Large Cupcake Orders

Decorating By sweettreat101 Updated 23 Jun 2011 , 7:50am by sweettreat101

sweettreat101 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 8:37am
post #1 of 29

I don't usually do cupcakes but I have a request for 200 cupcakes for an upcoming wedding. What do most people charge for cupcakes? A cupcake with a butter cream swirl and possibly a decoration. My head keeps telling me to say no but then I thought it would take less time than decorating a wedding cake. But if I have to make 200 tropical flowers my head is really saying no. So I guess I am asking if you had to make 200 decorations and cupcakes what's an approximate rate? Oh and she wants three different flavors. Thank you.

28 replies
n_jean Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 9:15am
post #2 of 29

I would say whatever you charge per serving for your cakes. Cupcakes are a per serving cake.

sweetooth0510 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 10:48am
post #3 of 29

In my opinion and experience there is more work involved in making 200 cupcakes than there would be in decorating a 3 or 4 tier cake. People quite often think that they will save money getting cupcakes rather than a tiered cake, I would definitely charge your usual per serving cost and add a little bit for extra time needed. The three flavours wouldn't be too much of an issue as with that volume of cupcakes you'd be needing to make multiple mixtures anyway.

erin2345 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 11:24am
post #4 of 29

I think making cupcakes is way easier than making a wedding cake! I could ice 200 cupcakes in like 10 minutes I bet. You should call around and see what the custom bakeries in your area charge for cupcakes - not the grocery stores. And then add an extra 0.50 or so per decoration (depending on difficulty).

Make sure the bride knows she'll need to rent a stand. Charge extra if she wants fancy cupcake papers or those cupcake wraps.

Lita829 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 11:53am
post #5 of 29

I am making 320+ (it is my custom to give extras) cuppies for my cousin's wedding in August. They will be a selection of 3 types of cuppies with a buttercream swirl and a gumpaste Gerbera Daisy on top. I am charging $3.25/cuppie. I am also including an 8" cake for her and her new hubby to cut at the reception as a compliment.

I am the first to admit that while I can bake my butt off, I am far from the best cake decorator so I prefer to do custom cuppies.

If you want to purchase a reusable cupcake stand...here is the website I will be using:

www.thecupcaketower.com

HTH

adamsgama Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 12:36pm
post #6 of 29

I disagree with erin2345, making cupcakes are way more work and time than doing a wedding cakes. Icing alone will take you at least 3-4 hours to do a professional job. At least 3-4 hours to bake them all, depending on your oven size. That does not include making batter, icing, storing, and cupcakes are way more time sensitve then cakes. Cupcakes, in my opinion should be decorated and served no later than the next day

JMO

adamsgama

leah_s Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 12:40pm
post #7 of 29

erin, you can ice 200 cupcakes in 10 minutes? WOW! I can't do that. I take large cupcake orders fairly often. it's a lot of work and borders on mind numbing. Bake, fill, swirl, decorate, box and repeat 300 times.

Best advice for the OP, BUY the flowers. avalondeco.com David has more flowers than what are shown on the website - just call him.

erin2345 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 1:06pm
post #8 of 29

to put a swirl of icing on a cupcake? takes 2 seconds. times 200 is only like 6 minutes, lol. use the other 4 minutes to reload your icing bag a few times. Waaaay quicker than torting cake, filling, crumb coat, chilling, final coat, chilling, fondant, chilling, repeat x 2 or 3 for the other tiers, dowelling, stacking etc.
to each their own I guess!

DaniNicole Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 1:17pm
post #9 of 29

I think preparing 200 basic cupcake (just a swirl of buttercream) is definitely easier than a 3 tier decorated cake; however, when you have to add gumpaste flowers for each of them, that are handmade...it might be time consuming...definitely buy the flowers!

