Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cake Lies That Liars Tell

Which tier is red velvet?
Call them whatever you want...lies, myths, mistakes, bizarre and incorrect advice, whatever. I hear a lot of stuff that clients have been told by other bakers that just make no sense whatsoever.

It makes me wonder what the purpose of these cake lies are. Unfortunately, a lot of the "tall tales" seem to exist solely to make the baker's job easier. If you don't want to do something, or you can't do it because you don't have the skill level, just tell the client that it CAN'T be done, or HAS TO be done a certain way.

Those phrases should be keywords for brides...If you hear "It CAN'T be done" or "you HAVE TO do it this way" you'd better double-check with someone else.

Here are some doozies that I've heard recently:

-You can't do red velvet cake on a wedding cake because it will bleed through the icing. (Tell that to the last 40 red velvet cakes that I did.)
-The bottom tier has to be pound cake (what if it's only a two-tiered cake?)
-A specific technique just can't be done. (You mean that you don't know how to do it.)
-Square cakes are cut out of a round cake, so a lot is wasted. That's why we charge so much more for them. (Ever heard of  a square cake pan?)
-You can't do fondant draping on buttercream (You mean that you don't want to have to take the time to smooth the icing out before adding a drape to it?)

So to all you liars out there, stop it! When the client that you've lied to comes to me, you can bet I'm going to set them straight, and it will just make you look bad. Just say that you don't know how to do a technique, or that the flavor choice they want isn't something that you offer. Try the truth for a change.

What cake lies have you heard recently? Share any good ones, I'm always looking for a laugh!

(And it's the bottom tier that was red velvet!)

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


adozeneggs said...

Great post! I make cakes, but nothing like yours, and I'm honest with people. I don't do tiered cakes, I'm not good at it and I've never done it. I don't do fondant because I'm not experienced with it, and I don't do sheet cakes because they are cheap and readily available at the supermarket. I don't lie!!! But I've seen Cake Wrecks and evidently there are A LOT of liars out there.

Kristin said...

I heard the red velvet one the other day... good thing it was a phone call or I would have looked at her like she has 6 heads...

Kara said...

I guess there are a lot of cake liars out there, because this post was retweeted by a bunch of people as soon as it came out. I forgot to mention the biggie..."I bake only from scratch" as you're tasting what's obviously a mix and canned icing :)

Emily said...

I was recently told that another local "caker" told a to-be bride that she could only have one flavor for her 4-tiered wedding cake because it was just too much work...or she would have to charge her an extra $100 for the multiple flavors. I'm baking her a 4-tiered, 4-flavored cake for her Saturday wedding...with no extra fee! Sometimes I just don't get the laziness! It's just unprofessional!

Jennifer said...

I worked for a bakery who said that they could only do chocolate for the bottom tier, because chocolate cake is too heavy to be on top.

Audric Montuno said...

I'm just curious what exactly those people are saying will "bleed" through the icing.

"You can't have a red velvet, because the first few rows of people will get spewed with cake blood during the cutting."

Kara said...

Oh, yes, the spewing blood and heavy chocolate cakes, very common problems.

I forgot to add that the bakery that tells people that you have to have pound cake on the bottom tier makes clients sign a waiver that they understand the cake might collapse if they choose not to have pound cake on the bottom!

Anonymous said...

wow, i have never heard of these "lies". they make absolutely no sense whatsoever! cut a square cake from a round???? preposterous! kara i guess you have heard them all. when i read that you said "ever heard of a square pan" i thought of those funny miller lite commercials, they crack me up :D
cindy/cindy's cakery

veron said...

I had to laugh at the red velvet one. I just state on my website that cake decorating is NOT my specialty so the cutting cake will only come in fondant with a ribbon. It's better to be honest than to tell lies.

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Kristi said...

This is probably my favorite blog post so far! Well said, especially calling fakers out on pretending to bake from scratch...they are basically calling thier potential customers morons!

SweetThingsTO said...

Similar to Emily - I have heard many times from people that they are surprised they can have different flavors for different tiers. Other vendors have said that it can only be one flavor. I also see on TV a lot where they talk about "edible flowers" or the baker eats it off the wire so show its edible - I don't like how it is misleading since they are essentially edible but they are on a wire, so that's just dangerous. I'd rather call them handmade sugarpaste flowers.