"pretty Cake" What ?'s Can I Ask To Get More Direc

Decorating By kathik Updated 29 Apr 2010 , 2:13am by kathik

kathik Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 12:58am
post #1 of 8

I'm making a small (8/10") cake for a friend whose daughter is graduating from the eighth grade. (gift not sale) Anyway, when I started asking questions about design, she said "just make a pretty cake". This really doesn't help me since "pretty" can mean anything. I'm writing her an email to ask some questions and wondered what questions you ask to draw out ideas from your friends/customers. Here are the ones I have so far:


What are some of the recipient's favorite colors? (specifics please: not just pink, but baby pink or hot pink)

Does the recipient like flowers? Traditional florals or retro/modern look? Or graphics-dots, squares, etc.? Animals? Nature?

What are some of the recipient's favorite activities/hobbies? Is she into singing, art, make-up, etc.?

Can anyone suggest any other questions?


7 replies
maryspencer2000 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:13am
post #2 of 8

For an eighth grade graduation I think that you should focus more on the school side of things. Possibly ask about school colors or mascot as well as what activities she was involved and see if she was recognized for an award and go from there icon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:23am
post #3 of 8

Someone else here had a similar predicament just the other day. The bride kept brushing off questions about what the cake should be and kept saying just make it pretty...or something to that effect. Yet the poster was insistent on the bride choosing colors, styles etc, no matter how much the bride resisted, and wanted us to advise on how we could make the bride step up.

My feelings are that in both cases, the bride/friend IS giving you the answer. She wants YOU to design it and doesn't care what it looks like, or doesn't want to be involved in those details. (lots of folks really don't care about cake the way we do)

I think we (myself included) need to learn to listen to our customers, even when the answer they give us is that they prefer not to give us the answers.

I say don't poke her with it. Use this rare opportunity to stretch your creative muscles and surprise her with a really great design that you completely own.

tinygoose Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:32am
post #4 of 8

To me a "pretty cake" means a cake with flowers and maybe a bow if you feel like it. Don't make it harder than it has to be. I'd just ask what color, and be done.

just_for_fun Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:50am
post #5 of 8

I had the same thing. I told a friend I would send her cookies for her party, I just wanted to know the theme. Her answer? "pink" I asked what kind of pink, "anything you can make pink". What shape? something pink. Basically, she ended up buying them in the bakery. Plain cookies with a little swirl of pink buttercream.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:54am
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by tinygoose

To me a "pretty cake" means a cake with flowers and maybe a bow if you feel like it. Don't make it harder than it has to be. I'd just ask what color, and be done.

Yep, same here. Unless they are "cake people" or very specific with details it seems like what we spend hours obsessing over "regular people" or "cake muggles" don't really notice, unless your really bad and I doubt you are if they're asking you to do the cake, whatever you do will probably exceed their expectations, they'll love it, eat it and ask for another one later on down the road.

indydebi Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 2:13am
post #7 of 8

As a customer, if I just asked for a "pretty cake" and then got an email with all of those very intricate detailed questions ("not just pink, but hot pink? baby pink? Flowers? Modern or retro modern?"), I'd probably be aggrevated at the very least and PO'd at the very worst. My thought .... as a cake civilian ..... would be "omg, pink! it's just pink! how hard is it to figure out pink! And what the heck is the difference between traditional, modern and retro modern flowers and which of those categories does a plain 'ole regular rose fall into?"

Now you and I and everyone on here knows there are 97 different shades of pink, but a cake civilian .... unless they have a very specific idea of what shade of pink ..... couldn't care less on what shade of pink.

Dont' overthink it. Since this is a gift, you pretty much have carte blanc on what to provide.

And if she doesn't like it, you can always tell her, "Well I'm happy to give you a full refund. Oh wait! You got this cake FOR FREE!!!!!" icon_biggrin.gif

kathik Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 2:13am
post #8 of 8

Okay. I guess I will just wing it. I'll ask my daughter for some help since she's close to the girl's age. I don't want her to think it's old fashioned.


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