MissCakeCrazy Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 7:59am

I did my first wedding cake on the 20th March and I thought all went well especially when no one phone me back straight away saying there is something wrong with it. I sent out a courtesy message to her about if she was pleased with the cake and she got back to me yesterday in an e-mail saying:

"I am sorry to state that your cake did not live up to expectations. The cake was undercooked and was not edible. I attach an e-mail from the reception hall who confirm this. You may contact them direct if you wish.

I cannot put into words our disappointment and the embarrassment and stress caused. I am sure you can imagine our feelings at the time. Under the circumstances I expect you to offer us a refund of part of the cost of the cake. As I do not want to get involved in protracted arguments I am prepared at this stage to accept 50% of the total cost paid by us. I look forward to receiving your agreement to our refund."

The wedding co-ordinators e-mail to the bride was this:- "
Hi Firuza, Having spoken to our chef about Charles Wedding Cake on Saturday the below account is what he described happened.

After the pictures were taken of the cake cutting our chef took the cake away to be cut. As he cut into the Carrot Cake it was obvious this was not cooked through. Adrian made Charles aware that the cake was not cooked properly and that our chef did not want to send this out for fear of making guests ill. Charles agreed so the cake was not sent out.

We have kept a portion of the cake in case anyone needed to see it but if you have any further queries please let me know."

I replied back to the bride this morning stating that her cheque for 50% refund would be sent out today. I was so certain that it was cooked. I put a knife through it and it came out clean but the head chef at the hotel said it was not. Did I do the right thing in giving the refund?

52 replies
noahsmummy Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 8:37am

i think you mayvbe first should have gone and checked the cake they said they had kept for you to inspect. and then offered the bride the refund.

peg818 Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 8:54am

I too, think you should inspect the cake, at this late date it may not still be available. But what concerns me is the bride only asked for 50% back, if it were me and i was unable to serve my wedding cake i would be looking for a full refund.

11cupcakes Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 9:05am

I would check the cake and if it is undercooked I would offer 100% refund. I know it hurts, but this is the right thing to do.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 9:53am

They were talking about the 3rd largest tier (10"), not all the cake was raw.

noahsmummy Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 10:07am

I would still check it out if i were you.

miss_sweetstory Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 10:33am

First, sorry this happened. You must feel terrible and you are to be commended for wanting to make it right. If the 10" comprised a big portion of her servings, a 50% refund seems reasonable.

I think carrot cakes are always tough to test for doneness. You get that clean knife and the darn thing is still sticky. Were you using 2" or 3" pans? (I would suggest using 2" for carrot.) Did you use a heating core or an inverted flower nail? Did you have to level the cake at all? How were the scraps? In the case of carrot, zucchini (courgette), and banana cakes I would always trim or torte it, even if it appeared perfect... just to make sure it was fully baked.

Don't let this shake your confidence too much. Learn from it and move on.

zdebssweetsj Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 11:03am

I'd have to see that cake!!

costumeczar Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 11:59am

If you got confirmation from the chef at the venue, why would you need to see the cake? Unless only for your own education, it won't change the fact that it wasn't served due to being underbaked, and that it was determined by another food professional that it shouldn't be served. It's not like the bride's mother said it was underbaked and they didn't save any of it. The people at the venue obviously know that they should save some for proof, so they know what they're doing.

jen1977 Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:09pm

Was that tier 50% of the totale cost of the cake? I think I would only refund that tier if they were able to serve the rest.

Jenny0730 Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:18pm

I would also refund at least 50% of the cost of the cake. If the venue said it wasn't done, I would be content with that.

Spuddysmom Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:28pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If you got confirmation from the chef at the venue, why would you need to see the cake? Unless only for your own education, it won't change the fact that it wasn't served due to being underbaked, and that it was determined by another food professional that it shouldn't be served. It's not like the bride's mother said it was underbaked and they didn't save any of it. The people at the venue obviously know that they should save some for proof, so they know what they're doing.




Totally agree with Czar. These are not the stereotypical PITA types looking for free cake. They are being very professional about it.Sorry, this happened to you. Refund and move on.

Evoir Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:32pm

I agree that there seems to be ample evidence that there was a problem. I think you have acted swiftly and appropriately.

Eisskween Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:39pm

I agree with Costumeczar. The cake was judged to be inedible by a food professional and that should be enough to tell you that there was an error in baking made.

You did the right thing by refunding half. I would have refunded the entire purchase price.

Sandysdream Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:44pm

So sorry this happened to you. I started last year, only baked 2 wedding cakes and never again. You can have a look at what happened with the Topsy Turvy wedding cake I made - only my customers were very rude. After the experience I wanted to stop baking cakes, I was so upset. Now I only bake cupcakes, birthday cakes and christening cakes.

weirkd Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 1:00pm

The only thing that bothers me about this is if she was so unhappy with the cake and it was inedible as she said and no one got cake, why didnt she contact you about it? Why wait until you contact her?

