Does This Ever Get

Lounge By Webake2gether Updated 8 May 2015 , 2:23am by mark78_fd

Webake2gether Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 6:33am
post #1 of 27

As you can see this post is in the wee hours of the night and I'm just getting to bed. My husband and I have worked pretty much all afternoon and night on cakes. 2 quarter sheet cakes and 2 smash cakes. I never imagined 4 cakes could take this long and we still aren't done :( 

Everyone keeps encouraging us that with more time and practice we will get faster but nights like tonight don't give me much hope lol. I'm not sure if these are considered custom or not I would think yes because we've made all color and theme specific fondant decorations. Frogs, lily pads, and blue flowers for one sheet cake and smash cakes and butterflies (small and large) and purple flowers and pink flower for the other cakes. 

So back to my question for all the seasoned bakers does it really ever get easier?  

26 replies
julia1812 Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 6:50am
post #2 of 27

It does! There is light at the end of the tunnel, lol! Key for me is to plan precisely, make bulks (buttercream, fondant etc) and of course practice practice practice, lol. My first fondant cake took me hours just to tort, fill, frost and cover in fondant. Am doing that in 30mins now (plus some time it is chilling in the fridge inbetween). And I feel I'm still not there yet. And of course there are those days where I find everything is just going wrong...haha!


costumeczar Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 10:19am
post #3 of 27

My first impulse was to say "no" and leave it at that. But I guess it depends on what you mean by "easy." If you mean will you get faster yes, you'll get faster. But it's never easy running your own business, and when you get one thing down something else will come along to take your attention. Realistically the best you can do is work for better time management in the long run, but you'll still be working 60 hours+ a week if you ever expect to do cakes full time and make a decent living of it. If you just want to do it part time then you can plan on working 40 hours a week at it ;)

-K8memphis Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 1:12pm
post #4 of 27

maybe you did already, but could you have made the fondant pieces earlier like monday/tuesday so you could just slap it on and go when the cake is being prepared last minute for the pinpoint freshness part -- you can get boxes and boards ready then too -- you could as julia suggested make your icings etc early and you could color some of it too -- but i love to get all the early prep done and later get into the down & dirty arm wrestling the cakes themselves then at a certain point i can exhale, meet up with my earlier work, can stop thinking and just toss it on and bam! done!

while it does get easier/faster/more organized it is labor intensive -- you'll learn to work smarter

-K8memphis Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 1:28pm
post #5 of 27

and having the right equipment is part of it too -- i am blessed to have an oven that will hold 3 full size sheet pans and i am convinced that the average household needs one that will at least hold 2 full size sheet pans -- just for the household -- as for cakes, using home sized appliances adds hours and hours and hours to your schedule so starting out you can't always have the most efficient equipment but it needs to go on the short list and it also cements the commitment too --

look for local auctions and places going out of business -- keep your eye on ebay for local pick up items -- things like that -- oh and look at your local restaurant supply places they will often sell new and used equipment --

best to you guys!

Webake2gether Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 4:50pm
post #6 of 27

I think we were ill prepared mostly due to the fact that we are completely new to this and 4 cakes was a tall order for us. I feel like the time I spent on decorations took me away from smoothing out the cakes like I usually do and I'm disappointed in that the most :( also my nerves were so shot from the stress I didn't write on the cakes like I was hoping too. I wish I could hit the do over button. I don't want someone to be unsatisfied on a special day like their kids' first birthdays. The perfectionist in me just wants to crawl in bed and cry :( 

-K8memphis Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 5:55pm
post #7 of 27

just for the record it's not at all about being perfect -- it's about making money -- now of course you want to do your best but perfectionism is for competitions -- leave your perfectionist self asleep while you do cakes -- you'll save yourself a lot of grief -- best to you

Webake2gether Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 6:06pm
post #8 of 27

Thanks everyone for all the advice!! I guess I have it in my head that 2 people who've never really done cakes or fondant work can accomplish what a whole bakery full of extremely talented bakers and decoraters can do.....thanks cake boss haha just kidding I know it's going to take an insane amount of practice for us they just make it look like bing bang boom a masterpiece is made . I'm afraid to even post any pictures for fear of being criticized :( 

cakedout Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 6:42pm
post #9 of 27

It does get better, Dear.  Really it does.  :)

Just remember when starting out on a cake business venture to decide the number of cakes you can do in a week/weekend and still keep sane - - and then STICK TO THAT!   It is ok to say no!  and remember to schedule in some days off for yourself!


I remember when I first started that I didn't ever want to turn down a cake order and drove myself nuts trying to do cakes late at nite when my little ones were in bed....looking back it wasn't worth the stress and my cakes generally suffered because of it.  I eventually decided what my 'niche' was going to be (3D cakes and wedding cakes) and stopped doing all of the little celebration cakes.  that saved my sanity and the quality of my cakes.  :) 


Good Luck to you! 

