Request To Duplicate A Cake, Would You Do It?

Business By mommytocjnalexis Updated 29 Mar 2012 , 12:12am by cakesbycathy

mommytocjnalexis Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 3:58pm
post #1 of 18

So please bear with my newbie question here, I'm still at the infant stages of my business (ie still developing business plan and working for friends and family for experience). I had a coworker ask for a shower cake and provide a picture she found online, she wanted the cake to look like the picture. I was able to get it close (my buttercream was too soft to get crisp edges and other little details) but it was not an exact copy. This was all well and good because it was a coworker and she still loved the cake but I'm wondering as a business owner what's the protocol/etiquette for reproducing a cake from a picture found online? Would you do it? I think as a newbie I'd be flattered if someone duplicated my design but I don't know how you experts would feel about that. And as a side note, if the person who originally did this cake design is here big kudos to you, this is an awesome cake and was tough to duplicate, hope it was okay I gave it a shot. icon_redface.gif

Here are the pics in case anyone is interested:

Original Cake (Credit: Stephanie Campbell - Cake Fixation)
Image

My attempt to imitate:
Image

17 replies
KoryAK Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 5:38pm
post #2 of 18

I have no problem doing it, what the customer wants goes. If you were going to post this new cake on your website or here, you might want to credit the original designer if you know who that was. That said, there is really nothing new under the sun. I'll bet you can find a hundred cakes extremely similar to that one online right now.

mommytocjnalexis Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 6:20pm
post #3 of 18

KoryAK - You make a good point about there not really being anything new out there, I never really thought of it that way. I wish I could credit the original designer but the website she pulled it from did not do so and I couldn't find it anywhere to give them proper credit.

mommytocjnalexis Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 7:13pm
post #5 of 18

Weird, sorry this was a duplicate now I'm turning it into a thank you Paula! I edited my original post to include the proper credit.

Panel7124 Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 7:24pm
post #6 of 18

You're welcome, mommytocjnalexis! Hope that is the original designer. Really nothing new under the sun but cute color scheme. Good choice.

kakeladi Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 7:37pm
post #7 of 18

It is extremely hard to re-produce any design **EXACTLY** icon_smile.gif
As the others said, there is not much that is new or hasn't already been tried - some w/better results than others.
You made a very nice cake based on a picture. It is NOT an exact copy so don't worry about it.
Yes, it's very nice to give thanks to whoever the original idea came from.

lorieleann Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 8:05pm
post #8 of 18

If the cake is a 'signature design' of another local cake shop then I won't re-create it. There is a cake designer in Phoenix, Tammy Coe Cakes, that have a very specific treatment of patterned, sheeted fondant draped in folds and tied with a ribbon. If someone wanted to get that cake, I'd most likely decline because it is a unique look and identified with that specific baker. The cake you posted contains so many popular design elements, it really can't be considered a 'signature' design. Even when I am working closely from another cake for inspiration, I try to do something different to make it my own. (example being the firetruck baby shower cake in my photos. That cake was a combination of a couple 'fireman baby' shower cakes and i added my own twist with having the water splashes be 3D off the cake around the figure on top.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 8:15pm
post #9 of 18

I've copied a cake and I've had one of my cake's copied.

The cake that I copied was a wedding cake made by J'Adore Cakes (Couture Wedding Cake in my pictures). I send an e-mail to Isabelle at J'Adore Cakes asking if I could copy her cake as the bride saw it in a wedding magazine. I told her I was going to change the colours of the ribbon roses to gold though. She told me that yes, I could copy it but she would love it if I could give her credit for it. So I have... everytime I post the picture on Facebook, Cake Central or Flickr, I mention that the design was created by Isabelle at J'adore cakes.

I've had someone copy my horse silhouette cake. I saw it here on Cake Central and said to myself, hey that's my cake. When I clicked on the picture the person had said that the design was from The_Sugar_Fairy. When I saw that I felt really good about her copying it, really flattered.

So to make a long story short, for a wedding cake, I would get the decorator's permission before getting back to the bride (but only if it's a very distinct design). For a celebration cake, I think if you get give credit to the orignial designer that should be good.