Lita829 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 1:24pm
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsgama

I disagree with erin2345, making cupcakes are way more work and time than doing a wedding cakes. Icing alone will take you at least 3-4 hours to do a professional job. At least 3-4 hours to bake them all, depending on your oven size. That does not include making batter, icing, storing, and cupcakes are way more time sensitve then cakes. Cupcakes, in my opinion should be decorated and served no later than the next day

JMO

adamsgama




Not trying to be a smart a** but if the cuppies are baked right, they are good for a few days after preparing them. I have eaten and served cuppies that were up to 3 days old and they were just as moist and flavorful as day one. It is all in the baking. I plan to make the 320+ cuppies over two days to be served on the third day and I am sure that Eat101 can do the same.

erin2345 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 2:07pm
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsgama

I disagree with erin2345, making cupcakes are way more work and time than doing a wedding cakes. Icing alone will take you at least 3-4 hours to do a professional job. At least 3-4 hours to bake them all, depending on your oven size. That does not include making batter, icing, storing, and cupcakes are way more time sensitve then cakes. Cupcakes, in my opinion should be decorated and served no later than the next day

JMO

adamsgama




there is no way it takes 3 - 4 hours to bake 200 cupcakes. I have a regular sized oven with three racks - 2 trays of 12 on each rack = 72 cupcakes. One batch takes 17 mins. So you are looking at less than one hour to bake them all. Maybe an hour and a half when you add in cooking time b/w batches.

all4cake Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 2:26pm
post #12 of 29

Less than 4 hours to make, bake, box (add 1000 hours if individually boxed and tied...not really but, it does take a considerable amount of time to individually box them), ice, decorate.


One needs to have a plan of attack and initiate it and also have more than 2, 12 cell cupcake pans to get 'er done.

erin2345 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 2:32pm
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

Less than 4 hours to make, bake, box (add 1000 hours if individually boxed and tied...not really but, it does take a considerable amount of time to individually boxing them), ice, decorate. .




Lol!! icon_biggrin.gif

all4cake Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 2:50pm
post #14 of 29

It also helps when doing multitudes of decorations, to divide and conquer. 200 of the same? Break it up into 10 groups of 20 or 4 groups of 50 or 5 groups of 40 or....can't have a break until a set is done. If it's something that has to be done in stages (one stage has to be dried/set before another can be attached) then, divide it that way...do all of stage one-break icon_smile.gif...stage 2-break icon_smile.gif

The daunting part is thinking about all the work. Don't think about it, just do it. (that's not to say that you won't. That's something I have to tell myself all the time)

pettmybunny Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 3:17pm
post #15 of 29

Erin, I made 200 cupcakes for our high school's swim team final banquet. Actually, about 225, all said and done. I have enough trays to do 36 at a time, so I borrowed another 6 trays from friends, thinking that I'd have 36 in the oven baking, and I'd have the next 36 ready to go in. The first set could be cooling, the second set in the oven, and the third set of 36 being mixed and filled.

Reality was that I never used 3 of those extra trays. By the time I mixed batter and filled the trays, and put in the oven, then washed the bowl and beaters, the first set of cuppies were done before I ever got the next batch of batter mixed and into the pans. I do have a convection oven so my cupcakes are done a bit quicker than in a regular one. Actual baking time might not be that long, but the reality of it, with all the other stuff, I ended up taking about 4 or 5 hours, and after the first batch of 36 went in the oven, I only ever had 2 trays of 12 in there, just because I didn't have the third tray full. And, I never had the fresh trays ready right when my timer went off either.

I baked on Thursday, decorated on Friday, served on Saturday. Decorations took time, I smooth frosted them, then slapped on edible image circles with swim sayings on there (the easiest part was putting on those images), and put an icing border on. The decorating took another 3 or 4 hours, believe it or not! (might have gone faster, if I only had to do a 1M swirl). They were still moist when served on Saturday (if that was a concern), and I booked a couple of graduation cakes at that dinner, because people loved the flavors I did icon_smile.gif

Emmar308 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 3:25pm
post #16 of 29

