Sheet Cakes, Do You Offer Them?

Decorating By KakesbyKris Updated 1 Jan 2011 , 7:38pm by Mama_Mias_Cakes

KakesbyKris Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 34

I am doing a cake for a client that picked a design I did on an 8 in round x 4in tall, but wants it in a sheet cake. I can do it, just have to adjust the proportions of some elements. I tried explaining that it won't have the same effect as the cake she picked and when they had to adjust servings I again tried to steer them to the 2-layer, but to no avail. I just keep getting, "We are use to sheet cakes." This is their first time ordering from anywhere besides Wallyworld. It has been a back and forth conversation and it just got me thinking about not even offering sheet cakes unless it's kitchen cakes at a wedding.

I prefer custom cakes, but am not going to turn away a paying customer. So I will give her what she wants and hope that this just educates them. Their daughter fell in love with the picture of the cake design she picked, and I don't think she will be as happy when she sees it on a sheet.

Just wondering what everyone else does. Thanks! icon_razz.gif

33 replies
leily Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 5:24pm
post #2 of 34

i don't offer sheet cakes (2" tall cakes) all of my cakes are 4" tall. For customers who are used to sheet cakes i offer square cakes, most are intimidated to cut a round cake, but they feel comfortable with a square cake b/c they just cut rows like a sheet cake.
I also provide cutting instructions with EVERY cake order (indydebi's how to cut a wedding cake guide... i just modified it so it's "how to cut a cake")

A lot of people do offer sheet cakes, but i choose not to b/c 1) I used to work in a production bakery and i'm tired of doing them 2) most people want it for the same price as wallyworld or the local grocery store.... i just can't complete with that. If they get a 4" tall cake they are more willing to pay higher price for it even though it's the same amount of cake.... it has more of a "wow" effect.

michel30014 Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 9:55pm
post #3 of 34

I don't actually tell anyone that I offer them. But, if they so choose to do a sheet cake, then I will.

I find it harder to decorate a sheet cake than a stacked cake. I prefer making the stacked cakes.

I have made quite a few "sheet" cakes.... Many of the cakes I do are for friends and family and are usually gifts to the family member for a birthday or such. They get to tell me what type of cake they want and then most give me creative license to do whatever. I try to base it on how many people it must feed and the size of our family. Between the qty of people and type of design determines if I use a sheet cake.

Overall, I just prefer not to do sheet cakes!

Kaylani Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 11:46pm
post #4 of 34

Nope. icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 12:23am
post #5 of 34

Nope.

CindiM Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 1:10am
post #6 of 34

I do not do sheet cakes. No way! I pride myself as a sugar artist/cake artist. I explain that is why they came to me. I learned how to say No, if it is something I don't want to do.

Sangriacupcake Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 1:15am
post #7 of 34

I'm not a pro, but I love sheet cakes. They're fun to decorate and easy to transport, and they're perfect for casual celebrations.

However, even though I'm not a cake pro, I've talked several young brides (DD's friends) out of getting sheet cakes or "kitchen cakes" along with a small cake for their wedding. I've advised them to cut back on appetizers or favors, but not the cake...that they'll always treasure the memory (and the pictures) of cutting a beautiful, made-just-for-them wedding cake!

Evoir Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 1:58am
post #8 of 34

I have only done one sheet cake in the past 12 months. It was such a novelty! I usually only do specialty stuff, but this was a request from a local school which I try to support, so I agreed to it (it was an opportunity to try FBCT for the first time!)

In terms of profitability, because I don't do them regularly, it is definitely not worth my time or effort. And frankly they're just not 'interesting' enough.

cas17 Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 2:08am
post #9 of 34

at this time-yes

cheatize Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 3:47am
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by CindiM

I do not do sheet cakes. No way! I pride myself as a sugar artist/cake artist. I explain that is why they came to me. I learned how to say No, if it is something I don't want to do.




This is not to start an argument, but to hopefully open you up to a different way of thinking. Would you say Sugarshack is not a sugar artist/cake artist?

Kaylani Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 4:03pm
post #11 of 34

This is not to start an argument, but to hopefully open you up to a different way of thinking. Would you say Sugarshack is not a sugar artist/cake artist?

icon_rolleyes.gif

So, are we cake snobs? That is really the question isn't it? icon_lol.gif

My answer is yes, I think I am a cake snob. A nice, happy & sweet cake snob, but I definitely have high standards when it comes to cake art.

I spend a good bit of time educating my customers on the difference between a grocery store cake (Publix is pretty good) and a custom cake done by a cake artist. Ingredents, time, skill, etc......

Sheet cakes are the classic grocery store cake in our area.

