Is Cake From 'scratch' Cheaper Than A Box?

Decorating By cloetzu Updated 31 May 2013 , 10:38pm by vgcea

cloetzu Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 9:03pm
post #1 of 37

Taste and texture and preference on these aside wondering if anyone has figured out if a box mix is more expensive than making from scratch?

36 replies
-K8memphis Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 9:10pm
post #2 of 37

So many variables the answer would be yes and no.

I mean what is cheaper a store bought dress or one you have made?
Just depends on ten thousand things y'know?

cloetzu Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 9:18pm
post #3 of 37

Yes I know what you mean... When I think about it I sort of think it is about the same .... still need to add eggs and oil to either so the only difference is the cost of the mix vs flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa... which should be a bit cheaper if you use general ingredients - ie don't buy much higher quality (which locally really isn't an option)... so scratch may be a bit cheaper but since mixes go in sale for $1.50 does cost really matter in making the decision between the two... don't think so .... that's why I was asking...

and yes this is only a PRICE comparison and that is all I'm looking for in this thread icon_wink.gif

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 9:23pm
post #4 of 37

It takes me longer to bake from scratch, and I figure time is money. icon_wink.gif

Mikel79 Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 9:26pm
post #5 of 37

It is really a yes and no answer. I use box mixes, but I also add other ingredients to the mix. Not just oil and egg.

HTH

Michael

tigachu Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 9:33pm
post #6 of 37

I only bake from scratch but I agree that the price comparison varies. I would assume icon_confused.gif that if you comapre a scratch cake that uses oil (butter costs a lot right now) to a box mix that IS doctored, the cost might be similar. I think that if you compare a butter scratch cake to the $1.50 box mix (using oil) baked as is, IMHO, the box mix would cost less icon_redface.gif .

HTH

ibmoser Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 10:37pm
post #7 of 37

I have a spread sheet, and my scratch cakes cost substantially more than a straight cake mix - more than most enhanced cake mixes, too. I don't sell anything and can't buy wholesale, so my ingredients are purchased at regular retail.

valerieInga Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 11:05pm
post #8 of 37

I've never made a doctored mix, but my scratch cakes with flour, sugar, eggs, butter sour cream, cocoa etc cost alot more than $1.50 for a mix.

Loucinda Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:28am
post #9 of 37

I buy high quality ingredients to do all of my cakes, and there really isn't any price difference - UNLESS it is a stright mix, which I never use.

Erin3085 Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 2:07am
post #10 of 37

I'm going to go with boxed. I pay $.96 for a boxed mix. Only have to add eggs and oil, vs buying cocoa, flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, baking powder/soda. I usually have most of these in my kitchen already, but I would wade through them really quickly if I used them for baking cakes. I would be buying a TON of cocoa powder!!

tinygoose Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 2:18am
post #11 of 37

I spend a ton more on scratch. Cocoa, butter, real vanilla, real almond, coconut milk, real extracts. Red velvet...red food color is $3-4 a bottle (I now buy in bulk that helps).

CocoaBlondie Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 2:55am
post #12 of 37

I think for me it comes out to be the same. Yes I use both scratch & mixes. It depends on the recipe. For the generals like choc. & vanilla I think they stay the same. When you think about it, your only subing out flour, sugar & a leveral. You'll get so many different answers I'm sure.

Ursula40 Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 3:59am
post #13 of 37

Definately more expensive but worth it in my mind. I don't like preservatives and try and cut out processed foods as much as possible. The cake mixes have much more in them than flour and sugar. I even make my own flavourings and avoid using artificial ones

cloetzu Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 3:34pm
post #14 of 37

thank you everyone for your input!

Loucinda Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 3:40pm
post #15 of 37

I never run out of cocoa, I buy it 25 lb. at a time! icon_smile.gif

wheeloftime Posted 25 May 2013 , 12:24am
post #16 of 37

I am not sure about everyone else because I think this is a matter of taste and preference. I like the taste of scratch better than box. I use a recipe from a 1972 cookbook. Its my favorite cookbook. Dont know why just is. Its a blender recipe. eggs flour sugar baking powder salt vanilla almond and milk thats it. comes out moist smooth havent figured out the little bit of hardning on the edges but i think its sugar. going to try to lighten up on sugar alittle.

cakefat Posted 25 May 2013 , 1:51am
post #17 of 37

in my experience, I find a box mix to be cheaper than baking from scratch as just the butter costs me $5 per package- not to mention everything else that goes into it. Also as someone mentioned, baking from scratch takes me longer and time is money.

Norasmom Posted 25 May 2013 , 1:56am
post #18 of 37

It's like anything, the "base model" (mix or scratch) is not that expensive either way, but the add-ons (fondant, buttercream, WASC ingredients, your TIME, e.t.c...) make it more expensive.  I think scratch and mix are equal in cost if you buy in bulk.

jason_kraft Posted 25 May 2013 , 3:03am
post #19 of 37

AAt low volumes box mix is cheaper, since you are taking advantage of the box mix manufacturers' economies of scale. Once you produce enough so you can buy in bulk, baking from scratch is cheaper.

Stitches Posted 25 May 2013 , 3:36am
post #20 of 37

I was just working on cake costs today on a wedding cake I baked. Since I only bake from scratch I don't know what similar would be for a cake mix.

 

Can anyone tell me what it costs to bake a 2 layer chocolate cake mix in: 14", 10" & 6" ? All inclusive, not just the box mix but the ingredients you add to them.

