Friend Getting Very Picky About Ingred For Her Wedding Cake-

Decorating By denetteb Updated 13 Dec 2009 , 8:06am by madgeowens

denetteb Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 3:51am
post #1 of 50

I guess this is a vent, just wanted to share to get it out of my system. I have been asked to make a friends wedding cake for the end of Jan. Half chocolate, half white and a small wheat/dairy free cake-total servings of 150.

I have been researching recipes and made 3 choc for them to try. They picked one and thought we were good. But then they thought maybe a darker cocoa would make it better. And then she said that she would go with me to the coop to get the ingred.

So I was going to try one more time and combine 2 of the recipes cause the coop cocoa she bought doesn't look that much darker than what I have. And so I began to understand that my usual ordinary ingred. wouldn't be ok.

Tonight I asked her if one of the ingred in a liquid coffee creamer would be ok for the wheat/dairy free frosting to thin it instead of milk. She referred to the chemicals in it as poison. Even if it is only a couple tablespoons in a batch of frosting. "A couple tablespoons of arsenic in a batch is still poison".

Don't get me started on when I mentioned the cake she picked uses margarine. She said just use butter instead. I said that may work but that all the ingred work together and I wasn't sure if it would change things. Especially on top of the flour, cocoa, and everything else being somewhat different cause they will be all from the coop.

So I told her to really think about it and if she wants it all pure maybe she should have the coop just do the cakes.

Anyway, I know this is long but it just makes me a bit sad that I probably won't be making her cakes since I just think it is a no win thing. If I use all her ingred I will have to do more testing and worry and if I use mine or a combination I know she will be happier if they are all natural and from the coop. And yes, she is willing to reimburse me costs for everything and go with to buy it.

Thanks for listening.

49 replies
dsilbern Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:13am
post #2 of 50

Too much trouble that sounds like it can end up in a big fight between friends.

LaBellaFlor Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:31am
post #3 of 50

Have you ever heard of the phrase "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"? Well that is what your friend is doing. Unless she is about to pay you a $1000 for all htese samples you making, don't do it. And if she wants to be difficult, cut you losses.

indydebi Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:32am
post #4 of 50

Barring any medical reasons that she needs special ingredients, if you're doing it for free, as a gift, she can shut the h*ll up. If she's paying for the cake, you're probably already in the red with all the different testing you're doing, and I'd put a halt to it right now unless she's paying for all of this Research and Development stuff!

This is the type of person that I'd just LOVE to set 3 samples of the very same chocolate cake in front of her, tell her that each sample was made with a different cocoa ... and watch her go thru the motions of declaring 'Oh yes. THIS one is the best! Go with Sample #2!"

I'll bet my pair of boots in a snowstorm it would end up this way. icon_twisted.gif

In the words of Seinfeld: "People ..... they're the WORST!" icon_lol.gif

CakeMommyTX Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:33am
post #5 of 50

what's the coop?

LaBellaFlor Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:35am
post #6 of 50

I think she means co-op. The place you get all the "special" "Community" foods from.

CarolAnn Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:44am
post #7 of 50

Did she ask you to make it at no charge, and she'll pay for the ingredients? From just what I've read here so far this lady would be having the coop make her cakes. It sounds to me like your friendship will come out a whole lot more intact if you back out now, suggesting she have the coop make the cakes. Otherwise you'll be spending boo-koo more time and bucks developing the recipes yourself, and chances are she won't be satisfied in the end. Do yourself a favor and break it to her now, while you're still friends. I hate to think of you avoiding eachother because it was your fault the cakes weren't what she wanted.

helsbels Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:53am
post #8 of 50

In my opinion if you go through with this no matter what you do she will not be happy with it. Sometimes its just a "no win" situation. Sorry
icon_sad.gif

cylstrial Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 1:24pm
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

what's the coop?




I'm so glad you asked this! The entire time I was reading the post, I was thinking, what the heck is a coop?

denetteb Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 3:38pm
post #10 of 50

Sorry about the coop thing. I meant co-op where you can buy local and organic things. Not a place I normally shop. And she has offered several times to give money for supplies or get items for me so that isn't the issue. The test cakes I would make a small one for their test and use the rest as cupcakes or for other purposes. Plus I was enjoying it. After the 3 choc were tested is when she brought up getting things at the co-op. Later still the creamer is poison thing. This morning my DH mentioned what about Pam. So I am sure that is poison also. What is hard for me is all the changes after the fact. However I haven't started the vanilla cakes yet so could use the info going forward and then retest the choc recipe with the changes. It is just getting too complicated, I just can't foresee all the complications and food no-no's that she believes in. Plus the difference that all these slight changes will make to the overall product. I mean, I really don't know if rice milk will be an equal substitute for milk in buttercream unless I try it. Yeesh. She called this morning and I let the machine take it to hear from what ccers said first. But I think I need to bow out now. Thanks for the support and advice.

