Okay, I was asked by a neighbor to do her son's 1st communion cake. As the weeks have gone on she has changed the cake several time. Last week, she was over and had my son's birthday cake that was WASC with the Fluffy American Buttercream with fresh sliced strawberries/buttercream for the filling. She and her son LOVED it. So she emailed me and said, lets do the same thing except with pound cake. I bake her up a small version to try. She said the cake was very dry. I used a recipe from here that had great reviews. She served the cake cold and her son hated the buttercream. Same exactly recipe, tasted exactly the same. Now she wants a icing that is like Costco's buttercream I don't know what to do. I don't prefer to make a super sweet buttercream. Plus the pound is becoming an issue due to the size of the cake.(full sheet) I'm doing the cake for cost of ingredients only. I have already made all the gumpaste flowers and cross for the cake. Can anyone suggest a pound they use for larger sheets. What type of icing would you use. I suggested that he should try the icing tomorrow with it being room temp. and see if he likes it. With picky 8 yrs olds, you never know what they will want tomorrow. Any suggestions for the cake and icing would be very helpful. I have been doing cakes for over 10 years and I have never had so many issues with a cake before hand. I'm wishing that I would not do it, because I don't want to put my name on a cake that is not what I would normally do for icings. Thanks for listening.
Like I always say, follow your inner voice. Just tell her that if she likes COSTCO's buttercream, and your pound cake is too dry, then she has your blessings to order the whole cake from them. But she won't because she wants it for next to nothing .........BUT she's OK putting you through a battery of tests, all on your dime, so that you can give her the cake of her dreams. See where I'm going with this. And if you don't understand that you're being taken, tell her that the icing she loves is called Bettercreme which is totally chemically based. That should do it.
I did actually tell her that maybe it would be better to go there then since that is what he likes now. She started backing up and said no, you are an excellent baker that's why we wanted you to do it. She said you do all kinds of weddings and birthday cakes, I'm sure you will figure out how to fix your recipe and icing for our needs.
Your right, she is taking advantage of me! I don't want to put an icing I'm not comfortable with and put my name on it. I have worked hard to get a good name in cakes in this area. I don't want to ruin it for this one cake. The only reason I was doing it for her for cost, was that it is my son's best friend who's party it is for.
Well, Bettercreme may not be all natural, organic ingredients, but it's not "all chemicals". It has it's place.... Hi fructose corn syrup, preservatives, etc. For better, or worse, a lot like many shelf stable foods sold today.
First off, if she liked the WASC, then why isn't she getting WASC? My WASCs don't taste much like pound cake, although they are dense. That should solve the cake issue.
Secondly, you can make a nice American Buttercream using heavy cream instead of water or milk that will mimic the fluffy Costco icing.
I've been using this recipe for years. I do it with all butter, all hi ratio shortening, or half of each, and years ago, they never mentioned refrigeration. With all of the sugar & fat in it, I've never, ever refrigerated a cake iced in it and some of them have sat on my counter for a week & been just fine. I freeze batches all of the time.
For the cost of ingredients, make sure that she pays for the "test" cake ingredients, too, but no more samples.
First of all THANK YOU for answering me. She said she wants pound cake, because that is what her mother wants? I did not know it was her mother I was trying to please. I will make that icing recipe and hopefully that is good enough. I agree I should have never given her a free sample like that. That was my fault, I guess since she is a friend I was just being nice. The free sample was a 8" double layer. She got herself a nice sample. Do you have your WASC cake on here in the recipes? I use macsmom's recipe and it is always perfect. Thanks again for your opinion. I appreciate it!
Have a polite chat with her and tell her that after much consideration, you are willing to make her the same cake and icing that they loved last week. Period. Stick to your tried and true recipes. If she would desire something else she can certainly get something else from another baker but you simply do not have the time or desire to re-work the recipes you and your customers are happy with, nor do you want to spend more time and ingredients to come up with a pound cake recipe just for this one cake. Just be polite, friendly and firm. Then move the conversation on to the boys or some other new topic.
Most of the WASC recipes are very similar. I use this one:
I use whatever flavor mix I need. If I use Duncan Hines, I also add 1 box of instant pudding mix per cake mix.
Being nice is one thing, being taken advantage of is another.
She got 20+ servings of "tasting" cake, so her ingredient costs should include that. No one does tasting cakes for less than a 75 serving, paid order, and those cakes are usually no more than a 4" round, 1 layer torted with filling--maybe.
I'm all for being nice to people--though some here would disagree loudly--but in your shoes, I'd be pinning her down.
And sorry, but if anyone ever said to me, "You do all kinds of weddings and birthday cakes, I'm sure you will figure out how to fix your recipe and icing for our needs. , I'd be long gone.
If you're inclined to try the BC recipe I suggested, you might want to just make a half recipe to see how YOU like it. If it's not to YOUR tastes, then you probably don't want to use it.
NO ONE has the right to ever ask you to "fix your recipe" to meet THEIR needs.
Getting a homemade cake for the cost of ingredients only is a STEAL and she needs to understand that she can't dictate YOUR baking parameters.
Please tell her what YOU feel comfortable making for her. If it isn't what she wants then it's in both of your interests to part ways. Not every shoe fits every foot.
denetteb - you are right. I am losing time, money and sleep over this. I just really want to please her, but I do think that I'm being taken advantage of.
Your right. I have never done a sample like that before. I only did it being nice to her. Thought I would give them a nice treat. I lost sight of the cost of ingredients and I'm not being paid to do it. I don't do anything that large for my full paying customers.
When she said that to me, I was floored. I was at a loss of words. I mean I have put all the time and money into the cake already and she made that comment. Then asking me to compromise my reputation because her son likes Costco's icing better now.
Anyway, thank you. I learned a valuable lesson.
Oh, we all learn best from hindsight. If I don't do it wrong at least once, it never sticks--LOL.
Sorry for the Dutch uncle replies, but sometimes it's really hard to see what it can cost us to approach things with emotions and only other people's reactions in mind.
If she doesn't understand, then it's her loss. You have the right to sleep well and feel good about what you produce. When you don't get those "payments", it's time to retire the cake pans.
Good luck & happy baking!