This Is An Unmitigated Horror

Decorating By jillmakescakes Updated 28 Jun 2010 , 4:53pm by ArtieTs

jillmakescakes Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 9:50pm
post #1 of 34

This was supposed to be a groom's cake (surprise no less). It was supposed to be a styrofoam cooled with beer bottles and ice. The beer bottles are sugar and turned out amazing- the cake, not so much.

Now, before you subject yourself to the horrifying pictures, please know two things:

1. I now know what I did wrong and how to prevent a similar incident in the future.
2. I have already discussed this with the client and we have come to an amicable resolution.

Ok, feel free to gaze upon the horrific site I saw upon opening the back end of my delivery vehicle.

33 replies
tarheelgirl Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:04pm
post #2 of 34

I am soo sorry! Your bottles are AMAZING! We all have to learn from some kind of horror and now you know what to do/not to do next time. thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:07pm
post #3 of 34

so please share .... what did you learn and what should any of us NOT do when making a cake like this?

jillmakescakes Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:13pm
post #4 of 34

I did not have the proper support system in place. For as tall as the cake was, I should have used dowels and a cardboard separator, but I did not.

Also, since the bottles are so sharp on the bottom, I am going to place a dowel for the bottles to rest on so that the cake is not supporting the weight of the bottles. Of course, this will only work because the bottles are so dark.

Also, don't eat before a delivery like this, 'cause you'll feel like throwing up and that feeling is best left to an empty stomach.

auntiecake Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:35pm
post #5 of 34

I like the last words of wisdom! Sorry you had so much trouble!

aej6 Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:45pm
post #6 of 34

Your bottles are awesome!!!
Sorry for the difficulties yet thank you for sharing what you learned from this.

3GCakes Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 10:51pm
post #7 of 34

Wow! Your bottles do look great...thanks for sharing what NOT to do! You have probably saved a few people from a future horror!

Melvira Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 11:20pm
post #8 of 34

Oh sweetie, I am SO sorry. But thank you so much for bringing this to light for anyone who may be thinking about making a cake like this. Your misery may save someone that sick feeling!! BIG HUG to help you get through. Your bottles ARE awesome!! For what that's worth...

mamawrobin Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 11:42pm
post #9 of 34

So sorry this happened to you. Can only imagine how you must have felt. Your bottles are amazing though thumbs_up.gif

newbaker55 Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 11:52pm
post #10 of 34

Oooh! I am SO SORRY for you icon_cry.gif Thank you for sharing.

Two things to add:
1. The bottles are awesome!
2. I'll bet that cake was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!
3. Wish I could be there (with a fork) to help you clean up the mess.

Well, that was 3 things, wasn't it? icon_wink.gif

grossoutqueen Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 11:58pm
post #11 of 34

I'm so sorry. It is always hard to see your hours of work in that condition (except for when it's people digging in to eat iticon_smile.gif )

Just curious, what kind of resolution did you come to with the client? I have always wondered if something like this happened what I would say to the client and how I would work it out...

jillmakescakes Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 12:17am
post #12 of 34

After apologizing profusely and holding back the tears (MAJOR effort on my part) I explained the situation, the lack of solution (the cake was a total loss and the reception started in an hour)and told her (MOB)that without question 100% was refunded. We did leave the "lid" for the cooler in the kitchen- this was a separate sheet cake carved to look like the lid, it was supposed to be propped up next to the cake. She was AMAZINGLY gracious. We did discuss if there was anyway to salvage it, to which I explained that there was not. Her exact words were "Well, it is what it is." (not at all snotty, but very understanding).

The wedding planner is a friend (from a networking group) who explained she would stand up for me on this one (I did tear up in front of her). She also took pictures so that if MOB wanted to see the damage for herself, she could.

I will be mailing the refund (both MOB and bride/groom are from out of town). I will also be including a few dozen Cake Bites (coller packed, of course) which I didn't mention to her, but I think it is the only thing additional that I can offer her. Since they are out of town, a gift certificate or free cake just doesn't seem appropriate.

The hardest thing is that I feel like the refund is not enough. Intellectually, I know it is, but it doesn't feel like enough. However, IndyDebi is close enough to come and kick my butt if I run my business based on feelings, so I have to just absorb it, and move on.

Thank you all for your support and the compliments on the beer bottles.

Karen421 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 12:28am
post #13 of 34

Your bottles are great & your lid was great! You also handled the situation very professionally! I'm sorry this happened, and thank you for sharing - what not to do!

tesso Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 1:16am
post #14 of 34

I feel so bad for you. I am glad you figured out what went wrong and that the client was so nice about it. sending hugs.

