I Just Gotta Know......

Decorating By Tclanton Updated 16 Jul 2010 , 7:56pm by tinygoose

Tclanton Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:26pm
post #1 of 22

how long does it take you to complete a cake? Ignore the cooling time - just baking, leveling, filling, crumb coat, ice, and then decorate. Nothing fancy maybe a few fondant accents on smoothed BC. Size - 2 8" rounds.

I am just curious as I hope I get faster as I get more experience.

Thanks, Tclanton

21 replies
2SchnauzerLady Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:33pm
post #2 of 22

Last year, I did a baby rump cake, buttercream with fondant accents - baked the layers the day before, then took me 4 -5 hours after baking and cooling - I have picked up speed since then, I could probably do the same cake in 1/2 the time. I've learned so much here that has saved me time.

leily Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:38pm
post #3 of 22

I did this cake in 4 1/2 - 5 hrs. IT was a 6", but an 8" wouldn't have taken me that much longer... maybe 10-15 mins.

Now keep in mind I also have two pans of these sizes, so I had both layers baking at the same time. I also used a sleeve filling for this one so I didn't make one.


mamawrobin Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:54pm
post #4 of 22

leily..that's a beautiful cake. I'd say it would take me about 5 hours to do an 8 inch "nothing fancy" cake.

Tclanton Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:56pm
post #5 of 22

Dang - yall are fast!!!

coffeecake Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 8:24pm
post #6 of 22

The time that I always find the most frustrating and not accounted for is the clean up, washing, drying, and putting away of pans, pans, pans, bowls..... not to mention the counters, floors.....

Q-Squared Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:34am
post #7 of 22

ha -- I second coffeecake!! I can whip out a cake in 4-5 hours, but clean up is another thing! =(

Kiddiekakes Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:36am
post #8 of 22

I never bake,cool,crumbcoat,ice and decorate all in one day....But if I did probably about 4-5 hours as well.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:43am
post #9 of 22

Let's see....10 minutes to mix....30 minutes to bake.....20 minutes to make icing.....15 minutes to fill and crumb coat (say, 10" round cake). 20 minutes to ice perfectly smooth and straight.....15 minutes to fondant if needed (in white)....then anywhere between 30 minutes to decorate with buttercream roses and borders, or up to an hour to decorate with fondant stuff like stripes or dots and a bow, and some stars on wires.

So for a 10" cake, not counting cooling time, between 2 1/2-3 hours start to finish not counting cooling time, or time between steps.....and not accounting for more details like gumpaste roses or figures or extra intricate stuff.

Also not counting cleanup.

Karen421 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:44am
post #10 of 22

When you complete them in 4 - 5 hours do they settle or bulge at all?

indydebi Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:55am
post #11 of 22

The type of equipment you have will make a big difference.

A 6/10/14 wedding cake would take me 3 to 4 hours baking time in a home oven, but I could bake the whole thing (all 6 cakes) in 1 hour in my commercial oven.

Making 3 or 4 batches of icing in a KA (assuming 15 minutes per batch) would take about an hour. In my 20-qt mixer, I could mix all 4 batches in 15 minutes.

So just in baking and icing, the difference is 5 hrs vs. 1.25 hrs. Although I conceed that I could be making the icing while the cake is baking, so it could be 4 hrs vs. 1 hr.

You said not counting cooling, but a commercial freezer can cool a cake enough to work with inside of 30 minutes.

So in a home environment, it would take me 6 to 8 hours to do this cake. In a commercial environment, I could have it done, from cracking the first eggs to putting it in the delivery van, in 3-4 hours, depending on design.

I still remember that my very first wedding cake took me all day to bake (really small home oven!), took me 8-10 hours to make all of the roses (I'd never made a BC rose in my life before that cake, but when I was done making all of those, I was an expert!), and all day to ice it and put the roses on. My first wedding cake took me about 24 man hours! icon_lol.gif

It takes awhile ... but you DO get faster! thumbs_up.gif

klangl Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:57am
post #12 of 22

I'm so slow when it comes to decorating, my problem is everytime I do a cake I log on to cakeCentral, and that slows my time way on down, I usually surf while waiting on my buttercream to crust, then if I need an idea or help, I'm losing way to much decorating time, because I have this addiction to CC. I have never finished a cake in under 5 hours, it could just be a plain cake, or even one I have done several of, I just can't get off my computer long enough to decorate straight through!

