What Are The Basic Skills Needed To Work In A Bakery?

Decorating By StephsCakes72 Updated 5 Jul 2014 , 7:59am by toyinsowe

StephsCakes72 Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 12:24pm
post #1 of 20

Hello all,

I have been looking through threads to find a comprehensive list of skills that I need to work on to work in a bakery. After having my own business for several years, I'm looking to shut it down. It's not for a lack of business, but it's been just plain awful trying to get payment for invoices. One of my largest retailers (a well known company) has consistently gone 90 days (It's supposed to be net 30) before sending me payment and it's impacting my ability to run my business efficiently. When I spoke to the owner, she told me, "It's hard to pay our smallest vendors." I think that was the last straw.

Anyway, I started taking cake classes in my area very recently. I'd like to practice as much as I can at home so that I can be an obtain a job within the cake industry...

Thanks for "listening". I know I went on a bit, but it's got my heart plenty heavy. icon_cry.gif

19 replies
brincess_b Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 1:00pm
post #2 of 20

Speed, speed and speed! And butter cream roses - at least for the groceries!

Although it depends what type of bakery you are aiming for, and what level. If you want to be a main decorator you will need a portfolio with a range of designs - I would say bc and fondant, but some areas are purely bc. If your happy just being the dogsbody, then Just being able to do what your told - mixing, cleaning might be enough.

Do your research too - is any where hiring just now? Are they likely to want to take on someone in the position you want any time soon?
xx

leah_s Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 1:50pm
post #3 of 20

My fist answer re: skills is SPEED. In the beginning you'll need to be able to pull two 8" rounds out of inventory (prob the freezer) fill, stack, get an outside base coat of icing on, top and bottom border and five roses with open space left for a message to be written later, in 20 minutes. That's beginner speed. When you're experienced you'll do that in 12 minutes.

Yes, seriously.

StephsCakes72 Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 4:16pm
post #4 of 20

Hmmm, so I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that speed is important! icon_wink.gif Thank you both for your input. I really need to learn more about working with buttercream. And Leah, I was actually thinking, "Seriously???" in my head. You made me laugh out loud. icon_smile.gif

Unlimited Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 4:27pm
post #5 of 20

Yep, speed is important! Most bakeries don't need to see a portfolio of what you can do at home in your spare time, they want to see what you can do for them instantly, as in "right now"!

If you have the basic skills down (icing, borders, stems, roses, leaves, and writing), they'll be able to show you the way they want it done, so just be open to learning it all over again "their way".

StephsCakes72 Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 5:19pm
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited

Yep, speed is important! Most bakeries don't need to see a portfolio of what you can do at home in your spare time, they want to see what you can do for them instantly, as in "right now"!

If you have the basic skills down (icing, borders, stems, roses, leaves, and writing), they'll be able to show you the way they want it done, so just be open to learning it all over again "their way".


Unlimited, I watched the tutorials that you have for icing and writing. Are there a set of most used borders? We learned shells yesterday in class.

Unlimited Posted 30 Jul 2010 , 8:50pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missymaam

Unlimited, I watched the tutorials that you have for icing and writing. Are there a set of most used borders? We learned shells yesterday in class.




If you're asking if I made a tutorial of most used bordersno, I haven't, and I try not to do anything the Wilton way.

Yes, a shell border is one of the most commonly used, so if you learned it yesterday in a class (assuming a Wilton class), then I'm certain it's similar to shell borders that everyone makes. I wouldn't classify my way of decorating with Wilton or any other particular lessons, so I'm not exactly sure what you're asking.

The Wilton yearbooks have examples of different borders, as does this site. You could ask your instructor which borders are most used, but it would only be an opinion. I like the reverse shell border. I think the border that you like best or enjoy doing the most would be your most used border.

If you're asking for a tutorial link to watch different types of borders being made, I'm sure they exist but I've never seen one that I was impressed with... sorry! Let me know if this didn't answer what you were looking for, and I'll try to help if I can.

StephsCakes72 Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:49pm
post #8 of 20

If you're asking if I made a tutorial of most used bordersno, I haven't, and I try not to do anything the Wilton way.

Yes, a shell border is one of the most commonly used, so if you learned it yesterday in a class (assuming a Wilton class), then I'm certain it's similar to shell borders that everyone makes. I wouldn't classify my way of decorating with Wilton or any other particular lessons, so I'm not exactly sure what you're asking.

The Wilton yearbooks have examples of different borders, as does this site. You could ask your instructor which borders are most used, but it would only be an opinion. I like the reverse shell border. I think the border that you like best or enjoy doing the most would be your most used border.

