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Is it tacky or unprofessional to under frost cupcakes and then charge extra for "extra" frosting?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am thinking yes. The cake isn't good or fresh enough to make up for it either. My friend and I were having this discussion yesterday. I go to other places or make my own instead of buying there. I am also equally disappointed in the small bakeries that use cake mix then claim homemade, I feel the same way about those too. Am I being too harsh?
post #2 of 17

Charging extra for under frosting is for sure wrong and i wouldn't try to pass off cup cakes for home made ether that's just misleading customers although maybe they don't have time because in bakeries they spend all day making pastry and pies which is really time consuming, it's like 15 mins mixing the fats in the pastries, an hour rolling it out and shaping it all to size, don't think they would have much time to make cup cake mixture unless they hired someone just for making cupcakes, cakes and biscuites but again time consuming.

post #3 of 17

Your point of using a mix then calling it homemade is much more valid.  I think most cakes/cupcakes are over-frosted and usually the frosting is shortening based.  A good buttercream used on a good cake does not need to be piled on, in fact correctly prepared buttercream is so rich that you would not like it if it was over-used.  Most shops are so small that you can see the ingredients, if you see shortening and cake mixes on the shelf then run.  

post #4 of 17

Popcorn?

 

mimi

 

There I go being snarky again!

No excuses, but in future I will try to refrain from posting when my blood sugar is low.

Anyway...YES it is definitely (IMO) not a good business practice to charge for extra icing, unless it is on the menu as an "icing shooter".

But (always a but, right?) if the cake is bad and the icing skimpy why buy more icing?

Pay for the cuppie, take a bite and if it is bad (dry, flavorless, not enough sugar) place it back on the counter and hold out your hand for your coin back..

If said cuppie is the best you have ever had and the frosting is to die for buy another cuppie and ask for extra icing on it.

If the business is well run you will probably get the 2-fer special because they want you to come back.

Why you even asked for extra icing before you had tasted it is beyond my understanding.

Like Glenn pointed out, the MBC icings are sinfully rich.

Also IMO those bakers that go to the trouble and expense to make it , have "designed" their products to have the perfect balance of cake (scratch) filling (scratch and just enough) and icing with toppings (perfect amt and most likely very fetching).

Those are the bakeries that give their cuppies cute names.

So.

In the future if you walk into a shop and the cupcakes have cute names  (and the bathroom is clean...my very first priority, wink.gif) you will most likely have a very nice experience....just sayin, K?

 

mimi

 

Second edit.... I am withholding my opinions on cake mixes.

You would be shocked by who uses them.

Obviously if you are on a food show you will bake from scratch.

There are some BIG NAMES out there that can doctor a mix and declare it passed down for generations and you will not doubt.

They mostly do couture cakes for weddings and other such events.

That's all!

'nuff said.

 

m.


Edited by flipflopgirl - 5/18/13 at 5:29am
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Taylor View Post

Your point of using a mix then calling it homemade is much more valid.  I think most cakes/cupcakes are over-frosted and usually the frosting is shortening based.  A good buttercream used on a good cake does not need to be piled on, in fact correctly prepared buttercream is so rich that you would not like it if it was over-used.  Most shops are so small that you can see the ingredients, if you see shortening and cake mixes on the shelf then run.  

I agree with this comment. Mind you the cake mix is usually found in the big barrels they keep in the back. Walked into a bakeshop the other day to get a baguette and had a brief exchange of words with owner. I asked her what she was selling her cakes for (12 slices) and she told be 9.75. Then she said that the client could pick whichever buttercream they wanted. So I asked her to give me a taste of her buttercream. So I tasted it and said, good "Criscocream". But where is the buttercream ? Do you have it in the back ? Then I said,  "You are able to sell those cakes at such a low price because  there is nothing real or fresh about them. All you need to do is measure out 2 cups from your barrel add water and wipe on the criscocream. Was I harsh ? No, just going over the facts.

 

Is it tacky or unprofessional to under frost cupcakes and then charge extra for "extra" frosting?

 

 

A client is purchasing a product with the expectations of getting the appropriate amount of frosting. No more , no less.

Its even morally wrong to try and deceive people like that.

In the end what is the goal when selling cupcakes ? Do you want to keep your clients and make sure they get served the appropriate amount and walk away satisfied ? Or do you hand them an underfrosted cupcake and they never go back  because they doubt the validity of your culinary ethics , especially when you say " Oh sorry sir, if you would like more frosting that will be an extra .50 " In the client's mind he is saying " Then what did I just pay for in the first place ?"

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #6 of 17

Criscocream....drinkbeer.gif

Well said.

 

mimi

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalsandcoco View Post

... So I asked her to give me a taste of her buttercream. So I tasted it and said, good "Criscocream". But where is the buttercream ? Do you have it in the back ? Then I said,  "You are able to sell those cakes at such a low price because  there is nothing real or fresh about them. All you need to do is measure out 2 cups from your barrel add water and wipe on the criscocream. Was I harsh ? No, just going over the facts.

