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Ever had to deliver a cake you knew was ugly to a customer? - Page 2

post #16 of 28
I haven't done too many cakes, but I recently prepared a sample cake for a bride and groom with the design they e-mailed me. It was scroll work and I am REALLY not very good at it. So - I prepared the sample with the scroll work and was so upset at the outcome I nearly called them to tell them I wasn't the right person for them.

Anyhow, I decided to show up with my crappy sample and told them how disappointed I was and they would be better off looking for someone else. They were both really pleased with it though (I was never worried about the taste - only the look) and they placed their order for the wedding cake with me.

.... now I better start practising my scroll work.... icon_wink.gif
post #17 of 28
Just last week I made an open jewelry box cake for a customer, I had done similar for a treaseure chest before. However, I had been in hospital the day before (just for simple day surgery) so I was short on time to complete the cake. I knew that I would have just one shot at getting this cake right with the time that I had to do it. Of course, these are always the ones that are sent to test us! The cake was still too fresh when I went to decorate it and the cake top 'lid' on the box just fell right off the back. The dowel that I had in it to hold it up just pulled through the whole base, making a huge mess. Much of my piping work on the outside was damaged when I was attempting to repair the cake, and so had to be redone. I was angry and upset, but mostly with myself. You see I had actually warned the customer that I would be in hospital the day before and so, depending on how I recovered, may not be able to complete the order. But I was too STUBBORN to call her and let her know I'd done a job that just wasn't my usual standard. Her husband came to collect the cake and he thought it was wonderful (men??!!). To make me feel better, I reduced the price. I have not heard from the customer since. In hindsight, I wish I'd just called her and saved myself the stress. I think these things are sent to teach us something... I learnt my lesson!
post #18 of 28
I made a wedding cake just like the bride asked.it was the ugliest cake! We even called the bride to come look at it when it was partly done to make sure that is what she wanted and she came and said yes.

When I went to set it up the bride and the mother talked about how pretty it was. I didn't even take a picture and got out of there as fast as I could so no one would know how did the cake.
post #19 of 28
pic attached. enough said.

This customer never called me again.
LL
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hahaaaaaa, you guys made me feel soooo much better. I'm so glad I am not the only one who went through this..........I was so upset that I actually thought about giving up cake decorating all together. Thank you so much for your stories and encouragement!!!!!
post #21 of 28
omgosh i just looked at your pics and they're fabulous. i'm sure we are the worst critics of our own work and a first time cake is always looked at harder i've learned to try to accept the smaller bumps and wrinkles (the ones that if you try to make perfect end up ruining the whole thing) and try to look at the whole picture...cake tasted great and probably looked better than you thought it was a really nice gesture to give it to her though...i'm sure she'll be back and you'll both come out of it happier icon_smile.gif
wisdom is knowledge put into action
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wisdom is knowledge put into action
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post #22 of 28
This happened to me a few weeks ago. I was DREADING delivering the cake. It was for a little boy's 5th birthday. The mom said he liked (get this!) tai quon do (sp?), gymnastics, bowling, baseball, and something else, I can't remember. But I actually had a little checklist, and had to try to incorporate all of these things into a cake that was a 10 and 6 inch tiered! UGH!!! So originally, I was going to make it navy and white, but I thought, no that's not little boyish enough. I wanted to use bright colors. I looked out my window, saw my kids' plastic slide outside and it was yellow, blue and red. I thought, oh Nice colors! Well, those are carnival-ish colors. Not sporty-ish colors. The whole cake was so ugly!!! It was about a 40 minute drive, during which I made my grandma stay on the phone with me and she had to "talk me down" I was so upset. Oh - plus I was late delivering it! So I went in prepared to give her some money back if she wanted it. The only comment she made was "How cute is that?!" So I skated out of there, and I swear, a few hours later she called me. I dreaded picking up the phone. Well, she wanted to rave and say how fantastic the cake was and everyone loved it and the colors were awesome (?!) and she placed another $60 order right then and there. So go figure!!! It was nuts! I didn't even take a picture. Which I totally don't regret, cuz it was UGLY!
post #23 of 28
Last year a bride asked me to do a "fall theme" wedding cake for her. She and her mom described a simple design - 3 tiers, covered in chocolate fondant, adorned to look as though leaves had "fallen" on it. They wanted orange, yellow, green leaves. Simple enough. I followed their request exactly, down to the ribbon colour . I thought the cake ugly and couldn't leave quick enough. I worried about it all the way home.

