How To...prepare For A Cake Tasting?

Decorating By sugarbakerqueen Updated 26 Jan 2009 , 11:08pm by cylstrial

sugarbakerqueen Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 8:19pm
post #1 of 15

My question is this.......If it takes me a week to bake all the flavors of cakes I want to offer, how do I keep them fresh for the tasting? Same question with the fillings/ frostings? Help!

Any other advice from the pro's?

Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

14 replies
Deb_ Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 1:18am
post #2 of 15

Hi,

I'll tell you what I do for my tastings. I only offer 3 cake flavors, usually white, chocolate, and lemon or carrot (or whatever I have available).

I try to keep these 3 flavors in my freezer (single layer square cakes or cupcakes), usually I bake extra when I'm making an order and just wrap well and freeze.

I offer buttercream, chocolate buttercream, and cream cheese icing, and usually 4 fillings.
These I also keep frozen for tastings. I fill ice cube trays with the different icings and fillings, label and wrap them well and when I have a tasting I just pop out the flavors I need and they defrost real quick.

The above tasting is free and we do this at their first appt. while discussing cake size, design etc. If they decide to order, but would like to try some of my specialty flavor cakes or fondant/imbc etc., than I charge for that tasting and if they order I take the fee off the total order price.

I think keeping it simple is the best way to go. Remember, you don't have to offer them every kind of flavor you sell. The purpose of the tasting is for the potential client to get a feel for your baking skills.

I am not a big fan of freezing cakes, however having said that, since coming to CC I have to admit I've done it more and have had great results. I rarely freeze for longer than 2 weeks, I use my vacuum sealer and the cakes and samples are just as fresh and moist as when they were first baked.

So maybe if you baked for your tastings all at one time and froze them wrapped really well, you'd find it a little bit easier. Also when you make your icings for other orders, make a little extra and freeze in individual servings for the tastings also.

cylstrial Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 2:11am
post #3 of 15

Dkelly27 -- I really like the idea of using the icecube holder to freeze both icings and fillings. I never would have thought of that! Thanks for sharing!

Where did you get your vacuum sealer?

Thanks!!

indydebi Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 2:41am
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbakerqueen

My question is this.......If it takes me a week to bake all the flavors of cakes I want to offer, how do I keep them fresh for the tasting? Same question with the fillings/ frostings? Help!

Any other advice from the pro's?

Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif




I guess I would ask what is your view of a tasting/sampling?

I view it as a time when the bride checks me out, to see if she likes my baking style and how my cakes taste. She samples my white cake. my lemon cake is just as good except it tastes like lemon. So like the above post, I offer 3 flavors, 3 icings (choc, plain BC and cream chz), and about 5-6 fillings. She can mix-n-match the flavor combinations ... this method actually gives her more "tastings" than if I made an actual cakes.

I use the sleeve fillings, and those things have an almost unlimited shelf life.

I only bake once for 9 appts ... bake a 8" square cake, cut it in 9 squares, serve one square per sampling.

If you view this as a time when a bride comes in to sample ALL the different cakes you make so she can decide what she wants to order, then you probably should start a week in advance baking all of those cakes. icon_biggrin.gif

Deb_ Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 1:52pm
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

Dkelly27 -- I really like the idea of using the icecube holder to freeze both icings and fillings. I never would have thought of that! Thanks for sharing!

Where did you get your vacuum sealer?

Thanks!!




Hi Cylstrial,

I purchased my sealer at either Sam's club or BJ's, I think at the time I was a member of Sam's. I've seen them at other small appliance type stores too. I love it, and I definitely throw away fewer leftovers since I started using it. I vacuum seal EVERYTHING! When I first bought it, my kids warned their friends that if they stayed still long enough I'd vacuum seal them too! icon_biggrin.gif

cylstrial Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 2:03pm
post #6 of 15

LOL! DKelly27 -- Thanks for sharing the vacuum sealer info! That seems like a good thing to have on hand.

loriemoms Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 2:19pm
post #7 of 15

