Why Do People Freak Out?

Decorating By KarolynAndrea Updated 19 Apr 2011 , 5:40am by scp1127

KarolynAndrea Posted 12 Apr 2011 , 11:53am
post #1 of 36

I have been making cakes for 9 years. Recently a lot of people have been worried that the cake won't be fresh if they pick it up a day early. I tell them it will be fine. But sometimes they don't believe me.

I've never had any problems with my cakes not tasting fresh. I use the WASC recipe. After the cakes settle, I ice them in BC and refrigerate them. I have to bake a few days before they are due because I can do 7-10 a week.

Why are people so worried about the cakes being fresh? People tell me all the time that my cakes are moist, I've never had any complaints about the freshness. Actually, I had someone pick up a cake before a snowstorm. The party was pushed back a week and she kept the cake in the fridge and told me it still tasted great.

Does anyone else get this question all the time? What do you tell people? I watch Ace of Cakes and sometimes they work on cakes for days. Why do people expect you to bake and decorate the same day?

35 replies
GeminiRJ Posted 12 Apr 2011 , 12:03pm
post #2 of 36

I know what you mean! I know of one decorator who had a cake to be picked up at 7:00 am. The client called at 9:00 pm the night before to change the design. When told the cake was already made, the client was furious that her cake wasn't going to be fresh.

Personally, I had one lady dithering about whether to pick-up her cake Friday night or Saturday morning. She was amazed when I told her the cake would be ready Friday, regardless of when she would be picking it up. "But, it won't be fresh...."

LindaF144a Posted 12 Apr 2011 , 12:14pm
post #3 of 36

The bakery I worked at we got this all the time.

You could just tell them that "fresh" out of the oven is too hot to eat. IMO, that is when it is "fresh". Actually it is fresh for up to 3 days. Unless you have a large crowd, most cake will be a leftover dessert for 3 days.

And maybe that is what they are thinking. They want it for three days after they pick it up (or thereabouts) and if you have "sit" for a day, then they can't do the same.

And who expects to pick up a cake at 7 AM and have someone up and decorating at what - 4 AM. Really now.

scp1127 Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 8:39am
post #4 of 36

LindaF144, that is why I bake at the last minute. I want the customer to have those good three days instead of me. I use it as a selling point.

ChilliPepper Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 10:35am
post #5 of 36

I just bake in advance and freeze the cakes. Never had a complaint as cakes are always lovely and moist. Had one customer who didn't cut the cake for 7 days (because birthday girl was ill and party delayed) and they said it was still gorgeous!

cakesherry Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 10:53am
post #6 of 36

I would explain that most cakes need to be baked 24 hours in advance to let the flavors develop. A lot of things taste better the day after baking (cheesecakes, hummingbird cake, stout cake, coffeecakes, etc.)

kc03 Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 11:28am
post #7 of 36

I recently had the same problem. I dont think people realize the time and effort that goes into making a custom cake. And since they dont get the process they think it can be thrown together in a couple hours. I had a lady tell me that since my cake wasnt going to be "fresh" she would run and pick up a "fresh" one from walmart the day of her event.

Kiddiekakes Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 1:09pm
post #8 of 36

I don't know any of us business cakers who bake at the last minute..Just not possible to bake and decorate 7-10 cakes at the last minute...

jewels710 Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 1:35pm
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by kc03

. I had a lady tell me that since my cake wasnt going to be "fresh" she would run and pick up a "fresh" one from walmart the day of her event.




That's classic! I knew someone who worked in a Wal-mart bakery and she told me that some of their cakes sit in the display fridge for 3 weeks. That it was not uncommon to pull a cake and re-price a cake with a "new" sell by date !!!
EWWWW GROSS

indydebi Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 3:35pm
post #10 of 36

I would always ask them, "How old are those Oreos in your pantry? How long has that OPEN loaf of bread been on your counter? And you're still eating those, right?" icon_confused.gif

Here's my recent hot dog bun story about "fresh" http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=713654&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=buns&&start=15

Bottom line? "People are idiots" when it comes to commercial food preparation. They just dont' understand there is a whole different process to making food for 100.

Kitagrl Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 3:51pm
post #11 of 36

Hey OP your cakes are really great! Guess we're "neighbors" too...and yes, my goodness, people DO freak out about fresh cake!!! Really....

JulieMN Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 12:43am
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

LindaF144, that is why I bake at the last minute. I want the customer to have those good three days instead of me. I use it as a selling point.




So what would you do if something went wrong and you were now past the last minute and unable to do over?

