Cake Disasters: Not All Cakes Come Out Pretty

A true story of what sometimes happen behind the scenes.

When we post photos of our beautiful cakes online, you would think that everything in our kitchen is perfect and flawless. It’s not always the case. We’ve had our share of kitchen disasters over the years. Here’s one story that personally happened to me 2 years ago in February 2019…

For the first time in more than 10 years of being in the baking business, today I had a cake fall apart on a customer. She ordered a cake for her husband who’s not doing very well. She mentioned this might be his last cake. I couldn’t say no to her despite my super busy Valentine’s week schedule. This cake was going to be special.  She requested a 10” round, 3 layer Marble Swirl cake, with chocolate cream cheese and fresh strawberry filling. She also asked for extra chocolate dipped strawberries on top of the cake. It was a big, heavy cake. I was pretty excited to make it. 

On the day of delivery, I had a feeling something was not right. When the cake got to her, it was falling apart. It looked like it was melting.  My heart broke into pieces. I couldn’t let this be his last birthday cake. I apologized like crazy and told her I’ll make sure he gets one before the party starts. Luckily, I had a few hours before their party started. I left their house, and had to pull over on the side of the road so I could call my husband. I was having a panic attack, and on the verge of tears. Once the panic attack stopped, I worked on making it right.

Meanwhile, taking care of this disaster also meant that I couldn’t take my 10 year old son to his basketball game. It was too late to find someone else to take him. So not only will I miss his game, he will miss his game. While he cries in front of me, I tell him how sorry I am. I just can’t be in two places at once. My heart breaks again. I told him the reason why I had to take care of this customer. Hoping he’d understand. I think he does but still he’s upset about not being there for his team. This is the reality of being a mom and a business owner. Our customers see us smiling all the time, but we hide a lot behind our smiles.

So I ended up giving my customer another cake, which was not even close to what she had originally ordered. I also included a platter of Cranberry Lemon Bars. I told her I wouldn’t be charging her for anything at all. I thanked her for being so gracious. She could’ve gotten mad, but she didn’t. She’s happy that I made it right. She insisted I charge her half the price. I apologized to her son, and he just said, “It’s ok, life goes on”.  What a wonderful family! 

As for my son, I made it up by getting him sushi for dinner. He’s upset, but not mad. He understood that someone’s last cake was more important than his game. I’ve had my share of difficult customers over the years. This family had every reason to give me a hard time. I was grateful and lucky that they were so kind. In the end, they made my heart smile.  They called me a few days later to let me know that they ate the melted cake anyway, and that it tasted amazing. 

So…what happened to the cake?

Rookie mistake. The cake did not set properly before decorating. I may have rushed it a bit because I was so busy with Valentine orders. Plus it was so heavy with the extra Chocolate Dipped Strawberries on top.  A good reminder to let your cakes set before decorating. Patience is always a hard lesson to learn. 

How One Small Business is Surviving the Pandemic

How One Small Business is Surviving the Pandemic

I started Sinful Treats in 2009 at the peak of the recession. Everyone thought I was crazy to start a business at that time. I had one product to sell, some unknown Filipino pastry called Food for the Gods. No one knew what it was. I had to tell people, “it’s like a blondie with dates and walnuts”. I started selling online, and giving out samples to whoever was open to trying my product. They’ve never heard of it, but once they tasted it, they loved it! Because everyone was hurting during the recession, I found that people were more inclined to help each other. Soon, a few coffee shops agreed to carry my products. And I kept selling online.

 

My big break came in 2011 when the Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento ordered 19,800 Snickerdoodle cookies for their holiday main event, The Polar Express. A year before that, we took my then 4 yr old son on the train ride, where they served cookies and hot cocoa just like in the movie, Polar Express. He took one bite of the cookie, then he told me, “Mommy, you should make the cookies”. Ah, the power of suggestion, from a 4 yr old! I ended up talking to the coordinators, gave them cookie samples and they loved my cookies!  The following year, they ordered 19,800 Snickerdoodles. I said YES, even if at that time, I had no kitchen and no employees to help me. I had a couple of months to figure out how to make it happen.

I rented a kitchen in a restaurant at night, and asked friends to help out. I had a crew of 5 people. Like little elves, we’d bake all night while the restaurant was closed. We only had one oven with 2 racks, only able to bake 48 cookies every 12 minutes. The cookies were baked from scratched, scooped by hand, packaged individually, sealed with a heat sealer and labeled – all 19,800 of them! It was the most exhausting but exhilarating experience. It was then I knew that I loved the thrill and pain that came with being a business owner. We’ve been baking Polar Express snickerdoodles since then.

