Taste Or Appearance

Decorating By Gatorfan01 Updated 5 Jun 2008 , 7:53pm by fondantgrl

Gatorfan01 Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 12:49am
post #1 of 29

Which is most important to you, the taste of your cakes or their appearance?

I am a darn good baker and my cakes have won awards at our state fair. I enjoy baking and am just learning to decorate my cakes. I think I suck at decorating! icon_cry.gif

I did a wedding cake for a friend this past weekend. It was my first wedding cake and I just couldn't come up with how to decorate it. (Surprise for the bride) Finally I just did buttercream icing with a pink ribbon around each tier. I piped stars at the bottom of the tiers. (I haven't quite got the hang of the shell border yet). When I was finishing it up Sunday morning I smooshed the top tier and messed the smooth icing up. I was able to fix it but I just wasn't happy with the overall look after that.

Everyone raved about how delicious the cake was especially the bride. That got me to thinking.

What's more important to you: taste or appearance?

28 replies
indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 12:55am
post #2 of 29

Taste, definitely.

My sister has been married 30 years and people still comment on the crappy tasting cake she had at her wedding. This same sister recently attended a wedding where the decor of the cake was less than perfect but it tasted great. This cake-civilian said to me, "I think people will forgive anything if the cake tastes good!"

Would you go back to a restaurant that had crappy food but pretty decor? Or are you more likely to go back to a restaurant that didn't look so great but the food was fabulous?

hellie0h Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 1:35am
post #3 of 29

My vote goes for taste too. I've been baking all my life and would much rather do a dessert cake. My decorating skills are not very good, try as I may.
I have yet to have anyone complain about taste though.

KASCARLETT Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:14am
post #4 of 29

Taste definately! My cakes aren't that good yet for appearance to win them over! lol If the cake TASTES good, it will LOOK good! lol Okay, that sounded kinda corny. Both are really important to me, but taste tops!

Ironbaker Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:21am
post #5 of 29

Most definitely taste.

For reasons along the lines Debi stated - some of the best food I've had has been at "hole in the wall" spots.

mkolmar Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:22am
post #6 of 29

Taste, all the way. I would rather have a piece of dessert that looked okay and tasted amazing than the other way around. I don't like to eat sweets anymore (I think baking all the time has ended that for me) so if I'm going to eat something, it better be good and worth the calories. icon_lol.gif

Mandica12182 Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:34am
post #7 of 29

Taste for me also. My most recent delivery was the grad cake in my gallery, I was not 100% happy with the way it turned out but WAS VERY confident in the moistness of my cake....I knew how good it was from the scraps I snuck!! LOL

Anyways, knowing that I delivered with semi-confidence knowing that if it didn't look exactly how she expected..it would be worth her money! And, I was right...well, she loved the way it looked too, but she said all her guests raved over the cake and she will order from me again!

Wow, sorry a little carried away there!! But TASTE gets my vote!!

tiptop57 Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:35am
post #8 of 29

I respectfully disagree with everyone icon_surprised.gif

Both are equal.

I had to learn how to bake a fantastic cake, and now you need to learn to decorate.

Everyone eats with their eyes first, but they do finish with their palates. This is not an either/or world and everyone wants the best of it all! icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:38am
post #9 of 29

Taste and appearance are equally important to me as far as the product I put out, but taste trumps looks as far as what I am eating. I worked hard finding and tweaking recipes and testing them with family and friends so that I know my cakes and fillings and frostings taste good and I can concentrate on the decorating which is coming along. icon_smile.gif

As a customer I'd much rather have something that blows me away flavor-wise that looked plain (as in underdecorated.. not sloppy) than something that looked amazing and tasted just eh.

edited to clarify.. icon_smile.gif

Granpam Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:39am
post #10 of 29

Definitely taste. before I learned to decorate i had two of my daughters marry. One had a cake done by a meber of her husbands church that decorates as a hobby. The other had hers done by one of the classy decorators. Both cakes were beautiful and suited to the type wedding. The cake from the classy decorator was awful and we still talk about how bad it was. The hobbists cake was super delicious and we had all kinds of compliments. The funny part is I am now an ICES member and see the classy decorator at every meeting and the first thought I always have is I hope her cakes taste better now.

BakingGirl Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:48am
post #11 of 29

Taste without a doubt. I often get comments about how good my cakes are, and I am always taken aback because people seem surprised that the cake is good. I, like the original poster is first a baker second a decorator, so to me it goes without saying a cake should be good.

Having said all of that, I do it is a must to decorate to the best of our abilities, provided it is a decorated type of cake. A sloppy exterior is not good advertising for the delights that lie within.

mamacc Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 9:10pm
post #12 of 29

There's no reason why a cake can't taste amazing AND look great!

Its funny...but people are usually surprised that my sculpted cakes actually taste good, but taste is very important to me.

tracycakes Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 9:17pm
post #13 of 29

Taste, absolutely! Everyone will remember how it tastes and when someone wants a good cake, they know who to go to and that's what they want first. That's my 2 cents.

