Stupid Hurricanes... How Long Can Cakes Stay Frozen?

Decorating By tuffstuff Updated 16 Sep 2008 , 12:21am by CakeMakar

tuffstuff Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 1:34am
post #1 of 35

I was scheduled to make a quinceanera cake for 300 this weekend for a co-worker. Because of hurricane Ike, the party has been cancelled. I've been planning and preparing so carefully. I baked the cakes two weeks ago and they are taking up ALL the space in my freezer. She told me there might not be another opening at the venue until January 3rd! What should I do?? I am assuming the cakes will not stay good for that long? I didn't want to tell her that I was freezing the cakes (the only possible way I could have enough time to decorate) so I don't want to be like "uh, I need more money to make new cakes".
This was very under the table and at a very steep discount (like, kicking myself steep).
I'm also curious what those of you who have businesses would do. What kind of clause do you have in your contract for situations like this? She said all her vendors are willing to just postpone at no financial loss to her because an "act of God is not her fault". But I was thinking "well, it's not the vendors fault either"... how does this get fairly settled?
(And I have no ill will towards her at all. I don't want to come off that way.)

34 replies
Cakepro Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 3:38am
post #2 of 35

Just keep the cakes in the freezer. If you wrapped them well, they'll retain their quality and be just fine.

It's VERY UNCOOL to undercut other decorators and bakeries by giving "under the table steep discounts."

If you're going to do cakes, you need to be competitive. Undercutting others is going to get you in trouble.

Launa Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 4:09am
post #3 of 35

Hey Cakepro and Tuffstuff -

Hope you're tightening down the hatches like we are just north of ya'll! I've got 5 cakes for this weekend and one of them has already rescheduled for next weekend, so into the freezer the cake went! The others I'm waiting until tomorrow to finalize everything. Let me know how ya'll fair after the storm!!

Launa

Cakepro Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 5:32am
post #4 of 35

I have 70 cakes in the freezer for a banquet that is supposed to be on Friday. Looks like it's gonna be rescheduled!

I am starting to get scared.

tuffstuff Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:10am
post #5 of 35

cakepro, I guess that came off the wrong way. She asked me to make this cake but this teacher was my mentor last year (my first year teaching). I consider myself close to her. There is no way I would have given that low of a price to someone I didn't know.
Plus, another issue was the fact that I gave her a ballpark figure on the spot, before I had a chance to really analyze the cost, which I learned a lesson from.
So I was trying to give her a close-friend discount but it was accidentally too low.
I'm aware of the whole under-cutting thing (which I was recently clued into ... it never occurred to me when I first starting out).

tuffstuff Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:12am
post #6 of 35

Oh, and cakepro, I wanted to mention that I used the phrase "under the table" to mean that I did not have any kind of contract or deposit or businessy things like that (for the whole hurricane thing).

Deb_ Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:23am
post #7 of 35

Hi, I just finished reading through a book by Dede Wilson. She said a cakes quality cannot be guaranteed if frozen for longer than 1 month. I would not use those same cakes for the January date. You don't have any orders in the next couple of weeks that you could use them for?

BTW.....good luck to all you TX gals and guys, we'll keep you in our prayers!

DebBTX Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:44am
post #8 of 35

Hi,
I hope all of you do well in this storm. My Houston company should arrive shortly.

I would wrap the cakes very well and go ahead and put them in the freezer; but if the opportunity comes along for you to sell or "gift" them, I would do so. I think I would bake fresh in January.

Stay safe.

-Debbie B.

kakeladi Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:54am
post #9 of 35

........reading through a book by Dede Wilson. She said a cakes quality cannot be guaranteed if frozen for longer than 1 month.......

I diagree....I have fzn them longer w/o problems, as long as they are properly, well wrapped.
It is entirely possible something (other orders) will come along in between now & then so she can use tghose cakes & bake up new ones. That would be the best possible answericon_smile.gif

lainalee Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 3:35am
post #10 of 35

Could you host a cake tasting event with those cakes? Then make new ones when needed?

