Most business blogs do a fabulous year-end review where they proudly boast about their accomplishments. I think it’s very important to recognise the highs and wins of the year, and congratulate ourselves on them. This year my high was definitely collaborating with that high street bakery chain you may have heard of - Patisserie Valerie. The desserts I created with them are available ACROSS THE WHOLE OF THE UK! How amazing is that?!
But rather than boasting, I also like to reflect on the lows and learn from them. We’ve certainly had some dud moments this year. Some are so bad they are actually funny and I gruntle-chuckle at even the fleeting thought. Some are just tragic. And no, they aren’t to do with freebie blaggers etc. I’ll put both hands up and admit they’re wholly to do with the actual cakes we’ve made.
Not all cakes are made equal. There are some cakes that didn’t turn out AT ALL as they were meant to, and some that I actually just hate because the concept mings so much.
Here they are.
Our absolute WORST cakes
1. Scare Bear
When care bears go rogue, they become scare bears. The brief was to have a vegan cake with rainbow frosting and a cute hand modelled Care Bear cake topper. The first attempt at modelling the bear actually gave me night terrors.
There was no way we could send a birthday cake out with that to scar poor lil Margaux for life at the tender age of two. So I made another to look less like scare bear, and more like care bear. I think we can all sleep better now.
2. Cherry Bake-not-Well
You remember that little baking competition I took part in? Our first episode probably made bake-off history where we miraculously turned our disastrous first challenge experience around and scraped through with our teeth not to be out in the first episode. I had nightmares about being the first to be booted so it was extremely relieving not to be. However, these cherry bake-fails that had all the promise in the world to be the most wonderful pastries the judges would’ve ever had - almond mousse with cherry jelly, raspberry glaze on white chocolate and almond crumble...failed with great aplomb on the day and looked like gouged eyes. I guess they would be perfect for Halloween, next to scare bear.
3. Ciggy Cake
I should have really said no to a brief I despised - cigarettes and butts on a cake. It sounded rank, and it actually looked rank. I’ve never smoked a cigarette, and I certainly don’t fancy it on a cake. We had a few attempts on it, to make it look less crass. But sadly, our imaginations limited by the brief let us down on this. From that point I’m a lot firmer on which briefs we can knock out of the park, and which we turn down because my biggest weakness is clearly being made to do something I think is grim, like cigarette cakes.
So yeah, you couldn’t pay me enough to make a birthing-vagina-baby-head cake. Dick cakes though...😝
4. Lara & Karrar’s Wedding Cake
Oh geez, THAT couple with the worst wedding guests who apparently ALL complained about the cake being awful. I’ll admit, the cake did suck to look at. The bride ordered our beautiful Pink Sweetheart cake that looks like this...and could’ve been this:
But then she sent us 157 emails asking to change the drip, remove the doughnuts, add more flowers, add extra piping, add extra flowers, change the buttercream to all ivory, no candied popcorn, do this, do that. Basically change the entire design to...well...this:
I’m not shocked they were awful to deal with after their wedding with THAT review (to which my husband valiantly defended us with his hilarious response). Considering how bad they were before the wedding, it was only predictable. What’s baffling is they said the cake LOOKED great in their review...I guess that’s something to be pleasantly surprised about.
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Wedding Cake 🎂 to feed 100: £260 Delivery 🚚 to Wedding Venue: £0 Stress from 40 emails back and forth, belligerent complaint plus damning reviews: £0 Love of my life standing up for me and our team: Priceless 🥰 All jokes aside, these reviews really floored us today. We know sometimes we can mess up and we do our best to sort it out to make it right by our customers. We also know that despite us doing our best some people just won’t like our cake, it’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth. But when a customer literally Googles every single cake complaint ever made and collates it into a review packed with fiction it really gets us down. 💔 K&L...I’m truly sorry your wedding sucked cuz of our cake and ‘all your guests complained’. Next time you get married, please don’t order from us. To all our other customers who support us, and give us the opportunity when we genuinely fall short, we really love you - we sing your praises in the kitchen and sing along to Tina Turner’s ‘You’re Simply The BEST!’ or my fave Bollywood tunes - Nadine even has a video of me doing this 🙈
The lesson here? Just say no to when the requests get crazy. Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right.
5. Two-tiered 10”/12” Cakes
All of our cakes in 10”/12” sizes are HIDEOUS. The only reason we flog them is because customers want to have a tiered cake with lots of servings, whilst being budget conscious and not choosing the lovely and elegant three-tiered 6”/8”/10” size. But I am ugly crying making them. They are squat, stout, and stumpy. We hate them so much that when customers call with tiered cake enquiries we actually tell them straight up that the 10”/12” size is fugly and they should consider going for a smaller cake with smaller servings.
I hope you had a few chuckles on my round-up of our worst cakes. Failure isn’t fruitless if we can learn from it, right? Luckily, this list is short and sweet as of the approximate 3,000 cakes we made this year and delivered, there’s only a handful that make it to our hall of shame.
If you are lolling or can relate, please let me know in the comments.
Lots of sh!t-cake love,