I didn't start decorating until a few years ago. Recently I came across some photos of our kids proudly holding up their grocery-store bought cakes. I remember ordering those cakes and not thinking twice about the cost. It was for my kid's birthday - and even when times were tough financially, I wanted them to have an awesome birthday cake.
Now when I'm looking at those grocery store cake photos, I realize some of the borders are crooked, or the finished cake was a really simple design that I was thrilled with. But now, when I see my cake for hours and hours that I'm working on I pick out every flaw and wonder why people are so crazy to spend so much on a cake.
Even though, when I was a cake-decorating virgin - I happily spent that same money on simple, flawed cakes and wore that big happy grin on my face in all my photos.
I'm not knocking grocery store bought cakes, just saying that my perspective has changed, dramatically, and that sometimes, I need to focus on more on the labor of love of cake-decorating, and less on it's perfect or it's unworthy perspective.
That's pretty normal, not to start noticing cake flaws until you look for your own. It's a good thing to realize because while it's always great to strive for perfection, food is a medium that has its good days and bad days, and sometimes even with the best planning, factors beyond our control can cause problems. When we look at our cakes and see all the tiny flaws, the people we're baking for are looking at the big picture and just seeing that it's an awesome cake. They're not going to notice that you couldn't get the buttercream perfectly smooth on one corner, or that one of the flowers is hiding a small hole in the fondant, or that a border could have been the tiniest bit straighter.
I remember about 10 years ago when I was trying to learn gumpaste flowers and I bought the Wilton kit. I remember looking through it and being amazed at their beautiful flowers. I lost the book and it only surfaced recently. When I looked at it this time, I couldn't believe the jagged edges, the unrealistic way that the leaves were all identical, etc...It's funny remembering how nice it looked to me, way back then.
hahahaaa same here.....I used to think our store bought cakes were so cool!
I think we all have felt the same before. I learned the greatest lesson of all when I made my first decorated cake for my son's 7th birthday. He wanted a cake shaped like a wrestling ring and I had no idea how to do it. So I got to researching online and came up with an idea. As we got closer to the party I had one problem after another and my confidence was really broken. I asked my dad to pick up a store sheet cake just in case the kids didn't like mine. Well once I brought the cake out at the party and added all the extras ( sparkler candles and thumb wrestlers posted on dowels that were to serve as ring posts. The kids loved it and my son gave me the biggest smile and hug. That made it all worth it. Everyone ate all of the cake that I made and I had to take the store bought cake home (most was left over). I have never looked back- no more store bought (even when I'm tired from working extra hours during tax season)
Our homemade cakes are a labour of love