Im a suspicious person by nature and for me my first thought would be to actually go to the venue and see the cake. I dont trust people. You never know if the venue are friends with the bride and may be saying this to get a free cake out of the deal.

So I would have to see the cake first. Then, if you know for a fact that your looking at YOUR cake, then I would refund them full amount. But again, if I was the bride and couldnt serve my wedding cake then I would be calling up the baker the first chance I got! (I wouldnt put it past me to call on a cell AT the event!! lol) But that is just me.

Ive been burned by too many people in my lifetime (not on cakes only, just in general), so I tend not to trust people.

dalis4joe Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 1:05pm

I agree with costumeczar... these are trained people and they deal with cakes all the time in their line of bus. I would send a letter expressing your "feelings" (business jargon(sp?) of course) and give the 50% refund... and just take it as a learning experience...

Good Luck!

miss_sweetstory Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 1:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by weirkd

The only thing that bothers me about this is if she was so unhappy with the cake and it was inedible as she said and no one got cake, why didnt she contact you about it? Why wait until you contact her? Im a suspicious person by nature and for me my first thought would be to actually go to the venue and see the cake. I dont trust people. You never know if the venue are friends with the bride and may be saying this to get a free cake out of the deal. So I would have to see the cake first. Then, if you know for a fact that your looking at YOUR cake, then I would refund them full amount. But again, if I was the bride and couldnt serve my wedding cake then I would be calling up the baker the first chance I got! (I wouldnt put it past me to call on a cell AT the event!! lol) But that is just me.
Ive been burned by too many people in my lifetime (not on cakes only, just in general), so I tend not to trust people.




Actually, I don't think an unreasonable amount of time has passed in this case. The wedding was 20 March. If the couple was lucky enough to take a two week honeymoon and extend it through Easter Monday (a bank/public holiday in the UK), then she contacted the OP fairly soon after her return. I do think it's wise for a couple to designate someone to represent them, in their absence, if there are problems... but then it seems that most of us would prefer to deal directly with the person who ordered and paid for the cake.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 1:52pm

Miss sweetstory, I used a 3" deep tin and did put extra batter into it as when I trim the dome off, quite alot of the cake is gone. I done this before and had no problem and the cake was cooked. I also used home made oven strips which I usually find effective. I have tried flower nails in the past but didn't find them useful. One thing I do intend in purchasing is an oven thermometer as I don't trust the oven 100%.

Thank you everyone for your comments. I really did feel for the bride as she was a nice lady and I was putting myself in her shoes. I am glad that she just wanted a 50% refund. I was very afraid that she would want to go further and take legal action / insurance claims, could she have done that in this situation and could she do this in the future?

AKS Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 2:40pm

I think that if they saved the cake/portion of the cake, everything is pretty kosher. I would refund 100%. Bummer, I know, but it really is the right thing to do to try to salvage your rep. I would also extend a 1-year anniversary cake since they didn't get a cake topper for the occasion. Decorate to the hilt and make it perfect. From your communications of the incident, it doesn't seem like they are out for something for free-especially with the corroboration of the caterer. So sorry this happened to you.

peg818 Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 7:39pm

I would still want to see the cake, it is a learning experience if nothing else. Do i think this bride is looking for a free cake, no i don't. But if that cake is as undercooked as they say she would be getting it from me.

Why i would want to see the cake, some cakes are moister then others, this may just be how this cake looks. It maybe that the cake acts differently cause it was baked in a larger then normal pan. And you can say oh a professional is the one that said it wasn't cooked. I know many "professionals" that don't know squat. Of course i don't know the venue and it could be a topnotch chef, but then again it may not be.

costumeczar Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 7:58pm

But if the chef served the other tiers, it was obviously different. It was just one of the tiers, if I read it correctly. I think you did the right thing by giving the refund. Just learn from it and put it behind you, there's nothing else you can do at this point.

tavyheather Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 8:07pm

hugs! so sorry icon_sad.gif

Tee-Y Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 8:28pm

Refund 100% then produce a 1st year anniversary cake??????? icon_eek.gif What kind of business is that? The client said she's ok with 50% which is alright considering that only one tier was undercooked.THEN I would give the anniversary cake but not after a 100% refund!

bonnscakesAZ Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 9:00pm

Did the email from the venue come from her too in her email to you?

I think if everything is on the up and up here you did the right thing. I would have gone to see the cake piece they saved too, just to see for myself. But I don't think you needed to give 100% back. 50% was fine and it was what she asked for. Your a small business, not a big corporation. I offered a free anniversary cake with my cakes anyways(just a 6 inch) so that wouldn't have been anything different. I think that would be a nice guesture. HUGS!! I know this is hard.

leah_s Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 10:19pm

Truly sorry this happened.

And this is one of the main reasons I torte every cake. That way I get to see inside.

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