1St Cake Distaster! Wedding Cake Collapsed! Need Advise..pls

Decorating By sonimik Updated 15 Sep 2010 , 12:18am by angelwings1

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sonimik Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:38pm
post #1 of 35

I made a 4 tier wedding cake (non traditional) for a couple that I attended high school with. He found out I made cake from home and decided to use me to make their cake. His wife sent me a pic. of what she wanted and I made it to the best I could. While delivering the cake, mind you it was 104 degrees here, the cake collapsed in my vehicle. The grooms cake made it to the venue with no problem. I quickly called them and told them what happend and I rushed home to try to make another cake. I did not show up to the venue until 10pm (4hrs after the collapse) and the cake cutting was at 9:30. I dont have any type of contracts since I work from home..I didnt think I would need one but now they are wanting their money back. Do I give them all their money or just a percentage? This is the first time this has happend to me and I have no idea how to handle this. Pls advise on what I should do. Thanks

34 replies
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sonimik Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:42pm
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The first pic is the original cake. The second is the one I made in 4hrs.

for some reason I cant post the pics. I have them on my photos. It's the 4 tier one with the stripes,circles and diamond shapes. The 3 tier on the replacement-stripes,diamond shapes, zebra stripes.

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Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:52pm
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Well..The fact is the cake collapsed...However you did provide a replacement cake although not the original size from what I read...I would offer a refund of the missing tier servings and maybe a little extra for being late and the disturbance of having a dissaster..

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awatterson Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:53pm
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The most recent picture I see on there is from July 3rd. I would say a full refund. You made the cake, but it wasn't there in time for cake cutting.

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Crimsicle Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:54pm
post #5 of 35

I'm so sorry this happened to you. Couldn't see the pix on your gallery page, unfortunately. Anyway...the modified cake arrived after the cake cutting. There would be no question...a full refund is in order, in my opinion.

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Penny7271 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:59pm
post #6 of 35

I am sorry that this happened. It must have been awful for you to deal with.

I have never made a wedding cake, and since I am not licensed I have never taken an "order" for a cake for event. So maybe I should not comment on your situation. But since the cake was not there on time, it seems like the right thing to do to give them back their money for the wedding cake. Not the groom's cake since that was delivered as promised, but definitely the wedding cake.

Good luck with your situation.

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DefyGravity Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:01pm
post #7 of 35

Definitely give them their money back. I'm sorry that happened to you icon_sad.gif

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leah_s Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:05pm
post #8 of 35

When you're in the wedding cake biz as I am you have to understand that with a wedding *Nothing* can go wrong. Nothing.

The customer is due a full refund. In fact the check should have been in the mail the day of the reception.

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malene541 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:07pm
post #9 of 35

My thoughts are they should get all their money back. Even though you didn't have a paper contract your verbal contract was not honored.
I understand that it took 4 hours to do another cake but that isn't their problem.
I can't see any photo's of the cakes you described in your pic's but if they didn't get the cake they asked for, not on time and none of those things were their fault then they shouldn't have to pay.

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hilly Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:19pm
post #10 of 35

Sorry that happened, but definitely a full refund is in order asap.

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TucsonGina Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:34pm
post #11 of 35

Oh, so sorry for all involved that that happened. . . did you figure out what was the cause? What kind of support system did you use? icon_sad.gif

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sonimik Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 12:59pm
post #12 of 35

Thank you all for taking the time to give me advise! Yes, I decided to give a full refund! My husband said "No more wedding cakes"! They are alot of responsibility and I only did it cause they asked me and I told them if they were sure they wanted me to do it. But you gals are right...it wasn't their fault and at the end I did not come through with the cake they ordered. A full refund will be given! Thanks again!

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love2makecakes Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 1:17pm
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Sounds like you got that all worked out. I think you made a good decision to refund the money!

I had a 5 tier cake do that same thing to me last year (my first disaster) and since there was no way for me to rush home and attempt a new cake I had to run out to a local bakery and buy enough sheet cakes for the couple to have cake to even serve. Needless to say I refunded 100% to the parents of the couple right then and there and spent another $100+ on sheet cakes as well as the money I had into the cake to begin with!

Lesson learned for me! I got online the next day and ordered the SPS system and never looked back. However, I still get nervous delivering cakes to this day!

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Elaine2581 Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 1:38pm
post #14 of 35

I was just wondering if you would mind telling us what kind of support you used in your cake. It gets really hot here in GA too and I would not want to find myself in a similar situation. I usually use plastic dowels inside the tiers to support the one on top of it and then a center wooden dowel through the whole thing if I am transporting it fully assembled. Is that the usual method and should it be sufficient? My cakes are just buttercream, not fondant so they don't have that extra weight.