(from scratch it's $17.88)

Also does anyone have what it costs them to bake a 2 layer vanilla cake mix in : 14", 10" & 6"? (from scratch it's $17.31)

 

Also what kind of costs do you all average on butter cream frosting? Mine is .11 per ounce. What's yours?

 

 

(Different flavors baked from scratch can vary wildly!! For example my carrot cake, 3 layered with frosting cost me $20.00 just in ingredients.)

Stitches Posted 25 May 2013 , 2:15pm
post #21 of 37

Bump

kikiandkyle Posted 25 May 2013 , 3:34pm
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

I was just working on cake costs today on a wedding cake I baked. Since I only bake from scratch I don't know what similar would be for a cake mix.

 

Can anyone tell me what it costs to bake a 2 layer chocolate cake mix in: 14", 10" & 6" ? All inclusive, not just the box mix but the ingredients you add to them.

(from scratch it's $17.88)

Also does anyone have what it costs them to bake a 2 layer vanilla cake mix in : 14", 10" & 6"? (from scratch it's $17.31)

 

Also what kind of costs do you all average on butter cream frosting? Mine is .11 per ounce. What's yours?

 

 

(Different flavors baked from scratch can vary wildly!! For example my carrot cake, 3 layered with frosting cost me $20.00 just in ingredients.)

I would say a 6", 10" and 14" would require maybe 4 mixes, which would mean a dozen eggs, and 2 cups of oil, if made just per directions. So maybe $10 using conservative price estimates. Add in sour cream and that's another $4 (4 cups), extra vanilla or almond would be maybe $2-4, any butter substitutions would add more costs, so if you did a WASC you're at $16-18 before accounting for any additional flour/sugar you needed to extend the new smaller boxes. 

vgcea Posted 25 May 2013 , 4:33pm
post #23 of 37

A

Original message sent by kikiandkyle

I would say a 6", 10" and 14" would require maybe 4 mixes, which would mean a dozen eggs, and 2 cups of oil, if made just per directions. So maybe $10 using conservative price estimates. Add in sour cream and that's another $4 (4 cups), extra vanilla or almond would be maybe $2-4, any butter substitutions would add more costs, so if you did a WASC you're at $16-18 before accounting for any additional flour/sugar you needed to extend the new smaller boxes. 

What are you adding? The entire bottle of extract? A 4oz bottle of Nielsen Massey averages $5-7 in my area. Even cheaper when you buy other brands. Besides I suspect Stitches buys wholesale vs retail. I can get 5lb sourceam for about $6. We may be comparing apples and oranges.

Stitches Posted 27 May 2013 , 10:40pm
post #24 of 37

O.k., let me try to re-phrase my questions to people who use cake mixes.

 

What does it cost you to bake 2, 6" cakes, 2, 10" cakes and 2, 14" cakes using a cake mix? Please include all the ingredients needed including the cost of the mix.

 

What does it cost you to fill and frost 2, 6" cakes, 2, 10" cakes and 2, 14' cakes? Better yet, have any of your figured out what your frosting costs per ounce?

Stitches Posted 30 May 2013 , 3:12pm
post #25 of 37

Bump

AZCouture Posted 30 May 2013 , 4:37pm
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

At low volumes box mix is cheaper, since you are taking advantage of the box mix manufacturers' economies of scale. Once you produce enough so you can buy in bulk, baking from scratch is cheaper.

There ya go. And when you make your own vanilla extract and related items, fondant, gum paste, etc...the savings really add up. The only big recurring expenses I have are butter and cake boards. Oh, and cake flour. I'm stubbornly hooked on SoftasSilk, and I can't find a bulk dealer. I'm so over buying cutesy tools and cutters and I don't buy tutorials, so I've invested in all my hard items already. A few internet stock orders a year, and I'm good.

bct806 Posted 31 May 2013 , 3:30am
post #27 of 37

I buy flour, butter, eggs, and sugar (ps and regular) in bulk. I priced it out using Excel a while back, I spend $2.78 for each batch of batter I make (makes two 8in pans)

rdjr Posted 31 May 2013 , 3:39am
post #28 of 37

To me, scratch is less expensive but takes up much more time measureing ingredients. I use the wasc for all my flavors, except carrot which I make from scratch, and it only takes me about 5 min or less to mix a batch. What helps move along faster is that I measure a cup of flour and sugar into ziplock bags and store them and everytime I am making a WASC I just pour one of the bags into the batter.

vgcea Posted 31 May 2013 , 3:50am
post #29 of 37

AI've been known to postpone a practice cake because I'm not in the mood for measuring out all the ingredients. :lol:

Original message sent by rdjr

To me, scratch is less expensive but takes up much more time measureing ingredients. I use the wasc for all my flavors, except carrot which I make from scratch, and it only takes me about 5 min or less to mix a batch. What helps move along faster is that I measure a cup of flour and sugar into ziplock bags and store them and everytime I am making a WASC I just pour one of the bags into the batter.

AnnieCahill Posted 31 May 2013 , 10:57am
post #30 of 37
Quote:
The only big recurring expenses I have are butter and cake boards.

 

You mean, you don't churn your own butter?  I keep a cow tethered to my deck behind my townhouse.  I don't have much grass so I feed her cake scraps.  It's very economical.

 

 

Quote:
I'm stubbornly hooked on SoftasSilk

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