Cupcake Tastings

Business By jenmat Updated 11 Nov 2009 , 5:51pm by jenmat

jenmat Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:26pm
post #1 of 21

So I usually do 4" cakes with fillings for my tastings, and thats fine, but tonight, and for quite a few this month, I have cupcake wedding cake tastings.
The bride this evening is bringing her maximum for people (4 total).
Usually, they just cut up the 4" cake and serve it up.
But do I make 4 of each kind of cupcake? I mean, my actual charge of cupcakes for weddings is cheaper, and I limit the flavors unless they want to pay more per cake.
In other words, I don't think a cheaper wedding bill in the end warrants me making 4 of each flavor she wants to sample, but I am not sure how to do it otherwise!

20 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:28pm
post #2 of 21

You could just bake the 4" cakes in the flavors you'll use for cupcakes.

jenmat Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:31pm
post #3 of 21

yeah, I guess I could, but I always think that the cupcakes just have a different feel to them and I want them to know what they are getting, especially with the filling and how much filling they actually receive.

rosiecast Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:33pm
post #4 of 21

Can you bake the jumbo cupcake and break it into 4?

jenmat Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:35pm
post #5 of 21

hmmm. I don't have the pan, but maybe I could bake one reg sized cupcake and then I do have a pan for mini cupcakes, maybe make mini cupcakes for the rest of them? Its not like the rest of the bridesmaids need to take lots of bites with different icings.

rosiecast Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:49pm
post #6 of 21

I think that sounds great: 1 reg sized and the rest minis. That way they can TASTE what it would be like and also see what it's going to LOOK like. Good luck,

KHalstead Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:59pm
post #7 of 21

I would just bake 4 of each flavor. I mean is it really THAT much more batter than you would use for a 4" cake? I mean if you wanted to, you could just cut the cupcakes in half and give each person a half...I mean it is a "tasting" not a buffet! I mean each person isn't going to want to eat 4 whole cupcakes in one sitting anyhow (or at least they shouldn't) lol

vagostino Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:03pm
post #8 of 21

is there anyway that you could do a base batter and split it in 4 and then flavor it or add more ingredients to make the right flavor? I don't know what recipe you sue, but maybe you can make a yellow base, split it and add chocolate to one, lemon to the other etc....that way you only make one base batch

KHalstead Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:19pm
post #9 of 21

oh and wanted to add, you should charge for your tastings and then it won't matter how BIG or small their wedding order winds up being.

jenmat Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:38pm
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I would just bake 4 of each flavor. I mean is it really THAT much more batter than you would use for a 4" cake? I mean if you wanted to, you could just cut the cupcakes in half and give each person a half...I mean it is a "tasting" not a buffet! I mean each person isn't going to want to eat 4 whole cupcakes in one sitting anyhow (or at least they shouldn't) lol

I could, and no, its not that much work, but I have 6 other cupcake tastings this month and I don't want to start a trend- we'd be talking 12 cupcakes for 4 people tonite! Overkill.
Charging for tastings for me isn't in my blood, just not my thing.

leah_s Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:50pm
post #11 of 21

I like the reg size for the bride and minis for everyone else idea.

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 9:26pm
post #12 of 21

First, if you know you have that many tastings lined up, it's easy to bake them all at once and put them in ziploks in your freezer. Pull out what you need, give 'em 15 minutes to thaw, ice 'em and you're ready to go.

Second, if I walked into a tasting and saw that I was expected to eat FOUR full size cupcakes icon_surprised.gif , I'd probably gag at the idea. Either make them really small cupcakes, or make mini's (it's a tasting, not a dessert MEAL). If you want the bride to get an idea of the actual end-product, then make ONE either just for her or as a display ("this is the actual size style that you'll see at your wedding ... these are our sample sizes so you can get an idea of whether you like my baking or not.")

jenmat Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:35am
post #13 of 21

update- thanks for all the advice. I made the one big and mini cupcakes for the rest and it went wonderfully, except that they stayed for like 2 hours. Have to cut back on that. Everyone was pleased and you're right, there was no way they were eating that much cake anyway.
Indy- it would be a good idea to make them in advance, but each bride chooses her own flavors to sample- from white and chocolate to gourmet. But I am going to bake a bunch of plain ones for backup.
Wedding season is done for me.... now on to tasting season!

indydebi Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 11:03am
post #14 of 21

Oh. See, I view a tasting as the opportunity for them to see if they like my baking .... not as the time for them to sample everything that on my menu so they can decide what, exactly, they want to order. (Hello, Pizza Hut? I'm planning a birthday party, so I'll need to sample a slice of every single kind of pizza you make so I can decide if I want pepperoni or sausage pizza for the party. Yeah .... THAT'LL work!)

