I did a three tier wedding cake for Saturday night (latest black and white one in my pics). I am so upset, got a call from the customer saying that the staff at the venue said that they didn't want to serve it all because they said it wasn't cooked enough and they thought it "doughy". Not only did they feel this about the middle tier (lemon yoghurt with cream cheese filling) but the mississippi mud cake with cookies & cream filling on the bottom tier they also deemed to be undercook. But what I can't understand about it is that supposedly it was cut down through the middle of the whole thing and it wasn't that they thought one layer wasn't cooked compared to another, it was that they thought one side of the cake wasn't cooked. This isn't even possible!!! I honestly feel like I could vomit - I am not used to criticism and I think I will have to really harden up if I am going to continue doing this. (Sorry its long but it will help explain the whole thing!!!!)
I sent the following email to the venue:
"Hi there ****,
I have received a call from ******** regarding your concerns over the quality of the wedding cake that she received from me on Saturday night.
Rest assured it was all perfectly cooked. Both flavours (the Mississippi mud cake and the lemon yoghurt cake) are both very moist and dense dessert cakes, which compact further when the weight of extra tiers are added to the top.
All layers were baked from two cakes (not once sliced in half) to ensure a faster more even baking as making one cake and slicing in half can often result in taking a long time to cook through to the centre. Also before removing from the oven, all cakes are thoroughly skewer tested, in multiple places, to ensure that there are no undercooked pockets.
After being removed from the oven and cooled I level the cakes so this means I have cut through both cakes before they are layered together with the filling. This method also means that I can double check that the cake is thoroughly cooked the whole way through.
Rest assured that both cakes were cooked to my specifications and were both as they should be. I have made many cakes for peoples special occasions and have always had positive feedback. The reputation that I have built up is very important to me and I take the quality of my product very seriously. An example of which, when I was baking ******'s cake there was one that wasnt 100% up to my standards so, although edible, this was kept for my family to eat as I would never provide a client with anything that I felt wasnt perfect.
Maybe if you get to experience more of my recipes in the future you will get to have some familiarity with the texture of each of my flavours.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance."
What did your customer have to say? What did she do about the cake?
I would request that they provide you with slices of the undercooked cake so that you see it and that you can show them (and the bride) that it was not underbaked. It sounds like the bride did not see it herself and that she is relying on what the venue told her. Also, this might help any future relationship that you may hope to have with the venue. Good luck!
So sorry to hear your story, i'm sure many others here like myself have has similar situations. Your response letter is perfect. I wonder if they kept your cake at the right temp?? Did they show the client the cake? Something does not seem right when both flavors were off?? I hate to say these situations will come up from time to time but handle them quickly, forget it and move on to your next masterpiece... good luck.
She seemed completely indecisive and didn't seem to know whether there was an issue or not. She said she never really got a look at it but that some of it had been sent home with her so I told her to go home and eat some and see what she thought. The fact that I baked two cakes, cut them horizontally before layering them together with filling I would have seen if it was undercooked...
Your letter sounds perfect. Let us know what she says! Definitely I would have hoped they'd have saved a sample back for you.....
Could the cake have soaked up the filling and then they mistook that for being "underdone"?
Weird! I'm really sorry this happened!
Maybe you should call the place and speak w/ the person who cut it as opposed to sending an email. A lot can get lost in translations sometimes in emails.
Your letter is very gracious and professional. I'd been pissed, if you were you didn't show it. Good for you.
Sorry this happened to you. Sometimes I think people are so used to dry crumbly cake they don't recognize a decent well made cake.
I think your letter is excellent--informative and not defensive.
I think her issue is with the caterer/venue, as they had no right to make such a decision without consulting the bride/groom and/or the bride's parents. Only those who chose and/or paid for that cake should have decided it's fate.
I really hope that the bride is able to try some of the cake & come to her own conclusions.
M question would be this-if they didn't really show the bride the cake, maybe there was an "accident" in the kitchen and they just figured the easiest thing to do was say something was wrong with the cake-making it inedible, without having to fess up they did something! Just thinking..
I have been since talking to the venue - they said that each tier was cut down the middle, as was requested by the bride, and served. So that she could then decide whether to just take the remainder home or whether they needed to cut up more as they went. That they didn't hold any back due to the fact that thought it was "underdone". So the bride has got the other half at home. I have told her to go home and taste it herself - she hasn't even tried it!!!! I guess to some people they might think it doughy if they were expecting a chocolate cake (airy etc) as opposed to my mud cake which is completely dense. Same goes for the lemon yoghurt one - it is made with yoghurt, oil etc so is a reasonably "damp" type of cake. I guess I am going to have to toughen up and for the 90% of good feedback I get there is going to be 10% that maybe just don't like my cakes
Did the bride taste your cakes before ordering them? If she did, she should have known that the cakes she was choosing were not light and airy. She should have told the venue workers that the cakes looked and tasted just like they were supposed to. And anyway, who would order a "mud" cake and expect it to be anything other than dense and moist?
You can make the same cake for me anytime; I promise I won't complain. It sounds absolutely delicious to me!!!
Thanks guys - you have all made me feel so much better! Lets hope I get paid for it because (I know I am an idiot) I just gave it to her and told her to transfer the funds to my account this week as she is a lady I know from my child's daycare. I know I am an idiot and if I don't get paid it will be my own silly fault
Both flavours (the Mississippi mud cake and the lemon yoghurt cake) are both very moist and dense dessert cakes, which compact further when the weight of extra tiers are added to the top.
Unless you didn't use a cake support system, that's really not the case.
the cake itself has nothing to do with support issues because the upper tiers are not sitting on the cake ... they are sitting on the dowels/support system. You can make a bottom tier of jello or cool whip and as long as you have a good support system, it will support the upper tiers.
From reading numerous posts on CC, it seems there are two different opinions when it comes to "dense" cake recipes. Some, like myself, feel that dense means pound cake like while others feel "dense" is a fudge brownie like consistency.
If you don't have written descriptions of your cake offerings with flavor/texture/density explanations it might be helpful to do that so that your customers can make a more informed choice from among your offerings.
I used to be an actress. I received many good reviews. Once I got a bad review. Guess which one I remember word for word?
Don't beat yourself up. Try to let it go and move on to your next great creation!
Sending good vibes!
Wow, i TRULY hope you get paid for this cake...
Never, never let a cake go without getting money up front, even if you know the person... sometimes people do weird things when it comes to paying AFTER you already received a service or product...
Oh my gosh, I know how it feels when you get just one negative comment about your cakes. You feel attacked at the heart, ready to vomit, throw in the towel and worry that every other cake you have ever done turned out the same way and no one ever said anything. I think the one person who commented on the fact that someone may have screwed up in the kitchen and you were the easiest one to blame might be on to something. But either way, your letter was extremely well written, and hopefully you have moved passed it. Best wishes!