Personally, I think they are tedious and hold no appeal for me as an artist. When I started doing cakes I promised myself I would not get stuck in another career where I was doing things I disliked on a daily basis for money. Every once in a while is one thng, daily is another.


One of my main competitors in town doesthem all the time. I think that is great! Just not for e. icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 4:15pm
post #12 of 34

It's interesting--sheet cakes are also the approximate size and shape of paint & brush artist's canvases, Monet, Pollack, Renoir, DaVinci etc. to name a few.

Mme_K Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 4:26pm
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

It's interesting--sheet cakes are also the approximate size and shape of paint & brush artist's canvases, Monet, Pollack, Renoir, DaVinci etc. to name a few.


thumbs_up.gif
Check out of few of these canvases here on CC:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&meta=allby&uname=thanhthanh&pageID=5

cas17 Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 4:34pm
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

It's interesting--sheet cakes are also the approximate size and shape of paint & brush artist's canvases, Monet, Pollack, Renoir, DaVinci etc. to name a few.




agreed. not putting myself remotely in that catagory but....i don't mind doing what i call single layer cakes decorated with cool and imaginative designs. what i will not do is zillion per week cheeply priced, typical grocery store sheet cake with the big fluffy shell borders and buttercream roses in the corners and scraggily writing in the center. too much work, not enough pay.

ddaigle Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 4:49pm
post #15 of 34

I am fortunate enough to work next to ThanhThanh at the bakery we work at (referring to the link that Mme_K posted). Her and I, along with the other decorators do tons of sheet cakes and are not considered cheapo cake artists. Some, as difficult as they may look, are done in 15 minutes. Quick cash for a beautiful "sheet cake". I like doing all kinds of cakes...hell, even cupcake cakes and petitfours! I just love to decorate. But we do not work at a "speciality boutique" bakery either. We have to do sheet cakes. It is what is ordered the most. We have our high-end boutiques here in town that will not do sheet cakes. That's ok. They service a different clientele.

DSmo Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:11pm
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cas17

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

It's interesting--sheet cakes are also the approximate size and shape of paint & brush artist's canvases, Monet, Pollack, Renoir, DaVinci etc. to name a few.



agreed. not putting myself remotely in that catagory but....i don't mind doing what i call single layer cakes decorated with cool and imaginative designs. what i will not do is zillion per week cheeply priced, typical grocery store sheet cake with the big fluffy shell borders and buttercream roses in the corners and scraggily writing in the center. too much work, not enough pay.




This is the right way to look at it. There is no rule that says a sheet cake can't be creative and beautiful. It's just a different shape of cake. I've also seen plenty of 4" high, and stacked cakes that look no better than grocery store crap. It's not the shape of the cake, it's the quality of the decorating that makes the difference. JMHO

Sangriacupcake Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:13pm
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSmo

Quote:
Originally Posted by cas17

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

It's interesting--sheet cakes are also the approximate size and shape of paint & brush artist's canvases, Monet, Pollack, Renoir, DaVinci etc. to name a few.



agreed. not putting myself remotely in that catagory but....i don't mind doing what i call single layer cakes decorated with cool and imaginative designs. what i will not do is zillion per week cheeply priced, typical grocery store sheet cake with the big fluffy shell borders and buttercream roses in the corners and scraggily writing in the center. too much work, not enough pay.



This is the right way to look at it. There is no rule that says a sheet cake can't be creative and beautiful. It's just a different shape of cake. I've also seen plenty of 4" high, and stacked cakes that look no better than grocery store crap. It's not the shape of the cake, it's the quality of the decorating that makes the difference. JMHO




thumbs_up.gif

NanaSandy Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:15pm
post #18 of 34

thank you for posting the link to ThanhThanh's cakes. I had never seen them, and they are amazing!!!!
Yes, as a newbie, I still do sheet cakes. I understand why some wouldn't, but if you put a little thought into them, they can turn out really pretty.
As a side note, my son's birthday is coming up, and when talking about what he wanted, he said just put a picture on the cake mom. I was like, um no...mom does better cakes than that now. icon_rolleyes.gif So I talked him out of the simple sheet cake with an edible image. We are going to sculpt a ramp for a BMX cake. yeah! thumbs_up.gif It will be my first cake that is sculpted. icon_razz.gificon_redface.gif

steplite Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:20pm
post #19 of 34

Well you summed that up ddaigle. Thanhthanh makes beautiful sheet cakes. Well said!!

SJenkins Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:23pm
post #20 of 34

I think that you have done the best you can in this situation by advising them that the design works best on a different shape cake and encouraging them to order that instead. It's tough but maybe in the future instead of turning away a paying customer just tell them, that design is not available in a sheet cake, then offer to come up with a similar design suitable for sheet cakes.

leah_s Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:45pm
post #21 of 34

Sangriacupcake, kitchen cakes are different from sheet cakes. I do kitchen cakes. Not often, but I will.