Cakepro Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 3:37am
post #11 of 35

Tuffstuff, thumbs_up.gif

I'm sorry you got stuck with undercharging. I have been there and ended up feeling really resentful about it because it was a ton of work...so I do feel your pain.

Stay safe and hang in there! icon_smile.gif

Sherri

mommyle Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 3:58am
post #12 of 35

I agree with the others about freezing and using sooner if the opportunity comes up. I actually have been serving friends and family cupcakes that were in the freezer for 3 months, just thrown into a baggie. Still good. HOWEVER, the other thing that you could do is donate to a shelter (they are going to need SOMETHING) and perhaps get a tax receipt. Or IF they sit for that amount of time, try them yourself, and if you are in doubt, make cake balls, and drum up business.
Good luck and good weather.

kjgjam22 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 4:16am
post #13 of 35

i also would not freeze until january. cant tell if it will be eat. it will only look bad on you that the cakes were not nice.

DebBTX Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 4:23am
post #14 of 35

I guess a lot of what you will be able to do will depend on the weather.

If you lose your electricity for a lengthy amount of time, the freezer idea won't matter after so long. If you find you are going to lose the cakes because of no electricity for a prolonged time period with the heat and humidity, I would give them away. Your neighbors will appreciate the kindness. It will be a double sweetness when people are stressed.

-Debbie B.

Mac Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 4:50am
post #15 of 35

I've had one party to reschedule for next weekend and another 150 cookies order to cancel altogether...Bummer!

East Texas had just started getting in some special needs evacuees. Anybody from down around the coast coming to East Texas? Prayers being sent to those still there and for the ones on the road.

Cyndi1207 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 5:16am
post #16 of 35

I've had several orders who all have just rescheduled until further notice. That's good since I would have given deposits back since it was hurricane related............luckily there was no need.

For you guys up in the Corpus up to Houston areas please be safe. We still have many families here recovering from Dolly ourselves.

tuffstuff Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:51pm
post #17 of 35

My husband and I evacuated to Dallas yesterday morning. Hope you houston-area cakers stay safe.
Thanks for your repsonses. I've decided to play it safe and use those cakes for other things. (That's if the power doesn't go out for days!)
I have various birthdays coming up and the big cakes I can donate to the fire station down the street from me and to a nursing home. Would it be tacky to leave some business cards at those places? I've never done this.

kakeladi Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 1:32pm
post #18 of 35

Oh definately leave business cards if/when you donate them!
Yes, I hadn't thought about the loss of electricty -- especially for an extended time.
I bet in the long run yu will come out smelling like a rose when you give them awayicon_smile.gif

Launa Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 1:45pm
post #19 of 35

Well, I had 5 cakes for this weekend and they all cancelled yesterday, so everything went into the freezer. Now it's Friday, and usually I decorate all day and I feel a little lost without buttercream spread all over my kitchen!! icon_surprised.gif

The bad thing is that I'm already booked for the rest of the month, so when they call to reschedule....I'll be SWAMPED!! icon_cry.gif I pray they don't call and all want their cakes for the same weekend!!

I think the worst part of the storm is going to be losing my CC family for a few days!! I'll miss ya'll....but I'll be back!!

Launa

Cyndi1207 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 8:37pm
post #20 of 35

I know what you mean about feeling lost. It's Friday and usually I'm in the kitchen all day and now I'm left here with nothing to do. It's strange. I don't think I like it icon_sad.gif

Deb_ Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 11:25pm
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

........reading through a book by Dede Wilson. She said a cakes quality cannot be guaranteed if frozen for longer than 1 month.......

I diagree....I have fzn them longer w/o problems, as long as they are properly, well wrapped.
It is entirely possible something (other orders) will come along in between now & then so she can use tghose cakes & bake up new ones. That would be the best possible answericon_smile.gif




How is this disagreeing with me? I said I would not use those same cakes for the January order, can't you use them in another order before then? I still don't see where your advice was any different than mine, yet you disagree? icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif

Would you want to eat cake that has been frozen for 5 months? I don't freeze anything for that long never mind cakes.

