Cake Drama

Decorating By JackilynC Updated 2 Jun 2012 , 8:52am by scp1127

JackilynC Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 4:36am
post #1 of 17

This is not about a cake I made, it's about a cake I bought. I had been in contact with a local woman who had a really legitimate looking website and had rave reviews posted by "clients" as well as pictures of stunning cakes. I needed a cake for the baby shower I was throwing for my brother's girlfriend and she said she'd be happy to make it. When I asked about a taste test she told me that her flavors were listed on the website. I didn't want to try anything out of the ordinary with no tasting so I went with chocolate and white cake figuring that no baker would ruin that. Right? Well, the day of the shower comes and she shows up to drop off the cake. She had said it would serve 65-70 people and there was NO WAY that would happen unless I cut each piece an inch wide. Then I took a closer look at the cake, there was white powder all over the fondant, the fondant was wrinkled in a few places and even ripped in the back, and the bows looked like a five year old had made them. I just let it go and waited until cutting time, I took it back in the kitchen and used the chart she had given me to cut it. We didn't have enough for all 50 of the guests, let alone the 65-70 she'd sworn it would feed. I took a tiny piece of chocolate to taste it and literally gagged when I put it in my mouth. It tasted like a sponge dipped in cocoa powder. Literally, it was that gross. Everyone was eating it and making faces but they were polite enough not to criticize. Basically, I paid $160 for a cake that was completely disgusting and very disappointing. I didn't complain to her because I'm just a really non-confrontational person but my husband was livid. That experience was actually the reason I am on this site. My husband is buying me the stuff I need to get started and I am taking the Wilton beginners course in 2 weeks. I don't plan to open a bakery but I will be making the cakes for any future party I throw if I can learn the techniques. I have been pouring over the recipes and information on here and watching youtube tutorials for days so that I will be relatively prepared. I would much rather spend a couple hundred dollars on materials that I can use over and over than to pay that much for a nasty, unattractive cake. **Sorry for the rant.

16 replies
wyowolf Posted 4 May 2012 , 11:47am
post #2 of 17

What a horrible experience! It's people like that who give the rest of us good home bakers a bad name. You most definitely should have asked for your money back. But welcome to cake central! Maybe you've found a new, fun hobby?

CWR41 Posted 4 May 2012 , 1:23pm
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackilynC

She had said it would serve 65-70 people and there was NO WAY that would happen unless I cut each piece an inch wide.




Correct. A serving is suppose to be one inch wide, by two inches deep, by 3-6 inches high (typically 4" tall) for 8 cu. in. slices:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

Tails Posted 4 May 2012 , 1:30pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackilynC

She had said it would serve 65-70 people and there was NO WAY that would happen unless I cut each piece an inch wide.



Correct. A serving is suppose to be one inch wide, by two inches deep, by 3-6 inches high (typically 4" tall) for 8 cu. in. slices:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm




thumbs_up.gif

Paperfishies Posted 4 May 2012 , 3:40pm
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackilynC

She had said it would serve 65-70 people and there was NO WAY that would happen unless I cut each piece an inch wide.



Correct. A serving is suppose to be one inch wide, by two inches deep, by 3-6 inches high (typically 4" tall) for 8 cu. in. slices:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm




Yup, when you're going by the Wilton chart...People look at you like you are insane when you tell them this...People are used to monster pieces of cake...I've done away with using the Wilton chart because of this.

Marianna46 Posted 4 May 2012 , 4:09pm
post #6 of 17

You can let your customers know that they might want to cut the slices larger than the standard 8 cu. inches and, if so, they should order a cake that would serve more, but it is certainly handy to have a standard reference like that so that you'll know how much to charge for different size cakes. Here in Mexico, it's common to charge by weight, but I have no idea how many people a kilo of cake serves - and it would make a lot of difference whether it was covered in fondant, buttercream, whipped cream or meringue. That's why I think size is a better measure than weight.

labelle24 Posted 4 May 2012 , 4:18pm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Quote:

Yup, when you're going by the Wilton chart...People look at you like you are insane when you tell them this...People are used to monster pieces of cake...I've done away with using the Wilton chart because of this.






Me too, I know a lot of bakers use this, but I use Earlene's. The servings are a little bigger, and basically it helps to avoid this type of situation, as I believe the average customer is probably used to cutting a larger slice of cake.

