How to alienate the cake community


Every day, I see people make mistakes on Facebook, Instagram and other social media.  I honestly think that most of these folks are new in the cake community and simply don’t realize that what they are doing irritates others.  Rather than continuing to read rants from folks about everything these newbies do wrong, I thought it would be nice to take a tongue in cheek look at the things that get on the nerves of the decorating community.  The saddest part is, I’ve seen each of these personally!  If you want to alienate others, here are my suggestions:

Steal Photos of Other’s Work

Choose a photo of a beautiful cake. Go into photo shop and erase their watermark. Put yours on there. Publish it on your Facebook page. Deceive your customers into thinking you are “that good.”

For Bonus Points:  Build a photo album completely comprised of cakes made by others. The more famous the sugar artist, the more cakes of theirs you should use.

For Bonus Bonus Points:  Apply for a TV show using cakes you did not make. Brag about your work in chat groups. OR tell your customers that the famous decorators pay you to post their pictures. (You’re just helping them out.)

Whine About Being left Out

Complain loudly and often that you were not included in a collaboration. Bitch that the TV producers never give you the time of day. Whine that your cake picture has been ignored and is not receiving hundreds of likes. Cry that no one answers your desperate pleas for help when you need that tutorial for free right now so you can do someone’s cake order. Who cares if you promised a cake you don’t know how to make? People should help you.

For Bonus Points:  Write hateful letters to the collaboration organizers, complaining about how unfair it was to leave you out. Write demanding letters to the person who just posted the cool cake–they owe you an explanation of how they made it!!

Pick an Unwinnable Fight

Tackle divisive issues like politics, religion, same sex marriage or box v. Scratch. Do this in a pleasant, fun cake chat group. Argue with anger. Use hurtful words. Be intractable. Never, ever agree to disagree.

Bad Mouth Your Customers or Competitors

Talk about how stupid your customers are. Show screen shots of conversations. Never explain the order process to them. Assume they know as much as you. Ridicule the work done by other decorators. Publicly humiliate them at every turn.

Bonus points for:  Not blocking the names of the “innocent”.

Bonus Bonus points if you can make a decorator cry or quit caking altogether.

Undercut your neighbors

Always offer to make cakes at ridiculously low prices. When competitors post cake photos, post a comment about how much more cheaply you will do it. Tag your friends on their photos. Conduct business on another bakery’s page.

Demand Classes and Tutorials for Free

Clearly, everyone should help you run your business. You should not have to pay for something that you NEED. Your need surpasses their right to get paid. It isn’t fair that they have this knowledge…even if they experimented for days to develop it. Isn’t caking about sharing?  Then tell them to share or else they are being mean and unhelpful.

For Bonus Points:  Take information from a paid tutorial or class and share it with the world. Why should anyone else have to pay?  Teachers are rich.

Shout that the Competition was Unfair

You should have won at the cake show. The judges are too old/too young/too behind the times. Let the world know that you deserved first place. Tell everyone how crappy the other cakes were. Brag that everyone said YOU should have won.

For Bonus Points:  Tell off the judges or show directors. This is even better if you scream and yell in public where everyone can watch.

Teach the Class You Just Took

You paid good money for that class, so you can do what you want with it.  You can share the tutorials with screen shots for your friends.  You can offer the same class you took – just remove the owner’s watermark and put yours in its place.  Steal their handouts and use them as your own.

Arrogantly Call Someone a Liar.

See an awesome cake.  Make a point of telling the designer that it is not real cake, even if they swear it is.  Even when the person posts pictures of the cake served, refuse to apologize.  You are ALWAYS right.

Tell People How They are Doing it Wrong

Wait for someone to post a recipe.  Tell them that they are making it wrong.  Announce how it should really be done.  Always be belligerent to the sweet person who posted the recipe.  It is even more fun if you list the ingredients you changed and complain that the recipe did not turn out.

Use the Dreaded “f” or “following” in a Thread

No matter how many times the administrators of groups show you how you can click on the top right corner and get notifications for a thread, it is just more satisfying to throw that “f” or “following” out there and see how many people you can upset.

Never, Ever Google for Cake Ideas, Tutorials or Recipes

The cake community is there to do your research for you.  You don’t have time to open a Google window, click on images, then enter your search terms!  It is so much more fun to go into a chat group and ask them to do the work for you.  It is even more fun if you post it in multiple groups at the same time!


I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of things, but this is a good start.  If you saw yourself in any of these, please take a moment and think about how your actions affect others.  Please take responsibility for your work.  Please stop stealing.  Please stop being mean.  Let’s all spread a little good in the world.  The Golden Rule isn’t just for Sundays!

41 thoughts on “How to alienate the cake community

  1. Oh, my Ruth, you did a good job on this one for sure!! I’ve gotten out of 2 or 3 cake groups just for these reasons because they act so juvenile sometimes! I hope I was never guilty of any of these things that sure don’t give cake decorators a good reputation! Kudos to you!

