traci_doodle Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 9:54pm
post #1 of

My sister-in-law is getting married. She's looking into cake decorators. I'm debating if I should consider offering my services. She doesn't have a big cake budget. Here are the two cakes she's looking at doing. She'll be buying fresh flowers to put on the cake. My question is, do these look like cakes that I can do?

The first one, she likes better, but the baker was charging more than she wanted to pay (she would only have 3 tiers):

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ufoyLecPGqU/TwvJ4_O1h_I/AAAAAAAACLU/4WSqO_7hnZ4/s1600/IMG_8263.jpg

This one was more in her price range, although she wants the stripes to go the other way:

http://www.sweetestscentsations.com/buttercreamwithorchidandgra.jpg

I would only have two days to put it together, since I don't live in the area. So, what do you think? And I'm just asking about skill level, not whether or not I should bake for in-laws. I'll have to weigh that one for myself. icon_smile.gif Also, the wedding is in 2 1/2 months, so I will have some time to practice, but not a lot.

38 replies
step0nmi Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:15pm
post #2 of

well, both of those seem pretty doable...they are BC! the first one is using the petal tip and just having the larger side against the cake and piping the line around the cake.

the second one is using buttercream and then you could just take a spoon around the cake to make those indents!

what makes you think you can't do them?

step0nmi Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:18pm
post #3 of

just curious...since i know both of these techniques. What area was your SIL pricing these cakes and what were the quotes?

after looking at your cakes i think you could do it...make a practice cake of each and I think you'll be surprised how easy they are

lovinspoonfull Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:18pm
post #4 of

I would go with the first one. It looks like a petal tip was used. The hardest part will be keeping even pressure on your bag and holding it steady as you spin your turntable. Start at the bottom and work your way up, overlapping each "ruffle".You could use 1 cake over and over again for practice, and then you get to eat it!

Goreti Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:38pm
post #5 of

Neither one of them seem that difficult to do. Judging by the cakes I see in your gallery I don't see why you would not be able to do them.

traci_doodle Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:54pm
post #6 of

I didn't think they looked that hard either, but I needed a little reassurance. icon_smile.gif The first one she was quoted around $500, including delivery. The second one she was quoted for around $200, including delivery. These were for different bakers, and for cakes the same size (about 75 servings). I was kind of floored that a decorator was only charging $200!

I think she's leaning toward the cheaper baker, but she isn't as happy with how her cakes taste. And I feel like she's settling on the design to save money. I think I could make a cake that she loves with the design she wants and save her money. I would, of course, make it as a gift. icon_smile.gif

taartenmaker Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:56pm
post #7 of

Seeing your gallerie I'm pretty sure you can do it!
Is the first cake decorated with tip 104?

step0nmi Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 11:54pm
post #8 of

both cakes are buttercream...unless they were charging for the flowers I can't see the cake costing more than $300.

traci_doodle Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 11:54pm
post #9 of

Does anyone else think the second baker is way undercharging, or is it just me? My sister-in-law is getting married in Utah.

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:04am

The more expensive baker apparently has a $400 minimum. I think part of the extra charge was she was pricing for three flavors of cake in each tier. It did seem a little high, but I figured if she was getting business to justify it, why not...

step0nmi Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:14am

well, the second cake is the easiest on the difficulty level...depending on that person's skill level I wouldn't say that $200 is under charging for that area. maybe they are new to the business?

BUT if she isn't happy with the way the cake tastes...then i wouldn't go with that 2nd baker. taste is a BIG deal for cake for me...and for the guests at the wedding

step0nmi Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:19am
Quote:
Originally Posted by traci_doodle

The more expensive baker apparently has a $400 minimum. I think part of the extra charge was she was pricing for three flavors of cake in each tier. It did seem a little high, but I figured if she was getting business to justify it, why not...




actually, that minimum pricing is to weed out the brides that are NOT going to pay that price. I even started raising my prices when I was baking at home to cover more of my costs and time and to make it so that if I was doing cakes less I was still making a good amount of money. All the well known decorators on this sight use that business model.

but...upcharging for additional flavors is a little much. Whatever flavor the cake is it doesn't matter to me...but if there are separate specialty fillings and fondant work, the price goes up.

even if that first baker was charging the highest price per serving on the 1st cake...I think that $500 is WAY too much $$$

gatorcake Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

both cakes are buttercream...unless they were charging for the flowers I can't see the cake costing more than $300.





Both of those cakes could easily cost more than $300. All we know is she wants 3 tiers, even assuming they are three of the smallest 6-8-10, that is 74 1x2x4 servings. Depending on the area $5.00 per serving for basic butter cream would not be unreasonable. That puts the price at $370. Even $4 per serving puts the price just under $300 so if she is looking for more than 74 servings the price is over $300 easy. Again the decorator these prices are not unreasonable even for butter cream.

