What Lengths Have You Gone To Delivering A Cake?

Decorating By cookiemom51 Updated 17 Jun 2011 , 3:48am by platinumlady

cookiemom51 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:34pm
post #1 of 33

Another thread here got me to thinking how far we will go to make sure a customer gets their cake. Chest pains put me in the hospital overnight once when I had a big cupcake order due. The cupcakes were baked and frozen, but I had to call a decorator friend from my hospital bed to finish and deliver the order. Do you have a similar story to share? What would it take for you to not deliver on a cake?

32 replies
DebBTX Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:49pm
post #2 of 33

Did you have a heart attack, or was it a stress reaction? icon_eek.gif
I hope you are doing better now.

-Debbie B.

Brevity Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:59pm
post #3 of 33

Oh gosh...I've delivered under some pretty crappy circumstances. I guess the most uncomfortable was straight after having my wisdom teeth pulled, with zero pain killers so I wouldn't be too groggy to deliver the cake. The all time worst was when we had two dogs die, in a just horrible way - it happened really early in the morning, and I had a ton of orders, with one major delivery. I was in that 'ugly cry' mode where your whole face is distorted, hiccups, snot bubbles - the whole bit. (my dogs were my absolute babies) Anyway, I delivered the cakes, and of course had to wait around forever bs'ing with the client, and caterer. I did tell them what was up, because honestly I could not hold it together. Very bad day. Cakes were good, just a bad day.

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:17pm
post #4 of 33

OMgsh, I once told a couple that knew my boyfriend that I would do a free cake for them for their small (30 guest wedding). My boyfriend broke up with me the day before the cake was due. So I had to make it with the hyperventilating, snot bubbles, and hiccups, then BRING IT TO HIM, THE EX-BOYFRIEND I WAS HEARTBROKEN OVER, and while I was there, getting out of the car, his date showed up, who happened to be the girl my brother was crushing on! I just brought it up stairs and gave it to him with tears in my eyes....They later got married...

I actually have a couple more, I'll do separate posts, I need to get dinner warmed over..LEFTOVERS! lol

cookiemom51 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:32pm
post #5 of 33

No heart attack, Deb, thanks for asking. It was just a bunch of stress catching up with me.

sebrina Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 11:13pm
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemom51

No heart attack, Deb, thanks for asking. It was just a bunch of stress catching up with me.




Thank goodness!

I drove 2 1/2 hours to deliver a birthday cake once. I also went 36 hours with no sleep for my first wedding cake. Of course I know the pros do both of these often. LOL!

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 12:16am
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrina

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemom51

No heart attack, Deb, thanks for asking. It was just a bunch of stress catching up with me.



Thank goodness!

I drove 2 1/2 hours to deliver a birthday cake once. I also went 36 hours with no sleep for my first wedding cake. Of course I know the pros do both of these often. LOL!




I have had to rent a van when my air conditioner went out in my van. After tax and insurance and gas and the fee and all that, I had to shell out $35 MORE than what I charged for delivery!

I went 3 nights IN A ROW with no sleep the first night, 4 hours the second night, and 2 hours the third. I was wired from lack of sleep on the 4th night, and just laid here with my eyes shut, listening to my DH snore, lol! I finally got into the Bailey's Irish Cream, and fell asleep on the couch with the glass in my hand. When I woke up, 6 hours later, it was still upright!

indydebi Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 12:51am
post #8 of 33

When my sister died a few years ago, I asked the family if it was POSSIBLE to have the viewing on Thurs and the funeral on Friday, that would REALLY help me out because I had a small wedding (catering and cake) on Saturday. How awful that I wanted to work my sister's funeral around my catering schedule! icon_redface.gif

We were able to do it that way, but I did have someone on stand-by to handle the whole wedding if it was needed.

