8 reasons why cupcakes are your very best friend

Bright Swirl Cupcakes_Small

Before we get to talking about why cupcakes are great, here is a little known fact about decorated cookies: We all know decorated cookies take a LOT of time to make, bake and decorate. We all know that in most cases, they are worth far more than the price we charge for them. But still, how often do you hear this from your customers: “I love your decorated cookies but I’ll have to pass as they are not in my price range”? I’ve even heard many cookiers say: “I couldn’t afford to buy my own cookies!”

What does this have to do with cupcakes? Well, we’re going to compare a few things. But first, here’s why cupcakes are your best friend:

Chocolate and swiss meringue_Small

1- They are a great price point for your customer
2- They take a fraction of the time to make compared to decorated cookies
3- Cupcake orders are generally one flavour/one design per dozen.
(As opposed to cookies where you can have various designs per order)
4- They are about 400% more profitable than cookies.
5- They are sold locally = no shipping
6- They are great for parties, events, birthdays, you name it!
7- Cupcakes require little to no design time (back and forth with the customer)
8- Almost everyone loves cupcakes because lets face it: they are delicious.

Chocolate Cupcakes_Small

Now here is where we start comparing Decorated Cookie profits versus Cucpake profits. Don’t worry, I kept it short and simple. (I left out the price of equipment like mixers and cookie cutters, and also services such as electricity and water, as well as packaging materials, just to keep it a more simple comparison. I also left out the cookie designing time.)


Lets look at a common scenario:
• 1 dozen cookies sold for 36$.
• Total of 2.5 hours making the dough, cutting, baking, making icing, colouring icing, filling icing bags/bottles, and cleanup.
• Then, lets say 4 hours to decorate. We’re up to 6.5 hours.
• Packaging and boxing: 30 minutes.
• Total of 7 hours.
• Lets also suppose that the butter and other ingredients comes to 4$ for one single recipe.
• 36 – 4 = 32 divided by 7 = 4.57$ hourly
How close to this scenario are you?

(Cupcakes with a buttercream swirl. NOT cupcakes decorated with fondant. That’s a whole other ballgame)

2 dozen cupcakes sold at 2$ each = 48$
• Making cake batter: 25 minutes
• Preparing 24 cupcake liners, and pouring the batter into them: 15 minutes
• Making 1 frosting flavour and filling pastry bag: 20 minutes
• Frosting 24 cupcakes: 15 minutes
• Packing cupcakes into cupcake box and adding sticker (and maybe a ribbon if that’s how you roll): 20 minutes
• Cleanup: 25 minutes
• Total of 2 hours.
• Ingredient cost, lets say about the same as cookies: 4$ for ingredients.
• 48$ -4$ = 44$ divided by 2 hours = 22$ hourly

Things that make you go hmmmm.

Lemon Cupcake_Small

I find that with cookies, I get excited about all the different designs I can make. But with cupcakes, I get excited with all the different flavours I can play with. I want to try each. and. every. one: Chocolate. Vanilla. Maple. Keylime. Pina Colada. Strawberry shortcake. Cookie dough. Champagne. Orange/chocolate. Lemon. Carrot. Coconut cream pie. White chocolate. Cherry. Banana cream pie. Turtle. Peanut butter cup. Salted caramel. raspberry… and the list goes on and on.

So in conclusion, I would like to specify that I am certainly not encouraging anyone to stop making decorated cookies. Bur rather, I am suggesting that a variety of different products can make a big difference on the number of sales and amount of income you make from your baking.

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Colorful Swirl Cupcakes in Box with label


  1. Elizabeth – This is such a great post and to be honest, I’ve never even really thought about it this way. I have been asked if I do cakes, which I’ve never really done, but maybe I should add cupcakes into the equation to balance things out. You’ve definitely given me something to ponder here as I try to transition my hobby into a full-time business.

    • Thank you so much Colleen! Once I added cupcakes to my menu, they sold as much as my cookies. I sold my cookies 60$ per dozen once I figured out that anything below that was just not worth my time. So my customers were happy to have my cupcake option at 2$-2,89$ each. And I was happy to make the cupcakes because they were fairly easy and very much worth my time. I highly recommend adding cupcakes to the menu :)

  2. Hmmm, like I said on Facebook, I figured as much! I have a cake friend in town, so I feel a cupcake option would be out for me and taking away her business, BUT I know that drop cookies are so much easier and faster to make. It would probably be the same with drop cookies vs. decorated? I am wondering if I couldn’t add that in the mix to balance things out…and give myself a break from the labor of detailed sugar cookies! :) Thanks for a great post to get my wheels turning, Elizabeth!

  3. Cupcake are great! They are so cost effective and so easy to make…even some basis decor sets you ahead of the curve. And who doesn’t love a cupcake!!! Great post Elizabeth!!

  4. Hi! Great comparison. This alone is why I do both cookies and cupcakes. On a fun order sometimes I get to combine a cupcake with a cookie topper :). Thanks for your added info.

  5. Thanks for sharing these info Elizabeth!!! :)

  6. I agree 100% and love making cupcakes. I do however use fondant too and it is more work but a lovely results are able in allot less time.
    Great article! T xoxoxoxo

    • Thank you so much Tina! And I agree: Fondant work can be as time consuming as decorated cookies (or even more!) which is why this blog post focusses on cupcakes with a buttercream swirl. They take less time and are very profitable :)

  7. sherry ondrovich says:

    I Offer adult cupcakes, too. Chocolate stout. Blackberry Merlot. Raspberry Chardonnay and an apple Bourbon in the works. Love the idea!!! Thanks, Elizabeth

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