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kansaslaura Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 1:39pm
post #15 of 35

I'm still trying to figure out how you got another cake baked, deorated and delivered in 4 hours.

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leah_s Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 2:31pm
post #16 of 35

Elaine, try SPS. It's very stable and easy to use. It's cheap too! And you just add the cost to the price of the cake.

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love2makecakes Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 2:39pm
post #17 of 35

thanks to cc and leah_s i started to use that system (sps) after my major disaster (in which i used wood dowels and cardboards with a center dowel). love the system, love not cutting dowels or using a million sucker sticks or straws ect. it does take a little practice getting your cake the exact height you need, but i use a agbay and my tiers all cut perfect and then once you get the hang of the filling height and amount of icing on the top of the cake you will love it! i also think it is nice to have your cardboards not all moist from sitting directly on icing cause they are sitting on the plastic support plate. check out leah_s tutorial on it. ps, dont forget to poke holes in the center of the cardboards before putting the cakes on them! it took me two times to not make that mistake again icon_wink.gif

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sonimik Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 4:46pm
post #18 of 35

I used about 5 white plastic dowels in each layer and the cakes sat on cardboard cake circles. I recently learned about the SPS system and I will definitely use that for next time!

My oven was working double time! I had my husband and my mom help me and I cooled each layer with a fan for a few minutes before I layered them then and crumb coated then put in fridge for 10 min then final buttercream coat then decorated! To tell you the truth I have no idea how it all came together...I had my angels with me for sure! My kitchen my turned upside down that night...took me forever to clean it up! And after all was done....I finally cried my eyes out!

I am currently looking at all the different types of systems so this wont happen again! Thanks for everyones advise and tips!

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bakingpw Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:19pm
post #19 of 35

I'm glad you decided to return the brides money. You stated that you didn't see nay reason to have a contract since you bake at home. I'm wondering why a bride would not insist on a contract anyway? The contract is to protect both the baker and the bride. You can find great tips here on CC in reference to writing a contract.

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kurky Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 4:26am
post #20 of 35

okay this may sound stupid but what is the SPS system?

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KathleenRN Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 10:35am
post #21 of 35

I'm with kurky--what's the SPS system??

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jojo76 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 11:24am
post #22 of 35

Sonimik, what a total nightmare. I thnk you are heroic for providing a replacement cake and getting it to the venue, I can't imagine how utterly stressful that must have been!! Well done for sorting it all out, were they happy with the refund?

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q2wheels Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:06pm
post #23 of 35
Originally Posted by KathleenRN

I'm with kurky--what's the SPS system??

Everything you want to know about the SPS (single plate separator) system:


I used it for my first wedding cake and had NO issues at all, will never use anything else.


Toni Ann

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doramoreno62 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:07pm
post #24 of 35

Kurky and Kathleen, its a single plate separator. you can look it up and purchase on sugarcraft.com

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doramoreno62 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:10pm
post #25 of 35

Ooops! That was a nono. Try globalsugarart.com

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Donnagardner Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:23pm
post #26 of 35

My last cake was stacked using SPS and I will not do it any other way now. Thanks Leah for singing its praises to all of us. I got mine at o a s i s s u p p l y . c o m take out the spaces of course.

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sonimik Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 9:32pm
post #27 of 35

jojo76-- I will never know the truth if they were satisfied or not! I think the groom felt bad for me since we did know each other. He actually gave me a percentage back from the total. I was surprise! He knew I worked hard in getting them another cake in such a short time frame. As for the bride, I'm sure she will never forgive me.....

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nanacakez Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 5:23pm
post #28 of 35

A similarsituation happened to me not a wedding cake, a sweet sixteen, the cake was transported fully assembled and started to sag and droop....i gave the clients back a half refund because it was still edible.

I just recently had a succsesful wedding cake, delivered as a whole, 4 tiers with hydrangeas (you can see on my pics) as far as support systems, i always do more....much more than needed. I bake my cakes two days before and let them rest (filled) with books on top for 24 hours, then fondant/buttercream the next day, i use plastic dowels in each tier, the bottom one normally has 8 not 6...just incase.

I feel your pain, learn from your mistakes and keep it moving. Your cakes are beautiful.

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EllieA Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 5:54pm
post #29 of 35

I feel terrible that this happened to you and that after all that work you didn't get any money. Having said that, please pat yourself in the back. What you did was simply amazing!!! A 4-tier cake, decorated in all in 4 hours? Are you kidding? You must be a cross between Superwoman, Wonder Woman and any mom out there! Congratulations! And with all the advise you have been getting, you can start getting orders for lots of wedding cakes and you'll be sure to deliver them in one piece and on time! Amazing! icon_biggrin.gif

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sonimik Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 4:28am
post #30 of 35

Thank you all for the encouragement and tips!

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