QTCakes1 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 6:32pm
post #1 of

I just saw another thread about the value of the wedding cake as a gift and it had me wondering about the value of the cake as a gift. I've always felt if you gave a cake as a gift, that it was a great gift. Here is my question, last year I made a cake for my friend's daughter's birthday AND I got her a present. This year, I will be making her a cake again for her birthday, but I really can't afford a present. Am I okay with just giving the cake or do I have to get a gift as well, since I did both last year?

28 replies
cookiemama2 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 6:52pm
post #2 of

A good friend will accept that you can't afford both.

Claire138 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 6:53pm
post #3 of

You can definitely give a cake as a gift, I do it alot as I know people love them. It's a really nice (& can be expensive) gift. IMO you do not need to give another gift alongside it.

icer101 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 7:36pm
post #4 of

HI, i agree with the other 2 posters.

chelleb1974 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 7:57pm
post #5 of

I totally agree that the cake is plenty for a gift. And like someone said, a true friend will understand (and shouldn't question) if you can't do both the cake and a gift.

All my friend's kids and cousin's kids know that they will get a birthday cake from me in whatever theme the party is (I decide final design, though will take into consideration what the kids envisio), and that the cake is my birthday gift to them.

My cousin's soon-to-be 5-yo, when asked what he wanted for his birthday answered "a cousin Michelle cake". It took a lot of convincing on my cousin's part to make him understand he'd get the cake, but what did he want from THEM for his birthday, lol.

~Chelle

QTCakes1 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 8:28pm
post #6 of

That is so cute! I haven't talked to my friend about it, but he's a pretty good guy. I was just feeling kind of funny about it, cause I did get his' daughter both last year. So my niece is having a baby shower where I will also be doing the cake. Now I gave her my babies' crib, changing table, car seat, baby carrier and some other stuff. I should be good just bringing the cake, right?

All4Show Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 8:28pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by chelleb1974

I totally agree that the cake is plenty for a gift. And like someone said, a true friend will understand (and shouldn't question) if you can't do both the cake and a gift.

All my friend's kids and cousin's kids know that they will get a birthday cake from me in whatever theme the party is (I decide final design, though will take into consideration what the kids envisio), and that the cake is my birthday gift to them.

My cousin's soon-to-be 5-yo, when asked what he wanted for his birthday answered "a cousin Michelle cake". It took a lot of convincing on my cousin's part to make him understand he'd get the cake, but what did he want from THEM for his birthday, lol.

~Chelle


That ought to make you feel pretty special. It would me.

chelleb1974 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 8:32pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by All4Show

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelleb1974

I totally agree that the cake is plenty for a gift. And like someone said, a true friend will understand (and shouldn't question) if you can't do both the cake and a gift.

All my friend's kids and cousin's kids know that they will get a birthday cake from me in whatever theme the party is (I decide final design, though will take into consideration what the kids envisio), and that the cake is my birthday gift to them.

My cousin's soon-to-be 5-yo, when asked what he wanted for his birthday answered "a cousin Michelle cake". It took a lot of convincing on my cousin's part to make him understand he'd get the cake, but what did he want from THEM for his birthday, lol.

~Chelle

That ought to make you feel pretty special. It would me.


Yes it totally did! There's isn't a much better compliment than a 4yo only wanting your cake for his next birthday! icon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 8:33pm
post #9 of

I agree that a cake can be your gift and anyone that EXPECTS gifts is no friend of mine anyway.

That said, I do think there is a difference between a wedding and a birthday. In the case of a wedding, you are saving the couple the expense of buying a cake themselves. So that is a definite gift with a monetary value. Whereas in the case of a birthday, the birthday boy/girl doesn't usually buy their own cake, someone else usually supplies it. So it's not really saving them the expense in the way a wedding cake would, and is less likely to be assumed to be the gift..

So I do think it's a little different, particularly if it's just a basic bakery cake. Sure that could stand in for a gift if that's what you can afford. But that might be pushing it. Whereas a custom made specialty cake, like you would be making, falls way further into gift territory.

YummyCreations Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 9:32pm

I've been making cakes for my family and my close friend's kids' birthdays and giving them their cakes as a gift and they have all loved it! In fact, my friend was so happy with the Sponge Bob cake I gave her son for his birthday last weekend that they came over with a beautiful plant and a thank you card that her son personally picked icon_biggrin.gif

However, the problem I've ran into is that I should have been more careful in choosing who saw the cake pictures on Facebook because other people who I am not as close to assume that I have a cake business, which I don't, and keep sending me requests for pricing and want to place orders for their kids' cakes. As nice as I can I let them know that I don't have a business and I am only making cakes for family and "close friends" but I don't know if that leaves bad feelings behind. Has anyone experienced this????

