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Topic: Cupcake pricing - am I wrong?
Grammyto5 10/11/2012 8:56 PM
I got an order for 120 cupcakes. I did 60 yellow cake and 60 chocolate. I used my buttercream recipe and put a black fondant musical note of each (they are for a band). I packaged them in plastic clamshells (12 to a container). I used a 2M swirl tip to jazz them up. Mind you, I had to order the fondant cutter + postage on it. I charged my customer $1.25 each and I will be delivering them 60 miles one way (gas + $10.90 in tolls). My customer thanked me for giving her such a good price. Here's the kicker. They are for my granddaughter's friend. My DIL emailed me and thought the price was high, considering she was my granddaughter's best friend!!!! I thought it was a very fair price, considering ingredients, decoration, packaging (not to mention that I am putting the containers in a plastic bakery bag), delivery, etc.
What do my esteemed baker friends think? I live in NJ. Now, I'm really concerned, as I'm doing a 2 tier castle cake and cookie favors for HER Aunt next week. The more I think about it, my family doesn't have a clue what these things cost, as I make the cakes and cookies for birthdays, holidays and cookie gifts at Christmas for teachers, etc. Grrr. The more I type, the madder I'm getting. Tell me if I overpriced these cuppies, please!!!!!!
preetscake 10/11/2012 9:27 PM
???????????? $1.25 each including delivery? I would charge $30 per dozen + atleast $40 for delivery.
Considering that this is for your grand daughter's friends,even with discount you should not charge less than $1.75 per cupcake..even Wegman's bakery cupcake is $2 each.....but this is just my opinion!
HebberD 10/11/2012 9:38 PM
I had an issue similar to this when I did 4 full sheet cakes for my Great Aunt's 90th Birthday. I have always charged somewhere in the vicinity of $1 a slice for my sheet cakes. That probably seems cheap to most but in the small rural area that I live that is a medium to high price. So when I gave her the total price for the cake, she about passed out. Though he said it jokingly her son came up to me later and asked if I could take back the two cakes that they hadn't cut in to. (They ordered way more than they needed) I of course told him no. But his mom was not happy about paying the bill. In reality I didn't make a lot on the cakes but because it was family I gave her what I thought was the best I could do and still make some profit. I also had to deliver but only about 20 minutes from here. Like you said, people just don't seem to understand how much it costs to make these cakes, much less our time. I know I have learned that next time family orders I am going to be very honest with them about what it costs to do them and then let them decide whether they think my quality is worth it. ANYWAY... in answer to your question, I say your price was right on for all the details you put on them. Stick to your prices and let the customers choose whether they want to pay it. If we start making exceptions for every friend and neighbor we won't make anything on what we are doing.
mmumsie 10/11/2012 10:48 PM
Unfortunately everyone wants a bargain! If they know you a little bit, that's when it the worse.

I have people call my business and ask for discounts all the time. They want wholesale prices! They are nuts.

I charge a lot more for my cupcakes. They were a steal! I bet if you broke everything down after supplies, utilities, clean up, fuel, and delivery time,... you probably got paid $.25 a cupcake. So don't cheat yourself unless you wish to work for free. I agree to stick to your prices, but I would raise them too.
Good luck!
whoknew? 10/11/2012 11:59 PM
You are doing the classic response that I see on CakeCentral ALL the time. You are letting someone else who is close to you dictate how YOU do your business and pricing.

The person who mattered, the customer (your granddaughter's best friend), has apparently some idea of pricing for custom/delivered cupcakes and was appreciative of your discounted pricing. The person who did not matter, your DIL, thought you were ripping off her kid's best friend.

To keep the peace, I suggest you research basic gourmet cupcake pricing from all of the cupcake places in New Jersey. Share this information with your DIL. Educate her with kindness and tiny little words that she can understand.

The prices range from $1.50 for a basic, swirled, gourmet cupcake that is purchased in the store, not delivered. THESE ARE NOT MADE TO ORDER/DELIVERED/WITH CUSTOM THEME TOPPERS.

