Cake Tastings...how Do You Do Them?

Business By Ladybug6509 Updated 7 Jun 2011 , 4:40am by BellaRoca

Ladybug6509 Posted 16 May 2008 , 8:15pm
post #1 of 30

I am starting to get roughly 7 appointments per week with about 5 showing up. Unless they are the same day or a day apart, I bake a new cake for each appointment. However, for those that don't show up, I've then wasted a cake. How do you do your tastings? I don't charge, but would it be wise to do so? Anyone make cupcakes and freeze what isn't used? Are they the same quality as they would be if they were baked fresh?

I'd love tips and suggestions!

Randi

29 replies
KHalstead Posted 16 May 2008 , 8:34pm
post #2 of 30

I always bake fresh, but I only do a couple a week.........being that you have so many.....why not designate ONE day a week solely to tastings.....say Saturday or Sunday......then tell ALL of your brides calling you hold tastings on this day and have such and such times available still....once that day is full.....move on to the next Saturday........then you're doing all the baking for ONE day......not everyday for the whole week..so you get your baking done at once and everyone still gets a fresh made cake!

Jenn2179 Posted 16 May 2008 , 9:02pm
post #3 of 30

I do not bake fresh for tastings. All my cakes for sale are baked fresh. I bake 6 flavors in 7 in square pans. I then cut it in half so I have a 3 1/2 in x 7 in rectangle. I tort it and ice it. Then when it comes to the tasting I cut a 1 in x almost 2 in x 4 in slice. This way they can see what a wedding serving looks like and they get to try more than one flavor, I am not wasting and I am not baking non-stop either.

Solecito Posted 16 May 2008 , 9:46pm
post #4 of 30

I've been wondering the same thing.

indydebi Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:52am
post #5 of 30

I pretty much do what Jenn does, except I've taken it up a notch due to the number of samplings I'm getting (had 21 in April). I bake single layer 6" squares .... cut in quarters, giving me four 3x3x2 squares. Tort each. These are perfect for 4 servings, which is the max number of people I have at a sampling.

I throw these 3x3" squares in the freezer and just pull out what I need for a sampling. It only takes 10-20 minutes for them to thaw enough to fill and ice (I use a star tip and just zig-zag ice them) and in less than 10 minutes, I have 3 cakes ready for sampling. I usually have one white cake with red rasp filling; one white cake with choc fudge filling; one choc cake with chocolate-raspberry filling.

If you are having 5-7 samplings a week, you can bake up 3-4 of the 6" squares, freeze them, and have them ready to go. In April, I actually baked a single 12" square, cut that in quarters (giving me four 6" squares), then I cut THOSE squares into quarters (giving me 16 3x3" squares).

costumeczar Posted 17 May 2008 , 2:22pm
post #6 of 30

I schedule all of my tastings on Saturdays, about twice a month. I bake everything fresh and usually do a few basic flavors and maybe one or two more depending on what I'm baking that week.

If someone wants to come for an appointment another time I tell them that I can try to accomodate their schedule, but I won't have samples for them at that time, then they can come to pick up samples on one of the Saturdays that I do have them. I just box some up for them and they pick them up and take them home.

I just find that it's easier to do everything on one day rather then spacing it out during the week.

southerncake Posted 18 May 2008 , 2:21am
post #7 of 30

I usually try to book tastings close together so that I can bake all at once. I bake in mini-loaves and just zig-zag the icing on top. It is really quick and easy.

LaurynBrook Posted 18 May 2008 , 2:40am
post #8 of 30

I have a tasting on Monday and I'm baking the cake tonight (right now actually). I'm doing a 2 layer 6 in cake. What do you guys do with all that extra batter? Other than just making extra and giving it to your family. My family hates cake. I KNOW! They are crazy. I'm using a doctored mix so it's kind of hard to only mix part of it up. Do you guys decorate them to how the cake will actually look? And if you are doing a fondant cake, will you cover the taste cake in fondant. I'm using a new recipe for the fondant and I don't feel like (nor do I have the time to) make a full batch for one 6in cake.

indydebi Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:05am
post #9 of 30

With the extra batter, I bake 6" square cakes, cut them in quarters and put them in the freezer for future samplings. I put eight 3x3x2 cakes in the freezer today and eight in yesterday. I had 21 sampling appts in April (18 booked already), 6 appts last week (3 booked already) and I have 4 scheduled for next week. I've GOT to bake these 3x3 cakes way ahead ... I'm not baking all these little cakes every day ... dont' have the time.

No I do not deocrate them ... just the zig-zag. The sampling appt is so they can determine if I can bake; to see if they like the taste of my cakes. My photos show them my decorating style and talent. This is a free sampling ... I am not going to do a full decorated, 2-layer cake for a free sampling. Plus bear in mind that I'm usually also doing buffet (food) samples for them .. chicken, green beans, rice pilaf, etc. ..... (did I mention this was a FREE sampling?)

