Ok professionals. How do I turn the corner. I look at everyone's cakes and think "OMG they are soooo good". I have been working at this for about a year now and I cant seem to get any better. Please take a look at some of my pictures and give me your honest feedback.
Well, I am not sure you could consider me a pro. I have done cakes from home for about 5 years andactually making money on them for about 3. i IMO you are headed in the right direction. I think the yellow sculpted cake you did was really done well. He was smooth and turned out very cute. Your patterns on your cakes (fondant accents) are well spaced and even. The only thing that caught my eye on your stacked cakes has more to do with proportion than anything. I would have made my tiers a bit taller so they were more in balance with the width of the cakes. Other than that I think it is just a matter of practice. Remember as you will read over and over on here, we are our own worst critics.
Thanks for looking and for the comments. Is there a standard ratio for cake width to height? I know that you should always go 4" smaller/larger for each tier, but what about the height?
Look at LOTS of cakes and keep working on your technique. Everybody has weak points, things they can't do well. I, for one, can't pipe anything! So I stick to things I can do as a hobby baker. If its any consolation, some of the decorators on TV are self taught, so hang in there and learn everything you can from everywhere you can. You will improve over time.
Usually 4" is a good height for a tier. If you've been using Wilton's batter amount chart, you may need to add a little extra batter.
As a general rule tiers should be 4" tall. If you watch any of the t.v. cake shows you will see where many cakes tiers are now 6 or even 8" tall. As for your suggestion about *always* go 4" different between tiers that really is not an 'always' thing. Many are doing 2" differences and it looks nice (ie: 4, 6, 8, 10 stacked).
I would suggest investing in SugarEd (SugarShack aka: Sharon Z)'s video on perfect buttercream. It would help greatly (not that you are that bad in what you have done).
I think for only decorating for a year, you are going GREAT!! Just add up the number of cakes you've done in that time--maybe 2 per month--so after a total of MAYBE 24 cakes you really are still a beginner.
That's the only problem with CC--everyone puts up their best and most fabulous cakes, and I think I have to be that good too. Sad to say, after 30+ years I not...
Best advise--invest in SugarShack's DVD--worth every single cent and then some. Great basic info.
Keep up the great work!!