GsMommy111 Posted 7 Oct 2013 , 3:08pm
post #1 of

AI don't like copying someone else's cake...however, what do you do when someone brings you a picture and says, " I love everything about this cake, and I want this same cake"? I try to change it a little and put my own twist on it, but sometimes people are very specific that they want the exact cake they brought me.

The other part of that is I know if you copy a cake you should give credit to the original, but I have no idea where it came from.

26 replies
jason_kraft Posted 7 Oct 2013 , 3:28pm
post #2 of

AAs long as there are no copyrighted elements on the cake it shouldn't be a problem to copy it as-is, if that's what the customer wants. It's difficult to know who to give credit to even if the customer tells you where they got the picture from, since that may not been the original source.

GsMommy111 Posted 7 Oct 2013 , 8:54pm
post #3 of

AThanks Jason! That's what I thought, I was just wondering.

maybenot Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 4:32am
post #4 of

I always tell people that I'm happy to use another cake as inspiration but that I will never promise an exact copy.  If someone isn't happy with that, then I'm just not their baker. 

 

The difference may be as small as the fact that I'm left handed so my borders go the "other" way, or that I don't have "that" particular lace mold [and neither I, nor the client, want to spend the $50 to get it], but I don't need to give someone ammunition for criticism, either.

costumeczar Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 8:21pm
post #5 of

I'd tell people that it won't look exactly the same becasue they're not made by machines, but I don't think it's a big deal to copy a design. The person you're copying probably copied most of it from somewhere else since there are very few original ideas anymore. I'm doing two "original" cakes this coming weekend that take architectural elements from the rooms they'll be in for designs on the cake, so I guess I'm copying that, know what I mean?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 8:45pm
post #6 of

AAll very valid points. Rarely is there a unique idea.

I really try to change it a bit...personalize it.

I once lost a client because I kept trying to change the drain a bit. She wanted That cake. In a very nice way, without meaning to be smart, I explained that X of y made that cake and she should really contact her. The bride did. She was very happy with her (unoriginal, exact same as her best friend) cake. I was very happy she was happy.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 9:03pm
post #7 of

fwiw--there's a real thrill not to mention a hard earned expertise to copying something as identically as possible--easy example is a cake sculpture--make it look so real that people are fooled and shocked--fun

 

and exact copies of other cakes are legitimate requests to me--it's an individual decision whether to accept the order of course--but again a special thrill say for example a 50th anniversary when the original is 'copied' --the honorees are very grateful and touched by the remembrance--same same for any other cake design someone has fallen in love with--

 

sometimes it's about the recipient more than the caker--

 

i agree that copying cakes is what we all are doing anyhow and to me it's a good thing--

 

sure sure develop our styles but there's another side to it too i think not to mention difficult clients with unreal expectations--so you gotta go with your gut on all this--but be open to it sometimes 

 

howsweet Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 9:43pm
post #8 of

I agree, I think that's a legitimate request and I'm happy to do it. Some customers don't want to spend much time on ordering a cake - they are crossing things off their list...they found a cake they like and want to be done with it. I don't see the point of changing anything on a design that's already lovely. I have a few of my cakes that people will ask for in different colors, sometimes I have to tell them the original colors I picked were best. I don't actually say that . I just send them the pics of examples when I did it in those colors requested by another color. (That sounds cryptic - I have a lady bug cake that looks good in pink, but not red)

costumeczar Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 10:02pm
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

I She was very happy with her (unoriginal, exact same as her best friend) cake. I was very happy she was happy.

Whoa, wait..she got a cake that was exactly the same as her friend's cake? That opens up a different can of worms. I would have enjoyed seeing the friend's reaction! :D

kakeladi Posted 8 Oct 2013 , 10:36pm

.........I always tell people that I'm happy to use another cake as inspiration but that I will never promise an exact copy........

 

This is what I usually said.  Very few people can copy something *exactly* the same.

GsMommy111 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 3:43pm

AThank you to everyone for your input! I believe this lady was just crossing things off her list too and she didn't really care. I looked at the design when she sent it to me, then didn't look at it again until after the cake was finished. That made it so I couldn't copy it. It was close, but not exact. And I really like the finished product!

Here is how it turned out! [IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3120186/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

-K8memphis Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 4:38pm

nice work--looks great!