This thread is actually freaking me out a bit!! I generally don't do cupcakes either (i really think people are either a cuppie baker or a caker and i'm def a caker lol), anyway i have an order placed for next year for an 8 inch wedding cake with 140 cupcakes. Actually swirling and decorating the cupcakes is not such a worry, but i am a home baker with an uneven oven so i can only bake 1 cake / tray at a time, so that's 1 tray of 12 cupcakes (minus the 1 in the corner that always burns!) at 20 mins a tray.... 13 x 20 mins.... 4 hours 20 min.... oh god i'm dreading this lol!!! And i struggle with my pricing of cupcakes too!

cakegal Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 3:25pm
post #17 of 29

I like it much better to bake cupcakes than to do wedding cakes. I have a niece getting married next year and I told her I would do her a beautiful cupcake tower at just the cost for supplies....but she wants a 3 or 4 tier cake...I won't be doing cake...she'll have to pay someone else to do that... I just don't like doing cakes any more...

adamsgama Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 5:18pm
post #18 of 29

erin2345
Maybe you should make a utube video of you decorating 200 cupcakes in 6 mins, oh and loading the bags in 4 mins. What size bags are you using? 10 gallon? I have a regular oven with 2 racks in it, 2 trays of cupcakes at a time. It takes a lot of time to do 200 cupcakes
adamsgama

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 5:50pm
post #19 of 29

I just made about 100 cupcakes for a bridal shower... they didn't take that long because I made all the gumpaste flowers ahead of time and let them dry. Each swirl of buttercream takes maybe 30 seconds at most to do. Filling the bag is what takes so long. I'd do cupcakes anyday over making a cake! (Fondant covered cupcakes take a lot more time though, so stick to the buttercream swirl ones). I have pictures of the cupcakes in my photos. The petunia flowers didn't take long at all because I used a cutter and mould. Good luck!

airedalian Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 6:49pm
post #20 of 29

When I had several dozen to swirl I used the frosting plug method, which certainly sped things up. I use that because I can't fill a bag without getting half anywhere-but-in-the-bag, but the time savings was a nice bonus.

Twomorecats Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 7:17pm
post #21 of 29

My first wedding earlier this year was 140 cupcakes and i foolishly accepted and order for a few cupcakes for a party, this turned out to me 90!! icon_smile.gif
OMG, only got small kitchen but managed to do 4 trays at a time and pre-cut the dragons (for party cakes), a couple of days before but this was really jumping in at the deep end!
the following week my second wedding was 60 cupcakes and oh boy was a piece of cake.....loved it. really love doing cupcakes, I find it relaxing icing them. just bought wilton 2d nozzle so everything is roses at mo. Boy do I love that nozzle icon_biggrin.gif

Lita829 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 7:28pm
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twomorecats

My first wedding earlier this year was 140 cupcakes and i foolishly accepted and order for a few cupcakes for a party, this turned out to me 90!! icon_smile.gif
OMG, only got small kitchen but managed to do 4 trays at a time and pre-cut the dragons (for party cakes), a couple of days before but this was really jumping in at the deep end!
the following week my second wedding was 60 cupcakes and oh boy was a piece of cake.....loved it. really love doing cupcakes, I find it relaxing icing them. just bought wilton 2d nozzle so everything is roses at mo. Boy do I love that nozzle icon_biggrin.gif




I agree... making cuppies is relaxing compared to decorating a cake. While I love the prep and baking part, I get all frazzled bedazzled with decorating cakes.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 7:39pm
post #23 of 29

My thoughts for anything, is that how ever long you think it will take you to do something, always double of triple it.

In theory it all sounds quick and easy. Using the large 16in bag it seems like I have to fill the bag up at least once when doing swirls on two dozen cupcakes. Of course you can have several bags ready to go, but that still takes times to fill, refill then eventually pull out new bags, cut the ends drop tips in and fill, because the last bags have icing all over the outside of the bag. You also have to factor in moving the cupcakes around, the sets you are working on, the next set you are working on and so on.

Honestly I'd probably give myself 10-15 mins for icing every 2 dozen cupcakes. I'd love to think I could do all of them in under 10 mins, but as I have said, I have learned it usually takes a lot longer than I think it would. And it is always the things that sound the easiest that end up taking more time as well.

