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« Happy Canada Day! All Hail the Nanaimo Bar! | Main | Baked Good of the Day: Boston Cream Cupcake, Molly's Cupcakes, Chicago »

How Much Would You Pay for a Cupcake? And a Giveaway

Chocolate chocolate chocolate cupcake

In the age of lavishly decorated and creatively flavored gourmet cupcake masterpieces, how much is too much to pay for one of these sweet treats?

I have long wondered what people consider the monetary line which they will not go above when it comes to seeking cupcake sweetness. Why so curious? Well, I am notoriously nosy about people's baked good preferences and thoughts. And also, I'm one of the people who remembers way back when Magnolia Bakery's cupcakes were under $2 apiece.

So, please, leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on how much you'd pay for a cupcake. Do you have a "strictly under $5" policy? Or do you have a sliding scale based on size, intricacy, fillings, etc? 

Leave a comment in the comments section (moderation is enabled so don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away) or leave your thoughts on my Facebook page, and not only will I greedily read your replies, but I'll enter each commenter's name in a pool to win a pair of my awesome "Trifecta" socks featuring artwork of cupcakes, unicorns, and robots! They're fantastic to wear when walking or running to a bakery. I'll randomly pick a winner one week from now, at noon on Sunday, July 8th, 2012.


UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER! The randomly-chosen winner was Anna of California, who said "Locally (SF Bay Area), I won't pay over 3.50.  There's tons of cupcakeries that are that price or lower.  While traveling to a specific, well known bakery, i would go up to 5.00.  But i'd be buying ONE...  i'd never buy a dozen for 5 bucks.  So if you are thinking about doing some pricing i would take that into consideration - if you want repeat clientele from near by, and clients that buy quantity not just one, than keep it affordable." 

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Reader Comments (52)

I would have a hard time paying more than 4 bucks for a cupcake. I'm more a fan of classic cupcakes too--don't mess with the cake by adding jams, curds etc. So that keeps my price point down, filled cakes are more pricey.
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
I stick to under $5.00 for mini cupcakes, under $7.00 for a regular and under $10.00 for a big one. Sometimes, if they are really pretty or fancy flavours, I ignore the price. Love these socks!!!
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterTitia
Good question! I think my soft limit would be $4, unless I was ordering it in a fancier sit-down restaurant, or unless it looked INSANELY GOOD. :)
July 1 | Unregistered Commentersara
I dont care about price if its GOOD. And by good, I mean high quality. Ok, maybe a bit of a food snob, but I love my cake! And I love those socks!
The price I will pay for a cupcake is the same as the price I will pay for a latte. If I pay over $4.50 for either of them I will not be returning to that cafe. $3.50 is what I'd expect to pay before tax & tip.
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
Cupcakes Are In

Prices soar
I'll still take one more! _
Red velvet -a favorite _
Bacon bourbon brittle, just a little _
And chocolate walnut beats doughnuts any day _
$2 or 10 _
if it's good, I'll be back again _
But I won't pay $11 _

The End
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
If I'm traveling and I spy a promising cupcake store, price is not much of a factor. However, in my own neighborhood I am generally not inclined to pay more than $4 for a cupcake. (The difference, of course, is that cupcakes in my own neighborhood could become an expensive habit.)
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterToni
I feel like 3-4 bucks is my line, unless it had some expensive ingredients in it or something. I've been to places that charged $2.50 for a pretty small cupcake that was poor in quality and was very frustrated.
know that I am a cheapskate: no more than $2.00. but my tastes are also simple... i am probably just as happy with a cake mix homemade treat, or a Hostess cupcake.
I would utilize a sliding scale to judge, but even so... my happiness derivation would start to become more and more inversely proportional to the increasing dollar amount. (I'd pay around $5 max for a cupcake - based on my current budget!)
July 1 | Unregistered Commentermc
I have a rule that a cupcake or dessert must be under $4 - unless it come straight out of the oven, or is bigger than my head :)
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna
I am definitely of the "under 5 dollars" philosophy. it's just a cupcake. Call me cheap or whatever but no matter how fancy or pretty, no way i'm spending more than that.
July 1 | Unregistered Commenterlayla
The price really depends on things like size, fillings, topping, etc etc. But the MAX I am willing to pay for a cupcake would be $5!
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui
My limit is $5.00 for a cupcake.
July 1 | Unregistered CommenterJudy R
I'd say five dollars unless it was encrusted with gold and blessed by a unicorn or something.
July 2 | Unregistered CommenterApril
Depends on who made the cupcake, what's in the cupcake, whether or not it's filled and how big it is. If it's big, filled, and has unique ingredients (liquor, fruit, etc)... then I'd pay up to $5.00. But if it's small, unfilled and a basic flavor... no more than $2.50 or $3.00.
Had a great cupcake the other day it was 3 bucks. Any more than that, and I'd pass.
July 2 | Unregistered Commenterncnnie
The max that I'd probably pay is $4, but I'd apply a sliding scale. If there are high quality ingredients/unique flavors i'd pay more.
July 2 | Unregistered Commenterlaura
I would pay between $3-$5, but it has to be a cupcake I have either never heard of or haven't made at home. If it is a standard flavor I can make/have made, I pass.
July 2 | Unregistered CommenterSarah C.
I will try one at a price over $5, but if I'm not impressed, I won't return and waste my money. So I guess, under $5 it is.
July 2 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie S
I'm not a big fan of cupcakes - probably under 4.00 is my limit - I did pay almost $4 for a Doughnut Plant doughnut and $4 for Levain's chocolate chip cookie - but those I love!
July 2 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Can I just look at the $5 cupcake and give you a dollar?? he he
July 2 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
I don't want to pay $4+. Like you mentioned in your post about Molly's, they are $3.75 and wind up at $4.11. Molly's is literally down the street from me, and I love them. So I pay that for a center-filled cupcake. However, I don't do that often because of the price (and calories). That seems to be about normal for cupcakes in this city, unfortunately, so I often just bake my own.
July 2 | Unregistered CommenterCate M
$5 If I'm buying one. $3 - 4 if I'm getting a dozen.
July 3 | Unregistered CommenterRoberta L
i think it all depends on size and complexity. in general, five dollars
July 3 | Unregistered Commentergail
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