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How to perk up a boring cake order

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

How do you cope with a drab cake order from an insistent client? I know it's her cake but it's my work and my reputation. This is my first cake for a paying client after 12 years of lovingly creating cakes for friends and family and being able to challenge my creativity and skills.

 

I love all the support and guidance on here and would appreciate some tips.

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post #2 of 24

What is the boring cake?

post #3 of 24

What kind of cake?  Any particular design?

post #4 of 24

Hi Cher, i'm a big fan at the moment of fondant bunting around a cake as the side design - it works for nearly all types of occasions: http://cakegeek.co.uk/index.php/cakes-with-bunting/. Hope this helps!

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you CakeGeekUk; bunting could fit in. It's a 40cm square cake with a 20cm square cake 2nd tier. All covered in white fondant with an edible image of a car on top and various sized teal and black squares (both solid and outline squares). The larger cake is one layer and I've persuaded her to go half a layer higher on the smaller cake.  (I did suggest a higher 30cm square for the larger tier.)There will be a fun bride and groom topper that the bride is providing. I figured I would move the top tier towards one back corner and place the topper (There are two separate toppers.) on the bottom tier or one of them on the board, perhaps. It's a groom's cake.

Unfortunately I don't get to communicate with the bride; it's all done through the organiser.  

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post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Seems bunting is out, although it's a good suggestion. Customer would like "as little decoration as possible".
So, is that it? Am I wanting to do this to suit myself or should I offer advice? It's hard to make something that I'm not happy with.
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post #7 of 24

Sounds like you are used to having free reign with the designs.  The client is paying you to make the cake THEY want.  If you think the design is boring that's your own personal taste.  Unless it's something offensive then you make the cake they want and are paying for, and to the best of your ability.  If you really don't like the finished product there's no reason you have to put it on your website.

Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kathy; you're absolutely right in every respect. I guess I was also concerned that the bride may find it boring but she seems to be sure of what she wants; so be it.
I haven't been involved in any of the discussions as I was urged to help out urgently with very little notice when the decorator went out of business.
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post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy View Post
 

Sounds like you are used to having free reign with the designs.  The client is paying you to make the cake THEY want.  If you think the design is boring that's your own personal taste.  Unless it's something offensive then you make the cake they want and are paying for, and to the best of your ability.  If you really don't like the finished product there's no reason you have to put it on your website.

 

This is totally right.  You have to decide whether you're in business for your ego or for your wallet.

post #10 of 24

Making a nice cake board really adds richness to any cake.  Make a larger drum then the cake. Cover it in fondant.  wrap the sides in something that compliments the cake

post #11 of 24

Is there no way you can talk to the bride? It might be that their design is based on wanting to spend as little as possible, when there is a chance you could do a nicer design for the same or less if only you knew what they were really looking for. Is the person you are working with familiar with cake design at all? 

 

If there's really nothing else you can do then just make sure you make the cake to the nest of your ability, sometimes a simple cake shows you are capable of the little details like sharp edges and clean lines, that can be easily hidden or overlooked on busier cakes.

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #12 of 24

That's a good point KikiandKyle made - the customer might be insistent on very little detail for cost reasons, whereas you might be perfectly happen to add to the design at no additional cost so it would be nice to be able to speak to the customer.

post #13 of 24

Or the bride could love her design and you offend her.

post #14 of 24

Or she might be planning on decorating it herself and taking credit for it, in which case you won't be associated with it anyway. And you'll have a new repeat customer, because if her guests like her cake and ask her to make another one she'll have to get another plain one from you.

 

There was someone on here years ago who said that there was a woman who bought cakes from her but would only let her drive to the bottom of the gated driveway to pass the cake off to her in a sneaky manner. Turns out she was telling people that she had made the cakes, and they kept asking her to make more, so she had to keep buying more. Then she moved and was in a panic about what she was going to do, which is when she had to confess about what she'd been doing, if I remember correctly.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you, everyone, for your input. Some interesting intrigue and speculation from all of us but now I know more about the situation.

 

Today was my first day at the caterer's kitchen (the people catering for the wedding), where I am working on the cake. It appears that the chef is helping out the bride with this because a private cake decorator went out of business, leaving the bride in the lurch. She wants a simple groom's cake, featuring the edible image of the groom's car. She stressed simple and not at all feminine - no fuss. This is the cake she wants and I will do the best I can to please her.

 

If I continue to do this into the future then I would want to collaborate with the clients on designing a cake. However, in this situation, it just wasn't feasible and it appears that the bride is happy and easy-going.

 

Thank you all again.

 

All the best,

Cher

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