Great At Baking, But Can't Really Decorate?

Business By es329 Updated 13 Oct 2014 , 7:31pm by craftybanana

es329 Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 1:51am
post #1 of 19

Is there a place in the cake world for someone who has great baking skills, but isn't really talented at decorating?

18 replies
Jesi Winter Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 2:03am
post #2 of 19

AOf course there is! In this community we are always sharing recipes and trouble shooting why certain ones don't always turn out right. In another sense this community can really benefit your decorating akills. Not talking about making something out of this world but how you can use simple techniques to make your desserts look presentable in a showcase. Really, it all takes practice and here, we all come together to help improve each other

Krypto Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 2:08am
post #3 of 19

AKeep at it and don't give up! You will improve with time. I feel very confident with my baking skills but I'm still working on decorating. Good luck and best wishes. :D

MBalaska Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 3:13am
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by es329 
 

Is there a place in the cake world for someone who has great baking skills, but isn't really talented at decorating?

 

Of course there is.  :) 

You may make many people happy with delicious freshly baked pastries and baked goods. Some people, like me, never become advanced highly skilled decorators.  Think of the house filling fragrance of fresh baked bread slathered with real creamery butter melting,  or the dreamy scent of a cake baking in the oven, yummy fresh quality ingredients.  I make myself happy with this hobby, it's just good fortune for others that I share with them.

SunshineCarbs Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 3:58am
post #5 of 19

FWIW, I really can't bake; I have to be exceptionally precise because I have no instinct for it, and if I'm not exact I *will* screw it up. The second I get to the point where I am able to hire another person, I intend to hire someone to just bake all the cakes and crumbcoat things so I can get to the parts I turned out to be gifted at.

 

I hate the baking, and only do it to the fun part. But my fun part isn't everyone's.

 

Somewhere, near you, is probably a Me who is looking for a You, and will be thrilled when they find you.

 

-Stephanie.

Pastrybaglady Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 8:08am
post #6 of 19

Decorating is a learned skill that takes time.  It comes easier to some than others but we can all improve!  I'm like a bakery groupie and love going inside just to see what people are making.  Most bakeries do not have the outlandishly gorgeous cakes you see here in the galleries but more often than not they have cakes that are simply decorated that look appealing and delicious.  Lots of skills to learn, tutorials abound.  Happy caking!

remnant3333 Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 9:02am
post #7 of 19

With practice, anyone can get better and better at piping.  You can also go to you tube then type in icing flowers, icing hydrangeas, icing roses, cake decorating, barbie doll cakes, Cake Boss, Betty Crocker cake decorating, butter cream flowers, butter cream borders, etc. There is one person's name you can type in "Liz Larson" who is a cake decorator and her videos are very informative showing you how to decorate. Then you make some icing and practice yourself on wax paper or cake pans until you get better. Watching how to hold the piping tip, how to turn it, etc is a big help to many people.

 

Hang in there and keep the faith and keep practicing. If you are wanting to do all of the fondant there are videos of all of that also. Good luck, I know you can and will succeed at doing this!!! With time and not giving up you can and will do it!!!!

liz at sugar Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 12:03pm
post #8 of 19

Hang in there - I have excellent baking skills, but only fair to average decorating skills.  I don't make decorative cakes for that very reason.  I started a small bakery with cookies, bars, small cakes, etc.  That might be an option for you.  I do have a very good eye for design composition, and that helps you to figure out things you can do within your skill set.  If you are young, I would say to practice piping like the above posters, but I have very weak hands, so I just try to design around that limitation. :)

 

And many bakeries keep baking and decorating as separate job descriptions, so you could put your skills to good use as a dedicated baker.

 

Good luck!

 

Liz

msbelle21 Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 1:36pm
post #9 of 19

I'm the same way; a better baker than decorator. Baking and decorating have to go hand in hand in a way. People eat with their eyes, so whatever you make must look appealing. When I first decided to take baking further, I initially just wanted to continue baking and figured I could hire an awesome decorator whenever my future bakery takes off lol. It didn't take me long to realize that that was a bad idea, considering that I would definitely be including layer cakes in my menu. I decided to take the bull by the horn and learn how to decorate. If others can do it, why can't I? My initial decorations were crap, and they still are by the way in comparison to the masterpieces of art we see on this forum, but there's been a major improvement, and that's truly what matters, to me anyway. No one is born with good handwriting or fluency in a language. All of these things are learned, and, with practice and patience, mastered. :)

cai0311 Posted 19 Aug 2014 , 5:01pm
post #10 of 19

AI took me a couple years of decorating before I was comfortable offering to make a cake for a friend. Then another year or so before I started taking orders from people. If you want to improve your skill, just keep practing. But if you don't have any interest in the decorating part, focus on items that don't require decorations...