Momofjaic Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 9:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by YummyCreations



However, the problem I've ran into is that I should have been more careful in choosing who saw the cake pictures on Facebook because other people who I am not as close to assume that I have a cake business, which I don't, and keep sending me requests for pricing and want to place orders for their kids' cakes. As nice as I can I let them know that I don't have a business and I am only making cakes for family and "close friends" but I don't know if that leaves bad feelings behind. Has anyone experienced this????




Maybe you should start one!!!

kel58 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 9:52pm

I only make cakes for friend and family and they are often for birthdays. Since they are close friends, I feel confortable just asking if they want the cake as a gift or if they want to pay for it and i'd bring something else. I know they are going to get the cake from me either way. All the adults take the cake as a gift but for the kids the parents pay for the cake and I bring something else. It seems pretty silly since the money they give me to cover the cake pretty much goes back to them as a gift but the kids like have the gift. These kids SOO don't need any more toys though.

When my nephew turned 2 my brother-in-law asked me if I could make him a 3D thomas the train cake for his party. I told him that I sure could and if he wanted I could make it his gift and save him the expense. He looked totally put off. When I questioned him later about the cake he told me they just ordered one from the grocery store cause it would be cheaper. Riiighht cheaper than a free cake that is 1000 times better than the cake he had?? Thomas wasn't even recognizable. I later found out that he had assumed I would make this cake to feed 40 people for FREE and get his kid a present. Money don't grow on trees around here. I haven't offered or been asked to make him a cake ever again and I am very much ok with that.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 10:06pm

I think it is the arrangement you have with your friend that will matter.

With my best friend I do her kids cakes, for free. If I have the extra money at the time, or there is something really cute that I have seen I'll buy a present. If not, she's totally okay with that as well because she knows and understands the work involved.

LNW Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 10:27pm

My friends and family know that I will be happy to make a cake for their kid's birthday for free but don't expect a gift as well. Most everyone wants a gift for their kids too though so I don't usually get asked to do it that way.

YummyCreations Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 10:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofjaic

Quote:
Originally Posted by YummyCreations



However, the problem I've ran into is that I should have been more careful in choosing who saw the cake pictures on Facebook because other people who I am not as close to assume that I have a cake business, which I don't, and keep sending me requests for pricing and want to place orders for their kids' cakes. As nice as I can I let them know that I don't have a business and I am only making cakes for family and "close friends" but I don't know if that leaves bad feelings behind. Has anyone experienced this????



Maybe you should start one!!!




I'm thinking about it. Just waiting for my smallest child to begin 1st grade in another year. Then I'll have more time. Since I live in California I will also need to look for a commercial kitchen to rent.

QTCakes1 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 10:50pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kel58


When my nephew turned 2 my brother-in-law asked me if I could make him a 3D thomas the train cake for his party. I told him that I sure could and if he wanted I could make it his gift and save him the expense. He looked totally put off. When I questioned him later about the cake he told me they just ordered one from the grocery store cause it would be cheaper. Riiighht cheaper than a free cake that is 1000 times better than the cake he had?? Thomas wasn't even recognizable. I later found out that he had assumed I would make this cake to feed 40 people for FREE and get his kid a present. Money don't grow on trees around here. I haven't offered or been asked to make him a cake ever again and I am very much ok with that.




icon_eek.gif Wow. Don't know what to say about your BIL. I guess I talk to my friend about it then?

kel58 Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 11:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

Quote:
Originally Posted by kel58


When my nephew turned 2 my brother-in-law asked me if I could make him a 3D thomas the train cake for his party. I told him that I sure could and if he wanted I could make it his gift and save him the expense. He looked totally put off. When I questioned him later about the cake he told me they just ordered one from the grocery store cause it would be cheaper. Riiighht cheaper than a free cake that is 1000 times better than the cake he had?? Thomas wasn't even recognizable. I later found out that he had assumed I would make this cake to feed 40 people for FREE and get his kid a present. Money don't grow on trees around here. I haven't offered or been asked to make him a cake ever again and I am very much ok with that.



icon_eek.gif Wow. Don't know what to say about your BIL. I guess I talk to my friend about it then?




Yep he is a piece of work. I often dont know what to say about him. lol
I would talk to your friend if you feel comfotable bring it up. Maybe, like the majority of my friends, she will offer to pay you for the cake (supplies or whatever) so you can bring a gift if its that important that a gift comes from you.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Nov 2011 , 11:17pm

How old is the kid? Honestly a kid under 4 or 5 isn't going to really notice if you did or didn't give them a gift. Most of the time they are so over whelmed by things, and just rip in to presents they don't know who gave them what.

I guess I am very lucky with my friend because it has been an none issue. He son is 10 and there have been years the cake was my only gift. He never complained once.

