Major Color Issue

Decorating By KDFcreations Updated 8 May 2010 , 6:07pm by The_Sugar_Fairy

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:02pm
post #1 of 50

First of all, I'm a full time working mom who decided to do cakes on the side. At first it was a hobby, then people started asking me to do cakes. I always tell them that I have NO training, that I am NOT a professional. I will just do the best I can. Well, a client recently asked for a red and black monster truck cake, with fondant. I'm NOT an expert with fondant, in fact, far from it. Again, I let the client know and take that into account for cost.

Anyways.. I made this cake:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1608595

The client is furious. She said it looks girly and is not what she wanted for her sons 3rd birthday. I have never had someone so displeased, and I've made MUCH worse, believe me. She asked for red and black. She said that this is pink and light purple and that it's not even close to what they were expecting. I feel horrible. TERRIBLE.

I don't know how to handle this. I offered to give her, her money back, to make a new cake in a different color, to try and 'clean' the cake a little (remove sugar)... I'm not sure what else to do. Did you have a displeased client? How did you handle it? What do you do? What did you say? I made $10 profit on this cake. It's not like I'm charging an arm and a leg. THIS is why I don't do wedding cakes....

How can I get redder and blacker fondant?

Thoughts?

49 replies
prterrell Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:14pm
post #2 of 50

That lady needs to get her eyes checked, cause that cake IS red and black. Ok, so neither color is dark dark dark, but it's definitely NOT pink and purple!

For red and black, I find it's best to go with the pre-colored stuff (I use Satin Ice).

You can also paint over the fondant with food dye mixed with a tiny bit of vodka to brighten/deepen the color.

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:15pm
post #3 of 50

Thanks so much for your reply. Made me feel a bit better. Can I ask... why vodka and not water? Vodka on a kids cake?

cherrycakes Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:19pm
post #4 of 50

It absolutely does not look girly! It's very cute for a 3 year old and you did a great job!

What kind of gel do you use? It also helps to color your fondant dark pink first then add red and for black, add cocoa to make it dark brown and then add black gel to deepen.

prterrell Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:20pm
post #5 of 50

It's a very small amount of vodka and most of it evaporates (alcohol evaporates faster than water, which is why you use it and not water as that would take days to dry completely). The teeny amount of alcohol that remains is less than the amount of alcohol in the vanilla extract used in the buttercream, so it's absolutely fine for kids.

You said you made 10 dollars on this cake, how long did it take you to make it? If it was anything more than an hour, you really bilked yourself. (You're worth at LEAST $10/hour!)

Trish43 Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:23pm
post #6 of 50

I looked at the cake and it is definately not pink and purple. The red may not be dark but it is red. I think this lady would have been displeased regardless. Maybe you could try and clean the sides a little, but in my opinion i think you did a great job! icon_smile.gif and my grandsons would have loved it! I would not give her all her money back.

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:29pm
post #7 of 50

Thanks everyone. it's nice to hear all of that from people who understand what it takes to put a cake like that together. I'm still learning, so I don't feel right charging an arm and a leg for my time. I'm way slower than a more advanced decorator, so I just take each cake as a learning experience, and I really do love it.

I'll need to remember that about the vodka.
I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for Satin ice.
It's mmf, should I have put some cocoa when i was making it? I'll be sure to keep those tips for the future. THANKS!!!!

prterrell Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:32pm
post #8 of 50

You can purchase Satin Ice at GSA.

Please, please, please pay yourself at least min wage per hour (although, if you can do a carved cake like that, I say you're definitely worth much more than that!).

Torts Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:35pm
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDFcreations

I always tell them that I have NO training, that I am NOT a professional. I will just do the best I can. Well, a client recently asked for a red and black monster truck cake, with fondant. I'm NOT an expert with fondant, in fact, far from it. Again, I let the client know and take that into account for cost.




She's clearly trying to take advantage of you. While I think it's definitely appropriate to disclose your level of experience, be careful not to sell yourself short. I think your cake is fantastic, especially at the price for which you sold it. When you tell her you're not an expert in fondant, it is almost as though she's playing into that... exposing your feelings of inadequacy and making you feel guilty so that you'll cave and let her have the cake for free.