House of Cupcakes: $2.25 basic swirl
Mr. Cupcakes: $1.50
Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies, box of 8 cupcakes shipped same day, $49
cupcakes by carousel, $2.95 per cupcake
Jarets Stuffed Cupcake, $3.50
Sweet Avenue Bake Shop, $3.00


Have you already quoted a price to the Aunt for the 2 tier castle cake and cookie favors? Do you have a written agreement or a verbal agreement? (Written is ALWAYS best.) I'd suggest you contact the Aunt tomorrow and confirm the pricing for the cake and cookies.

Don't second guess yourself and your business profits because someone else needs to be educated.
trecur 10/12/2012 6:18 AM
I live in Chicago and bought a cupcake from Magnolia bakery. I paid almost $4 for it. It was a german chocolate cc with equal amounts of topping as cake (which was on the dry side) and no decorations. They don't understand how much quality costs. I think your price was fair. Good luck
sweetgrandma 10/12/2012 7:09 AM
If your dil expects cheap she should consider WalMart. Othersise she should keep her opinion to herself.
krzykakes 10/12/2012 11:52 AM
lol I agree with sweetgrandma...I have no opinion on cupcake pricing because I charge less also but thats gonna stop real soon.
ginnyl 10/12/2012 4:36 PM
For custom cupcakes I charge $30.00 a dozen..
And, every order, whether for friend, family or client gets a written contract with costs..baked item, delivery, special display items, etc...I am fortunate to have a family that appreciates and understands how much time, love and talent I put into my cake orders..The respect my prices..repeat clients do get a 10% discount on second way of thanking them for their continued patronage..
But,, my prices are my prices..I am in business to make a profit but I am fair..
Grammyto5 10/15/2012 10:58 PM
Love your reply SweetGrandma!!! My customer loved the cupcakes, the band loved them, her daughter loved them. She was happy with my price. She is a baker (Christmas cookies, rugelach, etc.) and so, I assume, she realizes the costs and work involved. Yes, I have firmed up the castle cake and cookie order.
That customer is also happy with the pricing!!! I can't even try to beat Entemann's or Costco or Walmart!!!
Homemade baked goods are just that....homemade and they taste a lot better than store-bought! I'm getting over my mad!!!! Thanks for letting me vent! You guys are the greatest!
Baker_Rose 10/16/2012 11:56 AM
I too am in a rural town. I can't charge the higher prices that I see city cakers charging. However, my cost of living is lower as well, so it's give and take.

I charge $15 for a basic dozen of cupcakes. First, each dozen is one flavor, so if you want two flavors that is two dozen. I will only make more flavors if I am making more than 6 dozen.

For that price I have cupcake with a buttercream swirl and colored sprinkles or a piped buttercream rosebud and leaf. Any other decoration increases the price. I actually don't do many cupcakes, just on occasion do I have orders, so I finally set up a price.

If I'm paying $4 for ONE cupcake it had better be pretty special.

AND, all delivery charges are separate from the cost of the item. I ONLY include delivery on certain orders (large orders from my mother's church and immediate family members), every one else pays delivery.

If you let people strong arm you with your prices you will have more and more people doing just that. Have a set price for things so that you aren't himing and hawing over the price making them think it's up for haggling. Answer questions with a professional voice and don't back down.

I could see someone saying something about a closer relationship, but your Granddaughter's friend isn't close enough for me to discount a price that is quite low to begin with. Many people think since they know someone who does cakes that somehow puts them in the "I know a guy" mentality and so they somehow will get a deal, for no other reason than "...I have a cake guy....."

