Things Not To Ask/say To A Baker!

Decorating By step0nmi Updated 6 days ago by ch5964

Claire138 Posted 28 Jun 2015 , 1:10pm
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I had a woman call me for a cake this past week and when I gave her the price all she kept repeating was "well I'll have to pay, I have no choice. I have no choice, I have no choice" like a broken record. I wanted to tell her " A life saving operation is something you have no choice about, your 7 year old pressuring you for a birthday cake is something you do".

Shasha2727 Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 12:00am
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I've really enjoyed all the posts here, especially the humorous personal experience stories. If you just want technical content, there are quite a few forums for that here, but I believe this one was made as a place to share our personal experiences, happy, sad, funny, FRUSTRATING, etc. It's made me feel better knowing so many others have been used as the source of a price by someone who has no intention of paying you, or have had someone come to you for your high end product expecting a Wal-Mart price, and laughing about what I've REALLY felt.. On a subject specific site of this size, there's always lots of options if you don't like the one you're reading. 

There is a character on a Real Housewives reality show, the one from Orange County, California, who always buys a high end cake for all her parties. Despite lacking an ounce of fat, and being a fabulous perfectionist entertainer, in a visit to her baker's shop, she tells the world that it's very important to have a great cake for a great party! At one party, someone broke off and ate part of the fondant bow on her cake, creating a MAJOR scene, in which the integrity of the cake was defended as a piece of art that must be presented as whole, and as created. The obviously intoxicated offender was escorted out by security. On a recent episode, she flew with her guests and her party cake on a private jet so it would arrive pristine. It was later revealed that the cake shown was foam dummy cake! :( But our kinds of cake got tons of air time.

Say whatever you're feeling, as long as it isn't mean.....

Carrie789 Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 2:07am
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This site used to be entertaining and funny. Glad to see it coming alive again. If you don't like it, you can unsubscribe to one thread. I was motivated enough to search to stop another thread. It worked, but now I don't remember how it's done.

lisasnider Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 3:24am
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I once asked a lady what flavor she'd like. She replied "fondue" and was confused when I didn't understand. When I explained what fondue is, she was still confused and snarkily said, "Oh. Well, what flavors do you have?" I could see her mixing up fondue and fondant...but when I asked what flavor?? I had a good laugh.

BoozeBabe Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 3:27am
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My cousin called me once and explained that she volunteered to donate a decorated cake to a raffle at her daughters school.  She asked if I could do something "special and extravagant"?  Then she said "I'll send you $10 for the ingredients. I know that should cover it.  I don't need change back."  At that very moment I realized she was 100% serious.  So I asked her when the event was.  When she told me I said  "I'll be out of town then but I would have loved to DONATE a $100. cake to her school . I'm so sorry, guess you'll have to bake yourself."  She has never asked again.  BTW shes a cheapskate about everything.

Magic Mouthfuls Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 9:17am
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Quote by @lisasnider on 5 hours ago

I once asked a lady what flavor she'd like. She replied "fondue".

 Oooh, I'd like to order one of your fondue cakes please.  Can you decorate it in vegetables carved like roses and fill it with a salami buttercream?    Oh @lisasnider you made me laugh heartily, thankyou!!!

winniemog Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 11:37am
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Is salami buttercream the new salted caramel?

Magic Mouthfuls Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 12:22pm
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I don't know yet  @winniemog -  when Adriano Zumbo brought out his vegemite macarons and maccas macarons did we all join in the craze?

810whitechoc Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 2:10pm
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Quote by @BoozeBabe on 10 hours ago

My cousin called me once and explained that she volunteered to donate a decorated cake to a raffle at her daughters school.  She asked if I could do something "special and extravagant"?  Then she said "I'll send you $10 for the ingredients. I know that should cover it.  I don't need change back."  At that very moment I realized she was 100% serious.  So I asked her when the event was.  When she told me I said  "I'll be out of town then but I would have loved to DONATE a $100. cake to her school . I'm so sorry, guess you'll have to bake yourself."  She has never asked again.  BTW shes a cheapskate about everything.

