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Should I take on this free cake? Greatly in need of advice

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I'm a hobbyist. I was doing free cakes for friends and family for about 2 years and then I burned out several months ago. I have 3 kids under the age of 7 and one oven. When I see something on a cake that I'm working on that I don't like, I'll redo it, which means that it takes me a long time to produce a cake. My husband was pressuring me to stop altogether as the friends and family who asked me to make the cakes, never offered to pay for supplies so my cakes were costing us a fortune, and cutting into my family time which caused a mess of stress.

So, I stopped. Cold. I have baked very rarely in the past few months.

A friend called yesterday and asked me to make her sister's wedding cake. She said that she would buy the supplies I need. Her sister is not picky and I can basically choose what I would like to make as long as it's a two-tier design - which makes the prospect of this cake even more appealing. There are many simple wedding designs that inspire me. I told her yesterday that I would speak to my husband about it (as she knows that the caking was a source of tension).

The wedding is August 18 - when I mentioned this to my husband, he said 'but we're scheduled to go camping that weekend'. I completely forgot about the camping trip. At first I thought, 'ok then, forget the cake', but it's a cake that I could decorate however I like - which never happens! I made one wedding cake in the past but it was in my early caking days and the flowers looked funny and the tiers were too shallow (it's on Page 2 in my gallery but don't laugh!). I have always wanted an opportunity to make anotehr one.

What if I made the cake Thursday and delivered it Friday morning? Is that acceptable for a Saturday wedding? My white cakes are usually filled with a whipped cream filling, and covered in SMBC so I always refrigerate, but I'm concerned about the cake going stale after being in the fridge for so long.

I feel like I could use the creative outlet right now and I love the fact that I can decorate however I want. Is there a way that I could work this schedule-wise? I can ask my mother to come over to help me with the kids on the Thursday when I'm decorating so there is no stress.

Comments? Suggestions?
Optimism produces the very success it desires and expects.
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Optimism produces the very success it desires and expects.
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post #2 of 16
I hate to say this. Do not let this cake ruin your family time. I have the feeling as the time goes the bride will start to make requests and you'll feel bad about trying to please her and your family too.
For creative outlet, create dummy cakes (they are cheaper than baking). This way you can also build up your portfolio for future needs.
post #3 of 16
I agree with what Edit said ^

Personally I would tell the bride that you are unable to help her out with the wedding, especially since it is on borderline of cutting in on your family camping trip.

Doing cakes for friends and families can be alot of fun, and costly as you mentioned, if gifting cakes is becoming a problem, and if anyone asks just tell them, you cant do it unless someone comes up with the cost of the ingredients. And if your taking alot of time away from your family doing the cakes than just do one every once in a blue moon for someone and use cake dummies and make yourself a portfolio ( can be fun too!)

In the end your family has to come first
post #4 of 16
You never get to decorate as you like? The first rule of free caking is that it's baker's choice. Not saying you shouldn't do it, but if you want to go camping, know that this won't be your last chance to decorate a free cake for someone. Now, if you don't want to go camping, that's another story icon_wink.gif
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsal


A friend called yesterday and asked me to make her sister's wedding cake. She said that she would buy the supplies I need. Her sister is not picky and I can basically choose what I would like to make as long as it's a two-tier design - which makes the prospect of this cake even more appealing.



You said you never received payment for ingredients--you are free to make as many cakes as your household can eat, when you are not going on vacation. Skip this one. I learned to make tiered cakes by making a few at home for no reason at all.

But as long as you are not charging for labour or ingredients, your feeling of burnout will return. You would do better to learn to be more efficient at making cakes. That will take some several family birthdays. Your husband can explain to his family that all cakes in future will have to be covered for the cost of materials. You must do the same for your family (except your kids) and friends.

Sometime down the line, you may want to set up to bake cakes for $$$ at home if possible. At that point, you have to choose your customers carefully to avoid the nuisances who use your nerves for longer discussing their cake designs than it takes to make them.

Enjoy the vacation. Forget this cake...if they don't think they need to offer to pay for your time, then stay away from them. They are only using you to be cheap.
post #6 of 16
I have to agree with all the other posters. FAMILY FAMILY FAMILY.

If you do this cake you are sending them the message that they are not important enough for you.