  2. I am happy to announce I don’t do those things EXCEPT right at the beginning yes I used to put in the dreaded “F” but that was when hardly anyone else was doing it…now I don’t of course, but yes I google all my stuff before I ever ask for help. I am very concious of running your business page very professionally at all times. I don’t belittle my customers or other cakers…the world is a tough enough place as it is. One thing I really hate seeing in posts or threads is when one person attacks someone and the rest go gang busters after that…I wish people would realise that is bullying at it’s worst cos we are adults. 🙂 Thank you for that article.

  3. I now love you more than I already did Ruth. 🙂 Hilarious and sadly true – the one about students teaching classes for cheap after taking them upsets me so much, and while I think there is little that can truly be done about it, it’s really soul destroying and disheartening.


  4. Wow, I can’t believe anyone could be that hateful towards the amazingly generous people that teach and run websites for cake decorating. I have read an unbelievable amount of FREE advice on your site alone, and the generosity of all the people publishing video and other tutorials for free blows my mind. I’m pretty darn stingy, but there a a lot of techniques and lessons that are well worth paying for, and if I could get somewhere to take a hands-on class, I’d gladly pay for that. Anyway, thank you for all you do, including this entertaining bit of education for dodos.

  5. Oh, Ruth, you so hit the nail on the head! For me, one addition would be that when someone provides good, solid information that is backed up with facts, make sure that you belittle the person, their intent, the information, and their intelligence. Bonus points: Be sure to call them names in the process, and if possible, notify an administrator that you are upset because they didn’t retract the factual information or agree with you when you tried to debunk the facts with junk science. This will get the “educator” banned from the site and you can continue to fill it, unfettered, with incorrect information and urban legends! You can have fun without fear of learning much while having deprived all of the other site members of valuable information. Winning!!!

  6. So true sadly, I have never come across so much negativity to others in the cake world, especially in sugarcraft. I cannot for the life of me understand the snobbery. We all had to start off somewhere, I really love to advise others if they are struggling

  7. Sooooooo, I’ve posted ‘following’ when I wanted to see the responses… I am guilty, guilty, Guilty!!! ACK! I knew you could turn notifications off, never realized i could turn them ‘on’. *sigh* Thank GOD you post these, Ruth. Luckily I’m pretty safe from everything else. Love you!! ❤

  8. Been there and done that on a few of your comments. I am not proud of how I have acted in the past and we all hopefully learn from the dumb things we’ve done to ourselves and others. Just goes to show me that i am not the only one who has experienced these things. I do wish to improve my actions and reactions to all things I seem to find myself in trouble for.

    Thanks Ruth.

  9. Thank God I am not guilty of these. But I did get out of a cake group that did many of these and were proud of it. I really enjoy your posts. You are so plain spoken and bold! Thanks!

  10. Very well said. I’ve seen all of that too, sadly.

    And I’ll say here and now that if I’ve ever been even close to guilty of any of those things, I sincerely and humbly apologize.

  11. Glad I don’t have the time,energy or competiveness to do these things. Turning 50 does have its advantages. Lol

  12. Oh Thank God… I am a newbie and I was SURE that there was going to be something on this list that I was doing to annoy other cake bakers – but alas! I’m not! I can’t even believe some of the things I have seen written here… oh wait… yes I can. Good grief.

  13. Oh My Goodness! You’ve really covered it! It’s nice to see others are noticing these lovely events happening too. I’ve never encountered the “f” thing but I could reach in and punch a throat for saying we need to help them build a cake just like a photo of something complicated – from scratch – right away – for cheap! A co-worker asked me for just that. After I quoted her a reasonable price, she said “my cake lady does this for like $30-$60.” This was a $300 cake she wanted! Then she posts pictures cuz her cake lady made it after all (why did she call me then?). Don’t get me wrong, it was o.k. for a brand newbie but I would never put out that kind of quality with my name on it. What is wrong with people?

  14. Thats beautifully written to the point, theres something that also bothers me and I find really rude. When a person posts a picture of the cake they have done and everyone else compliments them, you find some else pops up to show off their similar cake on the same post. I feel its rude let that person shine, its their time you don’t have to spoil that moment and direct attention to your cake!

  15. Ooooh,thanks for the “f” tip. I didn’t realise you could get notifications for just one post. Excellent, I shall never “f” anyone’s post ever again. Not guilty of any of the other “crimes”. x

  16. OMG, do people really demand tutorials for free?! Call me naive but it never crossed my mind that people would do that. Must admit to using the dreaded ‘F’ once upon a time…I like to think that’s the least offensive crime listed though 😉 x

  17. Hilarious! I don’t see much of this in my sheltered life as a hobbyist. This is bananas!
    You must be in some scary groups!

