Time Saving Tips

Decorating By sherry-o Updated 22 May 2011 , 3:50am by ChRiStY_71

sherry-o Posted 17 May 2011 , 5:26pm
post #1 of 12

I find that making, icing, and decorating a cake takes a lot of time especially if it is a tier cake. I'm on a search for ways to cut my time. Does anyone a time saving tip they would share? One thing that saves time for me is moving the cake in and out of the refrigerator/freezer to set the icing. Also having a good workable icing makes the icing process faster. Any tip would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

11 replies
indydebi Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:07pm
post #2 of 12

I find that most time efficiencies can be enhanced with work processes and preliminary organization skills.

- I have one of the Pampered Chef cooling racks that has legs, so its elevated. I set this out to hold my small supplies PLUS it provides extra counter space because I can also place things under the rack. But more than that, the elevated rack provides ONE place for my tools to be, reducing my "hunt and search" time.

- Wipe down after EVERY process. crack eggs into the mixing bowl . wipe counter. After measuring flour or dumping the cake mix . wipe down the counter. Keep a wet cloth handy at all times.

- Clean as you go. this means washing dishes, pans, tools as soon as you are done with them.

At my night job at the hotel, I shared this big clean as you go tip with my co-workers to save them time (rather than letting things stack up). it is why, even tho we are given from 7:00 shut-down (of our dinner buffet) to 8:00 p.m. to clean up, that I clock out at 7:20. The dining room buffet is removed, food put away, everything out front cleaned, all of the dishes washed (for food to serve 200-400 people), floors mopped and I even do a little prep for stuff the night guy has to do. 20 minutes and Im out of there. I hold the record. The idea of doing it all later eats up time.

- Put a big towel, a large piece of parchment, newspaper (topped with waxed paper or something sanitary) under your mixer. This will catch the mess and when youre done, just wad up the paper and boom . youre cleaned up.

- Keep a trash can absolutely next to you. Youll be amazed how those extra 4-5 steps eat up your time.

- Have your icing and any decors premade and ready. On decorating day, you should be able to just do assembly, which is way cleaner and faster than mixing batter and icing AND decorating.

- If using a lot of different colors, have the decorating bags pre-filled and ready to just pick up and go. Get duplicate tips so you dont have to stop and refill bags every few seconds/minutes. Youll be amazed at how much time THIS step saves!

- I kept a piece of parchment (you can use a sheet of wax paper or a large bowl) to throw dirty items in. Measuring cups for Crisco/butter, measuring spoons for vanilla/baking powder, misc spoons for mixing, mixer beaters . all of those small things . this prevents the counter from getting messed and clean up is just a matter of wadding up the paper and trashing it. A big plus I had in this area was being able to use one of my 18x26 baking sheets for this .. then picking up the whole baking sheet to carry all across the kitchen to the sink for washing.

- I used disposable as often as possible. As I said in another post, we can debate the ecological footprint on another thread, but being a caterer, I always had plenty of disposable bowls, cups, silverware. I used these to mix small quantities of colored icing. When done .. all goes in the trash, no dishes to wash. I also used disposable decorating bags. the cost is just pennies (when bought in a box of 100) and saved me more than pennies in the labor cost (yes, even tho its just you, its your labor cost!)

- Break down any boxes before putting them in the trash. Im a mix baker plus I put dream whip in my cake batter and in my icing so I had lots of boxes.. Breaking down the boxes saves room in your trash can and you dont have to change the trash bag as often, saving you time (and saves the cost of trash bags).

indydebi Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:14pm
post #3 of 12

P.S. If you don't have an elevated rack, like the pampered chef one, you can achieve the same effect by turning 4 coffee cups or juice glasses upside down and putting a cooling rack on these. I would use this technique to double my counter space when cooling cookies ..... with enough cups and racks, I could stack cooling-cookies 4 or 5 layers high!

carmijok Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:26pm
post #4 of 12

Whew indydebi! You sound like a whirlwind in the kitchen! And you've just given me some really smart new ways to save time. I especially like the towel under the mixer...duh! It's common sense...no wonder I didn't think of it!
Thanks!! thumbs_up.gif

michel30014 Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:40pm
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I find that most time efficiencies can be enhanced with work processes and preliminary organization skills.

- I have one of the Pampered Chef cooling racks that has legs, so its elevated. I set this out to hold my small supplies PLUS it provides extra counter space because I can also place things under the rack. But more than that, the elevated rack provides ONE place for my tools to be, reducing my "hunt and search" time.

- Wipe down after EVERY process. crack eggs into the mixing bowl . wipe counter. After measuring flour or dumping the cake mix . wipe down the counter. Keep a wet cloth handy at all times.

