tsal Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 4:54pm
post #1 of

Hi,

 

I am a hobbyist.  I offered to make a baby shower cake for free (since I'm a hobbyist and all my cakes are free) for someone I know whose wife helped me out once.  I designed the cake and told them to let me know how many guests they'd be expecting.

 

She emailed me yesterday to tell me that they are expecting 100 people and that my cake will be the only dessert (and I'm thinking that it's possibly the only food as well).  Oh and it's next Sunday.

 

I am floored.  I did offer so I can't back out, but I am no professional and was not expecting to have to feed a crowd so large.  I was looking at what sizes the tiers would have to be and they would be 12", 9", and 6" to get 100 servings.  I have never made a cake that large before and I'm cringing about everything (transport, costs, etc).

 

I was thinking about maybe making the cake as I wanted to (10", 8") and then add in an undecorated sheet cake to make up the servings.

 

What should I do?  I am seriously kicking myself for making the offer.  Suggestions, thoughts, kind words?

74 replies
vgcea Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:13pm
post #2 of

AOh wow. I'm short of words. Well you know what they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Since it's a free cake and a gift to them, feel free to create what you are comfortable with. If the cost is too much for you, tell her you weren't expecting they would have so many guests so maybe you could split the cost.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:15pm
post #3 of

A^^ exactly! On all points.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:19pm
post #4 of

how bad would it be to get a sheet cake from sam's/costco?

 

i know some people really bad mouth them --but it's cake

 

you could let her know that you are not quite equipped for such a big order and would that be ok with her

 

you're still supplying the cake and doing it in the best way for them and yourself--keeping your level of discomfort in mind too

 

or your other suggestion is fine the 10x8 & the sheet--i mean that alone with the packaging and delivering is quite a handful for a hobby baker

 

i mean who expects a shower to have 100 -- that's off the curve for sure!

 

and how nice of you to be doing this--it's also nice to be nice to you!!!

Sassyzan Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:21pm
post #5 of

AHow about a 10/8 plus cupcakes? They're quick and easy to make them cute to match the main cake. A simple coordinating swirl, cute wrappers, sprinkles...that would be easier to me than a sheet cake, which even if its "undecorated," you'd still be concerned with how it looks.

(Ps... 100 people for a baby shower!? I guess I can be a bit of a bumpkin, but i think that's crazy! They should've warned you or something!)

-K8memphis Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:25pm
post #6 of

oh shoot you are in canada not the states--here it would be less than forty bucks--sorry about the sam's & costco references--but still could you buy it somewhere reasonably

 

if you do this---and i srsly think it would be fine to let her know, ask her if it's ok and proceed

 

typically the honoree at a shower does not pay for the refreshments so asking her to cough up is different

-K8memphis Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:26pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassyzan 

How about a 10/8 plus cupcakes? They're quick and easy to make them cute to match the main cake. A simple coordinating swirl, cute wrappers, sprinkles...that would be easier to me than a sheet cake, which even if its "undecorated," you'd still be concerned with how it looks.

(Ps... 100 people for a baby shower!? I guess I can be a bit of a bumpkin, but i think that's crazy! They should've warned you or something!)

 

good idea!! how about 100 cupcakes???!!!

Margaret393 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:40pm
post #8 of

Hi tsal

 

I too am a hobby cake decorator! Go ahead with the 2 tier and make a sheet cake (kitchen cake) to bulk up the servings! There would be no need to finish this - to the same standard as  the main cake on show. Cover the sheet cake in a contrasting colours.

 

I made a 2 tier cake recently for my grandson's christening , plus a sheet cake which I covered in fondant, and placed a few coloured discs on top of the fondant.This cake was served for dessert. I posted a picture to this forum on Cake Central, showing both cakes side by side - in reply to a thread started a few weeks ago on "how to cover a large sheet cake" - can't remember off hand the exact name of this thread though!

 

How kind of you to offer to make the christening cake. Good luck and happy baking!

 

Regards

Margaret393

remnant3333 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 5:46pm
post #9 of

I was also thinking about cupcakes. You can buy big rectangle cake boxes at cake store places and pack em in. It might be easier to do all cupcakes or a a sheet cake and some cupcakes. Don't sweat it. They probably invited more people when they realized you were going to make the cake for free. 

 

Chances are that all of them will not show up!!!  You have already promised that you would do it so just hang in there and I am sure you will get through it.  Just try not to let people take advantage of you like that again. I know how it is that you are trying to be nice but sometimes people take advantage of that. Keep it all together and you will make it through. Hang in there and keep the faith!!!

Margaret393 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 6:16pm

PS

 

Hi tsal

 

I mentioned in an earlier post that I couldn't remember the name of a thread that I posted a picture of a christening cake with contrasting sheet cake. The thread started by fereshteh 24/2/13 was " I need a suggestion for covering a big cake"

 

Hope this helps!

