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  • Gabrielle

The Cost of a Vegan Cake - The Problem of Profitability

Recently, I conducted a survey on Instagram about the prices of Mansfield Park cakes. Because even if there's just one complaint a year about this, it still bothers me. In the last case, the cake was perceived as too expensive for its small size. That irked me, so I laid out the details of my smallest cake to my "followers" and simply asked if others perceived it the same way. More than 90 percent found my prices justified. And that's from people who have already paid them (multiple times). Since a few people thought bigger and cheaper would be better, let's break everything down for transparency's sake:


A cake costs me between 8.00 and 10.00€ to make. The most expensive item is the ingredients. Mansfield Park spends a lot of money on high-quality ingredients. My tax program tells me that every month. The profit margin is very slim. That's because good and vegan ingredients are expensive. Cocoa and chocolate are organic and fairly produced, meaning they are twice as expensive as conventionally produced ones. I can't store and use within the best-before date large quantities like 25 kg, which would be cheaper. It's terrible because I'd like to cause less packaging waste and save money. But Mansfield Park is too small. So I accept higher prices, also because I want to support the producers of cocoa, coconut oil, and vanilla and not contribute to their exploitation through cheap end prices. Chocolate and vanilla, along with cake boxes, are also ordered from Great Britain. Expensive transport costs and customs duties are added. But the vanilla paste is worth it! A liter of it costs me 120.00€. Because the manufacturer does not respond to price fluctuations caused by poor harvests or nasty speculations on the world market and pays the vanilla farmers a consistently appropriate price. Vanilla beans are like gold in plant form, and that costs.


Back to the ingredients. They are all vegan, namely soy milk, soy yogurt, and almond-based cream cheese. The plant-based alternatives are on average 80-100% more expensive than animal products. That's just how it is. But they are often organic and produced in (mainland) Europe. Because we can once and for all clear up this false myth - the soybeans for the soy milk come from France and Austria, not Brazil.


The material costs of a cake are also due to its construction. The smallest semi-naked cake has a diameter of 13 cm and requires 300 g of No-Butter Cream. As mentioned in the previous post, I need a whole hour of pure working time to make this. Then four layers of cake and three layers of filling are stacked. The fillings are not thinly spread on, as it's not just about the cheaper cake, but about the airy, fruity, varied fillings that should complement the cake. After all, Germany has a pronounced cake culture, with many different creams, which initially inspired me to make cakes. So, each cake layer gets about 100 g of filling. Thus, berry compote meets yogurt cream, caramel, or dark chocolate ganache meets cream cheese mousse, and pistachio mousse meets thickened raspberry puree. The result is a cake of four components, with a respectable and modern height of about 13 cm. It's presented on a sturdy cakeboard - and I make sure not to buy anything individually or in small quantities packed, to avoid unnecessary waste, which is why large quantities are ordered from abroad at once. The cake is then packed in a cardboard box and wrapped with a cotton or natural linen ribbon.


So, if I manage to come away with 10.00€ in material costs, I still haven't covered my fixed costs or paid myself. I meticulously produce each cake with attention to detail exclusively on individual orders; it's not mass-produced from a large bakery, and I do everything myself, including the deliveries. I pay myself a salary of 300 to 500€ a month, the rest goes back into the company. So that it can continue to grow and I can produce high-quality cakes.



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