aundrea Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 3:50pm
post #11 of 50

haha thanks for clarifying the 'coop' the first thing i thought of was chicken coop----i dont know where i was going with that.
my advice would be keep a friend...loose the cake! or it will be make the cake and loose a friend.

cakeymom Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 3:55pm
post #12 of 50

I recently had my own adventure with a repeat client. She's nice but so it very picky, but so am I. First, she wanted a sheet cake (which I hate doing but agreed). Then she wanted lime green, chocolate brown, and white. She wanted me to make up something for a baby shower. Finally, she had a problem with the price of the half sheet cake. Which she was getting it for a steal - anyway.

I just made up something and I won't go into to the details as to why I wouldn't be able to do it. I held my breath and crossed my fingers.

I knew it was going to be a problem because I had no invitation to go off of, no swatches of color, and could not settle on a price.

So, word to the wise....If it looks, or seems like there will be problem it probably will be.



As luck would have it I have smaller order from my cousin for his son. So, I'm doing a cute little basketball cake. thumbs_up.gif

cakeymom

kakeladi Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:09pm
post #13 of 50

My feelings on this are a bit different from most of you.
If you are enjoying the test baking and she has pd for some or all of it then I would go forward. I don't think she will not be satisfied come the big day.
What she doesn't know won't *poison* her icon_smile.gif Make up your samples, don't tell her what ingredients used and I bet she won't notice at all.

luvmysmoother Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:09pm
post #14 of 50

I had someone expect me to buy a set of square pans in order to make her friend's wedding cake. I was and still am very new to tiered cakes so only had graduated sizes in round pans and not square. I told her that up front but she was so insistent I just decided to buy the square set rationalizing that I'd probably need it in the future anywaysicon_smile.gif Turns out I almost never use them - prefer round pans. For the second wedding cake I did the bride to be was soooo much more understanding of my skill level and worked with me to make sure it wouldn't be too stressful for me - The right customer makes all the difference in the world to the enjoyment of the whole process - making a wedding cake is a HUGE deal - please don't let your friend take it for granted and expect a cake to her nitpicky specifications as if you are Jeannie and can cross your arms, blink and voila - cakeicon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:11pm
post #15 of 50

my caps key is broken

yes, this is rent-a-pastry-chef for free not just make a cake.

offering to pay for ingredients is nice but recipe development is not what you signed up for nor is it compensated by purchasing a few ingredients.

and as we all know, you can't just sub out ingredients willy nilly and get the right results.

wedding cake has to perform not just be some sorta sweet substance that combines all your preferred ingredients.

bowing out is the best idea i think

Win Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:24pm
post #16 of 50

I think that by you posting this you are already feeling in your gut that this is not going to turn out well. I (most) respectfully disagree with kakeladi's statement:

Quote:
Quote:

What she doesn't know won't *poison* her Smile Make up your samples, don't tell her what ingredients used and I bet she won't notice at all.




Why? I think this friend has already shown herself to be extraordinarily interested in involving herself in the production of her cake. I don't think she will ever "not notice" (or ask) what you have used for ingredients.

In the end, your husband is right... if you can't get away from even PAM being "poison" she is never going to be happy with what you have produced.

The question is this: How much do you value the friendship?

sadsmile Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 5:05pm
post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by denetteb

I guess this is a vent, just wanted to share to get it out of my system. I have been asked to make a friends wedding cake for the end of Jan. Half chocolate, half white and a small wheat/dairy free cake-total servings of 150.

And so I began to understand that my usual ordinary ingred. wouldn't be ok.

Tonight I asked her if one of the ingred in a liquid coffee creamer would be ok for the wheat/dairy free frosting to thin it instead of milk. She referred to the chemicals in it as poison. Even if it is only a couple tablespoons in a batch of frosting. "A couple tablespoons of arsenic in a batch is still poison".

Don't get me started on when I mentioned the cake she picked uses margarine. She said just use butter instead. I said that may work but that all the ingred work together and I wasn't sure if it would change things. Especially on top of the flour, cocoa, and everything else being somewhat different cause they will be all from the coop.

So I told her to really think about it and if she wants it all pure maybe she should have the coop just do the cakes.

