I am new to the cake decorating game and I love doing it. I have been offering to make cakes for people for cost of supplies so I can try out a lot of new things and learn. I was asked to do a 3 tier circle wedding cake. I put the dowel rods in for support. I covered with fondant (this was my fourth cake for fondant). I am no where near an expert but am having trouble figuring out what went wrong...if anything on my part. The customer needed the cake for a Monday night wedding but wanted to pick it up Sat. I baked them Thursday night, decorated Fri/fri.night/ and Sat. She transports it (instead of letting me transport it 100 miles away, which I begged her to let me do) home and says the cake did not make it all the way; that "the back of the whole bottom completely fell off". Well first circle cakes don't have backs so I don't know what she means. I asked for more details and she has not responded. I also requested a picture, no reply. She also said the fondant was too hard. Well my understanding is fondant hardens after it sits out correct?? Well hers sat out for 4 days so I imagine it did get harder, but IDK. Can someone please offer me some explanation as to what might have happened since she is giving me little to go on. When she picked up her cake, we agreed on $80 and offered me $50 (like I said I am only doing it at cost) so that should have been a warning flag right there that she is "one of those people".[/img]
I tried to "Add an attachment" and upload the pic but it is not showing up in the preview before I post so if I don't know how to get it uploaded??
I added this cake to my gallery and as of now it is the only one in there.
Pretty rude of her to not give you the $80 but obviously she wanted to get the cake and go. If the cake fell apart, it's not your problem. I can see in your picture though a couple of cracks in your fondant, so it may of fallen apart from there. But seriously, she drove 100 miles to get a cake from you that was uber cheap and she ran with it.. She drove back the 100 miles probably all giddy because she got such a steal, I say Karma took a big ol bite of her butt.. We like the taste of cake, but Karma enjoys the taste of tooshie..
Very nice cake btw! You need to charge for your time.. That was the hardest thing I had to get over. When I'd do a cake I wanted to just charge a little bit for my time. Then they started getting bigger and more detailed and realized I AM worth being paid for my time.
Did you notice when you were doing the cake if there were any cracks in your cakes at all? I had this happen to me one time. I thought the cake would be ok, I put the cracked layer down (it was the bottom tier) and iced and the other layer, did my tiers etc. A whole chunk (like 1/2 the tier) just fell off the cake. It had been done for quite some time too. Not like it did it while decorating. What happened is where the crack was the support dowels when put in just caused it to split across. Could have been the problem. I don't know for sure.
Also the back half of the cake, circle cakes do have a back. I am sure she was talking about the part not facing her. I always have a back to my cakes, basically where my seams are (ribbon, borders, etc).
As for the money. First she would have not gotten the cake from me for $80 much less $50. If you are gonna charge...charge. When you do for free, you can pick and choose and less pressure. When you do for money there is a lot more expected, the detail work is greater and the pressure is much more, so make it worth your while.
Very cute cake by the way!
Just to clarify, did u put the dowels in after u put on the fondant or before?
Accepting any money for cakes means you need to be a legal business with insurance, I'm not sure if you are or not. But this bride could sue you for emotional distress or over the standard of work, and she will go after you personally if u don't have a business/ insurance.
Next time, think about saying 'either I do the delivery, or you get ur cake else where'. It's about protecting ur reputation as well, not just the customer. And state in the contract that after they collect the cake it's not your reponsibility I somethig else happens, and state it needs to be level, driven slowly and with the ac on.
Diffiult to say what to do especially without pictures, and if there wasn't a contract. With onlycovering ur costs there's no extra to refund, but with buying an $80 wedding cake, maybe the bride doesn't have much comeback!
Thank you for replying, your suggestions seem logical. I do not sign contracts but I feel like this might be something I start as I have 5 more wedding cakes booked on top of numerous other cakes. Seems like people do not want to pay the $10 I charge for delivery! I live on windy mountain roads so I put my price low hoping most people would pay it. Apparently I just live in a cheap area!! LOL
Let me add this too, when she picked the cake up I told her to use the AC and to keep it flat. I even scoured for hours looking for a box that just exactly fit the bottom so that it wouldn't slide and gave her a towel because she forgot to get shelf liner like I asked her to. Well she brings a friend along and when they got into the car the friend was holding it in her lap in the front seat, "near the air". The friend said, "Oh I can hold it flat"....that might be an issue right there. As for asking for more details about what went wrong, the lady only texted me when I begged her to tell me how the cake turned out and gave me very short details. When I asked her to explain more and to please send me some pictures of what happened she has continued to ignore me.
AngelinaMomof3, that's funny about Karma bc I am total believer! I would like to start charging more but I am nervous about doing so. I have never had any training or classes, I just picked up some decorating stuff one day and started.
Pattiecakesnc I did not notice if I had any cracks in the cake but that is a good thought. I will pay more attention to that next time. I see your point about the back of the circle but I guess I would like to know which part so I can go back and examine all pictures I took to see if their was a problem I could spot.
Brincess_b, I put the rods in after the fondant. I am not a business yet as I wanted to see if I would even have a true enough talent before I go through the hassle and spending all the money to get an LLC. I clearly state that up front to customers though, that I am just learning and have had no formal training. As for the bride, she had no idea what her cake would look like. The lady I dealt with was paying for everything in the girls wedding and came right out stating, "I am doing it as cheap as I can" and continued saying she would leave the details up to me. So really the bride does not have too much room because she did not want any part in the cake or flowers or anything.
I feel bad that it happened but I don't want to let it get me to down and frustrated especially when I don't even know if it was completely my fault. When I was done with the cake it sat on my kitchen table for probably 12 hours at least before she came and got it. Not one problem from the cake. I just hope I can continue making and decorating cakes without the fear this lady has put into me.