Do-It-Yourself Cake Request

Business By costumeczar Updated 29 Jun 2009 , 5:51pm by costumeczar

costumeczar Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:27pm
post #1 of 47

I just had a request for a price for three plain white cakes that the bride wants her bridal party to "take care of" in terms of decorating the day before the wedding. WTH?? Is this the newest money-saving idea? I told her I was booked that day, which I am, but I wanted to tell them to go to the grocery store and buy a Pepperidge Farm cake in a box!

46 replies
Mensch Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:33pm
post #2 of 47

Well, geez, that's certainly a new one.

lovelytee Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:37pm
post #3 of 47

Good for you thumbs_up.gif . I know now a days people want to save money, but give me a break.

divaessence Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:37pm
post #4 of 47

Wow! Seriously?! What if they ruin the cake? What will she serve her guests on such short notice?

kandu001 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:40pm
post #5 of 47

For the actual wedding?? REALLY???!!!!!!! Well, maybe for the bridal shower or the bachelorette party, but the wedding???!!!

artscallion Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:42pm
post #6 of 47

That's like asking a business to contribute to its own downfall. That's all we need is a new trend where we supply plain cake, for pennies no doubt, to brides who celebrate the new tradition of the bridesmaid cake-o-mania decorating party. I can't wait to see all those wedding cakes that get covered Wilton star tip style, like a batman cake, only white.

If they think it's so easy to make a wedding cake, let them tackle it from beginning to end. Don't ask us to give them a leg up toward the business we'll lose!

hensor Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:50pm
post #7 of 47

If she thinks the bridesmaids can decorate the cakes..why doesn't she just have them bake them too..

costumeczar Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:52pm
post #8 of 47

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was bizarre!

hensor Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:53pm
post #9 of 47

I'm glad you told her you were booked, regardless if you really were or not.

Trixyinaz Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:10pm
post #10 of 47

I must be the minority here, but I would gladly bake the cakes and let them decorate, even tho decorating is my favorite part. I'd specifically put on the sales slip that it was for a plain, undecorated cake. I'm not sure what the issue is that you have with it. The only thing I can think of is "well I don't want people thinking I decorated it." But if you are a reputable bakery/cake artist, no one would believe in their right mind that you decorated it, plus you have the sales receipt to prove it and too many people would know beforehand that the bride had her bridesmaids decorate it. What happens once you turn the undecorated cakes over to her is her problem.

Send her my way, I'll bake her cakes and fill them, even do a crumb coat...or does she just want plain cakes? icon_smile.gif

Trixyinaz Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:19pm
post #11 of 47

oh, yes, she did say plain cakes. Without doing the math, I would say yes and then charge her roughly $1.30 to $1.50 per serving (again, I don't have a breakdown of what each component of my cakes cost so this is just a rough estimate). Who knows, maybe I could go lower than that...but if they want my cakes, even undecorated, they are still going to have to pay me for my skills, time, etc. Baking from scratch can be time consuming and it isn't easy most times.

Mindy1975 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:23pm
post #12 of 47

I wouldn't do it either. The bride is basically saying to the O.P. " We really like the taste of your cake, but you are too expensive for a fully decorated cake." They are still getting a cake that you baked and iced. THat they could honestly just turn around and serve if they really wanted to. Should they really get that major % of a discount? I mean seriously! I'd give them the choice, decorated, or non decorated. Same price.

blu_canary Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:35pm
post #13 of 47

Just out of curiosity, if she hadn't told you she was a bride, and hadn't told you what would be done with them, would anyone have done it?

If she was just some random blah person who wanted to serve plain white sheet cakes for a party?

Or if it had been for a bachelorette party?

Or a kid's decorating party?

I personally wouldn't have wanted my bridesmaids decorating my cake, but then, I didn't want bridesmaids for a multitude of bridesmaidy reasons. *LOL*

Mindy1975 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:41pm
post #14 of 47

I don't care if she wanted to take the cakes and throw them in the air like confetti, or if she was a man, or if it was for a birthday party, or if she wanted to just let them sit on her counter and rot for a month. Same price for my effort of baking and icing them, decorated or not. It's hard enough as it is for us to get paid what we get paid for our time and effort, let alone having to deal with egg-heads like that just out looking for a deal. I'd hate to think what kind of wonderful idea she has come up with to work out with the caterer! lol

Trixyinaz Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:48pm
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy1975

I wouldn't do it either. The bride is basically saying to the O.P. " We really like the taste of your cake, but you are too expensive for a fully decorated cake." They are still getting a cake that you baked and iced. THat they could honestly just turn around and serve if they really wanted to. Should they really get that major % of a discount? I mean seriously! I'd give them the choice, decorated, or non decorated. Same price.