 

2020 would’ve been our 10th year baking for the CA State Railroad Museum. In 2019, we baked 47,000 cookies for their Spookomotive Halloween Train and Polar Express. But 2020 had a different plan for all of us. All of our Fall and Holiday events were cancelled. Being in the baking business, our 4th quarter is our busiest season, and that’s when we make the most profit. Suddenly, all of it was gone. 
Having survived and thrived during the recession, I can honestly say that the 2020 pandemic is a lot harder than the recession.

I’ve experienced a lot as a business owner for the last 11 years, and learned a lot of lessons too. I had a brick and mortar bakery for about 4 years. I learned retail wasn’t for me. When I closed my bakery in 2016, I remember Etsy was becoming popular then. I thought how cool it would be if there was a website that sold baked goods like Etsy. Then other opportunities came along, and that idea got buried.

 

2020 started off great. Even during the first few months of lock down, business was still thriving. It wasn’t until June when I realized (or accepted) how bad the pandemic would be. During a very slow summer season, this “Etsy for baked goods” idea came back to me. I always tell my kids, when something bad happens, it’s usually a blessing in disguise. True entrepreneurs find opportunity even in the worst scenarios. This pandemic gave me the time to pursue this idea. 

In October 2020, I launched Sinful Treats Marketplace – Baked Goods from The Best Local Bakers. SinfulTreats.net

Everything I have worked for seemed to be a stepping stone to what I’m doing now, this new path I’ve created. Having a brand that’s already established, a working website, products that have been tried and proven, years of networking and relationship building, all of this and more are now helping to make this new path easier to take and faster to grow. So far, we have 6 local brands that joined our online marketplace. All have their own specialty. Not only does it make it easier for customers to shop, not having to browse different websites, it also helps these small businesses to reach more people online. Plus, I’m able to share over a decade of experience and wisdom to new small business owners. I love baking, but my real passion is business. I get a thrill watching businesses grow. I’m excited to have these brands so far, all women owned, makes me extra proud. I hope you check them out by visiting our website. They each have their own vendor page in our website. SinfulTreats.net

Baked by Olga, Jhenn’s Sweet Tooths, Raquel’s Pet Treats, Kalani Kakes, Sophie’s Sweets, Spilled Milk Company

 

Want to join our marketplace?  Email us, shop@sinfultreats.net

Most Popular Holiday Gifts in Sacramento – 2020 Gift Guide


Most Popular Holiday Gifts in Sacramento – 2020 Gift Guide

The holiday is here once again! This year is not the same as any. We all deserve a stress free holiday. We, at Sinful Treats have put together a list of our most popular gifts for this 2020 holiday season. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, or any other special holiday. No more sticking to the regular and mundane holiday gifts. No more gifts that will end up cluttering your home. It is time to take your taste buds and those of your loved ones, on a hell of a ride.


Our elves Sinful Treats decided to put together loads of amazing holiday gift items for you. While doing this, we had our “Ah-hah” moment. You know that moment when you feel like you’ve struck gold? That epiphany we had made us come to the conclusion that you all are in dire need of something new, sweet, savory, tasty, exciting, sumptuous, alluring, attractive, captivating and absolutely titillating! 


We want those smiles, hugs and laughter spreading across each home like wild fire. We want to help you make your loved ones feel special this season. We want the memories of this holiday imprinted in your hearts for as long as possible. You are in our thoughts and all we want is for you to have an amazing time this holiday. Ya’ll know we all deserve this, especially this year! 


We’ve got an array of products for you to make your pick from. We wanted to make this treasure hunt easier for you that is why we have put out a few of the items we found really cool but of course, feel free to go through our website and knock yourself out- not literally of course. 


First off we’ve got the Hot Cocoa Bombs! This right here is the bomb-literally. The explosion of different flavors on your taste buds is an experience you definitely do not want to pass up. The flavors available include Milk Chocolate and Marshmallows, Peppermint Milk Chocolate, Peppermint White Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Caramel, Peanut Butter and a bunch of super exciting flavors! Drinking hot cocoa has never been this good and exciting!  This chocolaty goodness was put together by Spilled Milk Co. They are the best at making edible chocolate art! They are absolutely passionate about what they do.

Next up – Humans are not the only ones in need of some loving this holiday. It’s a season to make your loved ones feel special right? So your pets definitely should not be left out. Raquels Pets Treats, a local bakery with a heart for dogs and of course their owners too, as their products can be eaten by humans. “Why make it, if I can’t 

eat it” is their drive. They have made available the Holiday Cookies for Dogs. A special treat for your dogs to feel special. It is made from natural ingredients. Comes with special cookies including 1 Christmas tree, a stocking, 1 sweater, a reindeer and 12 donuts! Now, that’s a treat for your fur babies!


