Cake Stress!!!

Decorating By micaelasmami Updated 4 Jun 2009 , 4:55pm by Sweetmaker

micaelasmami Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:48pm
post #1 of 17

I have only made a few cakes. I really like doing it- and I know my cakes aren't that great but I sort of feel like I'm getting better at it each time I do one. The thing is- I get very stressed out when I have to do them for somebody who is paying me. It always seems like something goes wrong- the cake falls apart or I have a hard time getting the frosting smooth. The last one I did ended up different than I sketched- I didn't even write happy birthday on it because my nerves were so bad and I didn't wanna mess it up. The time before that I worked myself into a migraine. Each time I finish the cake I want to say "forget it! No more cakes - except for my kids birthdays" but then i end up saying yes again. Does it get any better? How can I get better? Or should I just stick to doing family cakes? Help!!!!! Does or has anyone ever felt this way??? icon_cry.gif

16 replies
STRAWBERRY1390 Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:00am
post #2 of 17

I am sorry you are feeling this way, I to have found myself in this position for every cake I do payed or not. The reason is I often say as you do, thats it no more just family. But I have come to believe that is the problem. We don't get in enough practice. It is more like dabbling in the art. Just start making more and more cakes is the only answer. Just bake cakes often don't even worry about decorating so you can get use to fixing baking mishaps. And decorate dummies for practice on styling is my suggestion. Then every so often put them together, and not only when needed because of an order. Do it just because. take loads of pictures and then slice and give away.

Good luck and happy caking,

sweet_teeth Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:00am
post #3 of 17

I have felt that way on EVERY cake i've done except the last one (the pink one for Lileigh).. which was the first time ever that I had no hiccups whatsoever. Ugh.. i'm always SO stressed. I also stress about the design forever.. even though I end up just doing the same ole simple lookign thing.

trina0207 Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:01am
post #4 of 17

I know the feeling. Give yourself enough time to walk away just in case you need to take a deep breath. I am just starting with deocrating (not even brave enough to post any pictures yet) although I have sold cheesecakes, poundcakes and such in the past. I have been working on a 2 tier TT today and the MMF was so soft it tore in my hands before I could get it on the cake. It is only for practice, but I usually send my practice cakes to work with my sister. Not gonna happen this time. But I know the next one will be better because I have learned from this one.

angelicconfections Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:32am
post #5 of 17

Oh yes, I have many, many times. I had a complete breakdown over the Dora cake a few years ago, Dora pan is my nemesis can't get those darn eyes right! Yep, many times can't smooth frosting, the design didn't work and had to make last minute changes. I tell my brides, and other customers that cakeing is an art and like most painter cannot exactly copy another's work my cakes are not going to be perfect copies of someone else's work. Try, and I know it is very hard not too, try not to drive yourself crazy. We always see every little flaw in our cakes and somthing that screams I MESSED UP isn't noticed by others. Have you ever watched Ace of Cakes? They make mistakes and have cake crisis too. Good luck!

micaelasmami Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:38am
post #6 of 17

Thanks for all of the advice. It is making me feel so much better. yes, I watch ace of cakes. it always seem like their disasters are so easily fixed! I haven't seem them having a nervous break down and flipping out on their children who are getting in the way in the kitchen! well, i'll just keep on practicing and hopefully get better.... icon_smile.gif

firelegs Posted 26 May 2009 , 12:42am
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by angelicconfections

I tell my brides, and other customers that cakeing is an art and like most painter cannot exactly copy another's work my cakes are not going to be perfect copies of someone else's work.

This is so true! I'm also just starting out (just completed wilton course 2). Today, I attempted my first ganache cake. I had an idea of what I wanted, and had several different ideas of cakes I wanted to duplicate - mine ended up much, much different than when I originally set out to make. I take my practice cakes to work, so no need to be perfect - I do learn a lot from my mistakes, and find things are getting easier, my messes are smaller, etc. Just keep trying - you'll get there.

TexasSugar Posted 26 May 2009 , 3:32am
post #8 of 17


Originally Posted by angelicconfections

I had an idea of what I wanted, and had several different ideas of cakes I wanted to duplicate - mine ended up much, much different than when I originally set out to make.

This is totally not uncommon. I can't tell you how many cakes change on my as I am making them. I'm more visual so it isn't until I have the parts in front of me that I think maybe it will look better if I do this, or I want to do it that way instead. Just because it doesn't come out like you 'saw' in your head doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it.

Cakes for other people, especially paid ones, always tend to start with
more stress for me. And those are the ones I have more issues with. I remember doing my second wedding cake for a friend of my SIL's and the whole time I did it I was going, "I hate this, I hate this!" I just did not enjoy making that cake, even though it was a simple design, it just had one issue after another.

