What Can I Do To Become Better? Take A Look At My Pics

Decorating By dcabrera Updated 10 Jan 2009 , 1:56am by deliciously_decadent

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:02am
post #1 of 22

Can someone please take a look at my pics and tell me how/where I need to improve? I need honest advice. Family and friends say they're great, but then I look at the ones on here and they don't compare. I've been making cakes since July 2008. I really want to get good, but I always end up with the same uneven sloppy looking cake. How can I get smooth edges and fondant?

21 replies
bostonterrierlady Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:10am
post #2 of 22

I think your cakes look good. I always feel the way you do too. I only like to do buttercream. What knid of buuttercream recipe do you use? I am always looking for a different recipe.Do you use Crisco?

jules06 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:18am
post #3 of 22

Your cakes don't look sloppy & uneven to me !!! I think they look great !! icon_biggrin.gif

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:20am
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonterrierlady

I think your cakes look good. I always feel the way you do too. I only like to do buttercream. What knid of buuttercream recipe do you use? I am always looking for a different recipe.Do you use Crisco?




Thank you. That's funny. I only do fondant. I really like the swiss meringue buttercream. I'm not a crisco buttercream girl. It's on the recipes here. I got it from this site.

CakeMakar Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:21am
post #5 of 22

For the fondant cakes that are bumpy I recommend working more on your cake underneath. (Get Sugarshack's DVD if you want more info.) I found that was more to blame than me not smoothing my fondant. That and the quality of fondant I was using. Some of your piping looks uneven, but with my jittery hands I don't think I'll ever get straight piping. Only practice will help that. icon_biggrin.gif
Honestly, I think some of your cakes are exquisite & very neat - like the black & white cake. Black & white is hard to pull off! You're much closer than I am! More than anything just take your time, if you don't like it, pull it off and do it again.
Hope this helps!

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:22am
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules06

Your cakes don't look sloppy & uneven to me !!! I think they look great !! icon_biggrin.gif




Wow. Really? Thanks a lot.

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:25am
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

For the fondant cakes that are bumpy I recommend working more on your cake underneath. (Get Sugarshack's DVD if you want more info.) I found that was more to blame than me not smoothing my fondant. That and the quality of fondant I was using. Some of your piping looks uneven, but with my jittery hands I don't think I'll ever get straight piping. Only practice will help that. icon_biggrin.gif
Honestly, I think some of your cakes are exquisite & very neat - like the black & white cake. Black & white is hard to pull off! You're much closer than I am! More than anything just take your time, if you don't like it, pull it off and do it again.
Hope this helps!




Ok. What do you mean work more on the cake underneath? I agree with the piping for sure. Thanks for your help.

something_sweet Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:27am
post #8 of 22

I think your cakes look very good considering the amount of time you have been decorating! I myself have only been doing it for a year also, and I have found that practice is really the only way to get better. Books, DVD's, and taking classes also help with learning new and better techniques. But really it just takes time. Keep doing what you are doing!

PatricesPieces Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:33am
post #9 of 22

Your cakes are beautiful. Just keep practicing. The more you make the more you will improve. You learn something from each cake you make. So, my best advice is to keep up the beautiful work and enjoy each challenge you face with each new cake you create.

Patrice

TTran Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:36am
post #10 of 22

I agree with sweetestthing. For as long as you have been decorating, you have turned out some nice cakes.

One thing that I have noticed is the smoother my BC underneat is and the thicker my fondant on the outside, the better the look of my cakes. The spongebob cake in my photos is where i learned this little trick. I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Happy decorating!!!

JenniferMI Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:40am
post #11 of 22

Your cakes are really REALLY nice!!!!

The one thing I see is you need to work on your "under the fondant" icing. That is the key to getting the outside looking not bumpy and lumpy. Looks like your icing might be moving on you. I use a normal layer of firm bodied icing on my cakes. Check them out.... if you have any questions, I'm always happy to try and help. Feel free to e-mail me

Jen icon_smile.gif

CakeMakar Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:45am
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcabrera

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

For the fondant cakes that are bumpy I recommend working more on your cake underneath. (Get Sugarshack's DVD if you want more info.) I found that was more to blame than me not smoothing my fondant. That and the quality of fondant I was using. Some of your piping looks uneven, but with my jittery hands I don't think I'll ever get straight piping. Only practice will help that. icon_biggrin.gif
Honestly, I think some of your cakes are exquisite & very neat - like the black & white cake. Black & white is hard to pull off! You're much closer than I am! More than anything just take your time, if you don't like it, pull it off and do it again.
Hope this helps!



Ok. What do you mean work more on the cake underneath? I agree with the piping for sure. Thanks for your help.




Making sure the top is straight, the dam is solid to prevent leakage, the sides are as straight as you can possibly get them. Let the cake "sit" for a few hours after stacking the individual layers. Get down on the level of the cake with a sharp knife & shave off bumps. Try to get your cake to as perfect of a smooth cylinder (square, etc) as you can before laying on the buttercream & fondant.
I used to depend on the buttercream to even out imperfections in the cake (oops, the corner didn't quite make it out of the pan or the layers don't come together right). I could "spackle" it. Then I'd rely on the fondant to fix where the buttercream didn't quite get smooth.

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 4:05am
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcabrera

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

For the fondant cakes that are bumpy I recommend working more on your cake underneath. (Get Sugarshack's DVD if you want more info.) I found that was more to blame than me not smoothing my fondant. That and the quality of fondant I was using. Some of your piping looks uneven, but with my jittery hands I don't think I'll ever get straight piping. Only practice will help that. icon_biggrin.gif
Honestly, I think some of your cakes are exquisite & very neat - like the black & white cake. Black & white is hard to pull off! You're much closer than I am! More than anything just take your time, if you don't like it, pull it off and do it again.
Hope this helps!



