I Got It! A Way To Explain The Time Involved!

Decorating By indydebi Updated 18 Aug 2015 , 9:29pm by epiquerianmb

indydebi Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 9:39pm
post #1 of 30

We are constantly lamenting over the fact that non-cake people have no idea how much time it takes to do these cakes. I think I know why and I think I have a possible way to communicate it.

We (cake decorators) are always talking about how we have "a" cake to do this weekend. How we have to get "a" cake in the oven.

I realized it when I was telling someone I have 2 cakes this weekend.

Well.....they are two wedding cakes. Two 4-tier wedding cakes. Two 4-tier wedding cakes that are 2-layers per tier. Two 4-tier cakes that will serve 200 EACH.

I don't have "2" cakes to make this weekend..... I have to bake SIXTEEN CAKES for this weekend! And some of those (14" square) layers take 50-60 minutes to bake ..... EACH! (And I have FOUR 14" layers to bake!)

Non-cake people, when they hear "2" cakes, think in (what I call) "cake-civilian" terms of two little 9" round cakes that gramma threw in the oven. Big Wup.

But when we tell them "I have to bake 16 cakes this weekend" THEN they get a truer picture of why it takes us forever to do a wedding cake (or two!).

Like the guest who overhead me say the 5-tier cake took 7 hours just in baking time. Even tho' she was staring at 4-tiers of cake (plus a styro), she couldn't fathom something taking 7 hours.

We perpetuate the myth by talking in "one" or "two" cakes, referring to the number of orders, instead of how many actual cakes we are making.

I may be all wet, but it was a thought that I thought I'd share. Let's see if a different explanation makes an impact on them.

29 replies
step0nmi Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 9:39pm
post #2 of 30

Wow! That sounds great! You are always thinking of new ways to say things! You are a genious!
Thanks Indydebi!

malika Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 10:58pm
post #3 of 30

Makes perfect sense!

LeckieAnne Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:15pm
post #4 of 30

Good idea -- not including blocks of time for making icing, making the decorations ahead, making the fillings - covering the cake boards - etc., etc., etc.

daisysn2001 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:09pm
post #5 of 30

I can tell you it makes a big difference in their perception. I work in obstetrics for my "day" job and take care of 4-5 couplets. A couplet being a mom and a baby. for years when asked how many other patients we had we would say 4 and patients thought oh no big deal. The reality is we are taking care of 8-10patients. It made a big difference when one of us realized what we were saying and changed it. Now if you say I have 8 other patients people understand why I am running around out of breath! So, you are right you need to tell people you are making 16 cakes for the weekend and maybe they will understand how tedious (but fun) cakes are.

Jenni2383 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:19pm
post #6 of 30

Great way to explain!! Non-cake people just don't get it. Me: "I did a cake today" Them: "Big deal, 9x13 pyrex with a can of frosting dumped on top" (they think) When I spent 2-3 hours mixing, baking, cooling, making icing, then at least another 2 hours decorating (smaller cakes).

NrsL22 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:13pm
post #7 of 30

Thank You!! I'm new to this and its hard when trying to explain to people just how much time goes into cake making. From now on its not just a cake, but cakes.

tonedna Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:18pm
post #8 of 30

i just had 13 wedding cakes last week..all of them between 3 and 4 tiers..thank god i have help for baking!icon_smile.gif

sun33082 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:27pm
post #9 of 30

I totally get this and just today started saying that myself. I have a wedding cake and a grooms cake to do for the weekend and started baking today. I was telling a friend I had 10 cakes to bake today. She couldn't believe I was going to bake 10 cakes in one day. However at noon I emailed her and told her I had 2 done and 2 in the oven, when she emailed me back an hour and a half later she said "oh you must be down to 2-4 left to bake). Ummm no I still had 6 to bake because it takes over an hour for these cakes to bake. I think when people hear you have a cake to bake, they're picturing 1 cake mix in two pans taking like 30 minutes. So 10 cakes should only take 2 1/2 hours. Yeah right!! I'm on hour 8 and have 2 more to bake.

pidge Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:28pm
post #10 of 30

ha, ha!! icon_lol.gif this is what happened to me last week! i had a "wedding" to do ... technically 5 cakes ... but i was telling people, "i have 11 cakes to do .. that's 22 layers of cake!" icon_eek.gif people's jaws dropped!! thankfully, they dropped again when they actually saw the completed cake(s) so i was happy!! icon_biggrin.gif

cakesondemand Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:27am
post #11 of 30

finally I hear it right I had to bake 48 cakes in order to make 8 wedding cakes for a weekend in Aug. Thanks indyebi for explaining it right.

SazzyG Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:50am
post #12 of 30

This is an awesome thought. Thank you for sharing. I'm definitely going to start using this if you don't mind.

SazzyG Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:51am
post #13 of 30

This is an awesome thought. Thank you for sharing. I'm definitely going to start using this if you don't mind.

aztomcat Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:52am
post #14 of 30

I also do that ..... so the last wedding cake/grooms cake was 8 cakes and 27 cups of icing. Plus filling.