 

you had a happy client i'm sure

 

i the elephant

Cakepro Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 5:03pm

Shoot, since Pinterest is everyone's go-to for inspiration and ideas for everything under the sun, it's rare when a client walks into my bakery without a photo of a cake they want copied.

ApplegumPam Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 7:46pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cakepro 
 

Shoot, since Pinterest is everyone's go-to for inspiration and ideas for everything under the sun, it's rare when a client walks into my bakery without a photo of a cake they want copied.


I had that problem here too but turned it into a positive. 

They normally come armed with more than one photo - .   More often than not ONE will be a high end one (think Ron Ben Israel)  - I act all excited and gush and say... OMG I have been so waiting for somebody to come to me that wants a cake like this replicated, you have really expensive taste -   they near fall off their chair when I tell them they could be looking at $4,000 for their chosen design.   Soooooo - then I tell them that the reason WHY we are called custom cake artists is because we CAN design a cake just for them..... and before the internet AND Pinterest ....THAT is all we did

They leave with a design that is THEIRS - and more than a little excited about that!

Their first 'custom' experience........and they tell their friends!

MBalaska Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 9:47pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 
 

They normally come armed with more than one photo - .   More often than not ONE will be a high end one (think Ron Ben Israel)  - I act all excited and gush and say... OMG I have been so waiting for somebody to come to me that wants a cake like this replicated, you have really expensive taste -   they near fall off their chair when I tell them they could be looking at $4,000 for their chosen design

That is exactly what happened to me with my friends daughters wedding.  She had two high end cake photos; one a 4 tier fondant and one a 6 tier fondant.

 

Then said she didn't want fondant.....just all buttercream, and her budget was $300 !!!!

 

My jaw dropped.  I said you're looking at least $2,000 cakes from fancy pants Big City Bakeries.

NO WAY can I make those.  Not even close!  not with Buttercream Icing & not with my skills.

MBalaska Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 9:50pm

GsMommy111:  Your creation is delightful BTW, really cute!:-)

GsMommy111 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:57pm

A

Original message sent by Cakepro

Shoot, since Pinterest is everyone's go-to for inspiration and ideas for everything under the sun, it's rare when a client walks into my bakery without a photo of a cake they want copied.

Very true!

GsMommy111 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:58pm

AThank you so much!

costumeczar Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 11:07pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 

That is exactly what happened to me with my friends daughters wedding.  She had two high end cake photos; one a 4 tier fondant and one a 6 tier fondant.

 

Then said she didn't want fondant.....just all buttercream, and her budget was $300 !!!!

 

My jaw dropped.  I said you're looking at least $2,000 cakes from fancy pants Big City Bakeries.

NO WAY can I make those.  Not even close!  not with Buttercream Icing & not with my skills.

I'm awarding you the first "No BS Baker" award for being honest and not promising someone something that you knew was beyond your ability. That seems to be a rare thing these days

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:18am

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

I'm awarding you the first "No BS Baker" award for being honest and not promising someone something that you knew was beyond your ability. That seems to be a rare thing these days

costumeczar:  I accept your award.

The cake I made for her is my current avatar.

( it's my first SMBC wedding cake & I'm embarrassed to see that the top is lopsy. As an expert your opinion would be helpful, could you pm me with some cold hard critique / feedback for improvement?)   thanks.

GsMommy111 Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:31am

A

Original message sent by MBalaska

[B]costumeczar: [/B] [COLOR=4B0082]I accept your award.[/COLOR] The cake I made for her is my current avatar. ( it's my first SMBC wedding cake & I'm embarrassed to see that the top is lopsy. As an expert your opinion would be helpful, could you pm me with some cold hard critique / feedback for improvement?)   thanks.

Are you kidding?! I think that looks great!!

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 4:00am

Thanks GsMommy111:  :)   Not being able to duplicate/copy high end professional cakes; I used them for inspiration & found the exact same fondant cutters that were used for snowflakes.

 

It's a start.......however it will never be more than a rookie cake If I don't learn to do better.  

  • The top tier should have been leveler.
  • Silver 'drums' would have looked better than skinny boards.
  • Bottom tier plastic 'Wilton' separator plate showing looks tacky.
  • more small sized snowflakes would have looked more balanced.
  • sparkles or pearl dust on the snowflakes would have been attractive.

