Cake Books With Less Than Perfect Cakes...

Decorating By vagostino Updated 7 Aug 2008 , 9:31pm by Kim_in_CajunCountry

vagostino Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 6:33pm
post #1 of 24

I don't know if you've noticed but some of the cakes on the cake decorating books are not perfect after all! I got a new book yesterday and as I was looking trough the pages i came across a picture of a cake where the fondant was all cracked! Just like my cakes icon_redface.gif
Don't get me wrong...i can only hope to make a cake like that with fondant cracked at all...but this just shows that if professionals with tons of time to get the cake perfect for a publication mess up, we shouldn't be so harsh on ourselves when that happen to us!

23 replies
Kahuna Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:51pm
post #2 of 24

I know what you mean, one of my Living mags had this huge lemon cake on the cover and it was georgeous, but all I could think was "look at that the icing isn't totally smooth, just like mine" I also took a wedding cake pamphlet from the grocery store and there was a whimiscal cake with the fondant all bunched and bubbles again, "just like mine!!" A lot of time I think we are looking so closely at our cakes and obsessing over every detail, I just keep trying to improve icon_biggrin.gif

tootie0809 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:53pm
post #3 of 24

I actually like to see pics of cakes in books and magazines that show some imperfections. It makes me not so critical of myself that everything isn't exactly perfect. I read some quote from some cake designer saying something basically to the effect that if a cake is too perfect it looks like plastic and no one wants to eat plastic.

isista Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 3:47pm
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

I read some quote from some cake designer saying something basically to the effect that if a cake is too perfect it looks like plastic and no one wants to eat plastic.


thumbs_up.gif

hey that was good.so, when i have some imperfections, i will use that one .. icon_biggrin.gif
i loved it.LOL

CocoaBlondie Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 3:58pm
post #5 of 24

I have seen things like this in my books as well. It does make me feel good that professionals are not as perfect as they may seem, but it also sometimes turns me from the icing they are using. It makes me think if that recipe didn't turn out perfect for them, it sure won't for me.

valbos22 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:00pm
post #6 of 24

I saw the title of this post and thought "Oh good this is a pet peeve of someone else too!" I really think they should have really nicely done cakes if they are going to be published. I have a few books that I am just amazed, astounded that they even took the time/ money to publish what is poorly done. JMO

Smiles,

Val

If I want to look at less than perfect cakes I can look at my ever growing collection of my own cakes. icon_lol.gif

bwonderful Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:20pm
post #7 of 24

I just got Collete Peter's wedding book and if you look closely at one of her cakes, there's a fly on it.

annacakes Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:23pm
post #8 of 24

We are SO critical of our own cakes. When we look at them, we only see our mistakes.

I'm a cake decorating instructor and so see lots and lots of cakes. When the students are all done and they show me their cakes, I never see what they consider to be (glaring) mistakes. Always cut yourselves some slack.

We are our own worst critics!

Texas_Rose Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:25pm
post #9 of 24

What it really means is that your skill level has increased beyond the average, and now the mistakes on cakes are obvious to you...at least when you're talking about small stuff. I know that when I first started and I'd look at the Wilton yearbook, those cakes looked beautiful beyond belief to me, and now I can look at the same cakes and see little imperfections.

The Collette Peters and Debbie Brown books that I have still look perfect to me, which is how it should be icon_biggrin.gif

I know I've seen cakes on bakery websites where the frosting wasn't smooth, or the fondant was all bunched up. I've also seen really perfect ones where I could tell they used a dummy, and wondered if they could achieve that perfection on a real cake.

sarahpierce Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:26pm
post #10 of 24

I got some old cake books from the library, and I just laughed at some of them. Yes, part of it was because they were from the 60s and 70s, and the fads back then, but also the techniques just weren't there. They were covering the cakes with marizpan. They were ahead of their time, but it was dry and cracked. It's fun to look at the old books. And some of the creepy clown cakes! I hate clowns. thumbsdown.gif

loriemoms Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:32pm
post #11 of 24

shoot, have you ever looked up close at Duff's cakes? His figurines have cracks in them, and his fondant isn't completely smooth (especailly on some of the sculpted cakes) but who cares! They are so incredible! I wish i could pipe like those guys!

Monna7122 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:38pm
post #12 of 24

The only books that I have are Wilton, and there are always less than perfect things in there. Does make me kinda feel good icon_redface.gif Can anyone tell me other good books/magazines to look into?

Mandica12182 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:02pm
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

shoot, have you ever looked up close at Duff's cakes? His figurines have cracks in them, and his fondant isn't completely smooth (especailly on some of the sculpted cakes) but who cares! They are so incredible! I wish i could pipe like those guys!




