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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)

No more than 4 dollars for me...
July 3 | Unregistered CommenterTK
I'd apply a sliding scale, but would have a hard time paying more than $5 for a cupcake. I'd also be more willing to pay for a cupcake that I couldn't easily make at home.
July 4 | Unregistered CommenterSara
I'm from upper Midwest, and there is no way that any of the locals would have paid $5 or more for a cupcake. However, since moving to the Seattle area, I can see how bakeries would charge that price. The quality of the ingredients and the complexity of the baking process can justify the heftier price. Personally, though, I have not purchased a cupcake over $4.00...YET. :) If something is darn good, then I think it is ok to indulge now and then and have a splurge on a tasty treat.
July 4 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
$4 is generally my limit...
July 4 | Unregistered Commentermbb
Financially speaking, I really can't pay more that $5 cupcakes. But if the little fluffy cloud of heaven is scrumptious enough, I might be tempted to pay a little more. But I definitely can't go over $10. But I like to bake, so that's not always an issue!
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterCillanoodle
Id like to say no more than $5 but if it was a cupcake I'd never tried before and it looked fabulous I might pay $6. Just don't tell my hubby! He'd think I was crazy.
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
$4 is my limit...and that has to be a really good-looking cupcake!
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterAmy C.
I might go to $5 if it was an exceptional cupcake, but I would still feel like I was overpaying. Too many of these gourmet cupcakes disappoint me at $3.
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterLibby B
Yikes! I guess I don't buy many cupcakes. I was thinking $2 sounded reasonable for one cupcake. Otoh, my own cupcakes are my favorite, so technically I guess I pay much less than that :-)
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
It depends. Locally (both in Monteal, QC and in San Antonio, TX), cupcakes all seem to be priced at $3 (plus taxes). I'd say that's a price I've come to expect. I'm not a fan of overly-frosted cupcakes, but for some filled cupcakes or ones with exotic flavors, I could see paying $4 or $5 tops. (I'm talking about regular-sized cupcakes, not mini-cupcakes or cupcakes-for-two.)

That being said, if I were travelling some place and going to a specific bakery I want to try just once, I could justify spending a bit more - though I wouldn't necessarily be happy about it.
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterAmélie
Yeah.. I don't know.. don't think I'd pay more than $4 for a cupcake. I feel like part of the price inflation is how "in" they are now. Would rather pay $2 for a cookie than $5 for a cupcake.
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
I think my max for a cupcake is $3.50. I have been doing some travelling lately, San Diego and Disney, to name a couple of places and I haven't had to pay more than $3.50. I can tell you that the cupcake crawl through Disney World in Orlando is pretty neat. Yes, I said cupcake crawl. Google it. It is pretty darn neat! Some of the cupcakes are worth the $3.50 and others are not. I did go to Baby Cakes in San Diego. The Tres Leches cupcake was out of this world!
July 5 | Unregistered CommenterKim
I would have to draw the line at $5 each. Thanks for the chance to win!
I think $5 is my limit, but if is a really large oversized cupcake I might pay more.
July 6 | Unregistered Commenterstarla
I think I would say I would have to stick under the $5 umbrella but in reality...if I saw something I had never had/didn't think I'd ever see again, I would buy it. And not tell my fiance of my frivolous purchases. :)
July 6 | Unregistered CommenterApril
It depends. Probably in the $3-4 dollar range for a handmade cupcake. I'm not a fan of heavily decorated cupcakes, but I'm willing to pay more for quality ingredients at a locally owned bakery.
July 6 | Unregistered CommenterCookie
If it's the most beautiful cupcake I've ever seen, I would probably pay $5. Otherwise, I'm with the under $5 camp!
July 6 | Unregistered CommenterKashi
beautiful socks, be mine.
July 6 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
July 6 | Unregistered CommenterTeri
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.
July 6 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Depending on it's maker, whether scratch baked or freezer thrown and the reputation and standing of its origin I would probably not spend more than $4 for a cupcake. Now there is the whole mystery cliche and just experiencing the product of a "famous" cupcake while visiting a new city. That would be the exception.
July 7 | Unregistered CommenterAmyRuth
If they are amazing, I would pay $4 or $5 for a good cupcake. Like right now, I could go for some amazing Saint Cupcake dots (mini cupcakes) right now, I'm in Florida and they are in Portland so I would be willing to pay a hefty price for them!
July 7 | Unregistered CommenterJulieD
I live in Toronto Canada, and on average, cupcakes range from $1.50-$2.50 for a mini, and $2-4 for a regular sized cupcake - filled, decorated, et all. It seems to be what our market can bear, and even at those prices, some people still squawk about it.
If it's special, I would pay up to $4.
July 7 | Unregistered CommenterKelly A
My limit is $4, unless the ingredients are rare/exceptional.
July 7 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
no more than $3... maybe $4 for a big purty cupcake =)
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