AZCouture Posted 4 May 2012 , 4:21pm
post #8 of 17

Wait...I remember this post. There were a lot more replies than this. Weird.

kelleym Posted 4 May 2012 , 4:46pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Wait...I remember this post. There were a lot more replies than this. Weird.



Looks like the original was a triple-post. http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-fsearch-author-jackilync.html

Something about the whole story doesn't quite ring right to me, but I may have become jaded after all these years.

lkern777 Posted 4 May 2012 , 5:36pm
post #10 of 17

For a party cake, she should have used the Party Guide Wilton supplies, not the wedding guide. The correct slice size should have been 1.5"x2", not 1"x2".

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-party-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

Sorry this happened to you. Since you are non-confrontational you should have your husband do the dirty work. icon_razz.gif

CWR41 Posted 4 May 2012 , 7:29pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkern777

For a party cake, she should have used the Party Guide Wilton supplies, not the wedding guide. The correct slice size should have been 1.5"x2", not 1"x2".




With party cakes serving 50% more than wedding cake servings (12 cu. in. instead of 8 cu. in.), you should be charging 50% more... good luck trying to explain the price differences to customers. It's easier to stick with one price per serving, and use the industry standard serving guide for all cakes.

indydebi Posted 6 May 2012 , 9:38pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkern777

For a party cake, she should have used the Party Guide Wilton supplies, not the wedding guide. The correct slice size should have been 1.5"x2", not 1"x2".



With party cakes serving 50% more than wedding cake servings (12 cu. in. instead of 8 cu. in.), you should be charging 50% more... good luck trying to explain the price differences to customers. It's easier to stick with one price per serving, and use the industry standard serving guide for all cakes.


Absolutely! I always explained to folks "It's designed to serve XX servings that are 2x4x1. If you think you'll be cutting them bigger, you may want to consider a larger cake." I also explained that a 2x4x1 was "about the size of a folded peanut butter sandwich" and most were ok with that visual.

Insert Debi's KFC Analogy here:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-662684-kfc.html

On the other aspect, i would not have a problem contacting her about the taste, especially since you observed many others making the same negative facial expression about it. Maybe she tried a new recipe that didn't work for her. Maybe she uses a "secret ingredient" that she thinks makes her cakes taste better, but it eveidently doesn't. For example, if I rec'd a choc cake laced with cinnamon (for a flavor punch!) or with icing laced with lemon ("to give it a fresh taste!"), or my ultimate negative example, a tiered cake with coconut between the tiers (I wouldn't even SERVE this cake!) I'd be demanding my money back in a nano-second, because I didn't order a coconut cake or a cinnamon cake with lemon icing .... I had ordered a choc cake with white icing.

lliglleg Posted 8 May 2012 , 8:37am
post #13 of 17

I would contact her and tell her your thought if not she will just dissapoint other people she may be unaware that how she does it does not work I would be upset if people felt like this and did not tell me

slun4ogledka Posted 24 May 2012 , 3:52am
post #14 of 17

well to begin with I would be very suspicious if I am paying $160 for a fondant cake that is for 65-70 people ,, and I am very sorry that it happened to you .Best of luck on your new business icon_smile.gif

carmijok Posted 24 May 2012 , 6:14am
post #15 of 17

Am I the only one that read the OP is not planning on starting a business? She just wants to provide the cakes for her events so why are people telling her how to charge?

If I were the OP I would write the baker a scathing letter outlining everything you said. Even if you don't demand any money back ( which I most certainly would), I would at least tell her how disappointed you were and that you will not be recommending her to any of your friends...not that any of the people there will order from her now.
Did you take a picture of the cake? If so, you might send that along with arrows pointing to the flaws.
If she is on the up-and-up, she will most likely contact you and offer some kind of concession. If not at least she knows what you think.

SoFloGuy Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 6:01am
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackilynC

This is not about a cake I made, it's about a cake I bought. I had been in contact with a local woman who had a really legitimate looking website and had rave reviews posted by "clients" as well as pictures of stunning cakes.




Make sure you leave a comment on her site about how bad your cake experience was.

It also reminds me of an old joke that ends: I have two complaints, the cake was terrible, and the portions were too small. icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 8:52am
post #17 of 17

The serving size is just a unit of measure mainly for the purpose of standardizing a wedding cake portion and for pricing. You can use any unit, big, little, whatever. It shouldn't affect the cost or the size.

It is up to us in the industry to explain the size in relationship to the size the customer wants to serve.

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