I would give my left foot to be able to pipe like some of those ladies do....They have "Mad piping skillz" they said that on one of the episodes.

yelle66 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:12pm
post #14 of 24

I have noticed a lot of flaws in Collette Peters cakes. She has quite a few places where fondant is kind of squished together or cracking at the sides and some of her ribbons have cuts in them from rolling the pizza cutter too far. I am certainly not pointing fingers, though. It does make me feel better and even more, I was able to show it to my DH so he could see that sugar isn't and won't ever be PERFECT. It helped a lot to make that point. Plus, its great to see that it really is just us and our overcritical minds and that someone who does something slightly imperfect can make a really good living at this. icon_biggrin.gif

GeminiRJ Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:22pm
post #15 of 24

I'm as critical of my cakes as the next decorator. But I have to agree that if you're putting out a publication and the cake has noticable flaws, it's going to give another decorator pause before trying it. And even though I don't expect Duff's cakes to be perfect, at a going rate of a minimum $1,000 per cake, they'd better be darn close!

kimblyd Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:26pm
post #16 of 24

Is it just me or does anyone else think that you can see the imperfections in a cake better in a picture than you can by looking at the actual cake?

I smell that buttercream and all I see is perfection!!!

icon_biggrin.gif

Kim

malishka Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:29pm
post #17 of 24

before my cake decorating knowledge, i would buy birthday cakes and such from my local grocery store. their roses and piping looked just fine to me.

But now, since I have been decorating for a couple of years, I see that their roses are not made correctly and the piping needs some work as well.

in my opinion, people that we make cakes for are astounded by our talent. They have no clue as to how we created our masterpieces. they don't have a trained eye for that. To them, our cakes are perfectly beautiful.

varika Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 6:26pm
post #18 of 24

Heh, I thought Duff's figures and cakes were teh shizzle until I saw a couple of Aine2's videos! Even only doing this for a couple of months so far, I'm starting to be able to pick up on the flaws more.

It does make me feel better. And I think that using pictures that are intentionally not absolutely perfect in books is helpful. Especially if it's a how-to book. If you make it too perfect, people think they can't measure up. If I'm teaching somebody how to draw, I usually show my sketchbook for reference, rather than my finished works.

Now if the magazine's supposed to be a portfolio without instruction, then yeah, they should be as close to perfect as possible...

vagostino Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 6:38pm
post #19 of 24

Well this one picture that i'm talking about had me wondering because it was the fondant that was meesed up a little. (it had tiny cracks where it goes down to the sides of the cake, looking like my belly after two kids!)...and i thought...is not like it was the last step and you didn;t want to do the whole cake again...it was the fondant! you can easily rip it off and re roll it...is a one page picture...you know is going to be prety obvious! ....but then again, the cake look gorgeous after all was done, it was just reassuring that "professionals" make mistakes too!

ASimpleBaker Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 6:43pm
post #20 of 24

I have a brochure from the local chain grocery store that has thier available wedding cakes (I was researching the competition..he he he). Anyway, it lists several cakes and I notice small things in each, but the worst is a fondant cake with stripes and the stripes have some straight and some crooked. And they want $495 for this cake!! (Please keep this kind of thing in mind my fellow caking peers, when you think you should charge less for your cakes then they are worth!!))

Suddenly my fresh homemade cakes that I work hard on seem worth the money were I to charge for it (not yet, still only for family and friends).

I also thought I would share this...I recently bought a pan set that came with an 60's version metal decorator set. The pictures on the box are supposed to represent what you could do with the set. Amazing how far we have come from those cakes. The decorations here crooked, and one actually has a fingerprint in it! The kit was designed for home baking, but having seen some home bakers here...wow...so little was known by so many back then... ~~smile~~ What is the saying.."We've come a long way baby!"

Kim_in_CajunCountry Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 7:17pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwonderful

I just got Collete Peter's wedding book and if you look closely at one of her cakes, there's a fly on it.




Don't take this wrong, but that makes me feel much better! I had taken a great photo of my carrot cake with the bright flowers on it, but couldn't post it because a huge fly had landed on a flower just as I snapped the pic! I think I'll add it to my Flickr! photos after all!

varika Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 7:26pm
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim_in_CajunCountry

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwonderful

I just got Collete Peter's wedding book and if you look closely at one of her cakes, there's a fly on it.



Don't take this wrong, but that makes me feel much better! I had taken a great photo of my carrot cake with the bright flowers on it, but couldn't post it because a huge fly had landed on a flower just as I snapped the pic! I think I'll add it to my Flickr! photos after all!




"The flowers are so real, even bugs are fooled!"

GeminiRJ Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 8:12pm
post #23 of 24

Bugs aside...if I'm paying for cake decorating book by a professional decorator, I would expect the cakes to be as perfect as possible. Afterall, I don't buy a John Grisham novel expecting a plot line and writing style that is something I could put out. I expect better for my money!

Kim_in_CajunCountry Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 9:31pm
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim_in_CajunCountry

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwonderful

I just got Collete Peter's wedding book and if you look closely at one of her cakes, there's a fly on it.



Don't take this wrong, but that makes me feel much better! I had taken a great photo of my carrot cake with the bright flowers on it, but couldn't post it because a huge fly had landed on a flower just as I snapped the pic! I think I'll add it to my Flickr! photos after all!



"The flowers are so real, even bugs are fooled!"




Hey, Thanks!

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