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I know I should not be annoyed, but sadly I am - Page 2

post #16 of 23
After making cakes for 13 years, the one thing I've learned is you can't let one customer get you down! Especially when it's something as absurd as them asking you to change your recipe at the last minute. They ordered "YOUR" cookies, had you changed to less sugar, they wouldn't be "your" cookies anymore. Sometimes customers are just idiots! Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. I had a customer get mad at me this week because she picked out an $85 cake and she wanted it for $50, not to mention it was a fondant cake with fondant decorations, but she wanted it all in buttercream because she didn't like fondant (never had mine) I said no, that I couldn't do that specific cake in bc, and that if she wanted a cake that size with bc the cheapest I would go was $70. She got mad, but oh well. I have plenty of good customers willing to pay my price and are happy with what I give them. Those are the customers that keep me going in this business! Call up one of your faithful customers who love you cookies, and have them tell you why they love them so much, then you will see why it's worth forgetting about someone who wants to criticize your work and try to change it! Chin UP! icon_wink.gif
post #17 of 23
Baking is a science and cooking is an art form stupid woman! I can't be doing with people like that
post #18 of 23
It's frustrating but honestly, some people really do not know! I have a friend who is a WONDERFUL cook, but a she cooks, she changes the "recipe" however she deems fit (I do the same) - want it spicier? Add more hot sauce. Want it less garlic-y? Use less garlic. Get my drift?

She tried her hand at baking bread and was baffled when her modifications didn't work. I told her, "don't be frustrated. Baking is different - you HAVE to follow the recipe. EXACTLY" [or know the science behind changing it].

Anyway, my point is she may not have understood BUT you did nothing wrong. Changing one thing in baking changes everything - it's not like cooking in that regard.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
yes baking is definitely different, and no offense to cooks, way harder. when you're cooking, you can modify your food as you go along, but when you're baking, specially cakes, its not like you can take a chunk off of it, taste it, and put it back in the oven and re-bake the same cake it when it doesn't taste right, you've got to redo the entire thing. plus, people think it's easier because "all you have to do is measure ingredients and put it in the oven". um noooo.. that's not just it. there are humidity factors, altitude, oven calibration, oven hot spots, you can over mix the batter, tons of things can go wrong! you don't "just measure and bake"

i can't blame other people for not knowing things, but sometimes they're just too inconsiderate. we're not magicians.

I don't know if you've all already read this blog post, you probably have. it's soooo true!

January 3, 2012 Category: Cakemechanic Blog 120 Comments


By the end of this post someone will have just finished working 12 hours and 20 minutes working on a cake for a birthday, baby shower or wedding. They will have skipped sleep, missed a day with their family and spent a good penny on ingredients. Pushing themselves as they juggle between sleep and sanity. All for a free cake! Yes you heard it here. FREE CAKE!

How is this cake free you ask? Im sure you want to grab one of these for your next event. You too can have a cake as seen on tv for free!

Let me explain something to you. When cake artists are at work. They usually put in about 300% more work than most people. Like many artists they are in this for the passion and love. Like they say love dont pay the bills.

Well the reality is, the bills have to get paid. No matter how appealing a free cake sounds and you would love to get a great deal. Its like stealing! Yes you are robbing someone, who has worked incredibly hard to make you edible art that will adorn your function. Feel guilty yet? If the answer is NO then my time is wasted on you. I suggest you go to your local grocery store to get your next dream cake. If you have little respect for the artists then this cake is not for you.

So perhaps stealing is too strong a word. But borrowing implies youll be giving it back. Im not sure rent-a-cake is going to catch on. Or whether anyone would want their borrowed cake back after youve had a slice.

Wondering why I am against the free cake idea. Well lets say many of us in the industry have been asked for discounts that are often insulting and sometimes a little crazy. Its understandable that we all have reasons to save money and love a good deal. But this is not the place for a bargain. Cake decorators dont exactly make a lot on cakes. Well you have a few who do. But thats only the ones you usually see on television with brands that represent them. The majority are not on television and are equally talented. They do not demand remarkable prices. Many undervalue the costs of their cakes. So when someone requests a 3 tier cake with all the trimmings and sparkle for under a $100. Well its just unfair.

So lets make a resolution starting this year. Lets forget about the free cakes and start appreciating the workmanship and time these artists invest in your cake.
post #20 of 23
Just wanted to add something for future situations like this. When you start giving a lot of different reasons why you can't change your recipe or do one thing or another for people, it makes them think they have room to argue and change your mind. Sometimes saying less means a lot more. Rather than giving all the reasons you described in the OP, you could say, "I have worked out the perfect recipe that works for me, and I don't alter it."

If it's someone you will be getting a lot of repeat business from, you could say, "I'd love to work out the perfect recipe for you for a future event. I'd like at least one month notice to get it to taste great for you," or something like that. But more talking just makes it sound like you're willing to compromise. Keep it short, sweet, and precise.
post #21 of 23
You also have to remember that relatives are the worst customers ever. And that food is personal preference, so just because one person says that they don't like something doesn't mean that the next ten people who come along won't like it. I've done tasting appointments where one group loved a flavor, then the next group hated it. It makes no difference to me, isn't a comment on my baking, it's just their preference.
post #22 of 23
I had someone ask me to make a smash cake and cupcakes for their daughter's 1st birthday and through the course of the conversation said the baby doesn't like sweets/sweet things umpteen times. I wanted to scream, "YOU'RE ORDERING A CAKE!!!!!" Needless to say, I didn't take the order. Not worth it.

I would have been like, "Less sugar? Sure!" and went ahead and made my cookies as I normally do. Unless they're diabetic or have an issue with sugar, I would have not changed a thing. If they did have medical issues, I would have wondered (probably out loud) why they were ordering cookies.
"Cake or death?" "Eh, cake please." "Very well! Give him cake!" "Oh, thanks very much. It's very nice."
"You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate."
"Cake or death?" "Eh, cake please." "Very well! Give him cake!" "Oh, thanks very much. It's very nice."
"You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate."
post #23 of 23
I'm pretty new to the cake business myself, and have felt discouraged (for like 10 seconds) when someone criticizes my cake but I never let it get to me. The funny thing is, it's usually ridiculous stuff like: "Oh, that citrus icing is too tangy." I'm thinking: "Really? Did you miss the part about it being "CITRUS?!" icon_rolleyes.gif
Or this one where the girl said my IMBC was too buttery. This is the same IMBC another girl called "the best icing" she has ever had in her life.

I say all this to point out that people will have their preferences, and that's good for them. But you can not go around changing your product on the whim of some person. If you do that you'll be changing your recipe everyday. If you feel the conviction to create a reduced sugar version of your stuff, go for it but don't go bending over backward because someone wants it at the last minute.

If your original recipe was bad to begin with, she would not have ordered from you. Please, don't ever discredit all the hard work you put into your recipes. And show some respect for that hard work when some ignoramus makes unreasonable demands by telling them NO.
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