Beeram26 08/28/2015 3:47 PM
Ok question, I'm new to this baking cupcakes business and I'm just getting out there. Just not sure what the going rate is for cupcakes by the dozen. Now I know a cupcake goes for $3 but that a normal cupcake, mine are made with alcohol made and gourmet , where I'm baking is not a very high end city. Its the beach and not a lot of money here. So what would be a good price for a dozen? Tia
trybaking06 08/28/2015 6:11 PM
Glad you are calming down now. After reading comments about pricing on this forum and cakecentral, I would have no problem giving people my price and explaining that I’m a custom not like grocery store bakeries.
trybaking06 08/28/2015 6:11 PM
Glad you are calming down now. After reading comments about pricing on this forum and cakecentral, I would have no problem giving people my price and explaining that I’m a custom not like grocery store bakeries.
whoknew? 08/28/2015 8:13 PM
Beeram26~~Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately, no one on this forum (or any other cake forum) can give you an answer; there are simply too many variables. Please read this superb pricing article, decide if you wish to order the software, decide if you wish to be a licensed, legal seller in your state/county, and do the necessary work to cost out your baked goods and overhead, and do some price comparisons in your geographic area.

How Much Should I Charge for my Cakes?
PattyDif 08/30/2015 10:30 AM
I have done a market analysis for bakeries in my area. I price mine within the median to high price. Average price in my area is between $2.75 to $4. I price mine at $3.25 each or $30 for a dozen. I give a per dozen discount to bump up my sales. My cupcakes are gourmet flavors and decorations. I don't sell plain ole cupcakes in vanilla and chocolate because they are fairly common amongst the bakeries around me. I promote myself as a gourmet custom cake shop.
PattyDif 08/30/2015 10:32 AM
Oh, and I forgot to add I live just north of Philadelphia, about 40 minutes away so having the big city close by makes the prices in my area fairly high for custom baked goods. My favorite cupcake shop in Philly charges $4.25 to $5 per cupcake!
whoknew? 08/30/2015 3:08 PM
Patty~~I'm curious, what cupcake flavor(s), frosting combo(s) do you purchase at your favorite cupcake shop in Philly? Can you re-create the same cupcake or does it turn out different when you make it?

Sugar Pie 08/31/2015 7:44 AM
Has anyone noticed that this thread was started in 2012? I had all kinds of thoughts and answers going through my head for and about the DIL. The little guy with the pitchfork was having a heyday! That being said....My brother came home from the big city last summer for several months and worked with me on a a daily basis. He thought I might as well hang out a sign...."Will work for free!" He has much more of a business sense than I do. When he would take the orders, he began raising prices. Cupcakes were the hardest thing for me to quote a price on. In my mind I'm thinking I'm ripping people off, and it was embarrassing to quote a price. Now why on earth would I think that to begin with?!! Perhaps it's the size of the product. If you really think about it, the customer is getting a pretty good serving size. It most cases, a lot more icing than what is on a normal serving size of cake. Why not charge per serving like you would with a cake? They each one have a special decoration on top. You handle each one separately. Packaging isn't cheap. You're constantly filling that icing bag back up to pipe more icing. Why should the cupcake be cheap? That's just a few things we need to think about. My brother gave me a pretty good piece of advice. Do NOT charge your customer according to your own pocketbook! He knows that I watch my money. I like bargains and free stuff. When I was pricing my baked goods, I was pricing according to what MY pocketbook would pay.....and remember.... I said I liked bargains and free?!! Sometimes it's a good thing to let someone help you with your pricing that has a better sense of business than you do. Who wants to work for free? Actually, who wants to throw everyone in the neighborhoods parties and supply the big fabulous cake, cupcakes and cookies for free? It's something to think about. Whoknew?, you are a smart lady! I think you should teach a class and write a book about the business aspect of running a cake business. This sounds bad, might even try knocking some sense into some of us. And I say that jokingly and out of love. It's a phrase I've heard all of my life. I'm not into violence or the bully system. Let' make some cupcakes and let's make some money.
preetscake 08/31/2015 8:41 AM
Yeah, this thread started back in 2012...Now I charge $36 a dozen for simple cupcakes with filling and upto $50 a dozen for those with intricate toppers such as a pair of heel or cutouts.
If it's just an icing swirl with no toppers, it's $30 a dozen.
Cupcakes can be sometimes more tedious than a cake! Agreed with all the wise people on pricing!:-))