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Taste testing

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am still pretty new to caking and have had a few taste testings. I am curious as to what some of you cakers do for your taste testing as far as cake goes. Do you bake a small 4", 5" or 6" cake and take the whole thing or do you make a small cake and use just a piece of it for the taste testing? Or maybe something else you do. I would love to know what other cakers do.

Currently, I have made a single layer (torted) 6" cake in the flavor of their choice. I end up giving the rest of the cake to them just in case they have other family members that would like to taste as well when they get home. I do charge $25 for my taste testings and it is not a part of the cake price if they choose for me to make their cake. I don't decorate them but are just either plain buttercream or plain fondant. Am I on the right track or not?

I would love love love any input!

Thanks so much!!
Nancy

Nancy's Cakes and Beyond
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Nancy

Nancy's Cakes and Beyond
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post #2 of 17
I do to-go tastings, and when I have extra batter, I bake 6" cake, cut into quarters and freeze the quarters wrapped tightly in celophane. I let the client choose 4 flavors and 3 fillings, and charge $25. If their order is over $100, the $25 goes towards their deposit. If it's under $100, I keep the $25. And obviously, if they don't order, I was paid for my materials and my time. I put the $25 towards the deposit, because, I THOUGHT that for the most part, bakeries offer free tastings (although after reading a few threads here on CC, I am probably wrong about that). So if they book with me, the tasting was essentially free icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 17
We only do to-go tastings now -- we charge $30 for up to 2 flavors and 2 frostings/fillings ($10 each additional cake/frosting/filling flavor). We bake a 6" round for each flavor and use a cookie cutter to make bit-size pieces, then we package the frostings/fillings in separate small deli containers. That way the customers can mix and match the cake flavors with the frosting and filling flavors.
post #4 of 17
Hello!! This is the way I do it...I bake mini cakes (4 inch) with the extra batter I have and store them in the freezer for tastings. I cut the 4 inch cake in little pieces...usually about 5 pieces or so and just pull those out whenever I have tastings. I prepare about 3-4 sample cakes and fill those little pieces with filling and smear some icing on top. I place those little samples on a white platter...it makes for a nice presentation. I also prepare a platter with various fillings and butter creams so they can mix and match those if they like. It's really super easy once you have your samples frozen and ready!! I got the white platters at home goods...their used for appetizers I think. This whole process takes me about 20 min.

Hope this helps icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Love these ideas! What do you do if they want fondant? Every cake I have made so far...no one has had it before so that is what everyone wants to try...so far anyway.

I had my fee go towards the price of the first cake I did but I wasn't using my left over batter either. I was making them to order and found it was a lot of work. So now I just charge the one fee for my time. But may reconsider if I freeze my leftover flavors!

Thank you all so much for your time!!
Nancy

Nancy's Cakes and Beyond
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Nancy

Nancy's Cakes and Beyond
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post #6 of 17
I think "take out taste testing" is tacky, like you don't want to be bothered to spend time with your potential client. Your not giving anything away free your charging them a fee for the material and your time weather they order a cake from you or not your making money either flat out charge them fot the taste test or to say it goes towards the cake if they order from you the client is paying for it.
If your customers have questions are they suppose to email you or phone text with the question so your not wasting your time having to talk to them.
Like a Mc Donalds drive through can I have your order... Get your bag to go / or deli container and get out.. If you like your to go order then give me a call and I'll give you the time of day because I'm going to make more money off of you.
Not for me to tacky.. But I guess if it works for others you do what you do. thumbsdown.gif
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I don't do taste testing to go...I use that time to consult with the customer. We usually end up changing things because we are using our time bouncing ideas around. But I am curious Candice56 as to what you do? Would you mind sharing?

Thank you!
Nancy

Nancy's Cakes and Beyond
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Nancy

Nancy's Cakes and Beyond
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post #8 of 17
I make whatever size cakes I have enough leftover batter for (even if it's just a few mini cupcakes) and freeze everything. I also always have fillings and frosting in my cooler in piping bags, so I pull out cake pieces and all the components, and let them mix and match to find their perfect flavor combo.
post #9 of 17
I do the to-go taste testing using cupcakes. Then a few fillings and icings in separate little containers. So far I haven't charged anything but think I'll start based on comments here. Great input.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candice56

I think "take out taste testing" is tacky, like you don't want to be bothered to spend time with your potential client.


