Cupcakes: Charging Less Than Per Slice Of Cake?

Business By Larkin121 Updated 26 Jul 2009 , 9:58pm by FromScratch

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Larkin121 Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:03pm
post #1 of 11

Is this faulty thinking?

When I make simple cupcakes (fancy flavors but just a swirl on top, no decorating), they take me very little time compared to a cake. I've seen that a lot of people charge the same for a cupcake as a slice of cake... I was thinking of charging less for the basic cupcakes, and then going up in price if they are decorated.

So, if my cakes are $5/slice, I was thinking of $3.00 as a base price for a cupcake with a simple swirl, maybe $3.25 for a filled cupcake. If they want fondant flowers on top, it would be more. If they want highly detailed, like the zebra striped ones I did, or other fancy designs with pearls, etc, it would be on par with the cake prices.

We have several just cupcake businesses around here, and they all price at $3/ cupcake. Some of those are filled, some are not. None of those are decorated. The one place that offers decorated cupcakes charges $1/cupcake extra for fondant decorations. The only difference from me is that all but one of these companies is a store front, with large quantities of cupcakes produced per day... not many companies here offer just custom ordered cupcakes for events (I think there might be one, but it's pretty new).

Thoughts? Would this pricing make sense? Do you have a better idea?

(Am I asking too many questions on this business forum before I even have a business going? lol)

10 replies
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jenmat Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:39pm
post #2 of 11

personally, I think you're on the right track. I wish I could get $5/slice for cake around here, but every market is different. I charge less for cupcakes, and I have the same policy you do- just icing, they pay extra for deco. Cupcakes themselves aren't all that time consuming, but if you need gumpaste roses on each one, or zebra stipes as you said, then the price should go up big time- they could take almost as much time as decorating a wedding cake! Then transporting them is a little more work.... so take that into account- the boxes or tins you'll need will add up quickly for a 300 person wedding, which is the average around here!

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Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 5:15pm
post #3 of 11

I would say you are also on track..$3.00 per cupcake is around the going rate for a simple swirled cupcake.Just because you find them easy to do and less time doesn't mean you should short change yourself when charging for them.If you plan to do this as a business you have to look at in in business terms ..meaning profit.It all takes time to mix,bake,decorate etc and you factor in electricity,use of tools as well.

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snarkybaker Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 7:23pm
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We charge $3.25 per cupcake, and our cake prices start at $4.50 per serving. I can justify it because I can have virtually anyone who works for me, including $7.50 an hour counter help slap a swirl on a cupcake. Icing a cake takes one of my kitchen staff, who start at $12 an hour.

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Larkin121 Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 7:39pm
post #5 of 11

Thanks, Snarky! That's what I was looking for, confirmation that some people charge less for cupcakes than their per cake slices. Do you also offer decorated cupcakes, and do you charge more for those?

Jentreu, 300 people is the average where you are?! WOW! I've yet to be at a wedding with more than 100 people, however, I've also yet to be at a wedding with more than a $15k budget. I'm sure they're here, but just not in my network of people.

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snarkybaker Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 8:07pm
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$3.25 is for the cupcake, period. If they want the schnazz, it's more. My average wedding cupcakes runs about $4.00 We do discount for quantities over 5 dozen.

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Lenette Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 9:33pm
post #7 of 11

This topic is timely for me. I am going to start offering "gourmet" cupcakes. In the past when I have done wedding cupcakes I charged $2 since they were decorated. I usually charge just $1.50 for a swirl of icing.
My wedding cakes start at $3 per serving, party cakes around $2.

There is one cupcake storefront here and they start around $3, I don't think they do decorating though.

Anywhoo, I find them easy and quick to do but have been debating on whether to charge the base at $1.50 or $2.00. The responses so far have been helpful to me. If you have any direct feedback on my pricing, I am here to learn.


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mandymomof3 Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 3:41am
post #8 of 11

Oh man, I wish even $3 per slice. I'm lucky to get $1 here.

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Mensch Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 5:57am
post #9 of 11

Mandy.... raise your prices and they'll still order. You need to shake off that mind-set 'I'm lucky to get $1.00'. Don't be your own enemy.

My cuppies start at 3.60 with a 1M swirl and sprinkles.

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jenmat Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 6:50pm
post #10 of 11

yeah- average this summer for wedding count is 300-400. I have several with 600+. Crazy, right? Big farm families, where everyone knows everyone.... its Wisconsin!

I charge $1.25 for cupcakes though, and $2.15 for cake. That's pretty average around here too- I'm a little low, but will up it this off season. Cupcakes are just starting to gain popularity again around here- it seemed to me that they took a snooze for a while.

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FromScratch Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 9:58pm
post #11 of 11

That's exactly what I do. Cakes are $5/serving cupcakes start at $3 each unfilled with a simple swirl of BC. Filled are $3.50 each and decorated and filled are $4 each BC $5 each fondant.

Works for me. icon_smile.gif

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