Cake Testing Cost Me 25.00 Per Cake Flavor

Decorating By S67906 Updated 27 May 2009 , 6:30am by margaretb

S67906 Posted 21 May 2009 , 10:12am
post #1 of 23

Hello everyone,

Our daughter is getting married in a five months. I was recommended to a wonderful lady in our complex that makes cakes professionally. I made an appointment, liked what I seen and contacted my daughter and her fiancee to meet with the cake lady.

My problem, the cake lady said a week before the cake testing that it would cost 25.00 for the cake testing. I was hesitant but I said ok, because I am the mother of the brid and I am new to this. She forward my daughter the variety of cakes she makes and our daughter and her fiancee selected four different flavors they wanted to taste.

I contacted my daughter to make sure she sent her cake testing selection over asap, she finally did. The cake lady called me and said she would come by my home and pick up the check. I wrote out the 25.00 check.

When she arrived she said no, it is 25.00 per cake my mouthed dropped. I said you never told me that she said oh no it will be 25.00 per cake and your daughter selected four different flavors. I wrote out the check yesterday because I an new to the mother of bride bit.

Is this normal, am I being taken advantage of, that is awfully high. It is 6:00am on the east coast and I am going to contact some professional wedding cake bakers in addition to wedding planners to see if this right?

What do you think? The cake lady said the cakes they can bring home but in the back of my mind, I was thinking this does not sound right. Please educate me.

22 replies
roweeena Posted 21 May 2009 , 10:31am
post #2 of 23

First off, Congratulations on your daughter getting married! Its a very exciting time.

In regards to the cake tasting, I dont think its odd to charge for cake tastings as it still costs money to make those cakes. The baker still has to turn their oven on for at least an hour 4 times, they still need to make 4 lots of fillings etc. Ingredients arent cheap either. A good decorator will be using high quality chocolate, the best flour, the best eggs. That all adds up. Then if you decide to go elsewhere for your cake she would be out of pocket and you would be full of cake.

Wether or not you think 25 per cake is too expensive, You do need to think about everything the baker puts into every single cake and know that she will put all that care into your daughters wedding cake.

Weddings are expensive but when it comes to the cake its the second thing people look at (after your bride!) and when it comes to food, people will complain to the cows come home about dry cake and bad dinners before they will rave about how good the bride looked. I know alot of people dont think about before the wedding but our wedding cake was dry and people still (3 years later) complain about it!!

Good luck with your tasting and dont be afraid to come back and ask us any other questions!

Minstrelmiss Posted 21 May 2009 , 10:42am
post #3 of 23

$25 EACH would be out of my budget! If it were me, I think I would just ask for one of her small cakes to purchase outright. You need to know the quality, not each individual flavor...lemon is lemon, raspberry is raspberry...

That's solely my opinion though and your daughter might not agree. If she has her heart set, I would suck it up and try all four. I just got married a few months ago and long story mom purchased me a second dress. icon_redface.gif If was not in the budget but was necessary so mama was there for me. Chat with DD and see what she thinks. Maybe you can come up with a good solution between the two of you. BTW, for $25 I had better be taking cake home too! icon_razz.gif Best of luck and sanity! icon_biggrin.gif

Evoir Posted 21 May 2009 , 10:44am
post #4 of 23

IMO, its way too high, and her behaviour was unconscionable - she was not up front with you straight away.

An lot of cake decorators have one set tasting day a month, where enquiring potential customers can come in with one or two other people to taste the cake decorators selections - some charge, some don't. Others charge a flat fee for a 'tasting box' that potential clients can take home and share and discuss etc.

Either way, the cost is made clear up front.

I think you were ripped off. Sorry.

brincess_b Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:17pm
post #5 of 23

were they like proper 6 inch cakes? filled and iced? if so, thats not so bad (dont sell cakes, and i live in the uk, but it sounds like what others here would charge.
as others have said, it costs time and money to do samples, it is fair to charge, not every business can do them for free. different flavours, outside a fairly basic range would be more pricey to make too.
you might want to chat with your daughter and make sure the woman never said anything to her about the price being per cake.

indydebi Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:24pm
post #6 of 23

If they are 6" cakes, then it's not unreasonable. I mean, she's about to hand over 4 cakes that serve about 12 people, so that's close to being enough cake for 50 people.

I think it's odd to make full size 6" cakes just for a sampling. Who is going to eat cake for 50 at one sitting??? icon_confused.gif "Sampling" cakes should be sample size.

