So I told a very good frined that I would bake a cake for her son's 5th Birthday. This would be my Birthday gift to him. He wanted a Star wars ckae so i sent her a couple of pictures of ideas. She messages me back that he wants a Yoda Cake....Great! I then send her a couple of ideas for Yoda. Two weeks go by and no response. I call her and leave a message saying that I would still love to make his cake but I need a week's headway to plan so please call me back and let me know. Two more days go by with no response. it is at tat point I realize that she has been laid up with a bad back. I feel bad so I message her on Tuesday saying that I will still make his cake (party is supposed to be this Saturday) but she has to let me know what she wants. I get a message at 11:00pm Wednesday night saying that yes she still wants the cake and she will get back to me with her choice! Get Back to me? It's Wednesday...the party is Saturday! Exactly when does she expect me to bake and decorate this cake? I know her, and I am expectig that I won't be hearing from her until late this afternoon (Thursday) At this point she is just going to have to let me do whatever I want.....don't have time for HER choice. Why do people who are "close" to you sometimes treat your baking likes its a perk they just get? UGH!!!
god luv 'em, because they have no idea what goes into it.
For gift cakes, I like to give them the opportunity to select a theme, but I get to decide final design. So in this case, she says "Yoda" and I say, "Ok .... see you at the party with cake in hand!" You might try that tactic on future ones. It may save you a lot of headache medication!
Most people don't understand what it takes. Also, i have a really bad back and when it's out I could give a rat's ass about cake.
I usually side with the poster when it comes to crazy expectations people have for a cake. Not this time. If she has a bad back and a five year old with a birthday coming up, it seems like she has a lot on her plate. Instead of getting upset because she's not getting back to you, make a decision and let her know. Something like "I know you've been laid up. How about a chocolate cake for 40 people with a Yoda theme."
I am no professional like all of you and I just do this for fun for my kids.
The people I work with love seeing pics of the cakes that I do though as I
do ocassionally bring in a fun cake and always bring in treats. But my GM asked me to make her baby shower cake even though she knows I stress out about it! I did make it and I was really proud of it. Then a customer at work asked me to make popcorn cupcakes and I stessed for 2 weeks! Now another mgr. asked me to make a bridal shower cake and I had to say NO cuz of the stress factor for me. Then another mgr asked for a Baptism cake with 2 days notice. I had to say no.
Now, this story is for one reason....I had to stick to my guns when I tell everyone I don't do this for a profession. I feel with friends, if you charge them or leave it up to them, you never get what you put into it except for a warm feeling in your heart. For me? WAY too much stress as I am my worst critic. So, I stick to my guns on the 'no outside cakes' rule and give all of you professionals so much credit!
I agree that all you need is a head count, flavor and theme if you are baking for a friend!
I am assuming that if your friend had elaborate plans in her head she would have mentioned them right away when you starting talking cake. Now that she's down with a back ache, she's probably just thankful a birthday cake is being made!
Don't forget that she isn't looking at professional cakes all day long. Yoda is a good enough theme for you to figure out the design details. Have fun baking!
Definitely change the way you handle the freebie/gift cakes! I have a deal with my brothers that I will do their childrens' cakes for free, as their birthday gift. The kids choose theme and cake flavor, that's it.
Not once have any of the kids turned around and said, "But it's not what I wanted!" They have all LOVED what I've done because it was their theme and flavor.
AND...I don't stress about it.
Posts like this make me thankful for my friend. For her daughter's first and second birthdays she callled me the day of the party asking what color plates and decorations she needed to buy, because he had left everything up to me. For her third birthday, birthday girl wanted a train and a bear, so that's what she got. For her son's birthday, she always just told me the theme and I went with it.
I'd sorta agree that if she has been down with a bad back that she's probably got other things on her mind, but you stated that this started out several weeks ago, and she couldn't pin it down to something then either.
People treat you how you let them. Next time this comes up, be firm from the beginning, state exactly what you need and when you need it by. At that point you can either not do the cake, or tell them that you are making what ever you want and they don't get a say any more.
I also have no idea how people are able to do cakes professionally - I'm pretty sure custom cakes are expensive because they are 30% materials/supplies, 10% labour, and 60% stress/nuisance fees I only do cakes as a hobby because I just know if I charged regularly for them I'd get nothing but grief over every tiny flaw and I'd end up hating the only hobby I truly love Doing cakes for family/friends/etc is only sometimes stressful and they are (thankfully) always appreciative of the effort and time