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First paid cake was a disaster should I give her money back?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Here is the first cake I was paid for (second cake ever). Unfortunately it didn't really make it. Friend called me when she got home and said the layers slide over. I forgot to put a dowel down the center! Granted she was planning to transport this to her house, then to work in the morning , then to the shower in the afternoon. I am not so sure it would have stayed together anyway, your never sure how someone else is driving. It was a single layer 10,8,6, I did support the layers but wasn't sure if the center dowel was necessary and kind of forgot about it...oops! She is still going to try to get it to the shower, so we'll see if it gets there in one piece at least. Since I am pretty sure this is my fault I am thinking I should give her her money back or if anything, just have her pay supplies? I am not sure how to go about this, any comments?
LL
post #2 of 44
Can you try to fix it before it gets to the shower? Is she asking for a discount or refund? Obviously, she still wants to eat the cake if she is gonna try and get it to the shower so I don't think you should give her a full refund. Maybe a discount off her next cake? Next time you should use SPS instead of dowels, especially if it is being transported many time IMO.
post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
I asked if I could meet up with her to try to fix it but she said she wouldn't have time. She didn't ask for anything but she is my very good friend and this was for a shower she is helping with for a girl from her work. I learned about the SPS thing a little to late and wouldn't have had time to order anything. I will definitely try to get that for next time!
post #4 of 44
I would say it wasn't a centre dowel.What did you use for a filling and what was the weather conditions like at the time.

Most cakes slide because of slippery fillings,humid weather and eratic driving.I never use a centre dowel on my stacked cakes (I do however support them properly inside) I have never had a cake slide.I also don't offer slippery fillings either for this reason.I fill my cakes with same BC that I ice the cake with and the key is to keep the cake super cold in the fridge as this also firms it up and keeps it sturdy.

Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
There is no filling, they are single layer cakes. The actual tiers shifted so they are all to one side. No bad weather just a lot of driving. It was buttercream with fondant decorations. I guess it could have been a little soft. It didn't have much time to sit before she picked it up. I have read different opions on chilling cake, I wasn't sure on that.
post #6 of 44
No advice, Kristen6992, because I know you will get a lot from people much more experienced than I. I just wanted to tell you that I love your cake!
Martha

********
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. ~~ Eleanor Roosevelt
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Martha

********
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. ~~ Eleanor Roosevelt
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post #7 of 44
So you're saying that each tier is 2" tall of solid cake?

I would give her all her money back, AND go to her car or wherever the cake currently is and fix it, OR meet her at the shower location and fix it there.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #8 of 44
I commented on your cake earlier this morning, it is eye catching and I really like it a lot! Nice job!
Was the cake in the same condition when she picked it up as it is in the picture you uploaded?
You are not responsible for this type damage to a cake after it leaves your possession. You have no idea, or control over, how a person drives or handles the cake. Careless handling and driving habits can slide layers on the best constructed cakes!

I never use a center dowel either. I do always drive stacked/tiered cakes to their destination. Never have I had one slide. I drive very defensively and take corners slooooowly. Maybe your cake was not transported so carefully.
Lea
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Lea
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post #9 of 44
two things: i think your cake is beautiful! you did a great job picking complimentary colors, your fondant accents look great, your border is cute...way to go! a second cake, you say???? i don't believe you! icon_biggrin.gif

2nd thing, only my humble opinion!: i don't think anyone is ready to sell after only their first cake. while your skill may be there, all the zillions of things to remember doesn't come naturally to you, and so you end up stressing during the making of it, and sometimes things like this happen...something that may be minor but quickly snowballs into a disaster in the making. i'm not really sure that it's fair to pass those insecurities and boo boos onto someone who is paying for your expertise. NOW, HERE'S AN ADDENDUM TO THAT STATEMENT: if your friend was forewarned by you that this is only your second cake, she acknowledged it and paid for a heavily discounted cake because of it, then it's all kosher.

give some freebies away first, which gives you an opportunity to work out the kinks on people who don't have the right to complain!, but will be willing to give you constructive, GENTLE critiscism.

once again, i think you have mad skills, so keep your chin up!! thumbs_up.gif
the early bird may get the worm, indeed, but the second mouse is the one who gets the cheese!
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the early bird may get the worm, indeed, but the second mouse is the one who gets the cheese!
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post #10 of 44
mixin, I was thinking along those same lines. It's not the best idea to practice on paying customers, especially when you are truly at the beginning of your career. Sure I continually take on new challenges, but I have enough years of experience where I can figure out - generally on the fly - how to fix things that don't go as planned. And I have lots of tools and equipment to help me.

In the beginning, you really do have to give away a lot of product just to learn the craft. I certainly did, at least.

And you really can't sell cakes until you're licensed anyway.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your advice!

leahs: Yes, each tier is 2 inches on of solid cake. Is there something I should have done differently here? The cake is in her car at her work I can't really fix it there, although I did offer to try during lunch. It is a weird weekday shower at 3:00 in the afternoon and I have to be at work.

Teekakes: Yes, that picture was taken right before she left.

mixinvixen: I think you are right, I probably am not ready to sell anything. After my first cake she asked me to do it and yes she knows I am a newbie. If it had been for her shower or for friends and family I would totally have done it free. This was for a freind of hers shower at work though and I didn't want people to start asking for free cake!
post #12 of 44
Yes, on the solid cake. Generally speaking, a tier of cake is 4" tall. Not always, but as a general rule. 4" of tier means either 2, 2" tall layers of cake with 1 layer of filling, or 4, 1" (or slightly less than 1") tall layers of cake with 3 layers of filling. You can always design a cake with taller or shorter tiers, but *generally* 4" is the standard.

That gets placed on a cardboard cake round. Each tier that is below another gets supports of some kind placed in it to carry the weight of the tier above.

For a three tier cake, supports go in the bottom tier and the middle tier. Many people who use dowels as support also use a center dowel as a spike right down the middle of the cake.

I use SPS so I don't need the middle spike.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
post #13 of 44
i personally have not had anyone ask for a free cake, but i have definitely had some undeniably bold, slap you in the face kind of whopping hints...didn't mean i had to acknowledge them though! i just played dumb!!! icon_biggrin.gif i figured that if they had the cojones to so boldly hint, then they should be just as big actually asking..i wan't going to make it easy for them!

that being said, just because they do ask, doesn't mean you have to do it!!!!! first rule of doing this (or anything else) as a business:

GROW A BACKBONE, AND QUICKLY!!! icon_biggrin.gif
the early bird may get the worm, indeed, but the second mouse is the one who gets the cheese!
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the early bird may get the worm, indeed, but the second mouse is the one who gets the cheese!
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post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs


That gets placed on a cardboard cake round. Each tier that is below another gets supports of some kind placed in it to carry the weight of the tier above.

For a three tier cake, supports go in the bottom tier and the middle tier. Many people who use dowels as support also use a center dowel as a spike right down the middle of the cake.
.



Kristen........didn't you say you supported each tier/layer? How did you support them, if not the way Leahs describes above? There does have to be support between the tiers. If you did not do this then unfortunately it would be your error and a refund would be in order.

You are doing a great job and will learn all this as you go along. I gave LOTS of cakes away my first 6 months of decorating. Not only did I learn a lot, most of my customers now are a result of me giving my cakes away in the beginning. thumbs_up.gif
Lea
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Lea
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post #15 of 44
I would think offering a discount or something free on the next cake would
go a long way to keeping a close friend.
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