Cost It Out: How to Win at Bake Sale Economics

Food Network did the math and found out how much each classic bake-sale option costs to make — so you can price it accordingly. 

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Bake sales are a classic fundraiser — who doesn’t like to support a good cause and pick up a sweet? But if you spend too much making your treats, it could eat into the “profit” you make from selling them. Should you make oatmeal cookies or crispy rice treats? Banana bread or pound cake? Cookies or cupcakes?

If you’re on a budget, take a good look at a recipe’s ingredients list before choosing. Avoid mix-ins like nuts and dried fruit, which can quickly add up (see our chart below). Instead, consider treats made with less expensive items, like egg-based meringues. Or opt for cakes such as banana bread and doughnuts, which contain oil instead of butter. Old-fashioned picks like oatmeal cookies or snickerdoodles also have low-cost main ingredients.

Using a national grocery provider’s average prices, we priced out some of our favorite bake sale items to help you decide what to make and how much to spend. See how these classics compare.

Cost per recipe: $4.31 (for 30)

Cost per item: $0.14

Smore Brownie CupcakeAll AmericanFNKSilo,Smore Brownie Cupcake All American FNK Silo

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Matt Armendariz, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Cost per recipe: $10.56 (for 12)

Cost per item: $0.87

Cost per recipe: $7.93 (for 12)

Cost per item: $0.66

MINI_CHOCOLATE_TRUFFLE_CUPCAKES_0019.tif

MINI_CHOCOLATE_TRUFFLE_CUPCAKES_0019.tif

Photo by: Ryan Dausch

Ryan Dausch

Cost per recipe: $6.57 (for 24)

Cost per item: $0.56

FNK_BananaMuffinsEvergreen_H

FNK_BananaMuffinsEvergreen_H

Food Networks Kitchen’s Banana Muffins for Food Network’s Moist Muffins for THANKSGIVING/BAKING/WEEKEND COOKING, as seen on Food Network Kitchen’s How to Boil Water.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©Renee Comet

Renee Comet, Renee Comet

Cost per recipe: $5.24 (for 12)

Cost per item: $0.44

FNK_SimpleChocolateChipCookies_H

FNK_SimpleChocolateChipCookies_H

Chef Name: Food Network KitchenFull Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip CookiesTalent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.comProject: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/HolidaysShow Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/Holidays Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cost per recipe: $6.51 (for 30)

Cost per item: $0.22

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Cost per recipe: $6.10 (for 36)

Cost per item: $0.17

Photo by: Marcus Tullis

Marcus Tullis

Cost per recipe: $8.16 (for 40)

Cost per item: $0.20

Cost per recipe: $15.37 (for 30)

Cost per item: $0.51

Brown Rice Crispy Treats; Food Network Test Kitchens

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Cost per recipe: $11.67 (for 24)

Cost per item: $0.49

Photo by: Marcus Tullis

Marcus Tullis

Cost per recipe: $9.61 (for 24)

Cost per item: $0.40

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Cost per recipe: $8.54 (for 24)

Cost per item: $0.36

FNK CLASSIC BROWNIES **CLASSIC** Food Network Kitchen Food Network Unsalted Butter, Allpurpose Flour, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate, Sugar, Eggs

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cost per recipe: $5.79 (for 16)

Cost per item: $0.36

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Cost per recipe: $4.61 (for 16)

Cost per item: $0.29

Cost per recipe: $8.95 (for 10 slices)

Cost per item: $0.89

BANANA BREAD, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Flour, Baking Soda, BakingPowder, Eggs, Sugar, Bananas, Vanilla, Vegetable Oil, Cinnamon,BANANA BREAD, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Eggs, Sugar, Bananas, Vanilla, Vegetable Oil, Cinnamon

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cost per recipe: #1.75 (for 12 slices)

Cost per item: $0.15

Mix-Ins Math

Thinking of jazzing up your dish with a handful of nuts or a sprinkle of dried fruit? Every addition will affect your bottom line. While raisins are relatively cheap, a fully loaded blondie with macadamia nuts, white chocolate and a lot of butter will set you back $15.37 for a batch. Here’s how our ten favorite ingredients add up.

Macadamia nuts:  $ 5.96 per cup

Mini marshmallows: $ 4.40 per cup

Dried cranberries: $ 4.24 per cup

Chopped pecans: $ 3.24 per cup

Dried cherries: $ 2.50 per cup

Cashews: $ 2.49 per cup

Candy-coated chocolates: $ 1.66 per cup

Walnuts: $ 1.60 per cup

Semisweet chocolate chips: $ 1.25 per cup

Raisins: $ 0.91 per cup

Shredded coconut: $ 0.39 per cup

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