Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Some of you may have already read in the news that Buddy Valastro is teaming up with Dawn Foods to distribute frozen fondant covered cakes to grocery stores.

Those of you who are already feeling the pain justifying your pricing with customers comparing you to Costco and Walmart, get ready!

Chances are, for shipping purposes, these frozen cakes will have to have pretty flat decorations and are likely not to be very sophisticated. I know one of the designs is a cake I've seen on his show which features stacked cut-outs of 5 petal flowers all over the cake.

But, I do think bakeries and home cake decorators are going to be facing competition with these less expensive cakes.

So, it's time to do some brainstorming. Please add your thoughts below.

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This actually reminds me of my 50th birthday cake.  First time since my youth that I had a birthday cake, that I hadn't made myself.  None of the women in my family are cakers, so my brother had ordered it from a local, well known cake shop that have been going for years and years.  It looked nice enough, but............bordered on inedible!  It tasted disgusting, synthetic and bitter, and I am a pig when it comes to sweets and cakes.  I took the rest of it home and it went out in the garden for the birds.  I have never done that in my life with a cake...........I don't know how much he paid for it, but I know it wasn't cheap from this baker.  So sad. 

Amen,  sista!!!  I saw a post on Pinterest that was SO true.  "Good cake isn't cheap.  Cheap cake isn't good."   I think most people think cake is cake until they get a really bad one!  :)     But, I guess you can't blame them for trying to get a bargain.

Sandra I. Vazquez Lossiseroni said:

We should not be worry at all, 

My reply to those questioning my pricing (if they dare to do it) will be "Frozen goods are frozen goods it does not matter who does it.  They are coming from a factory full of employees.  Frozen + factory = cheap product for easy money.  I have seen the cakes already at Costco, they are 'regular cakes', they will never have the WOW Factor.  

If clients are looking for a delicious cake baked with fresh ingredients, custom designs, absolutely gorgeous, with a WOW factor...they won't have a problem looking for us. 

Me too, Katy!  My mom was THE best cook so I learned from a master.   I know bad food when I get it but you are right, a lot of people don't know any better so they are happy with WM cakes.  Personally, I just can't get past the slicky-mouth feel of the icing! YUK 
Katy Nott said:

This all sounds like very bad news for you guys.  There have been so many valid and true points made here.  People that have not been brought up with home baking, don't know any different.  It's the same with many restaurants (at least round my way it is) - the food is average and I almost always end up being disappointed after looking forward to a treat.  I am a good cook and obviously cook to our tastes, but I was brought up in a home where NOTHING was store bought and it has spoilt me for anything else.  I would no sooner buy a celebration cake from a supermarket than put a nail through my foot - but that's just me.  As for poor Sharon's tale - people are so flippin' ignorant - don't they realise what an insult that was?????????

As for the Cake Boss - he is just joining the never ending line of talented people who have a gift, get discovered, make some money and then just can't stop.  Start to think they're God and get greedy.  We have several over here too, I'm sad to say.

Right, now I've got that off my chest, time for din dins!

That is why I also loathe store bought cake as well Katy & Dee.  My Mom also was a amazing cook and a even better baker of sweets.  As a teen I baked right beside her. Learned from the best. Unfortunately, she never got to see the lovely speciality cakes I made later in my life.

Oh Sharon

Your post struck a cord. My need to decorate is more for a longing to be creative. Yours is a different story, you are out money trying to build a business. May I make a few suggestions?

Firstly, here where I live we can write off a cake made for charity. Check to see if this is possible for you.

I also know how upset you were when your cake wasn't touched. Two weddings I did the wedding/cupcakes  I made were never eaten.  One was thrown away, my niece's, the other the cupcakes were taken by family at the end of my friends daughters wedding and taken to their church for coffee hour!!!  I was very upset in both cases. If I hadn't attended the weddings, it would have been out of sight, out of mind!!! 

Secondly, have you thought of attending Wedding shows/fairs etc.?   My Pastor also has Wedding business, and was actually in a group called Meetup. I joined, but it didn't pan out, but my Pastor, Ray, and another member, a florist,  asked me to join them at Weding shows. Ray said I would probably get busy enough that I might need an assistant.  I declined Sharon, because at this stage in my life, 30 yrs. working, newly retired, I wasn't interested in getting that much cake business. Ray  has doubled his wedding business from attending.

He also decided to pay a fee to google so his Wedding business comes up in the top 10 search. That's a bit pricey.

Check to see if there is a Meetup group in your area. You might be able to hook up with some people who are involved in Wedding, catering, photography, etc. who could spread the word about your cake business. How it works is you all help each other spreading the word of each others Wedding business. You tell customers about the florist, caterer, photographer. Then the florist, caterer, photographer tell customers about your cakes. Basically, you scratch my back, I scratch yours.