If you do feel like you have to still get a gift, so the child has something to unwrap then I'd make it a small/cheaper one. I wouldn't go all out spending to buy a gift then making a cake for free either.

jgifford Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 2:11pm

The summer my son was 12, he was invited to a birthday party. I wasn't doing cakes for anyone but family at the time and money was beyond tight. I went to the $ store and filled a big gift bag for about $20. He was invited to every birthday party that summer because all his friends wanted a gift just like that. They didn't care about the cost.

Once I started doing cakes for other people, the cakes became the gift. It's amazing how fascinated teenage boys are with cake.

kaat Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 2:53pm

Just make sure that it is clear that the cake is a gift (not free). Otherwise you may start being expected to bring free cake with you to every party. It will also help to avoid hurt feelings about the "gift" no being appreciated. (just thinking of previous posts in regards to free/gift cakes)

QTCakes1 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 1:46am

The issue is not really with my friend, but myself. I feel like, cause I brought both last year, I'm not doing it right this year. But I just can't afford it. I know I asked him last minute to do something for one of my kid's birthdays and he did, no questions asked, at a HUGE expense. So you know, I guess that's what makes me feel bad not to go all out. I know I can't afford it, but like I should try anyway. But you guys are right, he will understand. I just kind of wonder how many people will show up with gifts, cause even though he didn't have a lot of guest last year, he did have some and his' daughter got like 2 gifts, including mine. So I guess that's another thing that concerns me. I thought that was kind of messed up. I mean who doesn't bring a present for a child at their birthday? icon_confused.gif

mclaren Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 3:32pm

Only 2 gifts at her birthday party? Poor girl... So the guests arrived just to eat free food, I reckon?
I would understand if it was an adult's birthday.

QTCakes1 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 4:19pm

And they ate well too!

Vista Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 5:33pm

I guess I am the odd one here. When I do cakes for friends and family is still always get them a gift. I have never really thought about doing it any other way. That being said, if I am kinda strapped for cash I just make it a small gift icon_wink.gif.

TexasSugar Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 6:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I know I can't afford it, but like I should try anyway.




You should do what you feel comfortable with and in the long run can afford.

In my opinion, there is no point in you going out and spending money that you don't have to spend on a kid's birthday present, especially when you are giving them a cake.

If you do feel the need to give a gift, then find a small gift that you can fit into your budget. You don't have to go all out.

QTCakes1 Posted 19 Nov 2011 , 5:33pm

I went ahead and got an inexpensive present. I would end up feeling bad is she ended up with 2 gifts again.

ShaunPepe Posted 19 Nov 2011 , 9:43pm

I have never given one of my friends a free cake yet and I don't think i plan too. I have made cakes for a few friends who i know through my husband and I have charged them. Now "my" closer friends are just having kids so no one has asked me yet to make a birthday cake for them (still babies) but I am dreading the day. Because if I gave them a free cake, that would be replacing the $90-120 gift I would have given their kids? Hell NO!! I am in the habit of spending $15-$30 max on a birthday gift for another kid. I can't make a cake for that cheap. Just my 2 cents.

QTCakes1 Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 3:45am

Well that would be $150 retail for me, but not my actual cost of the cake. More then a $20 dollar gift, but I wouldn't count it exactly as me buying a $150 gift.

Apti Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 5:11am

QTCakes1~~I liked your solution of buying an inexpensive gift in addition to your custom cake. For kids under the age of 12, that's all they want, something to open. 9 times out of 10 the kid is going to run off with their buddies and the gift will be totally forgotten in about 30 seconds anyway.

A similar subject came up about a year ago. One of the CC'ers that does professional quality cakes said that if she is invited to a pot luck, she always pipes up, "I'll bring the BBQ beans!". That way, she never has to worry about "custom cake" expectations and no one is insulted or put-out or disappointed.

Another CC'er said when she was asked to bring a cake to a party, she went to the grocery store and purchased a cake and brought it. She said that's exactly what anyone else would be expected to do if they were asked to bring the cake. (Again, she never had to worry about "custom cake" expectations after that point and no one was insulted or put-out or disappointed.)

Both posters said they were not going to provide a custom gift that took 2-8 hours of their time, and cost from $30-$50 when everyone else coming to the party would be bringing $15 pot luck or $15 gifts that it took 30 minutes to prepare or purchase.

I thought both solutions were fabulous.

While I'm at it (kinda on a soapbox here), kids don't CARE about birthday cake! [Except Chelle's cousin.] They expect it, they want to say what kind, etc., but that is because it isn't their birthday yet, this is the fun leading up to the "Big Day". On the actual "Big Day", they don't want to stop playing with their friends for anything (pizza, soda, cake, ice cream, candy, treat bags, etc.). They open presents then haul off again.

At four recent parties for kids between 8 and 12, they didn't even want to open the presents because they were having way too much fun bowling or playing quarter games or throwing water balloons or ripping around the park. We had to call them and make them come over and open the gifts.

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