Cake Due This Sat And I Don't Know What To Do!!! Please Help

Decorating By ajh16211 Updated 18 May 2010 , 3:24pm by ajh16211

ajh16211 Posted 17 May 2010 , 12:17pm
post #1 of 40

I really need some help..Heres the background:

My daughter is on drill team for her high school. At their silent auction fundraiser last year I donated a $200 gift certificate for a cake. It is finally being used. Keep in mind she won it with a $60 bid.

Ok now to my problem, a little over a week ago she contacted me to use the gift certificate. This is what she wants:
  A 3 tier cake with something different celebrated on each tier.
1 graduation of her son and nephew. Same high school thank god. School colors are blue and yellow. One is going to college and is involved in sports at school, but the other isnt so she doesnt want that on the cake.
2 4 birthdays!! Girls 5 & 16 Boys 18 & 20. I have no clue how to do this one. I want the girls to be girly and boys to be boys.
3 Her sons trip to Nevada for a job for college. She wants the state of Nevada and the Texas A&M logo on it.

Ok I can do this with no problem if it were 3 separate cakes. But she wants a stacked cake and she wants it to be cohesive. She stated that at least 10 times in her last email. She also wants polka dots all over the cake. She thinks if they match on each tier it would help with the cohesiveness.


Any advice???

Btw, its for this Sat!!!!! I cant sleep, she is known for her creativity, she has designed many of our t-shirts and costumes, so I have to impress. icon_cry.gif

39 replies
irisinbloom Posted 17 May 2010 , 12:30pm
post #2 of 40

No advice, but that sounds like an awful lot for 200 bucks. Best of luck to ya and look forward to seeing the cakeicon_smile.gif

glow0369 Posted 17 May 2010 , 12:40pm
post #3 of 40

First of all, that is alot to even ask for. She's trying to celebrate 6 different affairs into one cake. I would try to convince her that she can get seperate cakes for the same price and the recipients will feel more special with their own cake..

dinascakes Posted 17 May 2010 , 12:46pm
post #4 of 40

Sounds like a really chaotic cake! Too much going on! You might want to suggest 3 smaller cakes and that way they can each shine in their own theme. But if not, then just give her what she wants. Maybe pick one color (like blue) and make that the dominant color on the whole cake.

Top tier: blue with yellow graduation cap and both boys names on it and 2010. maybe sports balls to represent the teams the boy is on and yellow polkadots throughout.
middle tier: red with blue polkadots and yellow name plates with the name of each birthday child and the age that their turning.
bottom tier: yellow with red polkadots and blue nevada and red and white A&M logo on it.

It would be bright and colorful... and a little busy, but it could work. Just keep the colors uniform on each layer to tie it all on in together.

HTH...Good luck! Post a pic, would love to see what you come up with!

endymion Posted 17 May 2010 , 12:52pm
post #5 of 40

You can do cut-out shapes of birthday hats or cakes or presents on the "birthday" tier -- one with each name.

Similarly, cut-outs with the shapes of the states (and maybe a car or plane or whatever?) on the "college" tier.

The whole thing can be done in the shool colors (or complimentary colors) to pull everything together. The HS tier can have pennents or grad hat cut-outs with the names.

Good luck -- sounds like a handful!

dalis4joe Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:02pm
post #6 of 40

you MUST let her know that there is NO way you can add ALL THAT on ONE cake and it look cohesive... and furthermore... it's kinda short notice for such a large request.... offer 3 smaller cakes.... or one general celebration cake....

that's what I would do... how can you add all those different occasions and celebrations in one???? wow!!! and then with one week notice???? no no no....

good luck!

cakesbymark Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:04pm
post #7 of 40

here's the thing i see.
she is trying to get more out of a $60 cake(what she paid) than its worth, to pull it all off and make it look like it should will be great for you once you do it by taking a deep breath and just decorate each cake like its own but keeping the main colors all the same, and where 2 tiers are for mulitple people i would split the cakes in half and decorate it that way

i know you want to impress....we all do... but keep this in mind..at the end of the day you are giving them a cake that was worth over triple what they paid so if they cant appreciate the amount of work its going to take to put all those themes on one cake then same on them and not you.

but again i would just do each cake like its a seperate cake just using the same color schemes and it will come out great...
gl and post pics...

kansaslaura Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:06pm
post #8 of 40

You can put a stop to the insanity. How much do you usually put on a cake for $200? I would reign her in if need be. She's assuming what she gets for the 200--if someone came to you with that request what would you charge for all that? If she's willing to pay extra for all the extra, then great, if not explain to her what her certificate WILL buy.

