kblickster Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 1:33am
post #1 of

This happened after the cake was set up at the bachelorette party this evening.  The cake was picked up at 4:00 today and looked fine.

 

Got a call about 6:30 that this had happened.  She sent the pic and said she didn't know what happened.

I haven't cashed her check yet.  Should I just give it back?  Goodness I feel terrible.  I'm not sure I'm cut out for this.  I have 3 wedding cakes to do in the next month and now I'm freaking out.

 

All butter buttercream exterior with fondant accents.  The cake was chilled until about 3:00 when it was boxed for pickup.  Boxed in a corrugated 12x12 box which was the same size as the cake board.  There was no wiggle room in the box.

 

download?mid=2_0_0_1_1089904_AHLGimIAALO

33 replies
Nadiaa Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 1:34am
post #2 of

I can't see a pic?

Norasmom Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 1:43am
post #3 of

The picture is not showing up.  I had a cake fall apart after I dropped it off the other day.  It happens.  Once you find out why it won't happen again!

kblickster Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 1:47am
post #4 of

I can see the picture on mine but I'll upload it again.  Maybe just copy and paste doesn't work.

 

kakeladi Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:03am
post #5 of

From the pic it is *very* evident the cake was dropped or slammed down on the table.

DeCakeLady Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:12am
post #6 of

Well the cake was pretty...but for it to have happened two hours after you delivered it that may be an issue not controlled by you...:smile:

kblickster Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:14am
post #7 of

Do you really think so?  I have only been doing this for about a year.  I've never had one with that much damage.

Nadiaa Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:15am
post #8 of

Do you state in your contract that what happens to the cake after pick up is not your responsibility? Did she sign something to say the cake was perfect on pick up? 

 

I do agree with kakeladi though. It looks like it has been dropped, or sat down very hard on the table, causing the fondant to break and come away. It's a lovely cake, but my guess would be that it's not your fault. 

sixinarow Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:15am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblickster 
 

This happened after the cake was set up at the bachelorette party this evening.  The cake was picked up at 4:00 today and looked fine.

 

Got a call about 6:30 that this had happened.  She sent the pic and said she didn't know what happened.

I haven't cashed her check yet.  Should I just give it back?  Goodness I feel terrible.  I'm not sure I'm cut out for this.  I have 3 wedding cakes to do in the next month and now I'm freaking out.

 

All butter buttercream exterior with fondant accents.  The cake was chilled until about 3:00 when it was boxed for pickup.  Boxed in a corrugated 12x12 box which was the same size as the cake board.  There was no wiggle room in the box.

 

download?mid=2_0_0_1_1089904_AHLGimIAALO

 

What was the weather like? I'm not sure I agree with the cake being dropped. The cake itself looks good, it looks like the buttercream may have slid off the side. Was it covered entirely in buttercream? It looks like it was crumb coated in bc and covered entirely in fondant. 

BrandisBaked Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:18am

AIt's buttercream, not fondant (only the accents are fondant). Looks like it melted off to me... Could be heat, or could be bad buttercream.

Sassyzan Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:26am

AI think it looks like a slide as well, not a crash. Maybe some condensation between the crumb coat and final coat? Was there a big temp difference? Maybe that side of the cake was next to a stove or air conditioner or something that would have made a big temp difference?

Great colors. Too bad. :(

kblickster Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:43am

It is humid here today.  I kept it in the cooler until about an hour before she picked it up.  It is buttercream with very thinly rolled fondant stripes on the side.  I made them as thin as I could to keep the weight down.  The cake is chocolate and the filling is vanilla buttercream with mini chocolate chips.  (White)  Same buttercream on the outside.  (Pink)

 

BrandisBaked, What do you mean when you say "bad buttercream"? 

 

I do have a clause that I am not responsible for the cake after it leaves and I've never had anyone call me about a cake before.  Most of my disasters are while I'm making the cake, not after delivery or pickup.

 

Even though I have that clause, I feel awful, double bad since I am also doing this bride's wedding cake.  What you want to bet that she is questioning my ability to deliver a quality cake?  Who could blame her?

BrandisBaked Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:50am

AI meant it was a problem with the buttercream itself: Wrong measurements, using a different kind of butter (this can change the consistency sometimes, not all butters are created equal), etc.

Nadiaa Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 3:30am

Hmm, okay. Since you're also doing her wedding cake, I'd refund her. Even if you think it's not your fault, do it anyway, or you may lose her business. In the meantime, I'd be doing another cake exactly the same and watching it to see if it moves. Will the bride's wedding be in similar kind of weather? I think, if it is a slide like others (more knowledgeable than me!) have suggested, perhaps use ganache as opposed to BC under the fondant for the wedding cake if the bride's agreeable? Maybe that would make a difference. 

kikiandkyle Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 3:52am

ASo it was fine when it was set out on the table, and then she looked at it a little later and this had happened? Was it set out near a window or something? Did she have it put near some other heat source? It seems weird that it just melted on one side like that.

Cakechick123 Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 9:31am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

So it was fine when it was set out on the table, and then she looked at it a little later and this had happened? Was it set out near a window or something? Did she have it put near some other heat source? It seems weird that it just melted on one side like that.

 

That was my 1st thought as well. Why only on the one side? It look to me like it melted from being exposed to some heat source, maybe a sunny window?

kblickster Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 10:42am

Thanks for all your replies.  I decided to refund her.  I really don't know what happened.  It's a recipe that I've used before without issue.  The cake and the icing.  I've even done that exact cake before.  It's a replica of a cake on Pinterest I think that she sent me a picture of.  The only change I made to it was on the back side of the cake where I added something special for the bride.

