I am fairly new to cake decorating and just make cakes for friends and family, which consists of the odd birthday cake here and there. I work full time and have a fairly stressful job, I find that doing cakes is very theraputic and something that I can really enjoy and get a lot of pleasure out of... it has took a while but I seem to have found my creative side at the age of 40... lol So I joined my local college to learn more and i am so addicted...
However there is more to this post... I am now getting asked to make wedding cakes... and cakes for people who are friends of friends that I dont know and am finding that I am worrying about the cake weeks before I have done it... Panicing incase it all goes wrong... and a wedding cake OMG i could even imagine what I would do if that went wrong...
My question is: is this normal? Did you all worry and do you all still worry.
I dont want to lose the fun side of cake decorating?
what are your thoughts/tips?
Thanks for reading my long post and look forward to reading your replies
I have been doing cakes now for almost 2 years and I do worry some about some cakes but I find as my skill gets better the less I worry because I feel I know more about what I am doing and what I can do.
To make it easier for you why don't you do a dummy cake for the wedding cake and take a pic of it. Have them show you a picture of what they are thinking of for a cake. That will give you an idea of what they want. Post it here and show it to the ones that want you to do the wedding cake for. This will give you the idea of what you can do and how much time it will take plus it's good practice.
I like to think things out in my head and then on the computer or paper which helps me visulize whats in my head. Cakes are fun but can be a lot of work depending on the design and amount of work. Just enjoy each cake and each learning curve along the way. Life is short so bake a cake and enjoy life.
I can still stress over cakes when I know about them months in advance; especially if it's using a technique that haven't done in awhile or haven't done at all. Something that helps me is to make lists of everything that I need and then to make a list of everything that I need to do on certain days before the cake is due (i.e., fondant bows on Monday, make icings on Tuesday, bake cake on Wednesday, etc). It helps to calm my brain down
When it finally comes down to actually decorating the crumbcoated cake(s), my stress starts to leave and I begin to enjoy the creating process. The joy is still there, it just has to have a stress coil (like in a pinball machine) in order to release it.
Good luck, and I'm sure you will be fine.
I always stress about my cakes! No matter how big or small it is, or who its for. I enjoy every aspect of the cake, from designing it, ordering things for it to making it.
I just try to take it all with a grain of salt and remind myself to be calm and enjoy it.
i give myself plenty of time to do the cake and decorations. I work on the weekend, 10 hours a day.
Just take a deep breath and relax. Also, if you feel you need to take a break for a week or a month, then do it. I did that, and it really helped.
I can relate to your stress. I have been doing cakes for maybe a year or better, mostly for friends & co-workers, but I'm brancing out to referrals from friends. I think I'm OK & getting better but with every cake order I almost get sick enough to pass out while doing it. I try not to take on requests for skills I'm not versed in but I need to advance my skills, so I gradually try new things, but I tend to make my orders more difficult than necessary. I try to plan well for things that may come up, but I always find myself stuck in my kitchen till all hours of the morning, sleep deprived & almost in tears behind the littlest set back I do LOVE caking & I use it as therapy after a stressful day at the 8 to 5 but I cause myself more undo stress due to my fear that I'm gonna ruin someone's cake last minute. After almost every big order I get, by the time I'm done I need to sleep for a least 1 full day to recouperate. Now can some tell me if that is normal. I always think after every order " give this mess up, you gonna kill yourself"
I too, still stress over my cakes......each one is a new experience for me. I enjoy the challange of a new cake design....and yes I do frett some.... probably more in the planning than in the actual decorating and set up of the cake.
I do a lot of planning in my head and draw pictures. But every cake is done from my heart and to the best of my ability.
The only time I don't stress to some degree is when I'm doing a cake that wasn't specifically ordered and I can do exactly what I want. Any other time I worry that it won't meet the customer's expectations, that something will happen to it, that someone won't like the taste, it'll rain during delivery, we'll drop it... and on and on. I've often had dreams (nightmares) about cakes! Although the stress does get relieved somewhat through experience and self-confidence, there are certain variables that we have no control over and I tend to stress about them. I honestly don't breath easy until the cakes are picked up or delivered for the week... and even then, I usually worry about the feedback!! )
After a particularly busy and hectic week, I'll usually experience a sense of euphoria around 6:00 PM on a Saturday! I usually sleep pretty good that night, too!! It's not abnormal being somewhat stressed. If anything, it helps you to not be too nonchalant and haphazard about your cakes. Again, it will ease over time, but I don't know that it'll ever go away completely!
As a pp stated, stay organized, don't take on cake orders that are outside your skill level before you're ready, leave yourself plenty of time, have a generalized back-up plan in case of emergency and have fun! Best wishes!!