DeniseNH Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 6:42pm
post #10 of 27

I'm finding that it never gets easier BUT you get smarter about doing things ahead of time which - makes the two days leading up to a busy weekend..............much less stressful.  The reason it never gets easier is because each cake is as different as each bride.  We don't live in a carbon copy world.  But it's so much fun.


cupadeecakes Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 7:50pm
post #11 of 27

Quote by @costumeczar on 9 hours ago

My first impulse was to say "no" and leave it at that. But I guess it depends on what you mean by "easy."

Wise words.

It sounds like you're just taking on too much work for your current skill level.  Do you know what's the hardest skill for a decorator to learn?  Saying "No."  Practice it in the mirror a few times a day.

I know you said you were booked, but can't you just squeeze in ONE more cake? <No>

Can I pickup my cakes a few days early?  <No>

We ate every morsel of cake, but my aunt said she thought it might have tasted funny; Can I get a full refund? <Heck No!>

Webake2gether Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 8:15pm
post #12 of 27

@cupadeecakes it was supposed to be a half sheet cake and 2 smash cakes but due to my oversight in fridge/freezer space we had to do 2 quarter sheets. By easier I mean time management, knowing how to prepare and having a general step by step that you do with all cake orders. Knowing what I know now I would've done the fondant decorations days ago when I colored it and premade the icing as well as all the other things that can be organized ahead of time. Biggest thing I learned through this is being prepared and having a good plan :) 

cakedout Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 8:27pm
post #13 of 27

Yes, you are right - - we've all gone thru that "learning curve" stage!  


Each new experience -good or bad- adds to our knowledge.  We learn what to do and what NOT to do the next time!  And we are able to fall into a baking & decorating routine.  Time management is often the hardest thing to learn!

-K8memphis Posted 24 Apr 2015 , 10:27pm
post #14 of 27

the thing i love the best is you guys work together -- it's awesome

Webake2gether Posted 25 Apr 2015 , 1:57pm
post #15 of 27

I know it's my favorite part too :) today I guess we'll find out how the cakes went over. I delivered them yesterday and the party is today. We had an extra cake and it tastes amazing and I'm not biased or being partial bc it's mine I don't like cake anymore lol. I'll update when I hear back from them if I do :) 

Pastrybaglady Posted 25 Apr 2015 , 8:24pm
post #16 of 27

Planning makes you work more efficiently, so if not easier it's less stressful!  Always do as much fondant work ahead as possible, make and color your frosting at least a day before you need them, bake your cakes when it makes the most sense for you and freeze if you need to.  Work your schedule backwards from delivery so your cake is completed by the day before pick up.  It's like mis en place, have all the components ready then assembly will go faster and smoother.

Webake2gether Posted 26 Apr 2015 , 2:54am
post #17 of 27

@pastrybaglady thanks that is really good advice!! I'm seriously going to sit down with my notebook I keep for baking and write down all the advice everyone has given me. It is sooo awesome to have so many experienced bakers share on here. Also I did hear back on the cakes I was obsessively worrying about this is the text I got from my friend who I did them for:

"Everyone loved the cake!! It was a hit!!"

julia1812 Posted 26 Apr 2015 , 4:18am
post #18 of 27


Quote by @cupadeecakes on 1 day ago

Quote by @costumeczar on 9 hours ago

My first impulse was to say "no" and leave it at that. But I guess it depends on what you mean by "easy."

Wise words.

It sounds like you're just taking on too much work for your current skill level.  Do you know what's the hardest skill for a decorator to learn?  Saying "No."  Practice it in the mirror a few times a day.

I know you said you were booked, but can't you just squeeze in ONE more cake? <No>

Can I pickup my cakes a few days early?  <No>

We ate every morsel of cake, but my aunt said she thought it might have tasted funny; Can I get a full refund? <Heck No!>


malou1021 Posted 26 Apr 2015 , 4:23am
post #19 of 27

You could also bake the cakes, torte it, crumb coat it and then wrap it up real good and then stick it in the freezer well in advance. I do this sometimes if I have a lot going on, but I'm a big fan of freezers. I have one just for cakes.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Apr 2015 , 12:32pm
post #20 of 27

Quote by @malou1021 on 8 hours ago

You could also bake the cakes, torte it, crumb coat it and then wrap it up real good and then stick it in the freezer well in advance. I do this sometimes if I have a lot going on, but I'm a big fan of freezers. I have one just for cakes.

me too! i don't hear it so much lately but it used to be that some people would disdain freezers saying their cakes 'were fresh, never frozen' and i never got it because the opposite of fresh is stale not frozen -- i'm not a pastry chef but i don't know a pastry chef anywhere that doesn't view the freezer as essential --

and malou1021, yes i tort first too -- i hate to get cakes out of the freezer and make another big mess with them -- i just want smooth sailing, nice orderly & clean, ice & decorate -- bam

Webake2gether Posted 26 Apr 2015 , 12:48pm
post #21 of 27

We are not opposed to the freezer we actually use ours. I think because we aren't a fully operating business yet and still just baking for friends and family we really haven't had enough "orders" at one time to need to bake and freeze but hopefully we'll have that before too long.  Oh and I'll have no problem saying no I say it a lot already to people who ask us to do cakes and we just can't sell right now. This whole experience has been a great learning experience that I'm glad we went through now and learned the importance of planning and preparing  before we are fully functioning baking company. Now the next thing I'll be figuring out after our cake plan is pricing but I'm sure that's a completely different conversation lol. 

