I was up all night last night baking because I couldn't get any time before that. I baked all the cakes I'd need to make baby blocks for my friend's shower today at 3. The buttercream crumb coat is making the cakes fall apart. My cake is too soft and spongy and I'm really getting sick of this. I can't believe I'm already sick of making cakes after only two months of this. I've lost more sleep and more sanity in the last two weeks because of all this crap and I have yet to feel like I've achieved anything. After this, I'm making my DD's bday cake on Saturday and then I'm canceling on the first cake I'm actually being paid for. I'm pregnant, we're moving, and I'm tired of this... I deserve more from a hobby and this just isn't working for me.
Don't give up! Everytime something goes wrong, it's just a lesson in which we learn how NOT to do something!
" I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
--- Thomas Edison
Do you freeze your cakes? If you put them in the freezer, even for 30 minutes, it helps firm them up to make them easier to ice. (Particularly helpful on small cakes, which I find to be a big PITA! I HATE doing small cakes!)
Your icing for the crumb coat might be too thick. If so, thin it down a bit to coat the cakes. A thick icing won't attach to the cakes well and may tear the cakes.
If you have an icing tip (or even the smooth side of a med or large basketweave tip), you can use that to put the initial icing coat on the cakes. I then hot-knife it to smooth it and/or thin it down.
Hope this helps!!
I was about in tears yesterday.... it happens.... sometimes I feel nothing is going right.... I've prayed through many a cake....
Don't give up - but perhaps you need a break. It sounds like a ton of stuff is going on in your life right now and sometimes a hobby isn't as much fun when life is really crazy. But maybe when things settle down, you can get back into it. Take some time for yourself and then come back - b/c it's a fun hobby and if you enjoy it, you'll really enjoy it when you have some more time and don't feel so rushed and crazy.
Im sorry your having such a hard time with the cakes.
I agree with freezing them. I wish I would have known about it when making my DD's 1st bday cake. It fell apart the morning of her Bday party.
Dont give up. Maybe just take a break relax and dont rush yourself when its time to do the next one.
Hang in there!! Don't give up. You have received a lot of good advice. I have been in your shoes. It does get better.
There can be some awful hard days doing cakes - sleepless nights too. But, it will get better. That's good advice to take a break. Do that. Your desire to decorate will come back.
Maybe you need a different cake recipe? Be sure that your icings are the proper consistency.
We all have cakes projects that don't go well, but the more you practice the easier it will get. Trial and error will help you develop recipes and techniques that work.
I validate you. We have all been there. Perhaps take a break and once your move is complete, pick up caking again.
I took almost an 8 month break after my stress hit the roof on my 2nd wedding cake. It's terrible feeling like that, but don't go selling your tips and tools yet...Give yourself time to come back to loving it. Sorry that your cake went south. Chances are it's something that you'll never have to deal with again (given all of the good advice that's here). Good luck!
Don't give up!!
I highly recommend freezing your cakes. 15 minutes is all you need. It's amazing what a freezer can do! I always make my cakes a day ahead of time and freeze them to get better control of them.
Also, I used to have issues with tearing up my cakes until I realized my icing was too stiff.
Also, some people use the Wilton large icing tip. They don't even use a crumb coat so that would help you too.
I promise if you try these tips things will definitely turn out easier and more fun!!!
Oh, do I understand this. So many times have just said "No More!", but
I always come back to it. The previous posts are all good hints. What
I would add is that I make my cakes ahead of time so they can "rest".
A fresh cake is more likely to crumb, or tear and actually I do not do a
crumb icing. For me I found it was more agravation then good. Invest in a frosting tip and large sleeve, it's such a time saver. Also make sure that when you are spreading the icing to use a pushing motion rather then pulling the icing over the cake. You will find you have no crumb problems that way. It has been mentioned about the consistancy of the icing, that could very well be part of your problem. Until you get the frosting tip you could just use a sleeve without the tip and pipe your frosting on that way?