nelikate Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:28pm
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbymark

here's the thing i see.
she is trying to get more out of a $60 cake(what she paid) than its worth, to pull it all off and make it look like it should will be great for you once you do it by taking a deep breath and just decorate each cake like its own but keeping the main colors all the same, and where 2 tiers are for mulitple people i would split the cakes in half and decorate it that way

i know you want to impress....we all do... but keep this in mind..at the end of the day you are giving them a cake that was worth over triple what they paid so if they cant appreciate the amount of work its going to take to put all those themes on one cake then same on them and not you.

but again i would just do each cake like its a separate cake just using the same color schemes and it will come out great...
gl and post pics...




The winning bid for a $200 cake (gift card) was $60 that doesn't mean you give her a cake worth $60 it means you give her a cake worth $200. - what she actually purchased, regardless of what she paid.

But other than that early comment, I thought you were right on track, I agree - breath, feel confident in your abilities and keep a single colour or design all the way through the tiers as a background.

Remember why you donated the gift certificate. Was it to help support a team or charity? Was it to showcase your cake skills and promote your business? (or both =) either way do the best cake you can offer her within the budget of $200 and her design requests.

Good luck

Nel

vagostino Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:30pm
post #10 of 40

I'm not even thinking about the design yet, but I do agree with the others here. She is out of place. She need to understand that she paid $60 for a cake and that there is no way to squeeze it all in one cake and make it look pretty and cohesive. If she is so creative she will understand. Plus, with only one week advance notice there is only so much you can do.
I will do plaques with the names of the people being celebrated. Like the graduation tier with the colors of the high school and the names, and "maybe" a diploma or sometihng little on the plaque.
Middle tier, I would to like confetti or streamers and again plaques with the names, and each plaque in girly or boy colors and the birthday number. Top tier again a plaque with the kids name, and the college logo on the plaque. And maybe if oyu are nice, some starts on wires on top to make it all look like a big celebration.
But still...she's got some nerves. I know you are trying to do the best but keep in mind that this lady is asking too much!

cakesbymark Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:53pm
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelikate



The winning bid for a $200 cake (gift card) was $60 that doesn't mean you give her a cake worth $60 it means you give her a cake worth $200. - what she actually purchased, regardless of what she paid.

But other than that early comment, I thought you were right on track, I agree - breath, feel confident in your abilities and keep a single colour or design all the way through the tiers as a background.

Remember why you donated the gift certificate. Was it to help support a team or charity? Was it to showcase your cake skills and promote your business? (or both =) either way do the best cake you can offer her within the budget of $200 and her design requests.

Good luck

Nel



thats basicly what i was trying to say, i know its supposed to be a Value of $200 and to give her a $200 value but she paid $60 for that Value and i personally think she is trying to get alot more out of it that its really worth, so that why i stated she paid $60 and is asking for a lot more than its really worth( the $200) cause reality all that is worth alot more than $200 cause their is no way of pulling it off use small tiers,plus with it be for like 5-6 different people i'm guessing the party is going to have over a hundred people there.......so again no way is she asking for a true $200 value of cake...

rowingmom Posted 17 May 2010 , 2:18pm
post #12 of 40

What about words piped on each tier specific to the person or event in the same color. Then add her polka dots sprinkled through the tiers. It would be cohesive and be addressing each reguest. P.S. Even though she spent only 60 the certificate was for 200. Give her 200 dollar value ,but if she wants more than what you would charge for 200 she needs to pay the difference.

Spuddysmom Posted 17 May 2010 , 2:48pm
post #13 of 40

This sounds like one UUUUggly cake. Thought of using the polka dots for the uniformity idea, but honestly this is too much for one cake to handle. I guess if their entire family is together only one time to celebrate all of this it makes weird sense.... For $200 how many servings were you planning? 40? 50? I would talk her into separate cakes or else since she is a designer of sorts have her design it, tell her you will subtract $200 from the cake then you can tell her how much extra it will cost to create her dream. Anyway, good for you for supporting whatever cause it was - do take pleasure in knowing your creativity is going to support something you care about.

ajh16211 Posted 17 May 2010 , 2:52pm
post #14 of 40

Thanks everybody icon_wink.gif

It's not the cost I'm worried about. It was trying to pull off a design and making in cohesive. She stressed this so much in her last email I starting freaking out. And than I saw her at a drill team function and she brought that up again. She is having a huge party celebrating everything so there will be a lot of people.

