I'm a painter/sculptor who has always enjoyed baking. I recently started making some cakes for money and have found the baking part somewhat stressful. I love doing the fondant decorations and people and with my sculptural background can basically make anything.
do bakers ever buy the decorations? or hire out someone to do the sculpting?
thanks in advance
AThere are people who buy and sell toppers, flowers and other assorted sculpted cake adornments on Etsy and eBay etc, I don't know how much of a career it is in terms of making your sole income from it. If you plan on doing it from home you have to make sure it's legal for you to do so in your city/state.
There are plenty of bakeries that are looking for people like you that have artistic skills. You could pick-up some hours every weekend helping out their decorators.
Are you familiar with Karen Portaleo (if not google her)? I believe she was a sculptor before working on cakes. If you can do anything similar..........go for it!
I will! you have given me hope. It would also be great to be doing the work in a bakery where I wouldn't have to worry about inspections and legalities that I haven't even begun to explore.
AAre there any 'famous' bakeries in your area? If you have a particular talent for sculpting you may stand to get paid more at one of those places that regularly gets requests for figures.
Aren't the 2 guys that Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss) hired to make all the figures, sculptors/artists? I never see them work on the cakes in the videos, only on the figures and decorations. They do really good work.
Etsy and craft fairs were my first 2 thoughts when you wrote that you wanted to do the fondant toppers. With so many party packages popping up on Etsy, it seems the trend right now is for a semi-DIY approach. When it comes to cakes, this means more moms may be baking cakes/cupcakes but want a more professional look when it comes to the decorations, so they need something premade to arrange themselves.
Renting a commercial kitchen could be a possibility if you wanted to avoid the hassle of home inspections. Some cities have kitchens specifically for renting, but I've also heard of people renting church kitchens or small, family-owned restaurants/bakeries that could use the extra income.
I imagine it could become a career if you explore various places of selling/creating. You could do contract work for local bakeries or cake decorators -- you do the work that they don't have the time or skills to do. Also, at bakeries with storefronts, you could possibly sell items on commission, like having fondant toppers for cupcakes that could be packaged and sold individually. I work in a bakery, and I'm asked almost daily if we have anything to put on top of a cupcake for a last-minute birthday gift.
Do you have set recipes that you can trust every time you bake?
I too was in your shoes, even though I went to culinary school and completed the baking and pastry program, I was taught European style cakes- which are completely different from american style cakes.
Don't give up hope! When I first started making cakes from home, baking was the most stressful part for me too! My recipes would come out different every time, which would cost more time and money. I've tried different methods of baking and I found that the less 'stressful' style of baking are using recipes that require just one bowl. I took basic one bowl recipes, changed them to meet my needs using what I learned about baking and now I'm not stressed when I bake! My cakes come out the same every single time!
I did a lot of experimenting in my home kitchen for about 2 years before I got my recipes down. I'm glad I did though because now I know I can really trust them every time I use them.
hope that helps!