Selling Cupcakes At Farmers Market

Baking By Cascades Updated 16 May 2013 , 5:26am by bakergirl328

Cascades Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Cascades Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 12:24am
post #1 of 19

I'd like to sell cupcakes at the local farmers market. I am fully liscensed so I won't have any problems with that part of the process. What I was hoping to find out from you experienced cupcake bakers is what is the best way to package these cupcakes. I will be decorating them so I don't want to ruin the decoration, but I also don't want to spend too much money in the packaging. I don't want to have to price them too high! Health department requires them to be packaged.

Also, will the decorators creamcheese frosting hold up if not refrigerated. I have seen this topic batted about in the cake forum some say it's ok to leave out and some say no. Any opinions?

Thank you


18 replies
JoAnnB Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
JoAnnB Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:00am
post #2 of 19

I sold cupcakes at the local market a couple of years ago. You will need a cooler to store the cupcakes. much heat, and the icing will melt. I used a clear plastic drinking cup with a lid. I found one the right size at the restaurant supply store. The lid has a x cut in the top, which I covered with a small label.

Some grocery stores may be willing to sell a few of the 1/2 dozen containers, as well a a dozen container. Some customers will by a boxfull if the price is right.

Depending on the weather, the cream cheese is relativley safe, but again I would keep the bulk of cupcakes in coolers.

BrandisBaked Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BrandisBaked Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:16am
post #3 of 19

I would talk to the health department about your icing... they can test the pH level or something and tell you whether or not it needs to be refrigerated.

As for the packaging... I would keep a few on display in a covered cake dome or something and keep the rest packaged individually in cheap bags. That way you don't have to invest in clear containers.

stephaniescakenj Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
stephaniescakenj Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:57am
post #4 of 19

I sold baked goods at a farmers market as well. I went to the Brenmar website:
and bought cupcake and even clear cake containers there. I bought the 6pk cupcake containers and i love them. They're perfect for even storing cupcakes at home. For icing, I used whimsical bakehouses house buttercream. The one that's primarily crisco. It's not as good as italian meringue but it held up find under a tent and I bought these ice cube sheets. I have no clue how to describe them properly, but they are basically these bubble sheets filled with water. each bubble is the size of an ice cube. I would freeze them the night before, lay them out on my table with a table cloth on top and then put my stuff on top. I had a tent set up with a cute banner and since we were only there from 7am to noon, by the time it got hot enough to be concerned about heat, we were on our way out. There was a post about icing and heat a long time ago, I remember when I first started I was concerned about the icing. I'll see if I can find it and post it.

thedessertdiva Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
thedessertdiva Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 3:19am
post #5 of 19

I am going to look into selling cupcakes at my local farmers market also, and I figured I would use the jarred cupcake method. This will also work well for me during the Christmas bizzares, too. I also plan to sell my homemade biscotti and bars. These will be sealed in shrink wrapping.

Cascades Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Cascades Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:00am
post #6 of 19

Thanks guys for all your help. Stephaniescakenj, could you please tell me where you got your ice mats. I have seen them before just don't know where to get them

AZCakeGirl Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
AZCakeGirl Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:16am
post #7 of 19

I am currently selling cupcakes at a weekly street fair in my town. I went to "Smart & Final" to find something to put them in. I found the clear containers that are used for banana splits. I think it was less than $10.00 for a pack of 100. Each "banana boat" container holds two cupcakes very nicely & I sell more of those than the grouped ones. I think it's just because people like the idea of getting something to eat while they walk around. I haven't sold too many grouped ones that people would take home, just a couple.

kansaswolf Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kansaswolf Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:22am
post #8 of 19

I agree about the packaging them individually or in pairs... I sell cinnamon rolls at my farmer's market, and those sell SO FAST, because most people want a quick snack! Sorry, no help with the packaging, but hopefully one of the suggestions here works for you!

shisharka Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
shisharka Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:28am
post #9 of 19

If I may respond from a customerâs point of view⦠icon_wink.gif

Considering I bake all the time, every weekend at the farmerâs market our guys (2-1/2 and 4-1/2 years old) MUST have the strawberry shortcakes of a local bakery. Donât ask me about the day they were out by the time we got there icon_cry.gif ⦠They are sold in sets of 3, in a shaped plastic baggie, with a cute label and a ribbon. I love their breads too, even at $5 for a small rosemary Focaccia⦠not to mention their bearclaws with hand-rolled puff pastry, yummmm!!! Half way through the market the boys are done with the cakes!

I also buy handmade ravioli there, the guy has them in a single layer in individual shrink-wrapped, labeled flat boxes, coming out of a cooler full of ice. Oh, and pesto and humus, in plastic boxes, displayed in tubs of iceâ¦

With that said, Iâm not sure Iâd buy cupcakes at the farmers market⦠Iâm paranoid about refrigerating everything, and seeing icing thatâs not refrigerated means one of two things â shortening (which Iâd never knowingly feed to my family) or unsafe because of the 100 degree temperatures⦠Plus, cupcakes are messy with kids and bags and picking up fruits and veggies and all that in a hot, crowded space⦠I might buy a plastic box of say 4, like the ones stephaniescakenj linked to, coming out of a cooler with ice, to have later at home if I'm trully impressed by the presentation, or flavor combinations - out of curiosity - but not individually to eat while at the market. For me at the farmers market: muffins â absolutely yes, cupcakes â unlikely.