810whitechoc Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 4:34am
post #22 of 27

I've been watching this thread as my husband and I have been baking and working together for 21 years.  We started out much the same as you, only I did everything he wasn't involved right at the start, but as the business grew we made the decision to take it seriously and make it our business.  We bought our own home, have raised 2 wonderful children who are now adults and no longer living at home, and 18 months ago bought our own business premises rather than rent, all on proceeds from our baking.

I had 2 great business people offer us invaluable pieces of information.  THINK LIKE A BUSINESS. The first: from day 1 (that means now) treat it as a business.  Pricing is a huge job, but absolutely crucial, make that a priority now.  There are so many threads on here from experienced business owners and if you check, all of them say over and over - get your pricing right. 

Second: Decide who is doing what.  By that I mean write down all the different jobs and decide who is responsible for what.  My husband is our Storeman, he networks with suppliers, makes sure we don't run out of ingredients and over time has worked out the most efficient and cost effective way of storing everything and knows to the cent how much ingredients cost.

I am the Designer, I chat to customers, design cakes, price and quote. I also take the pricing and price out all our regular cakes so we know what profit we are making.

That is just an example, there are heaps of other jobs and we sat down and worked out who was responsible for what.  The advantage is that you both are not having to think about every detail for every order, you are responsible for your part and he is responsible for his.  Think about it like your paying job that you are doing, you do your job and your colleagues do theirs to make the whole thing work, and if everybody was working on every job you would be running around like headless chickens! 

Be kind to each other and communicate, by that I mean listen to your partner, put yourselves in each other's place and understand why something is not working for them and together work out a solution.

Pay attention to the paperwork, keep records and make it your business to understand how a small business works (I could write a book on this!).

Good luck to you and congratulations your first order was a success. 


Webake2gether Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 12:34pm
post #23 of 27

@810whitechoc- That is soooo awesome that you and your husband work together like that!! Thank you so much for all your advice. My husband is a service manager/director at a car dealership and is a numbers man he is business minded (thank goodness) he's also very creative and artistic. I manage ingredient/supplies costs and most of our "orders" come through me because he works and it's our friends and family.  I love the idea of sitting down and assigning tasks to each of us didn't think of that honestly. And looking at what happened with this last cake order if we would have sat down and did that I'm certain it wouldn't have been so stressful. 

I do believe we have a market where I am for custom cakes but pricing is tricky. But thankfully we do view this as a business even though we aren't there quite yet and when we make something we figure out how much we think we should charge and I asked another local baker who has been very helpful to us what she charges and it was right on with what I had figured for that particular order. The more and more I learn about this business the more I realize that custom cake orders will only be a small part of it. I am going to start making more desserts that can be made in large quantities and take less time and see if that appeals to our potential customer base. I'm actually really good at breads (banana, zucchini, etc) peach cobblers, pies and sugar cookies custom iced with buttercream. Oh and my husband makes to die for fudges and cookies. So we aren't limited to just cakes and I hope that will be significant to our business :) here is my email if you liked to chat that way or have me send some pics. I don't like the uploading on here with my phone lol. 

Webake2gether Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 12:35pm
post #24 of 27

Oh here is my email geez 

Jinkies Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 10:08pm
post #25 of 27

@Webake2gether, I am loving your enthusiasm.  I just officially launched my biz so I'm maybe a step or two ahead of you.   I don't post much but I've spent countless hours combing these forums and soaking in all the great business advice. It is really slow going and a lot of work but hoping it will pay off in the end.

Good luck on your journey.  Looking forward to both of our success!

Webake2gether Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 10:24pm
post #26 of 27


awesome glad to hear there are others in about the same stage of the baking journey :) 

I hope things keep going well for you as well!! This site is great and so far all the other posters have all pretty much been great too!!!

mark78_fd Posted 8 May 2015 , 2:23am
post #27 of 27

It gets easier with time, patience, and lots of practice. I remember starting a few years back, I recently opened my restaurant too, it's very hard for me to keep up with the dishes I need to cook because baking takes a lot of time and energy from you, but right now, I got the hang of it. Just practice, practice, practice.

Cantina Restaurant

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