cookies muffins breads brownies pies

ladyrose Posted 20 Aug 2014 , 12:01am
post #11 of 19

I have the same problem. I love baking and make tasty cakes, but I can't decorate at all. Wedding and other big cakes are out. I will mainly be doing farmer's markets so I will stick to pound cakes, brownies, breads and cookies. 

es329 Posted 10 Sep 2014 , 6:37pm
post #12 of 19

AThanks all. I just feel like my decorating skills get worse the more I try to improve them. :(

msbelle21 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 2:39pm
post #13 of 19

A

Original message sent by ladyrose

I have the same problem. I love baking and make tasty cakes, but I can't decorate at all. Wedding and other big cakes are out. I will mainly be doing farmer's markets so I will stick to pound cakes, brownies, breads and cookies. 

Yup. This is good advice too. Actually it's what I'll be doing while practicing decorating at home. Hopefully I'll be good enough by the time I'm ready to expand with my endeavors.

Also, a part of me likes to believe that not everyone wants a 3-tiered cake covered in sugar dough with sculpted giraffes and elephants, or a birthday cake shaped as a ninja turtle or minion. Pound cake and pie lovers are still plenty abound me thinks. ;)

msbelle21 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 2:40pm
post #14 of 19

A

Original message sent by es329

Thanks all. I just feel like my decorating skills get worse the more I try to improve them. :(

Practice can only bring improvement. Every failure is another step towards success. Keep at it. ;)

MimiFix Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 4:12pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by msbelle21 
 
... not everyone wants a 3-tiered cake covered in sugar dough with sculpted giraffes and elephants, or a birthday cake shaped as a ninja turtle or minion. Pound cake and pie lovers are still plenty abound me thinks. icon_wink.gif

 

My first products were cookies, muffins, breads, pies, and other traditional bakery products. I had very little interest in cakes until my home-based business moved into a retail storefront. When customers asked for cakes, we began making simple birthday and all-occasion cakes. When customers asked for wedding cakes, I bought a Wilton decorating book. Eventually my interest and skill-level increased.

 

These days, however, the market is so saturated with cheap cake ladies, you might be better off sticking with pound cakes, pies, and other daily consumables.

DaysCakes Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 4:48pm
post #16 of 19

I'm the opposite!  I have only a couple of "strings to my bow" in the baking department - and that's it!  When I started cake decorating school in the early 80s it was by accident.  I had actually wanted to take a class in dressmaking but it was full.  They suggested cake decorating for beginners.  I told them I couldn't make cakes - but they reassured me that I didn't have to bake at all.  Well, they lied!  Anyway, I learned how to make a sponge cake and a fruit cake and that's still pretty much the extent of my repertoire.  I really yearn to be able to bake like those people on the television - but it's not going to happen.  So these days my daughter bakes (she has some amazing cakes under her belt) and I decorate them.

dessertnetcafe Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 12:46am
post #17 of 19

Love your reply :)

dessertnetcafe Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 1:30am
post #18 of 19

How interesting.  When I first joined Cake Central I thought geez everyone here is a master, super ninja, expert at this.  I wasn't sure if I really wanted to decorate because no matter how wonderful the cakes looked, I always want to know "what's inside".  I am a very good baker and naturally you get even better over time the more you do anything.  Considering my business is an online bakery that ships cakes, that was my justification for not being a fabulous cake decorator.  However, customers do "buy with their eyes", so presentation is everything.  Learn to enhance what you do well to make it most appealing to your customers.  In the meantime, you can  add the bells and whistles of decorating as you've learn new techniques.  Over the years, my bells and whistles were better pictures!  I had taken photography classes in high school so I thought no big deal with that.  I learned very quickly that while "decorating" may not be an issue for presenting my cakes and desserts, quality pictures were. I couldn't take a picture of what I saw, which was my cake coming out of the oven.  I had to take pictures of what I wanted my customers to see, drizzled frosting, fresh blueberries surrounding my moist cake perched on a cake plate in perfect lighting, for example. So, my advice to you is this, start from where you are and do it well.  Present new ideas and techniques as you learn them.  Don't try to do it all at once.  I'm sure decorating could take a lifetime to learn all the fabulous techniques I've seen on Cake Central website alone.  Choose techniques that express who you are and your business image. In business, it's better to do a few things well than do a lot of things all wrong.  Hope this helps, and the best of luck. :)

craftybanana Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 7:28pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by es329 
 

Is there a place in the cake world for someone who has great baking skills, but isn't really talented at decorating?


There better be, because I too stink at decorating so I mostly stick to drop cookies and brownies, and other things that look good when messy (aka ooey-gooey). :-D

 

edited to ad: CC is mostly eye-candy and recipes for me. I love looking at works of art ;-D

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