Cake tasting

Decorating By forbiddensweets Updated 7 Dec 2013 , 10:21pm by enga

forbiddensweets Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 2:34pm
post #1 of 39

AI am at a loss on what I should do, I was asked to make a wedding cake for Jan so I made up some test cakes, icing and fillings that the client requested they didn't like anything. So now I made but 6 new flavors and 2 new filling what if they don't like any of those. It was a big hit to my skills since everyone always says such amazing things. I want this to be my career it's why I'm going to school. What should I do if they do not like anything? Recommend another baker?

38 replies
jason_kraft Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 4:43pm
post #2 of 39

AIf they don't like any of your flavors then yes, it's best for everyone if they choose another baker. I hope you're charging for those tastings, that's a lot of different flavors.

Is this your first order? Have you done any independent taste testing?

Smckinney07 Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 7:48pm
post #3 of 39

AThat's a lot of flavors for a tasting! I let them sample two (sometimes three if I happen to have it around) I charge $25 (extra for additional flavors because people will take advantage), I limit the number of guests (2-3max unless they want a small package to go).

People generally know what flavors they like, tastings in my opinion, are generally to make sure you put out a product they'll enjoy, see your professional, compatable, etc. They don't need to taste every flavor to do that!

Also, the wedding is in January? For me that's very last min to be finding a baker. I require a deposit with the remainder due two weeks before the wedding, contract, all that fun stuff. Not everyone does tastings, that's up to you but you really need to consider setting some limits to protect yourself.

You mentioned 'making 6 new flavors', if you aren't confident with your recipes you might not be ready to start taking orders.

forbiddensweets Posted 4 Dec 2013 , 7:08pm
post #4 of 39

ASorry I didn't mean "new" as in brand new never used. These are flavors I hv used many times. I'm very confidant in my flavors I am thinking it was just them not actually knowing what they wanted. At first it was chocolate almond and lemon. Now they like chocolate and French vanilla. I have been baking a while but this in fact is my first BIG order and I am sure I'm undercharging since it's my first order like this I planned on going to some bakeries and getting estimated. No I didn't charge for the tastings. That is another thing how do you have these just on hand. I am a home baker. Guess I should have done more research.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Dec 2013 , 7:37pm
post #5 of 39

AIf the customer wants another tasting you should definitely charge them. We charged $30 for a to-go tasting with 2 cake flavors and 2 frosting flavors (deconstructed, two unfrosted 6" rounds and two small plastic containers of frosting), additional flavors were $10 each. I set the price for tastings so it would still be profitable, we treated it just like any other order.

Regarding pricing, getting a feel for what your competition charges is one piece of the puzzle (since it can help determine market value to see how much markup for profit you should charge) but you also need to look at your own costs, including ingredients, labor, and overhead (license fees, insurance, health inspection fees, etc.).

What is the price per serving you are charging this customer?

mfeagan Posted 4 Dec 2013 , 7:42pm
post #6 of 39

In regards to a tasting, if you do want to offer that, I always make cupcakes. I don't have to make an entire cake batter. I can cut it in half and make a dozen cupcakes. What I don't use out of the cupcakes, I freeze for use in a trifle or something else. I don't make an entire cake for a tasting. I have never had a complaint. 


I do offer a lot of different flavor combinations, so most brides want to taste what I make. I charge for them. If they don't want to pay for a tasting and aren't confident in my skills, it's time to look somewhere else! 

aneal Posted 4 Dec 2013 , 11:42pm
post #7 of 39

I would definitely charge for the second cake tasting.  You have to limit your cake flavors for cake tasting.  We offer three (3) flavors to sample during a cake tasting with a minimum of three (3) guests, which includes the bride.


I can recall a potential client who made an appointment for a cake tasting.  Up until the day before the tasting, I requested her flavors.  The customer never responded and she sampled my top three (3) flavors.  After the tasting, I received an email stating they wanted another tasting because they did not sample the flavors they really wanted and apologized for not getting back with me regarding their flavor choices.  I politely declined the second tasting.