 Hahaha  now that is being a cheapskate - have you do the hard work and she claims the glory, really?

carmie00 Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 2:12pm
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I had an order for 6 dozen elaborate character cupcakes for a 5 year old's birthday party that I spent hours and hours on.  The customer LOVED them when she picked them up.  I followed up with her the day after the party to see how everything went.  She told me she had nearly all of the cakes left over because when some of the moms ate the cupcakes, they thought they were too sweet to give to their kids!  So for the whole party, these cupcakes were on display that the parents got to eat, but the children were denied them!  They're FIVE-YEAR-OLDS!  Jeesh!  Let them have a freaking cupcake at a birthday party!

810whitechoc Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 2:13pm
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Cadbury have their Vegemite chocolate out at the moment, you could make a Ganache that would go perfectly with salami buttercream - mmm yummy.

BoozeBabe Posted 12 Jul 2015 , 2:20pm
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And by special and extravagant she meant fondant etc.  $10.....right!!!   Maybe for a dozen cupcakes.  I think next time someone wants a "freebie" and I AGREE to it I'll give them the list of ingredients I need, tell them to get it to me 3 days ahead and see how eager they are to spend that much.   I do freebies all the time.  Its my choice.  I only do it for special family and special occasions.  In 2 weeks I am doing my great-nieces Baptism cake and 72 cupcakes.  Thats my choice.  But my family knows pretty much when I'll do a freebie and when I won't.  Everyone that is except my cousin.

lisasnider Posted 13 Jul 2015 , 3:50am
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Oh another one I had! I got an inquiry about the pigs in mud cake that's all over the Internet. (Mud cake with KitKats around the outside, covered in chocolate ganache with little fondant pigs swimming in the mud.) She messaged me and asked how much it would be and "Could I do it well?"

What kind of question is that?! Like I'd say, "No, it will look awful and taste just as bad. Here's your price!" 

Even if I did question my ability to do it, I certainly wouldn't tell her that.

cak3m0m Posted 13 Jul 2015 , 7:41pm
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I have, or rather, had a lady who would contact me at least 2 times a month to get "quotes" on cakes. She would tell me the design she wanted and ask me what I usually charge, what colors to use in the design and how I would decorate it, etc, etc. I caught on after the first call what she was doing and decided that we were always "unavailable" when she sprang up with an order. Then, she started having a friend or daughter? call instead. So, I gave the friend a hideous brown, grey and neon yellow design theme for a baby shower cake, along with a ridiculous price tag that no one would pay for this cake. She thanked me and hung up. Two or three days later, I get a call from another lady wanting a baby shower cake. This client said she had just talked to our local competition and what they suggested was way overpriced and hideous *snicker*. I found out it was the same design I quoted  the friend a few days earlier.

She did it again recently about a wedding cake! Haha. I called her on the carpet about it and asked her how that baby shower cake worked out. She hasn't called me since. 

jchuck Posted 13 Jul 2015 , 7:53pm
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Ha Ha....good one cak3m0m!!!!  

I have "call & number" display on my phone. All I have to do is press a button and it comes up.   Would be great to save the number....and be able to say the next time they called....... "Didn't you call me from this number this _ _ _many times for a cake quote??? Must be you, I have your number saved on call display...

monsterkookies Posted 13 Jul 2015 , 8:05pm
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I had a customer ask me how big a 6" cake was, once.


jchuck Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 12:23am
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Now that's toooooo big is a 6" cake.....hmmmm, let me think????

Bonne Bouche Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 1:04am
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Except for my grand kids birthdays-- I am done with freebies and discounts for anyone.   I am operating a business and promises of "promoting" my business have never paid off.  I get most of my business from referrals from customers who have paid for my cakes and never expected any discounts or freebies.  I suspect that to some people "free" means you are desperate for business.  

I recently took pity on a bride who had a very limited budget.  She didn't let the hall cut the cake to save money, and had a friend/wedding guest do it.  People I know who attended the wedding said it looked like they sliced the whole cake with that dull silver spatula they purchased for the photos-- it was mangled and smashed onto the plates.   I didn't charge her any rental fee for the cake stand (I did get a deposit on it) or delivery and set up.  It was such a struggle to get my cake stand back-- guess she didn't need my discount for her wedding cake since loosing a $100 deposit didn't seem to bother her for one minute.  I did get it back eventually by driving to her house.