 

It was humid here yesterday.  Around 78 degrees which is hot if the cake was sitting out in the sun, but since this picture was emailed to me 2.5 hours after she picked it up and it appears she has it indoors, I just don't know.  I had it at room temp for 1 hour.

 

Maybe just a combo of issues.

Sassyzan Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 2:44pm

AI think it's wise to refund, ESP since you're doing the wedding. I'd ask her more questions about it and just let her know that you're trying to get more info to prevent this ever happening again. (As opposed to trying to make it not your fault.)

howsweet Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 6:09pm

It looks to me like the cake went back in the frig at some point. Some fool may have put it in the microwave to warm it up. You'll never know. I'd make sure when you do the wedding cake that you are in control of the cake.

maybenot Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 9:25pm

My guess is that the side where the buttercream "slipped" was exposed to heat [maybe in the car] or direct, warm light at the venue.

 

I'd say that condensation formed between the cake and the BC in that specific section--that's what causes me to think that it was uneven warming.

 

I really doubt that it was your fault, per se, but better to refund on this little one than on the big one.

BatterUpCake Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 9:37pm

Just curious what you meant by your "latest" disaster? And "I've never had one with THAT MUCH damage"? You have been doing this for a year. How many incidents have you had? And you are doing 3 wedding cakes next month? Not trying to be a big meanie but I hope your next disaster isn't a wedding cake....

MBalaska Posted 7 Sep 2013 , 10:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 
 Just curious what you meant by your "latest" disaster? And "I've never had one with THAT MUCH damage"? ...........

Ditto BatterUpCake:...  thinking the same thing.

kblickster Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 7:46pm

Oh my, I didn't mean to imply that I have had cakes do this before.  I've just posted a few things on this board before when I was having issues.  Fondant ruffles, etc.

 

I have never had this happen, and I still don't know what happened.  May have been a combo of things.

 

Someone mentioned "bad buttercream".  I did notice a difference in the texture (not terribly off) of my buttercream when I made it and I had used a different brand of butter.  I didn't think much of it at the time.  I made another cake the following weekend and when I made my buttercream it just didn't feel right either, so I made another batch with my normal brand of butter and it was what I consider normal.

 

I never really thought about butter making that much difference.

 

I did hear back from the mother of the bride after letting them know how sorry I was and offering to not charge them.  I asked her for specifics on how the icing tasted, texture, how far the cake was transported, temp of the car, anyone slam on brakes or anything else she could recall.  I explained that I certainly didn't want this to happen again and that I needed to ask questions to learn.

 

She said the cake was wonderful and she described the icing as fluffy/airy.  She also said the cake traveled about 30 mins and was left in the car about 10 mins before bringing it inside because the table was not ready for it.  (Not in the sun.)

 

The cake was taken out of the cooler about an hour before she picked it up, so another hour would have meant the cake should have been room temp.

 

Still a mystery.

vgcea Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 8:17pm

AWell leaving the cake in the car for 10 minutes on a 78 degree day after a 30 minute drive isn't the smartest of moves. That was probably the side that faced the car window. I wonder what folks think cakes are made of. Steel?

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 8:26pm

A

Original message sent by kblickster

left in the car about 10 mins before bringing it inside because the table was not ready for it.  (Not in the sun.)

Still a mystery.

Mystery solved. A vehicle can heat up to pretty high temps in a matter of minutes, depending on the outside temp or how much sun is shining on the car. Since you already told your customer that you would issue a refund, you will have to do that, but explain to them that cakes cannot be kept in a car, even for 10 minutes, and that is the reason it melted.

tracyaem Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 8:27pm

I had a similar situation a few weeks ago. Buttercream cake that I took out about 1/2 hour before delivery and boxed up. Got there (10 minute drive) and a small portion of the side looked exactly like yours does - it clearly melted right off. I was mortified. It was 90+ degrees that day. In hindsight, I should have either left it in the fridge the whole time or maybe even froze it for 1/2 hour or so right before delivery.

 

Regardless, I had delivered so it was my fault. I fixed the best I could and gave a full refund. The customer actually refused the refund at the venue and said it was fine, but she had paid via Paypal so I went home and issued the refund, I didn't feel right keeping her money.

 

In your case, it was delivered fine but probably should have been refrigerated? Did you give any instructions or have any contract saying "once delivered, customer's liability, yadda yadda..."? I think it's your call, but if you're doing their wedding I would probably refund.

BatterUpCake Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 8:37pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by vgcea 

Well leaving the cake in the car for 10 minutes on a 78 degree day after a 30 minute drive isn't the smartest of moves. That was probably the side that faced the car window. I wonder what folks think cakes are made of. Steel?

 

My genius boss ordered a cupcake bouquet off of me for Mother's Day. Left it in the car and couldn't believe that would cause the cupcakes to start drooping.

Godot Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 8:44pm

APeople are inherently stupid.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 'a locked car sitting in the summer sun quickly turns into an oven,' and 'temperatures can climb from 78 degrees to 100 degrees in just three minutes, to 125 degrees in 6-8 minutes

remnant3333 Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 8:47pm

I agree that leaving a cake in a car even for 10 minutes is a no no!!! It is clearly not your fault now that we have the real story of what they did.

mustangsallii Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 4:50pm

AI have a pre-typed "Care Instruction" paper that I give to people who pick up cakes and a separate one for deliveries. Basic info...dos, don'ts, cutting instructions, etc. Once a cake leaves my place I am not responsible for what happens to it which is why I always recommend delivery. In this particular case I think refunding was the way to go since you are doing her wedding cake (I'm assuming you already have the wedding cake deposit in hand). However, if she had not placed a wedding cake order and was not a loyal repeat customer I would not offer a refund. Leaving the cake inside a car for 10 mins sounds like it was the issue.

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