Anyway, I know this is long but it just makes me a bit sad that I probably won't be making her cakes since I just think it is a no win thing. If I use all her ingred I will have to do more testing and worry and if I use mine or a combination I know she will be happier if they are all natural and from the coop. And yes, she is willing to reimburse me costs for everything and go with to buy it.

Thanks for listening.




Vent all you want. It sounds like a tough situation.

I think the attitude in general towards the ingredients in this thread is off base. If she asks for special ingredients and a wheat free and dairy free cake then there must be a reason. A little understanding there is in order. Free or paid for wheat and dairy allergies are something out of the ordinary yes, but should not be treated with such distain. This is coming from my own issues in dealing with friends and family over my familys dairy free needs.

Coffee creamers and all things that say dairy free- DO IN FACT CONTAIN MILK INGREDIENTS. Sodium casientate, whey, lactose, lactylose ...etc there is a loooong list.

DO NOT mix your recipe with what is asked for. The milk and wheat ingredients can trigger allergies and send people to the Hospital. This may be the reason she is asking you- someone she knows and can trust for all of these PITA ingredient requests.

Anyone saying shell never know are WRONGE! I just can not tolerate it being repeated to trick her or do it any way beacuse shell never know, and not say anything. Please understand it can cause real health issues!!! Special consideration in needed in this type of issue. So please STOP!

Now with that fire put out.

So what if she wants organic that is a lifestyle choice some people make and maybe some family members of guests are on that kind of a diet.

Rice milk is an acceptable substitute but soy or oat milk tastes better. I use Silk Soy Creamer for cream. There are many other cream consistency replacements that are good but costly. Though refrigeration will be required as these ingredients spoil faster.

I can help with butter replacements as well. Try looking for Earth Balance Butter Vegan Spread. It is yummy!!! It does contain slightly higher water content so use a little less other moisture when using it to off set the water.

I wanted to add that if you need help with the dairy free side of your recipies I will gladdly help out. Icing really isn't a huge change when going dairy free.

Mensch Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 5:07pm
post #18 of 50

Hit the ground running.

dawncr Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 5:13pm
post #19 of 50

Wise words, Win. thumbs_up.gif

To build on that, I'd ask another question:
1. How much do you value your friendship?
2. How much are you willing to try out some new ingredients, recipes, & techniques, just for her?

I'd maybe suggest a sit-down with her, face-to-face, and ask her specifically what her requirements are, regarding ingredients: all organic? all whole grain? no processed sugar? Tell her you want to know what she needs because you didn't originally realize you'd have to change your preferred recipes.

Once you know this, you can determine if you're willing to try some new ingredients and methods. It may be that you're willing to do so, but you'll need more money from her, because not only are organic ingredients more expensive, but you'd also have to be spending more because of 'testing.' You might even have to wait to give her an exact estimate until you're sure which ingredients you'd be using.

Or, if you're finding it exasperating to have to adapt your recipes, and you're starting to resent her, then just suggest that maybe she might want to have the co-op do her cake, no offensive taken.

It sounds like she maybe wants organic, which would be the simplest to do. There are many bakeries who make organic wedding cakes:
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-630818-organic.html
Dr. Oetker makes organic cake mixes, even. I'm guessing the icing would be the biggest adjustment for you, although there are some great cakers here who might help if you just PMed them. It could involve a little extra time to get skills up to speed, if, for example, you've never smoothed IMBC.

So....I guess I'm saying that you need to have a conversation to get some clarity about her needs. Then you need to decide if you want to go to the trouble of adjusting to these needs, without disrespecting her for wanting organic in the first place.

HTH

7yyrt Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 7:09pm
post #20 of 50

I assume the special cakes are because of allergies. In that case, I most definitely would recommend she use the co-op. They are used to those ingredients, and can assure her that nothing harmful will come in contact with those cakes.
-
Unless you bake gluten-free (and apparently you do not) your kitchen is contaminated with things that she will react to.

denetteb Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 9:17pm
post #21 of 50

Thanks for all your comments and concerns. I should clarify, the wheat/dairy free was to serve 20 the rest of the 150 was normal cakes. I was going to use a wheat/dairy free mix for the 20 and she was fine with that. I knew that it was important due to allergies which is why I asked about the creamer ingredient. It just opened up a whole can of worms. The unanticipated problem was with the 130 serving cakes. I guess the problem was my normal and her normal are different. I didn't guess there would be a problem with margarine, she thinks it is poison. Anyway, when we talked today she said she didn't want to lose a friendship over margarine and for me to get what I could from the co-op (with her money and assistance) and whatever else from somewhere else. However now knowing her feelings on margarine, etc I coudn't in good conscience continue. And she would know every ingredient since we would be shopping together. So I suggested she have the co-op or another healthfood bakery make it since they are used to her ingredient choices. So I am a bit relieved yet disappointed cause I had been enjoying the process. Oh well. Thanks for your help. Denette