I dont' charge for samplings, and I also do catering, so a sampling at my place is not only cake, filling and icing, but it's 2 meats, rice and a hot veggie .... at no charge.

__Jamie__ Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:31pm
post #7 of 23
Originally Posted by indydebi

If they are 6" cakes, then it's not unreasonable. I mean, she's about to hand over 4 cakes that serve about 12 people, so that's close to being enough cake for 50 people.

I think it's odd to make full size 6" cakes just for a sampling. Who is going to eat cake for 50 at one sitting??? icon_confused.gif "Sampling" cakes should be sample size.

I dont' charge for samplings, and I also do catering, so a sampling at my place is not only cake, filling and icing, but it's 2 meats, rice and a hot veggie .... at no charge.

Yep...I wouldn't dream of making full 6" cakes for individual samples. And if I did, you betcha they'd cost 35 bucks each.

What I do, is schedule tastings once every 3 months, and schedule 8 to 10 couples throughout the day. I don't freeze cakes ahead of time, so I bake and make frotings and fillings in one fell bang done. And that way, I also don't charge the couples. If they cannot make the tasting, they are welcome to attend the next one. If there isn't one before their date, they can have a private one. For a fee.

__Jamie__ Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:33pm
post #8 of 23

Oh geeeeeeeez Debi, you are so she's gone to TWITTER! Hahahahaha! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

varika Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:36pm
post #9 of 23

I wouldn't think $25 would be unreasonable for a tasting, but per cake is a little much to me. But then, I would expect a slice of cake, not a six-inch round, too.

Also, it seems a little wonky to me that she didn't tell you when you made the appointment for the tasting that it was $25...though I suppose it's possible that it was a misunderstanding about the price. Still. It sounds like she's trying to take advantage.

I personally would have said, in your place, "...I'm sorry, $100 to taste cake is more than I can afford." and gone elsewhere.

indydebi Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:38pm
post #10 of 23
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Oh geeeeeeeez Debi, you are so she's gone to TWITTER! Hahahahaha! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Yep! A fellow BNI'er convinced me. But .... shhhhhh!!!!! shhh.gif Hubby set it up and is maintaining it for me. I don't have time to be addicted to TWO sites! icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:40pm
post #11 of 23

Lol....I know! Between this, my website, Facebook, Blogger...sheesh, what else, I know, oh, Flickr! I can't keep up!

sweetlayers Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:41pm
post #12 of 23

Perhaps you should show a picture of the wedding cake you want and tell her how many servings you'll be needing and ask her how much the cake will cost and if the tasting cost will be deducted from the price of the final cake.

If you don't get comforting answers, perhaps you should ask someone else.


bebea Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:42pm
post #13 of 23

i think it is a bit much, that is alot of cake for a tasting. do you get to keep the leftovers? or is she applying the money towards your cake order? i would ask those questions, too.

Kitagrl Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:45pm
post #14 of 23

Sounds like she should have been more forthright with you about the tastings... some people charge and others don't, but I've never heard of charging $100 for a tasting...and if she gave you enough cake to be worth that, you'll never be able to eat it all! haha.

Maybe you can just ask her to take that money off the cost of your wedding cake, as most bakers do that. If she won't, I'd find another baker.

mbt4955 Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:48pm
post #15 of 23

I don't sell cakes, so this is truly my opinion, but it seems kind of strange that someone (bride) would want four 6" cakes. Sure you get to take them home, but who would want to? This is a tasting to decide on wedding cake flavors. Four cakes would be a tasting for many and surely would have been arranged as such. You might not even like three of them and then you have the remains of three 6" cakes that you don't even care to finish ... for $100.

It sounds to me like the baker is pulling a fast one. Has the tasting happened? Did she get a check for $100????

alanaj Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:49pm
post #16 of 23

I agree with sweetlayers. Ask if the price will at least partially be deducted from the final cake cost. Like the others, I think $25 per tasting is too high (unless it's a 6" cake--which is silly IMO). I hope you get a lot of cake out of it!

Like Debi, I don't charge for tastings. It's all part of the service to me.

jeking Posted 21 May 2009 , 4:54pm
post #17 of 23

It's a ridiculous amount to charge for a tasting. We don't charge for tastings at all...although I do think a reasonable amount is OK.

I would ask her what she has on hand already and try it for a reasonable fee. I agree that you are generally tasting the texture and quality of the cake and icing...with a few exceptions.

