BobbiR Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 1:12pm
post #1 of

I've been seeing a trend in my small town. Brides calling me and asking me for pricing on a 4 tier un decorated cake. I was blown away. No one has ever asked me that question before. The bride told me that she wants to decorate it but wants me to bake all the tiers and stack them for her. Honestly i was a little irritated. Is this a new trend to save money? I know the economy isn't doing well and my town is really feeling it but come on, really?! Why would i go to all that trouble to bake a super moist cake and stack it to just have her decorate it and say "I made my own wedding cake!" I guess my biggest worry is that she will say something a long those lines then everyone will go to her for their cakes. Maybe I'm being silly. What do you guys think? have you ever been asked this before? How would you handle this situation?

26 replies
Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 1:36pm
post #2 of

Hi there, I have never heard of it personally but I'm only just starting up!  I have seen a lot of magazines advertise ways of decorating your own wedding cake though having bought a store bought cake, so maybe it's some kind of evolution of that.  It would be very irritating though, I agree!

 

I would say thank you for your interest but you cannot release a cake which you do not consider to be of finished, commercial quality.  As you said, she may either say she made it (and get the credit), or she may say you made it and if the decorations she adds aren't great, that could arguably be worse for your reputation!

 

Maybe end by suggesting some very simple decorations that you could add on to make it 'finished' and still work within a budget?

Hope it helps :-)

as you wish Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 1:41pm
post #3 of

AI haven't been asked this, yet. When/if I do get this request I know without a doubt what my answer will be! A simple, unapologetic "no".

BobbiR Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 1:41pm
post #4 of

Thank you! i feel the same way. if she does say i made it and it comes out horrible that's really bad on my reputation. She wouldn't even give me a budget. I guess I'm just gonna say that i don't sell unfinished product. I get a lot of people coming into my store asking to buy my icing because they are decorating a cake. I politely tell them I'm sorry I'm not a cake crafting store and that i only sell finished products. but i also tell them the closest cake crafting location to buy supplies.

JSKConfections Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 1:41pm
post #5 of

and tell her the tiers are decorated, then stacked, you don't stack an undecorated cake then decorate it...I would steer clear too...thumbsdown.gif

Baker_Rose Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 1:45pm
post #6 of

In the past I have baked, filled, iced smooth, stacked and put small borders on plain cakes.  I call it my budget wedding cake and from there they can have someone decorate it, or they can use store bought flowers, silk flowers etc.

 

I have been doing this quite awhile and so I can put together a three stack pretty quickly, so I can save them a little money.

 

In the end, once they buy "stuff" to put on the cake they are probably at the same price as letting me finish the cake, but in their heads they think they are getting a bargain.  I can do several of these cakes at a time assembly line and they are pick up only.

 

Most of the cakes have been finished with flowers, ribbon and even fresh fruit.  I haven't had anyone go hog wild on the finish decorating and I personally don't have a problem putting these out there with my name on them.

 

If she takes credit for your delicious cake and people want cake from her, well they will find out that the cake wasn't hers to begin with.  I have not had this as an issue.

 

In the end, it's what you think is best for your cakes and your name.
 

scwright Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 2:26pm
post #7 of

I would not sell your frosting but I don't see a problem with selling an undecorated cake as long as they pay for it they can do whatever they want with it. If they choose to lie and say they made it themselves more power to them lying only gets you so far...

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 3:13pm
post #8 of

I wouldn't worry that she might say she made her own wedding cake.....She could do that even if you decorated it. People do it all the time (ie steal someone's cake photos and claim the work as their own). Not saying whether you should or shouldn't do it....just saying this wouldn't factor into my decision.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 3:17pm
post #9 of

What if the same bride ordered a plain frosted cake from you?  Would you do that?  I don't see a problem here.

Smckinney07 Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 3:32pm

AI would be more concerned that she would mess up the icing while trying to add her own ribbon, dent it, drop it on the way to the venue....then call you panicked to fix her mistakes! If your not comfortable doing it don't, it's your business. If you get this request again I would simply ask what kind of decor she's wanting to add, if she says scroll work I would explain how complex it can be to someone who hasn't done it before-boy do they make it look easy on television! If it's something simple like a ribbon border, (I personally would add for free) explain that it's just an additional cost of _____. Flowers, I would explain that she must be very careful because some are toxic, decorators use special spikes (or whatever) to ensure the cake stays uncontaminated and these things are for her safety and her guests safety. I'd hate to see a bride get in over her head on her big day (or something less condescending lol).

