Strange, Busy Cake Themes

Business By Kerryfaerie Updated 17 Jan 2015 , 9:39pm by CindiM

Kerryfaerie Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 3:13am
post #1 of 14

AI only have six months of cake business experience under my belt, but sometimes I get the strangest orders and I wonder if that is normal. Should I take a whacko order or try to talk the customer into a more cohesive theme?

Example; My current request is the islands of Barbados, with finches and an owl, an island with fondant figures of the customer's family members doing beach things, an island with wonder woman and superman sunning themselves, and an island with the customer's four dogs and two cats. Say what?? And she wants it in 5 days...I think this cake will look like a train wreck. Not to mention I cant find any DC action figures in my town and there isnt time to order online. Do you all fill any weird request you get?

13 replies
kakeladi Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 5:23am
post #2 of 14

You can *and SHOULD!* get out of doing Superman and catwoman as they are illegal to reproduce which I get the idea you already know since you mention using action figures.

I retired so don't make cakes anymore but don't remember getting such busy requests.  What I thought was ugly YEAH :) but not with so much.  I sure hope you are charging lots and lots for this with all the extra work requested.

Jedi Knight Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 6:00am
post #3 of 14

AThe ugliest cakes I've ever done are always the ones customers have 'designed' themselves!

cakebaby2 Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 2:17pm
post #4 of 14

I dont sell cakes, but I think I'd take a bit extra from people with bad taste, a "tacky tax".

Explain kindly that you have an image and reputation to maintain and that you would like them to come and go via your back door.

I blame those horrible Duff cakes (was ever a man so aptly named?) for encouraging tasteless people with ugly cakes.

Best of luck.

melmar02 Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 2:33pm
post #5 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakebaby2 
 

I dont sell cakes, but I think I'd take a bit extra from people with bad taste, a "tacky tax".

Explain kindly that you have an image and reputation to maintain and that you would like them to come and go via your back door.

 

 

I laughed out loud at this!

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 2:53pm
post #6 of 14

Aidk i see it as a challenge -- for example it's a 'this is your life' type cake (an old tv show premise) and i do a topsy turvy and put all that stuff on there in one way or another --

for superman just do a red caped person for catwoman do a cat with a cape or just a random voluptuous woman with a cape and a tail/ears/whiskers doesn't have to be exact -- you have to clear the interpretation with the client -- but those are fun cakes -- don't miss out on the money don't miss out on the fun

ellavanilla Posted 15 Jan 2015 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kerryfaerie 

I only have six months of cake business experience under my belt, but sometimes I get the strangest orders and I wonder if that is normal. Should I take a whacko order or try to talk the customer into a more cohesive theme?

Example; My current request is the islands of Barbados, with finches and an owl, an island with fondant figures of the customer's family members doing beach things, an island with wonder woman and superman sunning themselves, and an island with the customer's four dogs and two cats. Say what?? And she wants it in 5 days...I think this cake will look like a train wreck. Not to mention I cant find any DC action figures in my town and there isnt time to order online.
Do you all fill any weird request you get?

 

You should have a discussion with your customers about what they need and what they want and then use your professional expertise to guide them. If you think the cake will be too cluttered then point it out. "you said you want X to be the theme of this cake, but there are so many characters that i think the theme will be lost."

 

If they want something you cannot or will not do, say that. Don't be afraid to tell a customer that you won't use disco dust, that black buttercream will stain the teeth, that what ever it is you won't do it. Then tell them what you can and will do to meet their wants and needs. 

 

Most customers are looking for guidance and appreciate a professional opinion. 

If a cake seems unmanageable then you have to decide if you're willing to make the accommodations to manage it.

 

Be tactful, but be honest.

 

If you can't do the work in 5 days, reject the order.

 

Jen 

Kerryfaerie Posted 16 Jan 2015 , 5:21am
post #8 of 14

ATHANK YOU JEN! I really needed to hear that. :)

LNW Posted 16 Jan 2015 , 8:10pm
post #9 of 14

Honestly I actually enjoy looking at cakes like that :-P  It highlights your talents in being able to make all kinds of crazy stuff AND the cakes are so funny lol.  I've seen a lot of them pop up in the pictures on the main page and I always giggle :lol:  I don't think they make you look bad as a cake artist, if anything it shows the diversity of your skills.  And now you have a crazy cake for your portfolio and a funny story to go behind it. 

-K8memphis Posted 16 Jan 2015 , 9:14pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerryfaerie 

Example; My current request is the islands of Barbados, with finches and an owl, an island with fondant figures of the customer's family members doing beach things, an island with wonder woman and superman sunning themselves, and an island with the customer's four dogs and two cats. Say what?? And she wants it in 5 days...I think this cake will look like a train wreck. Not to mention I cant find any DC action figures in my town and there isnt time to order online.
Do you all fill any weird request you get?

 

i know you don't want to do this and that's fine -- all i'm saying is it's four islands, some birds, dogs, cats and people on the beach -- it is actually a very cohesive design -- when it gets crazy is when an infant's baptism cake needs to reflect the father's passion for hunting since it's his birthday too and the grandmother's 35th anniversary as the cafeteria worker at the local grade school -- now those are really challenging --

 

bronwen webber did a large oil derrick that spewed chocolate and she charged tens of thousands of dollars -- 'out of the box' cakes are big money -- but maybe later in your career -- just try & stay open to them -- 

cakebaby2 Posted 17 Jan 2015 , 10:21am
post #11 of 14

a little wander down memory lane there, eh K8?

Trying to imagine a white baptism cake dripping blood from a moose wearing a hair net holding a spatula down the sides, now THAT is a cake!

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jan 2015 , 1:30pm
post #12 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakebaby2 
 

a little wander down memory lane there, eh K8?

Trying to imagine a white baptism cake dripping blood from a moose wearing a hair net holding a spatula down the sides, now THAT is a cake!

 

 

cakebaby2 for the win! you made me laugh so hard this morning :lol: i had to read this to my husband --

 

you're good at this -- i think i'll refer my 'client' to you -- too funny, so silly, loved it -- great way to start the day

remnant3333 Posted 17 Jan 2015 , 5:17pm
post #13 of 14


Be sure and post a picture of your cake!!! I am sure you will do just fine!!!

CindiM Posted 17 Jan 2015 , 9:39pm
post #14 of 14

I normally ask the client, what is your budget for this type of design?  Then you can decide if you want to make one big island or how ever many they want to pay for.  I find this helps them focus a little more on what really is being ordered. 

 

Then give them a few options.  And do not be afraid to say, I don't see that working,  but we could do this.  My last island cake was for 2 twin brothers, turning 40?  I sculpted the heads, feet, and hands, and then put them on the cake under some graham cracker crust as if they were buried in the sand, with palm trees and the ocean at their feet.  It was easy and nice on a 16" round to serve 100 people.  I even put a couple of shark fins in the water.  They loved it.  Yes, and skip the copyrighted superman, etc.

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