Lo and behold, the dad calls a week later raving about the "beautiful cake", the great flavours etc. and mailed me the final cheque with a nice bonus amount. Go figure. You just never know!

This is a lesson about letting the customer "design" their cake. Since then if a bride insists on designing her cake, I leave a fancy, printed card beside the cake that says "Cake Design by ....... They feel very proud and creative and all the "credit" goes to them.
post #24 of 28
Great idea, annacakes! thumbs_up.gif
post #25 of 28
A few months ago I had to make a cake, they wanted and ice cream cake, with a cake on top made to look like a wine bottle, I told her this would me my first carved cake and if she was sure she wanted me to make it she said yes (she works with my cousin) so I didnât want to make it awkward for my cousin if it didnât work out. I immediately started search cc and the web for cake ideas I was so excited, then the day of I wake up with the most horrible migraine I made the cake the best I could I had made two cakes in case I messed one up, and I messed up both to late to make another it looked horrible the label top part when I put it on it didnât line up right and there was a small gap between the wine bottle and the cake it wasnât smooth because she wanted whipped cream frosting and I am good with it but on this day I just wanted to be done
I made it the best I could when her sister came to pick up the cake I handed it to her when she asked how much I told her half the price I quoted her sister and didnât tell her why, the next day she calls and I got this dreaded felling in my stomach I didnât even want to answer my phone, when I picked up she went on and on about how much she and her family liked the cake and how she had the other half of my money, I explained why I didnât want the other half but she said she wanted to pay in full I insisted the she shouldnât . I took a pic of the cake to see what I could have done different and I donât care how much she liked the cake it still bugs me.
post #26 of 28
I did a wedding cake last year with less than a week's notice, and the design was done by the groom as a suprise for the bride. It was horrible...but I did it. It was just too busy for such a small cake (3 tier, 50 servings, square.) I even toned it down a bit...
A week later my cake stand is on my front porch with a note that says "Ugly as hell..." and tells me how the bride cried and cried.

Now, if I have some concerns about a design, I will contact the customer and make suggestions, and it's always worked out.
I love someone with Autism.
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I love someone with Autism.
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post #27 of 28
Oh yes... A few cakes weren't up to my standards (actually not many are since I definitely see every single teenee weenee flaw - and I'm such an idiot I point them out to people and apologize for them icon_redface.gif ).

I have lost sleep when having to take one of the uglies into my office where everyone will see it! I just want to crawl under a rock. There was one that I was trying to design similar to a party napkin with the most horrid colors.... well... the cake matched the napkins anyway.

Then my first try at decorating with chocolate buttercream... not pretty. icon_cry.gif

Each time I swear I will never make another cake.
post #28 of 28
Oh, yes I sure have!!!

This was about 15 years ago. I'd volunteered to do a fondant-covered cake with lace points (from the Wilton Bridal Cakes book) for some friends. This was before the days of pre-made Wilton fondant, so I had to make my own. "How hard can it be?", I thought. I can follow a recipe as well as the next person! Well, ummmm..no i couldn't. Or perhaps the high humidity of the rainy days I was making the fondant affected it.

Anyway...I was up all night, frantic, near tears that I wasn't going to be able to finish the cake for their big day. I had attempted the fondant FIVE times, to no avail. So...I did the only thing I could do, and iced the cake in buttercream, and added the lace points (at least THOSE turned out!). I got to the venue for both ceremony and reception, and had to race to set it up. I missed the ceremony...the bride n groom and the bride's family were visibly disappointed in the appearance of the cake. I was crushed....for about 30 minutes.

The saving grace of the entire ordeal was that my carrot cake recipe they'd requested was an ENORMOUS hit! Even people who hate carrot cakes loved my recipe, and became converts!!!

So, out of the ashes of a disappointing "show", the cake was still well-received. Biggest lesson I ever learned with that one..." don't EVER do a brand-new-to-you, unpracticed technique for a paying customer!!!!"
Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. - Colette
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Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. - Colette
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