Cakepro Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 12:27am
post #22 of 35

I disagree with Dede Wilton and agree with kakeladi. The cakes will be just fine if wrapped well - the wrapping is key to the quality of the cakes not degrading. That and no temperature fluctuations.

The cakes will be fine. icon_smile.gif

Deb_ Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 12:47am
post #23 of 35

I guess that's why we're all different. My motto is: if I wouldn't feed it to my family or eat it myself, I certainly wouldn't sell it to a customer and risk my reputation.

Especially with power outages and certainly it looks like that area will lose their power in the next hrs., which means unless you have a generator, the freezer will be defrosting. I say frost those babies and donate them to a shelter, people will need a little goodness with that storm heading their way.

Just to clarify, Dede Wilson's excerpt stated that "the cakes quality cannot be guaranteed if frozen for longer than 1 month", this is referring to "Scratch" recipes in her book. My translation of that is it will not have that fresh baked taste.

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 1:03am
post #24 of 35

Since I guess you have already decided what to do about the cakes...I am just gonna chime in and PLEASE be safe! We are saying prayers for you Gulf folks!

Deniro Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 1:22am
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro

Just keep the cakes in the freezer. If you wrapped them well, they'll retain their quality and be just fine.

It's VERY UNCOOL to undercut other decorators and bakeries by giving "under the table steep discounts."

If you're going to do cakes, you need to be competitive. Undercutting others is going to get you in trouble.


Does this apply to beginners. I'm still learning so I try to break even. Even though I have heard people make comments on how they can get cheaper prices!!

CindiM Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 1:29am
post #26 of 35

At my house and my shop, the water, electric power and phones (cell and land line) were out for a month. We were a direct hit in 2004 with Hurricane Charlie in Punta Gorda, Florida.

I had to drive around to find my brides to get their money back to them. They totally understood, I was mostly wiped out and so were they. It was a sad time, but we knew we were lucky in so many ways.

The smartest thing I did was to buy the small tarps at Home Depot and cover my oven, mixers and freezers so they didn't get water in them from overhead when the ceilings fell. Also, forward your landline to your cell. The cell phones will be up before the landline gets fixed.

Be safe, I am praying for all of you.

tuffstuff Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 2:07am
post #27 of 35

Wow, CindiM... a month without power?! This hurrican business lately has me rethinking my someday-plans of opening a shop in the Houston area. I am thinking maybe north Texas instead.

Cakepro Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 2:27am
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27

I guess that's why we're all different. My motto is: if I wouldn't feed it to my family or eat it myself, I certainly wouldn't sell it to a customer and risk my reputation.




LOL, you wouldn't eat a cake that's been in a freezer for 4 months? icon_rolleyes.gif

That's ridiculous, and especially more so if you are NOT speaking from experience.

I've been doing this for 10 years and would likewise not risk my reputation and business by doing something that I felt would degrade the quality of my product. That's kinda stating the obvious there.

kakeladi Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 2:37am
post #29 of 35

Cakepro......that's exactally what I was meaning.
I wasn't disagreeing w/dkelly so much as w/dede wilson. I have been doing this sine 1980 so I think I can talk from experience. Yes, I have kept cake in the fzr for as much as a year and thought it still tasted just fine. And there were some that I threw out because it didn't pass my taste test -- and those pieces had not been wrapped properly.

CindiM Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 2:41am
post #30 of 35

tuffstuff, my house and shop are blocks from the harbor just off the Gulf of Mexico. We took baths under the gutter when it rained and one neighbor's pool wasn't damaged and we bathed there too. It was very stressful without doors, windows, clean clothes, tv, the internet!!!! and cooked food. After the hurricane hit us, it went to Orlando. You would think where Mickey lives would be safe. You never know. Take care.

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