Please Give Me Advice On My Cake..

Decorating By jenscreativity Updated 3 Feb 2011 , 8:16pm by genevieveyum

jenscreativity Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 16

ok..SO I want to go big into this field,,and I'm really trying hard to better at my decorating and all..but I need your input PLEASE! Under my pics..I have a cake that is in FIRST row, last pic like the 5/6th cake pic..and it's 2 tiered with baby cowboy boots and deer hunting theme, marbled with green. I used MMF so I think the fondant work was very smooth like the front, all the way around. BUT this person complained on my art work like it was sloppy and all. First time I ever made the boots and I did NOT have a hunting deer cutter, so I had to cut out deer freehanded and work with them to get them to look like deer! SO I added fondant white specks for the spots on the deer too. The rope is fondanted too, and I did simple ropes to not overwhelm cake. The ONLY thing I could've worked on was the "Welcome baby" sign..the fondant didn't dry and I was pressed for I just quickly wrote it on but not as clear as it should be.

I"m sooo frustrated b/c this person said the deer were awful looking and the whole thing was just lousy work. I know god put a good talent in my hands and trust in him to do the best I can on my cakes. Can you please guide me on how I could've made this look better?? It hurts to what this person said to me and I'm trying to figure out why it looks that bad b/c I thought I did a good job. Thanks for you much needed help!

15 replies
cakesbycathy Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 5:03pm
post #2 of 16

I personally think the cake is cute and matches the theme.

What did your contract for the order say? Were the details of the cake clearly spelled out? Was there any kind of sketch to show what the finished product was supposed to look like? Is the person asking for a refund?

If the cake was a freebie then I would simply say "I'm sorry you weren't happy with the cake. I worked very hard on it. I understand if you want to buy your cake from Walmart next time. Of course Walmart doesn't make these kinds of cakes, but I understand if you want to go somewhere else."

metria Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 5:20pm
post #3 of 16

whoever said your work was sloppy is just a jerk. it's obvious you put in a lot of effort for that cake. the only thing you need to work on is getting yourself a tougher skin so comments like that won't get you down. sounds like whoever said that was fishing for a freebie cake. keep up the good work, and hold your head high! you should be proud; it's an adorable cake.

flamingobaker Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 5:29pm
post #4 of 16

I think the cake looks "whimsical" which is perfect for a baby shower. I don't think the deer need to look realistic for this purpose, they do look cute. And the colors are lovely.

The only thing I see is that the layers seem to be sagging a bit on the right front corner, but that could be the camera angle.

jenscreativity Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 5:31pm
post #5 of 16

Your comments are soooo uplifting thank you!! No money is asked back..she just said that "thank god she made brownies instead"..I was like huh?? When she saw it,,she even asked her family to come out and look at it, as she was in excitement! I was surprised to hear all of this because of the positive reaction to it prior to taking the cake! I didn't reply to her after last statement b/c I told her that it took like 8-10 hours to make all of this and I explained everything to her. I told her being a christian that I am, I felt hurt by her comments and she said ppl at party thought the cake was a joke when they FIRST looked at it. I told her that god gives me this talent to do the best I can with it and only improve my skills. She just kept on with her awful remarks and I just ended it all by not even replying, KNOWING that god will take care of her disrespecful attitude and show her my apologies without having to take this situation more hurtful or worse. It worked as I haven't heard from her again.

jenscreativity Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 5:59pm
post #6 of 16

The sagging from what I recall looks it from camera pic..because I remember really well that the cake all around is all stabilized really well. I would admit if there was sagging no problem..but I'm 100% sure it wasn't and it traveled beautifully. I was REALLY happy with this cake vs some of my other cakes I've done..that's how good I felt until I heard this all from her yesterday. I was just trying to think where I could've improved at all. Thanks so much!

CWR41 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:04pm
post #7 of 16

At first, I was going to ask how old you are, because if you are a very young beginner--it's not so bad. But, I waited to see if you'd answer the question posted about what was in the contract, to see if you were a business that was selling cakes instead of giving them away for free for practice. Since it's obvious that you are in business (the paying customer isn't asking for a refund), I can only assume that you aren't a very young beginner.

As flamingobaker previously mentioned that the front corner appears to be sagging, is that why you propped it up with the brown fondant under the top tier? What is the other brown fondant suppose to be on the opposite corner? If you were trying to prop it up, brown fondant on a white cake stands out like a sore thumb and doesn't appear very professional. Also, the "snake" border ends before wrapping all the way around the cake (or it was pushed in between the tiers, disappearing to help with more propping???).

I personally think it could have used more than two colors, and would look more finished off if it had been completed with borders. You did mention that you were pressed for time... allowing yourself more time might yield to better results.

bethola Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:09pm
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by flamingobaker

I think the cake looks "whimsical" which is perfect for a baby shower. I don't think the deer need to look realistic for this purpose, they do look cute. And the colors are lovely.

The only thing I see is that the layers seem to be sagging a bit on the right front corner, but that could be the camera angle.

I totally agree.

jenscreativity Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:16pm
post #9 of 16

I used the brown on corners as a rope in between tiers and also around cake but NOT to prop up was to fill the gaps that were open instead of bordering with piping was all.

