About Me

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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Doing the right thing

This past weekend was not the brightest in my cake career.  I'd made it through the hottest days of summer, the muggiest afternoons and not once had I lost a cake or had any complaints.  In the last three years this is the first time that this has happened (to my immediate knowledge).

The shorter version is I tried to over compensate for the hot and very humid weather we've all summer.  I've noticed that if we have rain after very hot days we have very muggy days.  This Saturday also had the extra benefit of cold rain.  None of these extra elements are good for cake or frosting.  I had already had to scrap one accessory to the cake because I couln't stop it from melting and falling apart.  "No problem," I think to myself,  "it's not the main piece and we'll take $$ off for the missing piece."  This delivery had several cakes and the smallest one had continually melted on me if out of the cold for more than 20 minutes.  In my panic to keep things together I did the one thing I never do....keep them in the refrigerator as long as I possibly can. 

Cakes have to have time to chill while decorating.  The frosting needs time to set up so that fondant work can be done.  If air bubbles are going to occur they need time to surface.  But I've never left one in the length of time I did this one and I think I set my refrigerator to a colder setting than I'd ever done before.

The delivery itself went fine.  There were very excited people to see the completed cake but by Monday morning it had turned into the thing I always say I never want - looks fabulous on the outside but is not worth eating on the inside.  By Monday morning the client had called to tell me they had not been able to eat any of the cake because it was hard and dry.  (upon hearing this let the nausea set in)  Since she was not my only delivery that day I had to do some quick back tracking to check on the other clients.  Thankfully there were no other issues.

My conclusions were this:  I did not give the cake time to come to temperature before delivery so that it was still way too cold internally to be eaten and thusly also too dry and I left it in the refrigerator too long to over compensate for weather bringing me back to the overall result. 

The right thing to do was to give the lady her money back.  She is a dear friend and a regular client and she says she absolutely will continue to order from me but the damage is done.  I've heard horror stories where bakers won't refund the money or claim no resopnsibility but I couldn't do that.  We both knew this was not the cake I normally produce.  

The good news is everyone was understanding, we figured out what went wrong, her money was returned and we are still good friends and (as she says) a client for life. 


  1. So sorry, Veronica! As a fellow cake baker/decorator I can only imagine how you must've felt to receive that call. The important thing is that you did your best to set the situation right again - keep at it and do what I (try!) to do which is learn and keep on trucking lol! (Really enjoy reading your blog, by the way!)

  2. Hi Veronica! Just found your blog through Kara's blog. We have all had something go wrong with a cake now and then, and it sounds like you handled it like a pro! Would love to hear and see more of the cakes you have been working on!

  3. Hi Jenniffer!

    Welcome to the blog and thanks! It's awful to get that call but I feel you always have to do what's right and that's what I tried to do. I love Kara's blog. I'm woefully behind on mine and need to get to it. If you visit the website you should be able to see my current projects!