Crazy-Big Wedding Order...am I Nuts??

Business By Swede-cakes Updated 5 Apr 2010 , 4:47am by GGFan

Swede-cakes Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 3:15am
post #1 of 24

I met with the nicest young woman last weekend, and her mom, for the wedding this summer. They'd really like to book with me, and it'll be the biggest single order (cake qty wise) I've done thus far. 14-8" centerpiece cakes, and a small 2-tier wedding cake. It's about an hour away, and I'm fine with all this. I have a friend who is attending Cordon Bleu in Boston who has been through Pastry-1 and can lend a hand.

But this bride also really REALLY wants me to create a 3-D carved cake of a 1950 police car for a Groom's cake too. We talked about other options, and she listened, but so wants this 3-D cake. She started to get teary when she told me she has her heart set on this cake. I was honest with her...considering the large order she was placing and my being a small business, I told her I just wasn't sure if I could do a carved cake that week too. My concern is having enough time to create all of this for her, and have it all be high quality and fresh. She asked me to let her know if I could do the Groom's cake too, or if I knew of anyone else who could work with me on it.

What do you guys think? Ya know when you KNOW your limit on things? I don't want to let her down but I don't know anyone in my local area who has the talent to do that car.

Thanks for "listening"!

23 replies
catlharper Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 3:33am
post #2 of 24

The order is just too big for one person to add a 3D car as well. You could bake and freeze the rounds IF you have enough freezer to do so (I work out of a kitchen so I have tons of space) but the real problem is getting that all done in about 3 days so it's all fresh. I'd be hard pressed to get the wedding cakes done without throwing in the 3D.

Kitagrl Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 3:57am
post #3 of 24

If you have plenty of fridge space you could totally do it. Bake and freeze on Monday....then from Tuesday to Friday, take out what you can decorate that day, and do it...then store in the fridge. By Saturday its all done.

If the 8" cakes are dessert for everyone, then I'd decorate those last because that's dessert. I'd probably do the 3D car first, that can sit in the fridge an extra day or two, no harm done. Do the tiered cake next, again that can sit a day or two, it will be fine. Do the centerpiece cakes last, work on them Thurs/Fri.

As long as all the cakes are served room temperature (not cold) they will be moist and fresh and nobody will know that you didn't do them all night the night before. thumbs_up.gif

mommyle Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:25am
post #4 of 24

I did 16 centerpiece cakes (on top of decorated dummy cake), PLUS 3 smaller birthday cakes (2 of which were carved) and I had no help. Your new mantra... "I can doooooo it!"

EvMarie Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:25am
post #5 of 24

I'm not sure what to tell you about YOUR situation. However, I did a Christmas party several years ago where they asked for 12 centerpiece cakes.

Each centerpiece was meant to look like 2 gifts stacked on top of each other. I will tell you that I did not plan properly. I had ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE about any of this stuff. It's in my photos. The pic is really small. It wasn't tooooo much of a nightmare looking back because I added actual ribbon for details. I also made the poinsietta toppers from actual craft supplies...not edible. So, I had everything pre-cut and ready to apply when I got to the venue. What did stink was, I had to unload all of this by myself with no cart.

So - knowing what I know from that experience AND the fact that I have NEVER done a carved cake, this is what I'd say:

(1) If you are good at planning,
(2) AND, have enough fridge/freezer room
(3) AND, if you have a way to prepare decoration for centerpieces easily
(4) AND, have experience with carved & tiered cakes
(5) AND, have a cart
(6) AND...it doesn't take you a million years to frost a cake - - - like me!

I'd do it! Especially if you have a skilled partner to help. The big variable will be the carved cake. I've never done one. Annnnndddd, I don't think I want to. So, if you got skills in that area, just plan and FOCUS DANIEL SON!

icon_smile.gif

mamawrobin Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:29am
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

If you have plenty of fridge space you could totally do it. Bake and freeze on Monday....then from Tuesday to Friday, take out what you can decorate that day, and do it...then store in the fridge. By Saturday its all done.

