What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?

Decorating By Rylan Updated 22 Jul 2010 , 11:18pm by indydebi

Rylan Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:26pm
post #1 of 47

I think every cake decorator has their own strengths and weaknesses. I think this would be a good thread to share what we know and find out what we don't know. This is not a place to brag or to pull oneself down. It's a thread to help each other (and ourselves) with tips and advice.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

46 replies
malene541 Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:41pm
post #2 of 47

I feel my strength is that I can look at a object and carve a cake to match quite well.
My weekness is easy, I can't pipe letters/words to save my life!!! It's like I develope a mental handicap or something??

BTW Rylan we all clearly know your strengths but do you actually have a weakness??

artscallion Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:44pm
post #3 of 47

Great idea for a thread, Rylan!

Piping is my weakness. While I learned piping in pastry school, it was basic and short. And since I don't practice it often, I'm not very adept at it. My second degree is in fine arts, so I'm more used to carving, molding and working things with my hands and with tools.

But I would love to be better at piping so I can add things like string work, etc to what I do well otherwise. But I know piping is a skill that only comes with practice and repetition. Maybe I should make it a point to add one element of piping to one cake a week.

divinecc Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:45pm
post #4 of 47

My strength is I am willing to push myself if I don't know how to do something I won't turn it down, just keep trying until I get it right! My weakness is smooth buttercream, still trying on that one, hopefully one day I will get it right! Great topic!

mamawrobin Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:50pm
post #5 of 47

Great thread Rylan...so what IS your weakness? Of course we know your strengths.

My strengths..make dang good icing and fondant thumbs_up.gif Thank you Indydebi and Michele...My weakness...just about everything else. icon_lol.gif

Rylan Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:51pm
post #6 of 47

Nice ones! Hopefully when more people jump in, we can ask and give each other tips.

Strengths: I don't have an outstanding skill but I am usually satisfied with how I cover and smooth a cake in fondant. I also like doing stripes.

Weaknesses: I have a lot. I don't know how to work with buttercream, piping, carving, sculpting figures, gumpaste flowers and birthday cakes. There are more but these are the ones that stick out the most.

Echooo3 Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:53pm
post #7 of 47

My weakness is staying off of Cake Central long enough to practice my weakness which is everything else. I can make an awesome cake though.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 10:58pm
post #8 of 47

My strength is smoothing my BC and BC roses. I don't like doing those, since I learned how to do GP ones, but I did pick it up pretty quickly in my class.

My weakness is covering a cake with fondant. I love using fondant decorations, but have difficulty in covering the whole cake. My other weakness is my writing. I hate my freehand writing on cakes.

Toptier Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:02pm
post #9 of 47

I looove getting those sharp corners and edges but if someone asks me for a more rounded profile I'm lost!

Kellbella Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:02pm
post #10 of 47

Strength is probably covering a cake with fondant. I'd rather do that than try to ice and smooth the cake (weakness) and my writing on cakes always looks like a 3 yr old did it!! I hate piping (weakness#2).

glow0369 Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:15pm
post #11 of 47

Creativity is my strength... getting it to happen on a cake is another story icon_smile.gif

malene541 Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:24pm
post #12 of 47

WOW Toptier!! You are a master at egdes/corners!! Beautiful cakes!!
I also like Echooo3's response, I'm sure my boss would love it if I spent more time working than on cakecentral!! icon_wink.gif Nothing better than working for Dad!

emiyeric Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:29pm
post #13 of 47

I definitely have an easier time with sculpting and modelling than I do with more traditional techniques ... say, buttercream! (I'm absolutely hopeless with the stuff!!)
I love trying new things, which helps creatively, but it takes me three years to get a perfect corner or edge (even in fondant).

Lita829 Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:32pm
post #14 of 47

Great thread! My strenghts are baking and making the frostings/fillings (this is my favorite part....I'm the first to admit that I am much more a baker than a decorator). I am pretty good at SOME gumpaste flowers, BC roses, and RI decorations.

My weaknesses are too numerous to count but I will start with getting buttercream smooth and applying fondant. I don't get to make too many cakes opposed to making cuppies and other things.

poohsmomma Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:39pm
post #15 of 47

This is interesting; makes me think...Thanks, Rylan, for getting my gray matter clicking.

I can bake a pretty darn good cake, and with Indy's recipe, make a creamy, tasty icing, as well.

Weaknesses?
1.Transferring my vision to the cake!
2. Piping!!! esp. writing
3. Getting that perfect buttercream edge that Toptier has obviously mastered.
4. Procrastinating! I should be making a teapot handle right now, but you all know that I'm not.

Dayti Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:46pm
post #16 of 47

Great thread idea!
My strengths - great tasting cakes and frostings.
My weakness - why is it that 99% of the time when I cover a cake in fondant, I get little hairline cracks around the top edge/side? It really annoys me. I knead the fondant really well. I know the technique to cover the cake. I prep the crumb coat or ganache properly. I just always get the darn cracks. Sometimes, some can be smoothed out. Other times, they are all I can see on the cake even if I am quite pleased with the overall turnout. Grrrrr. I would LOVE to be able to fix that.
(That's one of the weaknesses. But there are a bunch more!)

