I am looking to set up a cake delivery business and I am creating a break even for it to educate me about the costs it would entail. However, I have no idea how many kWs it takes to bake a cake. Can anyone help?

  • I think you mean kWh? And what kind of scale are we talking here? A home oven, with a cake at a time? A set of commercial ovens in continuous use with many cakes? – Cascabel Dec 11 '12 at 19:26
  • 3
    I agree with @Jefromi: as it stands, the question is unanswerable. Basically what you'd need to know is how long the oven will be on for, and how much energy the oven uses. We can't tell you either of these things. After that, it's just math. – JoeFish Dec 11 '12 at 19:30
  • This is sort of an interesting question, but I think the cake is largely irrelevant; an oven is expending energy on heating the air inside. Except for opening the door, I doubt you'd notice a difference in energy consumption between oven with cake in it and without. – jscs Dec 11 '12 at 19:31
  • 1
    The heat capacity of water (which the cake has a lot of) is pretty high. It likely dwarfs that of the air inside the oven. So probably does the energy required to vaporize the water. An oven baking a cake should consume more energy than an empty one (especially if its well insulated). – derobert Dec 11 '12 at 19:39
  • As much as I would love to see more questions on this site about commercial kitchens/bakeries, this really is incredibly vague. If you can edit this to narrow it down a whole lot, we may reopen it. – Aaronut Dec 11 '12 at 23:31

As @derober's comment notes, to get a precise number will be darn near impossible. However with some assumptions and generalizations, we can make a guess.

A little Google research yields lots of interesting results. Here's one from BestBuy's appliance buying guide (link to CNet's buying guide, which seems to be a direct cut-n-paste ripoff of BestBuy's. Or vice versa)

According to the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, here is an energy cost comparison of ovens based on cooking an average casserole. It assumes the cost of gas is 60 cents a therm, and electricity is 8 cents a kWh:

Appliance       Temp  Time    Energy    Cost
Electric Oven   350   1 hour  2.0kWh    $0.16
Electric        325   45 min  1.39 kWh  $0.11
Convection Oven

You can customize it to your oven and cooking time with some math. Say you do a little research and find out your oven uses 3.5kW/hour and you need to bake your giant sheet cake for 2 hours straight.

3.5kW/h * 2h * 0.08$/kW = $0.56

Running it for a 12 hour day?

3.5kW/h * 12h * 0.08$/kW = $3.36

| improve this answer | |
  • That link is broken – spiceyokooko Dec 11 '12 at 19:58
  • @spiceyokooko darn, it appears that page is no longer visible from the BestBuy site. Google must have found it behind the scenes. I'll look for a replacement one. – JoeFish Dec 11 '12 at 20:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.