...


Nothing substitutes for real butter.  Walmart locally here in the deep south offered butter croissants that tasted great.  Then, they were replaced by some mixture having no butter.  Complaining to the 'inventory manager walking the store', I complained and recommended he taste the butter croissants offered at the local Harvey's supermarket to compare to what his W.M. offered, he walked away stone faced and nonplussed.  Think I'll go to Harvey's next time and from then on for my butter fix.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes shortening frosting is not good. I really notice flavors a lot more than some people do. I can tell when it's cheap or fake. I am a super taster too. I wish I could just eat something like most people do and not feel a sense of loss when it's bad. LOL I want it to be good, but it's not. I wish that more of these places in my area cared about what they were putting out. We have some that do though.
post #9 of 17

I know exactly what you you are sayin' Jessica.

I have almost completely stopped buying produce at my usual stores.

The quality is not always up to par and there have been far too many product recalls lately.

Take that and add rude service and you have lost my business

Co-ops and farmers markets have become my go to (unless I have an onion crisis, lol)

Have had to change some of my recipes around and start using a lot more frozen produce.

The price of my fave butter brand has dropped, tho.

Go figure, lol.

 

mimi


Edited by flipflopgirl - 5/20/13 at 6:08pm
post #10 of 17

mmm... i love butter cream icing :P for sure you don't need to put much of that on as it's very creamy and sweet but most places use very cheap frosting these days so i think if they go cheap they should put more on but a lot of the places who try to go cheap don't put enough of it on at all, i've often found my muffins dry, they make it look like there is a lot of frosting but soon as you bite into it it's like not too good, honestly i would stick to home made because the prices are over the top in most places any way it's like £1 for a tiny tiny muffin and £2.30 for a bigger one :\ what is all that about? lol especially whem most places use cheap frosting, and most typical coffee places like costa, cafe nero, rhode island charge far far too much, it's like £1.90 for a tiny muffin and they don't even have frosting on them just a plane muffin with tiny choc chips in them lol ridiculous, you could probably make like 10 batches of stuff from your own home while buying from places you would only be able to eat like 6 or 7 muffins when you can get a bunch of ingredients for less than those muffins put together lol.

post #11 of 17
I once dated a man that just loved that shortening frosting. I have to say, I never thought of him as very discerning from that day on. But then he was totally embarrassed by what I drove. My opinion on cars that if you turn the key and it runs, you don't go buy anything else to drive. He probably thinks of food similarly.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmbai90 View Post

mmm... i love butter cream icing :P for sure you don't need to put much of that on as it's very creamy and sweet but most places use very cheap frosting these days so i think if they go cheap they should put more on but a lot of the places who try to go cheap don't put enough of it on at all, i've often found my muffins dry, they make it look like there is a lot of frosting but soon as you bite into it it's like not too good, honestly i would stick to home made because the prices are over the top in most places any way it's like £1 for a tiny tiny muffin and £2.30 for a bigger one :\ what is all that about? lol especially whem most places use cheap frosting, and most typical coffee places like costa, cafe nero, rhode island charge far far too much, it's like £1.90 for a tiny muffin and they don't even have frosting on them just a plane muffin with tiny choc chips in them lol ridiculous, you could probably make like 10 batches of stuff from your own home while buying from places you would only be able to eat like 6 or 7 muffins when you can get a bunch of ingredients for less than those muffins put together lol.

You're talking pounds so i guess you're from the UK.  There's a difference between cupcakes and muffins (or there is supposed to be) in the US.  Cupcakes are primarily sweets, deserts or snacks, made with cake batter.  Usually frosted with some buttercream sugary frosting.  Muffins (what you find at costa and caffe nero, are supposed to be "quick breads" which are very mildly sweet, but more bread-like (like a coffee roll, a hot cross bun, but without yeast).  They would be in the category of banana bread, waffles, pancakes, and are usually eaten for breakfast or with coffee as a snack, but would never be desert.  Cupcakes could be desert.  So you won;t find frosting on muffins. 

In the UK and Italy and probably all over europe, i find "muffins" that are really more like unfrosted cakes.  Chocolate with chocolate chips, or filled with sweet jam or whatever. 

You would never have muffins at a birthday party for kids, for instance, only cupcakes (fairy cakes). 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyGal View Post

I once dated a man that just loved that shortening frosting. I have to say, I never thought of him as very discerning from that day on. But then he was totally embarrassed by what I drove. My opinion on cars that if you turn the key and it runs, you don't go buy anything else to drive. He probably thinks of food similarly.