She asked me if she was getting close to or over the $200 mark to let her know. I don't charge that much for my cakes so she really hasn't.

I think I'll stick with blue being the color to bring it all together and I'll try and keep it simple so it's not to busy and I don't have to spend all week on it.

Thanks for all the ideas and input.

sahrow Posted 17 May 2010 , 3:18pm
post #15 of 40

You need to talk to her and let her know what $200 will get her. If she is wanting all you have mentioned, you need to make it clear to her that the certificate doesn't cover the whole cost of the cake and that she will be charged for the overage.

If I have a gift certificate to a store for a specific dollar amount, they don't let me have whatever I want for that certificate. I have to stay within the value of the certificate or pay for the extra cost. .

Swede-cakes Posted 17 May 2010 , 3:18pm
post #16 of 40

Don't panic. You have the power to guide this towards a great cake and a happy customer! thumbs_up.gif You can take all the parts and find a way to finesse them into the best design possible.

First question; What would you normally charge for the 3-tier cake as she wants it? If you can figure that out TODAY, contact her and let her know before this gets any closer to your due date.

If this cake would have a $275 price tag for instance, then let her know that you'd "really enjoy creating it", but once you worked out the final design, you calculated that what she's asking for is valued at more than what she won. At the same time have a couple of design ideas at the $200 level ready to offer. She's got a lot of events she's trying to celebrate, and let's face it...a last minute surprise about her cake being changed may start to concern her, but she WILL probably welcome your confident answer of "I have a couple of ideas in mind that will work...here they are". This includes what many other CC'ers are saying about three separate cakes. *The designs can shine on their own (just like her kids' accomplishments) and not compete with each other.*


**Edited to add: Ooops! I swear your post wasn't there when I was typing! icon_smile.gif I wish you the very best of luck!

cricket0616 Posted 17 May 2010 , 3:43pm
post #17 of 40

Since she is such a creative person, why don't you contact her a let her know that in your opinioin there is a lot going on for that cake. Trying to make something that will tie all three layers together is extremely difficult. See what she can come up with.

ngfcake Posted 17 May 2010 , 4:10pm
post #18 of 40

While I was reading your post, I thought all the time in chocolate transfers, Whimsical Bakehouse style. If you do chocolate transfers all in the same style with little variations to fit each theme you'll end up with a cohesive look. http://www.whimsicalbakehouse.com/gallery/gallery.html

Good luck!

jammjenks Posted 17 May 2010 , 4:32pm
post #19 of 40

Make her send you a sketch.

JGMB Posted 17 May 2010 , 5:07pm
post #20 of 40

It does sound like a lot of themes on one cake, but at least it's a tiered cake and not a sheet. So, you're able to dedicate one tier to each thing. Just look at it as your own Food Network Challenge!

I'm sure you've watched those episodes where they want to incorporate everything that's been important in the bride & groom's life, or to all of the people in the same graduating class, or there was that one time when they had to show all of the interests for a group of sextuplets.

You can do it!!! thumbs_up.gif

esq1031 Posted 17 May 2010 , 6:39pm
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

You can put a stop to the insanity. How much do you usually put on a cake for $200? I would reign her in if need be. She's assuming what she gets for the 200--if someone came to you with that request what would you charge for all that? If she's willing to pay extra for all the extra, then great, if not explain to her what her certificate WILL buy.




Great answer...this woman sounds cheap and out of her mind!!!

cownsj Posted 17 May 2010 , 7:13pm
post #22 of 40

She may be under the impression that it MUST be done as one cake to use her gift certificate and so she's combining it all into one. She may feel very relieved if you tell her she can have individual cakes for each of the occasions. That would make it MUCH easier for you to do, and I would think the recipients would like it much better too.

BakedAlaska Posted 18 May 2010 , 12:14am
post #23 of 40

How about this? Top tier, 6" round shaped like graduation cap in blue with yellow tassel and yellow "2010" across front.

Middle tier 8" square. Each side has a certain number of fondant stripe candles with yellow flames (5, 16, 18, 20). The girl sides have some flowers, boy sides just stripes and dots.

Bottom tier: 10" square. Red Texas A&M logo on front. Dashed lines of airplane path leads around to the back where there is a map of NV. Fondant airplanes along the dashed lines.

Fondant balls along the bottom edges of the tiers in like colors.

Yay! I got an attachment to work....
LL

indydebi Posted 18 May 2010 , 12:53am
post #24 of 40

On the pricing issue, it's a no-brainer.

