"how Long Did That Take You?"

Decorating By Kitagrl Updated 4 Apr 2010 , 9:15pm by KarmaStew

Kitagrl Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 9:40pm
post #1 of 51

People ask me all the time "How long does it take you to make a cake like that?"

I never time myself! Plus its done in stages....baking one day....fill and crumb coat in an afternoon....decorate at night..... plus any gumpaste pieces done ahead... I never know how to answer the question!

Do you get asked? What do you say?

50 replies
Price Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 9:50pm
post #2 of 51

LOL! This is what I usually answer -- I never time myself! Plus its done in stages....baking one day....fill and crumb coat in an afternoon....decorate at night..... plus any gumpaste pieces done ahead... icon_biggrin.gif

brincess_b Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:09pm
post #3 of 51

i have been keeping track of the main chunks of time, 6 hours is a quick cake.
im quite lucky in that my friends appreciate it takes ages! and in part, they are impressed caus ethey dont have the patience.
most of my cakes are doen under a bit of time pressure, so i do keep a close watch on the clock, so usually i do have a rough idea.
xx

Elcee Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:18pm
post #4 of 51

I never know how to answer that question either! And I get asked for every cake!

xkfayex Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:31pm
post #5 of 51

its amazing that you just asked this.. i was sitting at work today after i dropped off several orders to friends and moms of the kids at the daycare.. and most all of them asked how long it takes... of course they ask it like this. "i see that guy on the TLC show get cakes done in a day that are huge. how long does it take to make 'that' small cake"

my response "that guy on the TLC show has 20 something other people helping him with that HUGE cake.. and he doesnt get them done in a day.. according to you, he gets 4 or 5 done in 20 minutes.." oh boy

i love that question.

it definitely changes depending on if i'm completely prepared, or if i'm winging it. sometimes i'll take 4 hours sometimes it'll take 14. depends on the day

indydebi Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:37pm
post #6 of 51

"3 days."

My favorite episode with this question was when I was setting up a 6 tier cake and one my of (new) crew members asked me how long to make the cake. A guest who had arrived early at the venue was also watching. When I said, "7 hours just in baking time" the guest's mouth dropped open and she said, "SEVEN HOURS!!!" I looked at her and repeated, "JUST in oven time .... doesnt' count the mixing, icing, decorating, etc. That's just the hours the pans were in the oven."

It' a 5 tier cake .... 10 cakes total. Do ya REALLY think we slap those together in an hour or so?

kathyx1 Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:38pm
post #7 of 51

I have just finished a large cake(4 tier) and I think I have seriously undercharged so I was trying to figure out how long it took and I worked out about 20 hours. I didn't have any other cakes to do so I didn't rush but that seems like a long time so that got me wondering how long it takes others. Obviously it depends on the cake. Anyway, I get on here and someone is asking the very same question. It's strange how that happens a lot. I will be watching this with interest!

tarheelgirl Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:43pm
post #8 of 51

People ask me all the time... I say.. "oh, I just threw it together!" icon_biggrin.gif In reality, I have never timed myself but it does take a couple of days.

Kitagrl Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 10:49pm
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

"3 days."

My favorite episode with this question was when I was setting up a 6 tier cake and one my of (new) crew members asked me how long to make the cake. A guest who had arrived early at the venue was also watching. When I said, "7 hours just in baking time" the guest's mouth dropped open and she said, "SEVEN HOURS!!!" I looked at her and repeated, "JUST in oven time .... doesnt' count the mixing, icing, decorating, etc. That's just the hours the pans were in the oven."

It' a 5 tier cake .... 10 cakes total. Do ya REALLY think we slap those together in an hour or so?




I think sometimes they don't understand that on the tv shows, the camera is cutting out ALOT of work time. Just because all they do is watch 30 minutes worth of cake decorating doesn't mean it took 30 minutes. haha.

I will say though sometimes people do ask me out of respect...they say "That looks like alot of work, how long does it take?" Usually I estimate decorating time only (2-8 hours depending on design) and then tell them that doesn't count baking, making icing, etc.

frankdiabetes Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:14pm
post #10 of 51

"How long did that take?!"

"Too effing long."

LeckieAnne Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:18pm
post #11 of 51

I have a day job - so if it's big - I usually answer "every nite for a week". When I made my niece's hydrangea cake - I spent every nite for a week just making blossoms!

indydebi Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:18pm
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

"3 days."

My favorite episode with this question was when I was setting up a 6 tier cake ....... It' a 5 tier cake .... 10 cakes total. Do ya REALLY think we slap those together in an hour or so?



sorry for the typo. it was 5 tier, not a 6 tier.

mamawrobin Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:21pm
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

"How long did that take?!"

"Too effing long."