Fairytale Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 1:12am
post #9 of 33

I had a little wedding cake due, but broke my right hand (I'm right handed). My hand was in a cast so I had to hire someone to bace and decorate the cake. I had to take the flowers off a dummy display cake, as that was the design she wanted. (I did tell here I would have to do that). After paying the other decorator I didn't make a dime off the order.

kakeladi Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 1:18am
post #10 of 33

Oh my, did this ? bring back memoriesicon_smile.gif

One time early in my decorating career I was asked to deliver a cake to a campground overlooking Bass Lake. I was told it was a 'short walk' from the parking area to the location..........yeah, about 1/2 mile over running streams, rocks, and thru the forest! Then there was just an OLD picnic table w/no one around to accept the cake. That memory is starting to fade.....

Another time the reception was at an outdoor venue. The bride's father had made a special table to display the cake on - individual tiers in stair=step fashion. Instead of bringing the table to me he gave it to the caterer who forgot to bring it to the venue. I had to wait more than 3 hrs while they sent someone back to town for it.

jenmat Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 1:52am
post #11 of 33

I gave birth 6 weeks early to my daughter. I was working for a bakery at the time and an older bride ordered her cake there and made me PROMISE that I would be the ONLY one doing her cake.
So, you guessed it, out my little one popped, they wisked her off to the NICU, and in between feedings I rushed over to the bakery, decorated the cake, rushed back to the hospital and fed her. And it wasn't even my bakery.

Otulissa Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:13am
post #12 of 33

I delivered a cake in a hurricane one time. I hate delivering cakes.

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 4:14am
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

I gave birth 6 weeks early to my daughter. I was working for a bakery at the time and an older bride ordered her cake there and made me PROMISE that I would be the ONLY one doing her cake.
So, you guessed it, out my little one popped, they wisked her off to the NICU, and in between feedings I rushed over to the bakery, decorated the cake, rushed back to the hospital and fed her. And it wasn't even my bakery.




I can totally see that! You poor thing!

One time I borrowed an SUV from my FIL to deliver the stupid Wilton castle cake with the plastic columns because I needed air conditioning to keep the icing firm. Well, I found out after my husband brought it home, the air wasn't working, but he had already cleaned it out and my van was trashed, so I took it anyway. Well, the delivery was 35 miles away, and about mile 20, the damn thing started shaking like a maraca! It was horrible, but lasted about 3 seconds. I was scared, but kept going, and it did it again 5 miles later, for 5 seconds. Then again 5 miles later, but this time it did it for 20 or 30 seconds, and it was VIOLENT! This lady drove past me and she was looking at me like this icon_eek.gif So I know it was really bad, and the hubcap came off and rolled behind me. I was crying, but I slowed down a bit and it stopped.

I get to the park, and pull over before I get to the picnic area and the damn hatch back wouldn't open. So I had to climb over the seat to look at it, and of course the damn thing is in pieces! I had my "kit" thank the Lord, and repaired it best as I could, leaning over the seat, sweating, and crying!

I was 25 minutes late, but the cake looked 95%, which was GREAT, considering...

m_willford Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:23am
post #14 of 33

I drove the baked layers, frosting ingredients, and the flower sprays I had premade from my house to my in-laws 5 hours away, for my SIL's wedding. Half the back of my van was cake and other stuff I needed to decorate! We got there and I spent the next 2 days assembling the thing amid people busy setting the church up, my nursing baby, a wedding, family members panicked I wouldn't finish, a stressed bride, and my poor husband going crazy keeping the kids out of the way and waiting on me to get to a point where I could stop and nurse the baby.

Totally worth it, the cake looked great. But I swore I'd never bring a cake that far again! (Unless my sister gets married... LOL!)

