It's So Frustrating....

Decorating By twooten173 Updated 22 May 2008 , 5:13pm by imakecakes

twooten173 Posted 20 May 2008 , 3:42am
post #1 of 30

when people call for a cake and don't give you any information about what the reciepent wants or likes. I get a lot of cakes like this and it's very difficult to decorate a generic cake - like the ones in the grocery store just sitting there waiting for someone to write a name on it. I have to come up with something tomorrow for a 14 year old whose favorite color is purple oh and they want a 1/4 sheet cake. icon_eek.gif Oh yeah that helps! Argh icon_mad.gif

29 replies
Ruth0209 Posted 20 May 2008 , 3:56am
post #2 of 30

I'm with you on that, sister!! I'm not very good at thinking up a design out of my head. I need SOMETHING to work with so I can at least come here and search for some good ideas to start with. Thank goodness for these galleries!! What's the point of a custom cake if it looks like a Costco cake, after all?!

Cakebelle Posted 20 May 2008 , 3:58am
post #3 of 30

I hate when that happens! icon_mad.gif

Lorendabug Posted 20 May 2008 , 4:00am
post #4 of 30

I know the feeling. My husband comes home from work last week and tells me a guy at work wants a Star Wars cake. Ok, so I ask what does he want on it a logo, characters, or what? He says he just wants Star Wars. Yah...and I want someone who can make a decision and tell me what they want! I hate having to play twenty questions to get someone to discover what it is they really want. But, alas that whole customer service thing wins out everytime.

twooten173 Posted 20 May 2008 , 5:35am
post #5 of 30

I guess we are supposed to be mind readers. ou know what I don't get is that if they care so little about the cake why don't they just go to Walmart or Costco for a cake and save themselves some money. I'm way higher and out of the way.

Ruth0209, Oh I am so with you on having to search the galleries for ideas.

pjaycakes Posted 20 May 2008 , 10:07am
post #6 of 30

I know what you mean. I just got an order for a going away cake for a lady that is the Contracts Director and has a boat and likes to snow ski. They said be creative. icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif

wgoat5 Posted 20 May 2008 , 11:33am
post #7 of 30

I'd say just do purple flowers then... if you don't know what else to do flowers seem to be the way out LOL

I hate this also though icon_sad.gif

pjaycakes Posted 20 May 2008 , 11:44am
post #8 of 30

If it's for a teenage girl you could always do a smooth buttercream and cut out fondant circles or stripes or other geometric shapes and put them all over the cake, with purple and maybe pink, and or yellow. Just make it kind of fun and funky.

mamacc Posted 20 May 2008 , 12:57pm
post #9 of 30

Don't be afraid to call them up and ask more questions! I did this recently on a 75th birthday cake....I was really stumped. They just said make it "outdoorsy"...???? So I called up and talked to the son and that really helped a lot! And the end result was something that the birthday guy would really appreciate.

Also, I always ask if they want regular or 3D...

sarahnichole975 Posted 20 May 2008 , 1:12pm
post #10 of 30

When I get just that color scheme thing, I usually will do just a present cake. With no other info, it does make it difficult. You could do 2 or 3 different shades of purple and just a touch of black to contrast. Here's one I did, simple simple, with the same criteria. And you could throw in some simple flowers as well.
LL

wgoat5 Posted 20 May 2008 , 1:14pm
post #11 of 30

Nickster you are sooo good!!!! LOVE that cake!

gateauxdamour Posted 20 May 2008 , 1:44pm
post #12 of 30

Ok, I know I'm odd, but I like vague ideas that allow the creativity to flow. I despise specific pictures saying this is what I want no exceptions. I often wind up playing a sort of 20 questions about the individual or event and then just take those little tidbits and go wild.