Yeah, i get it about cars, for sure.  However, i will admit that i miss frostings of all kinds.  Yeah, a wonderful buttercream with a creme anglais base, or a meringue italienne base with real butter is a very special thing.  But i still love frostings, even the crappy ones with tasteless vegetable fat (as long as there are no "flavorings" in them).  Grease and sugar, how can you go wrong?  The old fashioned american buttercream (before the invention of crisco) - butter and powdered sugar, period, is still one of my favorite tastes - a killer, but still the child in me would lick the pan and probably lick it off the cupcake without even eating the cupcake.  smile.gif

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #13 of 17

Never thought of it that way i suppose at breakfast you wouldn't want nothing too sugary or heavy, i can only stand cerial or a some toast and a piece of fruit when i get up myself,  i couldn't eat muffins though, sugar makes me feel sick when i get up but coco pops is ok though. I still think it's too pricey in cafes though for just a dry bread life muffin with a few chocolate chips, home cooking beats it for sure as you can get cheap 1k bags of flour that is just the same as more expensive flour as well as value packets of baking buffer/margerine. Id say i prefear a cupcake with butter cream icing then normal icing and sugar cookies with it on too, i could probably make a batch of 40 cupcakes out of a 1k bag of self raising, maybe less depending on the recipe.

post #14 of 17

Well, muffins are not supposed to be sweet.  They should have just a little sugar and be more breadlike (maybe the closest thing you might have tried is irish soda bread - imagine it with just a bit of sugar.  Chocolate chips are really not what you'd put in a muffin. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #15 of 17

I can't remember having that but here in the UK they make plane muffins with some chocolate chips with a tiny bit of coco powder, not many chips though but just enough to make it sweeter but it's still mostly bread like, people here like their muffins sweeter than dryer.

post #16 of 17

The ideal muffin is neither very sweet nor dry.  Dry would never be accepted.  Some are more crumbly due to the nature of the ingredients, like corn muffins.  Blueberry muffins tend to have a sprinkling of sugar on top before baking because the blueberries can be very tart. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #17 of 17

Saw this from the front page and it really got to me.

 

They use cake mixes??  Why?  Its not that time consuming to make cake batter, even in large batches as long as you have the proper equipment and setup.  Unless you're doing something extraordinary it should take like 15 minutes tops to make a large batch of cupcake batter.  And the difference between a properly made cake from scratch and one from a box mix is huge.

 

And under-frosting??  seriously?  For as much as they charge for cupcakes in a "cupcakery" or whatever its called you should get as much frosting as you want.  The food cost on those things is probably in the 5 to 10% range.

 

I spent a lot of time making muffins when I used to work in a coffee shop kitchen.  Super simple to do, and you can go in lots of different directions with them.  Some would be super sweet, some not very sweet at all.  You can use sugar crystals or a glaze for added sweetness, or adjust the types of sugar being used (darker sugars result in a sweeter tasting muffin).

 

Heres my blueberry muffin recipe.  Takes about an hour and fifteen minutes start to finish.  It makes 24 jumbo muffins, so divide it by four to make 12 regular sized muffins.

 

- 6 cups blueberries

 

Dry Ingredients:

 

- 8 cups AP flour

- 1 Tbsp. baking soda

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 tsp nutmeg

- 1 tsp kosher salt

 

Wet Ingredients

- 8 large eggs

- 5 cups sugar (3 white, 2 light brown)  (you can adjust the ratio of white and brown sugars to taste)

- 4 cups sour cream

- 1 pound butter (2 cups)

- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract

 

 

1.  Preheat oven to 450f.

 

2.  Brown the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Take it off the heat as soon as it starts to brown and pour into another pan so it doesn't continue to cook.  Set aside and let it cool off a bit while mixing the rest of the ingredients.  (If you don't wish to brown the butter, just use 1 pound (2 cups) melted butter.)

 

3.  Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.  

 

4.  Mix together the wet ingredients, including the browned butter, in a medium mixing bowl.  Set aside.  (If the browned butter is still warm, add this last.  Add it in small amounts and whisk together before adding more, so as not to cook the eggs.)

 

5.  Place the blueberries in a separate bowl and dust with a pinch of the dry ingredient mixture.

 

6.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until all the dry ingredients are wet.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  I prefer to use a spatula here instead of a whisk to prevent overworking the glutens.  Once mixed, fold in the blueberries.

 

7.  Spray muffin tins with baking oil spray, or instead line each tin with a cupcake foil.  Fill each tin till the top of the batter is even with the edge of the tin.

 

8.  Place muffins in the oven and reduce heat to 400f.  Bake for about 40 or 50 minutes, depending on your oven.  Around 2/3s of the way through, rotate the pans in the oven (top to bottom, front to back...its the muffin dance);  muffins should be fairly set when rotating.  Finished muffins should be brown on top and a slight crust should have formed.

 

9.  Remove muffins from oven and place tins on racks to cool.  Let rest for about 5 minutes then remove muffins from tins and let them cool on the racks.  Let cool for about 20 minutes to finish setting up on the inside.  

 

10.  Eat the muffins.

 

If making smaller muffins the baking time will be reduced.  Note that the oven is preheated to a higher temperature than what it is to be baked at.  This helps the muffins rise and set up faster and develops the crust.  If you replace the sour cream you'll need to adjust for the reduced acid content, as this will affect the baking soda;  either substitute something with similar acidity, add some lemon juice, or substitute some baking powder for baking soda.

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