Bold mine. You don't know that. Maybe the bride is trying to cut costs and her bridesmaids are doing the decorating for her as a "wedding gift" The bride probably so thrilled that they would offer to do that, and maybe one of them knows how to decorate, but the bride prefers the taste of your cakes. The scenarios are endless.

And, why shouldn't they get a discount for ordering just a plain cake. Seriously, you don't need cake boards, you don't need frosting, you don't need filling, and you don't need dowels. Charge for the time it takes to prep and bake your cakes and for the material. It's not that difficult to figure out. You price it accordingly. No reason to be greedy, which is what your point boils down to. I've gone to lots of places and ordered things that normally come with meat on it or whatever. I ask them to hold the meat, etc. and without even asking, when I get the bill, they take out the cost of the meat. To me, that is smart business practices, and those are business I'll continue to go to.

blu_canary Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:50pm
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy1975

Same price for my effort of baking and icing them, decorated or not. It's hard enough as it is for us to get paid what we get paid for our time and effort, let alone having to deal with egg-heads like that just out looking for a deal. I'd hate to think what kind of wonderful idea she has come up with to work out with the caterer! lol




Oh, I totally agree. She wants 'em she pays for 'em. I wouldn't give her a discount. But I would charge her for what it took me to make it, plus time, etc. It takes less time, so she wouldn't be paying for piping work, etc. It was more the bakery name associated thing to do it/not do it question for me.

As for the caterer... you're right! *LMAO* Wonder if she asked for a discount if the bridesmaids carried everything in and served it?

Edited to add the ital part.

artscallion Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:51pm
post #17 of 47

I wouldn't have done it mainly because I'm not in the undecorated cake business. And if word gets out that I sell undecorated cakes, I won't have time to do fully designed and decorated cakes. The profit margin I can make on a plain undecorated cake is minuscule compared to the profit margin I can make for designing and decorating a cake. In other words, I can make a whole lot more per hour as an artist than I can as a baker. So why waste my time on an order like that?

Would you go into a restaurant and tell them, "No, I won't be sitting down just yet. Please ask the chef to prepare the ingredients for today's special. I don't want to pay the high cost that comes from having your trained chef cook it though. So just put the chopped and prepared raw ingredients in a bag and I'll cook it on my hibachi out on your sidewalk. Then I'd like a nice table by the window, please.

It's not the business they're in. And plain. undecorated cakes is not the business I'm in, bride or not.

ZAKIA6 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:51pm
post #18 of 47

ive seen on planet cake website. they sell you plain iced cakes.... i guess you or your florist do the rest????

http://www.planetcake.com.au/onlinestore/store.php?sid=89

DeeDelightful Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:56pm
post #19 of 47

I would bake the layers for the tiers and charge for that. If it's worth your time, of course. In my opinion, it is a silly request, not my idea of fun, but if she's willing to pay, i'll make sure her ugly cake at least tastes great inside....LOL

Renaejrk Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:57pm
post #20 of 47

I think when she said "plain" she just meant undecorated? I'm not sure, just trying to clarify. Like, did she want them filled & iced but not stacked, or filled/iced/stacked? I doubt she just wanted them baked and nothing else, though I could be wrong, it seems from what the OP said they wanted them ready to decorate, not "raw". I personally wouldn't have a problem with this, though I can understand others not wanting to do it.