The cake looks red. I'd deposit her check and on her receipt I'd make a note referring her to a good opthamologist for that color blindness issue she's having...

curiousprincess Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:36pm
post #10 of 50

hi! sorry, I don't know how you can make red or black stronger icon_sad.gif is the same problem I have, but I use powder colors and work better for me icon_smile.gif
first: I think yous monster truck is really good, I mean, the structure, details, etc. and for me looks like red, not bright red but red. and the purple, well, looks like gray for me!
second:
i don't thing that a monster truck looks girly! i mean, has mud, fire, big tires... girly?? not for me! maybe tomboyish haha Just kidding, I think it's perfect for a boy.
third: if you "client" has a bad day, it is NOT your fault! clients don't always have the reason, and their money can't buy our dignity, if she doesn't like, she has the right to say that she doesn't want it, but never make you feel bad, that's not a costumer!
4th: better loose that kind of costumers that can't apreciate your work and your time, I bet you family loved that truck and even tought that it was really great, because it is!
so, please, if you can fix it, great, if you don't want to, that;s ok. if you loose that costumer, you'll get new ones and better ones icon_wink.gif
have a nice day and good luck


remem

j1handal Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:53pm
post #11 of 50

If this mom is so picky she needs to go to a local grocery store and get the typical BC cake with plastic toys. Do not let this discourage you. The more you create them the better you get. I think this is top notch. When I use black and red I also buy premade Satin Ice. It is so much easier. I only die black and red when it is a small ammount. Good job and keep making those cakes you have a skill most would die for!

YesiBoo Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:04pm
post #12 of 50

I agree with everyone else!! I think you did a GREAT job...and to me it looks red..maybe she's color blind... and for the black mmf just substitute half a cup of cocoa for the ps....and it helps to do it a couple days before to let the colors deepen HTH icon_biggrin.gif

saffronica Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:05pm
post #13 of 50

Just out of curiosity...how much did you charge?

I think you should make her a new monster truck cake...one that really is pink and purple. Maybe with a tiara on top. icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:11pm
post #14 of 50

I'm with saffron...haha...ya want pink and purple? I'll give ya pink and purple!

You could have made the colors deeper by using more color in them, it takes alot of color to make deep colors. Or you could have airbrush/handpainted them with color on top of the fondant. But it sounds like the customer got a steal...it also sounds like you warned them not to expect much (and I think they got something tons nicer than you warned them about!) and that she's being really stupid to get on your case so badly for it.

NO refund...tell her you made a ten buck profit off of her and that she got something worth way more.

aggiechef Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:12pm
post #15 of 50

I agree with several of the previous comments....that lady needs to get her eyes checked!!!! icon_confused.gif That cake is NOT pink and purple..

Ditto on what others said about buying pre-colored Satin Ice for red and black. If you must color the fondant yourself, try using Americolor Super Red and Super Black. I use those when I make those colors, and as long as you let it sit for about 30 min you should have good deep colors.

I wish I had half of your skill at carving. thumbs_up.gif I'm doing a dump-truck cake for this weekend and I ended up doing a FBCT because I didn't have time to do something more involved. Keep up the good work on your cakes, and I personally don't think that the cake belongs in the Cake Disasters gallery.

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:14pm
post #16 of 50

I love this place... I feel great now. I feel like calling her and saying READ THIS... but I won't. I'm still awaiting her phone call to see what I can do to make her happy. If anything. If I give her money back I'm also taking the cake back. I'll make cakeballs or something.

I'll definitely try the cocoa trick for black. I also need to order some satin ice! Thank you all so much for those suggestions.

As for what I charged... I charged $35 for the monster truck (this include, cake board, box and delivery). Then, the night before she asked me to include the bottom tier, so I charged $15 for that. It's scratch marble cake with chocolate buttercream.

Kitagrl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:14pm
post #17 of 50

I just want to add that I looked at your photos and you do great work! Love your halloween wedding! Nice job. Sounds like your customer was just being cranky...I bet her son LOVED his cake! Sometimes I wonder if the parents buy these birthday cakes for their kid or for themselves....

