Cake Tasting Question-I'm A Newbie

Business By rpd923 Updated 27 Apr 2012 , 1:51pm by QTCakes1

rpd923 Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 3:02pm
post #1 of 13

I have many years experience in special occasion cakes, cupcakes and desserts with a great customer base. As far as wedding experience though, I've only worked with friends or family. I have my first wedding customer that is a stranger and was asked to do a tasting for her wedding which will be for a 3D cake and 200 cupcakes. I'm fully capable and qualified to handle the order itself. I agreed and completely understand the desire to taste my product. However, the bride emailed me a list of 9 cake flavors and 13 frosting flavors to try from my flavor list!

What is the normal and reasonable practice since I'm not used to this. Where do I draw the line? I'm a licensed in-home custom baker. I do not freeze my cakes and I don't have a bakery case full of stuff to just pull from and lay in front of her. Suggestions for a first-time cake tasting?

12 replies
GGFan Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 3:25pm
post #2 of 13

That's an exciting orders!! I don't have much experience with that but from what I read here. Some provide free tasting for up to 4 flavors and then charge beyond that. Maybe you could tell her that and because she has to pay. I think she would try to narrow it down.

Or Do you have any near future orders that will have the flavor she chose? Maybe you could ask her to pick it up when you have those flavors and just make a little taster for her with some left over batter or filling from that order. Given that you would have enough time to finalize her order of course.

Try search in the forum here there are a lot of topic that talks about tasting
HTH & Good Luck icon_smile.gif

brenda549 Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 3:34pm
post #3 of 13

I provide tastings for $25 that is applied to orders over $300. The tasting includes 3 cake flavors and 3 icing flavors. I also do not offer tastings for icings/fillings that include liqueurs. The money spent to make a tasting with those does not balance out with the cake orders needing them.

It is only me, and there is no way I would be able to provide 9 different cake flavors and all those icings without eating through whatever profit I would be making on the order itself.

aggiechef Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 3:47pm
post #4 of 13

Wow, 9 cake flavors & 13 frosting flavors seems excessive. Surely she knows what kind of cake she likes. The suggestion about the $25 fee plus extra for over 4 flavors is what I do as well and it generally keeps the bride from going overboard. Try it and see what she says.

mommachris Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 4:11pm
post #5 of 13

Although your bride may seem excessive...she just suffers from lack of understanding.
Non-bakers do not comprehend that we have to make an entire recipe just for their small sample. Since they can go into a bakery and get one of each on demand they have no comprehension that their one cuppie was part of a three dozen batch.
Rather than trying to educate her, I'd ask her to narrow down her list to the four flavors that she would like to serve her guests.

Be kind, she's a bride and has probably seen too many of those entitled bride shows to know that it isn't the way the world works.

Wasn't it Debi that said, "If you like my vanilla, my lemon and chocolate are just as moist and delicious but they taste like lemon and chocolate."

A tasting isn't about letting the bride run though your menu, it's about can the baker make a tasty cake, do I like her and the way she decorates. In other words...can I trust this baker to make my cake that will be both beautiful and taste great?
It she thinks it's about having a dessert party then she needs to pay for it.


Cakery2012 Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 4:59pm
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by mommachris

Although your bride may seem excessive...she just suffers from lack of understanding.
A tasting isn't about letting the bride run though your menu, it's about can the baker make a tasty cake, do I like her and the way she decorates. In other words...can I trust this baker to make my cake that will be both beautiful and taste great?
It she thinks it's about having a dessert party then she needs to pay for it.


I agree with mommachris ,
Plus I almost LOL when I read the brides request . Like my hairstylist told me a young bride wanted to know how many times they could practice her wedding day hairstyle. She replied we can practice as many time as you like but each time it will cost you.

Explain to her all your cakes are fresh made for custom order. You don"t make all those flavors everyday that would be costly and time consuming . As someone said before on here its not about choosing a cake flavor its to see that you are a competent baker and that you have a good product .

If she wants a certain flavor or flavors she can then pay you to bake that cake(s) , But what must people have said they do is serve vanilla and/ or chocolate or they pull some left over batter from the freezer and bake . Batter freezes really well I've done that and there is no difference than day one . Also one small cup of icing is set out not a variety.