If she doesn't have anything available, either wait until she does...or try someone else.

7yyrt Posted 21 May 2009 , 5:11pm
post #18 of 23

Cancel that tasting!

Frankly, I wouldn't want to deal with her for the wedding cake, if that's the way she started out.

LOTS of people make good cakes.

OhMyGanache Posted 21 May 2009 , 5:22pm
post #19 of 23

Everyone does tastings differently - and charges what they feel is fair.

I do group tastings once a month which are free and the flavors are limited. To do an individual consultation, the charge is $50 which will be applied to the order if they choose to order from me. I would never do individual tastings for free, my time and ingredients are worth something... and I don't want to deal with people who are forever "window shopping" and like to do tastings all over town just for the free cake. I even had a fellow decorator pretend to be a bride, and try to schedule a consultation so she could try my cakes and "check out the competition" - she didn't realize she used the same email address she posted on her cake ads on Craigslist, apparently. I called her on it, saying "of course you wouldn't to do your own wedding cake... come on in for the free tasting or $50 for the private one". She never showed, of course.

I would say it depends on the types of cakes she is providing you - if others are correct and she is making/torting/filling/icing 4 6" cakes, then $25 apiece is fair. Just because there is a failure to communicate properly, doesn't mean she was trying to pull a fast one on you.

Yesterday, I had my first appointment with a new hairdresser. She operates out of a beauty salon, and she failed to inform me that she takes cash or checks only - and didn't tell me how much a haircut would be. I expected to pay with my debit card and when she was finished and I had no cash (I wouldn't have even known how much to bring!) and no checkbook with me (I've only written about 5 checks in the past year) - I felt like a crook. I had to leave the salon and go get cash from the bank and come back (huge waste of time for me), and she had to trust that I was going to come back. It was all just a failure to communicate properly - I didn't think to ask beforehand whether she takes credit/debit cards, and she failed to mention that she didn't.

S67906 Posted 21 May 2009 , 6:19pm
post #20 of 23

I want to thank you all for your response. Again this is my first wedding, our daughters wedding and their are lessons to be learned, commonsense lessons. In the future I will make sure I ask all the right questions. This baker claims they do not freeze their cakes, the cakes are high quality and they have won numerous awards.

Next time I will make sure to ask if their is a taste testing fee, if so how much, is it per flavor ie, chocolate, almond, pumpkin, $25.00 per cake was an unexpected cost but I'll eat the cost. Our daughter will do the cake testing this Saturday, but I will also make another appointment with another baker.

I feel foolish but more knowledgable after reading your responses.

Any advise is welcomed, thank you all.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 23 May 2009 , 2:06am
post #21 of 23

I know it's been mentioned twice already, but PLEASE ask if that tasting fee will be deducted from the total cost of the cake if you decide to go with her.

The way I see it, it's a hard lesson learned for both of you. Yes, you should have asked and made sure about a cost for a tasting, but she should have been clear and forthcoming too. And I think it's a big mistake on her part to make a whole cake for a tasting. If it was me going to this lady to get a wedding cake, I would tell her flat out, "why are you making whole cakes for tastings? why not just make like mini cupcakes with a dab of frosting? Seems more cost and labor efficient to me." But whatever, I tend to be rather opinionated when it comes to caking.

fosterscreations Posted 23 May 2009 , 2:26am
post #22 of 23

As a home baker with no extra freezer room I bake my tasting cakes the day before the tasting. They get two flavor choices and two filling options. Generally when I do a tasting I book on the spot and the $50 to hold the date not only covers to hold the date but offsets the cost of the tasting. Also I am no zoned commercially so I take the cakes to them for the consultation appointment. Sometimes it is as far as 80 miles one way. On one hand I hate to charge them for tastings but on the other hand I shouldn't have to wait until the end of the year when I file my taxes to get reimbursed for the mileage and the cost of the ingredients for the tastings. I do full size 6inch cakes filled and decorated with minimal decorations.
If I were to sell a 6inch round cake filled and decorated it would sell for $18.

margaretb Posted 27 May 2009 , 6:30am
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by indydebi

I think it's odd to make full size 6" cakes just for a sampling. Who is going to eat cake for 50 at one sitting??? icon_confused.gif

I don't know, sounds like a dream come true to me!

If you do end up with lots of cake, remember you can freeze it -- just cut it into quarters (if you want to take out just a little at a time) and wrap it well. 4 cakes -- I bet that would last almost two weeks.

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