micahleech1986 Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:03am
post #1 of

I made a cake for a friend/ first customer. It was a birthday cake for her daughter turning one. This was also the first cake I'd ever made for a profit. It was a 10, 8, and 6 dense vanilla bean cakes stacked. I place supports on the bottom cake i placed supports in the middle cake what was on a cake board. I placed the top cake on and sharpened a long wooden dowel and shoved it through the top through the cake boards to the bottom cake. I put it on a 12x12 1/2 thick piece of plywood covered in fondant I built it last night. I also purchase a durable cardboard box that was 14x14x14 and cut the top off (it stood at 18in) so the cake could easily slide in and out with ease The customer came to pick it up today. It appeared very sturdy and not likely to move, I was very confident in my work I had informed his wife prior to them picking it up that it would need to sit flat and air conditioner would be almost necessary as it is getting warm where I live. I walked w/ him to the car and reminded him of a/c and sitting flat. He sat it in the back seat of his car and used something to 'level' it. I was hoping it would hold but was concerned because it was not sitting flat. I encouraged him to place it on the floor, he was certain it would be fine where it was. I reminded them so many times. I just received an email stating that the bottom cake gave way. I'm almost positive it's because the cake was not sitting flat in the car. They gave me an additional amount of money because they were late picking it up and it far exceeded their expectations. I feel terrible that the bottom gave way. The customers live 1.5 hours away. I have to wonder if it was something I did because I can't help but feel guilty. I took their money they drove off w/ the cake and the bottom gave way.
LL

24 replies
tesso Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:08am
post #2 of

adorable cake !! That story is why i always deliver my own cakes. Once the cake leaves your hands, and you have provided the support needed, and gave instructions, there really isnt anything else you could have done. IMO

hopefully someone who's experienced this will see your post.

micahleech1986 Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:14am
post #3 of

I called my mentor and asked her, and she gave me the same exact answer you did. I can't help but feel guilty. I know it wasn't me. I even made sure it was a really dense cake because I didn't want it to collapse.

Kitagrl Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:21am
post #4 of

I LOVE the design of this cake! And I can't stand Yo Gabba but this is a darn cute cake. haha.

I do notice though that the bottom tier does seem a bit lopsided...or is it just the way the photo is taken? From that particular photo I can kind of see how it could be risky.

Was the cake cold or room temp when you handed it out?

If the bottom tier was not lopsided on the bottom and it was cold when you handed it out, then a very good chance something happened during transport.

If a customer is transporting what I feel is a risky cake (I had a three tier transport the other day..the Abby one I just loaded...we took it over an hour and the customer took it an additional hour or so.) I do have them sign a waiver that has them read the instructions for transporting it, and accepting responsibility for getting it home safely. I don't do it most of the time, but only if its a taller cake that needs extra care.

I'm very sorry this happened. icon_sad.gif

Suebee Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:28am
post #5 of

First your cake is great. I'm sorry to say this situation will never end. We now have a business, tell people all the time to have a level spot, we even have a waiver (idiot clause) to sign and they still call. You don't won't to give money back, but on the other hand you are running a business and once in awhile it may be a construction issue. We have had lots of excuses and they honestly must think we are stupidwith what they come us with , but you do want business and unfortunately they will tell tons of people how your cake fell apart, more than how great it was. We will try to not give a credit, appoligize alot and stress how this is cake and it does not like to travel. Sometimes you just have to pick and choose what is worth fighting for. Good luck with all your future orders.

LuvLyrics Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:32am
post #6 of

I am so sorry this happened.... icon_sad.gif

cas17 Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:43am
post #7 of

gosh, i don't even travel with 3 tiers stacked!! so very sorry this happend to you but it sure sounds like it could have been from sitting unlevel on the back seat--never a good idea. i have a customer pick up form that they sign and it says that once it leaves me then it's all on them.

Melvira Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:48am
post #8 of

I think the problem is theirs. I know you feel awful, but if you constructed it properly, the way you have described, there is nothing you can do. Especially if he put it on the seat in a 'not really all that level' position. You should not let this eat you alive. You warned them repeatedly.

That cake is very, very adorable. You did a fantastic job, and should certainly be proud. I agree that I don't like 'letting' customers pick up tiered cakes, but for a three hour round-trip, I think I'd relax my standards! icon_lol.gif

Please take a deep breath and know that the bad stuff usually only lasts a minute, but the good stuff will hang around a lot longer!

micahleech1986 Posted 8 May 2010 , 1:51am
post #9 of

It was chilled but he was over an hour and a half late and it was the middle of the day and for the first time this spring the sun finally became noticeable. The cake was level I took the picture at an awkward angle. as to try and not get my ugly retro yellow oven in the way.

Kitagrl Posted 8 May 2010 , 2:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by micahleech1986

It was chilled but he was over an hour and a half late and it was the middle of the day and for the first time this spring the sun finally became noticeable. The cake was level I took the picture at an awkward angle. as to try and not get my ugly retro yellow oven in the way.




Oh okay! I'm sorry for sounding like I doubted you. The cake is spectacular!!!!

I hate when people prop cakes in back seats. thumbsdown.gif

cupcakeenvy Posted 8 May 2010 , 2:14am

So sorry to hear about your cake issue. After a similar incident early on in my business, I made it a point to include a print out about how to care for your cake which also includes that the customer takes full responsibility of their order upon possession. VERY important. Hope this helps. Don't stress over it though, you did a great job on the cake, girl!

dalis4joe Posted 8 May 2010 , 2:21am

sorry that happened... I do agree with KIita as to how the bottom tier looks... it looks like the middle tier is already "digging" in the bottom tier..... and the fact that he placed the cake on the seat instead of the floor... didn't help....

