How Did Everyone Get Started In Baking?

Lounge By Webake2gether Updated 20 May 2015 , 6:25am by mccantsbakes

Webake2gether Posted 10 May 2015 , 1:08pm
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I was just curious how you all got into baking....it happened to us by accident and actually out of nowhere especially for me as I am amazed that I can actually bake from scratch and it's edible lol. We baked christmas goodies for about 6 years and then over the summer (2014) I began baking zucchini bread from scratch then banana bread to pumpkin bread which needed a glaze then from the glaze i figured out I could make my own butter cream next thing you now in October  people wanted to start buying our homemade treats from us so we've decided to pursue starting our own business :) So in less than 4 months we went from using canned icing on cookies to making custom cakes and a wide variety of other delicious goodies from scratch recipes. We still have a lot to learn and that's why I love Cake Central so many experienced bakers on here willing to help newbies like us out. I found in baking something I really enjoy doing and can pour my obsessive energy into. I get to work alongside my husband as he is majorly talented (he's very artistic and can just about do anything the first time he tries) and it's something I can actually see myself doing for the rest of my life. Please share your story on how you all got started I'd love to hear it  :)

Here are the latest cookies I did for Easter 

http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/3339698/sugar-cookies-iced-with-buttercream


I've done a ton of different ones and will upload them if you want!!


27 replies
SweetShop5 Posted 10 May 2015 , 1:13pm
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I've always loved baking cookies, brownies and such for fun but when I turned 16 years old, my mom got me an amazing two tier zebra print birthday cake from a bakery. My cousin then said, I've always wanted to be able to do this and take classes at Michaels. Then I told her I wanted to do the same. We both agreed to take the all four courses, and we realized we were actually pretty good. We posted our work from the classes on Facebook, and mutual friends started ordering cakes. We never discussed doing this, it just kind of happened. We then made a Facebook page and to this day we're making tons of cakes! I love it! 

And of course every year I make my own birthday cake, which in this case was yesterday, because its the only chance I get to do what I really want. Here it is: http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/3339591/disney-themed-birthday-cake

I also feel a sense of accomplishment when I make them because just 3 years ago, my mom had someone else make my cake. Its crazy!

MimiFix Posted 10 May 2015 , 4:09pm
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Webake2gether Posted 10 May 2015 , 5:36pm
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I was asking more so about how everyone came to love baking and what inspired them to start. And I often use the search engine and I don't particularly care for it as it starts with the oldest posts first. I'm more interested in the current answer and not ones from 2005. Also I'm new to this and want to interact with other current posters. I'm sorry if the questions that keeping popping up make you sigh "ahh"  but I thought this was a forum for people to post on and interact with fellow bakers.

I'm not being snotty or have any sort of attitude so please don't misread my reply I'm just kind of surprised by other posters who seem bothered by new people asking questions. Maybe I misread your response and if so I apologize but if we're not here to post what's the purpose of this website? 

MimiFix Posted 10 May 2015 , 5:46pm
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Okay, sorry, but you did totally misinterpret my response. I must have not written it clearly. I don't think older posts are out-of-date. Everyone has a unique story and it's fascinating to hear their stories. Again, my apologies.

Webake2gether Posted 10 May 2015 , 6:21pm
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I too apologize for misreading it I've read it multiple times and still took it the same way as the first time. Thanks for the links to the other posts :) 

i searched previous posts the other day and so much came up that was irrelevant to what I was needing to know so I posted the question and turns out the one answer I did find was not accurate. So maybe that's why I'm not seeing it the way you intended :) 

rychevamp Posted 10 May 2015 , 6:47pm
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I've been baking since I was able to sit on a counter. My grandmother, aunt and grandfather were all great cooks.

My grandmother would give me biscuit dough to roll and cut when she made it every morning.  My grandfather carved me a small rolling pin to use, and I still have it, mounted in a shadow box.

I always baked cakes, cookies, etc. for parties and family gatherings. 

Then, I went to culinary school and majored in pastry.  I have been baking professionally for almost 18 years now.  With no end in sight :).


jgifford Posted 10 May 2015 , 9:41pm
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I've loved cooking since I could reach the knobs on the stove.  My grandmother would let me make cakes at her house after school (from mixes, of course).  Then came the day I had to plan my DD's first birthday.

I found an adorable cake in a magazine, complete with recipe and instructions.   Lo and behold, it turned out great and, in my humble opinion, looked better than the pictures in the magazine.  I was hooked.  I started baking constantly and made cakes for every occasion.  Getting the recipes right came very easily so I concentrated on decorating.  At the time, I didn't know there were classes on decorating so I figured out on my own how to do the beautiful cakes I saw. 