If the 8" cakes are dessert for everyone, then I'd decorate those last because that's dessert. I'd probably do the 3D car first, that can sit in the fridge an extra day or two, no harm done. Do the tiered cake next, again that can sit a day or two, it will be fine. Do the centerpiece cakes last, work on them Thurs/Fri.

As long as all the cakes are served room temperature (not cold) they will be moist and fresh and nobody will know that you didn't do them all night the night before. thumbs_up.gif




It sounds very do-able broken down like this. Good luck!!

handymama Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:43am
post #7 of 24

That's 17 cakes total (2 for the 2-tier). Are they all the same flavor so you can mass-produce? How intricate will the 14 cakes be? And the wedding cake? The real question is: how much time can your friend give, and how much time will she save you? How hard do you want to push yourself? Will your other responsibilities or family be left lacking? I'm in business. I rarely say "no". But I'm not a one-trick pony either. There's more to life than cake decorating--even though I'm totally passionate about it. I also love to garden, sew and spend time on projects with my adult kids. I recently took first place at a regional cake competition, and the second newspaper article about it and my bakery is coming out on Sun. The handwriting is already on the wall: I'm about to be presented with a lot of new customers (3 this week). As much as I want to do it all, there's a price to pay when I do. I've begun to see that the price can be too high, and I need to think before I speak. You're wise to be taking a close look at this. Since you're talented with carved cakes, perhaps you could do that and "farm out" some portion of the others. I would think if someone--perhaps your friend --could bake, fill and ice for you you'd be in good shape. Then the decorating would still be your "signature".

costumeczar Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 11:12am
post #8 of 24

It's totally do-able as long as you plan and do the decorations ahead of time. I could do that and I don't even freeze anything, so it's not an impossible job.

Swede-cakes Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 12:07pm
post #9 of 24

Thank you all for your replies. I'm certain I could certainly do each of these components, I just have to figure out if together it's too much.

If I decide that it WILL take just too much time, I may come back on here and try to find a CC'er in my area who would consider taking on the Car cake. Any takers? (Is that allowed? icon_smile.gif )

KHalstead Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 12:30pm
post #10 of 24

Those 8 centerpiece cakes, depending on the decoration could be completely decorated and then frozen and just pulled out a day or 2 before delivery!


What is the most cakes you've taken on in a certain weekend or due a certain day?? That will help you figure out if you've got it in you!!

Swede-cakes Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 12:34pm
post #11 of 24

KHalstead, good advice! It's actually 14 ctrpc cakes, plus the 8"/6" wedding cake, before I even do a carved vintage car cake. And that's DEFINITELY more than I've done in one week. Time to start fitting those puzzle pieces together...I'm going to call my friend and "interview" her for the skills she'll be able to offer!

1234me Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:39pm
post #12 of 24

good luck! You can do it with great planning!

jammjenks Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:44pm
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

If you have plenty of fridge space you could totally do it. Bake and freeze on Monday....then from Tuesday to Friday, take out what you can decorate that day, and do it...then store in the fridge. By Saturday its all done.

If the 8" cakes are dessert for everyone, then I'd decorate those last because that's dessert. I'd probably do the 3D car first, that can sit in the fridge an extra day or two, no harm done. Do the tiered cake next, again that can sit a day or two, it will be fine. Do the centerpiece cakes last, work on them Thurs/Fri.

As long as all the cakes are served room temperature (not cold) they will be moist and fresh and nobody will know that you didn't do them all night the night before. thumbs_up.gif



It sounds very do-able broken down like this. Good luck!!




I thought so too. My 3D cakes stink, so I'd be in a different situation. I'd tell you to go for it, but make sure to charge plenty!

cupcakemkr Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:01pm
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swede-cakes

Thank you all for your replies. I'm certain I could certainly do each of these components, I just have to figure out if together it's too much.

