Am I The Only One Who Does This?

Business By loriemoms Updated 10 Aug 2008 , 3:41am by JodieF

loriemoms Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:26pm
post #1 of 25

Every cake, I stand back and look at it and see nothing but mistakes. They always look crooked or the lines are the way I wanted..I notice that when I don't torte cakes, just level them, they seem to settle more and I can see the line where the frosting is. My DH looks at the cake and then after staring for a while will see what I am pointing out to him, but he said he really had to look at it. I swear every Ivory cake I have done, you can see the cake coming through. (my DH says is just shadows)

My sense of wanting it all perfect is driving me nuts. How do you deal with it? Is my self esteem that bad or am I just too much of a perfectionist? I have gotten up in the middle of the night and done a cake over. I think how much people have paid for it and wonder if I did what they expected (I always get good feedback, but you know how it is, only about 10 percent of people actually tell you what they thought!)

Anyone else have this problem?

24 replies
Solecito Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:43pm
post #2 of 25

Yes, I always look at the mistakes, and I can see a lot of details that I don't like, but I learned to take complimenets from people, because let's face it even with mistakes, they wouldn't even come close to the things I can do. They don't even try.
So don't be to hard on yourself. I know you've been having a lot of work, are all those cutomers first-timers? I don't think so, even in a large city you would have sold to everyone once already. I think you have a lot of repeat cutomers. That means you are not bad at all, and your cakes are beautiful. And delicious.

So try to lighten up a bit, because you'll end up frustrated and unhappy with your job, when people get their cakes they are not looking for mistakes, they are looking at the size (mainly), the wondelful decorations, most of the time they can smell the delicious frosting.

And If none of these things help, I always remember that even Duff has some problems with his cakes, see: nobody is perfect.

summernoelle Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:52pm
post #3 of 25

Yep. Just did that. Today I was making a cake, and the middle tier looked off. The fondant had crumpled or something. That tier is now rebaking in the oven right this moment. Grrrrrrrr.

psurrette Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:57pm
post #4 of 25

We are all perfectionist. My sister in law went to the ices convention with me and then looked at other peoples cake designs and though they are nice she said she likes my cakes and cant understand why i dont enter any competitions. I dont like to use fondant! and most competition cakes are made with fondant. I think we are too hard on ourselves! Your cakes are beautiful!

ArtieTs Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:01pm
post #5 of 25

I can agree. With every cake I do there is always something wrong with it in my mind. I cannot explain it, but cakes is what I love but when I'm working on one I start to feel like this is not what I should be doing because I'm too critical of my own work.

sugaah Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:03pm
post #6 of 25

for that very reason I have a hard time charging for cakes and sometimes a hard time even giving them away. MUST be done right and done well. icon_sad.gif

sugaah Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:07pm
post #7 of 25

for that very reason I have a hard time charging for cakes and sometimes a hard time even giving them away. MUST be done right and done well. icon_sad.gificon_cry.gif

karensue Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:14pm
post #8 of 25

I am so with you, loriemoms .. I am a perfectionist, but also know nothing and no one can meet those standards, so I'm learning to be content with "this is the best that I can do." I recently asked the question, "How do you handle the stress .." of all those unexpected cake problems, like air bubbles, sagging fondant, too soft buttercream. Those are the things that stress me because it's like I have no control over when they're going to happen. I'm trying to learn how to deal with each problem as it arises and learn from it .. but I have to say, I'm ready to graduate .. enough with the learning from problems.

CakeWhizz Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:17pm
post #9 of 25

I am just as bad. I never like any cake I make and I am convinced I am going to be rumbled very soon. For example, last week I made a cake for my biggest client yet. I couldn't believe they chose me out of all the cake makers in London! I was shaking so much when I was decorating the cake and didn't sleep a wink as I was convinced a huge crack would appear or worse I would drop it. Transporting the cake, every bump on the road was a trial. Thankfully all went and when I got an email from the client a couple of days later, I had to get my sister to open it! It was very complementary and I still can't believe it. What is wrong with me????

Jeannem Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:23pm
post #10 of 25

I think we all focus on the "bad" points--not the good. I don't know how many times I haven't bothered to take a picture of a cake because I thought it wasn't very good, only to see someone else's photo a while later, and think--WOW--nice cake.

toodlesjupiter Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:37pm
post #11 of 25

I do this all of the time. I did my first wedding cake a couple of weeks ago, and my uncle came up and said, "Hey Val, that whole table over there is talking about how great your cake looks!" To which I replied, "Are you sure their not just laughing at the crooked top tier?" My husband was like, "Shut up, you know it looks good." He's always on me to just learn how to take a compliment, but all I see are the flaws. icon_rolleyes.gif

loriemoms Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:43pm
post #12 of 25

You guys sure make me feel better!!

I have been doing alot of weddings lately where the wedding planner will give me a call, and its one of the best in the area, and the photographer is one of the best in the area and I say to my DH. Wow, that bride must have run out of money after she picked all these best and had to settle for me. I don't know why I think that way, maybe because we do just love this so much, we want to make it perfect, especailly when its for someone's wedding.

I wonder if Duff ever feels his stuff isn't good enough? hahaha!

Wiltonlady Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:47pm
post #13 of 25

I'm so glad to hear there are others like me.

I have stopped making cakes for that reason. I am so critical with my own designs I can't even bring myself to bake. I've turned down numerous orders because I can't stand my work.