Hope some of this info can help you.

Sharon Spradley said:

Since the beginning of 2011 everyone has encouraged me to do this as a business so I thought what the heck with the cottage kitchen laws now I can do it from home and that way still be here when my kids get home from school yet make a few dollars as well. I never wanted to be busy just steady 1-2 cakes a week so as I could still give a good quality item.I am now in to it for thousands of dollars and am wondering what the heck was I thinking...people still want the yucky old walmart kind, how blooming boring. I do a big cancer charity event each year which I donate a cake for plus have done donation cakes for relay for life and got not one cake order from any of them. Everyone raved about them but then nothing. The relay for life cake they specifically came to me and asked for it so I thought why not it is in a more upscale neighborhood so would be a good way to get my name out there...they didn't even cut the cake. I was so mad and was in tears all the way home, all those hours of work and no one even took a bite...they said it was too pretty to cut, uuugggg. The cake looked amazing but I still say you can't sell your cakes unless you can get people to eat them no matter how good they look. I now usually say no to donation cakes as I have not got one $ back from them. Maybe they can contact Buddy and ask him for one hehehe.

When it comes to cake not getting touched - if I'm at the event, and I notice the cake isn't being touched, I'll go up to the coordinator and ask them if they'd like me to cut and serve the cake - that way I know people are going to at least try it!  Sometimes, if a cake is elaborately decorated, they may not know how to "get into it" - especially if it's a tiered cake - it does take some know-how to get it apart and cut in even slices.  I know a wedding is a little different, and especially cupcakes! Come on! Who doesn't love a cupcake?  But I think a lot of times people order WAY more than they need, and then they give their guests appetizers, drinks and a huge 3 course meal (at least) so they are not even hungry anymore.  Don't take it personally!! 

I did take it personally for my niece's Eileen. My sis-in-lw was ticked off I didn't say something about when to "cut the cake". Well it wasn't my place, but hers to have instructed the kitchen/serving staff as to what time to serve. I had suggested A few weeks before cutting cake right after dinner, for photo. Then staff cut up for eve buffet. Well, it was forgotten. When they remembered, it was 11pm, buffet was set up, sis sent kitchen staff home. Kitchen was locked up so we couldn't get plates, spoons, forks, or even a knife to cut the cake. Maybe in hindsight, I should have spoken up. The cupcakes, well that was the halls fault. I set everything up. When dinner came, they had moved my cake & cupcakes to the back of the room. I did mention it twice to brides Mom, my friend. Alas NO announcement was made by staff, bride, or Mom they were their. When I did the 2nd daughters Wedding, she had been so horrified at what happened at her sisters Wedding, right after dinner she had everyone come and see her cakes. Made sure there were photos taken as well.

I'm sorry, June. :( 

Oh Eileen....... I'm so over it. Happened 6 yrs ago. What was even funnier is I made a really cute topper for same niece. She dropped it and it smashed to smithereens!! She called me 2 days later to thank me again & laughed & laughed when she told me about dropping the topper. Oh Eileen, I can laugh now, but then, oh my goodness, have enough common sense to keep that to yourself. If your gonna tell me, tell me on my death bed...... Hee. Hee. Family.... What'd gonna do??!!


Sharon - I think it's the fame thing.  As I said, they start to think they are the best thing since sliced bread and get a kick out of putting the little guy down.  Have you also thought about putting your flyers into the local hairdressing salon?  Perhaps take them in a cake for their clients to taste, so they know how good you are.  A lot of my Christmas Log orders come from my hairdresser's.

Sharon Spradley said:

Thanks for all your kind words June and yes we do have some groups like that here, however they are at 7am in the morning when I am busy trying to get 4 kids off to school. I have gone to our local bowling Alley and given them my information so hopefully that will bring some business in as well as I am going to make flyers this weekend and go around to all the local daycare centers and ask them if they will put them out for me. Have not done any wedding cakes yet so not sure about the wedding shows thing, still a little scared to be truly honest about doing one as that is such a big responsibility. I do think churches is a good idea though the bowling alley lady said exactly the same thing so think I will try that as well. I would say I am not really worried about the whole Buddy thing either, you just see how he lives and have to wonder why does he really have to do that and make it just one more thing us small time cake makers have to contend with. I am not sure if it is greed or being famous and seeing your name everywhere you go that does it.

Its funny you girls are saying that buddy's cakes arent very good, a friend of mine said the same thing, she and her husband where visiting NJ and went to the bakery and purchased cupcakes, she hated it, said it had no taste and the texture was like saw dust, very dissapointed.  Im not threatened at all, once a customer has a good tasting cake, they are willing to pay for it ,and they keep coming back!!!. 

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