If I decide that it WILL take just too much time, I may come back on here and try to find a CC'er in my area who would consider taking on the Car cake. Any takers? (Is that allowed? icon_smile.gif )




an hour in to ma or nh? subcontracting is a great idea. there are several very talented cakers in our area that may be able to help you out

all4cake Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:14pm
post #15 of 24

On Friday, a week + before, draw out the car-side and top views and make its' stand so that you can make sure that any pieces that need dry time are in proportion to the finished piece...Saturday before, get started on any decorations...finish them up/work more on them on Sunday...Monday, I'd clear out the freezer...bake all the layers for ALL the cakes...cool, wrap, freeze...Tuesday, make all the icings...work on the decorations wrap the boards...Wednesday, make the fondant and fillings if any...Thursday, thaw, fill, crumb coat all tiers. While they're settling, carve, fill, crumbcoat the car. Then, final coat the tiers and cover with fondant if required. Do the same for the car. Friday, knock out any details on the tiers. The rest of the time can be focused on the car.

I work by myself...the one thing that will keep me from working straight through is the accumulation of trimmings from carved cakes.

Keep the trash emptied and if you can have two work areas that helps....after carving and crumbcoating to move the work to a clean area before cleaning the area you just worked in (if I had someone to clean an area and keep things from building up...I think I could and would decorate 24 hours a day(stopping long enough to refill my coffee cup).

I do hope you find something that works well for you.

sillywabbitz Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 6:04pm
post #17 of 24

I think Sugarshack has instructions on a car cake on her blog as well. I would probably do a test run of the car cake way in advance if you do this. Remember the first time you do a cake takes twice as long as the 2nd so if you do a trial run , the 2nd one will go so much smoother.

Jaimelt76 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 6:09pm
post #18 of 24

Here is the link to Sugarshacks. I had that one saved and forgot about it.

http://sugaredblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorials?updated-max=2009-06-07T11%3A57%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=20

Swede-cakes Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 11:39pm
post #19 of 24

this is the 1950 police car she wants. but she's only feeding about 25 people at the Rehearsal Dinner. My carved cakes have a minimum # of servings, but honestly, I'm not even sure how big this would have to be made to even be worth it.
LL

Justbeck101 Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 4:05am
post #20 of 24

Do you have a vehicle big enough to deliver all at once? since it is an hour away.

Swede-cakes Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:16pm
post #21 of 24

Yes, I have a van thank goodness! icon_smile.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:34pm
post #22 of 24

You can totally do it! thumbs_up.gif But, only you know your limits!

dguerrant Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 4:12am
post #23 of 24

oh, i was wondering, are the 14 bc or fondant? simple or intricate? maybe the bride would consider simplifing the design to save you time to FIT in her car cake, just a thought.

I recently had to make a '57 chevy and had no clue and was nervous, but you can see it in my pics, i wasn't even on cc at that time, dang, they sure could have helped. It actually went pretty smoothly, i carved it and crumb-coated it layer by layer (3 times). i would put it in the freezer 30 min or so pull it our and smooth the buttercream with my hands, recoat and repeat. I covered mine in mmf and I hate to say it, it took about 12 hours, but it was a convertable and i did the interior details.I loved this cake, she is my favorite cake out of all i have done. i loved adding the speial touches (even fuzzy dice).
I'm with the others, bake them a week or two inadvance, make up tons od frosting and start on Wend. If the car is for the rehersal, do it first and move on to the tiered one. then assembly line the others.

GGFan Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 4:47am
post #24 of 24

Maybe you could torte, filled and crumb coat the center piece and freeze the weekend before if you have the room in the freezer. Could you make the carve car out of styro foam and place on a quarter sheet cake that make it look like the grass area in the picture so the bride and groom could cut into that part and serve that part. This way you could get the car done way ahead of time and they could save the car as a keep sake. HTH. Good Luck!!

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