Aside for last year's attendees: You may remember that they were a little dry, but that's because I stored them improperly. They were quite yummy when I made them. Because I take myself too seriously, I made them again on my birthday in January and got rave reviews.To make them spectacular, I used special cake flour and baking sugar. However, our dear friend Betty (Crocker, that is) puts magic in her cake mixes and I could do roughly* the same 96 cupcakes with only 12 eggs. And Safeway has Betty's cake mix on sale for $0.99/box.
The question is: does the savings in time really pay off in dollars?
*I say that Betty's cupcakes are roughly the same because most people aren't foodie-wanna-be's like me so they may not even notice the difference.
Doing the Math...
- I bought eggs on sale for $1 per dozen at QFC. I will need $2 in eggs for the recipe or $1 in eggs for the mixes.
- The other big expense is the fat. The cake mixes call for vegetable oil and the scratch recipe calls for butter. I would probably substitute butter in the mixes anyway because it tastes better. I need 1/3 cup (~5.5 tablespoons) for each mix and 6 tablespoons for each recipe. At $1.99/lb for butter at Costco, I'll need $1.50 in butter for the mixes and $3 in butter for the recipe.
Cake Mixes: $3.96 for mixes, $1 for eggs, and $1.50 for butter = $6.46
Recipe from Scratch: $1 for flour and sugar, $0.50 for other stuff (that's probably over-estimating), $2 for eggs, $3 for butter = ~$6.50
Since it costs the same, what should I do? Are the better tasting cupcakes worth the extra work? I have until Saturday night to decide.
Either way, this is the frosting I'm making.