We’ve also got you covered with the Crinkles Cookies Holiday Gift Box and its blend of 5 exciting flavors. If you’re still wondering what to give your friends, coworkers, neighbors, look no further. With this gift box from Baked by Olga you are definitely going to be the favorite among your friends this year! Olga is an amazing baker with an even more amazing heart. All of her items are put together with a dash of love to make them even more spectacular than they already are.


The Napoleon Holiday Gift Box is another gift item you should not miss out on. This French Italian inspired puff pastry with custard filling is a must have for you. Jhenns Sweet Tooths, whose specialty is Filipino deserts created this with a dash of goodness just for you.


You are probably making a mental note of all the amazing products you want to get already, you just have to make sure to include the Holiday Cookie Pops, made by yours truly, Sinful Treats. Put a lasting smile on the faces of your loved ones with this holiday goodness.

The Macarons Gift Box is one product we are so excited to flaunt in your faces with its assortment of flavors. This sweet meringue based French cookie literally melts in your mouth almost immediately. It’s a creation from Sophie’s Sweets – a mom and daughter duo whose love for baked goods and unique flavors makes them the best at their art.

Spilled Milk Co has done it again! The Smash Teddy is a very versatile gift. It is made with 100% premium chocolate. It’s hollow inside and great for hiding small gifts like jewelry, gift cards, money, candy etc. You get to show off as a really thoughtful person when you include little gifts inside this already pretty and yummy gift.


Pie always makes everything perfect during the holidays. The Apple Crumb Pie makes everything even more perfect by adding a touch of warmth and serenity to the home with its apple slices and cinnamon sugar toppings. Our very own work of art here at Sinful Treats. A bakery business which started online  back in 2009 and has grown massively through the years. 


Simplicity coupled with elegance is a difficult combination to come by but you don’t have to break your neck to achieve that. The Holiday Cupcakes from Baked by Olga is a complete blend of these two elements. It comes in assortments of flavors – Very Vanilla, Carrot, Coffee Chocolate, and a couple additional flavors to have fun with this holiday.


Last but not least, we have seasonal Cheesecake flavors by Sinful Treats. Eggnog Cheesecake and Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake. These flavors only come out once a year, during the holidays. Come get your fix, or you’ll have to wait until next year to get them again. The Eggnog Cheesecake has our famous Butter Crust, and the hint of nutmeg compliments the eggnog really well.  Our Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake is a coffee flavored cheesecake on top of Chocolate Butter Crust, all made from scratch and topped with Peppermint candy canes. 


These products are only a few of the holiday gift items we have available at SinfulTreats.net  Where food lovers and local bakers come together. We are taking orders until December 22, or until we are completely booked. Most of these products are discounted until December 20th. Don’t wait too long, we’re almost at capacity with orders.

Spread the love, spread the laughter and give your holidays the perfect and complete touch with our holiday gift items.


SinfulTreats.net 


To order these treats or browse more gift ideas, check out this link https://www.sinfultreats.net/product-category/gifts/

Meet Your Local Baker from Elk Grove – Jhenn’s Sweet Tooths

Jerlyn Vinuya, fondly called Jhenn by family and friends, has been cooking and baking since she was in 3rd grade. She loves to cook for her family and friends.

In 2015, she moved to the US from the Philippines with her family. She spent a lot of time in the kitchen making dishes and baked goods for her husband to take to work. Her husband’s coworkers were so impressed with her amazing dishes that they started asking if she could cook and bake for them too. She knew then that she could make a living doing what she loves the most. 

In 2017, she took a Pastry Program at Napoli Culinary Academy to hone her skills as a pastry chef.

Finally, this year, in 2020, she officially started her own business, Jhenn’s Sweet Tooths

Look no further for Filipino pastries and desserts, Jhenn’s Sweet Tooths will take of your cravings! 

Meet the Queen of Ube Treats

Olga Manansala is a local baker from Elk Grove, and the owner of Baked By Olga.

“I started baking as a hobby in 2008. Infusing standard baking staples with the more exotic, I create flavors transcending all ethnicities;  available in a plethora of ube (purple yam), coconut, and standard varieties.

I am very creative and loves art so much, that with baking I can express and create what I want to create. I feel freedom and be just “me”. Baking makes me happy and baked goodies make everyone happy. 

Spreading joy is extremely powerful.”