Do You Downplay How Time Consuming Caking Is?

Decorating By tsal Updated 7 Nov 2010 , 7:23pm by Unlimited

tsal Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 10:28pm
post #1 of 60

I know someone who does cakes and claims it takes her 3 hours to do a 2-tier fondant covered cake with circle appliques.

I'm always telling people how much work it is, and I can't believe it took her only 3 hours total.

Comments?

59 replies
psurrette Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 10:38pm
post #2 of 60

does she have a sheeter?
I am pretty fast my friends cant beleive how fast I am.

brincess_b Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 10:42pm
post #3 of 60

if she has a big enough oven to bake the two tiers at a time, buys premade fondant or bc (on indeed, premade cakes). experience counts for a lot! theres a lot of ways to short cut if you want to/ know how to.
i would just say 'good for you' and not think about it!
xx

traci_doodle Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 11:06pm
post #4 of 60

What does the 3 hours include? It seems possible to tort/fill/frost and then add minimum decorations in that time, but for me at least, I don't see how you could possibly cook the cakes and make the frosting plus decorate in that amount of time. Then again, I only do this for a hobby. So maybe I just need more experience.

suemillerbuckley Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 11:23pm
post #5 of 60

I agree with most here!! I could def. cover a 2 tier cake with fondant circle appliques in three hours but I'm sure she means only this....the decorating part. I find it hard to believe she baked the cakes, cooled, etc. in that amount of time.

3GCakes Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 11:46pm
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsal

I know someone who does cakes and claims it takes her 3 hours to do a 2-tier fondant covered cake with circle appliques.

I'm always telling people how much work it is, and I can't believe it took her only 3 hours total.

Comments?




Only if SOME things are pre-made, but not home-made start to finish. The odds rise dramatically if ALL is pre-made.

It really depends what she is talking about. Pre-made what......

Apti Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 12:14am
post #7 of 60

Mix ingredients and prepare pans: 10-15 minutes
Bake at 325: 40 minutes or more
Cooling cake(s) prior to crumbcoating/icing: 2 hours
Tort/fill/crumbcoat: 10-30 minutes
Crumbcoat crusting time: 5-15 minutes [Personally, I always let my torted and filled cakes settle for a few hours before applying a crumbcoat (I use a tile for weight as seen here on CC). Then, after settling, I crumbcoat.]

Those basic steps will take the same amount of time no matter who you are or how big your kitchen may be.

A " 2-tier fondant covered cake with circle appliques" which is a fairly basic design with minimal cutters could certainly be done in 3 hours AFTER the basic steps above if you had all your materials and work area prepared.. She is probably not counting the time required for baking , crumbcoating, preparation of the cake board , dowel cutting/placing/stacking.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:41am
post #8 of 60

WARNING: There's a naughty nake (not a 'total' nude) in my gallery.

Did the whole thing in 2.5 hours including baking time.

baking time for a 2-tier would be the same since I had a comm'l oven and could do it all at once. Cooling down process was fast for me because I threw it in a comm'l freezer (which I found to be colder than a regular home freezer and things cooled/froze MUCH faster).

A simple 2-tier covered in fondant with circles wouldn't take any time at all (compared with having to form body parts and make blue jeans with belts like in this one. And this one was only my 2nd or 3rd fondant cake.)

So yeah .... it's possible.

Maybe I have it backwards but I LIKE being able to tell people that I CAN whip out a cake pretty quick. I think it shows my skill level. I also follow it with "but I've been doing this 30 years so I've pretty much got the system down". Hubby disagrees. He thinks I should let people think that I sweat and work forever on them. I said, "You want me to let people think that after 30 years, I can't do this any faster than when I started?" icon_confused.gif

My son's wedding cake (4 tiers) was baked at home. That took less than 3 hours. Decorating was way less than 2 hours. BC with fondant accent work. (It was mid-term week ... trust me, I had to keep track of my time on EVERYTHING that week!) icon_lol.gif

We say it on here all the time. The client is paying for the skill (!) that it takes to turn "just cake" into a centerpiece of their party. Whether that takes one person 2 hours or 20 hours is almost immaterial. (Please note I said "almost".) It's the skill that is being paid for.

