By the ounce, the cost of cupcakes

A semi-scientific snapshot of six cupcakes from across the city

Photograph By Chris Davisson

Abstract: Cupcakes: Can’t stop, won’t stop. But just when you think Atlanta might be sick of frosting, another Crayola-colored cupcake bakery opens it doors. A chain out of Beverly Hills, Sprinkles at Lenox Mall is the latest of the batch. On a recent visit I had hoped to grab a dozen for the office, but I burned those plans when the clerk said that a dozen costs $42. Between the ten or more employees shuffling behind the counter, the swirly mountain of icing on each cake, and the cupcake ATM machine that operates 24/7, running this place isn’t cheap. Somebody has to pay.

The cost got me thinking: What do other bakeries charge?

Methodology: At the suggestion of a fellow editor, I conducted a semi-scientific experiment comparing the cost of cupcakes from six bakeries, as well as their cost per ounce. I say semi-scientific because 1) I didn’t buy the same cupcake at each store (i.e. all chocolate), because I knew we were eating these afterward and wanted variety, and 2) I did not measure the volume of each cupcake and was thereby unable to factor in density (aka fluffiness).

For comparison I grabbed the following varieties:


Analysis: Whether you purchase one or a dozen, Highland Bakery is the most expensive cupcake of the lot. However, when it comes to cost per ounce, they are the cheapest.

Sprinkles, meanwhile, charges the most per ounce and is followed closely by Star Provisions, which is the second cheapest option for singles.

Finally, Cami Cakes costs the least (single and dozen), is the second lightest, and charges the second least per ounce.

Conclusion: Nobody sells one dozen cupcakes for less than $33. Also, any cupcake that weighs 8.3 ounces qualifies as a weapon and should be banned on airplanes.

Graphics by Liz Noftle