It wasn’t like the photo….. 

It’s sad that I have to write this post. Unfortunately it’s something that has now happened to me twice, and I know happens to most cake makers. Now two incidents in three years and almost 300 cakes may not seem like a big deal, but it’s something I feel must be brought to general attention. 

A client gets in touch wanting a cake, they send you a reference photo of another cake they have seen that they like. This is not unusual, in fact it happens quite often. The problem comes when your client expects the cake you make to be identical to the one in their photo.

Here are the reasons this can’t happen. 

1) It’s someone else’s cake. Made by another cake artist, with a different style, different ideas. Who has used methods and materials at their disposal, in their country. 

2) It’s someone else’s design. And could be subject to copyright. Although this doesn’t often happen, some cake makers do copyright their designs. And unless you have their permission, you can’t replicate. And you can’t get their permission if you don’t know who made the original. Or they may not give permission.

3) Scale. If the cake in the photo is significantly bigger or smaller than the one needed, then the ordered cake is going to be different. As the design will have to be adjusted to fit the size needed. 

And so you take the reference picture, and work your tail off producing an amazing cake. Only to be told they are not happy because ‘it’s not exactly like the photo.’ Sadly it will never be exactly like the photo. Unless you track down the original cake maker and ask them to make that same cake again, which they may not be prepared to do. Every caker has their own style. We all work differently. We will happily take reference points, use inspiration. And we will always give you the best work we are able to. Tell me what exactly it is about that cake you love, and I will give you a unique and special to you version of it.

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