Sampling ... where you get a "sample" of the cake ... not a full blown cake.

Now, I will say, that 3-4 years ago, I did the full 2-layer cake, decorated, but as the biz grew, I just didnt' have time to go thru all of that. And no one complained or noticed the change..... they came to sample the cake and sample they did. It doesnt' seem to matter to them if they get a slice out of a full size cake or a slice of a 3x3 square of cake.

SweetArt Posted 18 May 2008 , 6:18am
post #10 of 30

For my tastings, I let the bride choose 4 cake flavors she'd like to try. I bake leftover batter from orders into 6" rounds and freeze them. Each 6" is cut into quarters, so that when the brides chooses the 4 flavors she wants, I take the 4 quarters and set together them on the plate. I don't ice or decorate it at all. I provide 4 buttercreams and 4 fillings in sample bowls. I choose the flavors of these based on the flavors of cakes that she chose. I like this way because they can mix and match there items to find the combination they like. Most of the samples I give out are baked from leftover batter from an order, and the fillings and buttercreams are leftovers too that I have on hand. I rarely have to bake the samples to order any more, nor would I have the time too.

Solecito Posted 20 May 2008 , 6:01pm
post #11 of 30

And do you tell the customers they're getting a sample??? do you talki about it when you first talk on the pohone? Or do you just take out the samples at the time of the eppointment?
Sorry this might sound stupid or wierd. I'm still trying to find out how to improve my appointment and my customer service.

indydebi Posted 20 May 2008 , 11:04pm
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecito

And do you tell the customers they're getting a sample??? do you talki about it when you first talk on the pohone? Or do you just take out the samples at the time of the eppointment?
Sorry this might sound stupid or wierd. I'm still trying to find out how to improve my appointment and my customer service.




I use the word "sampling" throughout my emails and my conversations. Never do I ever imply they are getting "a cake". From these 3x3" squares, I usually have a slice or two of each left over and I bag these up in a ziplok and send them home with the bride/couple. No one has ever expressed surprised such as "Dang! Is that all we get?" at a sampling. icon_lol.gif

authress Posted 23 May 2008 , 6:33pm
post #13 of 30

Great thread! Question for those of you who make your sample cake with extra batter and freeze--how long do you keep samples in the freezer? I bake fresh for orders and have been freezing for samples. It's worked great so far--no loss of quality--but nothing has been in the freezer longer than a week or so. I'd like to do this more, but don't know how long I can push it and still have good cake.

indydebi Posted 23 May 2008 , 10:13pm
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by authress

Great thread! Question for those of you who make your sample cake with extra batter and freeze--how long do you keep samples in the freezer? I bake fresh for orders and have been freezing for samples. It's worked great so far--no loss of quality--but nothing has been in the freezer longer than a week or so. I'd like to do this more, but don't know how long I can push it and still have good cake.




I'm stretching it longer and longer freezer time. I had a 3x3 carrot cake in there for a long time .... at least 5 weeks. Got a request for a sample of carrot, pulled it out and iced it and it was so moist, it was hard to ice! As long as they are wrapped properly.....

Maria_Campos Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 3:03pm
post #15 of 30

Do any of you charge for tastings? I do, that stuff cost? I guess I'm not that established to do free samplings.

melodyscakes Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 11:24pm
post #16 of 30

I don't charge for samplings...they are cake shopping. hopefully they like what you have to offer and they choose you do to their cake. I usually book 3 out of 4 consultations.


good luck!

melody

peacockplace Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetArt

For my tastings, I let the bride choose 4 cake flavors she'd like to try. I bake leftover batter from orders into 6" rounds and freeze them. Each 6" is cut into quarters, so that when the brides chooses the 4 flavors she wants, I take the 4 quarters and set together them on the plate. I don't ice or decorate it at all. I provide 4 buttercreams and 4 fillings in sample bowls. I choose the flavors of these based on the flavors of cakes that she chose. I like this way because they can mix and match there items to find the combination they like. Most of the samples I give out are baked from leftover batter from an order, and the fillings and buttercreams are leftovers too that I have on hand. I rarely have to bake the samples to order any more, nor would I have the time too.




I love this idea! I do plain un-iced cake and then different fillings and flavors to mix and match. Your way seems like it would look really nice.

For a bride and groom attending a tasting do you do just one of these four piece cakes or do they each get their own?

SweetArt Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 1:36pm
post #18 of 30

For each tasting they get just 1 quarter of each flavor to share. So it's just one single layer 6" round. I've had brides bring 4 or 5 people and everybody managed to try each flavor. Usually there are only 2 or 3 people and they don't even manage to finish it all. I have a tasting coming up Sunday, I'll try to remember to take a pic to post.