Kitagrl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:16pm
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDFcreations



As for what I charged... I charged $35 for the monster truck (this include, cake board, box and delivery). Then, the night before she asked me to include the bottom tier, so I charged $15 for that. It's scratch marble cake with chocolate buttercream.




Good GRIEF and she's complaining?!

Your work is great...have some confidence and price up girlie! thumbs_up.gif You know what...I wonder if all the apologizing and warning you did beforehand made her expect something bad, and then when she got the cake, she FOUND it. Tell the customer they are getting something awesome, make something awesome, charge something awesome, and then they are going to think..."Awesome!" haha.

psmith Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:17pm
post #19 of 50

Oh my...that gal does need an eye check. I'm seeing light red and a grey/silver color monster truck...a very nicely executed monster truck I might add! thumbs_up.gif

Peridot Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:19pm
post #20 of 50

For pity sake what a bitch! Your cake looks darn good to me and as you stated you told her that you are not an expert at this kind of thing. Doing vehicles is not easy and I think that your truck is very good. It looks red and black to me. Perhaps not as deep of a red and black like if you would have used Satin Ice. But it is a great cake!

Right there is the reason that I just do this as a hobby and I do it for the people I want, when I want and if anyone ever said anything like that to me it would be the last darn cake they would ever receive!!

If you feel you can't do something (and you know your limits) then I would say no and not do it for a paid cake - why give cause to ruin your business by people that like to flap their mouth in the breeze as I am assuming you are a licensed baker and all of that. Practice it a few times for friends or family to get good at it and then charge and make it worth your while.

Keep on doing those great cakes!!

Jemoiselle Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:24pm
post #21 of 50

Amen to the post above me, curiousprincess I believe. Good riddance, I think your cake looks awesome! I think if you brushed the color mixed with with alcohol over the surface to deepen the hues, especially the black, you will be able to get closer to the true hues. Customers should understand or be informed, this is not like opening a can of paint and making a perfect painting with the exact hue every time, this is cake artistry and people should be understanding about that especially for a carved cake! Your structure is incredible, the details immaculate and I like the rocks hehe.

I have not done a carved cake, but have done several stacked and consider myself well on my way to artistic confidence. For you to already be making carved cakes (IMO way harder than stacked) and covering them so well, it shows how talented you already are. I agree with the others when I say PAY YOURSELF FOR YOUR TIME! I learned the hard way in the beginning, and have not since looked back or flinched a second asking for what my work is worth. I am not out to rip anyone off by any means, but an honest dollar for true artistic talent is completely fair, and doesn't cheapen my value in the future like under charging does.

I used to be an "owner" of a local recycling group, one that gifts items to new homes from the homes they used to clutter for free. I think you all know what I am talking about here =) Well, I noticed that when I would give away something pricey, I would be flooded with requests for me to "pick them". Sob stories galore. As soon as I DID choose that one lucky person, they lost the desire to come pick it up. Even if something is expensive, when you give it away for free people see it as cheaper, even if it is not cheaper at all. My point? This lesson translates into the cake artistry world 100%. Your work is worth what you yourself first believe it is worth! If you give your talent away for free (not charging for hours worked etc) you are effectively inadvertently telling them you don't value your talent. So, they will not value it either, as much as they should. BUT when you confidently value yourself enough to ask a fair price, they will feel pampered when they are able to pay it and receive such a beauty happily!

YOU are a great cake artist. I admire your work, and look forward to seeing more of it! You'll make it past this, and be better for the experience even though I know it hurts right now *hugs* Also, this is the kind of customer you can live without. Don't feel bad about showing her politely where the door is =) Oh? She will tell her friends? Well, you don't want her friends either if they act like her and get along with that kind of person. Market yourself to clients who can afford you and have a bit of class. You'll be glad you did.

*more hugs* Take care and keep us posted!

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:31pm
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peridot



If you feel you can't do something (and you know your limits) then I would say no and not do it for a paid cake - why give cause to ruin your business by people that like to flap their mouth in the breeze as I am assuming you are a licensed baker and all of that. Practice it a few times for friends or family to get good at it and then charge and make it worth your while.