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 1:32am
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

I know what you mean! I know of one decorator who had a cake to be picked up at 7:00 am. The client called at 9:00 pm the night before to change the design. When told the cake was already made, the client was furious that her cake wasn't going to be fresh.




Wow. What really gets me about that is that if this lady were making the cake herself, she wouldn't get up at 4 AM to make it! She would most likely make it the night before her event! I think people must think we have a magic "Cake-o-Matic" machine or something, just press a button, and Presto! Out pops a masterpiece!

Reminds me of when we got a call last week for a cake in the shape of a Ferrari, and she needed it for the NEXT DAY. Not even 24 hours! How in the heck does she expect us to crank out a complicated cake like that in that amount of time, especially in the midst of the other 5 cakes we were working on?? She probably would have wanted to pay no more than $50 for it too. icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 2:17am
post #14 of 36

Oh! I have another 'fresh' story to add that happened tonight at the hotel! I was refilling the salad on the buffet and a lady said, "Oh she's bringing us FRESH salad!" I smiled and said, "Yep! I opened the bag myself!" She burst out laughing, too! icon_lol.gif

Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 2:18am
post #15 of 36

On the opposite side of the spectrum...one time I had a lady call me three weeks before her cake was due and ask me how I was coming along on the cake. hahaha.

scp1127 Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 6:06am
post #16 of 36

JulieMN, I do my fondant decorations a few days ahead and store them. As far as baking, I don't ever have issues with that. I have five ovens and three KA mixers (commercial bakery), so an equipment problem is out. I make sure my fondant is pliable and colors are ok (I only use Fondarific/Duff's). Bases covered... ready to go at the last possible time. I just finished emailing a bride who's father was a professional cake baker/decorator. She knows my cakes are scratch and that is why they chose me. I asked for the exact time of pickup (the father is transporting out of town) as I am anal about freshness. This way her family could enjoy the cake for several days after the wedding. She wrote back, "There is nothing better in life than an anal cake artist!". This is a selling point for me. Wedding cakes are not my primary buiness and my web site states that. But I am getting more and more calls for them. My regular 8" and 9" homestyle cakes are very expensive. The fact that my customers have an opportunity to enjoy the cake for the longest possible time is one more asset that builds value for the product.

Chellescakes Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 11:57am
post #17 of 36

I like to have my cake baked at least three to four days before the event. I mainly work in mud cake , and I feel they need this time to mature properly for the best flavour of the cake. I have also been told that the cake has been still good up to three weeks after the event too.
I have tested this theory when I accidently put some of my white mud cupcakes up in the cupboard after a tasting. I didn't find them until two weeks later. They actually tasted great, and were still super moist.

If I am doing fruitcake , I like to have them baked months in advance where possible. I would hate a " fresh" fruitcake . BLAH

naughtyhobbit Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 12:24pm
post #18 of 36

I am making my cakes in Poland (Central Europe). Here English style cakes are not as popular as- for example- in USA. I almost always finish my cake at least one day earlier, before the client comes to pick it up. It gives me time to work on detalis and I'm not thinking "Oh my God, what will I do, if something goes wront and I won't have enough time to re-do it". People keeps asking me if the cake is fresh after a day or two in the fridge. I keep telling them, that I've been doing this 1000 times and everything was fine. But the decission is still up to them.

AKS Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 6:43pm
post #19 of 36

I think people are freaking out because of all the cake shows on TV. If you didn't know better, it looks like the decorator puts the last flower on the cake, stops, drops everything, and delivers it right away. They don't realize that these shows are not in REAL TIME.

vtcake Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 9:32pm
post #20 of 36

I don't see what the problem is. When I buy bread, I always look at the date. When I buy milk, I look at the date. Meat-look at the date.

In today's economy I would assume that it's extra important for the consumer to be sure she's getting the best and freshest.

I think it's very easy for a cake artist to be insulted by any little query. Or, any artist for that matter. I would just say it's as fresh as possible and as fresh as any other baker could make it.

scp1127 Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 3:37am
post #21 of 36

vtcake, bread and milk (ultra-pasteurization) have preservatives, as do box mixes. The shelf life of a scratch cake is far shorter, as is the milk straight from a cow or an artisan loaf of bread. If you are interviewing bakers and one of them is me, my specific baking dates versus the obscure answer, "As fresh as any other baker", will give credibility to my answer, and cast doubt on the other.

wafawafa Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:12am
post #22 of 36