I offer white, choc and a 3rd flavor (whatever I decided to bake). I tell them "My lemon cake will taste just as good as my white cake except it tastes like lemon."

To me, a sampling is to sample my baking skills ...not a preliminary free run thru the menu.

Can you imagine the cost if I did that with my catering? icon_eek.gif

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 4:25am
post #15 of 21

I knew that was coming!
There are quite a few cake places in my area- both home and bakeries, (including 2 home decorators on my street- its a long road though), so offering a choice in samples is one of the ways I have chosen to set myself apart from them, although there may come a day that my reputation allows me to offer less.
If I was a bigger operation like you, I would never let them choose. I've worked at both a big chain store and in a busy bakery, and we would have NEVER offered a choice of samples, and I would be on the front lines in that battle.

costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 12:40pm
post #16 of 21

I'd advise you to cut back on the "choose your own flavors" as soon as you think that you can. I have people try to give me a list of 20 flavors they're interested in, and I tell them "This is what I'll have." I'm on the side of the "sample as a sample, not a meal" perspective! It will just make your life easier if you control what you're offering, but it sounds like you know that already!

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 2:23pm
post #17 of 21

But I think a bigger operation COULD offer the "pick your own flavors" easier than a one-man show. A big operation has all of those flavors in production 95% of the time, so it's easy for them to go back and pick up a cupcake of this flavor, that flavor and the other flavor. A one-man show with NO retail business, who makes cakes "to order", doesn't have that stuff just sitting around, so a "pick your own flavor" policy means you (generic you) has to bake each flavor every time a sampling is scheduled.

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 3:49pm
post #18 of 21

I think a bigger place CAN, I just don't think they SHOULD HAVE TO. When I worked at the big store, I actually had people insist I slice up a cake off the shelf to see if they liked it. RIGHT, like THAT was going to happen. Then, I moved to a smaller scale operation, and we had 6 flavors, and had them at all times, but we didn't do tastings- we told people to buy a cake. Our reputation proceeded us so most people who came to us had already had our cake. OR, we had just walk ins who were browsing, and we would never see them again. I wasn't going to go out of my way for window shoppers.
Now that I'm by myself and gathering my reputation in the business, I WANT people to try my cake and be wowed by it. If they have made an appointment, driven the half hour to get to me that it takes, I want them walking away from me thinking, now THERE'S above and beyond, simply because there's 16 other places they've already looked at.
When I first started, I offered 5 choices- that's right, FIVE. Then I went to four, now I'm at three. Pretty soon I'll be down to 2 choices, and that is where I'll probably stay. But I will probably always give them a choice, maybe someday off a smaller scale menu (choose 2 out of these 4-6 or something).

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 3:56pm
post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by jentreu

I think a bigger place CAN, I just don't think they SHOULD HAVE TO.

Oh I TOTALLY agree!! I think it's ridiculous when brides think they have to taste everything on the menu "so they can decide". None of us do that in restaurants or groceries or bakeries. If we want to try a mango-orange cake with chocolate-cigar-ash filling, then we buy one. I think if someone can't make a good white or chocolate cake, then I dont' even want to think about how bad their other cakes will be.

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 5:50pm
post #20 of 21

VERY true- and I also think that with shops and larger businesses that there is level of trust that comes with the size. Not that its always true, but the perception is that if you have a shop/large operation, you must be doing something right. So, when you say "my lemon tastes like my white but like lemon," that makes perfect sense, because, hey, you as the baker have been around the block a few times, and there is a reason you are successful. If you put out crap too many times, you wouldn't be in business as long as you have.
Whereas, a one woman business who invites people to her home for a tasting can really run the gamut- from fabulous to so-so. And the bride's trust level needs to be established through a tasting.
Size and longevity=credibility with customers.

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 5:51pm
post #21 of 21

oh, by the way, I only use cigar ash for sprinkles! Didn't know it could be used for filling too!

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