Comparing Costs Scratch Vs. Doctored Mixes

Decorating By Babs1964 Updated 1 Mar 2011 , 8:28am by FromScratchSF

Babs1964 Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 11

Which is most cost effective? I intend to figure this out for myself using my own prices as I realize costs are different everywhere, just wanted a general idea. Thanks

10 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 4:58pm
post #2 of 11

Well..you are going to get varying answers but for me...I can get Betty Crocker mixes for $1.25 each or 10/$10.00 on sale so I can't see how scratch would be any cheaper....It depends on what kind of cakes you want to make and the clientelle because with scratch you are going to have to have higher prices to offset the cost of scratch baking....I like the ease of mixes and then I doctor them but I have aked some scratch too for 3D carved cakes etc...I do know that I spent way more for flour,sugar,cocoa etc for the scratch choclate cake I made for a customer and.....I had to make 2 batches because the recipe did not state how much it would make and it didn't fill a 9x13 pan with one batch so...needless to say I was a little mad cause I way under charged her..never again!!

Babs1964 Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 6:02pm
post #3 of 11

I thought scratch would be more expensive too! Anyone else have opinions?

TexasSugar Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 6:07pm
post #4 of 11

I think this is something you just have to do on your own. Not only are prices different in different areas, but people buy different types of ingredients. Are you shopping the finest ingredients? Using name brands? Organic? Are you shopping in bulk or not?

There are alot of things that really factor in to it all.

Motorhead Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 6:56pm
post #5 of 11

i use a scratch chocolate cake that costs more than double what a box would cost. but i also use a WASC cake in my supply as well. i don't find that scratch is any cheeper. but scratch is often times (for me) more satisfying.

p.s and hello to a fellow Manitoban!! friendly manitoba!! thumbs_up.gif

motherofgrace Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 7:12pm
post #6 of 11

for me, a batch of WASC is $5.67.............. thats eggs and all. (not icing)

And for me with my recipes ICING is what bumps up the costs lol

caymancake Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 8:14pm
post #7 of 11

Cake mixes where I live are about $2.50 KYD (about $3 USD) which is about the same as a 5lb bag of ap flour. once in a while there is a $0.99 sale on cake mixes, but around the same time the flour also goes on sale for $1.39 so for me, doctored cake mixes and scratch cakes are about the same.

KoryAK Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 10:20pm
post #8 of 11

Scratch vs. recipe on the box box, box may be cheaper. scratch vs. doctored box will depend on exactly what you are using, but scratch is probably cheaper. (this is assuming sam's club type ingredient quantities)

lynn1968 Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 10:53pm
post #9 of 11

just on cake ingredients, my wife the baker tells me that the price of the two are about the same, slightly less for scratch if she finds some sales. but, she hasn't sat down and crunched any numbers. ne'ertheless, i trust in her knee-jerk accounting.

i believe it's feasible to beat or come very close to a box cake price if you buy in bulk, particularly given that a doctored cake has added costs, too. we're (my wife and i) of the opinion, based on our experiences, that the perception of quality is worth a premium, so if it costs us a little more for a scratch cake then the customer probably won't bat an eye at having the extra cost passed on to them (withing reason, of course), particularly if it's known your direct competition is using a box cake. that's not to say one is better than the other, just that often people are buying an illusion. i personally also believe that more often than not, that when a person pays a higher price for something then they convince themselves it's better (i could name some blahcky chocolate i wouldn't feed my neighbour's constantly barking dog as being evidence of that). sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, it's just sometimes people are buying a name, or in this case a better perceived process. just my opinion on that. icon_smile.gif

if someone is a hobbyist underpricing their product anyway, profit margin probably won't keep them up at night anyway, no? lol.

scp1127 Posted 1 Mar 2011 , 8:14am
post #10 of 11

I am a scratch baker, but before I give my information, I think it is best to first decide how you want to bake and decide who your market is. There are great box and doctored box recipes, and there are awful scratch recipes and wonderful scratch recipes. What are you best at producing? And equally important, how are you going to market yourself and who is your target?

In my bakery, I have 8 and 9 inch cakes that have upwards of $21.00 in ingredients. Very few of my offerings come under $12.00 to $15.00 in my cost. But I cater to and bake for a higher income clientele. Some bakeries in town retail the same flavor cake for $11.00. They are simply two very different cakes meeting the needs of opposite ends of the customer spectrum. I am in business and so are they.

So my business opinion is to pick either where you are best, or where there is a need in the market that needs to be filled.

FromScratchSF Posted 1 Mar 2011 , 8:28am
post #11 of 11

I am a scratch baker.

Location and if you can buy in bulk is super important - Cake mixes at my grocery store runs around $3/box (no Wal Marts or other mega chain places here). One box of 2 lb Swan's cake flour can vary from $2-3/box. But I buy my cake flour by the 50 lb bag for under $17, so that puts my cost at around $.34 per lb. Sugar is similar (organic), eggs by the 15 dozen box, 30 lb box of organic butter etc. So, because I buy in bulk and because I live in a high cost of living area my scratch ingredients (cake for cake - not adding in the extra stuff) is about the same.

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