What kind of decorations are these brides trying to do themselves?! That's what I find more confusing. There are much better ways to work within someone's budget then this.

giggles100788 Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 3:35pm

I actually did this, when I got married in 2010 I went to my local bakery and asked for 3 round cakes plain cakes.  I didn't want him to stack them or anything , just 3 round buttercream cakes; one 6", one 10" and one 14".  I told him what I was doing and he was very confused at the time but he agreed to do it, he charged me $100. I wasn't into cake decorating at the time but my mom is a chef and caterer.  So on my wedding day she stacked the cakes, added ribbon to the bottom of each tier, placed the food grade orchids I bought on cake and place the topper on top and it was beautiful.  When people asked me where I got my cake from I told them I got it from my local bakery and we decorated it.  I acknowledge the bakery I purchased the cake from and it was delicious cake so I am sure he will still get business from my purchase.  Now as a home cake decorator, I would do the same for someone if they had a similar request.
 

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 3:43pm
What kind of decorations are these brides trying to do themselves?! That's what I find more confusing.

You can buy all sorts from my local shop including full sprays of sugar flowers and sections of royal icing scroll work on sheets to stick on if you want to...they are all in the case ready to go.  They are very expensive buy I guess if you don't know that, then maybe it seems like a cheaper option.

 

Just thought...you may also want to discuss time scales with her...assuming she doesn't want to be doing it on the day of the wedding, and it would probably take her several hours so you would have to deliver 2 days before.  Take into account making and baking time, it may not be as fresh as usual come the date itself...

Smckinney07 Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 4:46pm

A

Original message sent by Snowflakebunny23

You can buy all sorts from my local shop including full sprays of sugar flowers and sections of royal icing scroll work on sheets to stick on if you want to...they are all in the case ready to go.  They are very expensive buy I guess if you don't know that, then maybe it seems like a cheaper option.

Just thought...you may also want to discuss time scales with her...assuming she doesn't want to be doing it on the day of the wedding, and it would probably take her several hours so you would have to deliver 2 days before.  Take into account making and baking time, it may not be as fresh as usual come the date itself...

I know they have those types of things around my area, just the basic sugar sheets and royal icing decorations that Wilton sells prepackaged, etc.

I suppose the point I was trying to make is similar to your bottom post about educating customers in this situation, the time it takes, etc. I've sold simple cakes that I've stacked and delivered then decorated with the florists flowers (I suppose this isn't the same thing).

I would just hate for the bride to lower costs by trying to decorate herself not realizing she'll either have to transfer and set it up at the venue or be decorating in her wedding gown. I just foresee too many problems arising for your average person rather then scaling down the design to fit within her budget, or something along those lines.

Elcee Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 4:53pm

A lot of the DIY wedding cake articles, particularly Martha Stewart's, begin with telling the bride to start with a plainly iced cake from a bakery. That's probably where it's coming from.

ellavanilla Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 8:24pm

beyond buttercream just listed a cake like you describe. i admire the idea and wish i had the market range she does!

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=516408535078980&set=a.237353726317797.63322.229596827093487&type=1&theater

maybenot Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 9:03pm

It's a trend called a "naked cake".  One of the ditzy actresses did it a few years back and it's generated a lot of copy cats.

 

http://pinterest.com/celebrationc/naked-wedding-cakes/

 

I guess, for some, they see it as a way to save money, and for others, it's a way to save their guests from the evils of too much sugar & fat.

 

My personal impression is that they look sloppy, unfinished, dry (even if, after sitting out like that for hours, they're not), and unappetizing, but, of course, to each their own.  Based on my personal feelings about having my name attached to such a cake, I would decline to do it.

