How do I show I can make a type of cake if I never made it?!

Business By nancylee61 Updated 26 Jan 2014 , 4:04am by nancylee61

nancylee61 Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 8:42pm
post #1 of 14

Hi all,

I am new to the cake business, yes, I am working in a commercial kitchen, OK'd by the dept of health. I advertised and was asked to do a birch cake for a wedding. I have done buttercream cakes, mostly the flower swirls, and lots of fondant cakes, which I find pretty easy, as I am also a potter and working with the fondant is very, very similar to working with clay. Except you cannot eat the clay. And many people would say that about the fondant, also!!


So eventually after seeing my other cakes, and asking for my flavor and price list and a contract, the bride says, "So how do I know you can do this, if you haven't?" I told her that it wasn't a difficult cake, and that if she had asked me to carve a car, a model of her husband or something that wasn't in my comfort zone, I would refuse. But I know I lost this customer. She had the jitters, and I can understand, because I am new and don't have a shop or pages and pages of cakes I have made. I have about 10 good pictures, and some terrible ones I did before I took a workshop and got a lot better.


Advice?? I feel like this is a very, very tough field, weddings. Brides are nervous wrecks already, so even though the local bakery uses box cakes and pre-bought frosting, she does ten cakes a week in a very small community and I find it is hard to get even one.




13 replies
nancylee61 Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 9:13pm
post #2 of 14

And in my immediate area, there is not a lot of money, so I am using a commercial kitchen in another town, and with the travel and fees for the kitchen, doing birthday cakes for $50 isn't worth it, so I can't really build up a portfolio that way. Unless I want to make a bunch of cakes and give them away. :)

Relznik Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 10:09pm
post #3 of 14

If you're showing your brides the not so good photos, don't!!  They won't remember you telling them that they're old ones. 


Spend some time doing half a dozen or so dummy cakes in different styles, to add to your portfolio.

leah_s Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 10:35pm
post #4 of 14

AMake a three tier dummy cake, but don't stack it yet. If you have or can borrow a Crystal Splendor type stand (Google it) start with that. Put some ribbons at the base of each tier, set it up and take a picture.

Next stack the cakes (don't firmly attach, just stack.), change the color of the ribbons and take a picture.

Next add a sparkly brooch to each tier. Take a picture.

Now change out the ribbons and use only two tiers on a pretty stand. Add one large fabulous flower. Take a picture.

Take off the ribbons and pipe dots onto the front half only. Stack up and take a picture.

Turn the cakes around and pipe swirls on the remaining half. Stack and take a picture.

Okay, you can take it from here.

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 1:31am
post #8 of 14

AGreat innovation! I love it! Thank you!

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 1:32am
post #9 of 14

AThank you! Now I need to google dummy cakes! Nancy

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 3:18am
post #10 of 14


I got a tasting appointment. She is trusting me!! I have lots of time, so I know I can do a great job for her. When I make a mistake with my pottery, I use it on a mosaic we are making in the bathroom. What do you do with less than perfect cake??? HAHA!!


Question, please: I see everyone saying they make frostings and freeze them in ice cube trays. Really? Does frosting defrost OK? Seems like it would ruin the consistency. Thanks for any clarification,


leah_s Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 3:30am
post #11 of 14

AIce cube trays? I freeze in large containers. You'll never kniw the difference.

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 3:42am
post #12 of 14



Thank you! And for a tasting, how do you get just a little out??



leah_s Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 3:51am
post #13 of 14

ALet it defrost a bit and scoop some out - just like a tub of ice cream.

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 4:04am
post #14 of 14

Ah, thank you!! Sounds easy!


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