Rincewind Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 10:41pm
post #14 of 29

I think they're pretty close to being equal, with taste having a slight edge. I think that's why I got interested in cake decorating: I like to eat cute/pretty/interesting-looking food. Ha!

pastrylady Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 11:00pm
post #15 of 29

As I tell my customers...the cake should be a beautiful centerpiece for their celebration...but it is still a dessert and must be delicious.

I certainly think that a cake can be both delicious and beautiful. I'll try to make a cake to resemble almost anything a client asks for, but my one caveat is that it must made of mostly cake, and not things that are technically edible, like gum paste, but no one in their right mind would actually call delicious.

My only beef with many of the Food Network Challenges is that they focus almost solely on the decoration of the cake. I do notice that lately they've been having the judges taste the cakes as well. Maybe they finally remembered that even wildly decorated cakes are still.......CAKES!!

peg818 Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 11:07pm
post #16 of 29

Personally what good is a beautiful cake if it doesn't taste good, after all its cake and should be eaten not just looked at.

ashianadotkom Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 5:23pm
post #17 of 29


That being said ill eat a great cake that's has been just dusted with powdered sugar. My preference ofcourse good scratch cakes .

southerncake Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 5:58pm
post #18 of 29

I agree that you have to have both if you're talking about decorated cakes. If you are just talking about desserts - cobblers, pies, special (non-decorated cake, etc., then if it looks nice that is kind of a bonus. Some of the most favorite desserts are not very pretty!

However, I do remember my ex-SIL's wedding cake very well simply because the top of each layer of cake was burnt and the middle was not quite done. It was awful. That was about 10 years ago. Now, I run into that decorator often and sometimes have customers ask how her cakes are (if I am booked). I can just never get the taste of that cake out of my head...but I can't tell you what it looked like!!!

pinktea Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:15pm
post #19 of 29

TASTE all the way .

I can not count the number of weddings I have attended with gorgeous cakes that taste like frosted cornbread icon_cry.gif

MacsMom Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:22pm
post #20 of 29

It HAS to be both. Before I started selling I made sure I found a reliable recipe and learned all I could via CC icon_biggrin.gif

My customers call me now to say that even though there are other bakers in town who make custom cakes, mine taste the best and I have more flavor options (52!) so they tell their friends about me - the best kind of advertising!

krazykat_14 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:23pm
post #21 of 29

It has to be taste.
If a cake looks ok but tastes great- it's a great cake. If it's beautiful but skunky- that's bad cake.

I have two words to end the debate once and for all:


'nuff said.

tiptop57 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:32pm
post #22 of 29

krazykat_14 wrote:


I have two words to end the debate once and for all:


'nuff said.

Actually Krazykat I don't think Wilton Fondant is classified as a food product ---- I'm thinking it is actually shoe leather! icon_wink.gif

aswartzw Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:42pm
post #23 of 29

Quite frankly, as long as it tastes good I don't care at all about how it looks.

Unless, it's a wedding and for that... looks over taste if I can't get both equally.

mekaclayton Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:59pm
post #24 of 29

Taste is important and looks are great. Both would be terrific but if they cut into that beautiful cake and it's taste bad, no repeat biz. If they can get past the way the cake looks and say hey, this cake is the bomb, they would be willing to reorder for sure (probably while they search for someone that can give them the total package LOL LOL). But customers always want something that tastes good. Believe me, I've had some cake-sasters but they still became repeat customers and referred people because the cake tasted good.

SweetResults Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 7:26pm
post #25 of 29

Tiptop I am with you - at least as far as MY PERSONAL cakes go.

They need to look as over the top as I can get them (and I don't always get there, but I try) and they MUST taste as good.

My goal every time is for everyone to look at the cake and say WOW what an incredible cake - it looks too amazing to cut, it won't taste as god as it looks anyway> and then after they taste it they are really blown away that it actually DOES taste as good as it looks!! LOL!

fondantgrl Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 7:27pm
post #26 of 29


I aim for BOTH, looks and taste... When I present my entry at the State Fair every year, people give me dirty looks. Because they have this mentallity that if it looks beautiful, it taste terrible. And I think that is a very shallow assumption. But the judges always repeats that in a competition, looks count just as much as taste. You can keep praticing on the outside, now that you have perfected the inside. icon_smile.gif

allydav Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 7:30pm
post #27 of 29

Taste is so much more important to me, but the reason people are paying that much money for a cake is because it looks good. Otherwise they would have grandma make her homemade cake that is frosted while still in the pan and tastes delicious (assuming grandma cooks of course icon_lol.gif ). So when selling a cake you would probably have to put them at equal importance.

Beckalita Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 7:40pm
post #28 of 29

Taste is more important, since it's what people remember more (good or bad). Most non-cake people won't remember what a cake looked like a month after the fact, but they WILL remember if it tasted especially good or bad.

fondantgrl Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 7:53pm
post #29 of 29

Also there is nothing wrong with pretty and tastey, just like a Beauty and Brains Beauty Queen. It can't hurt to have both.. Taste only is ok if your cake is for a potluck or picnic, if it's a Wedding Cake, both is a must. No one would go to a Formal Ball dressed in T Shirt and shorts just because they are beautiful in the inside, which is besides the point. icon_smile.gif
Maybe if I was decorating impaired, then I would say taste only. icon_cool.gif

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