Looking For Critques, Help, How Do I Get Better At This?

Decorating By sister340 Updated 11 Oct 2009 , 7:53pm by zdebssweetsj

sister340 Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 9:21pm
post #1 of 17

I've only been making cakes for sale for about 6 months, but I ought to be getting better! Would you please look at my photos and give me some advice? I put the last photo under cake disasters because that's how I feel about it.
I've bought the agbay which levels so well. I have a lot of other items that help out alot. I've been making my own MMF and tried Satin Ice for the first time. Things should be coming together. But I almost feel like they're getting worse! I've watched you-tube, DVDs I've puchased, studied and practiced. But like I said, I feel like I'm getting worse instead of better.
Any input would be GREATLY appreciated.
j.

16 replies
cabecakes Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:04pm
post #2 of 17

Frankly sistre340, I'm not seeing it. Your cakes are lovely. I think this is a case of you being your own toughest critic. The work on your cakes is very clean and precise. I wish I were at your level. My problem is trying to get that clean crisp look that you have already accomplished. I haven't worked with fondant as much as buttercream though, so give me a little more time and who knows. But I love your cakes. Including the last one.

Texas_Rose Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:06pm
post #3 of 17

You are getting better, you just can't tell by looking at your own stuff. I noticed that your last two cakes had bead borders. A bead border doesn't hide anything, not the way that ribbon does, which means your edges are good, which is the biggest challenge with fondant. Your cherry blossoms were perfect. The only thing I noticed at all on the "disaster" cake was that one corner on the middle tier was lower than the others...sometimes covering a cold cake will help keep things like that from happening.

Anyhow, you sound like you like to buy expensive cake toys...agbay, cricut, etc...but all the toys in the world won't substitute for the experience and confidence that you will build up over time. Just be patient with yourself. Maybe you could try making some things for fun...if you don't want to waste the cake, buy a couple of cake dummies and play with them. Work on your own designs, not just what your customers want. That way you'll build up a portfolio of things that you like and are confident doing, while gaining more experience.

CakeMommyTX Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:23pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Work on your own designs, not just what your customers want. That way you'll build up a portfolio of things that you like and are confident doing, while gaining more experience.




This is great advice!
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, my weakness is tiny details that are neat and precise, I would rather work with bright bold colors and large simple patterns.
So find what you think you are best at and work at that.
For only doing it for 6 mths your cakes are great.
The blue and white cake is not a disaster, square cakes scare me and I avoid them at all costs, so kudos to you for doing.
I think it's the color combo that throws it off, and sometimes what the customer wants isnt always the best design.
You'll have to learn how to steer the customer to a cake design that works for the both of you, something they like and something you're good at.
Good Luck!

Rylan Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 11:21pm
post #5 of 17

I think your cakes looks really nice. You even have the guts to make square cakes which I find very stressful.

Anyways, I agree with Judi that you should work with your style.

paulstonia Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 11:41pm
post #6 of 17

I think your cakes are beautiful! I think what may be happening is when you first start, you don't know as much, you don't see the mistakes. As you learn and get better the flaws that you wouldn't have even seen before seem to just glare at you. You expect much more of yourself.

sister340 Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 4:07am
post #7 of 17

I'll keep trying....... icon_smile.gif

LisaR64 Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 1:25pm
post #8 of 17

Your cakes are really nice. I think being on Cake Central makes us more critical of our own work. There are so many phenomenal cake artists on here, and their cakes look so flawless, that it's hard not to be disappointed in my own work, which is never flawless.

I really like the suggestion to steer people towards the kind of cakes you're best at, and trying new techniques on cakes you're making just for the fun of it. Sounds a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.

Mike_Elder Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 2:04pm
post #9 of 17

I looked to and they look great! I've been doing cakes for a good while and I still NEVE EVER satisfy myself!! Thats a good thing! (well sort of) It pushes you to try harder and make every cake better than the last... The only thing I suggest is to keep at it and don't be affraid to try new things! one thing I learned is people are pretty easy to please! LOL I know this sounds funny but the toughest critic of your work is you. if your mostly satisfied... they'll love it! You've stared and worked on the cake for hours you know what is wrong with it, chances are they won't even see it! , have faith in yourself and you'll get better and better
Mike

Caths_Cakes Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 2:40pm
post #10 of 17

