How Long Does It Take To Decorate?

Decorating By cricket0616 Updated 27 Apr 2009 , 5:01am by indydebi

cricket0616 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 12:56am
post #1 of 10

I am beginning to think I am the slowest decorator around. I made a two tier fondant cake this weekend for a friend and it took me almost eight hours. By the time I baked the cakes, made the icing and decorated it, the day was gone. Does it take others as long as it take me???

9 replies
PuffCake Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:03am
post #2 of 10

I always bake the cake and freeze it several days in advance and make the icings the day before. That way on the day of, I just have the decorating to do.

Sassy74 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:03am
post #3 of 10

Yeah, it's easy for me to spend an entire day doing a bigger cake as well. But, I find that I do many other things WHILE I'm also doing the cake. While it's baking, cooling, etc. I'd love to learn how to better maximize my time...maybe some of the pro's on here can give us tips???

blondeez Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:05am
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by PuffCake

I always bake the cake and freeze it several days in advance and make the icings the day before. That way on the day of, I just have the decorating to do.

This is what I do also.

patticakesnc Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:07am
post #5 of 10

You're not alone. Takes me all day too. But you have to realize small time bakers (such as myself) make things as we go. Most larger bakers will have the cakes, buttercream, and fondant made up ahead of time. If I were to have it all done and then just put it together it wouldn't take me nearly as long. But of course it will take you longer....just figure how long it takes you to bake the cakes themselves.

nicksmom Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:14am
post #6 of 10

I too bake and freeze,however the decorating portion of it can take alot alot alot of time!! I think there does come a point where you learn to pipe or decorate at a faster speed.I have spent entire days on a cake but have learned to pick up the pace.It depends on how in depth your design is too.Anyway you look at it, it's still way FUN icon_biggrin.gif

clovely Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:18am
post #7 of 10

I've recently started tracking what I use, what I spend - including time. If it's any help, I spent about 14 hours between baking, gumpaste accent pieces, and then pulling it together, to do the Barbie cake in my photos. I think I'm super slow too. But I've been trying a lot of new things lately so I think that's part of the reason.

cricket0616 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:21am
post #8 of 10

I agree it is fun. I love it, but when I looked at the clock I was shocked. I guess I am going to have to try baking ahead of time. I am glad to hear that I am not alone. Thanks!

classiccake Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 4:09am
post #9 of 10

Professional bakers can get things done faster, because they do not have to do each step for one cake. For instance, my recipe for one batch of icing makes 75 pounds. Alot of cakes can be iced with that one batch. I make my fondant, and I make 20 pounds at a time.

Then, it depends on if you have done the same design/technique before. Once you have done it several times, you don't have to think about it so much and it goes much faster. Decorators who work in cake 5 or 6 days a week are faster because of their experience. They also have had more opportunities to learn faster techniques to get the job done. If you look at the last photo I uploaded, the "Regency" cake... that 4-tier cake took me 5 hours, icing the dummies to completely finished. The only thing I did not have to do that I would have in a real cake is put two cakes together before icing the tier, and putting in the support. But then, I did have to ice it in royal icing, which I think is more challenging than buttercream icing.
Don't be discouraged with time will speed up.

My feelings...don't look at the clock, look at the end result.

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 5:01am
post #10 of 10

I remember my first wedding cake ... 3-tier, covered in BC roses (that I'd never made until the day before!). Looking back, it was a super simple cake, but I took me 8-10 hours just to ice and decorate. That didn't count the mixing, baking, icing-making, or the HOURS it took to make all of those roses. 30 years later, I'm pretty sure I'm a little faster. icon_rolleyes.gif

classic is right, though, the bigger your production is, the less time it takes per cake. Takes me about the same amount of time to mix 5 lbs of icing as it does to make 15 lbs of icing. (my one mixer is nowhere NEAR the size of the mixers classic has! icon_lol.gif ).

If you do spread the process out over a few days, be aware that it may STILL take you the same amount of time .... you just have fewer backaches from doing an 8 hour marathon. Clovely had a good suggestion to keep track of your time. WHen you break it down (baking ... making icing ... making flowers .... icing ... the actual assembly and decorating), it helps you see how long each step takes and you can better allocate your time.

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