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:22pm
post #14 of 51

I don't take that long to bake a cake, Debi! icon_eek.gif For me three wedding cakes, between 9-12 tiers, probably take about 7 hours. How big were those tiers?

But to answer the question, and I do get people asking that a lot, I tell them that I work full time, and I once kept track of how long it took to make the flowers for one cake, and it was 20 hours. (Granted, they were a pain in the butt huge amount of red roses and dark red berries that I had to color and re-color to get the right shade.)

I think that people sometimes ask that question because they're trying to figure out how much you're making per hour, and I know they wouldn't figure it out right, so I don't ever give a specific length of time.

sweetooth94 Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:23pm
post #15 of 51

I love watching these TV shows too, but as a "hobby" baker I notice that they have a lot of their prep work done. They come to the show with their cakes baked, their buttercream is made, their fondant is made (sometimes it's already colored) PLUS they have 2 or 3 other people to help. I still couldn't do it in 8 hours - LOL - but it's fun to watch how the pros work! As Indydebi said, the bake time alone is hours (even for a small cake) and what about the hour or two you need to let the cake COOL??? I'm glad to read some of these other responses. I always joke that I'm a slow baker/decorator. It's nice to know others struggle with this also.

Eisskween Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:39pm
post #16 of 51

Them: "How long does it take to make a cake like that?"

Me: "I take as much time as I need to make sure that everything is up to your expectations and mine."

That one usually is sufficient.

costumeczar Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 11:50pm
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisskween

Them: "How long does it take to make a cake like that?"

Me: "I take as much time as I need to make sure that everything is up to your expectations and mine."

That one usually is sufficient.




That's a good answer!

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 12:07am
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I don't take that long to bake a cake, Debi! icon_eek.gif For me three wedding cakes, between 9-12 tiers, probably take about 7 hours. How big were those tiers?



It was back in the "home oven" days. I think the bottom tier was a 16" so figure each of those layers took at least an hour each, so there's about 2 hours wrapped up just in the one tier.

In the shop ovens, I could have baked the whole thing in about an hour, give or take.

catlharper Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 12:12am
post #19 of 51

I had this one last week when I delivered an ornate baby shower cake. I explained that the details were a couple of hours a day for about two weeks and then the actual baking was about 2 hours and then putting the cake together and finishing the decorations took 6 hours so about 20 hours to make this cake...the woman's mouth dropped open and then she said "well, honey, then you certainly deserve every penny you make!" LOL!

kimblyd Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 12:14am
post #20 of 51

What Frank said. icon_biggrin.gif

Kitagrl Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 12:49am
post #21 of 51

I sure hope they aren't trying to calculate my hourly wage! I'll give them my calculations on how much flour, sugar, and eggs and chocolate it costs me...and gas...and cardboard circles...and boxes...and cutters...and molds...and mixer repair...ovens...dishwashers...electricity...phone time...email time...americolor...dusts (gee whiz I made just a dust order alone from GSA for like $60!!!)....AND any residual talent....and see what figures they come up with.

Ruth0209 Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 12:52am
post #22 of 51

I always just say, "Many, many hours."

leah_s Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 1:03am
post #23 of 51

"somewhere between 10 and 90 hours."

casme Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 1:33am
post #24 of 51

And don't forget about the clean up, going and purchasing the boards, the ingredients, the time for the design tought process etc.etc. Let's face it we do this because we love it. We are all underpaid!!

dguerrant Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:03am
post #25 of 51

my chevy car cake took 14 hours and i made sure they knew it. If they questioned the price, i want to ask hoW much do you get paid per hour and lets see how much your time is worth

dguerrant Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:10am
post #26 of 51

my chevy car cake took 14 hours and i made sure they knew it. If they questioned the price, i want to ask hoW much do you get paid per hour and lets see how much your time is worth

Kitagrl Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:12am
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

"somewhere between 10 and 90 hours."




Have you really done a 90 hour cake? icon_eek.gif

costumeczar Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 12:51pm
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by casme

And don't forget about the clean up, going and purchasing the boards, the ingredients, the time for the design tought process etc.etc. Let's face it we do this because we love it. We are all underpaid!!




That's why you can't answer "how long did it take?" It takes me about three hours to put a wedding cake together, but if you tell people that, they immediately start dividing the price of the cake by three, and it isn't a true representation of how much you're earning. They'll walk away thinking you're making something like $150 an hour, when it's SUBSTANTIALLY less than that icon_rolleyes.gif

Kitagrl Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 1:21pm
post #29 of 51

Oh I know if I counted email time, phone time, record keeping time, finances time, online ordering time, etc....I'd be depressed haha.

sheena Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 1:37pm
post #30 of 51

I get asked this question every single time!!! And I always say 1 week... coz i don't really know and haven't really timed myself...it all gets done in stages....

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