I Feel So Terrible, Wedding Cake Disaster

Decorating By shorty56 Updated 26 Jul 2008 , 4:16am by xstitcher

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shorty56 Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:13am
post #1 of 50

this is the first time i've ever had a problem with a wedding cake, and i feel just so sick over it. i'm posting pics, one of the cake before the disaster, two of the disaster and then the "redo". I finished it late last night, and it looked perfect (to me). i always transport my cakes completely assembled, and i've never had a problem. this one completely slid and fell into the front seat of my delivery vehicle. i headed straight back to the shop to get to work. i had four hours before i absolutely had to leave to deliver the cake (before the reception actually started). i was able to salvage the top two tiers. there was some minor damage to them, but i re-iced. the bottom two were fairly demolished. i rebaked them entirely. here's the question: the bottom tier was carrot cake, but i was out of carrots and pineapples and no time to go to the store so i baked the bottom two in vanilla. i had no time for torting (or time for them to settle after torting) so i skipped that and just put a thin layer of icing between the layers to hold them together. I fully plan to refund the cost of hte bottom two tiers ($335.50), but should i refund the entire amount? she paid $500.00 for the cake. i feel so terrible about it, i want to just die. i've felt like vomiting all evening. DH took me out to dinner and ice cream to try to help, but i really feel so bad. i know that my "redo" cake isn't up to my usual standard. its mediocre at best, but i only had 4 hours to work with, and the original took me easily 8-10 hours of labor with hours more of settling and cooling after baking.

49 replies
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sunnybono Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:33am
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I have got to say that is one heckofa redo. Looks practically like the original. I don't know about a full refund. The bottome tier isn't what she ordered but I but she doesn't mind too much. Let us know...and great job on the recovery!

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indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:34am
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I had a similar deal last March ... my first "slider" cake when I was forced to slam on my brakes. The bottom tier was not presentable ... eatable and servable, but not presentable. Bride ended up with a 3 tier cake instead of a 4 tier cake.... but we were able to cut and serve the bottom tier so she didn't really lose any cake.

But I refunded her $200 .... the value of the bottom tier. I think refunding for the two tiers that were not what she ordered is all that is necessary.

And it was a great save!!! You really should be very proud of the job you did, especially under those circumstances!

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costumeczar Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:37am
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OMG...I'm so sorry this happened to you...We all worry about a cake sliding and being totally demolished, and you did an EXCELLENT job of recovering from it, so don't beat yourself up over it. When I looked at the first picture I wasn't sure if it was the before or after, so you don't have anything to worry about as far as the appearance of the cake goes. You're the only one who can see all the flaws, I'm sure.

I think that your plan of refunding the bottom two tiers cost is fair...she got the top two flavors that she ordered, but if the bottom two were different then you should refund that. I think that if you tell her what happened and let her know that you had to BAKE THE BOTTOM TWO TIERS OVER AGAIN AND DECORATE IN FOUR HOURS (!!!! icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif !!!) she'll be understanding. You might offer her an anniversary tier at no cost for her anniversary if that will make you feel better about it, I'd probably do that.

Honestly, I don't know how you managed to bake all of that and get it there looking as good as it did. Looking at the smashed tiers makes me feel sick for you, too, so I know that you feel horrible, but you really did do a good job recovering from it.

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costumeczar Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:40am
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I just showed the pictures to my husband, and he said that he gives you an A+ in the recovery department!

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bkdcakes Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:44am
post #6 of 50

You did an amazing job - both before & after! I don't know how you did it in 4 hours, in any flavor!!! I'll bet if she knows what happened, she will not feel you owe her anything, I wouldn't! You delivered a 4 tier, beautiful cake! Who knows!

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jamhays Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:50am
post #7 of 50

AWESOME SAVE!!!! I couldn't have done that in 4 hours. That cake looked great...both times.

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confectioneista Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:53am
post #8 of 50

Well, I'm impressed with your recovery....and in four hours, too. It looks so much like the original, you did a great job on it. Kudos!

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martmarg Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:54am
post #9 of 50

they both look great to me and quite honestly I like the after better than the before. Maybe it's the presentation and the colorfulness, I don't know but if I were the bride I would be very happy to have that cake no matter what the flavors. You did a great job all the way through.

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leah_s Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:57am
post #10 of 50

Excellent job fixing it! Truly masterful!! I would, though, give her a refund on the value of the two bottom tiers. Wedding cakes are, well, just different, They really do need to be exactly what the bride ordered.

Now can we talk about SPS?

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shorty56 Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 2:58am
post #11 of 50

thanks for the encouragement. the bride definitely knows that it happened, i called her coordinator right away and told her that it had fallen and we would be redoing it which would make us late. i was originally planning to get there at 1:00, hah. that didn't happen. anyway, the coordinator said she would let the bride know after the wedding ceremony. i'm going to email her and offer her the $335.00 back. live and learn i suppose. its hard to come to terms with being human and making mistakes when its someone's wedding.

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Yoliebean Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 3:04am
post #12 of 50

First let me say GREAT SAVE!!! You recovered beautifully.

I can only imagine how awful you felt. Like the other comments I think the bride would be understanding if you explain what happened.

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brilandken Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 3:11am
post #13 of 50

Here is a ((((HUG)))! The cake was beautiful before and after. You did a great job. Here is a question totally off the subject. I have seen that cake stand serval times here where can I buy one or is it the reception halls?

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mw902 Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 3:11am
post #14 of 50

Your replacement looks BEAUTIFUL! I think refunding the amount for the damages tiers is fair, has anyone tried to put that rug gripper stuff down under the cake in the care so it doesn't slide? It works really good!


