A cake disaster I could not recover from.
I had to make a soccer ball and a pair of cleats, so I had it all ready to go, carved both cleats, crumb coat and in the freezer. Ball together and ready to go. Party was Sunday, pick up was Saturday.
Friday night I get one cleat and the ball basically done. Not thrilled with the shape of the cleats - a little to wide and short, but all in all okay. Ball was fine, but I wanted to wait until morning to draw the red lines on with edible marker (I was copying a specific game ball with red and blue markings).
So I go to bed happy that it is well on it's way, pick up is not until 4:30, my other 3 cakes that are due around 11:00 Sat morning are done, so I'm thinking Yay me! All I have to do is finish one more cleat and a few details in the morning and I am free to enjoy the day.
I wake up to BROKEN AC and it is 90 DEGREES! Cleat and ball have started to MELT!! I have to take all fondant off and start over. Very long story short - I did not let her take the cake Sat night and said I would deliver Sun before the party to try to fix it. Redid the soccer ball THREE times, cleats TWICE, ball was "okay" cleats were a melted mess of red and black. I told her I would not take any money, the quality was just not there, she still liked it (she was being nice!) and insisted on paying me half.
I cried on the way home from delivery. Killed me to think there was a cake out there that was so bad with my name on it. I spent the whole delivery ride with a paint brush trying to clean up the melting fondant as best as I could, it was soooo gross. No picture, I need to forget it ever happened.
She emailed me the next day and said the boys loved it anyway, but I know how bad it was and can't think of how good it SHOULD have been.
I have NEVER been able to recover from a disaster before. I just hope she has the opportunity to give me another chance to make her a great cake.
I still can't believe how bad it was.
At least the AC is now fixed!! I need a break from cakes, thank goodness I have nothing due next weekend!
oh honey... (((HUGS))) enjoy the much needed break. i'm so sorry the cake turned out bad. as you know, we are our own worst critics, so it probably isn't as bad as you are seeing it on your head. have a glass of wine and take a nice long bubble bath.
Seriously...your cakes are amazing. I know this was a disaster in your book, but I bet they did love it. She'll give you another chance...you just wait and see.
Sending huge hugs your way!
Oh I'm so sorry this happened to you. Try not to kick yourself around about it too much. Take a needed break and I hope you will eventually recover. Things happen that we can't foresee and we have to get past it. But it takes some time. You do wonderful work. Even if she was just being nice, your disaster probably looks great to her and her kids. I'll bet she calls you again.
Do something nice for yourself today and let yourself unwind.
Wow. Sending you a big ((hug))... I live in the heat and totally understand. Your cakes are SO amazing. Like butterflywings said, we are our WORST critics. We put our heart and souls into our cakes.
What is amazing is that you pulled it together, at the last minute. AND she was happy with it. Keep your head up. You did great!!
So sorry to hear it! I am sure it was especially hard because you know how awesome your cakes are!! Well I know it's not much consolation since the bottom line is that it didn't turn out to your standards, but although it was frustrating and madly disappointing and a huge all around bummer, it's not like it was a reflection on your skills. 90 degree weather and no A/C???!! You were brave for even trying to accomplish that Sisyphusian task rather than calling to cancel the order due to unforeseen weather patterns inside your kitchen!
And I know you said you think she was just "being nice" but seriously, your cakes are so flawless and spectacular that you have a lot more "wiggle room" than some of the rest of us with regard to an "imperfect product." I'd be willing to bet that your "melted mess" still looked pretty darned amazing, and better than what many (well, ok me) would have been able to produce. Btw I just looked at your basketball cake and your baseball bag cake, so I'm not just making this stuff up to try to make you feel good!
Me too. I am with ceshell... I looked up your work...
Try not to feel toooo bad! I know how you feel and hopefully the lady will give you another chance. I just started to get into this cake making thing and I had a similiar situation happen. In August I had a full sheet cake graduation cake due and I had everything all ready to assemble two days before it was due. Well the day before I took my 4 year old daughter to the doctors for a normal checkup and ended up taking her to the hospital with a diabetes diagnosis! Let me tell you what a disaster that was! I couldn't even pull the cake together like you did. I had to call the customer and tell her I would be unable to finish the cake! I was mortified, but thankfully the customer understood and she has orded three cakes from me since!!!! I hope this story encourages you and gives you a little boost! Happy baking!
Wow! What incredible experiences. I think we have all had them. (((hugs))) to you. We, your cake family are standing behind you. We share your pain because we have all been there, or for the newbies, they are headed there. Just part of the learning experience. Remember this, when people really just don't like the work, they let us know it and others too. So if she said she did and the boys too, I'm sure they did or they would have let you know.
But like all things, it will pass. Praying for you that she will be back soon to place her next order.
You guys are great, it was so hard going through it on a weekend when CC was so hard to get on! I couldn't wait to get on and post so I could get it all out.
I saw my neighbor (the customer's friend) today and he said she really was pleased with the cake, God I can't see HOW with literal pools of fondant around the cleats, but hey, maybe to them it actually did look okay.
Thanks so much for all your compliments, it means a lot coming from you all, who really know what goes into all these cakes. It's one thing for a Cake Muggle to love something I do, but it is better when CC'ers do!
Maybe by this weekend I will have forgotten that I ever did this cake - and now I know to:
1. Test the AC BEFORE it is 90 out
2. Leave my house and decorate somewhere else if it is broken!
Thanks for the encouragement everyone!!
Next time just pull all of the stuff out of your freezer and decorate it in there!
I wouldnt beat yourself up over it! It was really beyond your control! And she really didnt sound like she was "just being nice". Most people will flat out tell you what they think so I really think you should let it go! I had a similiar problem in April with a wedding cake. My van decided to go on the fritz the night before and I had no a/c in my van. Ofcourse it had to be the hottest day in April we've ever had and I had to drive 2 hours to the venue and under the fondant was whipped cream frosting! So my round cake tiers looked more like donuts! I was so embarrassed and upset over it. I felt like you did and was so upset over it because there was no way I could recover it in time. But guess what? They loved it anyway! And the mother of the bride sent me a big fat tip and the bride gave me a great rating! So please hun, dont get too upset over it! You will do better next time when you are not fighting the elements! And also remember that we have cake goggles!!
Have a bubblebath and cheer up. Your a great artist and even the pro's have problems every once in a while! Big hugs!
Next time just pull all of the stuff out of your freezer and decorate it in there! Wink Laughing
OMG - you should have seen me!! I actually TRIED that! LOL!!
I'm thinking a bubble bath IS a good idea - maybe a nice cold one filled with ICE - heat wave still going on over here
I am sorry this happened to you. Your cakes are beautiful by the way! ((()))