San Diego tops list as most expensive city for holiday bakers

(WFLA) — A new study by HelloFresh found that the cost of baking a batch of cookies for Christmas is joining the list of holiday traditions hurt by rising inflation.

They’re calling it the Christmas Cookie Price Index.

The study examined the cost of meaningful elements for cookies, like butter, milk, eggs, flour, sugar and baking soda across 60 cities in the United States and 30 countries around the world. For the sake of the study, the methodology says a batch consists of 100 cookies made from a “typical butter cookie recipe.” More specifically, the study used this cookie recipe from John Kanell at Preppy Kitchen.

Of the 60 cities surveyed, the most expensive was San Diego, where a single batch of cookies is expected to cost bushy-tailed bakers $12.40.

Here are the top 10 most expensive U.S. cities to bake Christmas cookies in 2021, according to the study.

City, State Price (USD)
1. San Diego, California $12.40
2. Burlington, Vermont $12.08
3. Los Angeles California $11.41
4. Salt Lake City, Utah $11.40
5. Wilmington, Delaware $10.00
6. Bridgeport, Connecticut $9.92
7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin $9.79
8. Phoenix, Arizona $9.21
9. Detroit, Michigan $9.00
10. Little Rock, Arkansas $8.91
(Source: HelloFresh Christmas Cookie Price Index)

however, the least expensive city for Christmas cookies was determined to be Charleston, South Carolina, where the cost of a batch is just $2.23.

Here are the 10 cheapest U.S. cities for cookie bakers, according to the study.

City, State Price (USD)
1. Charleston, South Carolina $2.23
2. Charleston, West Virginia $2.90
3. Des Moines, Iowa $4.13
4. Portland, Maine $4.62
5. Dallas, Texas $4.76
6. Charlotte, North Carolina $4.92
7. Lincoln Nebraska $4.97
8. Albuquerque, New Mexico $5.05
9. Cleveland, Ohio $5.20
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania $5.20
(Source: HelloFresh Christmas Cookie Price Index)

In addition to cities, the study ranked 30 countries by cost. The most expensive country for baking cookies, according to the results, is Sweden, where a baker’s batch is going to cost $12.84. The least expensive was Ecuador, where cookies are going to cost $3.50.

The average cost in the U.S. is $6.10, with America ranking as the 18th most expensive of the 30 countries in the HelloFresh study.

For bakers who want to test the cost-versus-cookie recipe at home, HelloFresh shared the elements and quantities used to make a batch.

  • Flour: a 2lb package of flour (32oz / 1kg)
  • Eggs: a box of 12 eggs
  • Butter: an 8oz serving of butter (200g)
  • Baking soda: a 1lb packet (16oz / 0.5kg)
  • Sugar: a 2lb package of sugar (32oz / 1kg)

Just remember, these elements listed above were used to make a 100-cookie batch, so be prepared to proportion with friends and family after conducting your own cookie experiments — for science.

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