Bonne Bouche Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 1:19am
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Well I was in a restaurant once and wanted rice pudding for dessert.  But I hate raisins in anything, so I asked the waitress if the rice pudding had raisins.  She said "No." so I ordered it.  When it came there were huge plumped up raisins all over the place.  I called her over and said "You told me there were no raisins in the pudding."  She looked puzzled and said, "There isn't-- those are grapes."   Now, I am not making this up.

AAtKT Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 9:46am
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Well... technically raisins once were grapes... lol

smile22 Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 2:13pm
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the best ones are on this wedding website message board i belong to. people ask constantly on the food and cake board if they can get a dummy cake and serve sheet cakes if they can just get a cake for them to cut and then not serve cake but serve mini deserts or pies to everyone else. they get mad when i tell them if you are cutting cake you need to serve to everyone and if you want a dummy cake its just as expensive as a real cake

i dont do cakes yet but i do cake pops cupcakes chocolates favors and candy buffets

my first ever candy buffet client ( she ended up backing out) i was so new to this and she kept asking me questions like do i need to have enough candy for everyone really cant i just order a bunch of candy and you set it up nicely at the venue.  i explained you want to have a good variety of candy enough so you don't run out . she was telling me that she wanted or order like 30 pieces of one candy for 75 people because she figured not all 75 would want that particular candy and 30 was a good number.

i had a few people contact me and tell me my prices were crazy 1.25-1.50 a cake pop is not crazy. i also had someone say my cupcakes were expensive 20.00 for basic 30 for specialty, told me i can go to the grocery store and get a dozen for less. 

what they dont understand is most if almost all grocery stores ( the chain ones) premake the cakes they are shipped frozen to the various stores, the stores take them out to defrost and they fill them with frosting out of a bucket.  i know one grocery store i go to the ready to take home cakes are shipped in already done and frozen. 

us bakers who work out of our home or in a small bakery shop, we use high quality ingredients, i use pure madagascar vanilla extract, i wont use imitation so if you ask for it sorry but i cant help you. i take time out of my day to make these treats.

i work out of my house so i am special order only don't call me on a friday asking for cake pops or something for saturday i cant make it happen that fast. i have a life as well i ask for advance notice. if you call a week before and i am free i will gladly take your order 

Kiddiekakes Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 2:27pm
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Smile22...You said it perfectly......I can't tell you how many times I get these rude young Moms/Brides who want a 3-4 tiered cake either for a wedding or birthday and they say to me..."Well...What are you going to do for me for $50.00"

What I really want to say is "How about I shove my foot up your A$$"...I mean seriously...Are people really that stupid to think a 4 tiered cakes will be $50.00 


Geez the ugly 7x12 slab cakes at my local Grocery stores here are $29.99 now... 


So now my first questions out of the gate to anyone inquiring about cake prices are...


1. When is the date? (as most just assume you are available without even asking..)

2. How many people do you want to serve?

3. What is your budget?


If I get some silly answer like I want to feed 50 people for $50.00...(which I often do)...I say I have nothing to offer them for that price range...Do not have time to waste on people are being simply stupid!!! LOL....;-)

Laurieg Posted 14 Jul 2015 , 3:08pm
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Just To put a smile on your face..

customer " do you have a Zoloff cake?"

wanting a Frozen cake. Still makes me laugh!!!

lady-bonbon Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 10:37am
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When I was just starting up my business a friend of mine tipped me that H&M is opening a new flagship store in my city and his sister was one of the bosses there so I should contact them to get hired as a baker for the opening.. 

They wanted to hire me and asked for 600 cake pops shaped like cupcakes, BUT they didnt have the budget to actually pay me for my services so they could only pay me for the ingredients(not including delivery) and that I would have to take care of decorating what they would stand on(which I obviously did not have for that amount of cake pops)

I was quite young and thought it would be great experience and there would be a lot of media there, plus they might book me in the future and actually pay me for my services so I agreed

I found a rustic cage that i filled with stuffing and a sort of hay that was not cheap, but I wanted to invest in it for future use.

I worked more than 24 hours non stop, no sleep, hardly time to eat.. thankfully my mom came to help me with the dipping and decorating process. 

They had to be delivered at 8 in the morning and I live about one hour away so it was incredibly stressful. I finally deliver it and go home to sleep.. I wake up a few hours later and I see a few articles about the flagship opening. NO WHERE is my company or name mentioned or credited for the cakes.. instead another company was credited for catering and of course everyone thought they had done the cake pops. 