Apti Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:13am
post #9 of 60

["Those basic steps will take the same amount of time no matter who you are or how big your kitchen may be."]
EXCEPT for IndyDebi's huge commercial oven and really cold commercial freezer.........jeepers........
IndyDebi--Just curious--how long would it take you to bake and cool if you just had regular kitchen stove and fridge and didn't have commercial equipment?

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:27am
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

["Those basic steps will take the same amount of time no matter who you are or how big your kitchen may be."]
EXCEPT for IndyDebi's huge commercial oven and really cold commercial freezer.........jeepers........
IndyDebi--Just curious--how long would it take you to bake and cool if you just had regular kitchen stove and fridge and didn't have commercial equipment?


See the above post where I describe making my son's 4-tier cake at home ... in a home oven. I baked the cakes ahead of time and put them in the freezer. Pulled them out and iced/decorated another day. Less than 5 hours total, from baking to final clean up.

I would say I could bake a 2-layer, 2 tier 6/8 or 6/10 in my home oven all at once. Allowing even a whole hour for mixing/baking, I would feel confident I could do a fondant covered 2-tier with simple circles, from baking to clean up in a couple of hours, no more than 3, allowing for any re-do work (like torn fondant).

cabecakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:59am
post #11 of 60

Woah, I need more practice. I am new at this (I just started about a year ago...all self-taught), and the panda cake I just did for my daughter took me about 8 hours in total...baking one night, buttercream and crumbcoat...ganache...and fondant the next night...stacking and decorating the next. But I will have to admit, I am getting faster. It was 3 tier, but the top tier was a dummy cake just covered in fondant.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 8:53am
post #12 of 60

cabe, I still remember my first wedding cake ... took me 8 hrs just to decorate it! And the bride was getting married in a rose garden so she wanted lots and LOTS of roses on it. I'd never made a BC rose in my life so I spent pretty much one full day just making roses before I even THOUGHT about icing and decorating the dang thing! icon_lol.gif

tsal Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 10:58am
post #13 of 60

I guess I'm just inexperienced then because it seems to take me hours and hours per cake. Sculpted cakes and those with lots of detailed appliques take the most time.

I'd love to say that I could whip out a cake in no time! I'm a hobbyist so I guess I need to get my workflow down.

Apti Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:35pm
post #14 of 60

IndyDebi, (me bowing deeply in respect) I'd forgotten about your son's wedding cake, that was beautiful--I'll bet it tasted extra specially good with all that motherly love baked right into it.

What about the cool down time for the cakes? Do you just stick a hot cake into the freezer? I was "told" by quite a few online experience bakers to wait 2 hours because the cake continues to be hot in the center even when the outside is cool.

The thought of decorating a huge cake with lots and lots of BC roses gives me the shivers--I'm STILL working on those darned things 8 months into decorating. My newest techniques to try and master: making BC roses on a sharpened dowel and to make fondant roses by hand without tools--much faster than the Wilton methods.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:46pm
post #15 of 60

Freezers good--you can also use a clean fan to cool things off fast. The biggest problem is that sure you can pop out a cake real fast from oven to event but my experience with brand new fresh tier cake is that it does not serve well. To me it's a real juggling act to get this all correct.
Herding cats. Ten thousand things that can go wrong and one teeny variable will permanently rearrange those ten thousand things up or down.

So I get that we're talking bragging rights but there's bragging rights & there's bragging rights. Just saying.

And I mean pound cake would change this opinion--see 10,000 variables.
Aghhhh!!! icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:54pm
post #16 of 60

Meaning fresh pound cake serves well.

Bluehue Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:35pm
post #17 of 60

Nope - no way - never.

And all my cakes are covered in Fondant with decorations.

I step back and look - then place another whatever on the cake
Step back and look again
Step back and look again
Step back and look again

Turning my cake all the time.