Texas_Rose Posted 26 May 2009 , 4:16am
post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by micaelasmami

The time before that I worked myself into a migraine.

I've had a cake migraine before. The cake turned out gorgeous and I could tell while I was working on it that it was going to be good, but that didn't keep me from stressing out. I'm making a wedding cake in July for the same person and I'm already figuring I'll get another migraine.

-Tubbs Posted 26 May 2009 , 3:00pm
post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by micaelasmami

yes, I watch ace of cakes. it always seem like their disasters are so easily fixed!

That's the beauty of EDITING!!! I think that the stress does get better the more you do. I think it's a good thing - it means that you care enough to do a really good job.

Karencook Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:40pm
post #11 of 17

It is so comforting to read these posts and know that I am not alone in being stressed out about doing my next cake. It will be my first wedding cake. It is for my best friends co-workers daughter. I am not being paid nearly what it will be worth. But am o.k. with it this one time,as I hope to get a little publicity from it. But the time researching and worrying sure do add up. Not including the baking time ( 2 layers of 12", 2 layers 10", 2 layers 6") etc. But I do feel better reading these posts. Good timing!!! icon_smile.gif

jewelykaye Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:56pm
post #12 of 17

I think we all start out that way. I know I did! Then you start to learn all the hiccups that can happen and you are better able to plan for them. My problem was I wasn't giving myself enough time to really do a good job on the cakes. Now, I allow myself more than enough time. Yes, I still get stressed but not nearly as bad as before. I currently don't do any wedding cakes for a couple reason. First of all I have a toddler and I just can't give her enough time and do the cakes, second I am not ready to take on the stress of the brides wedding cake. KWIM? So as you learn the little tricks and learn about all the hiccups and with practice this "hobby" becomes more and more enjoyable!

weirdo Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:16pm
post #13 of 17

I as well as everyone that has replyed get very stressed...I'm a wilton teacher and do cakes on the side but because I teach I have a feeling that I should be really good and really don't have the convidence in myself. The cakes always turn out o.k. but the build up is so overwellming that I also say I'm not doing another one,but I also don't get in alot of practice time either....always remember to breath!..

ZlatkaT Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:34pm
post #14 of 17

funny, I was going to post the same question one day. Now, I see it is normal icon_smile.gif . I will do my first wedding cake in a month, and since the order, I wake up every morning at 5 am, and spending hours in this site (reading, ideas, posting etc...) icon_smile.gif Now I feel better, and somehow ready, but as I know myself, my cake will be full of mistakes, that I will try to cover. I guess, all it needs is practice and bake, bake, bake...

cakes22 Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:37pm
post #15 of 17

My problem is that I second guess just about everything. Cake stress seems like an understatement!!!
I am always wondering if I could have made it better. Should I have added more? Did I add too much design/decoration? I am horrible off the cuff, and work better with a picture or guidance.
My DH is my sounding board. He usually is the one to tell me to put the piping bag down & step away from the cake, or if I am questioning the design he will tell me it's fine/great/perfect whatever.
I haven't had a complaint yet (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, throwing salt over the shoulder) & I have had repeat business icon_smile.gif , so I must be doing ok.
I have a cupcake tasting in a couple of days (not really tasting more of a design meeting) and I am stressing over making 100 cuppies for this wedding, Father's day cuppies for a couple of clients, and my FIL's 65/retirement cake & 10 cupcake bouquets to go with that. Thankfully it's not until June 20th, but time has a way of sneaking up on me. Maybe that week I will post something like" OMG these cupcakes are making me crazy!!!"

sugarshack Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:39am
post #16 of 17

The first few years I did cakes for other people, I would literally get nauseated before I had to ice it. I would get so worked up about the cake, the design , the work.

It does get better with time. I have learned to be a bit easier on myself, and what I think is crap most times the client loves!!

With more experince, skill and practice, you will get more confident, learn to roll with the punhces when the cake demands mid stream you have to change design plans. That happens to me a lot too. I think it is oart of the game, really.

Sweetmaker Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 4:55pm
post #17 of 17

Yes! I have had and surely will have cake stress. I am sure that it gets easier as you go. On my pastrami cake it was my first fondant cake and I didn't sleep well before because I was going over it in my head....over and over and over. You know how it is. I made the cake and everyone loved it. I had the worst headache ever that day and even the day after when I described it to my friend at work the headache came back. Man! icon_confused.gif why after it was over???

Anyway the more you practice the more confidence you get the better the stress levels are to handle. oh and for me the blood pressure meds help too. icon_lol.gif

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