KalisCakes Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:40am
post #15 of 33

I've had one day where cakes weren't delivered, and learned from that that I'm not invincible, and I need to have a better back up plan. My child had a medical emergency, and let me tell you, I was totally unprepared for that situation. (Me getting sick, no problem. My child, totally different story!) DH was out of town on business, and there isn't family where I live, save my father who lives with me. Large tiered cakes and complex cakes stayed in the walk-in while my father and oldest son delivered dessert and cookie orders, and cakes that were two tiers and under. Foolishly, I believed I'd be able to leave the hospital long enough to deliver the larger cakes, but that wasn't the case here. icon_sad.gif
But since we're talking about what we've done to GET the cakes delivered.... I had to have knee surgery back in January. Luckily this was planned, so I know I'd need help for a few weeks with carrying/deliveries, and flew my best friend up from Austin to be with me for that time. Right after I sent her back home, I tore another ligament and had to have surgery again--one a weekend I had THREE weddings (nevermind the other cakes.) Since I couldn't fly my BFF back up in time, I pulled my 15 yr old niece who has her learners permit to do the driving, rented a motorized wheel chair, and away we went.
I've also driven cakes as far as 8 hours with the AC on HIGH and me wrapped up in a jacket, not a fun way to travel I must say.

labmom Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:51am
post #16 of 33

Delivered one cake in an ice storm.. got to venu.. no one there...went in set up cake and left..found later only people who came were the imediatefamily and bridal party. But the cake made it!!

Delivered cake on the hotest summer day.. no one at the venu,.found owner goes home for a nap every afternoon. sat and waited 3hrs moving to find shade as the sun moved. Called him but He wouldnt come back earlier.

Delivered one cake engine on my car quit. Called for help but sat and watched my BC frosting melt and my flowers drop. one by one then two by two. until calvary got there. I was such a wreck Bride met me at hall door.. and was very understanding.. refused to take any money back.. and even ask if we wanted to stay and eat with them and relax before we headed home.. I was just crying and thanked her. told her no that was fine...but she insisted and had her dad seat us.. She was so wonderful. don't get many like that.

Delivered one cake 2 hrs away and venu was so small couldn't move and they had people sitting in the yard.. table for cake was only 30 in round for huge cake with 2 fountians and 4 sets of stairs and bridges.. bride mad when cake wasn't what she wanted. It was, just most was in the kitchen because they didn't have a table to fit the cake. Worst part was all my equipment was never returned.. nope neither hall or bride no one fessed up where it went. I started to charge security deposits after that.

Brevity Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 12:38pm
post #17 of 33

M-Wilford, I did the out of town thing last weekend for a relative, and I too have made the never again vow. This was a fancy schmancy three day event, with a million events, and group site-seeing...which i missed all of, holed up in a strangers kitchen making cake, with the bride's, father's mom hovering over me. My husband called about every other minute to remind me that he hates when I agree to do family cakes. (I still got paid, regular price) the whole thing was so annoying, but the cake did get done - and was then hauled up two flights of stairs (it was in a huge restored train station) by me, because no one else 'was comfortable moving a tier cake'. It's so difficult packing for out of town work. You forget how much stuff you need - we really were like 90% cake stuff, 10% clothes.

costumeczar Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 2:55pm
post #18 of 33

I've delivered cakes in blizzards and floods before (the last one was fun, glad that my car apparently floats). Last weekend my car started driving really rough in the middle of a delivery and I had to deliver, limp home, and use my husband's sedan to deliver the other two cakes for that day. When my mother died a few years ago I flew back and forth between here and there to make and deliver a couple of wedding cakes while she was in the hospital and in hospice care.

I've never NOT delivered a cake, but I'm sure the situation could arise, I just can't think of something that would prevent me from delivering other than me personally being in traction. And even then I'd find someone else who could do it for me.

aggiechef Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:31pm
post #19 of 33

I once drove a cake from Houston to Wichita Falls for a wedding. It was the end of June so it was HOT in Texas and that drive is about 9 hours. I had the AC on high, but the fondant on one tier fell off in the back. Fortunately I had time to do a patch job before the wedding started, and it was for my dad. The cakes were my gift to them so they didn't really care that it wasn't perfect.

MnSnow Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:44pm
post #20 of 33

I was due to deliver a wedding cake and there was a tornao that was o n the ground between me and the venue. I called the venue and updated them about it and explained I would be a little later than planned.