 

Those are the things that I 'observed' and realized only After looking at the finished photos. Those were just the things that my rookie mind considered.  What else would a professional expert teach me? 

 

( I know it passed the taste test. they had a half sheet cake as well as the 10" & 12" layer cakes for only 50 people.  They devoured it.)

GsMommy111 Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:12pm

AOne thing I have learned is I am always my biggest critic! Also, people who aren't cake designers see the cakes differently. They don't see all the little flaws that you see. For example, when I got married 5 1/2 years ago, before starting on my cake adventures, I had the most beautiful wedding cake and the coolest grooms cake! My cake was 5 tiers and the grooms cake was a 3-D tractor that was a replica of one my husband had. We were SO impressed with both! Everyone was! I looked at pics the other day and realized my wedding cake was leaning pretty badly, which I never noticed and the tractor was a lot less impressive as the fondant was sagging and could have been sharper. It just made me realize that "non cake people" are so impressed because you did something they can't imagine doing themselves!

So I have tried to make sure I am not too critical of myself! You should do the same!

costumeczar Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 5:22pm

I don't see anything wrong with the cake in your avatar, I think you're beating yourself up too much! I wouldn't do thicker boards on that stand, the top tier looks fine, and you're inventing problems that aren't there!

AZCouture Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 7:45pm

A

Original message sent by MBalaska

[B]Thanks GsMommy111: [/B] :)    Not being able to duplicate/copy high end professional cakes; I used them for [I]inspiration[/I] & found the exact same fondant cutters that were used for snowflakes.

It's a start.......however it will never be more than a rookie cake If I don't learn [I]to do better.  [/I] [LIST] [*] The top tier should have been leveler. [*] Silver 'drums' would have looked better than skinny boards. [*] Bottom tier plastic 'Wilton' separator plate showing looks tacky. [*] more small sized snowflakes would have looked more balanced. [*] sparkles or pearl dust on the snowflakes would have been attractive. [/LIST]

Those are the things that I 'observed' and realized only[B][COLOR=008080] After[/COLOR][/B] looking at the finished photos. Those were just the things that my rookie mind considered.  What else would a professional expert teach me? 

( I know it passed the taste test. they had a half sheet cake as well as the 10" & 12" layer cakes for only 50 people.  They devoured it.)

I think the things you've pointed out are vaild, but overall it's a nice looking cake. I wouldn't pick at it. Your shell piping is better than I could do. I pulled some tips out the other day to mess around with piping, and I quickly learned I don't know jack about basic borders. Glad I don't have to do them on any of my designs, but it's probably something I should know.

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 9:10pm

Feedback on this cake by you - The Professional Decorators - is truly appreciated. Thank you.

MBalaska Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 12:54am

Quote:

Originally Posted by GsMommy111 

One thing I have learned is I am always my biggest critic! Also, people who aren't cake designers see the cakes differently. They don't see all the little flaws that you see. For example, when I got married 5 1/2 years ago, before starting on my cake adventures, I had the most beautiful wedding cake and the coolest grooms cake! My cake was 5 tiers and the grooms cake was a 3-D tractor that was a replica of one my husband had. We were SO impressed with both! Everyone was! I looked at pics the other day and realized my wedding cake was leaning pretty badly, which I never noticed and the tractor was a lot less impressive as the fondant was sagging and could have been sharper. It just made me realize that "non cake people" are so impressed because you did something they can't imagine doing themselves!

So I have tried to make sure I am not too critical of myself! You should do the same!

It takes great skill to copy a cake.  Especially the thousand$$$ ones like are posted here on CC. by high end professionals.

 

I have pondered the feedback you folks gave me.  It cheered me up and made me realize that I made for my friend exactly what she wanted -- SMBC with snowflakes & silver accent (the boards).

 

also for us non-commercial home bakers I accepted the fact that in my locality there are 3 big grocery stores and 1 small bakery business.  They all make cakes with icing from buckets & decorate with either paper, plastic, or rice paper printed sheets on them with simple piped roses, swags, & borders only.

 

So even a little bit of specially made decorations, whether BC, fondant, gumpaste, silk ribbon, or piping that I can do,  is more than the majority of people are getting from the local business in my town. I had kind of lost my perspective on that last cake.

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