Margaret393

savannahquinn Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 6:24pm

I love the cupcake idea!

j92383 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 8:06pm

I personally don't agree that  you have to make a  cake to feed 100 people. I would call her and tell her that I can only provide a cake to feed 50 or whatever you're comfortable with. This is your gift for  the baby shower everyone else gets to decide how much they want to spend and so should you.

DaisyP32 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 8:24pm

Who invites 100 people to a baby shower?  That's insane. It seems really rude to me that they would expect you to do that for free even if you offered. They know you are hobby baker?  They should at least offer to cover some of the materials/ingredients.   Or they could have you make a centerpiece cake to go with a sheet cake that THEY provide.

 

Rant aside....if you are planning on providing enough servings for 100 people I would go with the other suggestions of supplementing with cupcakes.

AZCouture Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 8:43pm

Oh you are by NO means committed to this. "I'm so sorry, but I had no idea you were expecting that many. I'd be happy to make a small two tier for you, and you can arrange other desserts around it." Something like that. Sorry, that would be a $600 or $700 gift from me, which would NOT happen! Please do not think you are locked into this. And heck to the no on making sheet cakes in addition. 

AZCouture Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 8:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyP32 

Who invites 100 people to a baby shower?  

No kidding! But I would gladly make the cake for it! Not for free though. Geez, that's a big cake.

jennicake Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 8:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by j92383 

I personally don't agree that  you have to make a  cake to feed 100 people. I would call her and tell her that I can only provide a cake to feed 50 or whatever you're comfortable with. This is your gift for  the baby shower everyone else gets to decide how much they want to spend and so should you.

I agree with this.  If you offered to make the cake, then its your discretion how big it should be.  They can supplement the dessert with something else too... wasn't YOUR idea for the cake to be the only dessert! 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 9:44pm

What Margaret said: "kitchen cakes" are a perfectly normal way to get additional servings. Potentially, they could provide a way to offer additional flavors. And under the circumstances, you're under no obligation for the kitchen cakes to be the least bit fancy: there's nothing wrong with simple single-layer sheet cakes, even served in-pan.

 

Hmm. 100 guests? That's not a "shower"; that's a typhoon.

lily2 Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 12:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by j92383 

I personally don't agree that  you have to make a  cake to feed 100 people. I would call her and tell her that I can only provide a cake to feed 50 or whatever you're comfortable with. This is your gift for  the baby shower everyone else gets to decide how much they want to spend and so should you.

Absolutely agree!  Tell her you have been worried about this "offer" while explaining your limitations.  Let her go and buy her own cupcakes or dessert to make up the difference.  Don't get sucked into this.  She does not have 100 people coming to this shower.  She just wants to get all she can from you.  Good luck!

kikiandkyle Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 1:22pm

I know how you feel, it's one of those rock/hard place situations, because it's awkward to say you don't want to spend that much money and time on a gift for someone, but you also don't want to be stuck with the bill. I recently spent $45 doing a cake for a friend, I didn't expect it to cost that much but I didn't feel like I could say anything. Do you think you could tell her that you didn't expect to have to make such a large cake and see what she says?

 

If you don't feel comfortable bringing it up, the cupcakes idea is a great one, you could probably easily transfer some elements of your cake design into a quick cupcake decoration.

yortma Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 1:42pm

Tell her the truth:

 

 

 

 

Dear so and so:

 

My Goodness you are popular!  I never imagined so many guests at a baby shower.  Unfortunately, as a hobby baker, I am not equipped to make a cake that large with such short notice.  I would still very much like to provide a cake or cupcakes with X # of servings as my gift to you.  If this does not fit with your plans, I will be happy to make a cake for you at another time.

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 1:50pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by yortma 

Tell her the truth:

 

 

 

 

Dear so and so:

 

My Goodness you are popular!  I never imagined so many guests at a baby shower.  Unfortunately, as a hobby baker, I am not equipped to make a cake that large with such short notice.  I would still very much like to provide a cake or cupcakes with X # of servings as my gift to you.  If this does not fit with your plans, I will be happy to make a cake for you at another time.


THIS!!

cakefat Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 2:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by yortma 

Dear so and so:

 

My Goodness you are popular!  I never imagined so many guests at a baby shower.  Unfortunately, as a hobby baker, I am not equipped to make a cake that large with such short notice.  I would still very much like to provide a cake or cupcakes with X # of servings as my gift to you.  If this does not fit with your plans, I will be happy to make a cake for you at another time.

 

I would say something like this too...that you are not equipped to make a cake for 100 people as you're a hobby baker.