My only thing to say would be is try and get your fondant smoother. Your cakes a great, but i think you had rolled your fondant a little thicker, you would ger a really clean smooth top finish to the top and sides of your cakesicon_smile.gif

Teekakes Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 2:41pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Elder

I looked to and they look great! I've been doing cakes for a good while and I still NEVE EVER satisfy myself!! Thats a good thing! (well sort of) It pushes you to try harder and make every cake better than the last... The only thing I suggest is to keep at it and don't be affraid to try new things! one thing I learned is people are pretty easy to please! LOL I know this sounds funny but the toughest critic of your work is you. if your mostly satisfied... they'll love it! You've stared and worked on the cake for hours you know what is wrong with it, chances are they won't even see it! , have faith in yourself and you'll get better and better
Mike




Hey Mike! Welcome to CC! I am assuming this is the Yo Ho Ho Cake Full of Rum, Mike, correct? I printed off your recipe and plan to try it soon, it sounds very good! icon_smile.gif

Peridot Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 4:33pm
post #12 of 17

I also looked at your cakes and think that you are coming along just fine. I am also new at this about 8 months and I am always very critical of myself. Trashed a whole cake in August for a friend (she didn't know she was getting it) because I could not get the BC right and kept getting bulges.

One poster said - sick with your style - I guess that is true because when I do cakes they are always pretty much "my style" - it might be the same but oh well!

I was going to bake a square cake today and now after reading some of the posts in here I am not so sure that I want to tackle that. Gee - I even bought Magic Line pans!!!

Hang in there you are doing great. I also think that you will like using a fondant like Satin Ice of some other brand better than making your own. It is a chore and I only made it one time and that was enough for me.

LaBellaFlor Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 4:41pm
post #13 of 17

Heck, I've been doing this on and of for 19 years and I'm FAR from perfect. So 6 months will definetly require more practice. I think your doing pretty good myself. take your time at thinking how to execute. Your square cake would have looked much better with different sizes. Texas_rose is right. Think of how you design. What works for you. We all can't do EVERY techniques perfect. CakemommyTX definetly has her own style and it shows. It also helps her have really clean looking cakes.

Uniqueask Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 5:11pm
post #14 of 17

Welcome to all the new cakers, I have been making cakes for a few years now, and still thinks my cakes look like crap, but there is a reason for that, I always wait until the last minute to make a cake, I looked at all of your pictures, (Newbies that is) and think your cakes are great, I would also recommend if you would like to invest in some decorating videos, go to www.Sugaredproductions.com
that is Sharon Zambito's website and she sells all kinds of dvd's for cake decorators who wants to learn new techniques. she is also a member here, I have all of her dvd's and they taught me a lot, heck I am still learning from them, also you learn so much here on CC ask any question and it will be answered, don't be too hard on yourselves just PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE.

sister340 Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 7:04pm
post #15 of 17

CC is a godsend, it really is. I've learned so much here. I bought one of Sharon's DVDs and it is very helpful.
One of you mentioned thickness of fondant. What is about right, do you think? If it's too thick it seems so heavy and I worry about weighing down the cake even with the dowels. But it makes sense that the cake would be covered smoother.
And thanks for the note about the sizes of cakes in the "disaster" cake. I think that would have made a difference. They were so stacked, it almost looked like I was trying for a topsy turvy look, and I wasn't.

One more question. I have a business license, commercial food license, tax exempt status etc. And I'm wondering how to purchase supplies at wholesale prices. Like Satin Ice, chocolate, things like that. Does anyone have a supplier they use? So much on internet claims to be wholesale, but isn't.
Thanks!!
j.

Uniqueask Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 7:50pm
post #16 of 17

[quote="sister 340

One more question. I have a business license, commercial food license, tax exempt status etc. And I'm wondering how to purchase supplies at wholesale prices. Like , chocolate, things like that. Does anyone have a supplier they use? So much on internet claims to be wholesale, but isn't.
Thanks!!
j.[/quote]

I know there are some sites, but I cannot remember them off hand, I cany assure you will get answers from others, But I know for sure.

CK Products is a Wholesale Company

zdebssweetsj Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 7:53pm
post #17 of 17

I agree your cakes do look good, and Sharon Zambito"s DVD's will help you in getting those nice sharp edges you are looking for. For me it's always about how it looks before you start that crumb coat. By the way I've been doing this about 10 years, I'm never satisfied with what I've done, it's always a case of, "if I had more time"...thank goodness for deadlines LOL.

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