I love explaining it the way your suggest, INDY.

bobwonderbuns Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:58am
post #15 of 30

Makes perfect sense Debi!! icon_smile.gif Now can you counter "why do I have to pay so much for a cake, it's only sugar and flour..." icon_mad.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:58am
post #16 of 30

Makes perfect sense Indy!! icon_smile.gif Now can you counter "why do I have to pay so much for a cake, it's only sugar and flour..." icon_mad.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 2:04am
post #17 of 30

Sorry for all the duplicate posts -- I cannot delete the first one. Oh well... I hope the SPAM police don't catch me... icon_rolleyes.gif

sun33082 Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 4:55am
post #18 of 30

10 cakes and 16 (3-4 cup) batches of icing officially takes 13 hours...in case anyone was counting lol

manders Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 5:08am
post #19 of 30

Thanks indydebi this is a fantastic way to explain your to poeple just how much time we actually spend on one cake. I will remember it next time i am quoting a price to someone. Helps them grasp just how labor intensive a cake can realy be.

AAtKT Posted 15 Mar 2015 , 12:29pm
post #20 of 30


I know that this thread is old... I came across it looking for something else...


I just figured that since indydebi had such good advice in her post I would give this a boost back into our world...



MsGF Posted 15 Mar 2015 , 1:01pm
post #21 of 30

Well you aren't just beautiful, but very clever too - LOL!  

That is exactly how I will start explaining cake(s) to people.

remnant3333 Posted 15 Mar 2015 , 2:28pm
post #22 of 30

Indydebbi, Wow, you stay busy!!! I know you must be exhausted taking on that many cakes. Hopefully, you have help!!

Yes, people have no idea about how long it takes to do cakes especially the fancy ones with fondant. Between mixing, baking, decorating, making icing, making fondant for those who do and cleanup it takes a very long time especially if you are making more than one cake per weekend . I am exhausted after making one three layer 9 x 13 cake for someone's birthday and mine is only a hobby.   

My hat goes off to all who do this for a living!!! You are all very hard workers!!! I can understand why many people freeze the cakes ahead of time so they just pull them out of freezer and they stay fresh inside the freezer. I have not tried this yet with the freezer but I will see how this works one day. 

Lizzybug78 Posted 15 Mar 2015 , 4:06pm
post #23 of 30

What a cracking way to explain it! Thanks indydeby! 

Apti Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 2:00am
post #24 of 30

AAtKT~~Many thanks for bumping this old thread.  This information is every bit as valuable today as it was in 2007!!!    In fact, I'm going to share with another forum at Wilton so others can benefit.


I'm SO glad this didn't get lost in the horrible spam attack.

Jchawkins Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 10:52pm
post #25 of 30

I also agree and also sometimes go on to explain that I have to go purchase all my ingredients, that's wear and tear on my vehicle, to go there and back, shop, haul everything in, put away, refrigerate cold items (this uses my electricity) cook, (more electricity) wash the pans, dishes, utensils, (water and more electricity to heat water up), use lights to see by, use my microwave for heating fondant and other items, use of dish soap, wax paper, tin foil, tooth picks, paper towels, paint rollers, etc., washer and dryer to clean aprons, dish towels & dish clothes, Clorox for disinfectant in washer and also in kitchen on stove counters, floors  and other surfaces as well as my hands, use of steamer to get rid of white sugar powder residue on cake, use and wear of Airbrush machine. 

The list goes on and on of the time and use of products we have to buy to make these cakes and people don't understand the cost.  I sometimes wish I had an entire video to show them what goes into make g a one of a kind "Cake" they want.   

its definately not two 9" cakes and a container of icing .

Anyone else deal with explaining the cost of "a cake"?

LeanneW Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 11:09pm
post #26 of 30


Quote by @indydebi on 24 Oct 2007 , 2:39pm

Like the guest who overhead me say the 5-tier cake took 7 hours just in baking time. Even tho' she was staring at 4-tiers of cake (plus a styro), she couldn't fathom something taking 7 hours.


But it only takes them 1 hour on TV ;)

Mom2ThreeACG Posted 17 Aug 2015 , 6:48pm
post #27 of 30

This is awesome lol. I recently had a freelance artist comment on one of my cakes about how "non Artists" just don't understand how long things take. I've had to explain to people that I now start on all and any fondant decorations at least 1 day ahead of the actual cake baking so that  that is one less thing I have to worry about on the day of baking as that is usually stressful enough with baking time, Cooling time, dirty icing time, letting the dirty icing set time, re-icing time, making sure it's as perfect as I'm capable of, adding the fondant decorations or covering in fondant, making sure all that's perfect , then finally taking pics and getting it to the customer. I barely charge anything right now as I'm so new I just want to get my experience up before I start really charging what my competitors do, But I  have found out recently through another baker friend of mine, that over half of the competition, uses a box mix and focus on just the decorating where as I make everything from scratch , including the fondant, even so, these bakers charge about 3 times what I do.. Anyway got off topic, thanks for posting this wonderful way of explaining things to customers who just don't get why we do charge a fairly good price. It's not just for the cake, it's all the work involved in the cake too!

Apti Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 4:37am
post #28 of 30

@mom2ThreeACG -- since it's off topic for this thread, thought you may benefit from another recent thread:

http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/823705/costs-higher-than-charging

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 7:19am
post #29 of 30

I did that a few weeks ago and couldn't believe the reaction of people...one small 8" round and 1 4-tier mammoth...20 layers of sponge, each one baked in a different tin.  The jaw-dropped look was priceless.  From now on, I don't have to bake 'a' cake...I bake 'x'cakes today...

epiquerianmb Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 9:29pm
post #30 of 30

 Great way of explaining it! I am going to start saying that now...

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