Should I Tell My Client The Flavors She's Chosen Don't Go Well?

Business By ashleybakes Updated 19 Aug 2013 , 2:23pm by ashleybakes

ashleybakes Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:17pm
post #1 of 19

I am making a first birthday cake for my customer's son and we have gotten to the part that involves choosing flavors. I don't know if it's just me but the combination she has chosen sounds less than appealing and I am afraid to send out a cake that doesn't taste good because I don't want her guests to eat it and give me a bad review. She has chosen almond cake filled with cookies and cream frosting and covered in chocolate butter cream to hold the fondant. 

To me this flavor combo sounds disgusting (all delicious individually of course). Would you let your customer know your thoughts or would you just go on and make it and hope it turns out better than you expect? 

18 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:33pm
post #2 of 19

I don't think that combination sounds disgusting. A little different to combine the almond with the oreo flavor, but not awful. I would just do what she wants. 

shanter Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:36pm
post #3 of 19

I agree with LoveMeSomeCake. It sounds different but still tasty.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:37pm
post #4 of 19

AIf you don't think it will go well together you can recommend a more complementary combination, but if she insists on the flavors she's chosen you should go ahead and use her flavors.

scwright Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:39pm
post #5 of 19

Yes I would give my personal opinion as a "baker" if I feel a combination does not go well but ultimately it's the clients' decision what flavor they choose to go with so if they decide to go with it despite my suggestion then so be it!  It's their cake, just make sure your cake/frosting taste good individually.  Did you do a tasting with her?   Maybe if you do a small tasting with her flavor combo she'll see whether she should stick with it or change it. 

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:49pm
post #6 of 19

We had a customer once that wanted red velvet cake with peanut butter filling. We were thinking "Hmmm, interesting!" but we knew it wouldn't be awful, just different, so we did it because it's what they wanted! 

lorieleann Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:22pm
post #7 of 19

is your almond cake a very strong almond?  Has she tasted all these flavors together?  I don't think that it is a horrible combination (say like mint chocolate and carrot cake), but it is different.  I would probably still back off my almond on the almond cake so that it is just a hint of flavor, but mostly vanilla.  And that would be a CMA move should other potential customers be at the party and be confused by the combo.  


When i do tastings, i will often explain what flavors go best with what fillings and try to guide them from there. 

morganchampagne Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:26pm
post #8 of 19

AAs the professional, I think that you give your your professional opinion. You know your flavors, if you know that's not going to go will i would say "I've spent quite a bit of time developing my flavors, and I'm concerned that the ones you have chosen will not marry well"

Perhaps there's one or two she really wants and you can give her those? In with you though, OP. I don't like the idea of that combination

MBalaska Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:51pm
post #9 of 19

The time to ”let your customer know your thoughts” about the surprising flavor combination is long before you make it.

Q to her: “Have you eaten a cake with this combination of flavors before? It’s an unusual flavor request.”


It’s kinda the same question as the ‘ugly cake’ question.  Discuss discuss discuss, get the contract signed, get paid $$, make the ugly weird tasting thing.

Sweet_Cakes Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:52pm
post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615 

We had a customer once that wanted red velvet cake with peanut butter filling. We were thinking "Hmmm, interesting!" but we knew it wouldn't be awful, just different, so we did it because it's what they wanted! 

It sounds interesting...but the more I think about velvet is essestially red colored chocolate...and chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite combos!

matthewkyrankelly Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 6:25pm
post #11 of 19

Break it down:


Almond cake - delicious


Cookies and cream - chocolate cookies in vanilla frosting - delicious


Chocolate buttercream - delicious


You essentially have chocolate flavors marrying with almond in a vanilla background.  It really sounds delicious.  I love chocolate almond.  This is just "deconstructed".

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 6:33pm
post #12 of 19

ALol...listen to you all. One of the things I do at my tastings is line up the little cake squares and fillings separately, and the couples pick and choose what they want to put together. Often times it's not what I would think would go together, but obviously it works. Red velvet and peanut butter is probably awesome. Now I'm going by the way I bake, and make things, so I'm imagining smbc peanut butter, not any crusting shortening type of icing. Maybe that's not good. Red velvet and caramel is chosen often. Toasted coconut, caramel and banana cake is a popular one. And so on and so forth. It's all sweet cake and frostings and fillings, probably not many combinations out there that are truly hideous.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 8:17pm
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by Sweet_Cakes 

It sounds interesting...but the more I think about velvet is essestially red colored chocolate...and chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite combos!

It actually was pretty good, though definitely a unique combination! Our RV is traditional southern RV, so it's not a very strong chocolate flavor, more of a buttermilk cake with a hint of chocolate, and has it's own particular "wang" (that's my word for it anyway!) from the vinegar and buttermilk in it. So it did have an element of the chocolate/peanut butter combo, but it didn't taste like a Reeses' cup. 

kaylawaylalayla Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 11:57pm
post #14 of 19

AWhy don't you just make up a littke batch or pull some out of the freezer and try it? It could be great.

jenmat Posted 15 Aug 2013 , 12:28am
post #15 of 19

I do an almond cake and pair oreos or chocolate chips with it all the time. It will be great. 


I have a romanian lady who orders from me- 

the last time it was an almond cake with blueberries, raspberries and coconut with strawberries and cream filling and cream cheese icing. 

ugh, tooo many flavors together!! But she loved it. 

cakefat Posted 15 Aug 2013 , 4:15am
post #16 of 19

I think those flavors will go's not like carrot and mint- as someone mentioned. I mean- none of what she's chosen actually 'clash' in taste.


Also- so many people from different backgrounds/cultures/whatever have such different tastes.


Once at my work, we ordered some pizzas and one of my colleagues said to order it with shrimp, eel and fish- just cheese and seafood- nothing else. I said that sounds disgusting and nobody will eat it...he said to go ahead and to trust him. So I did...and everyone loved it! And it was exactly what they wanted too...they didn't like pepperoni or the other ways I would have ordered it for them. So different tastes for different folks.

MBalaska Posted 15 Aug 2013 , 6:37am
post #17 of 19

The flavor sounds like Oreo cookie and  almond joy.  I'm good with that.

as you wish Posted 15 Aug 2013 , 12:00pm
post #18 of 19

AIt has happened to me a few times that someone ordered a combo that I thought was strange. My response to them was that it was an unusual combination of flavours. "That is an interesting pairing of flavours; I've never had anyone order those together before!" This opened the topic for discussion. Sometimes it is what the 7yo birthday boy wanted, sometimes it is a combo that they loved as a child, sometimes they just want to try something different! I've never had a complaint about these curious combinations, though. I kind of think that it is hard to make anything taste too bad when you are working with yummy cakes and delicious filling!

ashleybakes Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:23pm
post #19 of 19

Thank you everyone,

I suppose you're right in saying it probably doesn't taste awful, just a different combination. My client changed her mind on the chocolate butter cream and instead decided she wanted white chocolate ganache which she has since changed to dark chocolate ganache. I'm getting used to the idea, assuming the dark chocolate matches the cookies in the cookies and cream and I do think I will tone down the almond as one of you had suggested. 

I also like the idea of having cake squares and frostings separate for tastings. I have never heard of that but it definitely opens up the possibilities. 

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