Lita829 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 7:57pm
post #24 of 29

"Honestly I'd probably give myself 10-15 mins for icing every 2 dozen cupcakes. I'd love to think I could do all of them in under 10 mins, but as I have said, I have learned it usually takes a lot longer than I think it would. And it is always the things that sound the easiest that end up taking more time as well."

I definately agree. Good advice thumbs_up.gif

jenng1482 Posted 22 Jun 2011 , 8:38pm
post #25 of 29

i do large cupcake orders all the time. Earlier this year I did 1000 for the Governors Inaugural reception and last sunday I did 300 on 2 days notice for the Father's Day brunch at my work. Here is what I have found that works for me:

I collect boxes that strawberries come to grocery stores in and line them with foil. They hold between 30 and 42 depending on the size of the cupcake. The boxes have interlocking tabs so the stack. When stacked, they leave very little air space. Grocery stores are very willing to give away the boxes so they dont have to dispose of them.

When baking, I take the cuppies out of the pans and put directly into the boxes. I stack about 3 boxes and then put them into a garbage bag and close with a clothes pin. Into the freezer they go! Keep on going and stack another wrapped 3 boxes right on top. ( I take the shelves out of my stand up freezer when I do these orders.

When ready to decorate, take out of freezer and remove bag to allow the condensation to escape. Decorate right in the box, stack, and deliver!

Done!

hrnewbie Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 3:07am
post #26 of 29

Ditto to the quickness of cupcakes. I can rock through a few dozen in way less time than it takes to crumb coat a cake. I'm making 300 for my son's school next week and I've spent more time making the toppers than I will baking and decorating the actual cupcakes.

Now ask me how long it's taken to make and decorate a 9" birthday cake for my coworker... Oy vay.

swoozie Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 3:31am
post #27 of 29

The time it takes will depend on how involved you're getting as well as price for them... We do cup cakes for weddings alot. cup cakes start at $1.25 per cake. they are not filled. butter cream swirled icing and edible glitter on top or plain. If you want soemthing piped on top the price goes up .25- .50 cents. Fondant flower or letter, the same depends on how time consuming. We bake on Friday for Sat and Sun . Use 1/2 sheet boxes and a cup cake sheet that CK sells. fits 12 cup cakes per sheet.

If you bake at home and the oven is not level either fix it by using the leveling feet on the bottom, or rotate your trays half way through the time.

Cup cakes for us are way less hassel and go quicker than wedding cakes. Just take a deep breath, relax and make it fun! icon_biggrin.gif

simplysouthern Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 3:40am
post #28 of 29

I have a 250+ cupcake wedding in July. Bride has 8 different flavors, which means 8 different icings. So yes, I could slam out 200 cuppies in no time, but when you're baking a lot of different flavors.....no way. It's time consuming! Plus no offense but if I show up to my reception and see all 1m swirls I would not be a happy bride. But that's just me. Birthdays no problem. I like to set my reception tables up with different stands and plates. As to really show off the work. So slapping a 1m swirl wouldnt fly. I plan on baking Wednesday, filling and frosting Thursday, decorating and delivering Friday, say of wedding.

Oh and to answer the OP pricing, I charge $2 for basic cupcake, $3 for speciality like tiramisu, rocky road, reese phone etc. I always add $ if they want a fondant topper. Also speciality filling are an upcharge as well.

GL and let us know what you decide.

sweettreat101 Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 7:50am
post #29 of 29

I got an email back that she would want a butter cream swirl with a gumpaste plumeria flower like the ones I made for her bridal shower cake. I emailed her back and told her that I didn't have time to hand make 200 gumpaste flowers and color them with luster dust. If she was willing to purchase premade flowers then I might consider her order. The least expensive flowers I have found were 1.00 a piece and that didn't include shipping. I don't think she is going to want to pay 200.00 just for flowers. Thank you everyone for the info.

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