Why Your Cake Decorator Won’t Recreate Someone Else's Design
Your kid’s 1st birthday is coming up, you’re planning your wedding or hey, you just really want a cake with an awesome design – whatever your reason, you’ve spent hours (ok let’s be honest, weeks), scouring Pinterest for the perfect cake. Then one night while lying in bed, trying to fall asleep…you see it! There it is. It’s exactly what you want. It’s not too big, but not too small. It’s got the perfect amount of “wow” and absolutely nothing for your sister to complain about. It’s just so YOU! You have to have this cake. Now the trick, how do you get this cake? The photo you found is from six years ago at an actual princess’s wedding in a country you’ve never heard of. Is that near Genovia?
You start making calls the next day. One bakery just laughs at you, another one tells you sure, they’ll make it for you. That’ll be $8,000. Would you like to pay with your firstborn or a credit card? The most common answer you get though, “We can make a similar cake, but not that exact design.”
Look, we get it. That cake is beautiful. We get why you love it. You’ve got great taste. But before you decide all is lost, first we’re here to tell you that it’s not. You can trust us to design a cake just as beautiful that I promise you’ll love. Who knows, maybe one day Princess Consuela-Perfect-Cake will see yours and be jealous! Second, let’s talk about why bakeries won’t copy a cake design from another cake decorator. You’ll find that lots of bakeries will take “inspiration” from pictures, but copying is pretty frowned upon in our industry.
Reason #1 - It's just not possible.Recreating an exact duplicate is unrealistic. I know, we’ve all watched Cake Boss and we all think this cake decorating thing is easy. Spoiler alert, it’s not. Our cake designers spend hours, sometimes days, on a single cake. Even the most skilled cake decorators would be hard-pressed to say that they’re able to recreate one of their original cake designs exactly the same. The details, the size, the flavor, and more…it’s just not a doable request.
Reason #2 - We could get in trouble...
...like legal trouble. Not to go all hippy on you or anything, but cake decorating is an art. The original designer of the cake you love has legal rights to the cake they created. They’re the artist, the first and the only ones to create that cake and as such, they have exclusive rights to recreate it or not. Although it is rare, yes, the original cake decorator can go as far as legal actions against another cake decorator for property rights violation.
Reason #3 - Pinterest taste, grocery store budget.
No, we’re not going to charge you royal wedding cake prices. We aren’t going to charge you grocery store bakery prices either, though. We’ve legitimately had people say to us, “A box of cake mix is $2.99. Why do you charge so much?” Well, if you’ve read this far into our blog, chances are you don’t need us to answer that question. You already know that we don’t use boxed cake mix. You probably also know that the cakes you get from us are custom designed and hand-decorated just for your celebration. Any local bakery you order from will (or should) do the same. We’re not saying we’re all the dessert versions of Van Gogh or anything, but it certainly is something you that requires skill, lots of practice, and dare I say, artistic talent? Yeah, I dare.
Reason #4 - It's just wrong.At least in the baker community, it’s pretty well understood that taking inspiration from another cake is acceptable. Flat out copying a cake design though – that’s just stealing. It’s insulting to the original cake decorator and definitely won’t earn you any brownie (or cake) points.
Reason #5 - Money, Money, Money
Many times the price tag alone tells the final answer. For some bakers, projects that reach a particular price point are simply not worth attempting. This is due to skill, interest, and other factors. For the consumer, price is a BIG deal. Especially, here in Arizona where some cake designs simply don't happen as a result of the price tag associated.
So, what are you supposed to do about your perfect cake?
Have a specific look that you’re going for?It’s ok to send a few different pictures to your bakery. You can send pictures of cakes or even just different elements of decorations from your wedding or party. This all gives the cake decorator an idea of the general aesthetic you’re going for. It gets their creative juices flowing while keeping to a set design theme.
Consider ordering one of your baker's original cake designs.
The last little tip we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention, once you place your final order, try to keep it final. Your bakers are extremely busy and want to create something memorable for you. They’re creating pieces of art, that you can eat! Nothing kills inspiration more than a phone call with a last-minute change request.