Sometimes, you see the same cake over and over again though. For example the Seasame Street cake I did... I've seen about 4 or 5 cakes almost the same here, so I just put that "I've seen this cake numerous times on Cake Central and I'm not sure who the original designer was."

step0nmi Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 8:38pm
post #10 of 18

i agree with the other posters about giving the orginal decorator credit for the design. The only thing I would say, for the future, is NOT to promise that you will make a cake look *exactly* like a picture. This can lead to trouble; i.e. a customer demanding money back because it doesn't look exact. I have in my cake contract: If photos are provided the decorator will do the best they can to come close to the design, etc...you want to put something like that in there.

mommytocjnalexis Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 11:19pm
post #11 of 18

Thank you all for the feedback! I did email the original designer just because I had some questions on the design etc. But it's nice to hear how you all handle these requests so I know how to handle them with my business. I never thought to add to my contract that verbiage regarding doing my best to come close when pics are provided, that has been added to my list of things to put in my contract. Hopefully I'll have all these kinks worked out before my first real client. Thank you again everyone, I appreciate your feedback! icon_smile.gif

btrsktch Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 3:54pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann

If the cake is a 'signature design' of another local cake shop then I won't re-create it. There is a cake designer in Phoenix, Tammy Coe Cakes, that have a very specific treatment of patterned, sheeted fondant draped in folds and tied with a ribbon. If someone wanted to get that cake, I'd most likely decline because it is a unique look and identified with that specific baker.




Recently in my area for a prominent cake show at one of the areas top hotels, a highly recommended baker 100% copied the design of a new extremely well known baker also in the same area who was appearing at the same show but in another hotel. Talk about no originality whatsoever! I was shocked when I saw the duplicated cake and baker who copied it got all the credit. icon_rolleyes.gif

mommytocjnalexis Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 4:16pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrsktch

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann

If the cake is a 'signature design' of another local cake shop then I won't re-create it. There is a cake designer in Phoenix, Tammy Coe Cakes, that have a very specific treatment of patterned, sheeted fondant draped in folds and tied with a ribbon. If someone wanted to get that cake, I'd most likely decline because it is a unique look and identified with that specific baker.



Recently in my area for a prominent cake show at one of the areas top hotels, a highly recommended baker 100% copied the design of a new extremely well known baker also in the same area who was appearing at the same show but in another hotel. Talk about no originality whatsoever! I was shocked when I saw the duplicated cake and baker who copied it got all the credit. icon_rolleyes.gif




Okay that would totally annoy me! First of all, wouldn't you want to bring your own design to a show, not to mention that you would copy a local artist knowingly for a show. I know there are no real original designs anymore but come up with something or don't enter the show.

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 4:56pm
post #14 of 18

I just want to thank you all for thinking about giving credit to where you got your inspiration details. I didn't do that when I started but I do it now. In fact I have a cake I'll be doing very soon that is going to be almost an exact knockoff of a cake done by one of my fellow CC pals. I emailed her and asked her permission, which she gave along with a request for a million dollars (joking, of course). I'm nervous that I won;t be able to pull off some off some of the details as flawlessly as she does but oh well icon_biggrin.gif

One of the things I love about this site is it makes you friendly with other designers. We need to borrow ideas from each other from time to time, and it's always cool when someone lets you know that they did!

Annoyingly though, I was watching an Amazing Cakes rerun the other night and one of the bakers featured had a straight Cakegirls rip-off cake as a display in their shop. This isn't the 1st time I've seen that - and it irritates me to no end! It's one thing if a client comes to you with a photo asking for a copy of that cake for their wedding, it's another to completely rip off a well-known design and make a display for your shop. Lamesauce.

AZCouture Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 5:35pm
post #15 of 18

2 million.

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 5:47pm
post #16 of 18

Oops - 2 million. LOL

I <3 Jamie icon_biggrin.gif

southerncross Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 9:19pm
post #17 of 18

I tell my brides that I don't duplicate but i can use their photos of other cakes for "inspiration" . I do this for two reasons: 1) I can't duplicate another cake for the life of me and 2.) I get so wrapped up in the moment when I'm doing the decorating that I forget all about the original cake and do my own thing. I try to always give credit to that inspiration whenever I can in posting pictures.

cakesbycathy Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 12:12am
post #18 of 18

If a client brings me a picture I always tell them that I will do my best to give them a cake that looks similar but it will not be an exact copy. I always tell them that even when I replicate a cake that I have done before they are never exactly the same. I have a clause in my contract about this as well. I've never had anyone have a problem with it.

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