You have options.  Not all money is good money.  If they are not willing to pay for the second cake tasting, I would move on.

Smckinney07 Posted 5 Dec 2013 , 3:51am
post #10 of 39

AI must have rushed through that the first time I read it. I thought you were nervous about your tasting appointment, I didn't realize they had already had an initial consult/tasting. What did they not like about the initial tasting? The flavors? The texture? Did you ask?

The truth is, you can't always please everyone. If you've been baking for a while and sold your cakes before, without issue, and you have your tried and true recipes what can you do? I wouldn't change my recipes for one customer.

You do sound a bit new to selling your products, if you aren't sure what to charge yet you might want to take a step back and get that in order. As Jason said, finding out what other bakeries charge in your area (basic prices) is a good idea just to see if you are close. You don't want to undercut other bakers in your area, especially if you want to make a living off your products. Your ingredients, packaging, dowels, boards, etc. need to be factored in to each order (among many other things) and we all know it's the time it takes to create and execute the design that makes the cost go up. Just think about that.

Charging for tastings is necessary for a home baker since you aren't likely to have extra cake laying around. That being said, it's product going out regardless and I think it's a good way to weed out people that aren't serious about being a potential client. It's a personal business choice either way, but a second tasting seems ridiculous. I say this because I want you to think about all the time, effort, and product you've made for someone who I'm assuming hasn't paid you a deposit or signed a contract.

forbiddensweets Posted 5 Dec 2013 , 5:30pm
post #12 of 39

AThank you all so much for your input I truly appreciate it. I am charging 320 for their cake. It will be 10,8,6 fondant covered with cherry blossom flowers Also they requested chocolate almond and they said they didn't like the flavor combo anf the other was lemon and they like the tartness but didn't like the texture of the cake

Looks like I might take a step back and take the time and research. I have that cake boss software just haven't started using it yet.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Dec 2013 , 6:18pm
post #14 of 39

mentally tell them to not let the door hit them on their brassy butts as they leave


i agree that backing away from them as you said --is the best thing to do--


i am/was fully vested in my products--as you should be--


if someone doesn't order from you--they don't order--moving on...


do r&d if you need to--if you love your stuff, keep going


just say to yourself 'screw them' put them in the never open the door again box



jason_kraft Posted 5 Dec 2013 , 6:28pm
post #15 of 39


Original message sent by -K8memphis

just say to yourself 'screw them' put them in the never open the door again box

That seems harsh to least give them the option of paying for another tasting. Based on what OP has written this customer's only crime is not liking two flavors, and they even gave specific feedback on what they didn't like.

Smckinney07 Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 3:11am
post #18 of 39

ADid you end up doing the second tasting?

It is hard to hear that someone doesn't like your recipes, it took me a long time to get my standard recipes together and I'm still learning about all the science that goes into baking. If you are happy with your recipes and your other customers enjoy your cakes (you can't always go off what family and friends think) then don't change them.

You do seem a bit new, which is fine, but it might be a good idea to step back and work more on the business end at least. I mean no disrespect, but it seems like you have some minor kinks to work out. It's much better to step back and do this rather then continue taking orders and losing money and time.

Personally, I think your prices are too low-you mentioned that being a concern. Charging around $4.23/slice for a three tiered, fondant covered cake with fondant decorations is pretty low (close to my base price for bc cakes). No worries, this is probably the thing most decorators struggle with when starting out. Again, if you are happy with your prices disregard.