Melvira Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 2:52am
post #15 of 34

I do have to say, though it may not have gone exactly 'smoothly' when you had to break the news to the bride, you ended up so much better off that I did last week... a TORNADO hit my house, all kinds of damage, I had to call this lady to tell her I couldn't finish the baby shower cake she had ordered (I was baking it when the power lines were ripped out of the back of my house...) and she was not remotely kind about it. I told her I was mortified because nothing like this had ever happened to me before, I've never failed to complete a cake, and ADD to that... I have to move myself, hubby, and two boys to a hotel in a town that's 45 miles away. I was wicked irked off that she couldn't see that we were both in a horrible situation, but hers can be solved by swinging past WalMart. Oh well. We all have to have these humbling experiences to keep from getting too full of our selves!

jammjenks Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 3:06am
post #16 of 34

Too bad we can't see it before the disaster. Sorry that happened.

jillmakescakes Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 3:20am
post #17 of 34

Melvira: that is awful that she was wicked to you.... especially since that was TOTALLY out of your control-- i'm sending you hug {}{}{}{

jammjenks... I know, right? It was really cool too. I really wanted this to be perfect since the bride was so excited about the cake and I'm friends with the planner.

cblupe Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 3:41am
post #18 of 34

Jill, so sorry that happened to you ~ that whole cake would have been totally awesome.

Melvira, a tornado hitting your home is terrible. I lived in Alabama (tornado alley and saw so many) but the closet one to my house was about a quarter of a mile away from my front door - it was an F-4. We were blessed. Bless you that you get back into your home quickly.

karateka Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:03am
post #19 of 34

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I think you handled it well, not that that is any consolation.


I didn't know about the tornado...I must not be spending enough time on FB. Or paying enough attention, or something. How are things? What can I do for ya?

Melvira Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 2:16pm
post #20 of 34

You know, once we got it cleaned up, and the electricity back on, it wasn't as bad as it could've been. We've got roof damage, porch damage, it took down part of our brand new fence that I had saved up for! It killed out TV, DVD player, the Wii, one of our laptops, pulled some wiring out of the back wall of our house, etc. It tried to crush my van with a huge utility pole, but I'm too quick! Hehehe. Stacie, there are a few pix on FB showing a few things. You've just had a lot on your mind lately!

Honestly, damage not withstanding, the main reason I couldn't do her cake was because we had no electricity for two days. We went and stayed in a hotel 45 miles away because we were due for some stress free family time. I know that once this lady got past the crisis stage of "I need a replacement cake RIGHT NOW" she probably felt bad. If she didn't... well she is a real jerk. icon_rolleyes.gif

Spuddysmom Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 2:52pm
post #21 of 34

There are clients who expect you to decorate a cake after a tornado hits your house? Where do you people live??? A tornado? Why not just tell her that you finished the cake and she can pick it up in the land of OZ? Sheesh!

Jill - icon_cry.gif That is so so sad! Great beer bottles though. and sounds like you dealt with a very understanding MOB. Thank you for sharing your story. Hope you had some real beer bottles to open after that one!

Melvira Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:02pm
post #22 of 34
Originally Posted by Spuddysmom

There are clients who expect you to decorate a cake after a tornado hits your house? Where do you people live??? A tornado? Why not just tell her that you finished the cake and she can pick it up in the land of OZ? Sheesh!

Hehehe. That's good stuff! I'm going to use that next time! Oh good gravy, I hope that there ISN'T a next time!!! I guess I should say that the tornado itself didn't actually HIT my house... I mean to say, the actual funnel didn't hit my house, but torrential rain, 100MPH winds, lightning took down a huge tree and took out my wiring and almost my van. The second lightning the transformer and took out all the other utilities to my house. ONLY my house. I was the only house in town that the second strike affected. Man... that starts to feel personal, ya know? Mother Nature is wickedly pissed at me about something.

I sure didn't mean to hijack this thread fishing for pity, I hope it didn't come off like that. I guess I just haven't had the chance to talk about this to any of my cake contemporaries (the people who would 'get it') and it's eating away at me. She really made me feel guilty. I know it's my own fault for letting her. Ok, I refuse to let it bug me any more! icon_rolleyes.gif We'll see how that goes. icon_cry.gif

cblupe Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:14pm
post #23 of 34

(I was baking it when the power lines were ripped out of the back of my house...)

