Baking For Friends

Decorating By CiaraAnne Updated 6 Oct 2009 , 7:58pm by GL79

CiaraAnne Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:09pm
post #1 of 20

I have a few questions for those of you who have been doing cakes for a while. I am confused about how to go about getting basic cake baking experience. I've taken a beginners cake class and I understand that I just need to start baking for friends and family to get practice. I don't live near any family, but I'd like to bake for friends. How do I go about this? Should I find and perfect a few cake recipes first, or just experiment as friends ask me to make different cakes? Also, should I make a flyer or something to let everyone know I'm doing cakes? And, I don't want to charge them for letting me "practice" on them, but is it ok to ask them to pay for the supplies needed to bake and decorate the cakes? Any suggestions would be wonderful. I am feeling really frustrated because I don't want to just bake cakes and throw them out for practice. Thanks to anyone who replies!

19 replies
saberger Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:14pm
post #2 of 20

You can always practice with www.freecakesforkids.com I worked on finding the good recipes and with every cake I made (for friends and family) I tried something new. Also, I got myself some cake dummies to work with so I didn't have to bake every time I wanted to try a design or technique. Hope that helps!

WendyB Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:14pm
post #3 of 20

Just offer your baking to a friend. "I thought you might enjoy this." Don't wait for them to want one -- bake when you want to and then give it to someone.

After you've done a little baking you can see if friends start to ask for cakes or if they say "you should do this for a living". Don't bother with flyers yet.

aquamom Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:24pm
post #4 of 20

For places to give cakes to consider your favorite non profit organizations. I am sure they would appreciate the cakes.

cownsj Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:35pm
post #5 of 20

After doing cakes for a couple months, I began to develop recipes and frosting flavors and fillings that I thought were good. To try it out my wife and I hosted a "cupcake tasting" party at our house and invited our friends and family and a few others who had liked seeing pictures of cakes I'd done. We told them they would get a questionaire and were expected to be totally honest, and that the questions would be annonymous. We then made mini cupcakes, filled and frosted them, and labeled them on their plates, made some coffee and were off. It was a huge success. Everyone had fun sampling all the different flavors, we got ideas from them for different flavor combinations and good feedback. Plus we just plain had lots of fun.

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:39pm
post #6 of 20

Hi! When I get the urge to bake something, I will pass my goodies on to my postal carrier (or post office), gas station attendants, neighbors, to name a few. Two of the gas stations that I frequent really enjoy when I drop something off for them. They told me I can bake for them any time I want!

Also... Just my kind-hearted word of caution... I'd be careful with fliers. If a health official or cake business happen to stumble across one, you may be construed as a business, and you really don't want to invite any headaches from them. JMHO (from a fellow hobby baker). icon_wink.gif

Good luck & have fun!!!! icon_smile.gif

P.S. LOVE the cupcake tasting party idea!!!! thumbs_up.gif

luv2c_cultures Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:57pm
post #7 of 20

What I tend to do is fine "special occasion" to do my practice cakes. I do cakes for my friends or co-workers birthdays or cakes for our volunteers at work or my daughter's teachers. Basically if I feel like making a cake I come up with an occasion to bake for. This is how I have gotten to practice and get the word out about baking cakes without doing flyers since I only like to do it on occasion. Good luck!

mightydragon663 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 6:05pm
post #8 of 20

I'm going to have to remember the cupcake tasting. That just sounds like a fun idea for a party for any reason. icon_lol.gif

I also bake as a hobby/stress relief. I give cakes to my employees for their birthdays. I also give them to friends for their birthdays. I get plenty of practice that way. (I only do small cakes for them, like 8" rounds, otherwise it would be cost prohibitive.)

cownsj Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 3:59pm
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightydragon663

I'm going to have to remember the cupcake tasting. That just sounds like a fun idea for a party for any reason. icon_lol.gif




I did my first cupcake tasting in mid-January. It was a great time of year to have a fun pick-me-up for everyone. I'm hoping to do one mixed in with the holidays next, but at an off week time so we can enjoy the holiday spirit together, but not be at a time when it will add stress to everyone.

mightydragon663 Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 4:09pm
post #10 of 20

Such a great idea. It seems like such a long, long time between Jan 1 and spring break. A cupcake party would be just the thing to beat the winter blues. icon_lol.gif

cownsj Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 4:17pm
post #11 of 20

It was a perfect time. In fact, over the past couple weeks we've had a few of our friends asking when the next one will be. That was when I really knew what a hit it was; knowing they are looking forward to the next one. And a cupcake party is soooooooooo much cheaper than a regular party to throw. We had actually gotten other food for the first one, figuring people would want some real food too, but no, not a single person wanted anything but the cupcakes.... lol I think the theme of the party just made it an excuse for everyone to be bad for one day.