But then again I may not be exactly the target consumer icon_smile.gif

kimmypooh79 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kimmypooh79 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 7:33am
post #10 of 19

Do you have a local restaurant supply store that is also open to the public? Or one of those stores that sells bulk food items (like robert orr) I go to mine to get containers, they are usually very cheap and you can get a few or a whole case. You might try Sam's Club or Costco.

kansaswolf Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kansaswolf Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 11:01pm
post #11 of 19

BTW, I sell my cinnamon rolls on a plate in a Ziplock, and they get a fork if they want it, so it's a little less messy than a cupcake... I guess it would depend on who COMES... For example, our Farmer's Market runs on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. I SELL OUT of cinnamon rolls on Wednesday, but don't hardly sell ANY on Saturday. Why? Because most of the people who come early on Saturday are older-elderly people with diabetes... May not be the case in your area, but you might chat it up with some people who sell baked goods, just to see what the audience is like.

ValMommytoDanny Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ValMommytoDanny Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:00am
post #12 of 19

I have a clear acrylic case that has 3 tiers and is enclosed with a door and little vents. I put a tray of ice on the bottom, cupcakes in the middle and an ice sheet on the top tray with some more cupcakes on top of it.
On the top there is a nice sign that says - well the last one said....

Display Cupcakes
(a little pic of a cc)
We are trying to keep our cool. But the ones you purchase are keeping their cool on ice.
(a little pic of a cc brrr'ing with an ice cube on the pic)

It let's people know that what they are getting are indeed being kept cool. The packaging I use (of all things) are the plain chinese take out containers - the small ones for singles and the larger ones for 1-2. Bigger containers are those party tote things (brown craft boxes) with the sides that fold on top and gives a handle. People like handles I have found when they are walking with their purchases....
They have the party totes at bpr boxes.

It's kinds nice to do the paper packaging instead of plastic in my neck of the woods because the farmers markets boast the whole ecological thing with no styro, only coded plastics for recycling... stuff like that.

And, they really aren't too much money. You could even put a sticker on the box with your info to decorate it.

Oh, and someone who wants one to eat and go gets a sheet of the pre-cut wax sheets... I tell them I gift wrap it for them.... icon_smile.gif

Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

CakesbyBecca Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CakesbyBecca Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:18am
post #13 of 19

Off-topic, but I just had to comment. Val, I just read your signature and have to thank you for a good laugh. I needed it icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif


alicegop Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
alicegop Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 2:36am
post #14 of 19

I think it depends on how much you want to sell them for. If you are looking for the customer who is hungry and wants to shove something sweet in their face, I would make a display of cupcakes (I just picked up one of those tea and sandwich tray things at IKEA...I"m not describing that right) that are decorated pretty... but not sell those, display only. Then have some in a ziplock or paperbag (get some pretty stamps and make the lunch bags look nice) something so people can just eat right then. Then I would also price them at $1 or something.

If you are looking to sell them so they can bring them home to their family, I would put them in a nice individual box with a ribbon and sell for $2.50 or something.

I buy my boxes from and they have a 1 and 2 cupcake box with inserts and also you can get them with a window. Those would be excellent packaging.

Cascades, if you don't want to buy all of that, I would be happy to send you the boxes and inserts at my cost! PM me or email me if you still have my email icon_smile.gif


ValMommytoDanny Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ValMommytoDanny Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 2:59am
post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by CakesbyBecca

Off-topic, but I just had to comment. Val, I just read your signature and have to thank you for a good laugh. I needed it icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif


Sad but true.... sad but true... lol icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

mcdonald Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mcdonald Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 5:38pm
post #16 of 19

I am wanting to sell at a local flea market and the packaging ideas here are good ones... thanks for the input!!

cupcakedreamer2 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cupcakedreamer2 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 1:52pm
post #17 of 19

I'm looking at selling at my local market too. Alot to think about though so thanks everyone for the tips. icon_lol.gif

cs-cupcakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cs-cupcakes Posted 15 May 2013 , 3:32pm
post #18 of 19

I, too, am selling cupcakes at my local farmers market.  It gets pretty good traffic, but could someone with experience selling baked goods at their farmers market help me to estimate how many people I should plan to sell?  Should I plan on 10% of the traffic buying baked goods?  Or plan on 100% of the people?  I don't want leftovers and I don't want to sale out early.  Any help would be great!  Thanks in advance.

bakergirl328 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bakergirl328 Posted 16 May 2013 , 5:26am
post #19 of 19

Thanks for this info. I just ordered from the site.

Quote by @%username% on %date%