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How to encourage fun designs - Page 2

post #16 of 22
But there are plenty of designs that can be done on a buttercream-covered cake just as easily as on a fondant cake. I get clients telling that this or that baker told them that they can't do this design on buttercream, when it's something like fondant stripes on a plain white cake. Of course you can, you just have to smooth the buttercream out, which is obvious to me that the baker in question just doesn't feel like taking the time to do the right way.
post #17 of 22
Exactly, and I don't mind doing that at all. The issue I have is managing expectations when clients want a buttercream cake that looks exactly like the fondant picture they bring me.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabathaba View Post

 

To be honest, this is your own fault. When somone tells me they want a specific design that is fondant based, I don't give them the option of having it in buttercream.  I am not going to cause myself extra time, difficulty, and stress because they want it to look just like fondant but be buttercream.

 

I will carefully explain that the design they want is a fondant design and if they want buttercream frosting, then here are some suggestions that might be a similar look. Most of the time they say, "Oh, I didn't realize that they could only be done with fondant, we'll just do the fondant then."  I've never had any complaints after the fact and they are happier because the cake looks just like they wanted it to. 

My own "fault?" I just started doing this a few months ago and I was up to the challenge. It still looked good but I told her it wouldn't look exactly like the picture ahead of time. I had the order a month in advance so I had some time to think it through. She was adamant about what she wanted and I respected that. She respected the fact that it wouldn't look exactly like the picture.  

post #19 of 22

What I was describing as your "fault" was that you were complaining about people wanting designs in buttercream that do much better in fondant. I used to do this. And for some designs I still do, but only if I feel comfortable that the technique will work in buttercream. The way I look at it is that I'm the professional and unless I feel comfortable with the way a cake will turn out, (and the amount of headache and extra time spent), then I will insist on either buttercream or fondant for certain designs. If you agree to do a design that is extra stressfull, then you should be charging accordingly and it shouldn't be a reason to complain.

 

I value my reputation and the way that my cakes look. If a client comes to me with a cake that I don't think will look good the way they are insisting on it being done, then I will send them to someone else. People come to me because they love the creativity and design of my cakes, I can't afford to do designs that I know will look bad just because someone thinks they know better than me how to decorate a cake.

 

For me, this also speaks to the initial post regarding fun designs. I hardly ever have a bride that knows exactly what they want. In my experience, the brides that say they want a just plain cake just don't know what they want. I had a bride ask for a plain cake and after talking to her about her colors, flowers, and other wedding details, she fell in love with a square design I recommended that had sugar daisies cascading down it. She went from not really caring what the cake looked like to absolutely loving her wedding cake.

 

I think that's part of our job, helping clients see some possibilities and different style ideas and finding one they love!

post #20 of 22
A large part of my business is based on the fact that I can smooth buttercream down to look like fondant. Most fondant designs can be achieved in buttercream, and if not you have to be able to tell the customer that honestly. The one downside to buttercream is that it's more fragile and touchy, and my pickup customers don't seem to understand that....haha!
Wiley Saccheri
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Wiley Saccheri
Sublime Cake Design

Ultimate Cake Off Assistant Episodes 108 and 209!
Go Winbeckler Team!
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post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTDixieGal View Post

Very true ;) Personally, I was always taught to try new foods...it makes life interesting!

 

I've found that most fondant-averse people are very accepting of MMF ;)

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCakeDude View Post

A large part of my business is based on the fact that I can smooth buttercream down to look like fondant. Most fondant designs can be achieved in buttercream, and if not you have to be able to tell the customer that honestly. The one downside to buttercream is that it's more fragile and touchy, and my pickup customers don't seem to understand that....haha!


Me and TheCakeDude Abide! icon_wink.gif

 

Seriously, there are lots of fondant cake designs that can be done in buttercream, but it does take some practice working with it to get it smooth.  Fondant still has a time and place in my shop (outdoor weddings, etc) but honestly I would rather work with buttercream.

 

But I totally get wanting to get some more exciting designs - I want them too!  I went so far as to remove all the "plain" designs from my look book and people still ask for them.  When I was taking the "Big Bird" class from Mike McCarey there was some discussion as to how cool it must be to get to make such exciting cakes every week.  Mike spoke up and said, "Oh, I've never sold a Big Bird Cake like this - people won't pay what it would cost me to do this.  I get to make my fair share of cool and extreme cakes, but swiss dots still pay the bills".  It really struck home to me - no matter what my skill set, there's still going to be a steady stream of people that just want a plain old cake.

 

Now I do like costumeczar suggests - take their money, knock the cake out in a day, and spend the rest of my week playing in my yard, or something else fun!

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