Got cake loaded up and set out for delivery when the tornado sirens went off again! Looked around and didn't see anything threatening so I continued to the venue, walked across water holes and hilly grass while trying to keep the cake dry. Set up the cake as the wedding was finishing up and left.

Got back and discovered the sirens were actually going off because there was another tornado on the ground 1/4 mile from where I had been driving.

UGH the things we do to deliver a cake

WykdGud Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:56pm
post #21 of 33

Delivered a 4 tier wedding cake, while 7 months pregnant, driving up winding mountain roads (actually had to BACK down the mountain because my van didn't have enough traction to make it up the rest of the way and I kept sliding backward) and WALK it up the steep mountain about a MILE while it was snowing (that crappy wet, sticky snow) and I was wearing heels (2"). Not fun. I cried walking all the way back down, the baby flipped onto my bladder and I wet myself - not that you could tell because I was soaking wet from the snow/slush.

The snow came suddenly (it was Feb. 29 in southern California) about 10 minutes before I got there and came down HARD. But the cake made it.

I'd have called someone, but there was absolutely NO cell phone reception, and the houses on the road were all vacation houses/cabins and nobody was in them.

bobhope Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 4:07pm
post #22 of 33

delivered 3 tier cake 61.45 km or 38.18 miles away, dh driving on a not so well paved road..had to wait almost an hour for venue to set up table..had to go back home immediately to catch a flight..but eventually missed the flight & had to rebook flight at the same price of the cake i just delivered..arrgh.. icon_cry.gif ...but the good part was dh's family was shouldering the christmas trip, so we got refunded icon_biggrin.gif

on another occasion, was working on a cake while i had tummy cramps..when i couldn't take it any longer, icon_mad.gif i asked dh to take me to the ER for some pain reliever..as soon as the pain went away, i was back in the kitchen again..whew! icon_biggrin.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:05pm
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Delivered a 4 tier wedding cake, while 7 months pregnant, driving up winding mountain roads (actually had to BACK down the mountain because my van didn't have enough traction to make it up the rest of the way and I kept sliding backward) and WALK it up the steep mountain about a MILE while it was snowing (that crappy wet, sticky snow) and I was wearing heels (2"). Not fun. I cried walking all the way back down, the baby flipped onto my bladder and I wet myself - not that you could tell because I was soaking wet from the snow/slush.

The snow came suddenly (it was Feb. 29 in southern California) about 10 minutes before I got there and came down HARD. But the cake made it.

I'd have called someone, but there was absolutely NO cell phone reception, and the houses on the road were all vacation houses/cabins and nobody was in them.




OMg, this breaks my heart!

cookiemom51 Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:17pm
post #24 of 33

Honest to goodness, I cannot think of another group of service providers who would go through what you all have to deliver a cake. I am just full of admiration for my fellow cakers! Or are we all nuts? lol

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:20pm
post #25 of 33

I also had to deliver in a flood. I drove to the venue in POURING rain and found out that it was down a steep hill, and right next to the river (Which reminds me of another time, lol!) so close it had a deck that extended out over the river. I drove back and forth, trying to see if there was another way down there, or somewhere to park so I could walk it down the hill.

I finally just gritted my teeth and drove/slid down the hill, squealing the whole time, lol. The cake survived, but to get it into the venue I had to drive over several rivulets and I got as close to the door as I could, but then had to tromp through another literal stream. Water went up past my ankles and it was still POURING. So I had the FOB help me with holding an umbrella, but the cake still got soaked. It was buttercream with teal cornelli lace and Orange stenciling, (which sounds awful but was pretty.) The colors were running down the sides, so I had to dab with viva as best as I could.

I'll add a pic of it.

Baker_Rose Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:28pm
post #26 of 33

Well, I was pregnant during my externship from Culinary School for the Holidays in the commissary pastry shop at Colonial Williamsburg. My "plug" came out on December 31 the last day of work and the day before I came home. All my books said that labor would soon follow. My doctor thought everything was fine, no signs of labor, I came home and made not one, but two wedding cakes and 100 dozen wedding cookies in 3 days. The big cake and cookies was for my husband's youngest sister, so everything HAD to be big and wonderful. So, I got a 5 day rest after that marathon before my bouncing baby came. I have always told her she should have experience because she was with me all the way!!


