Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Cupcakes costs (mainly on the East Coast)

Hi, I live in North Carolina and I didn't do a lot of research on cupcakes in my area and only did one tasting and priced one place. I already booked the cupcakes, but they were only a $1 less than doing the cake. They are $3.50 each. Is it possible that this cost is expensive for cupcakes because I bet there are people who charge this much for cake slices so I feel like I didn't end up saving.

There aren't gourmet or anything, but the place is "local" which is why I went. I'm starting to regret my choice because with my guest count, plus the cutting cake, and travel feel I'm still paying $500 (which is the most I'd pay for a cake). Is $500 reasonable for including all that I said? 

Re: Cupcakes costs (mainly on the East Coast)

  • louxnoellelouxnoelle #patriotsnation member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited April 2015
    I was sourcing cupcakes too (New England), and found most to be in the $3ish range for really nice, good-sized cupcakes in fancier flavors. I think the cupcake trend is a thing because they're adorable and "pre-cut," not necessarily because of cost. Any chance of a discount on a bulk order?

    We decided to just go with a full-on cake because the cost was comparable. :)

    ETA: Cost was comparable because we would have been purchasing enough cupcakes for everybody to have both flavors, which would have put us in the $6-$7/guest range.
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  • Our cupcakes are 3 for the regular size and 1.75 for the mini (we're doing a mixture of both). It may be a comparable cost to the typical cake but I feel there is a chance for more variety with cupcakes than with regular cake.

    Of all the bakeries I looked at, your price is on the high end but definitely within the "norm".

  • I think the price you're paying for cupcakes is typical. 

    If you regret your choice and you're not super close to the wedding, ask your baker if they'd put your deposit toward doing a cake instead. If they don't make cakes, then you have two options: 1) stick with cupcakes, or 2) forfeit your deposit and go with a different baker who will make a cake.

    You really should look into getting a cake quoted. Because once you really add all the options, you're probably looking at more than $3.50/slice. The baseline cost is usually super basic flavors and fillings with just a basic buttercream frosting. There are often upcharges for flavors outside chocolate/vanilla, fillings, frostings, fondant... then you'll pay extra for design, number of tiers, set up, etc.... Make sure you know the whole picture/cost before you decide to switch.
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    Maggie0829
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We had cupcakes because H and I prefer cupcakes over cake.  Also us getting 135 cupcakes (in 5 different flavors) plus a 6 inch cake to cut, plus delivery and renting of the stands, plus custom cupcake wrappers was about the same price as buying a 3 tiered basic chocolate/vanilla butter cream iced cake.  For me to get a fancier cake (both in flavor and decoration) it would have cost us more.  So the decision was easy.

    FYI we paid $500 for our cupcakes.

    So basically your cupcakes cost the same as what you would get for a cake.  But what kind of cake would you be getting?  How elaborate would that cake be?  I mean if you got basic flavor cupcakes and would get the same basic flavor for a cake for the same cost then what is the issue?  I guess I am confused as to why does it matter if the cupcakes cost the same as a cake made of the same flavors and basic decor?  In the end it is cake and as long as the cake is good then that is all that matters.

  • Hi, I live in North Carolina and I didn't do a lot of research on cupcakes in my area and only did one tasting and priced one place. I already booked the cupcakes, but they were only a $1 less than doing the cake. They are $3.50 each. Is it possible that this cost is expensive for cupcakes because I bet there are people who charge this much for cake slices so I feel like I didn't end up saving.


    There aren't gourmet or anything, but the place is "local" which is why I went. I'm starting to regret my choice because with my guest count, plus the cutting cake, and travel feel I'm still paying $500 (which is the most I'd pay for a cake). Is $500 reasonable for including all that I said? 
    So, you didn't do any research, placed an order and now regret it. But you still don't want to do any research and are asking us to do it for you? Is that what's happening here?
    I didn't ask you to do any research, nor did you have to reply. I can not quote the price for the entire East Coast by myself. I just looked at another company (and then other companies after) last minute and was wondering if my price was typical. Obviously, this is my first time getting married so I wouldn't know. And I'm planning me wedding all by myself. I just started with a local company I already liked but than noticed the differences.

    Thanks to the help, people are telling me that it's the norm what I'm paying. I don't have a lot of money so I kind of have some financial anxiety. Thanks. 
    snowywinter
  • lnixon8lnixon8 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    OP when you're planning a wedding you don't have to research the whole east coast. Just a few local options. For people in the city local may mean 2 mile radius, other people may branch out to the different states if your options are that limited. But someone getting married in DC should not care what prices are like in NYC, Boston, Orlando, etc.

