Having trouble planning your next cake? Between client requests and your own creative vision, there is a lot to juggle when coming up with a cake concept. Check out these 5 steps for defining your inspired design.
1. Define the theme. No matter the occasion, it is important to have a strong conception of the design before starting out. For our purposes, let’s say a bride has come to you for the cake for her autumn wedding, and wants the design to fit the season.
2. Any special requests? While some customers may give you free reign, many (especially brides) will likely have several specific elements they would like incorporated in the design. Use their ideas as a starting point.
3. Make an inspiration board. Now that you have your theme and requests in mind, it’s time to make an inspiration board. Do whatever works for you, whether it’s cutting out pictures from magazines, finding fabric or paper swatches or making a board on Pinterest. Incorporate color palettes, patterns, textures, etc., keeping in mind anything the customer has provided, such as an invitation or color swatch.
Although it may be tempting to draw inspiration from other cake designs, try to avoid adding actual cakes to your inspiration board. Looking at how other decorators have incorporated a similar theme can get the ideas flowing, but your goal is to be inspired by the world around you.
4. Create a sketch. Start with a blank canvas of cake tiers. Use colored pencils and/or watercolor paints and sketch out how you see your inspiration translating into sugar. Use notes to describe each element.
Our inspiration board has inspired an ivory cake with hand-painted, watercolor leaves cascading down the front, along with sprays of cream and dusty beige roses, branches of rose-hips and clusters of beads in fall colors. Antique gold branches wrap each tier as a border for a touch of elegance on an otherwise shabby-chic-esque cake.
5. Decorate your cake. Display your inspiration board and sketch near your workstation so they can be easily referred to while you work. While you are decorating, your plan may evolve and stray from your sketch. You might decide to add or take away from your original design once you see it on the cake. This is the fun and flexibility in being an artist!
Using inspiration boards to plan and sketch cake designs can help you focus on a concept and stay true to a theme, while still allowing for creativity and originality. Give it a try for your next cake design!