Birthday Hack: How Much Can You Save By Making Your Own Cake?

baking a cake at home, saving money on home-baked cake, saving money on cakes

It’s one of the most overpriced items a person can buy.  I was reminded of this fact the other night as we were invited over to a friend’s house to celebrate his birthday. I’m talking about the store made birthday cake. Not the fancy, custom made cake with complicated artwork that requires some skill and talent, but a plain frosted cake that anyone can make.

Let’s compare the cost as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a store made cake with a self made cake.

Store Made Cake

The cost of a quarter sheet cake from the bakery at Walmart is currently $18.98. A quarter sheet cake is about 9×12 in size, normally being cut into about 18 pieces. That’s $1.05 per piece.


  • Convenience
  • Can ask bakery to put words on it for free


  • Cost
  • Cake type choices may be limited on any given day

Self-Made Cake

The cost of a Pilsbury Funfetti cake mix is $1.18. Adding on another $1.48 for a container of pre-made frosting and you can make your own 9×12 cake for $2.66, or less than $0.15 per piece.


  • Less Expensive
  • Can make exactly the type of cake you want


  • Time

The biggest disadvantage in making your own birthday cake is the time and effort it takes to make a cake. However, once you make one cake you’ll find that it really doesn’t take much effort at all. A person can do it as they watch television in the evening. The actual time needed is very small, the majority of the time is the cake baking in the effort. For that little bit of effort you can save over $16 and still have a delicious birthday cake.

How about you, Clever Friends, do you buy store made birthday cakes? Have you ever thought of making your own?

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Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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About the author

Brock Kernin


  • My husband has food allergies (including to eggs, which are in 99% of cakes, and nuts, which are a common bakery contaminant), so I pretty much always go the homemade route. It doesn’t just save money and make a delicious, fresh cake – it saves me the headache of scrutinizing ingredient labels (I make mine from scratch, super easy), and from us having a case of anaphylaxis on our hands!

    • I’d feel more special if someone took the time to make a cake for me, rather than just buying one at the store.

    • I tend to agree with Jenny for the most part, having someone put in time and effort would mean a lot to me. Unless of course, the kind of cake I like is a specialty cake from a specific business. There is some “have to know the person” involved to maximize that “feeling of specialness.”

  • I am not a big cake fan, so I would probably just go with the box if I had a hankering for a cake. If I had more time (and an oven!) I would love to try to make a cake from scratch. My favorite cake is actually ice cream cake, so we always get that from the store. They are so expensive, though, so I only get it for my birthday once every couple of years.

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