They only wanted those colors match the other ones. The only time was I was pressed for time was the writing on fondant..other than that..I took my time into the rest of cake. The rope, you're right, on the corners could've looked better..I was twining it and trying to make it look nice. I thought it looked good,,but apparently it doesn't seem I'll have to practice my roping..

I'm trying..

CWR41 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:27pm
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by jenscreativity

I used the brown on corners as a rope in between tiers and also around cake but NOT to prop up was to fill the gaps that were open instead of bordering with piping was all.

The rope, you're right, on the corners could've looked better..I was twining it and trying to make it look nice.

I'm not referring to the one twisted rope hanging from the upper tier, I'm referring to non-twisted brown things on the cake and in between the tiers that you filled the gaps with. I'd think filling gaps would have been less obvious with white instead of brown, don't you? If it was meant to be seen as a decoration, decorations aren't typically placed in between tiers. A more subtle approach to covering gaps would be to hide them all the way around with the "snake" border.

jenscreativity Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:59pm
post #11 of 16

Yes, as stated in first line of my says "IN BETWEEN TIERS",,and "AROUND CAKE" ,,I didn't say on the top tier at all. The ones in between tiers are supposed to have the rope look also..and twisted.. I don't think they looked as good as the top one. Your're right! I should've done the snake border all the way around..I was just trying to add a little more roping I guess instead of the one peice on the top and I thought those gapped areas would've been good spots to place the other ones. Thank you

cakedout Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 7:14pm
post #12 of 16

You have been given a gift - you just need plenty more years of practicing! icon_smile.gif It looks like you are off to a good start - just keep at it, and continue to scour this site for tips, watch youtube videos, join a cake club or ICES and attend local Days Of Sharing to learn from other decorators, and continue to take classes whenever possible. My thoughts.....

First, invest in good pans: the square -edge pans, not the rounded edge ones. You need to work on frosting your cakes with level tops, and sharp corners, so that when you place on the fondant the corners and edges are not so rounded. Square cakes take a bit of practice to do well. I used to have trouble getting them level-my corners would always sag. Then I learned to put a little wedge of cake tucked into the frosting filling of the sagging corners. Works like a charm! thumbs_up.gif

Second, you still need a bit more practice on tiered cakes since you had a severe gap between the layers. Make sure your support dowels/straws/whatever are level with the fondant. If there is still a gap, I sometimes fill it with frosting (icing spackle! LOL), then hide it further with a border. You could have done a simple snake or small twisted rope border in white so it wouldn't be too distracting; that would have made a much 'cleaner' finish.

Your marbling looks good. I would have suggested some veining on the fondant 'grass'. Also, I would say it needs a bottom border - piped grass with a #233 tip would have been cute.
Keep at it! You'll be great!

CWR41 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 7:17pm
post #13 of 16

If there wasn't a gap to fill, would you have lifted the top cake to put a decoration under it anyway?

Chasey Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 7:18pm
post #14 of 16

Oh goodness, I can't imagine being told that to my face! My skill level is very beginner so I know I would have seen my own flaws and most likely would have pointed them out myself, ha!

But I don't understand why she was saying this cake is a joke and glad she had brownies? She hasn't even tasted it yet! Just because it didn't look like she envisioned it, that meant she wasn't planning on serving it?

As for as constructive criticism goes, I agree that the white tier doesn't look level in both pictures. I would have liked to see it sitting flush with the marbled tier. The edges of the fondant are kind of rolled over the bottom cardboard (so it seems) and doesn't give you a sharp and clean edge.

I like your deer cut outs. It looks like you were a little more careful with some and not others when applying the white spots. Perfect shape for a baby shower!

I believe the rope that is hanging on the corner would benefit from being a little thinner. Good job twisting it!

The sign that is on the corner kind of throws me regarding where it's placed. I see wide open white area and am confused about why the sign is on the corner and maybe what is that sign shape or is it symbolic of something?

The soft green and tans you used are just right for a shower. The boots look adorable, especially for your first pair. If I had to comment there, I would just suggest smoothing the rope around the sole a little more to the toe of the boots, if that makes sense.

I'm sorry you had your feelings hurt!

jenscreativity Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 7:29pm
post #15 of 16

Thanks to all! I appreciate all of your comments greatly! I'll keep practicing..and yes, the rope would've been on corners still even if there was NO was more about the decoration than covering it. I may have had the dowel rods too high so the top tier didn't sit flush with bottom..that makes sense more of. I guess with my cake being sooo moist, I didn't want it to be flush to able it to tumble. That is I'll work on that also.

I can only get better with practice..thanks again for everyone's comments..god bless

genevieveyum Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 8:16pm
post #16 of 16

The boots are super-cute!

I agree with what was said, but i wanted to add- if you're in this as a business, then the first time doing something should probably not be for a customer and rushed for time.

A good idea would be to post pics of a cake prior to delivery to get feedback like what was said above before it's coming from a customer who could cause trouble for oyur business. There's a critique forum specifically for people who want help and feedback on cc.

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