This isn't exactly about cakes, more about business. Hope that's ok.
I've been asked to provide muffins to a local coffee shop. I haven't made many muffins in the past but I figured I could do it so I said sure. Up until now they have been getting muffins from the grocery store but I guess the store changed something about their muffins so they stopped getting them there.
I took in my first 3 doz. muffins and realized they were so small compared to what they'd been getting. They said that was alright, just could I make them bigger next time. They said they were going to have to sell them for $1 instead of the $1.75 like they had been.
I came home and tried everything I could to make them bigger. I doubled the batter in each cup, I baked them differently so they would get taller. So the second batch was a lot bigger than the first ones but not quite as big as the ones in the grocery store. They said they were still too small but if I wanted to keep trying, ok.
So this is where I am right now. I weighed one of mine against one of the store's and they weigh the same! It took me FOREVER to figure out how the stores make theirs. I'm pretty sure they bake them in a regular size muffin tin but they use 2"tall muffin liners. I have looked ALL over for liners that size. I can't find them.
Now that you've read all that, my question is: how do I handle this? I'm frustrated with the coffee shop people.
Have you tried baking in the jumbo sized muffin liners? You can get them at Michael's if you want to experiment. I'm pretty sure that they are 2"+.
I'm not a big muffin baker, so I don't know how to get muffins taller. But, I know with cupcakes, if I preheat my oven for half an hour at 400F, then reduce it down to 325F as soon as I put the cuppies in, they dome up nice and high.
Are you baking from scratch? If so, I'll bet that's what the issue is. The grocery store would almost certainly be using a mix, which always bake up higher and lighter (and more cake-like). Homemade muffins are denser - hence the same weight for a smaller muffin.
I'm curious how you can make money at this. If the coffee shop's selling at $1.75, and you are selling to them for less..... Not a criticism - I'm just interested.
Have you thought of using this kind of muffin pan -
(blocked) = shop bakers nook . com
no spaces tho
This king sized muffin pan is great for making giant cupcakes and giant muffins. There are 6 non-stick caviities on the king sized muffin pan and they measure 2-1/4" at the base, 3" high and 3-1/2" across the top.
They also sell the tall white muffin paper cases.
I just converted your $1.00 into Australian $$$'s = $1.10
Are you going to be making any profit after making and delivering them?
If you are getting too frustrated/frazzled with the Coffee Shop - just say -
I cannot make and deliver for that price -
Unless of course you buy everything wholesale - but even then - $1.00 seems very cheap.
Here in Australia you wouldn't buy a muffin that big for anything less than $4.00 - even $5.50 in some coffee shops.
Hope the link helps you a bit for what you are looking for.
I agree with another poster. The box mix will make them rise higher than homemade. Also, check your baking powder and make sure it's not expired.
Do you want to keep trying for the 'right size' for them? And please tell me you are getting paid for the ones you have done already?
I wouldn't rush out and buy new pans unless you just want them. I would tell them that the last size is the size you can do and if that isn't going to work for them, then maybe they need to look somewhere else?
I think baking for someone to resale comes with all sorts of problems. Make sure if you do keep doing it that you are getting paid a fair amount. Not what they think is a fair amount so they can make money but what you deseve to make.
As a business....I don't understand why they are trippin'.
I mean have you seen the products in the grocery stores lately? Everything has been reduced in size and the price has gone up! Cereal, paper towels. Even My girl scout cookies shrank!
Ok, yes, I'm being a bit funny...but I'm still serious on the topic. They could still have your new size muffin and still sell it at the regular price. Sounds like the coffee shop needs a business lesson.
If I owned the shop, that's what I'd do.
The grocery store is almost certainly using a commercial mix that has all kinds of emulsifiers, preservatives, and other ingredients that you don't use as a scratch baker. It will be almost impossible to get your scratch muffins as light and high as theirs, as you are using quality ingredients. Homemade muffins are denser.
So, if you ever do get a muffin as tall, it will be heavier, and take more batter, so fewer muffins from each batch. Can you make a profit? Especially at the price you mentioned? I couldn't...
Are you using a commercail muffin pan? They are double of what the home ones are.
Thanks so much for your input. Right now I it costs me (on average) $6 for a dozen muffins. I'm willing to not make much because I think that later this will be more profitable for me. Though she will be making a decent amount on them.
I hadn't even thought about the scratch/mix thing. I do mine from scratch and that would explain the difference. I don't think they could possibly be taller unless I used a different muffin liner. I don't want to put anymore into it than I have already.
Bluehue, thanks for the link. I looked into those and it would take at least twice as much batter and she doesn't want them that big.
Cakeforte, that is an excellent point. Too bad she doesn't see it that way. Though they're getting the same amount of stuff!
At this point I've just explained the issue (though if I need to explain more i'll insert the scratch/mix thing!) and they can do what they want with it. They've been selling them for $1 a piece so I think the customers are getting a deal.
Muffins for that price are a loss leader. The shop is banking on getting the customer in for a good deal then mopping up on expensive fancy coffees, teas, soup....you get the picture. Grocery stores and other retailers do this weekly thru their circulars.
I have seen the very tall liners at the dollar store- and i have found spraying the liners before adding the batter helps too! Make sure you get your fair share from the deal- and check out this awesome muffin site- the double chocolate ones are to die for!!
Best of luck in your endeavors!! Once you have one business under your belt it will make it easy to approach other businesses with a sample tray and a menu- increase your profits!
Thanks so much everyone. You're great!
Hey there Tellis12. I used to make muffins every week for my job at a farmer's market and they were huge and heavy.We would make them from scratch in really large quanities. We used the big disposable muffin pans, but if we ran out of those we would use the large orange cups that Ateco makes. They are simiular to the larger white ones at michaels or ac moore. We also would use the same recipe for our banana bread as our banana muffins and our pumpkin bread for our pumpkin muffins and so on. We also would use two different ice cream scoops to fill up our muffin pans. You would start with the green scoop ( i think its 3.25 oz) and then add a yellow scoop( 2.50 oz) on top. We would make them from scratch and then freeze them for the week and bake them off as needed so we weren't throwing out too many at a time.
One time I put way too much milk in our chocolate chip muffins and they did not bake up as high as normal. They were still really good, but they did not rise as much as our other muffins. Anyway, I noticed that the less liquids I would put in, the more they would rise and become more fluffy. I hope everything ends up working out!
Jess, thanks for the tips. You can freeze the batter? I've never tried that. Do I need to do anything special for that?