Laurelj Posted 18 Jul 2013 , 10:43pm

A[I]Actually I will be looking for just this kind of cake for my son's destination wedding in Kona Hawaii next April. Because we are "cake artists," we are confident that we can make any cake look just the way we want it to look based on the bride and grooms expectations (my daughter produces beautiful gumpaste flowers) and have yet to find a decorator over there that we feel confident enough to produce the finished product that we feel we are personally capable of. Plus there are very few wedding cakers in that area. All artwork for cake will be produced here in California, and transported to Hawaii, so we are looking for just a blank slate two tier cake, to put the finishing touches on once we get there. :-) [/I]

slapsappyhappy Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 12:02am

Ahttp://www.cakewrecks.com/home/2013/6/21/the-emperors-new-cakes.html?currentPage=2 This cakewrecks posting was hilarious! It is all naked cakes and some are downright horrific!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 12:22am

I love naked cakes, haha. (well done ones, not the sloppy messes that most turn out looking like). They remind me of the sponges with raspberries and cream I grew up eating.

It sounded to me like she was talking about just flat iced cakes though, maybe I'm wrong?

 

I've never actually had a request like that, unless the only decorations they want are fresh flowers, and they have a florist providing those.

In those cases, I actually insist, nicely, that I be the one to put the flowers on. I'd rather give them 10 free minutes of labour than see my cake punched full of holes from a stab happy florist.
 

I did read in a few magazines before I got married, that buying a plain iced cake and decorating yourself was a big money saver, I would assume that's all there is to it.

Elcee Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 12:36am
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybenot View Post

It's a trend called a "naked cake".  One of the ditzy actresses did it a few years back and it's generated a lot of copy cats.

 

http://pinterest.com/celebrationc/naked-wedding-cakes/

 

I guess, for some, they see it as a way to save money, and for others, it's a way to save their guests from the evils of too much sugar & fat.

 

My personal impression is that they look sloppy, unfinished, dry (even if, after sitting out like that for hours, they're not), and unappetizing, but, of course, to each their own.  Based on my personal feelings about having my name attached to such a cake, I would decline to do it.

I didn't get the impression this was what the OP was referring to...I thought she meant iced but undecorated cakes. The naked look is a whole other beast.

Laurelj Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 5:54am

AOMG, Slapsappyhappy, that is too funny. That isn't what I'm looking for, for my son's wedding. I'll be looking for a cake that has been frosted but not decorated. Who would want a naked cake, if that is what is being referred to here, those are just attrocious!

Smckinney07 Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 6:21am

A

Original message sent by Elcee

I didn't get the impression this was what the OP was referring to...I thought she meant iced but undecorated cakes. The naked look is a whole other beast.

Ditto!

Relznik Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 7:58am

There are some that are a real mess...

 

...  but there are also some that I think so really pretty really well put together.

 

I'd love to do one!

soldiernurse Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 9:11am

A

Original message sent by slapsappyhappy

http://www.cakewrecks.com/home/2013/6/21/the-emperors-new-cakes.html?currentPage=2 This cakewrecks posting was hilarious! It is all naked cakes and some are downright horrific!

I actually loved all but 2 of them...they're eclectic, risky, and unexpected and that's obviously what the goal is...non -traditional. I would live to do one!!

JWinslow Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 10:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla View Post

beyond butter cream just listed a cake like you describe. i admire the idea and wish i had the market range she does!

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=516408535078980&set=a.237353726317797.63322.229596827093487&type=1&theater


It can be especially nice if you have a sideline selling sugar flowers, toppers etc.  I believe Beyond Butter cream also sells some of her flowers.

So.....Here's the cake......Here's your decorations...........Go have fun!   Don't mind me, I just think it has potential.  Less stress and liability for mishaps is on the customer.

tracycakes Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 1:50am

I've had a request before but mainly because the mother of the bride was going to decorate it with flowers.  I charge the same amount.  I HATE making a plain-iced buttercream wedding cake.  it's very hard to be get a perfectly iced cake. If someone asks and thinks they are going to get a cheaper cake, wrong, I'm liable to give them the price for a fondant cake because of the time it will take to get it perfect. 

BobbiR Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 2:05pm

Thanks for all the replies. She wanted me to stack and ice it but no decorations. I personally will not do it again. I will spend way too much time trying to make it iced perfectly. its not worth the trouble. 

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