-K8memphis Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 5:49pm
post #22 of 34

And then there's the customer who gets nervous trying to serve anything but a sheet cake too. Then there's some that would be nervous serving anything so whadayah gonna do ...

Sangriacupcake Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 6:05pm
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Sangriacupcake, kitchen cakes are different from sheet cakes. I do kitchen cakes. Not often, but I will.




Yeah, I know. Sorry I didn't make that clear. My dd's friends have been reading the stupid advice in bridal magazines to basically skimp on the cake, which I think is a really dumb way to save a few bucks.

My co-worker's dd had a decorated 2 tiered cake and lots of kitchen cakes that were the same flavor...that poor little cake was so anti-climactic for a formal wedding with over 200 guests!!!! It was just sad. For the price of their fancy printed cocktail napkins they could have afforded to upgrade to a tiered cake that would have been the centerpiece of the reception.

tmgarcia_98 Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 6:14pm
post #24 of 34

There is an adorable Mario Bros. "sheet cake" on the favorites today. It is blue with fondant accents.

Corrie76 Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 6:48pm
post #25 of 34

About 75% of my cakes are sheet cakes...people are anxious about cutting 3-D/unusual/tall cakes. My main goal is to make somebody happy and if that includes providing them a cake in sheet form than that's what I do. icon_smile.gif

cakeandpartygirl Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 7:58pm
post #26 of 34

I offer sheet cakes but they cost the customer what they cost. If they don't like the price of them, then of course I don't get the order. I am a slow decorator and they take me a while to do (gotta get out of that) so it's not a quick cake for me. I like doing sheet cakes although I don't have enough room sometimes to decorate the sides. They still can't get a sheet cake like the ones that I do from the grocery store so I still am doing something different. I am not trying to toot my own horn but if someone is willing to pay my price for it then so be it. I guess for me I don't have the clientele to turn down a sheet cake and so I guess it's the beggars can't be choosy mentality. LOL

But as far as a weddings are concerned I don't think that sheet cakes or kitchen cakes are appropriate!!

ETA: what I mean as far as appropriateness I mean I think that it isn't meant for something that should be displayed.

cakegirl1973 Posted 31 Dec 2010 , 8:50pm
post #27 of 34

I don't do sheet cakes, but I have done quite a few kitchen cakes with fondant figurines and fondant accents for kids birthday parties. I think these cakes force me to be more creative, since the starting point is just a rectange.

KakesbyKris Posted 1 Jan 2011 , 1:28am
post #28 of 34

Thanks for all the insights. It is certainly something to ponder.

icer101 Posted 1 Jan 2011 , 1:52am
post #29 of 34

if there is ever anyone that prides themselves as a cake artist, whatever , that is thanh thanh. her work is unbeatable. her work is one of the first i saw when i joined this site. it is incredible. the way she mixes colors, etc. waht an artist.

cheatize Posted 1 Jan 2011 , 4:11am
post #30 of 34

I just realized I never answered the question. Do I do them? Yes, if that's what they really want. Do I like to do them? No. I think it was Indydebi who said that perhaps it's because of the expanse of the blank canvas that scares people. That would be me. I do torte and fill them, or stack 2 with filling in between, so it's actually more kitchen cake than sheet cake. One unfilled layer just looks too skimpy to me.

My experience so far (small though it is) has been that people say "I need a sheet cake" because they assume that's what they can afford. I ask questions to determine the event, the theme, the likes of the recipient, etc... Then I design a cake that I think will fit within their budget that includes a rectangular cake but adds elements that makes it look better (design wise, and in my opinion) than what they can get from the grocery store.

The two "sheet cake" orders I did this year turned into something more. The first one had a half football (Wilton pan) on top to represent his time on the field, 2 goal posts (one with the medical snake thingy wrapped around it to represent a future goal), a buckeye to represent his future college, and a hornet to represent his high school.

For the other one I was told, "I know I need a sheet cake." After I asked what size (and gave pan sizes with serving amounts for each) she considered a sheet cake, she gave in and told me she needed 50 servings. I designed the cake to be a carved top of a martial arts uniform, a black belt to represent those who passed their test that year, and put the school's personalized patch on it (made of fondant). The carving was minimal as it was 2D rather than 3D, was still mostly rectangular, gave the servings she needed, and was in her price range. When I deliviered it a student told me, "This is the best cake we've ever had."

So, yeah, I do them. However, I determine why they want one first. If it's because they've never thought of something else or assume that's what they can afford, I start working my magic with them. LOL

I'm jonesing for Sugarshack's sheetcake DVD. The preview alone opens up possibilities in my brain.

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