I wouldnt offer TOO Many flavors...I used to do that and was noticing my bookings werent quite what I wanted. I started asking and brides said they were just overwhelmed and decided to go with a bakery that was "simplier". I agree, have them taste your white cake, etc and tell them the lemon cake tastes the same, except its lemon!

tcakes65 Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 3:21pm
post #8 of 15

I offer two or three basic cake flavors...white, chocolate, and one other. The third flavor is usually from extra batter used in a wedding cake. Therefore, the flavor differs each week. Some brides ask if they can select cake flavors for their tasting, but it's just not cost effective. Each bride may not want to sample the same flavors, and you could end up making 8 or 10 different cakes each week. I also offer 5 or 6 fillings, buttercream, and cream cheese icing. I, personally, don't find it to be too much, but some brides do get overwhelmed. I'd say it's 50/50 on those that are overwhelmed compared to the brides that have fun with it. I try to set aside one day each week for tastings. That way I can make the cakes fresh and if there's a no show, it doesn't affect anything.

It's interesting because although I explain to the brides that the tasting is a sampling of our abilities and that they can select any flavors from our menu for their cakes, they always think they have to pick the cake flavors offered at the tasting. Although I explain that if you like the white, you'll like the lemon, etc., they hesitate to pick a flavor they haven't sampled.

tarheelgirl Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 12:39am
post #9 of 15

I have my first tasting coming up next weekend. How do you serve your samples? I am using white almond, chocolate and yellow or lemon. I thought about doing them in 4" rounds. Do you guys serve with fillings or should the fillings be on the side? Just trying to figure out a nice way to plate all the samples together.

jammjenks Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 12:45am
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelgirl

I have my first tasting coming up next weekend. How do you serve your samples? I am using white almond, chocolate and yellow or lemon. I thought about doing them in 4" rounds. Do you guys serve with fillings or should the fillings be on the side? Just trying to figure out a nice way to plate all the samples together.






http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-609265-0.html

Maybe this will help.

tarheelgirl Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 12:52am
post #11 of 15

Ohhh! Thanks so much! I searched around before posting a reply to this thread but couldn't find anything. icon_redface.gif Very helpful. Thanks again! icon_biggrin.gif

bisbqueenb Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 1:53am
post #12 of 15

In nearly 30 years of doing wedding cakes, I have had ONE tasting! hehehe and that was my neighbors daughter ....someone who has tasted lots of my cakes before! More for the fun of it I think! Part of what the bride is 'to do'....but actually in my area it doesn't seem to be an important part of the process for which I am thankful! Most of the customers I work with have been referred by other clients so they have seen/tasted my cakes before or they trust their friends and go ahead and order.

Most of the time clients already have an idea of the flavors they like and go with their favorites. Usually the only suggestions I make are for types of fillings they might like to try with their favorite cake flavors. When people ask what are the most requested flavor or flavor combinations.....easy answer....something with chocolate and perhaps raspberry filling.....I think 80-90% of the cakes I make have at least part of it chocolate! So IF I HAD to do tastings, I'm sure it would be a SC white and a chocolate selection and something else of whatever was being baked that week!

tarheelgirl Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 2:00am
post #13 of 15

I have been married 13 years this February and never did a tasting for my wedding cake. I have 4 possible weddings so I have a tasting set up for each. I am sure the 1st one will be the hardest but hopefully it will be much easier after that.

jammjenks Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 2:57am
post #14 of 15

I've never done tastings until this month. Never even had someone ask me to. Now I have done 3 in 8 days. I find them quite fun actually. The brides in my area commit to me over the phone, but want to scheduled a tasting to decide on flavors.

cylstrial Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 11:08pm
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammjenks

I've never done tastings until this month. Never even had someone ask me to. Now I have done 3 in 8 days. I find them quite fun actually. The brides in my area commit to me over the phone, but want to scheduled a tasting to decide on flavors.




That's kind of weird after all this time... now everyone wants to taste test. I'm sure that your cakes are delicious. They are certainly beautiful!

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