KitchenKat Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 5:45pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2c_cultures

What I tend to do is fine "special occasion" to do my practice cakes. I do cakes for my friends or co-workers birthdays or cakes for our volunteers at work or my daughter's teachers. Basically if I feel like making a cake I come up with an occasion to bake for. This is how I have gotten to practice and get the word out about baking cakes without doing flyers since I only like to do it on occasion. Good luck!




I used to do that do until I got the feeling that people started expecting cakes from me. That sucked the fun out of it. I want to be able to bake when I feel like it. Sometimes someone's birthday just doesn't fall at a convenient time and I can't make them a cake. So I quit doing that.

luv2c_cultures Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 8:48pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Quote:

I used to do that do until I got the feeling that people started expecting cakes from me. That sucked the fun out of it. I want to be able to bake when I feel like it. Sometimes someone's birthday just doesn't fall at a convenient time and I can't make them a cake. So I quit doing that.




Yes, I can see that happening too! Thankfully I have very understanding co-workers who know when I am busy! icon_smile.gif

Lita829 Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 9:09pm
post #14 of 20

I used to bake for my friends and family. I also would bake for my co-workers when I was working which I loved to do. They were my willing guinea pigs icon_lol.gif . I now bake for a nonprofit organization to make them feel special and to soothe my baking bug...so I get to kill two birds with one stone icon_wink.gif .

I absolutely LOVE the cupcake tasting party idea!! That sounds like a lot of fun.

Cakeonista Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 9:25pm
post #15 of 20

Cupcake tasting idea ......how great is that! A perfect exuse to have family and friends over for a party.

sweetcravings Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 11:59pm
post #16 of 20

KitchenKat...yup, same thing happened to me. Every birthday, party etc.. i would bring the cake. It was fun at first but then after awhile you are right, i think people just assumed i was bringing the cake. Not only was it inconvient for me at times, it gets expensive quickly! I would get so tired of busting my butt to make a cake when i really didn't have the time. Plus doesn't everyone want a break once in awhile? I found myself making my own Bday cake for the family celebration..and that sucked! I did start feeling a bit used. Yes, i got experience but after awhile that gets old.

If i were to do it again...i would offer to make a cake here and there...NOT everytime even if i wanted the experience. Then if someone offerred to give me some money i would ACCEPT it. thumbs_up.gif Why should you take all the expense of it? I don't care if you are new to caking, it still cost money to buy all the ingredients and if YOU didn't bring the cake they would pay someone for dessert right? I always make a point to say now, "if i offer to make the cake it's on me. If you ask me to make one i charge." People get the point quickly that your time is valuable, as they should!

If you offer to make every cake people need just for fun..i guarentee it will backfire on you. Everyone wants something for free, and if you are handing them out, you are a huge target for abuse. Then when you WANT to be paid for the cakes, everyone will moan about it because they are used to getting freebees. JMO

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 5:51pm
post #17 of 20

Just wanted to post another thought that might help some of you... When I worked at a company and had people reporting to me, I would do cakes for their birthdays. They really appreciated the homemade gesture, I loved to do it (mostly knowing how they felt about it), and I got lots of practice. So it was a win-win situation for us. However, if it fell on a day that I could not do it, I'd let them know and would say the cake will be tomorrow, or we'll have it on Friday. Sometimes it worked out to celebrate two birthdays at the same time with one cake because they are close. In the event that I could not do a cake ON their birthday (for whatever reason), I'd find something else to do for them that day (bring them Dunkin Donuts or take them out for lunch). Not because I had to, nor did I feel obligated to, it's just how strongly I felt about making them feel extra special on their birthday. icon_smile.gif

mightydragon663 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 7:11pm
post #18 of 20

Being boss does have its advantages. icon_biggrin.gif I know my employees really appreciate it when I bring them a cake for their birthday. I think it is so important to recognize each of them and it is a way I can let them know how much I really appreciate them. If I am not going to be there on their birthday or if I just cannot do it because of time constraints, I tell them that I will bring it in on another day.
I am also very fortunate to have really awesome employees! So, I am glad to be able to give them something special. icon_smile.gif

CiaraAnne Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 6:58pm
post #19 of 20

Thanks for all the advice!

GL79 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 7:58pm
post #20 of 20

I recommend doing cakes for non profit organizations, but please don't do it for friends and family. Ever since we decided (me and a good neighbor) to make home made cakes, they expect for me to do it for free and what's worse is that most of them is for her family (huge family). They buy all the supplies and bake at her house, I only help with the decoration, but it takes a long time. what makes it time consuming is that they start baking a day before and buy supplies for the frosting the same day. I don't mind helping but what gets to me is the fact that they wont start baking a few days before and prepare the frosting and filling a day before so that i don't have to spent hours (usually icon_cool.gif on Saturdays or Sundays. I have better things to do than making cakes that I'm not getting any profits for.

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