Mindy1975 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:59pm
post #21 of 47

What am I supposed to give them their cake in or on? It does take a board, and a box. And I think the O.P is talking about a completey filled and nicely iced cake for the person to finish decorating. Half the labor involved is torting and filling and icing the cake itself! On top of baking! I don't think she means just the plain jane cake just baked and un-iced. And I just have to say, that is not something that I would not want to start offering out of my bakery. I don't think that makes me a greedy person. I just think that is a complicated option for someone to offer in their bakery. But, at the same time, by all means, it's a free country and do what ever you want people! lol

Trixyinaz Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 9:06pm
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy1975

What am I supposed to give them their cake in or on? It does take a board, and a box. And I think the O.P is talking about a completey filled and nicely iced cake for the person to finish decorating. Half the labor involved is torting and filling and icing the cake itself! On top of baking! I don't think she means just the plain jane cake just baked and un-iced. And I just have to say, that is not something that I would not want to start offering out of my bakery. I don't think that makes me a greedy person. I just think that is a complicated option for someone to offer in their bakery. But, at the same time, by all means, it's a free country and do what ever you want people! lol




No offense Mindy, but when someone says plain - I'm assuming plain - no filling, no torting, no icing. You obviously walked away with a different meaning. So, if plain is my way of thinking, then I have no problem selling it for less. Wrap the cakes in saran wrap, place in a brown bag and hand them off (that's simplier than what I would do, but you get the idea). If plain is your way of thinking, then no, I have to agree with you....no discount whatsoever. The cake is basically decorated....

The OP would need to clarify what she means by "PLAIN"

Mindy1975 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 9:50pm
post #23 of 47

I'm not trying to jump down your throat about it. No offense taken! thumbs_up.gif

jen1977 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 10:03pm
post #24 of 47

I also thought that she meant plain, iced white, undecorated cake.

cocorum21 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 10:10pm
post #25 of 47

I'd do the cake. If she meant plain...iced, stacked and no decorations..... What if she just ordered a plainly iced cake with ribbon on the bottom. Basically it's the same thing with no ribbon. It would be the same price.

Plain cake as in no filling/icing, I'm not sure I'd do that. I don't really know why but I just wouldn't be comfortable with it.

all4cake Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 10:18pm
post #26 of 47

Do you offer kitchen cakes? Charge the same price as kitchen cakes. Unless, of course, kitchen cakes are offered ONLY with the purchase of a completely decorated wedding/occasion cake. Or, if you do offer them and they are less expensive, they're only less expensive because of the purchase of a completely decorated wedding/occasion cake.

If all your cakes with no - moderate decorations are priced the same...charge accordingly.

I do see the point that someone may find out the POSSIBLE atrocious looking cake came from your bakery and think that this is the type work you produce...very damaging possibilities could befall a new baker/decorator.

Or, if you produced a delectable creation that was decorated by someone else, you might not receive accolades for the taste....

kelleym Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:10am
post #27 of 47

I also assumed the bride meant plain white iced cakes. Creating level, non-bulging, smoothly iced cakes is no small feat and it requires skill and practice. Several of my wedding cakes have been nothing more than white cakes with fresh flowers. If that's what the bride was asking for then no way would I discount

varika Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:29am
post #28 of 47

For all those urging the OP to go ahead and make the cakes: did you miss the part where she says that she was ALREADY BOOKED? "I told them I was booked, which I am," she says in the very first post.

Personally, I wouldn't do a plain, undecorated cake for anyone, but that's because I object to doing the hard labor and not getting to do the fun part. Even the cakes I make for unbirthdays and days ending in y have SOME decoration on them, even if it's just cake sprinkles and a shell border.

leah_s Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:39am
post #29 of 47

I would NOT do this for the liability issues alone. Lets say the bridesmaids are decorating and don't wash their hands properly. And spread a little e. coli onto the cake. Guess who get blamed for that? The OP and her liability insurance and reputation.

Run, baby, run.

aligotmatt Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:46am
post #30 of 47

I agree with Kelly. I've done a ridiculous number of 'plain' cakes that had fresh flowers and either flowers or a monogram topper. That may be what the bride meant by the brides maids would finish it.

Certainly, if you're booked, you're booked.

If I got an email or phone call like this, I would ask to think on it. Ultimately, I *think* I would charge my base price per serving and bring it to them, and let them do what they want. I do not think it is the grand demise of a business. What I think I would do is still find out the venue/caterer of the event and email or phone them and let them know the package i am giving this particular bride, so they know the baked cake is coming from my licensed kitchen, but the final design does not.

I offer kids decorating parties where I bring x number of torted and filled cakes and let the kids decorate... what if someone called me and wanted me to just drop off those cakes and not preform the whole event... It would kind of be easy money, but a very similar situation.

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