Maybe this will give me the motivation to start up again.

tx_cupcake Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:53pm
post #14 of 25

I do this too! I can't help but notice every little wrinkle, crack or dent. Even when I cover my mistakes with embellishments I always know why this flower is there or that scroll is there.
But, as my DH points out, my mistakes are getting fewer and less noticeable, so I try to focus on that. And when I look at pictures of my first cakes/cupcakes and compare them to recent creations, I have to admit I feel pretty darn good! icon_biggrin.gif
There was a thread started the other day about flaws found on cakes in books and magazines. It just goes to show that no one is perfect - even the pros!

valbos22 Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:53pm
post #15 of 25

Nope you are not the only one. I think what happens is that we are all so passionate about cakes that we put our hearts into every creation and much like anything else we love, it will never be perfect, there will always be something, lol. Imagine if we scrutinzed our loved ones like we do our cakes-- we would end up being hermits!
I have been trying really hard not to focus on all of my mistakes but I seriously consider removing my pics until I have something that is more worthy.



mellormom Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:15pm
post #16 of 25

I too was critical of my work. But now I try not to be. If I wasn't a good cake decorator then no one would order from me. But people see my website and love what they see so they order. If they didn't think you were good enough they wouldn't order.
All you can do is decorate the best of your abilities and learn from all mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and figure out a different or easier way to do it in the future.
And yes, Duff probably doesn't like some of his work as well. No one is perfect. You see all the time on that show all the mistakes that happen during transport and all the last minute fixes they have to do.
A quote "the difference between a professional cake decorator and an amateur is professionals know how to cover there mistakes."
Hang in there! Life's to short to sweat the small stuff. You do your best and that is all you can do.

littlecake Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:24pm
post #17 of 25

it has helped me a lot...seeing that not all duffs cakes are perfect....

i think it's a whole lot better, us trying to be perfect, than to make a sloppy cake...and thinkin it's just dandy

I HATE making big stacked cakes...that are on the plain side...i always think they are crooked...and they aren't...ya just look at them too long.

i stopped taking orders for big square cakes for awhile...i'd ice round and round and round round...trying to get it perfect...(OCD)....i still feel a sense of dread when they say square

kurn Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:42pm
post #18 of 25

Today I was decorating a Christening cake and made my first bassinet with rice krispie treats and made my first fondant baby for on top. I was pleased with my work, not overly confidant, but happy enough... when one of our employees (from the deli) came over and said it looked like a pig and even snorted. There went every single bit of confidence I had. All the employees had a great laugh. Me too, but I still think it looks like a baby (with a big nose). The cake is due tomorrow so what are the chances I'll remake the baby?

tx_cupcake Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:46pm
post #19 of 25
Originally Posted by kurn

when one of our employees (from the deli) came over and said it looked like a pig and even snorted.

Snorted? Hmmm. The baby doesn't seem like the pig in this story...

JulieB Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:58am
post #20 of 25

We are all our own worst critics, and it is not just cakes.

I remember my cousin needed a dress and I made it for her, in a hurry, at her house, with her hanging over me as I did. That dress became her favorite, she was so proud of it, even had her senior pictures made in it. Yet whenever I looked at it, all I saw were mistakes.

What do you do?

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:21am
post #21 of 25

I too was one of those cake decorators that was too hard on myself. I recieved raves about my cakes, but because I knew the flaws and what I had to go thru(problems, mistakes)I never felt like it was as good as others. Until I started watching Duff that is. After watching his show I realized that everyone has problems and mistakes when doing cakes and the extrodinary cakes that we see from the pros are not perfect....they only know how to fix their mistakes better than we do. If we keep practicing we will learn.

gabbenmom Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:26am
post #22 of 25

I have to agree with everyone else! Everytime I make a cake I am so worried they are going to be talking about it and everything that is wrong with it. I made one for Friday and didn't let the torted layers sit long enough. I got it all iced and decorated and all I could see was bulging sides. The lady called me and said it was gone within minutes and everyone kept coming and wanting some. She said the only problem was there was not enough. WHEW!!!!!! I get so stressed out! And if I don't hear from them right away (like they didn't just have a party and are cleaning up, relaxing, better things to do then call me the minute it is cut!) then I am so worried that they didn't like it.
As everyone on here says, we are our own worst critics! Most people look at our cakes and are impressed by what we can do!!

All of you keep up the great work!!! And Wilton lady....get to work! icon_wink.gif You can't just quit making cakes!!!

Kitagrl Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:28am
post #23 of 25

Yeah I get to where I feel like my cake should NOT look like cake, so if a line is crooked or a tier looks "off" I get really upset. Unless its a disaster, I usually don't fix it because I don't have time and that eats away the profit, and I get to where I assume I'm the only one who will notice and usually I guess I"m right. I mean, I even had someone put a photo of their wedding cake proudly on their blog...(it was a huge compliment)...and it was a picture of the BACK of their cake, complete with seamed fondant stripes! icon_redface.gif Evidently they didn't notice even the seams!

But yeah...most of my cakes make me crabby these days. haha. Not really crabby, just kidding, but I do usually have something to complain about.

JILBRY Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:31am
post #24 of 25

My husband says I am way to critical of any cake I do. I see all the flaws. I think we all do this.
The people we do these for only see a cake that they can't or won't try to do.
I know I can't touch most of you on here, but I love to make cakes. so I will have to learn to turn off my inner critisisms.(sp?)

JodieF Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:41am
post #25 of 25

I just can't believe how many of you do this as your living. I'd be exhausted and stressed all the time. Right now I have 6 cakes in my fridges for a 50th anniversary party tomorrow. There's an 18 inch square, and 16, 12, 9 and 6 inch rounds with a double layer 11 x 15 side cake. They have 25 edible image photos from their marriage. I made fondant frames for each photo. There's fondant lace and beading, all painted gold. I have done SO much work and I know it's pretty cool, but all I can think about is that the SMBC isn't perfectly smooth! It's making me nuts!!!!! I've never done a cake this big, or SMBC, and instead of focusing on the accomplishment I'm all bummed because it's not smooth.........

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