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superstar Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 3:33am
post #15 of 50

You did a great job, in only 4 hours, I don't know how you managed. I feel you will have to refund the bride for the bottom two tiers not being the type of cake she wanted.

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shorty56 Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #16 of 50

i just emailed this to the bride:

I am so sorry about what happened to your wedding cake. I called your coordinator, because I didn't want to interrupt your wedding day, but I also wanted to email you the full story and my full apologies. The cake slid during transport, its the first time that has ever happened to me. I am so sorry that it happened to your cake. We took it right back to the shop and started over. We re-baked the bottom two tiers completely because they were unpresentable, and could not be fixed. We went ahead and brought them in boxes to the Country Club and I told them they should still be served as they were perfectly fine for eating, just not for display. Hopefully you got some carrot cake and some torted vanilla cake. The tiers we rebaked were both vanilla, as I was out of carrots and pineapple and we had no time to get more. We also did not have time to torte the tiers the way I usually do. We re-iced everything and decorated it again, and did our very best with the few hours we had to work with. I am so sorry your cake was the not the original, and I can not apologize enough. I am happy to refund you the cost of the bottom two tiers, $335.50. Just give me an address to mail the check to. Let me know if there is anything else that I can do! I am truly so sorry, and I feel terrible about it. If you would like to give me a call you can reach me at my business number: XXXXX or my cell:XXXXX

i did have no skid liner under the cake. i have a honda fit, and i keep all the seats down so the whole back of the car is flat. i laid shelf liner down over the whole back, it keeps the cake stand, the cake, and my repair kit, etc from sliding around. well, usually. i think part of the problem was that the bottom tier was carrot cake. my recipe for carrot cake is super soft and moist. i've used it in upper tiers of wedding cakes, but never in the bottom tier. i think that combined with the heat and humidity (its murder here) the bottom tier was just too soft to hold the supports upright while we were stopping for stop signs/stop lights and it just gave out.

brilandken: the stand is mine, i bought it from bakery crafts and i rent it out to brides. in an attempt to make some money, but if i keep knocking over cakes that won't do me any good.

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Cakepro Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 3:55am
post #17 of 50

I am so sorry this happened to you, but OMG - what an amazing recovery!! I bow down to your awesomeness. icon_biggrin.gif

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all4cake Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:03am
post #18 of 50

I agree with the others....amazing recovery!

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superstar Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:03am
post #19 of 50

It will be interesting to see her reply.

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Etchlain09 Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:05am
post #20 of 50

It's really funny how hard we are on ourselves(cake decorators). While everyone else is seeing everything right about a cake, our eye wanders to the little wrongs that only we know about. And punish ourselves with doubt long after the cake is delivered! What you delivered was the true art of cake decorating; faced with disaster and making a tremendous recovery. Don't beat yourself up! Instead pat yourself on the back for a wonderful job!

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superstar Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:10am
post #21 of 50

Remember, even Duff has problems & that has happened to them.

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Bettycrockermommy Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:12am
post #22 of 50

Shorty, That is an amazing recovery!

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cakesbyamym Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 8:21am
post #23 of 50

All that I can say is WOW! icon_eek.gif at your repaired cake!!!! That looks great ~ before and after. I would definitely refund the damaged tiers for the customer.

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CakeWhizz Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 8:47am
post #24 of 50

I really feel for you. A wise CCer once said that it is not how well you make a cake but how well you recover from a disaster that counts. You did an amazing job in redoing the cake and you did not fall to pieces as many would have done. Please stop beating yourself up about this and be proud of rectifying the situation so well.

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spring Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 1:08pm
post #25 of 50

Congratulations on a remarkable save! I think you handled the situation very well...don't know that I would have been able to think so fast on my feet.

I agree with the others, to refund for the bottom 2 tiers. Was the cake cold or did you transport it at room temperature?

My Blog: www.minetterushing.typepad.com

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foxymomma521 Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 1:34pm
post #26 of 50

All I can say is that if I heard my cake was ruined, and then showed up to the reception and saw THAT CAKE, I would be overjoyed. Nice recovery!
On a side note, I feel like every weekend someone is posting about their wedding cake falling. Is there any chance LeahS could post a tutorial on using SPS? Maybe it could be a new post in the "articles" section? Sorry to hi-jack your thread, but my heart breaks for you guys every time I read one of these posts icon_sad.gif

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shorty56 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 2:58am
post #27 of 50

well, i heard back from the bride just now. she doesn't seem upset, but also doesn't seem happy. i dunno if this makes me feel better or worse.....

I have to admit I didn't think the cake was your best work I had ever seen, but I guess now I know why. I'm glad no one told me yesterday though! We can talk about it when I get back next week. Right now I was wondering when you needed your cake stand back. Its sitting in our garage at the moment. If you need it back right away I will arrange for someone to bring it to you. If not I will get it to you early next week. Please let me know.

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summernoelle Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 3:10am
post #28 of 50

I cannot tell you how much I admire you for pulling this off. You have a true talent! Everything will be fine with the Bride. Excellent job.

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iramirez94 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 3:22am
post #29 of 50

I feel so bad for what happened to you. I am only a newbie.. hoping to someday be able to display the talent that you did on this recovery. BRAVO!!!


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woodthi32 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 3:30am
post #30 of 50

I, of course echo every sentiment here. I have been nauseated and actually vomitted during close calls/disasters. Your recovery is up there with the best I have ever seen, probaby the best.

NOW, PLEASE don't try to read tones in an email. It will leave you with indigestion. You have been gracious and kind, and you must hope she has enough empathy to see that and return it. Give your refund and move on wiht your head high, knowing you won a tremendous battle that most of us could never have won. I KNOW I couldn't have. And don't decide how the bride feels right now. EMAILS can be a funny thing.

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