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Cupcakes vs Tiered cake: Which do you prefer to make?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I used to think cupcakes were the easy way out but when you get to the realm of >/= 5 dozen cupcakes in a bazzillion flavors... not so much. Then I swear up and down when I'm doing a tiered cake that it is more work.

 

For 60 or more servings, which would you rather make: cupcakes or a single tiered cake? Why?

post #2 of 11

Tiered cake for sure. Takes much less time and space. Potentially hundreds of servings on a footprint of a square foot rather than your whole kitchen.

post #3 of 11

tiered cake definitely , I hate doing cupcakes, It is decorating three cakes vs 60 or more cakes. Not to mention baking them. 

I charge the earth for cupcakes, as I hate doing them. I don't know why people charge less for them than they do per portion of a whole cake. You have to decorate them individually so they are far more work. 

post #4 of 11
This is one of my pet peevs! For a while there, planners were telling brides that cupcakes were a more economical option. WRONG! For whatever reason, people feel entitled to eat more than one cupcake. While you don't need a piece of cake for each guest, I recommend close to guest count for cupcakes. Yes, they are less expensive per serving, but ya need more! Cupcakes also require more set up than say a "drop & run" 2 tier. Depending on flavor & decor cupcakes can end up being way more expensive! Don't even get me started on buffets (2.5 servings per guest)!

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #5 of 11

I guess I'm in the minority, but cupcakes hands down. I've been tracking my time lately to get an idea of my hourly rate and I can easily spend 12+ hours on a tiered cake by the time I add in gumpaste figures/flowers, making cakeboards, rolling fondant, etc. A cupcake swirl takes no time at all. Plus, tiered cakes (for me, at least) extend over several days whereas I can easily do 100+ cupcakes in one night (did 12 dozen last night in 4 hours!).

 

I do have a minimum of 1 dozen per flavor which probably helps keep some of the work down (not making a zillion flavors per order). But I find it's not too bad to leverage making a variety - i.e. last night I made 4 varieties but 2 had a chocolate cake base so easy peasy! And two of the frostings have the same buttercream base, so make a big batch, split in half then add flavorings.

 

From a creative standpoint, I prefer cakes but from a profit standpoint I'll sell cupcakes all day, everyday and twice on Sunday! Plus I find they are less stress. I can always find a flaw in a cake and I don't relax til it's in the customers hands and safe. But a cupcake swirl and some cute toppers? No worries :)

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Cupcakes are definitely not more economical. Folks almost always go for more than one. I once did an order for 7 dozen cupcakes in 7 flavors. Totally not worth it since almost all the recipes were different. Must have made 5 or 6 different batters. While it was a fun order, from a business stand point, not so much.
post #7 of 11

I prefer cupcakes because I find them less stressful. I also limit the number of flavors I'll make for one order.

 

I'll make 3 different flavors max unless they are similar bases and buttercreams, example: choc cupcake with vanilla smbc, vanilla cupcake with vanilla smbc, choc cupcake with choc smbc and vanilla cupcake with choc smbc. I won't do carrot and chocolate and strawberry and vanilla and lemon....

 

If the client asks why, I explain that when you include a crazy amount of flavors, you will need to order much more because people will want to try each and every flavor. If they insist, I suggest they choose a new baker. I don't need the headache.
 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I see the sense in limiting the flavors, especially for a home baker who does not have a shop where these flavors are made anyway. I mentioned this in a thread in the business section where we discussed economy of scale and maximizing one's output. Thank God for learning experiences. Now I know better. 

 

Another advantage of a tiered cake is that it limits the number of flavors, forcing the client and me to select the best-liked flavors. I've never liked a spread where there are limited numbers of a million flavors. What if the guests really like flavor X and there are only 12 cupcakes available? 

post #9 of 11

Cupcakes are the bane of my caking existence! I dread when I get a call and its another display cake/cupcake wedding.  Give me a tiered cake any day!  As others have posted, my pricing on my cupcakes are about the same as my per serving on my wedding cakes and people eat more of them.  More servings = more money for the bride not less.  The baking of multiple batters and then the different fillings and icings. icon_cry.gif  So exhausting.  And then they usually want each one decorated.  I could have to make literally hundreds of sugar art pieces for a cupcake wedding wherein for a tiered cake there might only be dozens.

 

I have had a lot of weddings lately and have some booked for next year wherein there are cupcakes ordered in a plethora of flavors for a gourmet tasting experience.  Then the brides have a coordinated cutting cake.  I guess it is my own fault as I make gourmet type cupcakes like creme brulee, dark chocolate with ganache and raspberries, etc.  But I continue to take the orders because as long as they are willing to pay basically the same price as a tiered cake would cost - money is money. 

Creating works of art every chance I get! And yes, I am licensed, permitted, inspected and insured! Check out my website!

 

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Creating works of art every chance I get! And yes, I am licensed, permitted, inspected and insured! Check out my website!

 

www.letmecallyousweetart.com

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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartsnsync View Post

Cupcakes are the bane of my caking existence! I dread when I get a call and its another display cake/cupcake wedding.  Give me a tiered cake any day!  As others have posted, my pricing on my cupcakes are about the same as my per serving on my wedding cakes and people eat more of them.  More servings = more money for the bride not less.  The baking of multiple batters and then the different fillings and icings. icon_cry.gif  So exhausting.  And then they usually want each one decorated.  I could have to make literally hundreds of sugar art pieces for a cupcake wedding wherein for a tiered cake there might only be dozens.

 

I have had a lot of weddings lately and have some booked for next year wherein there are cupcakes ordered in a plethora of flavors for a gourmet tasting experience.  Then the brides have a coordinated cutting cake.  I guess it is my own fault as I make gourmet type cupcakes like creme brulee, dark chocolate with ganache and raspberries, etc.  But I continue to take the orders because as long as they are willing to pay basically the same price as a tiered cake would cost - money is money. 

^^ This. I have had more cupcake orders than tiered cake orders, and I can't find justification for turning them down to be honest.

post #11 of 11
I enjoy doing the tiered cakes as well as cupcakes.

Definately do agree that the cupcakes use more supplies, ingredients etc, on the plus side I find they take less time.

For my December orders I've found that most of my brides and clients ordering cakes are doing smaller tiered cakes and then also ordering packaged cupcakes favours.

I only do 5 standard flavours, with either a buttercream, fondant, mousse or fruit and cream topping though.
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