BTW: Cute Super Cute design!

jennicita Posted 8 May 2010 , 5:25am

I'm sure you'll hear it from others, too, but get the SPS system! It makes your cake so incredibly stable - it won't go anywhere!

After trying it I really never want to use anything else. It's the peace of mind - and simplicity of the whole thing!

Jenny

mamawrobin Posted 8 May 2010 , 7:38am
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

sorry that happened... I do agree with KIita as to how the bottom tier looks... it looks like the middle tier is already "digging" in the bottom tier..... and the fact that he placed the cake on the seat instead of the floor... didn't help....

BTW: Cute Super Cute design!




I LOVE the cake. You did an awesome job. I agree with dalis that the middle tier looks to be "digging" in the bottom tier. I'm sure that the trip in the back seat didn't help either. For your peace of mind I'd suggest having customers sign a form accepting responsibility for the cake once they leave with it.

I also recommend the SPS system.

leah_s Posted 8 May 2010 , 12:27pm

SPS was originally designed for bakeries that don't offer delivery - customers had to pick up their own stacked cakes. It's perfect for that!

Also, I would have been very reluctant to let the cake leave on the back seat. I have held the cake box and demanded that the customer put it n the front floorboard and clean out the front car seat, or even clean out the trunk.

Totally cute cake, though.

dalis4joe Posted 8 May 2010 , 12:28pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

sorry that happened... I do agree with KIita as to how the bottom tier looks... it looks like the middle tier is already "digging" in the bottom tier..... and the fact that he placed the cake on the seat instead of the floor... didn't help....

BTW: Cute Super Cute design!



I LOVE the cake. You did an awesome job. I agree with dalis that the middle tier looks to be "digging" in the bottom tier. I'm sure that the trip in the back seat didn't help either. For your peace of mind I'd suggest having customers sign a form accepting responsibility for the cake once they leave with it.

I also recommend the SPS system.


waiver needs to be a must!!! because you told him it would be better on the floor and he refused... so you should have put that in writing... stating that you advice placing the cake on the floor and he refused....

I also rather deliver myself just for that very same reason... people don't know how just being slightly off balance can affect a stacked cake... but I know that some people INSIST on picking up the cake..

SPS for sure.... people here say they have even driven through railroad tracks without a problem with the SPS.... it's very reliable...

momma28 Posted 8 May 2010 , 2:09pm

I make anyone picking up a cake sign that they received the cake as ordered and undamaged and that once it leaves my hands they are responsible for it. That means if it falls apart on their watch, its their responsibility.

Love the cake BTW icon_smile.gif

Katiebelle74 Posted 8 May 2010 , 3:12pm

I agree a waiver is a must along with as much "idiot proof" information as possible. In the beginning one of my customers picked up a stacked cake, also completely supported with a dowel from top to bottom. AND THIS WAS AN EVENT PLANNER mind you. She picked it up at 1 pm on a hot summer day. She called me at 9:30..10pm (we were already in bed so I think 10 or later). And said "Katie there's an emergency can you come to the restaurant and repair the cake it's damaged" HUH?! I immediately said "you picked that cake up at 1 o'clock, where have you had that cake all this time?", her: "Oh in my car. I drove around for a while with the windows down then I left it in the car while I went home and changed. Then I drove over here and some of the icing slid and the one side is messed up. Can you come fix it?"
Because I had not had the experience to have her sign a waiver or give her a cake lecture before she left and because it was a VERY posh restaurant and I drove over there and fixed it and vowed never again. After that I created a waiver and I give a little "cake lecture" to everyone who picks up their cake. Learned my lesson the hard way. I am glad that the cake did not shift, bulge or collapse that day and that it pretty much was one border on one side that melted. But still. Dragging myself out of bed and across town and realizing that an EVENT PLANNER drug my cake around in her car all day....ahhhhhhhhhh, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Sorry you had your cake collapse that would be a nightmare.

mamawrobin Posted 8 May 2010 , 3:19pm

Katiebelle that would have ticked me off! I see now why you use the term "idiot proof" icon_lol.gif

To the op: forgot to say in my first post that I love the way you did your cakeboard. It looks great thumbs_up.gif .

Katiebelle74 Posted 8 May 2010 , 3:25pm

Oh yes I did mean to say to the OP... great job on the cake it is super cute.

jackmo Posted 8 May 2010 , 3:53pm

i agree with leah. but people who keep insisting to have it their way and the cake messes up. That is their fault,not yours. Next time please have a form stating that once it leaves your house, you are not responsible for any misshap, after you tell them how to put in in the car.i tell my customers to put it on a flat surface with airconditioner on if it is hot outside. By the way your cake is wonderfull!!

mkirby Posted 8 May 2010 , 5:49pm

SORRY BUT WHAT IS THE SPS SYSTEM?

mamawrobin Posted 8 May 2010 , 7:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkirby

SORRY BUT WHAT IS THE SPS SYSTEM?





Check the "sticky" in the "How Do I?" forum....scroll to page 15. thumbs_up.gif

spring Posted 9 May 2010 , 1:47am

Cute cake! Just curious, what did you use for dowels?



Minette

dm321 Posted 9 May 2010 , 2:29am

Oh, i think i see the problem - looks like the 2nd tier is upside down...

icon_wink.gif Just kidding... tying to bring light into a sad situation. Your cake is adorable; looks like you certainly did a great job!

The bright side is that you learned a few lessons through the experience. Better to get these things out of the way early on. Now just dust yourself off and don't think about it on an emotional level any longer!

Hang in there~!
diem

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