I always bake my cupcakes ahead of time and put them in the freezer..
when there is an order ,, get them out thawd and done ,

once I freezed cupcakes with fondant on the top , what happened is that the fondant get sticky when it come out
I tried to store MMF colored out side in container ,, after 2 days it get wired smell

so I make the cake in advanced , and th MMF I left it for the day before serving

Question: keeping the cake out for more tham one day doesnt effect the ingredients it has sour cream inside , eggs , etc

thanks

jlynnw Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:15am
post #23 of 36

I had no idea that this happens. I work in ice cream now. We have people ask if the cake will be fresh as well. It IS a frozen cake we bake it fresh with ice cream in it 5 minutes before you pick it up...DUH...Like stated in another forum, there is what your want to say and what you have to do for business. Yes the cake will be fresh and no last minute changes. That should be all that is needed otherwise you may have to have the cow in he back for fresh milk and butter, the chickens for th eggs, the grains and mill for flour, etc to promise the freshest ingredients.

indydebi Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:24am
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlynnw

....otherwise you may have to have the cow in he back for fresh milk and butter, the chickens for th eggs, the grains and mill for flour, etc to promise the freshest ingredients.


icon_lol.gif This reminds me of the few brides who asked, in regards to catering, "Do you use fresh or frozen?" (one of the well recognized 10 Questions to Ask Your Caterer!). I've told them, "Well, none of us kill our own chickens or grow our own corn so what are you looking for?" (sit back, look puzzled, let them figure it out) icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:27am
post #25 of 36

jlynnw, there will always be a competitor that will be happy to tell your potential customers exactly how fresh the cakes are. Fresh ingredients and fresh bake goods have very little to do with each other.

indydebi Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:33am
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Fresh ingredients and fresh bake goods have very little to do with each other.


I always get a chuckle out of the phrase "Our cakes are baked fresh."

ALL cakes are baked fresh. I dont' know anyone who bakes "stale". icon_lol.gif

Katiebelle74 Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:33am
post #27 of 36

people drive me nuts with this question. Especially the ones that think it is supposed to be baked and decorated and delivered all in 24 hours. Now I do not care for the thought of baking at the beginning of the week and freezing and thawing and decorating etc. etc. over the week. But There is nothing wrong with baking on thursday, filling base icing then having friday to truly decorate all the cakes an delivering early sat.

jlynnw Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 4:53am
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

jlynnw, there will always be a competitor that will be happy to tell your potential customers exactly how fresh the cakes are. Fresh ingredients and fresh bake goods have very little to do with each other.




All I am saying is it starts with the simple fresh cake then a quick downward spiral to all things fresh. It is common for bakers to have this concept as knowledge but the cake muggles of the world need to know. I really wish the TV shows would do a bit more education on this. You see them plan out their week, the cake from the oven, the late night and delivery. It seems to happen all in an hour. icon_confused.gif They can do that glorious cake in 8 hours with the bells and whistles, fireworks and motors so my simple little cake should be done in a lot less, right? They don't see that the cakes are made, the prep is done, and that it is slapped together into a show piece. I seriously doubt that any one of the decorators would actually spend so little time on a "real" cake order.

Evoir Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 5:05am
post #29 of 36

Interesting thread. My business is based on baking as fresh as possible to order. So if you order a 4-tier mudcake wedding cake from me, its going to be baked Tuesday for a Saturday delivery, for optimimum taste. If you order a Victorian Sponge Sandwich, I will be making it as soon to pick up as possible. eg, Bake at noon, cool thoroughly and fill just before for a 2pm pickup. My dessert cakes come somewhere in between - I will bake and fill one day and let the flavours meld overnight, then decorate an hour before pick up. If you want some hot cross buns, they will still be warm from the oven! Mind you, you will be asked to pick them up at a certain time so I am not baking in dribs and drabs all day!

So, from my business perspective, being a scratch baker, it all depends on the optimum flavour and presentation at time of delivery ie when its going to be soon eaten at the event! I also help my clients calculate the SIZE of cake they need for their event so that they are not going to be eating leftover cake for three weeks afterwards anyway. Thats a part of ethical business practices, which is also highly sought by and appreciated by my clientele icon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 17 Apr 2011 , 5:32am
post #30 of 36

I agree Evoir. There are bakers such as you and me, that are going to educate the customer, deliver at optimum time for best taste, and strive to optimize the baked good for the customer. With more and more boutique type businesses opening daily, I believe you are going to see this factor of freshness becoming more important to the consumer. Study the internet to see what is out there as far as business structure. When a baker has many wedding cakes to produce for one weekend, a short time line may not be feasable. But that doesn't stop the next baker from structuring a shortened time line. I am an artisan baker who does not emphasize wedding cakes. I am getting more and more inquiries for wedding cakes based on my baking philosophy.

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