I did my brother's wedding cake, then put it in the trunk of the car (before we had a mini-van) and drove it 400+ miles to Ohio. Arrived perfect and even the "I'm on a diet" ladies had two or THREE pieces.


While I was having my "kidney stone episode" there wasn't anyone at work to do the cakes. I couldn't afford to take off work. Another girl helped me with the breads (I couldn't lift over 5 pounds) so we pulled up a stool and I learned how to decorate and ice cakes while sitting down! Drink lots of water girls!!!! You DON'T want to go through that! In the beginning when I was on the heavier pain killers they told me I was quite silly and giggled at about everything. I plowed through the cakes though.

Tami

Melvira Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:29pm
post #27 of 33

Let me see... some of my faves...

Delivered a wedding and grooms cake 7+ hours away (for my nephew, I would never deliver like that otherwise. Unless there was some serious cash involved!) in the heat. SUPER HOT, white knuckling the whole way, worried that cake would melt or something. Ended up working out fine. But of course since it was my nephew, I did all that for free... Ugh!

Another of my faves... again, heat of summer. An hour away for a new client. Reception was at a swanky nice club, but what they didn't tell me was that it was in the middle of a state park (ie: impossible to find) and the roads were rutted gravel with about a 60 degree incline every 100 feet. What a nightmare! By the time I went back and forth looking for it, over all these ruts and hills... the cake sure did fall over. Fortunately it fell on it's back so the icing flowers weren't damaged, just a little bunged up icing in back that I was mostly able to smooth. The couple was so amazing, they apologized to ME for not telling me about the conditions of the area. They were the nicest people I've met in a long time and have ordered from me since then. Alls well that ends well, right?

Baker_Rose Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 5:34pm
post #28 of 33

Oh, during the "kidney stone episode" I had a big four tier stacked cake. Since I had been off for the surgery I forgot to tell anyone to pick up dowel rods to stake the cake. I couldn't lift so I had the grandson of the owner help carry it into the car. I didn't center stake the cake, but it was well doweled. He had never seen a stacked cake as it is carried and went ON AND ON about how that cake was going to fall. Well, I followed him to the car and he kept carrying on, but when the cake was in the car he said "Look" and I turned and he was SHAKING the cake. I just about sh*t myself. I yelled for him to stop but I just don't think he got it. I hate other people carrying my cakes. But the cake didn't move, even with that abuse.

Tami

old quote
..........there are only two people qualified to carry a wedding cake. The person who made it, and the person who paid for it. They are the only ones to understand it's worth!!!

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 6:06pm
post #29 of 33

I delivered a cake to a river boat that was three tiny tiers, with a single column in the middle. it was wobbly because I had the column jammed through the bottom tiers and a skewer through the top, holding it through the column. There was a wind storm and the river was choppy so while I was walking across the gangplank thingy, it was going up and down, and up and down. And the wind was about to blow me over, and trying to sweep the cake out of my hands. It was hinged on both sides to keep from breaking, but the boat was going up and down, so when I got to the boat, I had to let go of one side of the cake to open the door. I gripped it to me, and accidentally stuck my boob in it. But it made it in one piece, and I re-piped the back.

I'll add a pic of that one too.

Irish245 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:37am
post #30 of 33

woke up with evidence of losing a LOT of blood (fibroid problems) at about 5 am and told my husband I needed to go to the emergency room....he said, let's go....I said, gotta wait till 10 am until the venue opens and bleeding had pretty much stopped .....delivered cake at 10 am , drove to the emergency room, walked from the parking lot.....turned out I had about 1/3 of the blood in my body than I should have had......doctor told me I was lucky I woke up at all that day....asked if I was tired....my response.... "It's wedding season and I do cakes....I'm always tired."...ended up needing a few units of blood and the next week having hysterectomy......

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