Of course you can always think of the comebacks after the fact ~ like you could have finished baking the cake when the sun came out (sorta like sun tea). Heaven forbid we should get that hot! icon_razz.gif

Melvira Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:32pm
post #24 of 34

Hahaha, 'sun cake'! I love it. icon_lol.gif

julia77 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 1:03am
post #25 of 34

I can tell it would have looked AWESOME! How disappointing icon_sad.gif

cai0311 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:01pm
post #26 of 34

I had one of those unforgiving customers this past weekend too Melvira.

I had a wedding cake (10", 8", 6") and grooms cake (6") due this past Saturday. Well, during the week my husband came down with a viral infection and meningitis. I took him to the ER as soon as he started to complain about neck pain. The hospital said that since he broke is fever on his own, he could go home but needed constant care and if anything changed he had to come back in to the ER and they would then keep him for several days.

It was everything I could do to get the wedding cake done for Saturday (I was up till 4:00am finishing it and then got up at 7:00am to get ready for the day). I can't get ahold of the bride to find out if I should get a sheet cake on the way there from a grocery store (not ideal but it was all I could think of at the time) that I would pay for and refund the $40 for the groom's cake.

So I am delivering the cake 1hr and 45min away (the only reason I had to drive so far was because she changed her venue 3 times and wedding date 5 times during this process). The address on the contract, which she verified when she signed, was wrong. I am in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service tring to find this park. Nothing is open on a Saturday afternoon in this town for me to stop and ask directions. 35min later I find a church with cars, stop and ask for directions.

I get there, set up, talk to the bride about the situation. She proceeds to run crying in the bathroom where she locks herself into a stall. All she keeps saying is "I don't have enough servings now". I told her the grooms cake only fed 12 (all of this is clearly spelled out in the contract) and I could easily get a 1/4 sheet cake at a grocery store to replace that if anyone would tell me where one was in that town. She told me not to worry about it and that I should just go.

I felt really bad, but didn't know what else to do. I put the check in the mail today with a letter of apology once again explaining what happened.

Melvira Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:15pm
post #27 of 34

I have said this before... I will say it again... if THAT is enough to ruin your wedding day, you are a pampered princess and just need to be slapped. They blew up New York 4 days before my wedding and it was still 'perfect'. Even with all the people missing because there were no flights. Even with losing the military building for our reception. Even with all the horrifying emotions that left in people. We still pulled it all together and had a perfect day. (Even with mother nature 'attacking' me with her monthly gift at the reception!!! EVIL!) At the end of the day I was still someone's wife! And it was a GOOD someone!! icon_lol.gif Any bride who lets 12 servings of cake ruin it for her must have less interest in marrying the man she loves and more interest in parading like a trained monkey. I'm sorry, I shouldn't be so rude, but these are the people who have NO idea what actual suffering is. Apparently they've never had a REAL problem.

I'm sorry she did that to you. The guilt quotient is very high in these situations, and she used that. That makes her a bit evil in my book. Did she even know your hubby was in hospital that week?

hisbird Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:42pm
post #28 of 34
Originally Posted by Melvira

I have said this before... I will say it again... if THAT is enough to ruin your wedding day, you are a pampered princess and just need to be slapped.

my wedding cake collapsed on my wedding day. My cake maker put my chocolate cake in a hot marquee 4 hours before my wedding on a really hot day. It hit the floor so bad that i have no pictures of my husband and i cutting the cake, which is what i really wanted to do. But thats life, no point in getting married my prince charming and that was all i cared about. icon_biggrin.gif

cai0311 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:51pm
post #29 of 34

The bride knew, but that didn't make any difference.

I blame T.V. for how people act about their wedding. All the shows: cake shows, dress shows, my fair wedding, bridezilla...

All of them play up the wedding so much that it seems everyone expects the same.

For our wedding, we got married in a tiny conferenct room instead of the grand ballroom like we were suppose to, the bakers grandfather had a heart attack the night before that I wasn't sure if we would have cake, my mother-in-law was refusing to come up till the day of the wedding... Oh well, in the end I still got married and that is all that matters.

The sole perpose of a wedding is to make it legal for two people to live together. Everything else is modern gimicks to make money.

NerdyGirl Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:24pm
post #30 of 34

Can't totally blame tv. Blame their parents who didn't nip that behavior in the bud when they were kids and demanded everything. Most people look at those shows and realize that it's tv...not exactly "reality." Spoiled brats are grown that way.

A girl I used to babysit had a very smart mouth, plus she lied about me in front of me and her father. When I told her it wasn't nice to make things up about people, her father chuckled and said, "'s not nice." And now you know why I USED TO babysit her. I won't have that in my house, around my own kids.

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