- Clean as you go. this means washing dishes, pans, tools as soon as you are done with them.

At my night job at the hotel, I shared this big clean as you go tip with my co-workers to save them time (rather than letting things stack up). it is why, even tho we are given from 7:00 shut-down (of our dinner buffet) to 8:00 p.m. to clean up, that I clock out at 7:20. The dining room buffet is removed, food put away, everything out front cleaned, all of the dishes washed (for food to serve 200-400 people), floors mopped and I even do a little prep for stuff the night guy has to do. 20 minutes and Im out of there. I hold the record. The idea of doing it all later eats up time.

- Put a big towel, a large piece of parchment, newspaper (topped with waxed paper or something sanitary) under your mixer. This will catch the mess and when youre done, just wad up the paper and boom . youre cleaned up.

- Keep a trash can absolutely next to you. Youll be amazed how those extra 4-5 steps eat up your time.

- Have your icing and any decors premade and ready. On decorating day, you should be able to just do assembly, which is way cleaner and faster than mixing batter and icing AND decorating.

- If using a lot of different colors, have the decorating bags pre-filled and ready to just pick up and go. Get duplicate tips so you dont have to stop and refill bags every few seconds/minutes. Youll be amazed at how much time THIS step saves!

- I kept a piece of parchment (you can use a sheet of wax paper or a large bowl) to throw dirty items in. Measuring cups for Crisco/butter, measuring spoons for vanilla/baking powder, misc spoons for mixing, mixer beaters . all of those small things . this prevents the counter from getting messed and clean up is just a matter of wadding up the paper and trashing it. A big plus I had in this area was being able to use one of my 18x26 baking sheets for this .. then picking up the whole baking sheet to carry all across the kitchen to the sink for washing.

- I used disposable as often as possible. As I said in another post, we can debate the ecological footprint on another thread, but being a caterer, I always had plenty of disposable bowls, cups, silverware. I used these to mix small quantities of colored icing. When done .. all goes in the trash, no dishes to wash. I also used disposable decorating bags. the cost is just pennies (when bought in a box of 100) and saved me more than pennies in the labor cost (yes, even tho its just you, its your labor cost!)

- Break down any boxes before putting them in the trash. Im a mix baker plus I put dream whip in my cake batter and in my icing so I had lots of boxes.. Breaking down the boxes saves room in your trash can and you dont have to change the trash bag as often, saving you time (and saves the cost of trash bags).






Wow, Indydebi,
You are AMAZING!! I already do about 85% of this but you just gave me some new tips! Now, hopefully, I can be faster and a bit cleaner in the kitchen with a lot less mess!!! Thanks as always!!

cerobs Posted 22 May 2011 , 1:11am
post #6 of 12

Question
Im a mix baker plus I put dream whip in my cake batter

Why do you do this and how does this taste.

aquamom Posted 22 May 2011 , 1:16am
post #7 of 12

Great thread icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 22 May 2011 , 1:17am
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerobs

Question
Im a mix baker plus I put dream whip in my cake batter

Why do you do this and how does this taste.


this practice has been around longer than I have. The idea was printed on dream whip boxes when I was a little kid (more than 40+ years ago). I remember tv commercials about making a "dream cake". The theory is that the dream whip causes the cake to rise higher (ads in print and on tv showed a 'with' and 'without' cake to illustrate the difference). I don't know if it does. All I know is that people luv how my cakes taste .... and they are straight from the box.

sherry-o Posted 22 May 2011 , 1:38am
post #9 of 12

Indyde, I searched for your cake recipe, but could not find it. What title is it under? How much dream whip do you add per box of cake mix? Is everything else the same?

indydebi Posted 22 May 2011 , 1:48am
post #10 of 12

There is no cake recipe, really.

Prepare one (I use Betty Crocker) cake mix per box directions.
I then add one extra egg (which I have been adding for decades)
and one envelope of dry dream whip.

Rhonlynn Posted 22 May 2011 , 3:31am
post #11 of 12

Wow, those are great tips...I try to save money, and wash my disposable bags in the dishwasher (I'm only taking the class, not making cakes for people. So this saves me alot of money.) Some women buy new disposable bags every week. But when they get gunky, I had no qualms about throwing them away. I also wash my regular bags in the diswasher, and I have alot of duplicate tips.


As I start to build things up, duplicate tips (18 for instance) come in handy.

ChRiStY_71 Posted 22 May 2011 , 3:50am
post #12 of 12

O...M...G! I never thought of putting a towel under my KA! I make such a mess when I do big batches of icing...this will be a huge time saver! Thanks for sharing your wisdom Indydebi!
You are so right about the raised cooling rack...I love mine! I also use disposable cups and spoons to tint icing when I only need small amounts.

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