 

I just cannot get my head around inviting 100 people to a baby shower either. my goodness. I think it's weird that she would take advantage of your good will like this. 

-K8memphis Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 2:31pm

think of a school or a church doing a shower for a special teacher or member

 

a community thing more or less--maybe where there was an illness or something tragic or nearly tragic in the recent past

where everybody 'knows your name'  and is moved to compassion perhaps 

 

this would be the case for church leadership in a heartbeat depending on the size of the church--if it's a first baby

 

or something like that maybe where 100 peeps would attend--it happens sometimes

 

when my son got married they had a bunch of showers and i'm sure if you totaled that up it was over 100 attendees

 

work peeps shower, different friends of family in the different circles gave showers--it was a lot--and it was all really sweet

SPCOhio Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 4:08pm

AI am also a hobby baker who had a similar experience. A friend of my sister's asked months ago if I would make her son's first birthday cake with a Dr. Seuss theme. They live in a very small rural town and I though a little two tier would more than do. A few weeks ago, I am informed that there will be about 100 people at the party and oh by the way, she wants two smash cakes as well.

Two. One for photos today and one for the party on Sunday.

I passed on to my sister that such an order is at least a $500 retail value and I did not think I'd have time to pull it off anyway. I work full time, after all. So I offered to do the two smash cakes but drew the line at the three tier. The smash cake(s) I did is my avatar, which is a 6 in round, three layer cake with a little sculpting and fondant. I would imagine each of these smash cakes would retail for $50 so she still got a rocking deal in my eyes. She is making cupcakes to feed the guests herself.

I am learning when to say no and I will share with you that it is a valuable skill!

sfandm Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 4:34pm

In my opinion, I would make 4 square single layer cakes, all different but easy flavors, and then decorate them up to look like baby blocks, and then place them together on the table, it should be fairly easy to do, no stacking involved, easy to transport, and set up.

tsal Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 4:55pm

I wish I would have posted this earlier! 

 

I emailed the baby mama's friend and told her that I would stick to my original design but throw in some cupcakes to make up the extra servings.  Quite frankly, I am past caring - it's not like I'll go out of business if they dislike my cake - I'm a hobbyist!

 

  It is being held at a church and it is a first baby.  Bah.

 

Had I asked for CC's advice before agreeing, I would have told them that I would be willing to do a cake for 50 max and that they should arrange for other desserts to make up the rest.  Now that I've already agreed, I wouldn't feel right going back and telling them now, one week out (although they only dropped the '100' bomb on me yesterday). 

 

Lesson learned and thank you all for your input.  CC is always such a valuable resource for caking dilemmas!

denetteb Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 5:07pm

They just told you the 100 number yesterday, it would still be fine to let them know today how many servings you will be providing.  They still have PLENTY of time to make arrangements for more cake or dessert between now and then.  If they had told you 100 days or weeks ago it would be different.  They can buy something or any other friend/church member can make up the rest.  It is your call, do whatever you won't resent.

KatieKake Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 5:10pm

If you really feel you have to make a cake to feed the  hundred closest and most intimate friends of this mother to be I would stack a 12 x 18 sheet cake if you have that size pan, if not then I would go with the block cake mentioned in another post.  I would decorate the cake as a quilt, blocking it off in 4 in square and putting a rattle, duck, teddy bear, simple easy to pipe figures, one to each square, and maybe a larger square int he middle of the cake saying BABY.  No one said you had to make two tiers, stacking a cake unless that is the easiest thing for you to do.  I agree though you are not obligated to make a cake so large, call and  tell you you are not equipped for such a large cake and would make some cup cakes that could go along with what ever other desert they plan on having. It looks to me like greed is rearing it ugly rearing it's ugly head here.

tsal Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 8:20pm

Ok you guys inspired me to send the following email to the friend who is organizing (thank you so much, yortma, for the wording!).  You're right - at this rate, it will cost me well over $100 and I'm not prepared to spend that for someone that I'm not even friends with.  We'll see what she says:

 

 

Hi,

 

My goodness, Jen is popular!  I never imagined so many guests at a baby shower. 

 

As a hobby baker, I'm not equipped to make a cake so large.  My original design was for 60 - I wanted to bump it up to 80, but it would be at a great cost to me as I would have to buy additional equipment.  What I will do is do the cake, as planned (it will still be the centerpiece), for 60 - perhaps you can get a sheet cake to supplement the additional servings? 

AZCouture Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 8:26pm

icon_confused.gifWas going to do for 60, but bumping to 80...might as well throw in 20 more while you're at it. icon_sad.gif Not to tell you your business, but 60 was way generous as it was for someone you didn't know. Not trying to be mean,but wow that's a lot of free cake, and 80...well really, what's 20 more at this point?

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