Maria925 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 1:16am
post #13 of 22

Last week I decided to time every step of making a cake. I didn't include actual baking time or clean up time. I made an 8" chocolate round, a 6" vanilla round, a double batch of Indydebi's BC, and I added cookies and cream to the BC for the filling. I also made a small batch of MMF (which took the least amount of time). I made some very simple fondant cut outs.The whole process took me 8hrs 1/2 !!!

Now granted it was over several days as I don't/can't do that all at one time. But I was very surprised at how long it took me. It probably took me longer because I carved a very very (I cannot over emphasize the very here) simple little boat shape out of the 6" round (this was practice for something I'm doing next week) and it was my first time doing that.

The part I struggled with the most in all honesty was the time frosting of the cake. I cannot ever get the amount even, which is why this week I'm trying the Wilton Icer tip and a bench scraper. Hoping to save some time in that area!!!

Q-Squared Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 9:51am
post #14 of 22
Originally Posted by Karen421

When you complete them in 4 - 5 hours do they settle or bulge at all?

Not if you're waiting ample amount of time between steps. When I say 4-5 hours on an 8-inch round, that's 4-5 hours over at least 2 days. That's baking one day, icing the next, waiting a while and then decorating.

I've tried to do it from start to finish in one day, and yes, it did bulge -- so just remember to space it out!

Karen421 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 11:52am
post #15 of 22

OOOOOOHHHHHHHHH Ok!! Thanks - I really started questioning what I was doing wrong, because if I did that it would bulge!! icon_rolleyes.gif

Unlimited Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 4:19pm
post #16 of 22
Originally Posted by Maria925

The part I struggled with the most in all honesty was the time frosting of the cake. I cannot ever get the amount even, which is why this week I'm trying the Wilton Icer tip and a bench scraper. Hoping to save some time in that area!!!

It also helps if you have a really good turntable!

debbief Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 4:38pm
post #17 of 22

I've never actually timed the whole process. But if I did, I'm afraid I would have tons of hours into it. I spend a lot of time playing around with fondant and gumpaste. I think if I had more storage space and counterspace, I could be more organized and that would shave hours off my total time. One thing that takes up a huge chunk of my time is all the interuptions...mostly from my very needy 3 year old granddaughter. But I love her like crazy anyway icon_biggrin.gif

Peridot Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 4:51pm
post #18 of 22

I take forever also. I only do cakes on weekends as I do this as a hobby and work full time. I am too old and tired to do this stuff after work and stay up late. Can't do it. So it takes me many hours to do my cakes - I do it over 2-3 days and that's not counting gum paste roses or stuff like that which is all made weeks ahead of time.

michel30014 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 6:35pm
post #19 of 22
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

leily..that's a beautiful cake. I'd say it would take me about 5 hours to do an 8 inch "nothing fancy" cake.

That's the same approximate time it would take me to do an 8 in cake.

Aeropanda Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 6:54pm
post #20 of 22

I love this thread! I have been thinking that I am such a newbie that I was taking too long to do my cakes. After reading this thread, I feel like I am doing well! It generally takes me about 5 hours to do a basic cake. My family is all the time telling me that I would never make it professionally because I spend too much time on the details. I can now tell them that I am "a work in progress" toward being a faster decorator! Thanks for all of your posts!

xanikesmom Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 7:12pm
post #21 of 22

My first paid cake I ever did took me about 14 hours. Now, I can do a cake in 4-5 hours if you don't count the shopping and clean-up.

tinygoose Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 7:56pm
post #22 of 22

I really should keep better track of my time. THis cake....



Mixing, baking including bake time & cleanup- 90 min
Buttercream 30 min
ganache- 20 min
coloring fondant 45-60 min--it took forever.
flowers, leaves 2 hours
carving, torting, filling, crumb coat - 1 hour
kneading, rolling & covering with fondant - 1hour
top & bottom trim, including kneading time- 30 min.
making dirt- 10 minutes
(not including any drying/cooling time)

So what is that about 8 hours (plus or minus and hour, because I wasn't really keeping track, but this is what i remember.)

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