Win Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 3:44am
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by denetteb

Thanks for all your comments and concerns. I should clarify, the wheat/dairy free was to serve 20 the rest of the 150 was normal cakes. I was going to use a wheat/dairy free mix for the 20 and she was fine with that. I knew that it was important due to allergies which is why I asked about the creamer ingredient. It just opened up a whole can of worms. The unanticipated problem was with the 130 serving cakes. I guess the problem was my normal and her normal are different. I didn't guess there would be a problem with margarine, she thinks it is poison. Anyway, when we talked today she said she didn't want to lose a friendship over margarine and for me to get what I could from the co-op (with her money and assistance) and whatever else from somewhere else. However now knowing her feelings on margarine, etc I coudn't in good conscience continue. And she would know every ingredient since we would be shopping together. So I suggested she have the co-op or another healthfood bakery make it since they are used to her ingredient choices. So I am a bit relieved yet disappointed cause I had been enjoying the process. Oh well. Thanks for your help. Denette




I think, in the end, you will be very relieved at the outcome... in the meantime maybe you could offer to do her wedding shower cake? Might be a good compromise. thumbs_up.gif

prterrell Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 6:44am
post #23 of 50

I have to agree w/ your friend about margarine. It is one molecule away from being plastic. Yuck!

Sagebrush Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 7:58am
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

I have to agree w/ your friend about margarine. It is one molecule away from being plastic. Yuck!




and water (H2O) is only one molecule away from hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and salt is made up of two deadly poisons. One molecule completely changes everything. Just because their chemical signatures look similar on paper does not mean they behave anything like each other.

That being said, butter IS usually much better for baking, and preferable for other reasons, too.

zdebssweetsj Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 9:43am
post #25 of 50

You'll either hurt her feeling now or destroy your friendship later, have a heart to heart with her now she is out of control .. poison!!!very strange.

denetteb Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 3:18pm
post #26 of 50

Good point sagebrush!! And as far as her calling the creamer poison like arsenic, I suggested to my DH that I drink the whole bottle in front of her to test to see if I would survive the "poisoning". But of course it was in jest as I don't want to make fun of her beliefs even if it is a lie. She asked if I would put the design on the cake she gets from the other source, an intricate Flower of Life design that I had perfected on practise cakes. I said that wouldn't be possible cause it needs a really flat surface, a crusting buttercream, etc. Plus she would have to get extra frosting from them. A PITA. But last night I was thinking later I may offer to make a poison 10 " cake with her design on just for looks and would take it home myself. It is a relief to have it done with. It's too bad cause I really enjoyed making a friends wedding cake 2 years ago but she didn't micromanage like this one. Thanks again.

sadsmile Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 3:25pm
post #27 of 50

You are probably right in trying to avoid the whole thing blowing up in your face. I was thinking that she wanted you to decorate because of your skills and the coop probably makes yummy stuff but doesn't decorate any where near like you do. I wonder if the coop could give just baked cakes in the sizes you would need to level and complete your design and icing in a bucket for you to use. I made vegan crusting buttercream( my version of Sugarshack's) and it's yummy too. It behaives just like any ordinary buttercream. It's nice of you to consider helping your friend. If it doesn't work out I hope she is understanding of why and can take it in stride and still maintain your friendship and have a wonderful wedding. thumbs_up.gif Cheers to you!

7yyrt Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 4:31pm
post #28 of 50

I have some friends who are omnivores, some with allergies, yet others who are vegetarians (two of whom are vegans).
It's just food, no need to have it get in the way of friendships.
We have potlucks instead of dinner parties cooked by only one person and it all works out fine.
Have a good time at the wedding!

masturbaker Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 1:48am
post #29 of 50

forgive me, but your friend sounds like a nut! and high maintenance to boot! the worst customers, we can all agree... I understand gluten/dairy free concerns.. and i in fact specialize in all organic cakes... but no on is gonna go to the hospital because they ate a cake that had dairy in it.. sheesh....

I don't see a problem with her requests, but i'm used to baking cakes that way.. if it bothers you that much, give her the boot! sounds like you might end up resenting this cake anyway if you go ahead with it... Maybe tell her thanks, but no thanks.

JenniferMI Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 2:02am
post #30 of 50

Geeze Louise!!!! Not good...

Jen icon_sad.gif

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