It's more a necessity for us than not wanting to be bothered...we have a very busy baking schedule and we book up weeks in advance (plus we have a 3 month old daughter), so we just don't have time to sit with a customer.

Before we were this busy we used to do sit-down tastings, but to be honest it actually works better over email, since you can send ideas, pictures, and links back and forth and have time to digest them before replying. Most of the time we don't even need to talk to the customer on the phone.

It's also a value-add for the customer, since they can share the tasting with their family/friends/co-workers/etc. and get honest opinions without having the pastry chef watching you eat.
post #11 of 17
i typically do my tastings on sundays (afternoons into nights), which means i have batter, fillings, and frosting already made from the cakes that week (or at least frozen from a previous batch). over email, i let the bride choose 3 cake flavors and 3 filling flavors (i provide the BC since that's what i'll most likely be covering the cake with anyways). i make mini cupcakes of her cake flavors and i pipe the fillings into the appropriate cupcakes, top with a swirl of icing and voila! i use the china i got from my wedding and i have lime flavored water and ice cold milk icon_smile.gif they taste while i fill out the basics of the contract and small talk. the mini cupcakes are great b/c they are easy and fast to make, they're fresh, and i can do a few different samples without the bride (and whoever else) filling up to fast. i don't charge for them b/c honestly it doesn't take me much time and i already have everything made. plus, not a lot of people in my area charge for them. oh, and if people want to try fondant (which i may use for decoration on a wedding cake), then i have a little circel cutout of it on their plate and they can "top" their cupcake with it icon_smile.gif HTH!
post #12 of 17
When I have extra batter I bake a cake and cut it into large bit size pieces. The pieces are put in a zip lock baggie and then in a large freezer baggie. I pull the cake pieces out 30 minutes before the consultation. I do not let the bride pick the cake flavors/fillings - she gets what I have in my freezer.

I get little plastic cups (jello shot cups) and put a piece of cake in each one. There is a piece of cake for each person coming (up to 3 people are allowed to come). Fillings are also put in the cups but there is just one of each. They share the fillings. I also have a cup with fondant for the couple to try.

They usually get to try 6 flavors of cake and 6 or 7 fillings depending on what I have on hand that week.

I to think "to go" tastings are tacky. If the bride wants that because of schedule reasons - or whatever - fine. But I think the consultation is an oppertunity to sell yourself as well as your product. Your personality can be what makes you stand out from other bakers.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #13 of 17
Someone asked about fondant, and I didn't see that addressed.

I don't put fondant on tasting cakes. Because several people have said to me "Oh, I don't like the taste of fondant," I provide them a sample of the fondant I do use, and most of the time, they really like it.

I have been fluctuating on my tasting, but I think I'm settling on a 4" cake of each flavor for people with icing and filling. I really want them to get the sense of what they'd be eating so there wouldn't be surprises.
post #14 of 17
NancysCakesandBeyond,

I appreciate so much that you asked this question! I have been trying for the longest time to figure out how tastings were supplied and presented. Baking a whole cake for 1 tasting wasn't feasible. It seemed like you'd waste a lot of cake. This whole thread was VERY helpful. Thanks again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NancysCakesandBeyond

I am still pretty new to caking and have had a few taste testings. I am curious as to what some of you cakers do for your taste testing as far as cake goes. Do you bake a small 4", 5" or 6" cake and take the whole thing or do you make a small cake and use just a piece of it for the taste testing? Or maybe something else you do. I would love to know what other cakers do.

Currently, I have made a single layer (torted) 6" cake in the flavor of their choice. I end up giving the rest of the cake to them just in case they have other family members that would like to taste as well when they get home. I do charge $25 for my taste testings and it is not a part of the cake price if they choose for me to make their cake. I don't decorate them but are just either plain buttercream or plain fondant. Am I on the right track or not?

I would love love love any input!

Thanks so much!!
For the life of me, I cannot think of anything profound to put here~~
Reply
For the life of me, I cannot think of anything profound to put here~~
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post #15 of 17
nancyscakesandbeyond I do face to face client so I feel we are on the same page and I don't feel rushed.
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