The next request you may get from this uninformed bride is that she is bringing 6 people to the tasting .
A little advice set the ground rules its YOUR business and your time . Tell her what 2 flavors she may taste or that you serve . Telll her that the tasting is limited to 2 people , Bride and groom or Bride and mother ect .

Since she has already seen your work and you have the job . Maybe on a day you are baking a cake you could just bake a couple extra cupcakes and have her just swing by to pick them up .

jason_kraft Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 5:24pm
post #7 of 13

I would be happy if a customer agreed to a tasting with 9 cake flavors and 13 frosting flavors...we charge $30 for a tasting and include 3 cake flavors and 3 frosting flavors, with each additional flavor an extra $10, so that tasting would cost the customer $190.

jgifford Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 5:32pm
post #8 of 13

9 cake flavors and 13 frosting flavors?!?! OMG - - is she out of her mind?

I offer tastings to brides and on orders for 200+ servings. When I'm baking, I pull out enough batter to make a few mini cupcakes and wrap them up really well and freeze. They fit very nicely in the plastic condiment cups. I will also do the same with frosting - about a tablespoon in each cup.

If a bride wants a formal tasting at my home, she's allowed to bring 2 people with her (max and NO kids) and I'll arrange the minis on a tray. I'll put out 3 flavors of cake and 2 of frosting. If she wants to take the minis with her, I'll leave them in the cups and put them in a box. The flavors she gets to taste depend on what I have on hand. Since I don't charge for tastings, she doesn't get to make specific requests. I will make the oddball flavors if a bride wants to order a small cake but she's going to pay for it.

These days brides are getting the idea that they're entitled to have whatever they want. No, but they can have whatever they're willing to pay for.

akaivyleaf Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 6:03pm
post #9 of 13

mommachris has a way with words. Wonderfully stated. I was looking for a "like" button to respond to her post.

9 is excessive.

AnnieCahill Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 8:00pm
post #10 of 13

Dear Customer,

Because I am a small batch custom baker all of my cakes are baked to order. Unfortunately I don't have ready-made products for you to sample. Because all all of my products are baked fresh, I limit tastings to x samples. I am confident that with this tasting you will have an understanding of the quality of my baking.

Remember, this is a business meeting, not a party where they get to taste everything on the menu. It's for the client to get an idea about your baking.

rpd923 Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 2:29am
post #11 of 13

Guys & Gals,

You are all amazing as usual. These were all great ideas and suggestions. I think it's too late to ask for an initial fee for this tasting but I think I'll respond to her email by letting her know to limit it to 3 cake flavors and 3 frosting flavors otherwise a fee for each additional. I definitely don't think they get the small batch baker concept. :-/

Anyway, the tasting is scheduled for May 12th and I have several orders from now until then but unfortunately, they are all very similar. I work full-time so I only do my cake business on my off hours so it's like 2 full-time jobs. I'm trying to break free from my day job soon and do the baking full-time. Your tips and advice are always appreciated and I'm thankful for your willingness to share openly your suggestions to others like me who are not as savvy in all the awesome tricks of the trade. I had NO IDEA you could freeze batter!!!! That's a fantastic idea. So, I could just put a couple cupcakes worth of batter into a freezer sandwich bag and then pull it out to thaw, then bake as normal!?! Seriously, that's great. You just made my day with that one. I heard once that you could freeze an iced cupcake in an airtight container and then pull it out & it'd still taste perfect but I've never tried that either.

JamAndButtercream Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 11:31am
post #12 of 13

Have you ever tried freezing a baked unfrosted cupcake?
I find that works the best for me, I freeze the cupcake unfrosted, take it out, defrost it and decorate it when its needed. icon_smile.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 1:51pm
post #13 of 13

By the way, do not limit her to 3 flavors of her choice. Limit her to 3 flavors that is your standard flavors that you pick. Can you imagine having 5 tastings and all the brides chose diffferent flavors? Tastings cost and a way to control your cost is to offer flavors you all ready have on hand or always offering the same flavors. I do 4 flavors every time.

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