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 1:23am

Well, if I feel brave enough to volunteer (which I kind of want to), any suggestions for cake stands? I'm guessing the event will be on the more formal side, knowing my SIL. I'd imagine that a cake plateau would be the most appropriate. What size would I need, assuming the bottom tier is 12"? I'd imagine I'd have it on a 14" cake drum, with a 16" plateau. Is that right, or would it depend on the size of the other tiers?

step0nmi Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 1:45am
Quote:
Originally Posted by traci_doodle

Well, if I feel brave enough to volunteer (which I kind of want to), any suggestions for cake stands? I'm guessing the event will be on the more formal side, knowing my SIL. I'd imagine that a cake plateau would be the most appropriate. What size would I need, assuming the bottom tier is 12"? I'd imagine I'd have it on a 14" cake drum, with a 16" plateau. Is that right, or would it depend on the size of the other tiers?




good for you! I think with a little practice you can do it. make sure, if you do the 1st one, that your base bc doesn't crust over before starting to use your petal tip ...just to ensure that everything sticks icon_smile.gif

yes, you could definitely do a 14" drum for the 12" cake and then that silver platter under neath.

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 1:56am

Well, I'll have to run my willingness to make the cake through a few filters before I totally commit (hubby, MIL, and then SIL), but it would be fun if I could do it! I've always wanted to do a wedding cake. I really think I could, but the thought of ruining someone's wedding kind of freaks me out a bit...

crumbcake Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 2:31am

Checking out your gallery, I think you can make either one.

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 2:54am

Thanks for the encouragement!

anavillatoro1 Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:37am

You can

mommachris Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:59am

Not knowing your sister-in-law to be, I'd have to make a suggestion...IF you decide to volunteer to do this. Make is absolutely clear what you are willing to do.
Too many stories have been posted about relatives, that once they get the 'gift' line, go looney and enlarge the cake beyond the size originally looking at and upping the cost with detailed designs and special flavors.
Some decorators ended up cakes that far exceeded their expectations of time and cost." I don't have an extra $200 to spend on a wedding 'gift'."
Might have been much easier to buy the couple a coffeemaker. (wink

Write up a proposal including the style, size and flavors so there is no misunderstanding and then hard feelings.

Any by the way, according to your gallery, you are way able to make this cake. thumbs_up.gif


mommachris

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 4:19am

mommachris--that's a good idea to write up each of our expectations. I think I'll definitely do that, if we go for it. However, I will say, this SIL is not the type to take advantage. I think she'd be very understanding and not ask too much. I have great in-laws. icon_smile.gif

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:56pm

So, I ran the idea past my hubby last night---he totally shot it down, lol. So much for that. He thinks his sister is too picky and would be a stressful first wedding "customer". Oh, well. I'm pretty sure it would have cost me more in supplies than the less expensive baker was charging anyway, since I don't have larger cake pans yet, and I don't have a nice cake stand to put it on! I hope someday I get to do a wedding cake!

step0nmi Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 4:57pm

awww...but if you did the whole mock contract thing there shouldn't be an issue really. tell her you are going by the photos and that's what your gift is. I think your hubby should really think about it and give it a chance. if you don't do a wedding cake for a family member how are you going to get over the first hump?

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 5:26pm

I think he's worried that even if I make it according to the picture, she won't like it somehow and it will cause drama (which is possible).

We have several other siblings between the two of us that might get married in the next few years, who aren't quite as picky. One has even promised I can make her wedding cake! However, she's 33, and never even had a boyfriend, so...

I think I'll have a chance eventually. In the meantime, I could probably use practice making bigger cakes and delivering them. The biggest cake I've ever made was 8-6-4, and I've never driven with a fully assembled cakes. Most of my cakes have been for neighbors, and I walked them to their house!

Rosie2 Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 5:28pm

I'm sure you can do it! But, I know exactly what you mean. I'm a hobby baker myself and have turned down many requests to make a wedding cake...just the thought of running into a 'bridezilla' makes me cringe LOL icon_biggrin.gif --I've read many horror stories in here--- icon_lol.gif

On a side note *** my original plan WAS to wait till one of my kids gets engaged and then I'll start planning my grand debut! LOL icon_biggrin.gif so far, they all say they're gonna elope and marry in Vegas cuz a wedding is too expensive icon_sad.gif ----aggghhhhhh what is this world coming to when a mother can not plan her own kid's wedding cake!!....icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

bakencake Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 5:37pm

I have a question about the first cake. Several of you said to use tip 104 with the fat tip towards the cake. Is the fat tip facing the bottom? can you guys please explain. thank you. btw Your cakes are lovely. You can def do either of the cakes. I would suggest you not do it even before the husband said so. It would be too much stress to make a cake in that short of time specially if you are not in your house. just me though.

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 5:42pm

I've never done it before, but I'd imagine that the part touching the cake would be at the top, allowing the lines of buttercream to be downward.

lovinspoonfull Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 7:11pm

I tried the technique used on the first cake that was linked. It was pretty easy! I had to make a dummy cake in a hurry for a cake tasting at work.
I used a petal tip 32, I think. Had the fat end facing up, and started at the bottom of the tier and worked my way up.
Image

lovinspoonfull Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 7:12pm

I tried to post an image, but it didn't work! So, I will try to post a link instead.
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2378886/pink-and-chocolate[url][/url]

traci_doodle Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 7:18pm

That looks great! Did you do it one continuous motion? I'm also curious how long it took.

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