Customers’ Perceptions on Cake Decoration Techniques in Selected Bakeries in Fako and Meme Divisions

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Customers’ Perceptions on Cake Decoration Techniques in Selected Bakeries in Fako and Meme Divisions

Department: Tourism and Hospitality Management

No of Pages: 62

Project Code: THM3

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

 : $15 for International students

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Rapid growth and changing eating habits of people, have made cakes to gain popularity. There has been a massive increase in cake decoration techniques from the 19th to the 21st   Century.



While this evolution has made it possible to multiply designs and hence variety of cakes, research in what decoration techniques consumers really need is lacking, and indeed varies from person to person.



The study had as main objective to evaluate customers’ perception of different cake decoration techniques. The study was based on a survey of 67 respondents made of consumers of cakes, and 4 bakery operators. 67 questionnaires were administered to collect the required data for the study.



Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-Square test of association. Independent Samples Kruskal-Wallis test at 5% significance level was conducted to test the hypothesis and findings were presented using frequency tables with percentages.

Findings from the study showed i) most of the respondents in Fako and Meme Division eat cake, and these cake consumers buy cake occasionally, and mostly from bakeries, ii) consumers preference of various cake flavor and decoration are centered around chocolate, vanilla and butter cream flavors, while fondant and butter cream decoration techniques are most desirable by consumers,


iii) most consumers do not face challenges in preserving variously decorated cakes, however, mostly preserve in refrigerators, and they can preserve decorated cakes for as long as possible.


However, bakery operators do face challenges like expensive nature of some decorated cakes, ingredients that melts quickly, take long time to dry, and limited variety of molds, and lastly


iv) no significant association was observed between customers’ cake eating habit, preference of cake flavor, cake decoration technique, reason for cake decoration choice, cake preservation method, cake preservation challenges, across locations.


However, there is a significant association that exists between customers choice of cake shape, customers duration of cake decoration preservation across locations.


The study concluded that fondant and butter cream decoration techniques are among the best techniques in the 21 century that have assisted in revolutionizing the way cakes are presented, making them look good, cheap and affordable, and easy to preserve to cut cost.


The study recommends that bakeries, hotels, and individuals who make cake for commercial purpose should pay keen attention to things such as look and decoration, taste, ease in preservation of cakes.




1.1       Background to the Study

Cake is baked batter made from flour, sugar, salt, baking ingredients, shortening, milk, eggs, and certain additives aroma. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the English word “cake” back to the 13th century. It is a derivation of 'kaka', an Old Norse word.


According to Merriam Webster (2008) cake is a sweet baked food made from a dough or thick batter usually containing colour, sugar, eggs and raising agent such as baking powder. The history of cake dates to ancient times.


The food historians noted that the ancient Egyptians were the first culture to show evidence of advanced baking skills. The first cakes were very different from what we eat today. They were more bread-like and sweetened with honey with nuts and dried fruits often added it.


Ancient breads and cakes were sometimes used in religious ceremonies. These were purposely fashioned into specific shapes, according to the observance. Shapes generally symbolize the cyclical nature of life and people used them as offerings to the gods and spirits who exercised their powers at particular times of the year.


The Chinese made cakes at harvest time to honor their moon goddess (Heng, 1999). They recognized that the moon played a crucial role in the seasonal cycle, so they made round cakes shaped like the moon to reward the lunar goddess.


The ancient Celts baked and ate Beltane cakes at the Beltane festival where the cakes were rolled down a hill to imitate solar movement in the hope it would ensure the continued motion of the sun. This activity also served as a form of divination:


If the cake broke when it reached the bottom of the hill, the Celts believed that whoever rolled it would die within a year's time; but if the cake remained intact, they believed that person would reap a year's good fortune (Heng, 1999).

As cakes where used for several reasons during ancient times, the ingredients used during that time were also symbolic to the people. Agricultural farmers around the globe made offerings of cakes prepared from the grains and fruits that arose from the soil. The types of ingredients used to make these cakes contributed to their symbolism (Tamra, 2000).



The cake today is not the same as it was in the 17th century. As the years progressed bakers and chefs alike began changing the way a cake was made. The recipe of a simple vanilla cake became the building block for other types of cakes.


This basic cake recipe is like the trunk and roots of a tree while the other flavors and types of cake are the branches and the leaves (Toba, 2006). Changes have not only been made to the recipe of a cake but the use of it. Nowadays, cakes are used to celebrate birthdays, weddings, amongst others with improved forms of designs affiliated per the celebration.


There are now varieties of cake named according to the mode of preparation and the ingredients used; sponge cake, butter cake, chiffon cake, and genoise cake. Cake decorating is one of those often ignored culinary arts and has become a form of unique artistry, and ranges from a single-layer cake, decorated simply, to a multi-layered 3-dimensional creation that is decorated with edible ribbons made of sugar.

Despite being one of the newer culinary arts, cake decorating has evolved remarkably in such a short amount of time. From simple decorative patterns in the 19th century, modern-day cakes can now stand ten feet tall, resemble animals, people, characters, and objects and even feature mechanics.


However, even though there are better equipment than most of our ancestors, we still must deal with many first world problems. According to Azrain (2010), innovations that meet market and consumer’s expectations have a high probability of success.


Therefore, the consumers’ knowledge and preferences are central in determining the success of a product (Linneman et al., 2006). Therefore, it is crucial to understand the consumers’ perceptions and preferences for cake decoration techniques in bakeries.


1.2       Problem Statement

There has been a massive increase in cake decoration techniques from 19th to 21st   century. While this evolution has made it possible to multiply designs and hence variety of cakes, research in what decoration techniques customers really need is lacking, and indeed varies from person to person.


Therefore, in urban locations in Cameroon where cake consumption is on the rise, the is need for knowledge on customer perception to keep pace, and for better marketing. At present, this knowledge is weak at best.


1.2.1    Research Questions

The following research questions were put forward to guide the study;

  • What are the typical cake-buying habits of cake consumers in Fako Division?
  • What are customers’ perceptions on common flavoring and decoration technique?
  • What are the challenges faced in preserving variously decorated cakes?


1.3 Research Objectives

1.3.1 Main Objective

The main objective was to evaluate customer’s perception of different cake decoration techniques.


1.3.2 Specific Objectives

Specific objectives include the following:

  • To determine cake-buying habits of cake consumers in Fako Division.
  • To determine customers’ preferences of various cake flavorings and decoration technique.
  • To assess challenges faced in preserving variously decorated cakes.

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