I don't ever want to get to the stage where i can hammer out a fondant cake in three hours... thats not what i am about....more to the point - what is the point of bragging about that - who said its a race against the clock - i schedule my cakes so i don't ever have to throw one together - .............yuk thumbsdown.gifthumbsdown.gif

A friend of mine can, and it bloody well looks like it took 3 hours. icon_rolleyes.giftapedshut.gif

This cake....

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1800464

I cut the circles out 3 days before i needed them - ensuring that they would be firm, sharpe and stable for when i lifted them and adhered them to my cake.

Took me hours to line them all up - AND I AM THRILLED TO SAY THAT.

Blind Freddy can throw a circle on a cake - its not rocket science - but where you place them - how you place them and how the customer views them - thats Cake science.

If i take the time to measure all my ingriediants correctly and produce a lovely cake - then i am not about to spoil it buy throwing its outter layer on...

Bluehue

Kitagrl Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:42pm
post #18 of 60

Its a tossup....if you tell people you whipped it out, they are gonna start doing the mental math on how much profit you just made on their cake. haha.

If you tell people how time consuming it is...they may respect the work more, but as Indy said, it may show you are not as "professional" and used to doing the work.

People ask me and I just say "Hmm I'm not sure...I don't really time myself." haha. And truly, I really have no clue. And often I work on cakes over several days, in steps.... so....it would take forever to narrow down how much time I spent on a particular cake.

I would guess my speed is average...I don't consider myself slow, because I'm too impatient for that...but I would not consider myself bakery-fast either, because I'm not.

Donnagardner Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:49pm
post #19 of 60

Some just like to say they can do it faster than they can convince people they are better faster than they are. So take it all with a grain of salt and work at your own pace no matter the speed.

carmijok Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:20pm
post #20 of 60

The problem with 'gee look how fast I am' is the perception the public currently has now. They watch all the cake shows and don't think anything about calling last minute and wanting a fully decorated cake...I mean how hard can it be, right? I mean, shoot, you said you could whip out a tiered cake in a few hours...surely one more won't be any more trouble!
I say, congratulations on your speed...now keep it to yourself! icon_lol.gif

Bluehue Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:40pm
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

it may show you are not as "professional" and used to doing the work.




For me, the correct balance of flavour, baking time and how moist the cake is, how well it is neatly torted - filled and decorated shows a customer how professional one is.

3 Hours doesn't tell my customers - "she bakes and produces a great cake"

I have seen some thrown together cakes at functions and when they are dismatled and cut they look like utter mush inside.
Gaping holes where huge dowells have been rammed into the cake crooked - layers all uneven - and lets not go there about the boards the cakes are sitting on. icon_surprised.gif

Would you agree that the final creation tells the customer eveything about how much care was taken to ensure they receive the cake they are hoping and paying for.

I charge alot for my cakes - and those dollars pay for my time...as well as every other aspect of the cake.
Plus, no one else works on my cakes except me - i allow at least 3 days and that doesn't include decoratins made a week or two in advance.

When the day comes that i put a cake together in 3 hours is the day i should hang up my apron.

Bluehue

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:51pm
post #22 of 60

k8, I agree that doing a cake in that short of time is not my ideal. I do prefer to let them freeze for a min of 4 hrs. I do prefer to let them sit and settle for quite some time. My interpretation of the initial question was "Is it possible?" and yeah ... it's possible. Not preferable .... but possible.

One of my favorite stories is about a woman walking along the street and seeing Picasso sitting at a cafe. She gets very excited and asks him to draw her something. He scribbles something on a napkin, hands it to her and says, "that will be $5000." She is aghast and says, "But that only took you 5 minutes!" He looks at her and says, "No, madam. It took me a lifetime."

Frequently, we advise newer CC'ers "the more you work it, the faster you'll get" and how charging by the hour may or may not be a good idea because "as a new person, you'll take longer than an experienced person", but in this thread, I hear folks saying that's not important or it's not a factor to consider? So the faster one works and the more experienced one gets and the more skill levels that are achieved ..... that has no value?

