I think you're reading the recipe cards wrong or I'm reading your post wrong.
There are no recipes in the game that will put you at a loss of coins, they all earn something even if it's not much (the lowest I can think of offhand gives $2 per plate served).
Using Key Lime Pie as an example:
It costs $5,220 to bake 1 serving which is the price at the top of the card.
Each serving yields 2,275 plates of food which is the number right below the image of the recipe.
You gain 50 xp from baking and selling one full serving of the recipe.
Selling all plates of one serving gives you an income of $9,100 which is the bottom number on the card.
To figure out how many coins you earn for each individual plate you sell means you take your total income ($9,100) and divide it by plates per serving (2,275) which gives you $4 per plate.
But to figure out how much you
profit would take into account the cost of baking the recipe. So that would be $9,100  $5,220 to give you a total of $3,880 coins added to your bank for every full serving of Key Lime Pies baked and sold.
To make things as easy as possible, the Recipe Guide I mentioned above includes a breakdown for each recipe in the game so players can easily find the profits for whichever recipe they're interested in.
When looking at the entry for Key Lime Pie in the Recipe Guide players would see this:
Lv 
Recipe 
Hrs 
Pts/Srv 
Cost 
Income 
XP 
Inc/Pt 
Pft/Srv 
Released 
25 
Key Lime Pie 
6 
2,275 
$5,220 
$9,100 
50 
$4 
$3,880 
2011 Nov. 18 

Hope that helps to clear up any confusion.