There are many businesses one can start with little or no capital from home one of which is cake making. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on how to make and sell cupcakes. Cupcakes are the small cakes usually not decorated like the wedding or birthday cakes. You don’t need a lot to start a cupcake business, just your determination and a few important details that I’m going to share with you in this article.
Cupcakes are just one of the many snacks loved by children and young adults. they are sweet pastries that is consumed anytime of the day. Usually they are desserts and add glamour to a party or event. These days, it is not a rare snack to find in birthday parties, weddings, meetings and even during meal time at home. These kinds of cakes are sold to tuck shops as well as small neighborhood shops and restaurants. If you are thinking of a business to start from the comfort of your home, it might be a great idea to start a cupcake business.
It is always advisable to start small because it is easier to duplicate in larger quantities and good to study the business terrain before launching on a large-scale.
How to start a cupcake business
The following is what would be needed for a trial start.
Flour- 500g, sugar- 300g, margarine- 400g, 8 large eggs, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and vanilla flavor which is optional.
Cake (queen) pan, oven (gas/electric), note that kerosene stove can also be used, a big aluminum pot with lid, a rack or an aluminum bowl that can fit into the pot.
- Pour the sugar and margarine in a big clean bowl.
- Break eggs in a clean bowl and whisk.
- Sieve your flour and baking powder in a clean dry bowl.
- Oil your pans if using the metal baking pan.
- Switch on your oven to heat it up.
- If using stove, place the big clean pot on it. Gather some pebbles, gravel stones (please wash well) or sand, place in the pot.
- Place the aluminum bowl on the pebbles or sand (do not put the baking pan directly on the sand or stone, it might burn badly). Pre-heat the pot.
- Wash your hands thoroughly to get rid of the sand from getting into the cake mixture.
- Mix both margarine and sugar with a wooden stick in a circular direction until fluffy (you may buy a mixer if you can afford it).
- Add the whisked egg and keep turning (the turning doesn’t have to be one-directional at this stage).
- Pour your sieved flour and baking powder and keep turning.
- Pour your batter (mixture) into the baking pan (leave room for it to rise). In place of the metal baking pan, the ready-made paper cups is also used. The papers must not be oiled but must be put in metal can to prevent it from pouring.
- Bake in the oven (if stove, place them on the aluminum bowl in the pot and cover to bake)
Note that stove might take more time and you have to keep a close watch to prevent it from burning badly.
To check, place a toothpick in the centre, if it comes out clean then it is well done and if not, leave it in the oven for some minutes and check again.
Once it is done, bring out to cool and when it is cool, you can put in the transparent nylon for sale.
This measurement should make around three dozens of cupcakes.
You would need about ₦2,000 to start out if gas or kerosene does not have to be bought (prices are not fixed, may vary according to your location).
Flour: ₦150, Sugar: ₦100, Egg: ₦240, Margarine: ₦240
Baking powder: ₦50, Paper Cup: ₦250 (there are over 120 pieces in a pack)
Metal baking pan: ₦400 (for 12 pieces), Transparent nylon: ₦250 (over 90 pieces)
Some of the above mentioned materials could be used for more than one serving hence consider that as a short-term asset because they won’t have to be purchased for the next process.
Some challenges to look out for
- For the first time, do not make a large quantity to easily learn from the first batch which can be sold to family and friends for criticism (e.g. if it is too sweet). Make sure to learn from the criticism and adjust based on it.
- Again, be ready to market your product to schools, offices and restaurants. With this, there would be recommendation and request to make bigger cakes so do not rest on your oars. Keep learning and keep getting better.
- Be careful to find the balance between setting a profitable price for your cupcakes and an affordable price for your customers. For example, you might want to sell at N100 and your customers might want to buy at N50. On the other hand, some of your customers might consider N50 to be too ‘cheap’ or ‘local’ for their taste. Finding this balance in pricing is critical for your remaining in business.
This article alone is enough to make you an expert on making and selling cupcakes but it’s more than enough to get you started if you decide to start a cupcake business. When you start, other factors come into play like packaging, delivery, scale and the quantity you supply. The most important thing is to get started if you decide that this business is for you. Let me know what questions you have or what your success story has been in starting a cupcake business. Also visit our business ideas section for more lucrative business ideas that could turn you to the Next Nigerian Entrepreneur. Cheers