Also, as some previously stated, the deconstructed cake is the best way to let potential customers try your cakes. This way they can mix and match the flavors and if there is something they don't care for it will be much easier to figure out what it is they don't like.

forbiddensweets Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 5:10pm
post #19 of 39

AI did do a second tasting I made cupcakes instead and made the filling separate that way they can mix and match. I did a French vanilla, chocolate without almond, red velvet and a standard yellow. I did white chocolate cream cheese and my standard cream cheese butter cream the loved the white chocolate cream cheese and the French vanilla and the chocolate. But now she is waiting on the groom to decide if he wants to try any other flavors. At this point I'm really done with them. I mean I have gotten married and it most definitely was not this complicated.

forbiddensweets Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 5:12pm
post #20 of 39

AHonestly I take no offense to anything you lovely people are saying. I lack the experience you all have and I look up to all of you for your knowledge and I really a blunt and straight forward person. So thank u!

jason_kraft Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 5:24pm
post #21 of 39

AHow much did you end up charging for the second tasting?

forbiddensweets Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 5:54pm
post #22 of 39

AJason: I charged them 50

jason_kraft Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 6:20pm
post #23 of 39


Original message sent by forbiddensweets

Jason: I charged them 50

Good call, that's exactly what I would have charged. If she is willing to pay for yet another tasting I would say go for it, since you are making a profit on each tasting now.

forbiddensweets Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 6:37pm
post #24 of 39

AJason, thank you (:

costumeczar Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 11:20pm
post #25 of 39

I would assume that if they didn't like anything so far, they're not going to like anything, and they're also going to be difficult all through the process and probably afterward. Meaning that after the wedding they'll be calling with a complaint and wanting a refund for something. This might sound "harsh" but I've been doing wedding cakes for almost 20 years and I have a pretty well-developeed psycho radar at this point. There's no point in continuing to cater to people who don't want what you're selling.

reginaherrin Posted 7 Dec 2013 , 1:41am
post #26 of 39

I absolutely agree with costumeczar, even if they find flavors now they finally like they seem like a very picky couple and you would end up having a call from them after the wedding saying something was wrong with the cake and wanting a refund.  It doesn't seem worth it to me, but if you go ahead with the order good luck.

jenmat Posted 7 Dec 2013 , 2:21am
post #27 of 39

No no no  no no no no. Did I say NO?!!!


They have EVERY right to not like your flavors. They have EVERY right to expect their wedding cake to taste exactly like they want it to taste. 


And you have EVERY right to run 


You have proven yourself to be a pushover to them. I don't care if you charged for the second tasting. To them, you are now the "newbie" cake lady who they are so excited they found because they can get cheap cake, a lot of different samples... and..erm.... probably a refund. Not every customer is like this, but they have already established a pattern. If they didn't like your flavors the first time, they should have found another baker. The fact that they came back even though the texture of the lemon cake was off to them is very suspicious to me. 


You may decide to do the cake, and that's your choice. But take some well meant advice- cash their check and hold onto the entire amount until you know they were happy. Chances are that some of it will be going back. 

jason_kraft Posted 7 Dec 2013 , 4:22am
post #28 of 39

ASo a customer tried two flavors, didn't like them, was willing to pay $50 for another tasting, and loved three of the flavors in the second tasting. I'm not sure how this translates into "run away"?

If the customer had balked at paying for the second tasting and instead just picked a flavor they thought they would like that would be a red flag, but the customer had enough faith in OP's bakery to pay more to give her another chance. Based on what OP has posted this customer seems like a keeper (unless there is more going on here).

enga Posted 7 Dec 2013 , 4:44am
post #29 of 39

Jason ITA, OP set your price and be firm. Get your deposit and make out an iron clad contract so there will be know question in their mine as well as yours. It will be a win-win situation.


They must like something about what you presented to them because they came back and paid for the tasting. I say go for it.

costumeczar Posted 7 Dec 2013 , 11:40am
post #30 of 39


Original message sent by forbiddensweets

Thank you all so much for your input I truly appreciate it. I am charging 320 for their cake. It will be 10,8,6 fondant covered with cherry blossom flowers Also they requested chocolate almond and they said they didn't like the flavor combo anf the other was lemon and they like the tartness but didn't like the texture of the cake .

Jason, this is what would set me running away...I'm assuming that this was from the second round of samples, and they're picking everything apart. I don't see where it said they loved any of the cake when I responded the first time, so I would see that as a red flag and pass on the order. It seems to me like they're taking advantage of th OP's newness and low pricing, which shows that you really want the job, so some people just push you on those orders. Not worth it in the long run.

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