Butter, sugars, eggs, and flour: How inflation affects your next bake

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The price of butter has doubled over the course of the last 18 months, while baking ingredients including eggs, flour, and sugar are also leaving professional bakers with sticker shock. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

From the gas pump to the supermarket, people are feeling the pinch and sticker shock of inflation. For professional bakers, some ingredient staples have doubled in price over the past year-and-a-half. Nicole Rucker of Fat + Flour in the Grand Central Market calculates the huge challenge to her business.

Rucker says the average price for 30 pounds of regular butter was $60 less than two years ago. Today that same product is $127. The higher-fat European butter she uses is $170 now, compared to the $85 per case she paid 18 months ago. The prices of eggs fluctuate throughout the year, Rucker says, but have seen an up to 70% hike in cost.  

With outrageous prices, Rucker admits to having to raise the prices of Fat + Flour’s offerings, after trying to avoid doing so by initially making some items like cookies smaller. For those minding a budget, she suggests “upcycling” cookies by buying day-old options from bakeries and crushing them up to make a pie crust instead of using butter for pie dough. Also, instant pudding mix doesn’t require eggs and can be elevated by making caramel.