How Long Does It Take You?

Decorating By totallycaked Updated 12 Nov 2009 , 8:48am by lthiele

totallycaked Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 4:59pm
post #1 of 11

I was wondering how long it takes to do some of the things you pro's do. Its easy to look at a cake and go.. wow I can do that. I was wondering how long it takes you to. Do a bow, make people and characters. Say you are doing a three tier fondant cake with simple cut out circles and stuff, how long does it take you. On tv.. these crazy cakes are done in minutes. I was wondering realistically, how long does stuff take. Like those cute little baby molds that picture has been uploaded yesterday. How long does that take, or the twilight cakes. I have never seen those types of detailed cakes done in person, so I am just curious if anyone has time tips or how to budget time for detailed cake... am I a making any sense? thanks a bunch!

10 replies
LisaR64 Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 9:07pm
post #2 of 11

I'm fairly inexperienced at decorating, so I estimate how long I "think" it's going to take, and then triple or quadruple that number and I'm usually pretty close then!

I find most of my cakes take at 10 to 15 hours to finish, but as I mentioned, I'm fairly new at this and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do things, and re-doing things that don't come out quite right.

therese379 Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 9:17pm
post #3 of 11

another newbie here... hey.. depends on what you are doing.. skill wise.. I still take the better part of the afternoon/evening (2-3hrs) to put together from start to finish my larger cakes... who cares how long.. as long as it get's done... icon_wink.gificon_wink.gifthumbs_up.gif

alvarezmom Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 9:18pm
post #4 of 11

I've done the same thing. I am no where near a PRO but I'm not bad (IMHO) and when something seems easy usually it's not! I still take forever in my cakes. Some cakes I can get out in about 5-6 hours (sheet cakes), but the tiered cakes can take me 2-3 days. I have a full time job and after I feed the kids and get the little one to bed it's late and I stay up for at least 3 hrs working on something. The rose cake I have in my photos took me 16hrs from start to finish. I did that over a period of 4 days!!! It was my first time making it.

cylstrial Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 9:25pm
post #5 of 11

Cakes take a long time to make. With that being said, the more you make, the faster you get. But there are still some cake companies that will spend 20 and 30 and 40 hours on one cake. Now granted, those are the famous people who are charging an arm and a leg.

Texas_Rose Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 9:40pm
post #6 of 11

I've gotten faster over the last year, while adding more detail.

The corset cake in my photos took two hours from naked cake to finished cake. The cake with the zebra stripes took three hours, plus another half hour a different night making the bow loops. I had to paint the stripes on and that was included in my time.

A year ago, the Hello Kitty cake took me 15 hours, not counting the time I spent making the bow and flowers, which was spread over a couple of weeks. The tiny 3 tier with the petit fours took me 18 hours, including the petit fours. (I haven't gotten faster at petit fours, I have just decided not to make them).

I don't count the baking time in my figuring, because I can do other things (like hang out on Cake Central) while my cakes bake.

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 10:01pm
post #7 of 11

The time it takes totally depends on your skill level, your experience and how detailed the cake is.

My first cake took me over 8-12 hours just to ice and decorate it. I can do that same cake today in 2-3 hours.

Setting everything up assembly line method is the best time saver tip I can give. You will be AMAZED how those little interruptions eat up your time.

- I make my icing the day before I bake.
- I make sure I have cut/covered cardboards ready before the batter goes into the oven.
- If making any BC roses, I make those either before baking or while cakes are cooling.
- Crumb coat and let the cakes sit overnight.
- Clean as you go......
-----I keep a wet towel handy at all times. (I never use those little dishclothes anymore .... I wet down a whole kitchen towel. I guess I make big messes! icon_redface.gif )
-----Lay a sheet of wax paper or a big sheet of parchment paper on your counter to lay your spoons, spatulas, etc on. Reduces clean up time.

When I'm ready to ice and decorate, it's all ready to go. Icing is made, cakes are crumbed and settled, flowers are made and ready to slap on the side of the cake.

If you have to STOP to make another batch of icing; STOP to make some flowers; STOP to prep your cardboards .... this REALLY takes up a lot of time!

That said, I am constantly AMAZED at how fast and easy fondant cakes are. When I made the tree trunk groom's cake, it went from naked cake to finished cake in 45 minutes ... and that included rolling out and painting the fondant! When I did my first naughty cake (yes, it's in the naughty gallery), it went from naked cake to "oh my god!" icon_surprised.gif inside of an hour. I told my hubby, "Geesh, I can't believe the concensus is to charge MORE for fondant! What a rip off!" (she said, as she made out the invoices for a higher price! hahahaha!!!)

KristyCakes Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 10:39pm
post #8 of 11

I just have to say I love you indydebi - you always bring a smile to my face!!!

Donnabugg Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 3:43am
post #9 of 11

[quote="KristyCakes"]I just have to say I love you indydebi - you always bring a smile to my face!!![/q

totallycaked Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 5:50am
post #10 of 11

Thank you everyone.. what great idea's. Indydebi.. your timeline really helps. I do need to think about the days before a cake is do.. not just the day. I love the ideas of having all the dirty work out of the way so the fun decorating takes center stage. I have not done a really complicated cake yet... trying to budget my time still. I guess there are elements that can be done days in advance.. I am still seeing it all as "food" and thinking it needs to be done minutes before eating. Thank you all.. I can't tell you how great it is to have this support system... you all rock!

lthiele Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 8:48am
post #11 of 11

[quote="indydebi] I told my hubby, "Geesh, I can't believe the concensus is to charge MORE for fondant! What a rip off!" (she said, as she made out the invoices for a higher price! hahahaha!!!)[/quote]

I agree, BC takes sooooooooo much longer to get smooth!

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