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It’s A Piece Of (Ugly) Cake

, , , , , | Working | January 25, 2022

I worked at a grocery store bakery as a closer for a few months. They have a couple of really talented cake decorators, so they get a lot of orders for all kinds of occasion cakes. I am not a talented cake decorator. I wish I was; I love making cake and I can make a really tasty one. Baking is something I’ve always had a knack for; I just have the shakiest hands in the world so everything looks very homemade.

There was a cake order getting picked up one evening after everyone else in the department had gone home for the night. This was a forty-year anniversary cake: two tiers with a waterfall scene and individually piped blades of grass. The person who put it in the fridge after it had been finished, who did so before I even came into work that day, jammed a lid on it before they put it away and ruined all the delicate icing work that probably took the decorator hours.

The person came to pick it up and understandably was incredibly upset. I texted the department manager and asked for help to figure out what to do because I couldn’t even match the frosting colors they had mixed, let alone fix the whole layer that got peeled off when they opened the lid to look at their cake, as tends to be the case when frosting gets stuck to something besides cake while it’s hardening.

The person in charge for the night used to work in the bakery and seemed to expect that I would be able to repair the ruined frosting. I did my best to make it very clear that this was not something I was able to do to any degree beyond putting a slab of blue on it and calling it a lake. I still feel so bad for the couple; they got the cake for free but that doesn’t bring back the beautiful cake they ordered and deserved to get.

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