I just made my second wedding cake, but first paid cake. (the first one was for my own wedding) The wedding was today and I didn't bake the cakes until yesterday because I just ran out of time.
Disaster struck early and often and just when I thought I had it all together (21 hours later) the top 2 tiers crumbled on me again! This happened an hour before the cake was due to be delivered. I did not have time to make more cake so I salvaged the bottom layer and iced a foam dummy cake to set on top. It actually turned out to be a very nice looking cake but it was not the cake the bride ordered.
My questions...#1 what would cause SO many cakes to crumble(rebaked 5 times!)? It's not that hot here and pretty low humidity. Is it because I baked them the same day I decorated? I have never had this happen before.
#2 I ended up buying a 1/2 sheet cake and some cupcakes so there would be enough 'cake' servings for the guests expected. Should I expect to be paid the balance of the cake? Or at least reimbursed for the sheet cake and cupcakes? Keep in mind the brides exact words when I asked her about what she wanted for her cake were "i don't really care about the cake i'm not going to eat any of it i'm just getting it for the older people". I had her pay 1/2 up front to cover ingredients, materials. Do I just have to eat the balance? She did end up with a pretty cake that was a variation of the photo she gave me and there was enough cake to serve all guests.
What do you think?
Does the bride know about the dummie cake? What was her response to any of this (if she knows about it).
I think I would base it on her reaction or just give a discount. I would expect some additional payment beyone the 1/2 as she did get a cake.
I am sorry this happened and I am not sure why you had repeated problems. Were your cakes cool before you decorated?
First, the cake should have been paid for in full at least 3 weeks ago but YES you have to eat the balance. You did not provide the cake you were supposed to. You should NOT expect to get paid for the grocery cake you had to buy since you did not provide enough servings.
Given the circumstances you'll be lucky if the bride does not ask for a full refund.
Second, if it was a time issue then a better strategy would have been to bake either some time last week or earlier in the week and freeze the cakes and then pull them out to decorate.
So you think the crumbling was from the cakes being made the day of?
I did not talk to the bride today. Only to her mother who's only concern was not having enough cake. She even commented on how pretty the cake was. It was kind of hectic but I thought she said to let her know how much I spent on the sheet cake and cupcakes. She was nowhere to be found when I went back though so I didn't worry about it. It was a minimal amount and I didn't want to be a distraction on the wedding day.
I made this cake as a favor to my friend who is a good friend of the bride. I never even met the bride in person, just spoke on the phone. She had intended on buying a grocery store cake so I do believe she really didn't care about the cake. The total charge was only$100 so it's not going to break the bank if I have to refund or eat the balance. Just wanted to get ideas from other cake people to see what common practice in this situation is.
I would refund the money they had already paid before she asks for it. Put the check in the mail tomorrow!
One more questions for cakesbycathy...when you freeze the cakes do you make sure they are completely defrosted before working on them?
Number 1. Give the bride a full refund. Chuck it up to experience and learn from it. If you cant deliver what was promised, ALWAYS give a refund. That is just good business.
Number 2. The problem was trying to bake the cakes and use in the same day. day 1. Bake cakes, let sit for hours to cool, then either day one or two depending on when you baked them, tort, fill, Let them sit for a FULL day to settle. Day 3. Finish icing, decorate and do all last touches. Day 4 deliver the cake. (please note that this is how I DO IT. Other people have other ways, I have never had a cake crumble on me this way)
Number 3. If your cake is frozen make sure it is COMPLETELY defrosted before icing. This will allow the icing to stick to it. It will also keep the fondant from bubbling.
100% agree with everyone else who thinks you shouldn't wait to give a refund, and you should come up with a system that is timed better.
Good luck streamlining the process in the future!
Definitely a full refund is in order. And most definitely work on your time line.. Cake needs time to settle and there is no way you can get this done baking and decorating within the same day. I always have a Saturday delivery finished on Friday. This will allow you time for anything that can and will go wrong.
Ditto. A cake to be delivered on Saturday is finished on Friday night. It can be baked a couple of weeks in advance if you need to, and frozen. A full refund is in order and the check should have been in the mail on the day of the wedding.
What you have to know about working the wedding cake biz, is that nothing can go wrong. Period.
Thanks for the advice all. I definately learned a few lessons on this cake!
I dont have the girls address so no refund has been issued. I sent her a request for her address and she has not responded. It's only $50 that we are talking about.
Sorry you had problems with the wedding cake.
I have done cakes for family and friend for years. I have learned like you the hard way to always let the cake cool and settle for a day before filling and decorating.
if she's not responded she may not be wanting to pay the balance. I am of a slightly different opinion to the others here. You did leave the cake too late and you should have been better organised. I've bought a freezer just so that I can do cakes in advance and freeze them.
however, you did provide a decorated cake. I would think that a 50% rebate would be adviseable. Also you should have received full payment prior to the wedding.
As a mistake its a good time to learn. you have obviously made the cake at a discount, but you cannot afford to have any more mistakes if you are hoping to make a living from cake decorating
I suggest you take some business courses and/or ask some members here that have successful businesses about how to do things. No address of bride? No payment until last minute? Tiers crumbled? They don't just crumble. Something is not right with what you are doing in many areas. You don't want to ruin a bride's day. They only get one. And unhappy brides have tongues like snakes.
It's only $50 that we are talking about.
No it's not only $50. $100, $1,000 dollars, it's irrelevent. It's your reputation on the line, not $50.
I just wanted to say that I looked at your cakes and they are lovely. If you say she got a pretty cake, I am inclined to believe she did. Not all people think the cake is the center of the wedding day. I know, I know WE do. I don't want you to get too discouraged. I make all my wedding cakes a day or 2 days before the wedding as I work full time and I don't have room to store stuff all over my kitchen. I do make my decorations and frosting ahead. I also do use my freezer, but it is not that big. I am pretty sure you have learned some big lessons from this...BUT she had cake, it was pretty cake, and you did the best you could. I think you actually pulled off a pretty decent save with all the bad stuff that happened. Wait and see what you hear from her. You may be nicely surprised. She sounds like one of those people that are not a bridezilla. Remember that the person that made the cake days ahead and has a great business plan can have a cake accident too. Duff does.....
Thank you for your kind words barbarajean! I'm not discouraged. Of course that day I thought the world was ending.
I saved some of the crumbled cake and made cake balls for the first time. They were a big hit.