Like Thursday, I have a cake due for a graduate who wants a milk chocolate cake for 50. That was it. \\

So, I started e-mailing with her mom and found out her school colors and little tidbits about her life (fave colors, flower, the fact that she has always loved the swing in their backyard and to this day it is her "thinking spot" and that her mom always thought of her as a little butterfly who happily flittered from one thing to the next enjoying the trip along the way).
So now my vision for the cake is 2 tiers, bottom green for the lawn, top blue for the sky with clouds. A balsa wood swing on top with a little graduate, butterflies in the sky and daffodils in the grass.

Sorry so long, but I just wanted to share how sometimes you can ask the most inane questions and get inspiration for a cake that the customer doesn't really have any specific ideas for the design!

diane Posted 20 May 2008 , 4:28pm
post #13 of 30

i'm with you. i get them all the time...and you know what i do...what i want. icon_cool.gif if they don't specify what they want then they leave it up to me.

foxymomma521 Posted 20 May 2008 , 4:41pm
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by twooten173

when people call for a cake and don't give you any information about what the reciepent wants or likes. I get a lot of cakes like this and it's very difficult to decorate a generic cake - like the ones in the grocery store just sitting there waiting for someone to write a name on it. I have to come up with something tomorrow for a 14 year old whose favorite color is purple oh and they want a 1/4 sheet cake. icon_eek.gif Oh yeah that helps! Argh icon_mad.gif



You could always browse Cakery's cakes for inspiration. Those are my FAVORITE sheet cakes! thumbs_up.gif She always has a funky/cool look to them :
)

alidpayne Posted 20 May 2008 , 5:22pm
post #15 of 30

OMG I am going through this same thing right now. The sister of my husband's best friend from high school asked me to be in her wedding. I barely know her at all. My husband really doesn't either, and isn't really friends with the brother anymore. It is a long story. Well, they decided to go to the court house instead, but I am supposed to make the cake for a reception at their home.

I asked the bride what she wanted the cake to look like. She said "just do whatever you want". Thanks. lol I know nothing about what she likes. I know her bridesmaid dresses were going to be silver and purple. (don't know if it was dark or light purple). I am going super simple. lol

My husband ran into her at the grocery store the other day and she mentioned the cake. He jokingly told her I was going to make her a spider man cake and she said "that would be cool". LOL I guess she really will be happy with anything...

Ali

jr33176 Posted 20 May 2008 , 7:07pm
post #16 of 30

How funny, I get so many requests for specific things (like to copy a picture or put a certain character on a cake), that I like when someone just gives me a color or a general idea and lets me run with it. I am always seeing cool cakes here on CC that I would like to try, but I don't usually get a chance to do them. I guess if I did more wedding cakes I might be able to, but for now, I seem to do a lot of birthday cakes.

twooten173 Posted 20 May 2008 , 7:57pm
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by alidpayne

...My husband ran into her at the grocery store the other day and she mentioned the cake. He jokingly told her I was going to make her a spider man cake and she said "that would be cool". LOL I guess she really will be happy with anything...

Ali




This is hysterical.

Sara, love your cake. Too bad I didn't see this first. Anyway, I did ask a bunch of questions she just kept saying whatever I thought of. So, I went to the gallery and decided to make an IPOD. From here on out I'm just going to make the cakes I've been wanting to make. BTW, I'd kill to have someone tell me I could do whatever I wanted on a wedding cake. Now then I'd be in heaven. People are always so boring when it comes to wedding cakes.

Bettycrockermommy Posted 20 May 2008 , 8:59pm
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by gateauxdamour

Ok, I know I'm odd, but I like vague ideas that allow the creativity to flow. I despise specific pictures saying this is what I want no exceptions. I often wind up playing a sort of 20 questions about the individual or event and then just take those little tidbits and go wild.

Like Thursday, I have a cake due for a graduate who wants a milk chocolate cake for 50. That was it. \\

So, I started e-mailing with her mom and found out her school colors and little tidbits about her life (fave colors, flower, the fact that she has always loved the swing in their backyard and to this day it is her "thinking spot" and that her mom always thought of her as a little butterfly who happily flittered from one thing to the next enjoying the trip along the way).
So now my vision for the cake is 2 tiers, bottom green for the lawn, top blue for the sky with clouds. A balsa wood swing on top with a little graduate, butterflies in the sky and daffodils in the grass.