    Many of us are brides planning alone for the first time- my wedding hasn't happened and I'm already realizing I've made some mistakes (personalized favors) and regrets (pressured into a booking a photographer that is over budget). It happens, just try and do as much research as you can without driving yourself crazy. Good luck!




  • Hi, I live in North Carolina and I didn't do a lot of research on cupcakes in my area and only did one tasting and priced one place. I already booked the cupcakes, but they were only a $1 less than doing the cake. They are $3.50 each. Is it possible that this cost is expensive for cupcakes because I bet there are people who charge this much for cake slices so I feel like I didn't end up saving.


    There aren't gourmet or anything, but the place is "local" which is why I went. I'm starting to regret my choice because with my guest count, plus the cutting cake, and travel feel I'm still paying $500 (which is the most I'd pay for a cake). Is $500 reasonable for including all that I said? 
    So, you didn't do any research, placed an order and now regret it. But you still don't want to do any research and are asking us to do it for you? Is that what's happening here?
    I didn't ask you to do any research, nor did you have to reply. I can not quote the price for the entire East Coast by myself. I just looked at another company (and then other companies after) last minute and was wondering if my price was typical. Obviously, this is my first time getting married so I wouldn't know. And I'm planning me wedding all by myself. I just started with a local company I already liked but than noticed the differences.

    Thanks to the help, people are telling me that it's the norm what I'm paying. I don't have a lot of money so I kind of have some financial anxiety. Thanks. 


    This is super dramatic. Did you research the entire East coast for your other vendors? Google "bakery (city, state)" and get started. Find 3 or 4 you like and ask for quotes.
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  • 3 something is a little high. i am a hobby baker but i do cupcakes cake pops etc on the side special orders out of my house. i am in new england and the most i charge for a cupcake is 2.50 pp  
    my basics start at 2.00 includes chocolate vanilla, or redvelvet cupcakes  chocolate, vanilla buttercream and cream cheese icing, and chocolate or rainbow shots ( jimmies or sprinkles is what they call them in other parts of the usa) if they want one  of my gourmet flavors, sugar decorations or fondont its 2.50 pp  i dont charge delivery if its within a 30 minute drive from my house. if its out of my delivery area i do charge a small fee. 

    i would call around and see who can give you some prices and compare 

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    3 something is a little high. i am a hobby baker but i do cupcakes cake pops etc on the side special orders out of my house. i am in new england and the most i charge for a cupcake is 2.50 pp  

    my basics start at 2.00 includes chocolate vanilla, or redvelvet cupcakes  chocolate, vanilla buttercream and cream cheese icing, and chocolate or rainbow shots ( jimmies or sprinkles is what they call them in other parts of the usa) if they want one  of my gourmet flavors, sugar decorations or fondont its 2.50 pp  i dont charge delivery if its within a 30 minute drive from my house. if its out of my delivery area i do charge a small fee. 

    i would call around and see who can give you some prices and compare 

    But do you work out of your home?  Is it just you making these items or do you have employees?

    The reason why a cupcake from a bakery costs about $3.50 or more is because of overhead costs.  The baker needs to be able to pay not only for the cost of the ingredients but for the gas and electric, paychecks for employees, insurance, taxes, etc, etc.  When you are a hobby baker (not a true business) working out of your home then your overhead costs are much lower allowing you to charge less.

    MesmrEwefrenchiekin
  • I'm in Canada and can tell you, yep those prices are typical here and our food prices are higher than yours in the States. I find that in our area, our prices are comparable to New England prices.

    And yes, cakes and cupcakes will often cost the same. You make them the exact same way, with the same ingredients. You just ice them differently.
  • I'm getting married in Western Mass, and our cupcakes are $2.75/piece with an extra $20 for the cutting cake. I mentioned to the baker that we decided to go with cupcakes because they're cheaper than cake, and she said "Well actually, I charge the same price per serving for cupcakes AND cake!" So we'll really only be saving the cutting fee (an extra $1.25 per person). But I also love that we can do a few different flavors, so there are some pretty awesome benefits to cupcakes over cake, even if the savings aren't extraordinary. :)
    [Deleted User]
  • That seems to be the typical price for cupcakes. We are doing cake (for us) and cupcakes for guest!
  • I live in Boston are our cake is 6.50/slice.  3.50 for a cupcake sounds like a good price to me.  Most specialty cupcake shops charge $4+ for a cupcake.  
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In the Chicago area, bakery cupcakes are $3-4. It was cheaper to go with a cake.

  • We're doing cupcakes, with a small top cake tier for our cake topper to sit on. 3.50 sounds about standard. We're getting married on the outer banks in nc, where prices tend to be a bit higher and our cupcakes are $4.50 per. I just see SO much cake get wasted at weddings, cupcakes seemed like a better bet. They're easy to box up for guests to take home, even if they don't want cake at the reception.
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