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Cake too sweet AND fell apart

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I delivered a beautiful two tier (6 in and 10 in) cake inspired by Finding Nemo this morning (I'm about to post a picture so go check it out). My customer just emailed me saying that everyone loved the look of the cake but: "it was way to sweet, there was so much frosting in the middle it overpowered the taste of the cake and the pieces just fell apart. So a lot of people didn't eat it, and that was a bummer. But it did look awesome."

I know I can't be everything to everyone but I really want to learn from this. It was a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting for the filling (same cake and frosting I use for my Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Cupcakes, which my customer tasted). The cake was going to be outside in about 90 degree heat so I used my butter/shortening recipe for the frosting (which my customer also tasted and even preferred over my all butter vanilla buttercream, which she thought was too sweet).

I baked two 10X2 and two 6X2 and torted and filled them, giving me four layers of cake and three layers of frosting. I put four bubble tea straws in the bottom (10 in) tier and one long wooden dowel through both tiers.

What I think happened: the cake:filling ratio was too high for this customer. I typically have four layers of cake and three layers of frosting because I like the height and look of the cake. Until now, I haven't received any complaints about it. Do you think I should offer my cakes in two ways: the current way and one with more cake?

Any feedback would be great. I'm really bummed about disappointing her. But hey, on the bright side: everyone loved the look of the cake, including the birthday girl!
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Birthday Cakes
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post #2 of 11
To me, that is too much filling. I usually end up doing two layers of cake with one layer of filling, but that is only because I don't have an Agbay. If I were to use the Agbay to get four layers, I would definitely use only a THIN layer of filling between each one. With those powdered sugar buttercreams, they are just way too sweet. You have to either cut that somehow or just use a thin layer. I add a good amount of salt and even a squirt of lemon juice to cut the sweetness if I use that kind of buttercream for anything. I don't think you need to change the number of layers you offer, just modify the filling a bit.
post #3 of 11
I use the Whimsical Bake House's recipe for House Buttercream as the filling in all of my cakes - it's not nearly as sweet as the crusting ABC I use to frost the outside of my cakes. I make my cakes with 4 layers of cake and 3 of filling (piped on with a #12 wilton tip). I started out using the same buttercream for the filling inside as frosting outside and it was just tooooooo sweet.
post #4 of 11
I agree. Thinner layers of filling seem to work out best except when thy are the same flavor as the cake.

A vanilla cake is nice with a thin layer of lemon curd and/or raspberry preserves in the middle. However, when I make a vanilla birthday cake with vanilla frosting, I'm a little more liberal with it.

I would treat the peanut butter like the raspberry and lemon curd.
post #5 of 11
I used to use 1/2 cup unsalted butter & 1/2 cup shortening and it was way too sweet. Hurt your teeth sweet.

So now I use 1/2 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup shortening, and just a tiny pinch of salt dissolved into my milk or other liquid I use for thinning.

Tastes great and is no longer too sweet. I've had no complaints since that simple change.

I totally agree with AnnieCahill. If you have lots of layers use less filling in each.

Good Luck

Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yea I think it was a combination of how I layer it and just puttin too much. I did my icing dam differently that I have in the past and I think I made it taller than usual and this put more pb frosting.

Do y'all had a standard amount you put in? Do you measure it each time of just eyeball it?
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post #7 of 11
You have to love people who want not sweet cake and frosting! Why do they think these things are called "sweets". Just being silly here. Perhaps they really wanted a loaf of bread with butter. Don't be too disappointed in your product. You are very talented and ya can't please all the people all the time.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you Barbara Jean!! That was very kind of you to say.
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Birthday Cakes
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post #9 of 11
Fine cakes and pastries are never overly sweet. Desserts do not have to be a sugar jolt to be classifies as such. None of my products are super sweet. Not downing super sweet desserts... just pointing out that there are more options out there.

OP, you can experiment with a less sweet buttercream and add it to your offerings. This may be a good option for you that will increase your business. I also agree about being careful about the buttercream/cake ratios.

Also, don't feel that you have to please everyone. There are so many varied palates. I have had people say that my products are not sweet enough. It's all preference. If you read my descriptions, I try to convey my market positioning so that people will know not to choose me if they want super sweet.

My first wedding cake was for a relative and she requested the most sweet frosting I could make. She got shortening with a high ratio of powdered sugar and she loved it.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

My first wedding cake was for a relative and she requested the most sweet frosting I could make. She got shortening with a high ratio of powdered sugar and she loved it.



Oh - ick. There's just no accounting for taste, is there?
post #11 of 11
I haven't read the replies but my reply would be something to the effect that **cake is MEANT to be sweet!!** What is sweet to one person is not to most others. Everyone's taste buds are different.
If the customer tasted the cake and icing she really doesn't have a 'let to stand on'.
This appears to me to be a case of buyers remorse and she is putting out feelers to see if you will cough up some $$ back to her!
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