Sorry so long, but I just wanted to share how sometimes you can ask the most inane questions and get inspiration for a cake that the customer doesn't really have any specific ideas for the design!




I can't wait to see this cake! It sounds beautiful already!

ANicole Posted 21 May 2008 , 1:13am
post #19 of 30

The sad thing is that they probably don't even know what else she likes! Same with the cake for the office lady who likes to snow ski. She probably mentioned it a couple of times, so that's her identity now! icon_twisted.gif

sarahnichole975 Posted 21 May 2008 , 3:21pm
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgoat5

Nickster you are sooo good!!!! LOVE that cake!



you're always to sweet, thank you girly.

mommyle Posted 21 May 2008 , 3:48pm
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaycakes

I know what you mean. I just got an order for a going away cake for a lady that is the Contracts Director and has a boat and likes to snow ski. They said be creative. icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif




I know!!!! You could have her skiing down the mountain-side towards the lake with her boat in it!!!

My problem is that I LOVE 3-D cakes, but no one understand why I charge by the slice for the amount of cake that I have to make to carve the cake, not by the amount of servings that the end result makes. DUH!!! So I end up with decorated square or round cakes, instead of doing something REALLY cool! Oh well....

Trixyinaz Posted 21 May 2008 , 5:59pm
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521


You could always browse Cakery's cakes for inspiration. Those are my FAVORITE sheet cakes! thumbs_up.gif She always has a funky/cool look to them :
)




ditto that. She has some great sheet cake designs and FUN!

imakecakes Posted 21 May 2008 , 6:11pm
post #23 of 30

I saw a cool cut out cake for a teen with their name in bubble letters. I thought I saved it, but it's not there and a quick gallery search for "Name" came up with mostly Christmas ornaments (?????)

The Ipod is a good idea-as long as she has one or is getting one for her bday. It would stink if she wants one but isn't getting one-(except for the cake.) That was just my first thought, odds are that she has one.

twooten173 Posted 21 May 2008 , 6:27pm
post #24 of 30

Fortunately she did have an IPOD. BTW... the mom was stinky about paying $35 for the cake. The funniest thing is she was coming from the grocery store to pick up the cake. She knew the price when she was at the grocery store. Why didn't she just get a cake from them for $13.

I'm going to go look for the bubble letter cake.

imakecakes Posted 21 May 2008 , 7:54pm
post #25 of 30

Here's one with the idea-still not the cake I saw.



http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1103873

For the record, I spread the word amongst my friends that I have done my best cakes when they tell be a theme and let me go with it. IE; Ballet or soccer. They love the anticipation of what I'll come with and I like the surprised look I get. Good luck

alidpayne Posted 21 May 2008 , 8:47pm
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by imakecakes

For the record, I spread the word amongst my friends that I have done my best cakes when they tell be a theme and let me go with it. IE; Ballet or soccer. They love the anticipation of what I'll come with and I like the surprised look I get. Good luck




I feel the same way. I love having artistic freedom, but I hate when I don't have a starting point at all. I can come up with something, but how do I know if they will like it or not? LOL

twooten173 Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:22am
post #27 of 30

ditto alidpayne!

twooten173 Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:27am
post #28 of 30

imakecakes, I love that cake and want to do it. The lady from the other day would have paid for that. I am going to find someone who will. I won't make it that big though... 4.5ft wow!

imakecakes Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:09pm
post #29 of 30

alidpayne and twooten173, If they give you nothing to go by, then I agree with the others to just do what you want. They get what they get and can't complain. I only make cakes for friends and family so I know all my customers and their kids. I've never had a cake to do where I didn't have even an inkling of an idea about them.

When I need inspiration, I do just what you did and tool around in the galleries for awhile. I am never disappointed and neither have my customers been. The only downside is getting distracted because I love them all so much!LOL

imakecakes Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:13pm
post #30 of 30

Twooten, I just looked at your Ipod cake, it's perfect! nice job!!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%