missbecakin Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:14pm
post #1 of

I recently did a rather large wedding cake for a friend of a friend, the wedding was on May 20. I started working on the cake about a week ahead with the 2 small teirs, an 8 and 10 inch. On the Tuesday night before the wedding I finally get the shipment with the pans for the two large tiers 14 and 18 inch. I am working nightly on this cake everything going smoothly. I deliver and set up the cake as usual. I figured I would wait a few day to contact my bride to follow up, and get a date when she was going to pay me. I finally get in contact with her today, and she tells me that there was a problem with the cake. It was MOLDED!!!!!

I apologized profusely, and she said that she felt that she still owed me something, but not the full price, I obviously agreed.

I don't know what went wrong, or how this could have happened.??? I have been doing cakes for friends family and the occasional wedding since 1991. I used fondant on the cake, and had never used it before, and probably won't again. I dont like it at all ! It wasn't very hot or humid, they were sealed until put under icing and fondant. They weren't made way ahead. I am just stumped.

I have talked myself out of selling every cake supply that I own on ebay, and never making another cake as long as I live.

40 replies
ge978 Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:19pm
post #2 of

I just have a few questions...forgive me if you already state them

First, when you said you made the two smaller tiers a week ahead of time...did you bake, wrap them up & let them sit out or did you freeze? Did you put the icing & fondant on a week before?

When the bride said molded ...was it green like mold on bread?

If you baked the cakes, wrapped them up & let them sit out, maybe the moisture sat on them for a week & caused it to mold?

One last question...did she say that the whole cake was moldy or just the smaller ones?

aliciaL_77 Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:21pm
post #3 of

OMG! I wish I could help with a reason but at least she didnt make a huge deal about it and refuse to pay anything...Dont sell anything! Keep going!

KakesandKids Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:22pm
post #4 of

It doesn't take long to mold if you left it sitting out. Here when it is warm bread will mold in a week's time easily. I think you shouldn't charge her anything at all. Lucky no one ate it and got sick!

koolaidstains Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:25pm
post #5 of

Let us know more details. If you don't know them, ask the bride more specific questions. What did it look like, was it all over or only in a certain area and stuff like that. Just tell her you want to know as much as possible so you can prevent it from ever happening again.

Even though the bride wants to pay you, consider refusing any payment. It's good business not to accept payment for a cake that had obvious problems. She'll be more likely to spread a good word about you that way.

missbecakin Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:26pm
post #6 of

She said it was the two large teirs that were done last. There were wrapped and stored in a cool place and icing and fondant not put on them until thurs and friday night. As for the mold it was green, like on bread.

emi Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:29pm
post #7 of

The fact that you had to contact her for a payment few days after the event, tells me that nothing was wrong with the cake. If it was, I'm sure she would've called you right away.

Loucinda Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:37pm
post #8 of

Were those cakes made from a mix or were they made from scratch? That is a very important detail also.

HollyPJ Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:39pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by emi

The fact that you had to contact her for a payment few days after the event, tells me that nothing was wrong with the cake. If it was, I'm sure she would've called you right away.




Not necessarily. She could have been too embarassed to call about it. Or she was caught up with her wedding and didn't get to it.

Sorry this happened to you. Don't give up!
If I were you, I wouldn't accept any payment from the bride. However, I would stress to her that this has never happened to you before and ask her to please not mention it to others as it could destroy your business. Hopefully she will be understanding.

missbecakin Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:46pm

The cake was made from a mix. And I did explain to her that it had NEVER happened before. She said she could tell that I was as shocked as they were. I also spoke to a friend that was there and that helped me set up, she says that she remembers the brides sister showing her something green on the cake but thought nothing of it at the time because she didn't know if she had something else on the plate with it. As for her not contacting me, I could tell when I talked to her that she was reluctant to have to tell me what happened.

Would it be in my best interest to offer to make them a cake for their one year anniv. at no charge, and not actually make it until their anniv.

KakesandKids Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:53pm

At this point I'd try to let things be, and hoepfully it will blow over. Don't charge her, and hopefully her or another member of the wedding won't take any further action like calling the health department about it. You really are lucky she is not really mad and upset about it.

HollyPJ Posted 30 May 2006 , 7:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by missbecakin

Would it be in my best interest to offer to make them a cake for their one year anniv. at no charge, and not actually make it until their anniv.




I think that's an excellent idea.