3GCakes Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:51pm
post #17 of 47

Strength: Round cakes.

Weakness: Square cakes.

Strength: piping.

Weakness: Fondant

Strength: Copying

Weakness: Coming up with original ideas.

Elcee Posted 21 Jul 2010 , 11:52pm
post #18 of 47

First, let me say to mamawrobin...I disagree wholeheartedly with your "weaknesses"! "everything else"? No way! Your cakes are great! icon_smile.gif

My weaknesses are smoothing buttercream and piping, though I'm working really hard at both and most of the time making progress. If I ever sell cakes I will charge LESS for fondant so no one will want a buttercream cake.

Strengths; let's see, I do think I'm good with color and cake design and my fondant covered cakes look nice. And, I thought the last batch of gumpaste roses I made were beautiful icon_rolleyes.gif.

michel30014 Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 12:01am
post #19 of 47

Great thread idea!

My strengths - Creativity, great tasting cakes and frostings and the fact that my buttercream piping has thoroughly improved. I"m known for buttercream cakes not fondant.

My weakness - transferring my vision onto the cake, fondant (it's still new to me) and everything else.

I'm only 3 years into this cake decorating, so I know with practice I will get better!! icon_razz.gif

HobbyCaker Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 12:15am
post #20 of 47

Great thread Rylan!

Strength- My ability to teach myself, there are no classes where I live

Weakness- Writing on cakes, thank goodness for Tappits, alphabet cutters and Cricut

Strength- I love making gum paste flowers, fondant figures and animals.

Weakness- Lack of Self Confidence- even though everyone compliments my work, I still feel it isn't good enough. thumbsdown.gif

Weakness- I can't get a square corner on a cake for my life! icon_cry.gif

mccorda Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 12:23am
post #21 of 47

Strengths - My buttercream roses are pretty good; Pin-prick copying a pattern onto a cake;

Weakness - Creativity, (I ask my husband to draw up a lot of the patterns I put on the cakes); Fondant and gumpaste, (haven't worked with them enough yet); Time managment, I end up hurrying through a cake and then kick myself because I know I can do better

sugarshack Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 12:36am
post #22 of 47

great thread!

strengths: icing smooth cakes, clean work

weaknesses: piping, coming up with original design ideas

1456 Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 12:46am
post #23 of 47

I know my weakness's piping, gumpaste flowers, square cakes
but not so sure on my strengths

Sassy74 Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 2:13am
post #24 of 47

This is really interesting. Some of the answers y'all are giving are NOT AT ALL what I thought you'd say, lol ! I gotta say, some of you are selling yourselves waaaaay too short with what you're listing as your weaknesses. I've seen your cakes haha!

Strengths: I can ice a cake pretty smooth, figure scultping is pretty good, feel confident working with fondant.

Weaknesses: My GP flowers absolutely reek, can't come up with an original design to save my life, my piping is hideous, and I don't make myself just sit down and practice practice practice to get better.

Toptier Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 3:02am
post #25 of 47

Oh yes, I can't write on cakes to save my life. A bride just asked me for script writing and I'm freaking out, do they make tappits in script? I'm also terrible at gumpaste flowers, I don't have the patience, and yes coming up with original ideas is really difficult. I'm also terrible at consultations, for some reason I am so nervous - it just depends on the person sitting opposite me but sometimes I just am a quaking mess!

Loucinda Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 3:24am
post #26 of 47

Love this thread!

Strengths - I will try any technique, and can make some smooth buttercream (thanks Sharon!), comfortable with both fondant and buttercream.

Weaknesses - Perfecting those techniques I try!

ramie7224 Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 3:25am
post #27 of 47

Hmmm....Strengths: I will stubbornly do something over and over and over again until I learn how to do it right. And also, when in doubt I refer to CC!

Weakness: Can't seem to stop myself from licking the bowl icon_biggrin.gif

Unlimited Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 3:57am
post #28 of 47

I'm most proficient with buttercream, so my strength is speed (icing, decorating, roses, writing, stringwork, piping, etc.) You'd think that because I'm most comfortable with writing and piping, it would come natural for me to do scrollworkbut it doesn't! I can pipe Corneli lace like crazy, but I sort of freeze "thinking too much" with scrolls and need to slow down. (guess I need to let loose!)

For me, I find working with fondant too time consumingdon't have much patience with it unless absolutely necessary!

elvisb Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 4:16am
post #29 of 47

Great thread! We're all our own worst critics, so it's good to know others share our own insecurities! icon_smile.gif

Strengths: love working with buttercream, smoothing buttercream, I actually like my handwriting on a cake

Weaknesses: fondant, covering cakes with fondant, smoothing fondant, getting off cakecentral so I can go practice my awful fondant, saying no when I'm already too busy, oh yeah, and I'm not good with fondant.

BrightDelights Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 4:18am
post #30 of 47

Great Thread!

Strengths: I can replicate just about any design or figure I set my mind to and I'm pretty happy with my piping and writing.

Weaknesses: Procrastination, Not having bulging cakes (not due to settling, but from baking) and coming up with original ideas. Problem is there are just too many stinkin cute cakes out there that I want to copy I can't come up with something innovative and new.

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