She has a certificate for $200. It is NOT a certificate for "whatever cake you want with whatever design you want, as big as you want."

Quote/invoice will show:

3-tier cake as described by client ....... $500
Less gift certificate value .................<$200>
Balance due for cake as designed ...... $300

What's the problem? icon_confused.gif

mamawrobin Posted 18 May 2010 , 12:56am
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

On the pricing issue, it's a no-brainer.

She has a certificate for $200. It is NOT a certificate for "whatever cake you want with whatever design you want, as big as you want."

Quote/invoice will show:

3-tier cake as described by client ....... $500
Less gift certificate value .................<$200>
Balance due for cake as designed ...... $300

What's the problem? icon_confused.gif




I agree.

ajh16211 Posted 18 May 2010 , 1:11am
post #26 of 40

again, thanks everybody for your input.

I talked to her about doing three sperate cakes, but she wants a tall tiered cake.

I really like you ideas Baked Alaska. I was thinking about something like that for the Nevada tier.

As I stated earlier it's not a price issue. I normally only charge around $1.50 to $2 per serving. So a 10",8",6" would only be 43 servings using a 2"x2" serving guide that wouldn't even be $100. I know I know, but I do it because I love it. If I cover my costs I'm good. Maybe in the future if it every becomes a full time job I'll redo my costing. But for now it works.

Thanks again.

MCurry Posted 18 May 2010 , 1:13am
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

On the pricing issue, it's a no-brainer.

She has a certificate for $200. It is NOT a certificate for "whatever cake you want with whatever design you want, as big as you want."

Quote/invoice will show:

3-tier cake as described by client ....... $500
Less gift certificate value .................<$200>
Balance due for cake as designed ...... $300

What's the problem? icon_confused.gif




I second that agreement! The cake sounds like it should be over $200 and very busy looking based on what the customer wants. You should decide what the cost over $200 should be. Do you have an edible printer to incorporate some of ideas to make it less busy?

I do like the idea of offering 3 smaller cakes but not sure your customer would go for that.

andreamen1 Posted 18 May 2010 , 1:14am
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

On the pricing issue, it's a no-brainer.

She has a certificate for $200. It is NOT a certificate for "whatever cake you want with whatever design you want, as big as you want."

Quote/invoice will show:

3-tier cake as described by client ....... $500
Less gift certificate value .................<$200>
Balance due for cake as designed ...... $300

What's the problem? icon_confused.gif







exactly!!
i think she watches to much cake boss and ace of cakes so give her those prices:>

indydebi Posted 18 May 2010 , 1:19am
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajh16211

again, thanks everybody for your input.

I talked to her about doing three sperate cakes, but she wants a tall tiered cake.

I really like you ideas Baked Alaska. I was thinking about something like that for the Nevada tier.

As I stated earlier it's not a price issue. I normally only charge around $1.50 to $2 per serving. So a 10",8",6" would only be 43 servings using a 2"x2" serving guide that wouldn't even be $100. I know I know, but I do it because I love it. If I cover my costs I'm good. Maybe in the future if it every becomes a full time job I'll redo my costing. But for now it works.

Thanks again.




Are those SINGLE layer 6/8/10's? icon_confused.gif Because a 2-layer 6/8/10 serves 12/24/38 = 74 servings. And if she is wanting a "tall" cake, a 3-tier cake made of single layers is only going to be six inches tall. Plus I really have a problem envisioning how you're going to get all of those decorations on each little 2" tall layer. icon_confused.gif

EvMarie Posted 18 May 2010 , 1:24am
post #30 of 40

Holy Sha-moly! I normally only wear 2 colors!!! Seriously, I lean toward a classic style! No wonder I ran from cakes at the speed of light...screaming with my hair on fire!!!!

Not sure about the polka dot on all tiers, mentioned by the client. Especially if it didn't come from your brain. It might be hard to force her idea into your creativity.

BakedAlaska seems to be on the right path. You have a neat "carved" element with the cap. That seems fairly simple to execute I think but would probably look really neat. As would all the fondant accents. Like, the girly flowers & unisex stripes/dots & birthday candles. I love the varied round & square cake idea too.

In thinking about the established colors of the school colors on top tier & the Texas A&M colors on the bottom....maybe try to lock in a transitional-tie in -whimsical solution for the birthdays in the middle tier. Instead of being nervous....just dive in. Once you start you'll do great! Just keep to what you do best!

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