If you're asking for a tutorial link to watch different types of borders being made, I'm sure they exist but I've never seen one that I was impressed with... sorry! Let me know if this didn't answer what you were looking for, and I'll try to help if I can.[/quote]


I viewed the links that I saw within your signature? Am I seeing something off here? Also, I'm not taking Wilton classes. I'm taking classes at a local bakery. I didn't want my cakes to look like everyone else's cakes. Not sure if that was a correct assumption, but I was afraid for my cakes to have to the same feel to them as many artists that do the Dewberry one stroke flowers. They are certainly beautiful, but look the same.

Thank you so very much for taking time to help me. I really appreciate it. icon_smile.gif

Unlimited Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:51pm
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missymaam

Thank you so very much for taking time to help me. I really appreciate it. icon_smile.gif




You're very welcome. I hope I can answer your other questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missymaam

I viewed the links that I saw within your signature? icon_smile.gif



Not a question, but I gathered so... you mentioned it earlier. Let me know if there's a question here to answerI'm not trying to avoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missymaam

Am I seeing something off here?



Sorry, but I don't understand... do you mean "off", as in "strange/not quite right" or "off", as in belonging to or off of the Cake Central web site?

StephsCakes72 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 6:45pm
post #10 of 20

Hello again!

No, I just meant that I might have clicked on links that I thought were in your signature but really weren't. Sometimes I minimize my screen a little and I don't get the full picture and misread things. Doing too many things at one time. icon_smile.gif

I go to class tomorrow, so I will ask the teacher about different borders and about writing!

Rosie2 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 7:02pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

My fist answer re: skills is SPEED. In the beginning you'll need to be able to pull two 8" rounds out of inventory (prob the freezer) fill, stack, get an outside base coat of icing on, top and bottom border and five roses with open space left for a message to be written later, in 20 minutes. That's beginner speed. When you're experienced you'll do that in 12 minutes.

Yes, seriously.


Yikessss...that's 2 or 3 evenings work for me icon_redface.gif ahhhh, good thing I'm just a hobby baker icon_biggrin.gif

Unlimited Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 8:41pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missymaam

Hello again!

No, I just meant that I might have clicked on links that I thought were in your signature but really weren't. Sometimes I minimize my screen a little and I don't get the full picture and misread things. Doing too many things at one time. icon_smile.gif




Gotcha! thumbs_up.gif Let us know how it goes at your class, and have fun!

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 9:07pm
post #13 of 20

Don't forget about planning. And multitasking. Is there anything that you can be doing "at the same time"? Lots of times if we'll have to work on two cakes at once. Meaning, say you have an order for a round floral cake. Break out two cakes, ice and decorate them identically. So base ice both, then put borders on both, then flowers on both, and finish with the message on one of them. Box both up and now you have the order done and a cake for the case.

That's one way to get orders done and the case filled at the same time.

StephsCakes72 Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 12:56am
post #14 of 20

Thank you Rose, I have a problem with multitasking and planning. I must admit that is a weak point for me in many aspects of my life. My family just shakes their head at me and and says, "She's the artist of the family." icon_smile.gif

Unlimited-My instructor gave me a lot of pointers. Basically what you all said.

Leah-I've been practicing speed. I frosted a chocolate cake (in my photos) in 10 minutes. That may be slow since there were no flowers and writing, but I've come down quite a bit.

tinacr Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:12am
post #15 of 20

you need just the basics and to be able to decorate cakes of all sizes completely 4 in an hour.

Unlimited Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:28am
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missymaam

Unlimited-My instructor gave me a lot of pointers. Basically what you all said.




Great! Sounds like your classes are fruitful... hope it's fun too!

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:26pm
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

My fist answer re: skills is SPEED. In the beginning you'll need to be able to pull two 8" rounds out of inventory (prob the freezer) fill, stack, get an outside base coat of icing on, top and bottom border and five roses with open space left for a message to be written later, in 20 minutes. That's beginner speed. When you're experienced you'll do that in 12 minutes.

Yes, seriously.




If I didn't have to make the cake and the frosting, I think I could get to 20 minutes ish....

How nice it would be to have the cake and frosting already made. Now I'm wondering if I can get unfrosted cake at my local grocer so I can practice just decorating.

I do know you need a portfolio. That was the first question they asked me when I applied for a cake decorating position. Having none, I never got the call. I'm putting together one now, but I need more cakes.

Good topic discussion. Thanks for asking.

toyinsowe Posted 4 Jul 2014 , 9:56pm
post #18 of 20

AHi I have been following the chat. Why not get some cake domies to decorate? You could always scrape off the frosting after taking pictures and putting up another design with the same domie. Hope that helps.

Singerssoul Posted 4 Jul 2014 , 10:14pm
post #19 of 20

Seeing how this thread is from 4 years ago, perhaps the OP has obtained the knowledge and skills since then :lol:

toyinsowe Posted 5 Jul 2014 , 7:59am
post #20 of 20

AYou are absolutely right. I sent in the comment before looking at the date but hopefuly someone else new to cakes may find the infor helpful when just reading throu. Like I was.

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