SweetArt Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 1:11am
post #19 of 30

Here is a pic of the tasting set-up today. I like to put it on a serving try so that when they are done, I can quickly clear it all out of the way. They had 5 people show icon_rolleyes.gif and there was still a little cake leftover.
LL

peacockplace Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 2:05am
post #20 of 30

That is so cute. I love it. Thanks for taking pics and posting for me! This is a really great way to do a tasting.

Maria_Campos Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 3:01am
post #21 of 30

I love the way it look, are they allowed to choose more than 4 flavors? Or do you have a limit to how many flavors they can choose from

SophieBelle Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 3:24am
post #22 of 30

Sweetart, that looks awesome!

tdybear1978 Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 3:45am
post #23 of 30

I bake up cupcakes for my tastings. Unless they specifically ask for a certain flavor, I let them sample: white, chocolate, strawberry, lemon and snickerdoodle. And I just make up a standard cupcake, take the liner off turn it upside down and put a little icing on the tops. This seems to be a great amount for up to 4-5 people giving each person at least 1 bite and not so much icing on them so that they can taste the flavor of the cake. I only schedule my tastings for either a Wed. or Thurs. evening and I do a lot of my reg. cake order baking starting on Wed. so that way I am not spending extra time on baking sample cakes and I can just use my extra batter from my regular baking. I also do not charge a fee for a first time tasting. If for some reason they want to have another tasting then I do charge for that. I recently had a bride come in with mom and dad and fiance and they tasted and ordered everything then the next week she called back wanting to set up another appointment for the groom's family to come in so they could feel like they were apart of things. I personally thought it was kind of weird but after first consultation I then charge $20.00

moopie Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 3:50am
post #24 of 30

What's the best way to wrap the cake for freezing?? That's incredible that it went 5 weeks! Makes me excited.. lol icon_biggrin.gif

Darla925 Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 4:10am
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by moopie

What's the best way to wrap the cake for freezing?? That's incredible that it went 5 weeks! Makes me excited.. lol icon_biggrin.gif




If the cake is iced already you let it freeze over night so the icing can harden then wrap twice in plastic wrap and once in foil and it should be just fine. If you are stacking cake on top if cake just make sure they are frozen first before you stack. thumbs_up.gif

I actually had to freeze part of a cake for 4 months (to celebrate a missed birthday) and it came out just fine! icon_wink.gif I have read that it makes the cakes more moist when they are frozen and I think I agree with that.

Solecito Posted 9 Jun 2008 , 7:36pm
post #26 of 30

Sweetart:
That is such a nice display. Thanks for sharing with us.

Tzoavva Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 1:23pm
post #27 of 30

I agree great display SweetArt for your taste testing. Thanks for sharing.

andrea7 Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 6:19pm
post #28 of 30

I have a $20.00 baking fee that is pre paid for cake tastings. Haven't had a no show no call in two years. I was scared to do but it has really helped weed out the riff raf!

Andrea

cakegirl1973 Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 6:40pm
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I always bake fresh, but I only do a couple a week.........being that you have so many.....why not designate ONE day a week solely to tastings.....say Saturday or Sunday......then tell ALL of your brides calling you hold tastings on this day and have such and such times available still....once that day is full.....move on to the next Saturday........then you're doing all the baking for ONE day......not everyday for the whole week..so you get your baking done at once and everyone still gets a fresh made cake!




This is what I do and it works great. Sunday is my tasting day. It does take good planning, especially if you have cakes due on Saturday.

BellaRoca Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:40am
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by authress

Great thread! Question for those of you who make your sample cake with extra batter and freeze--how long do you keep samples in the freezer? I bake fresh for orders and have been freezing for samples. It's worked great so far--no loss of quality--but nothing has been in the freezer longer than a week or so. I'd like to do this more, but don't know how long I can push it and still have good cake.



I'm stretching it longer and longer freezer time. I had a 3x3 carrot cake in there for a long time .... at least 5 weeks. Got a request for a sample of carrot, pulled it out and iced it and it was so moist, it was hard to ice! As long as they are wrapped properly.....




So I have my first tasting in a month, I have been leaving it open so the bride can choose whatever flavors she wants...because I dont limit my flavors. I charge $25 for tastings, which i deduct off the price if they book with me. My question is, perhaps I shouldnt be leaving tastings wide open? this bride requested some not "standard" flavors...like pink champagne with choc ganach, and a few other ones...
Would it be weird to say $25 if u pick from a list of "standard" flavors....then xtra if u want something like that?
any help is appreciated!
oh also, on ur filled samples, do you tort the single layer for samplings? so its 1"cake, filling, 1" cake...instead of the 2" filling 2"?
wasnt sure if this would make a huge diff in taste.
THANKS AGAIN!

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