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Bake the cake, but not decorate? What to do?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have a potential client who wants me to just bake the cakes for her sibling's wedding, but not decorate them or anything because I guess her mom is going to decorate them. The cakes go up to 16", and I have never baked one that big before. I just don't feel right about it for some reason- every recipe is different and only you the baker can know how your cake can be handled, so if something were to go wrong, I don't want to be held liable. I'm not even sure if her mom has any experience with decorating cakes, and if she does, I wonder why she won't bake them? I kinda feel ambivalent about the whole situation, and I honestly think it's kinda weird for her to ask me this to begin with. I don't know what to do- I think I would like to turn to it down, but I just don't know what to say to make her understand. Any advice or help is appreciated!
post #2 of 19
You can tell her that you like to put your name on your work and since someone else is decorating that it wouldn't be honest for either one of you to take full credit. In addition, "I take pride in my work and decorating skills and only feel comfortable joining with someone else once I have seen their work."

This way, you are not insulting nor insinuating that her mom can't decorate, just that you;ve never seen her work. I wouldn't do this and have turned down orders like this before.
post #3 of 19
How about saying, "I'm sorry, I won't be able to help." Unless she's your best friend, you don't need to give an explanation.

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post #4 of 19
Or you could price the undecorated cake the same as the decorated cake. If the customer is willing to pay, I don't think it's that big a deal to leave your name off this one (as long as you make it clear in your contract that the order is complete once the undecorated cake is delivered).
post #5 of 19
go with your gut! you don't need to feel guilty for saying no...it's just no!
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #6 of 19
I had someone ask me the same question last week and I told her that I am not willing to do that. They wanted me to bake, fill and frost the cakes so that the designer could decorate them. I just let her know that it was not an option and maybe she should hire the designer to make her cakes. Now she's begging me to make her cakes. Her daughter told me that if I don't agree to make her cakes that she is going to be mad. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and this one just didn't feel right to me.
post #7 of 19
Just say no for all the reasons you explained in your post .You dont have to explain to the potential client. just say I dont do that or Im not comfortable doing that in case there was a problem.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweettreat101

Her daughter told me that if I don't agree to make her cakes that she is going to be mad. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and this one just didn't feel right to me.



Like someone's being MAD at me is EVER going to make me go against my own instincts--yeah, right.

No one else is going to look after you if you don't look after yourself--and if something goes wrong when you've ignored your own instincts, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Rae[/i]
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #9 of 19
She may have 16 cats with cat hairs floating all over the kitchen but when it comes time to take responsibility for people gagging on cat hairs she'll say you baked them and there goes your reputation. Just tell her the truth, her home isn't an officially inspected and licensed site and she isn't an experienced baker - let alone have any experience delivering a cake that large, so you need to walk away from this because your reputation is at stake, but wish the bride and groom all the best in their new life together. icon_smile.gif If there's anything I've learned in this business, ....................listen to your inner voice. You won't regret it.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
What can I say- you guys rock! Thank you so much for your responses! I have decided to not get suckered in and I'm not going to do it. There's too much to lose in doing so, especially if something goes wrong. I'm glad I can always count on my fellow bakers for the best advice! icon_biggrin.gif
post #11 of 19
Personally I think you're making too much of it. I have often thought it would be nice if I didn't have to bake my cakes...just decorate them...I even asked Sam's what it would cost to purchase bare cakes but they were fairly expensive plus they tasted awful, so I continue to bake my own.

This is a special request and the mom wants to decorate a cake for her daughter's wedding. I'm sure the mom doesn't want the added stress of baking during the week of her daughter's wedding, but feels she has the time to decorate it. Plus, the mom may be an awful baker...not everyone who has the talent to decorate has the talent to bake! Many bakeries have separate bakers and decorators.

The daughter obviously wants her to so why not let her? It may be for sentimental reasons. I'm sure they're looking at it as a cost savings as well. As long as you get a fair price for providing the cake, what's the big deal? I don't see a scam involved here.

If you are so worried about how they are to be handled, just give them the most stable cake you produce...no choice of flavors...just the one you know holds up best under most any conditions.

Of course if you don't want to do it, then don't. It is your business and you know what's best for you! I just wouldn't look at this as a shady request or an underlying cat fur lawsuit waiting to happen.

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Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I can see where you're coming from- I too often wish I could have someone to bake, torte, and assemble my cakes and all I would have to worry about is the decorating. I'm not looking at this as a shady request at all- I'm just looking at this from the point that if something were to go wrong, they would hold me accountable, and I don't want anything to fall on my shoulders is all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Personally I think you're making too much of it. I have often thought it would be nice if I didn't have to bake my cakes...just decorate them...I even asked Sam's what it would cost to purchase bare cakes but they were fairly expensive plus they tasted awful, so I continue to bake my own.

This is a special request and the mom wants to decorate a cake for her daughter's wedding. I'm sure the mom doesn't want the added stress of baking during the week of her daughter's wedding, but feels she has the time to decorate it. Plus, the mom may be an awful baker...not everyone who has the talent to decorate has the talent to bake! Many bakeries have separate bakers and decorators.

The daughter obviously wants her to so why not let her? It may be for sentimental reasons. I'm sure they're looking at it as a cost savings as well. As long as you get a fair price for providing the cake, what's the big deal? I don't see a scam involved here.

If you are so worried about how they are to be handled, just give them the most stable cake you produce...no choice of flavors...just the one you know holds up best under most any conditions.

Of course if you don't want to do it, then don't. It is your business and you know what's best for you! I just wouldn't look at this as a shady request or an underlying cat fur lawsuit waiting to happen.
post #13 of 19
Refer the mom to Sam's. She can purchase baked layers and decorate them herself. My moms friend purchases their cakes and frosting's and keeps them in the freezer. When a family member has a party she thaws the cakes and decorates them herself. She might not know that this is an option.
post #14 of 19
Or you could offer a deal: Mom gets to decorate, but only under your supervision, and pays a significant fraction of what she would have paid for decorated cakes.

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James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Personally I think you're making too much of it. I have often thought it would be nice if I didn't have to bake my cakes...just decorate them...I even asked Sam's what it would cost to purchase bare cakes but they were fairly expensive plus they tasted awful, so I continue to bake my own.


I also don't see what the big deal is, you can limit your liability with your contract (with an addendum if necessary to make the nature of the order clearer), and if there is a serious issue your liability insurance will handle it.
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