Jim Croche wrote a song many years ago about a father never having time for his son, before he knew the shoe was on the other foot, his son grew up and never had time for him.

Opportunities come & go, Chance to make memories with your family. PRICELESS
Virginia 323.253.8213
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He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #7 of 16
Doubt usually means don't. You also have a legit excuse not to do it due to the family outing, seems like the stars are telling you not to do it.
post #8 of 16
I'd rather go camping.
Here is the thing with starting out as a new cake decorator: you are always excited to try new things out and as you said, it gets expensive. It's always a couple of free cakes here and there for family and friends but then it gets out of control so you start charging for cakes (that is if it's legal in your state). BUT then comes the second big hurdle to overcome and that is ACTUALLY charging correctly especially when it comes to family and friends. Even then people don't take you seriously because you are a "cake lady" working from home. They have to see a camara in your face or a storefront to actually believe you run a business or are at the very least trying to cover some of your expenses. I am almost sure that this cake is going to cost YOU in some way or another even if your friend buys all the supplies.
Like a said I'd rather go camping.
Fedra
Cake just happens....
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Cake just happens....
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post #9 of 16
I personally would pass on the cake. You'll need the 2 days before to pack not only for yourself but your 3 kids as well. No need tiring or stressing yourself out before the camping trip.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by fedra

I'd rather go camping.
Here is the thing with starting out as a new cake decorator: you are always excited to try new things out and as you said, it gets expensive. It's always a couple of free cakes here and there for family and friends but then it gets out of control so you start charging for cakes (that is if it's legal in your state). BUT then comes the second big hurdle to overcome and that is ACTUALLY charging correctly especially when it comes to family and friends. Even then people don't take you seriously because you are a "cake lady" working from home. They have to see a camara in your face or a storefront to actually believe you run a business or are at the very least trying to cover some of your expenses. I am almost sure that this cake is going to cost YOU in some way or another even if your friend buys all the supplies.
Like a said I'd rather go camping.
Fedra



I completely agree. People don't take me seriously and when they ask me to make cakes they either offer me no money for time or even ingredients...or the amount is ridiculously low. I don't buy cheap ingredients because I believe in making a great tasting cake. I love to bake and decorate but sometimes I feel resentful when I'm slaving away for someone else when I could be with my family. Skip this cake. Maybe you can do a one year anniversary small cake for them?
post #11 of 16
I agree to pass on the wedding cake opportunity, BUT...if she hasn't had her bridal shower yet, maybe you can offer to do the cake for that...if she doesn't have a cake lined up for that yet. Just a thought to throw out there if you have the desire and are feeling up to it. Family time is so important; please, do not stress yourself....you & your family need to come 1st!
post #12 of 16
Sorry, but DON"T DO IT! You may have it well planned out in your head, but you haven't allowed time for if something goes wrong. This will only add stress to you and tension between you and your husband. Not a good way to start your trip.
My advice is to wait till your children are much older. You will have plenty of time for cake decorating then. Stick to making cakes for your husband & children.
Good luck icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 16
.There will be plenty of other opportunities to make cakes. I understand needing a creative outlet . But it sounds like this cake might give you added stress . besides wont you have enough to do that week getting ready to camp ? icon_smile.gif .Relax and enjoy your family outing . There will always be occasions for cake . But your kids wont always be this age .
post #14 of 16
I struggle with this too. I just pronounced There Shall Be No More Cakes a week and a half ago but then someone asked me to make a cake a few days ago for the first weekend of August. Like you, I would have to finish it early and deliver the day we leave for vacation (I haven't had one in 8 years!). I wanted to say no but I wanted to say yes too. In the end I said yes but it's been three days with no response to my questions regarding design so I'm kind of left hanging not even knowing if they still want me to make it. But I mean it after this one: no more free cakes!!
post #15 of 16
I agree with everyone else...enjoy your family trip and let it go. Doing the cake under these circumstances will cause you stress - which burned you out in the first place.

Also something not mentioned yet. ***IF*** you decide to do it and deliver Friday morning, you'll have NO control over the care and storage of that cake once you drop it off. Even if you don't do a whipped cream filling, SMBC is fragile stuff and not many folks have space to refrigerate. That's two full days where it might be left out, touched, poked, sitting in heat...just sayin'.

Pass on this one - there'll be more chances.
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