tip – basic layer cake: cost

The cost of the basic layer cake, per layer, is tied to the type, quality and quantity of ingredients you put into it. Based on where I do my shopping (Fresh & Easy in Long Beach), one layer of the basic layer cake costs me $1.28:

  • $2.99 for one dozen jumbo eggs
  • $2.99 for one pound of butter
  • $2.99 for five pounds of all-purpose flour
  • $0.98 for one 8oz container of baking powder
  • $0.79 for one container of table salt
  • $1.99 for one half-gallon of whole milk
  • $2.99 for one four-pound bag of hippie, tree-hugging granulated sugar
  • In comparison, the cheapest box of yellow cake mix I found at the store was $1.79, which would require the addition of three large eggs ($0.50, based on $1.99/dz large eggs) and 1/3c oil ($0.22, based upon a cost of $3.99 for 64oz). If I went to the dollar store, I could find the same (or an imitation thereof) for (drumroll, please) $1.00, with the same required inputs. Since I can make two 9-inch layers with that box, my cost would be between $0.86 and $1.26 per layer.

    $0.86 per layer for a box of chemicals and preservatives that I have to go out of my way to buy; pay for a unitasker ingredient; have no control over flavoring; and no means of small-batch scaling…versus $1.28 per layer for homemade. Shit, I will happily pay the extra $0.42 per layer and call it a day.

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