Keep on doing those great cakes!!




I'm not a licensed baker. That's why I make sure that anyone who contacts me for a cake (most often referals from friends or family) they know that I do this as a side thing.

I always let the client know that I have no training prior to discussing their cake. I always say it will be my interpretation, and I will do my best. I've never had anyone be this upset over color. I think what she expected and what she got are different. I think she liked the cake because her initial reaction was OMG I love it. But then it was an hour later that I got her email and phone call saying how upset and frustrated she is and that it won't match her red and black decorations.

I may offer to paint on some red and black (with vodka) to brighten it up.

I do love the idea of doing a purple and pink one. That would be fun. icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:33pm
post #23 of 50

(Please nobody jump on the unlicensed thing...okay...everybody does this before they get licensed!)

You are really nice to offer to fix it...last cake for this woman!

djs328 Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:42pm
post #24 of 50

I, too, have learned (by trial and error! icon_smile.gif that painting on the color helps make it look darker. Red and black are SOOOOOOOO hard to make dark!! Hang in there...
and tell that woman no more cake for her! icon_smile.gif

DefyGravity Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:44pm
post #25 of 50

If this makes you feel any better at all, my 4 year old looked at the computer right when I clicked on the picture he got so excited and said "Oh, Mommy! I don't want a Spongebob cake anymore! I want THAT cake!!"

The mom is being ridiculous and I can guarantee that the Birthday Boy is going to LOVE it!

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 10:00pm
post #26 of 50

As for unlicensed baker part. I'm from Canada... I called my local government... they want nothing to do with me until I make big money, or I get a seperate dwelling to bake my cakes. So for now... I do this as a hobby/side thing. But thanks Kitagrl for having my back. icon_smile.gif

DefyGravity thanks... he can have it! The lady is returning the cake for a full refund. icon_smile.gif I could mail it...not sure how it will make out in the mail though. lol.

So yeah. She called and said her husband was mortified when he saw it in person. That the cake was as pink as pink can be and that no son of his is going to have a pink truck. They're going to order a grocery store cake instead.

Kitagrl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 10:07pm
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDFcreations

As for unlicensed baker part. I'm from Canada... I called my local government... they want nothing to do with me until I make big money, or I get a seperate dwelling to bake my cakes. So for now... I do this as a hobby/side thing. But thanks Kitagrl for having my back. icon_smile.gif

DefyGravity thanks... he can have it! The lady is returning the cake for a full refund. icon_smile.gif I could mail it...not sure how it will make out in the mail though. lol.

So yeah. She called and said her husband was mortified when he saw it in person. That the cake was as pink as pink can be and that no son of his is going to have a pink truck. They're going to order a grocery store cake instead.




What snobs!!! A full refund...oh wow a whole fifty bucks back, they'd rather have chemical cakes than homemade cake shaped like a truck! Go donate the cake to a local hospital or firehouse or something...they will be so happy to have the cake and you might get an order out of it!

KDFcreations Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 10:22pm
post #28 of 50

That's an AWESOME idea... donate the cake. Thanks!!!!! (I was wondering waht to do with all that cake!)

Kitagrl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 10:24pm
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDFcreations

That's an AWESOME idea... donate the cake. Thanks!!!!! (I was wondering waht to do with all that cake!)




No problem! I've donated cake several times...a couple times to a children's hospital, and one time to an emergency room staff. I think one time I sent my husband to the police station with a small cake I had that I needed to get rid of. haha. I was thinking a children's hospital or wing would LOVE a 3D truck cake!!!

Texas_Rose Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 10:29pm
post #30 of 50

Red and black both fade sometimes. If she took it home and set it in front of a window with the sun shining in, or even had it in the sunlight in the car on the way home, it may have faded more than you might think. Wilton's black will break down into green and purple sometimes too. Painting fondant usually keeps the color from fading.

If you're going to use Satin Ice, you'll probably have to charge more...which you should be doing anyhow...doing cakes for a $10 profit is a good way to get burned out and you've got some real talent that you should nurture instead of using it up icon_biggrin.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%