Loucinda Posted 30 May 2006 , 8:13pm

There has been odder things in life, but it would be really hard for a cake made in the time frame you did (from a mix) would be molded in such a short time......(remember they're famous for their preservatives!!) Was there any green icing placed on or near that cake?

I absolutely agree that I would not charge for the cake, and hope that no one says anything......I am just having a hard time thinking it would grow mold in that limited amount of time.

ge978 Posted 30 May 2006 , 9:56pm

I think it was probably the fact that you wrapped the cakes up & moisture got trapped inside. It wouldn't take long at all for them to mold if they weren't put in the freezer.

I wouldn't charge her either.

DiscoLady Posted 30 May 2006 , 11:30pm

Oh gosh that is a horrible situation. You poor thing, I'm sure it was devastating and totally embarrassing.
However, I agree with not charging her for anything at all.
I never work with fondant either, only as accents.
Better luck next time...don't give up! thumbs_up.gif

coffeecake Posted 31 May 2006 , 12:01am

Could there have been a reaction with one of the pans?

I feel so bad for you! I would still be tossing and turning at night! (and wanting to cut evey cake before it was delivered now) These things can happen, no matter how much we do all things right. Keep up the spirts - and keep on baking and decorating!

I do like the idea of making her another cake - I might even do it sooner - like a 3 or 6 month anniversary.

bush1 Posted 31 May 2006 , 2:47am

It would be interesting to know why she didn't save a piece of the cake to show you. Something seems funny. How would it be possible for the last baked cakes to mold and not the earlier made cakes? I would get more details from your friend to see if she actually saw the mold or if it was something else. I do agree that I wouldn't charge her for the cake but seeing would have definitely been believing in this situation. Nevertheless, you just keep on baking and not let this one "alleged" mishap stop you from doing what you love to do!!!!

LNW Posted 31 May 2006 , 6:21pm

What did they do with the cake? If they threw it all out then obviously there was something wrong with it but if they did serve cake I would be suspicious of her story. I feel badly for you but also for your bride. I wouldn't charge her a dime assuming it's all true.

okred Posted 31 May 2006 , 6:42pm

You know, sometimes a cake will have a chemical reaction (sort of) with a metal pan. If a really moist cake is left in an aluminum pan for too long it will get dark blotches on the bottom. I know some bakers leave the cakes in the pans to cool completely, but I really don't think this is a good idea.

Sorry this happened to you. I really would like to know what the "mold" looked like. I have left iced cakes out and have NEVER had one mold and I have made a lot of cakes for my family.

Now pumpkin pie, it will mold within 36 hours!!!

Stefy Posted 31 May 2006 , 6:50pm

I'm so sorry to hear this but I have to agree with the majority - I would definitly not charge her for the cake. She's not being obnoxious about it and your friend did say something was up

CakeBaker Posted 31 May 2006 , 7:19pm

For Saturday weddings, I never bake before Wednesday. You want the cake to be as fresh as possible.

MainCake Posted 31 May 2006 , 8:29pm

Where on the cake was the mold? In my mind, when I think of mold, I think of it as being on the outside edges. I would assume with cake as with bread, the outer edges mold before the middle, especially if the cake hasn't been cut. If the bride/witnesses say the mold was inside the cake then something isn't right and I doubt it was actually mold. I think more likely it was a reaction or even possibly something in the cake mix. What kind of mix was it? Sometimes when I am making a cake you can see orange-y spots in it due to the dyes used in the mix. Not that mold looks orange but just trying to make a point. I'm having trouble grasping the concept of the mold being inside a previously uncut cake and if it were on the outside edges, wouldn't that have been covered with frosting and/or fondant? ....unless it was on the bottom which would have been the top of the cake if you inverted it...?

In this situation though, I would refuse payment too and offer an anniversary cake at no charge.

Cakerer Posted 31 May 2006 , 11:44pm

So sorry this happened...I also find that time frame too quick to mold. My son's birthday cake sat out for a week and didn't mold....we forgot to throw it out before we left for vacation....I was terrified we'd have an army of ants!

mrsright41401 Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 12:03am

Did you use any wooden dowels? That has happened to a friend of mine who used wooden dowels.

Rachel

tobycat Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 4:07am

I'm sooooo sorry you had to go through this ...it's nothing you would expect to happen! I doubt it had anything to do with the fondant -- that keeps air out and helps to seal things in. If the cakes were only stored in a cool place and wrapped, then perhaps the seal wasn't perfect or moisture got in. I've kept practice cakes under fondant for more than a week, and thought I would NEVER serve them, the cake was actually okay -- no mold.