  18. Great one Ruth! To add on my end. this has nothing to do with Ruth… the cake artists that walk around cake shows acting like they are better then everyone should take a look at where they began their “cake” journey. We all started with a dream. Everyone is talented & artistic in the cake world! Some artists just need more practice but they’ll get there. Another one… (sorry) Please if you enter a cake in a cake show bring it to the show no matter what. We are our own worst critics. Just because the cake isn’t what you wanted doesn’t mean it’s not good! Bring it! We’ll like it! Be Positive & Share, Share, Share!!

  19. laughing out loud whilst reading this… and yes, they’ve all happened to me… I suspect more than I realise or have been alerted to!! Sx

  20. I’m sorry but I’m stealing this for my blog. Infact I think I’ll copy paste instead of linking it back to you AND leave a link to my blog here too 😉 That way I can pretend it was me that did all the hard work!………….This has left me in giggles! Going to message you to ask for free advice on how to write such fantastic blogs so I can try be better! I’m far to lazy to hold the menu button on my andriod and type “how to write good blog posts” into google….. I’m sure you don’t mind, you most likely only spend a good slot of your time making it so brilliantly read -worthy!

    LOVE IT! I actually avoid most ‘cake’ related groups or infact any advice groups for exactly these reasons! Infact one group I’m a member of on facebook has somehow gone from being a ‘cake advice’ to ‘spend all day b***hing about what others do especially if they are ‘hobby’ bakers and your not’ As much as I hate having to pay taxes, it’s life……I don’t want to think about it all day or spend my time being jealous of those that get away without paying them…I’ll leave that to Karma. lol!

  21. Good morning Ruth and all of your followers!
    I usually do not comment on blogs (I imagine how good you feel at the end of the day for having so many good things to read, burr I really don’t have that gift for words!), but today I just had to!
    What you wrote is brilliant and, at the same time, a good “bible” on actions for those who are starting.
    I had a good laugh!
    Thank you from Portugal!

  22. Thanks Ruth, once again spot on… I was using the “following” too; I will stop! LOL Also, dropped out of “groups” on social media because of the negative comments. Too bad, so sad.

  23. Ruth! This was such a brilliant read, wow! Some of these things I’ve seen, but the rest blow my mind that this has actually happened! Almost hard to believe, but yet, I believe it! Great post and thanks for sharing it!

  24. So when I first started reading this I thought…”Dang Ruth you’re getting cynical.” Then as I continued reading I started to laugh, then ‘guilty’, then ‘Un Huh’ then ‘Oh Ya’ then ‘What’s that (F thing)?”
    I’ve been easily sucked into the vortex of cake groups. I can easily get vocal if I read someone giving kudos for bad behavior. Then get jumped on because I called them out.
    I’ve had a pic of a cake marked ‘offensive’ on FB, I’ve only ever done one sexy cake (and I use the word sexy not R-rated) It peeved/hurt me so I stopped sharing, left the group & blocked the offending party.
    The problem with not being part of groups though, is when you need information fast and have no where to get it, what do you do? After 15 yrs of professional caking, I still don’t know all I want to know, but I will not partake in ‘group therapy’ as I call it now. I’ll buy a DVD/CD or online tutorial. (Oh yes, some of those should NOT be for sale :[ ..)
    I’ve not just had pictures stolen but web site too. Someone even went so far & tried to trademark my business name. Cost me thousands $$$ to stop it. And more stuff too…

    In short (HA HA …ok long) I’m trying harder to be nicer, more polite, more understanding, careful of what I say, do & type. I’ve had to cut back on caking. It was all getting too stressful just trying to keep up.

    Anyways thank you Ruth for all you do, this blog, and a real good look/laugh at myself every once in a while. ❤

  25. Well written Ruth. Every word so true. I am beginning to shy away from the cake community due to many of these and other issues happening. It is so sad to me that we work so hard to either be pushed down, stolen from, etc… Then you see the new “ego” style decorators that sometimes are not even decorators push their way in and above those of us who have worked so hard to truly share our passion. They are in it to just make money, and sadly, many not qualified to teach some of what they profess to being an expert in. Hope this didn’t come off as bitter, it just gets so frustrating to see out students feel as though they were ripped off on a class that they paid good money for and didn’t learn what was promised. Ok, rant over. Thanks to all our lovely cake peeps and supporters. I love what I do, love to truly share, I am an open book and will share anything that people ask for if I know it. If I don’t, I don’t tell them some bull and pretend to, I direct them to the right person to get than knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I wish everyone success, but don’t profess to know more than you do, you are hurting yourself and the industry as a whole. Be fair and honest. That way, we all succeed.

  26. Luckily, I am pretty much an unknown in the cake world. I did one wrong mistake at Austin cake show as they told me I was a judge and I was told to wait with the celebrity judges. I knew I was in the wrong place but finally someone clued me into to where I should be and sadly a picture was taken and every time I see the picture I wince.
    I would like to add one…. Win or lose at a cake show! You won by the experience of competing! You got better by competing! Congratulate the winners and truly be happy for them! Some day it will be your turn! Also, thank the judges without them we wouldn’t have cake shows, they have really difficult jobs!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s