I messaged the guy I was dealing with regarding this gig and I was quite pissed and disappointed and he apologised and fixed it, but ofc by the time he did everyone had already read the article. I was actually the one who introduced cake pops to my country, but I got absolutely no credit for it and 2 years later when I had moved to a different country and shut down my cake business I saw another fashion party opening where another company got credit for bringing the cake pops into my country and how original it was bla bla bla..

OH and did I mention I never got my cage back?

Pastrybaglady Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 3:42pm
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 What an awful story! I hope you are doing well where you are now!  I haven't heard many stories here where people do cheap or free work for "exposure" and it actually works out in their favor, or do people only post the failures?

lady-bonbon Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 6:10pm
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I am not really sure, but Ive never gained anything from exposure and I think the people who give you the best exposure are those who paid full price and are really happy with your service

For example, my mom owns one of the largest training companies in my country.. I know they all love cakes so I set up a table outside of the training hall and waited till they finished.. I offered free cupcakes and had laid out my really expensive business cards that I was really proud of

A woman comes out, she doesn't say hi or smile.. she takes my business card, walks out the GLASS! door, looks at it for 1 sec and throws it in the bin right outside.. what is wrong with people? does she not realise how incredibly rude that is and that I can clearly see her throwing away my expensive business card? if she wasn't interested couldn't she had just looked at it for one sec and put it down on the table again? Of course I went out and took the card out of the trash and I hope she saw me and felt bad.

I was 16 when I opened my company so I was really young(I am very mature for my age and also look much older than I am) now a couple of years later I am much stronger as a person and if that happened now then I would have gone out and confronted the woman, I absolutely have no patience for disrespectful people any more and I will not tolerate it. I prefer to be lonely rather than have fake friends who are just trying to get free cakes out of me(sadly I have read a lot of people write in this forum that their ''friends and family'' only contact them when they want free cakes)

I think my case with H&M is a good example to why the ''exposure deal'' never works out.. this is one of the largest companies in the world, they hire super models who probably cost them 10 mil usd for a one day shoot or more, not to mention worldwide constant commercial and posters.. yet when they have a large event and hire a 17 year old baker who is just trying to make a living they don't have the budget to pay her 100, 200 or 300 dollars for her hard work.. not even offering to pay for gas for delivery, but it will give you ''great exposure''. 

I have also been a international fashion model for many years now and this is exactly how they do it too with us models, the biggest brands and magazines are those who pay the smallest because they know that they can find a replacement at any time, because who doesn't want to be featured in Vogue? In every business, everyone involved has bills to pay and mouths to feed.. so why do people assume its ok to ask for discounts or free labor all the time? 

SpeciallyYours Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 11:15pm
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Lady Bon-Bon,

That is why my friends are fellow bakers/cakers/chefs/cooks! The only people I do freebees for now are family/close friends/the firefighters at my local fire house, and my breast cancer support group!  ;-)

Markosyans Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 12:02pm
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1. Once a lady ordered a cake and we discussed the flavour, the design, the details, and she requested the cake to be delivered to her mum's home.  I called her mum to arrange the time of delivery, and she asked me what flavour was the cake. I said, " hazelnut and strawberry. That's what your daughter ordered". She replied "Oh, My God! I hope there will be a toilet around at the party".

 2. A lady send me email ordering a cake  - 2 tier cake with 2 figurines from children show, a tent and a well on top, and added "I am not going to pay more that $80 for that. After all it is just a cake, right? and it's just baby's birthday"


3. A lady called me and asked how much would a 3D Thomas the tank Engine cake for 30 people be. I said $120 (I just started a business and my prices were very moderate). She asked again, as if did not hear it. I repeated.  She screamed in the phone " Oh, my God, are you serious??? $120 for a cake??? it IS just a cake!" 

indydebi Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 12:22pm
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In response to people who said "It's just a cake!", my reply was "Oh!!!! You wanted JUST a cake!!  Walmart ... aisle 8 ... knock yourself out."

In response to people who said "it's just a birthday cake", my reply was, "You know, it's funny ..... when I buy my eggs, if I tell the guy they are for a birthday cake, you know he WON'T give them to me at a cheaper price? Huh!"

(Evil Grin!)

solascakes Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 1:06pm
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When people say to me it's just a simple cake, I say, then bake it yourself.

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