I'm curious as to how much it costs each of you to make a cake. Say, a basic flavor like vanilla or chocolate, 12"x8"x6" or 12"x10", covered with buttercream or fondant or both. I realize costs vary greatly depending on where we live, where we shop, the brands we buy, etc. I'm in a rural Utah town so I have to travel a three-hour round trip to get my supplies (from Costco)and it costs me a little over $20 to make a cake that size covered in buttercream and fondant. That's buying ingredients at non-sale prices. I try not to do that So what are you all paying?
I made a cake that was a 6" and an 8", buttercream with fondant accents (most recent in my album) and with all the ingredients, support, and boards, it cost me $45.00. It's the butter that gets me here. It's $5.29 for 2 cups. And that cake took 4 batches of icing (4 cups), and three cake batters (2 1/4 cups of butter). That's almost $20.00 just for butter! I get it on sale when I can, but the brand I use doesn't go on sale very often. Everything else (but eggs and milk) I can get at the Bulk Barn, so I save a little there, but when it goes on sale at the grocery store, I stock up!
Wow! Butter is expensive up north! In that $20 cake cost I listed I didn't include cost for cake boards, support system, or those hidden costs that add up quickly: plastic wrap, paper towels, wax paper, electricity cost, water, dish soap, etc. I also realized I forgot to include the cost of the fondant. I mix homemade with store-bought and that adds another ten bucks to the cost. There's also always fondant/gumpaste figures that I didn't include. It differs too much from cake to cake.
Really makes me glad I can still use 69 cent cake mixes for my little cakes.
I used to use shortning, as this is what I was taught, but my hubby hated the taste, and I hated the cleanup. So I started subbing in butter, and found that completly switching it up made the best tasting icing. It's pricy, but so worth it!
I did try using cake mixes as a base, but found no matter what I did, I couldn't get that box taste out of the cake. So I gave up. Besides, although most couldn't tell the difference, my family wouldn't eat the cake! I guess I've spoiled them from years of scratch baking!
Actually, I'm not entirely serious. It's probably been 20 years since I made a cake from a mix and didn't add anything to it.
I'm in West Texas and butter-only buttercream doesn't work here except in the coldest part of the winter, so that tends to help keep costs down a little.