Jorre Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 4:36am

It also might depend on the weather and temperature where you live. I am quite close to the ocean and it's very moist in the air here, cake will mold within 3 days here if not refrigerated. I baked and iced a practice cake Thursday night, wrapped it up tightly since there was no room in the fridge and everyone was eating ice cream not cake, Sunday morning I threw it out because it had little spots of green mold on the bottom of the cake.

boonenati Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 10:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by missbecakin

I......It was MOLDED!!!!!

I apologized profusely, and she said that she felt that she still owed me something, but not the full price, I obviously agreed.

I don't know what went wrong, or how this could have happened.??? I have been doing cakes for friends family and the occasional wedding since 1991. I used fondant on the cake, and had never used it before, and probably won't again. I dont like it at all ! It wasn't very hot or humid, they were sealed until put under icing and fondant. They weren't made way ahead. I am just stumped.

I have talked myself out of selling every cake supply that I own on ebay, and never making another cake as long as I live.



OMG, this is really terrible. If i were you I would have demanded proof. The moulded cakes wouldnt have been eaten. How come you supplied a cake without getting full payment first?
Are you sure this lady wasnt just trying to get out of paying full price?
Cause if that happened to my wedding cake, I would have demanded a full refund, not part. Still i really dont believe this could have happened.
In Australia we made fruit cakes covered in fondant and they can stay fresh for up to a year, and sometimes more, without moulding.
hm, im really curious and feel very sorry that you had to go through this. Please dont give up, this is just a huge hiccup, but if you've had no problems before, dont let something like this stop you from something that you love.
cheers
Nati

simply Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 12:47pm

I somehow do not believe the story. If it were my cake, I would have asked for evidence. Let's face it if you buy something that is inedible for any reason, you take the food back to the store and show them evidence.

It happened to me once. The bride paid for the cake, I delivered it and was quite pleased with the outcome. The next day the bride and groom with her mother came over and demanded a refund because they said that the cake was mouldy. I did not believe them because I took the same amount of care in making the cake as with all others. Also, I knew that the cake was fresh because I only baked it 2 nights before the wedding and filled it with butter cream the night before. No way would mould have developed in such a short time.

I stuck to my guns and asked for evidence which they could not supplied because they said that the cake was thrown away. I said to them that I will investigate and let them know. They wanted 3/4 of the money back.

Luckily for me I knew the catering manager at the venue and I phoned him up immediately. He told me that everybody devoured the cake and were also taking second helpings and there was nothing left of the cake. He was prepared to stand up and state in front of a court that there was nothing wrong with the cake.

Something like this really shatters your confidence and I was not prepared to take it lying down. Nobody has ever complained about the freshness of my cakes and was not prepared to accept it from them.

Can you check with the venue catering manager? I am sure that they would have noticed that it was mouldy and would not have served something so inedible. They fear food poisoning as much as all of us. I do believe that this was a plot most probably thought of and hatched even before the wedding to get away from not paying.

twinsline7 Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 2:59pm

I think we tend to forget that our days focus around cakes.....not everyone elses does.... I can see how the bride wouldn't call right away, Im pretty sure most go on a honeymoon after a wedding...not to mention the day of and the day after is the start of a new life for them....Im sure complaining about a moldy cake wasn't on their list of new things to do...I would doubt very seriously she is "making it up"...now if she was carrying on like a wild banshie and going over board about her reaction then I would question the sincerity and whether she wanted something for nothing.....

Didnt she offer to pay something for it....Im gonna have to agree that she was probably just as emabarrassed about the whole thing.....could you imagine having to tell someone that the beautiful cake they made was molded inside??

It was obviously nothign intentional on your part...but maybe it was the process of wrapping them and not freezing....maybe you could try again wrap one the same as you did...and wrap another and refrigerate it for the same amouth of time as before and see what it does....

"Stuff " happens...this was obviously one of those times...all you can do is learn from it to make sure it doesnt happen again.

KakesandKids Posted 1 Jun 2006 , 3:58pm

I agree with Twinsline...she was probably too caught up in things to come complain right away, and she was probably disappointed that her cake was not all she planned. I still say don't bake another cake for her because honestly she probably doesn't really want another cake after having a moldy one. I sure wouldn't.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%