Ok. What do you mean work more on the cake underneath? I agree with the piping for sure. Thanks for your help.



Making sure the top is straight, the dam is solid to prevent leakage, the sides are as straight as you can possibly get them. Let the cake "sit" for a few hours after stacking the individual layers. Get down on the level of the cake with a sharp knife & shave off bumps. Try to get your cake to as perfect of a smooth cylinder (square, etc) as you can before laying on the buttercream & fondant.
I used to depend on the buttercream to even out imperfections in the cake (oops, the corner didn't quite make it out of the pan or the layers don't come together right). I could "spackle" it. Then I'd rely on the fondant to fix where the buttercream didn't quite get smooth.





I totally understand now. I used frosting pride, but have found smbc to work a lot better for me. I also tend to overfill my filling. I will let it sit for a few hours after I fill it to just let it set now. Thanks for the advice.

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 4:09am
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferMI

Your cakes are really REALLY nice!!!!

The one thing I see is you need to work on your "under the fondant" icing. That is the key to getting the outside looking not bumpy and lumpy. Looks like your icing might be moving on you. I use a normal layer of firm bodied icing on my cakes. Check them out.... if you have any questions, I'm always happy to try and help. Feel free to e-mail me

Jen icon_smile.gif




Oh wow!!! your cakes are out of this world!!! I swear I'm feeling starstruck icon_biggrin.gif

rcsnickers2 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 4:27am
post #15 of 22

I totally understand your thinking and question. I too feel the same way and was about to ask the same question. I seriously laugh at people like you, your cakes are unbelievably beautiful. I wish mine were half as good!!!! Don't second guess yourself and keep up the good work!!!!

sugarshack Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 6:26am
post #16 of 22

You are well on your way!

Make sure your cake reicpe is firm for fondnat cakes. use a super stiff dam, let them settle, trim them, crumbcoat and apply your fondant. Wheneter your cake looks likes UNDER the fondnat , it will look like after the fondnat.

HTH!

dcabrera Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:24pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

You are well on your way!

Make sure your cake reicpe is firm for fondnat cakes. use a super stiff dam, let them settle, trim them, crumbcoat and apply your fondant. Wheneter your cake looks likes UNDER the fondnat , it will look like after the fondnat.

HTH!




Ok, I'm feeling starstruck again! When you say trim the cake do you mean cut or shave with a knife? Any good recipes for a super stiff dam? I usually use smbc to fill my cake. Wow, thanks again for all your help.

sugarshack Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 12:53am
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcabrera

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

You are well on your way!

Make sure your cake reicpe is firm for fondnat cakes. use a super stiff dam, let them settle, trim them, crumbcoat and apply your fondant. Wheneter your cake looks likes UNDER the fondnat , it will look like after the fondnat.

HTH!



Ok, I'm feeling starstruck again! When you say trim the cake do you mean cut or shave with a knife? Any good recipes for a super stiff dam? I usually use smbc to fill my cake. Wow, thanks again for all your help.




i trim the sides with a knife, like in this clip:






if you want to ice with SMBC you can still use a stiff dam with the BC recipe i linked above. just knead in a ton of PS till you can roll a ball with it in your hands.

i THINK some people stiffen the SMBC to use as dam but I am not sure.

stephi17 Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 1:14am
post #19 of 22

This is a really great topic, I'm in the same boat you are. Your cakes really are great, though. I'm sure with all of these suggestions you'll be even better.

I do have a question, though. Sugarshack -- you said to make sure to have a firm cake recipe ... is an extender recipe, like with sour cream and an extra egg considered firm? I've always wondered that because unfrosted, my cakes don't seem to look at all like the link you posted! If anyone has any advice or suggestions on the firm cake, I'd really appreciate it!

sugarshack Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 1:30am
post #20 of 22

yes that recipe would be firm enough i think.

the one i like the best for fondant is the durable cake recipe from this site

see my recipes here:

http://sugaredblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/few-of-my-favorite-things.html

cakebaker1978 Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 1:42am
post #21 of 22

R U kidding me? Your cakes are NOT sloppy! You are very good! Look at that foot ball cake!!! Amazing. Don't be silly, just keep on doing it. If you are this good already...give it time.....girl, you are going to be making show stoppers!! Keep it up! You are great already!

deliciously_decadent Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 1:56am
post #22 of 22

your cakes are quite good considering there are only a few!! the black and white is very impressive! i have noticed in a few that there is some dimples in them, as said by sugershack etc how you leave the undercoat is how your top coat will appear. in australia a lot ous use firm chocolate ganacg to fill and coat our cakes as this dries firmer than BC and can then be smoothed perfectly with a hot knife thus giveing you the perfect smooth surface onto which to place your fondant and is the secret to our really sharp corners. i also use two wilton amoothers instead of one so that you never put a thunb or finger print in the fondant and this makes edging so much easier too, i have also learnt from experience if your fondant is to thin you will end up in trouble, 1/2 a cm is a good thickness and allows you to smooth over any little lumos and bumps without pockmarking the surface. also just a little note i though might help too, don't put your borders on until you have stacked your cake that way you can hide any gap between the two cakes meeting, just thought i noticed a gap between the blue border and the bottom tier of the baby shower cake is all icon_biggrin.gif feel free to ask me anything, and check out my pics if you want

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