I was asked to do a cake, but the guy's budget was so low. I figured I'd take the job anyways and work with his budget. This is my first cake not doing from scratch, I bought 2 Betty Crocker box mixes, doctored them up close to my usual recipes, but when I came to pour half my batter into my 8" ... oh boy, it didn't even go 1/2 the way up. more like 1/3. A little over 1/4. And 1 box mix says 2 9 inch pans.... no way. Does anyone else encounter this problem with box mixes??? I feel like 1 box would do 2 6" or 7", but not 8...
AI don't know anything about cake mixes, but why would you take an order if it didn't meet your minimum requirements?
When I used to use boxed mixes (un-doctored), I was able to get a nice sized 8" round from one package. I'd use an 8"x3" around and put all of the batter in at once - it would rise to the top of the pan or have a slight dome over top... Did you not get much of a rise when it was baked?
I don't get how half of your recipe, assuming that would be 1 boxed doctored up, filled such a short amount in your pan?
Perhaps you misunderstood when it says 2 9" rounds? I think then it makes very short layers so you can stack. Short as in maybe just over an inch.
AI get 2 9in cakes from one box mix. They are thin, but I like them that way because I don't torte them. I adjust the temperature and cooking time too.
When I resort to box cake mixes, I have had more success with Duncan Heinz (DH) cake mixes than with Betty Crocker (BC). Having said that, DH has definitely reduced the amount of mix in a box, as when I make cupcakes, I get several less than I used to. Still, when I make the "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" (recipe on this site), and extend the mix by adding 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa and an additional 1/2 cup of liquid (I use warm milk), I am able to bake 2-8" layers. The pan does not look quite half-full of batter (I measure and it is just over 3 cups), but it rises almost to the top.
When I bake 2-9" layers, it still works, but the cake does not rise quite all the way. I am still able to torte the cake and have a total of 4 layers that stack up to over 3" tall when filled.
I make my own cake mix extender and every size pan requires different amounts of batter...I googled wilton to see what their chart called for...that gave me something to go by.
The boxes have lost 3 oz. in the past few years. It makes a huge difference.
I use this WASC recipe, but I now add 6oz. of additional cake mix. In doing so, I still get nice full cakes exactly as listed at the bottom of the recipe. It provides a good 14 cups of batter. It gets rave reviews.
Thank you all for the responses. Jedi knight, I don't know. I guess I underestimated the time and effort, thinking an "open book cake" would be fast and easy. It was, to some extent. Air brushed and all, it's decent. This was my first open book cake, and honestly compared to other people's photos, i'm really not satisfied. The airbrush is fine, the pages look okay, but it doesn't look like those sharp book cakes. I'll try and upload a pic so you can see what I mean.
I hand painted the quote in Old English font, which took forever..... that is the only good part. but Im seriously about to throw the towel in. I've worked all day on this cake and I really don't feel this guy deserves it. For the first time in my cake decorating career I feel used. Never again will i do this low a price. I honest want to smack on an extra 100-200 $ ... and smack the guy in the face.
AIt looks fine.
I've worked all day on this cake and I really don't feel this guy deserves it. For the first time in my cake decorating career I feel used. Never again will i do this low a price. I honest want to smack on an extra 100-200 $ ... and smack the guy in the face.
Beautiful cake! I'm quite impressed. I understand your frustration, but is it fair to blame the customer because you "feel used"? Is there something you haven't told us - did he threaten you or your family? Or yell that he would post terrible Yelp reviews? We learn from experience and move on.
Your right, MimiFix. Nope not fair. No, he didn't threaten or anything, just has no idea about the cake business and wanted me at first to make a tiered cake with a book on top and a figure and butterflies and a quote, and I told him not for that price. Anyways, it's passe now. being delivered today, lesson learned :)
I have to reopen this discussion. When I delivered the cake, the guy seemed less than pleased. He sort of took a look and said... "hmm..." and moved on. Later he told me that he was expecting the original cake design we planned out, which was a 4" over a 6" square, purple cake, mystical look with swirls and butterflies and stuff. Then he emailed me later saying he wanted to have an open book on top with his quote. He google open book cakes and send me a picture of a standalone book cake. Now, here is my exact email reply:
"At this point if you want an open book, I think you're better off going with a 12" cake, reason being, to have a 4" book on top of a 4" and 6" would make the book very tiny. It would be difficult to fit your quote on their in the style you want. A 12" would be a better size and I will put the quote. Let me know if you would like to do this, or if you still want a tiny book on the 4".
"Open book is fine."
Now, I took this response to mean the standalone cake. I called him to confirm and left a voicemail but got no reply. So I figured he was on board with the new design.
My question is, does my email seem vague? Is it clear that I am talking about a whole separate cake? Obviously I'm not talking about putting a 12" book on a 4" cake... I know I should have said "let's forgo the 4" over the 6" and do an entirely separate book cake, 12". But I didn't. That email seems clear to me. He later apologize and told me he gets scatter brained sometimes and needs to read emails more carefully. I said, it's okay. Communication over email is terrible but I wished he answered his phone. Where does the fault go? I'll will take the blame if it is my fault and learn the lesson. Thoughts? Does he get a free cake? A refund? Ive never had this situation happen to me before. Very odd, really.
He later apologize and told me he gets scatter brained sometimes and needs to read emails more carefully. I said, it's okay. Communication over email is terrible but I wished he answered his phone. Where does the fault go? I'll will take the blame if it is my fault and learn the lesson. Thoughts? Does he get a free cake? A refund? Ive never had this situation happen to me before. Very odd, really.
I think this is over and done with. You made a lovely cake, he admitted to sometimes being a "scatterbrain" and you learned that designing a cake needs specific communication. It's now a closed book, so to speak.
That line says it all. He realised his mistake. No refund, no free cake necessary. You provided the cake you said you would create for his budgeted price. You gave your professional opinion that what he first suggested would not work. You could have been clearer and stated "12 inch single tier cake" but everything else was clear enough.
Make a cup of coffee, re-read Phil 1:6 and cake on. You were professional enough in all your endeavours - take pride in that. And don't deny yourself full payment ...."a worker is worthy of his wages" - and that's mentioned 3 times in the Bible so it's gotta be gold!!!!
Haha MimiFix. How eloquent.
Amen Magic Mouthfuls! GBU