I have done that in a pinch. Best of luck to you.
Been there! lol I am a newbie at best at this stuff and sometimes it feels as if my first cakes were better then my latest ones and that some how I am going backwards! But I agree with the above posts, dont give up!!! It sounds like you have a TON on your plate right now, and as said above, sometimes even things you enjoy doing become no fun if you are stressed with other things.
I feel like this with every cake that I do. It happens, just push through and smile. Small cakes are horrid to do!!!! I think I may just try to stop doing them. They take more time than a large one because they show the flaws more. Don't give up! You sound stressed right now so maybe cakes isn't a good thing to have on top of everything else. Just take a break and come back to it, but don't give up.
Yes to everything they all said.
I think baby blocks are some of the most frustrating cakes to make of all the cakes on the planet and the whole milky way galaxy and several bordering galaxies.
They seem so straight forward and easy -- hey they are blocks so what?
Each one is a sculpture. I mean I have a good friend who does multiple wedding cakes and sculptures weekly, I mean she is a preferrred vendor on some of the chichi wedding boards (and I'm knot kidding--if you get my drift) she was doing baby blocks last week and the thing crumbled in her hand AGHHH!
Baby blocks have five special surfaces that have to be decorated. There's usually three of them--that's 15 surfaces. I don't know they are just demonic and if someone started a ban on them I'd probably sign the petition.
All that bunch of hot wind to say CHARGE A FORTUNE for baby blocks (going forward). You will earn every penny.
And one other thing. Do not ever go without sleep again while pregnant. There's no cake worth your night's sleep.
Well one other thing, you have my permission to call her and tell her it just didn't work out. That you are pregnant and your hormones are raging and you're just so sorry but it ain't happening. Really baby blocks are advanced decorating. They are each one a cake sculpture. I know I don't have to convince you but I just want you to know it ain't you.
(It totally doesn't look like it in the end product but for anyone who hasn't tried it make one and you will agree.)
Y'know in the old Twilight Zone that demon that would appear to be jimmying with something critical on the airplane wing only when the dude was looking out the window and no one else could see him? That gremlin invented the baby block cake.
Ok ok just one more thing--next time you do a cake--allow three times more time to do it. You will never be sorry you did.
Love & Prayers
hey, I've been decorating for 25 years, and there are still days when I'm standing in the kitchen, covered in PS and icing, my fingers tie-dyed from mixing icing colors, and cake scraps and crumbs all over the place, and I'm ready to cry because something I've done a hundred times just ISN'T WORKING right now, when I need it most.
Hang in there. Take a break if you need to, but if you love this hobby, come back to it when life has stopped attacking, and you'll probably have a much better time. I also agree that baby blocks are a PITA. You don't see any in my photos!
I know what your going through (in a way) I just helped my girlfriend who is 8 months pregnant and has a two year old move into her first house. I also have 96 cupcakes and a 3 tiered paisley cake to make. I am completely frustrated because one batch of cupcakes were ruined. But I know this is just a learning experience. You will get through this and when things cool down you will be glad you didn't quit.
I hate making baby block cakes!!!!!! I gringe every time someone orders one. I think they are so cute and I love the final result, but they are such a pain.
I agree with the others in that the trick is popping it in the freezer for a bit.
Keep your chin up! If you want it to be your hobby, keep it just that. Don't agree to paying jobs and if you are taking on something for a family/friend shower or such, don't make any promises -- then if you need to change design at the end, you are the only one who knows you ever had a problem!!! That leaves you open to your creative juices and you can take your cake in whatever direction you feel in the moment!!
I hope the rest of your day is fabulous and you have a great time at the shower!
Pick up something gooey and sweet at Sam's. Those little cheesecake bites in the frozen section are fabulous! Hey and they're square too!!
Hey, I've been there. But when something comes together in the end and you can hardly leave the room without gazing at it lovingly....a sugar high.
But if it's not for you...then just try something new. Not everyone is going to love every hobby.