I'm not sure how slowing down my capacity to produce anything ... a cake, a cross-stitch item, a crocheted flag, a clean house (professional Merry-Maids can clean a house WAY faster than me and I find that to be a GOOD thing that has significant value!) ..... detracts from one's skill ability.

There's a difference between "thrown together" and "the ability to work quickly and efficiently".

I'm confused over the mixed messages being sent...... icon_confused.gif

Jenn2179 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:07pm
post #23 of 60

When people ask me how long it takes to make a wedding cake I tell them anywhere between 10 - 30 hours including all the baking time, cleaning, and decorating time.

CWR41 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:08pm
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

I charge alot for my cakes - and those dollars pay for my time...as well as every other aspect of the cake.
Plus, no one else works on my cakes except me - i allow at least 3 days and that doesn't include decoratins made a week or two in advance.

When the day comes that i put a cake together in 3 hours is the day i should hang up my apron.
Bluehue




Those that can put together a cake in less than 3 hours are able to get more of those dollars paying them for their time because they're off making more cakes. If they're more productive, they aren't limiting themselves to only one cake every three days or so. They don't hang up their apron, they leave it on for finishing the rest of the day.

Unlimited Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:08pm
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

My newest techniques to try and master: making BC roses on a sharpened dowel and to make fondant roses by hand without tools--much faster than the Wilton methods.




I agree. Trying to make roses on a flat-head rose nail is very time consuming. If you can learn to make them on a stick, it is faster.

Have you seen the video I made "How to make BC roses on a stick?"
(The link is in my signatureI hope it's helpful.)

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:14pm
post #26 of 60

unlimited, those roses look great! I agree .... when I started making roses on a stick, I was amazed at how much faster I could whip those out .... and I didn't think I was doing too bad before! icon_lol.gif One bag, one tip, and one better looking rose! thumbs_up.gif

Unlimited Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:39pm
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

unlimited, those roses look great!




Thanks! icon_smile.gif

traci_doodle Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:46pm
post #28 of 60

Indydebi-- you mentioned cooking all the cake for a 6/8 in one hour in your home oven. Do you mean that you had four pans of batter cooking in the oven at once? Did I understand that right? I only ever do two pans at once and being able to do four would be awesome. If that is possible, is there any special trick on where to put racks, etc?[/quote]

-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:49pm
post #29 of 60

Edited--

Indy--of course there is tremendous value in working efficiently. But to me this thread is not about pricing things it's about bragging rights. What I mean is the first chick who is in in effect bragging that she can pop out a tier cake in 3 hours to me might not be putting out the quality inside unless it's pound cake.

Just being fast is not a nod to a good product. Making cakes is like herding cats there's so many fricken details and each teeny detail uniquely influences the outcome. Good or bad.

It's perfectly possible to pop out a tiered cake in three hours or less. Dedicated home cakers are often shocked that cakes can be made so quickly and at the same time commercial bakers are aghast that home bakers take so long.

They are the apple & orange in the fruit basket of baking. I'm an orappangles, a blend. I can be real fast on one hand and I can do blown sugar on the other, Lambeth, whatever. I've forgotten more cake stuff than I can remember.

It's all braggin' rights this post--no right no wrong exactly.

Being fast is important if money is your goal. Being accurate is important if Kerry Vincent is judging your work in a competition. Being artistic and interpretative is important if you wanna create a personal masterpiece for a bride & groom. But they all should be great products and speed alone does not determine that.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:53pm
post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by traci_doodle

Indydebi-- you mentioned cooking all the cake for a 6/8 in one hour in your home oven. Do you mean that you had four pans of batter cooking in the oven at once? Did I understand that right? I only ever do two pans at once and being able to do four would be awesome. If that is possible, is there any special trick on where to put racks, etc?


yes, four pans in one oven on one rack. (It's a big tetris puzzle! ) this will, of course, depend on the size of the oven, and since we downsized to apartment living about a year ago, I was very happy to see we had a good sized oven that would accommodate multiple pans! thumbs_up.gif

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