed decision. I’ll be that putting your pre-made buttercream in an airtight container will stop it from taking on any fridge smells or tastes.
Hi Aurelia,I have just joined the club .I know I don’t want to freeze anything,now as for refrigerating the icing,I don’t have a problem with that.My schedule is for my full time job is 10am -6:30 pm Tues-Sat. Off Sun and Monday only. I’m trying to figure out a schedule now,before I start taking orders.Any advice?I only do cupcakes.
Hey Catherine! Awesome – welcome 😀 Well it’s great that you only start at 10am in the morning! Maybe you could bake your cupcakes in the morning, then get dressed for work while they cool. Then place them in airtight containers and decorate them in the evening OR the next morning. Note though that you won’t be able to build up a full time home bakery while you’re still working full time. Baking is a labour intensive job and you’ll end up burning out, so set LIMITS for your baking quantities.
Thank you Aurelia
So nice to read how others also run their schedules.
You are amazing!!
Hi Marie! Long time no speak! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the post. It was so much fun connecting with other fellow Home Bakers 🙂
Proud of you my girl! Lots of love, ur Mommy xx
Thanks Ma! Love you! xxx
I love reading every line you write … it clarifies my mind and makes me feel that I am capable of doing everything I do and more, because I see that there are many people, in the same situation, better or equal to me, who work hard , both in baking, as in other jobs, full-time or part-time, with children, married and thousands of situations, but without losing this passion, which is baking, there is always time to bake, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the night … it’s just organization …
Thanks Aurelia for this post …
A big hug for you and for each of the people who have participated in this post …
I don’t know how I missed your comment Trinny! So sorry about that. It’s SO GREAT to hear that this post has meant so much to you. And you’re right – no one is handed a baking business on a silver platter. We ALL have to work smart and hard for it, but it’s totally possible and so rewarding! 🙂
Thanks a lot for this post, my dear Aurelia. I’m always too collapsed, baking all day, and all night, because I was afraid to loose my clients. But now I realize that being healthy and happy is the most important thing. I going to try to organize myself better! I’m writing from Chile, thank you very much again!!
Hey Karin! Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience – you’re really not alone! I’m so glad to hear the post has given you so helpful perspective and tips for organization 🙂 xxx