I have no creative ability (well, not much anyway) so I rely on the really talented people for inspiration, but all I need is an idea and I can run with it. I had just started my cake business when the company my DH and I worked for transferred both of us where we are now.  The area we now live in is NOT my target market.  Folks around here aren't going to pay more than $30 for a cake so any special ones I do now are gifts.  One of these days though......

-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2015 , 11:36pm
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i also started baking as a child -- disdained home ec in high school (?) idk don't ask me -- what's a matter w/me -- later i took a bread baking lesson from a bakery on the north side of chicago in the 70's made an unleavened loaf to take home and bake -- mine bounced off the bicycle handlebars and splatted on halstead street -- but i picked out the debris and baked it anyhow :)  later on i volunteered to knead many loaves at one time that they then sold to the public -- wouldn't the health dept have a sh*t fit about those little vignettes -- hahaha -- i think at that time you had to be certified by them with a tb test and whatever else --  because i was a head chef i could play in the dough --

at this time i was head chef at a 'health food' restaurant -- and i can't even really cook this is not modesty -- then in the early 70's i worked as one of two bakers pulling four 10-hour days on four days off -- loved this -- then i started my own bread business working out of a school kitchen -- then i became the baker at the school and the kids started asking me to do their wedding cakes -- ugh ok i guess -- so i learned from wilton yearbooks -- after having a couple babies i got hired by a bakery & decorated for them -- polished up my skills there and always kept studying -- could never launch my own place here in tn due to the laws -- all this pre-internet --

i've really enjoyed most parts of working for others you really do learn a lot and i've always done cakes from home for family & friends -- early retired now with arthritis -- wish i could still work -- but i never got carpel tunnel fwiw -- and piping is/was my strength -- appreciate getting to get on here and talk cake

i've worked in at least 9 bakeries plus my own over the 40 years er let's see 45 now -- dang wow

Natka81 Posted 11 May 2015 , 3:19am
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I started baking when I was 14 , I lived in Asia back then. One of my first cakes was 3 ingredient italian sponge with patisserie cream for filling and Seven minutes frosting piped with star tip all over the cake for decoration. Also Napoleon cake, Russian Medovik Cake. 

I bake something Every week for my family. It doesn't have to be decorated cake.

I started selling my cakes 5 years ago.

Every time when I am cleaning up after finishing cake order, I ask my self is this what you want to do all your life?  Yes.

I am not going to say I do it for love of baking, it is just a thing where I fill like fish in water. 

I never went to pastry school or worked in bakery environment. 

I am baker by nature , it came from my mom. I remember how she threw leftover ingredients from fridge to bowl,whipped everything with a whisk and baked most delicious cake.



cakesrock Posted 11 May 2015 , 3:48am
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   I have always loved to bake, but my Mom didn't like it much so I didn't get my fix as a kid. I had to wait until I grew up to hone the skill. Though I was never very interested in science, the science of baking fascinates me.  It is more challenging than cooking because you can't really taste it as you go along... 

    My aunt also used to bring me really cool decorated cakes for my birthdays in the 70's and I said," I am going to do that when I grow up!". I took a couple of Wilton classes and have been decorating cakes for about 14 yrs. Did a little business on the side for a few yrs, but much prefer just doing it for family and friends. My kids love helping to design their birthday cakes every year!

  About 4 yrs ago, I started working on the "inside" of the cake and creating my own recipes. Then I got into cooking contesting, which is a lot of fun! II have always considered myself a baker, but ironically,, I have won many more cooking (savory) contests, than baking contests! 

Natka81 Posted 11 May 2015 , 10:44am
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I wish I loved cooking as much as baking. 

Naivohw Posted 12 May 2015 , 1:07am
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My grandma was a Home Ec and English teacher and had me baking (and reading!) when I was 3-4. I grew up in a family that did pretty much all home cooking, as well as canning and such, since we lived in the country. I had a stint helping my mom make homemade pies for a big orchard up here when I was in my early teens. I was considering culinary school, but I ended up going to Disney World for a costuming internship (I also sew a ton) and shelved the culinary idea. I regret that now, since I really WANT to go to culinary school but paying the bills and considering starting a family doesn't lend itself to school. I've always loved baking (and cooking to a slightly lesser degree) but I never did many decorated cakes.

Anyway, I ended up working at a grocery store bakery on the closing shift (so no cake decorating, just baking bread and cookies and cleaning duties).  As soon as I found out our decorator was pregnant and wasn't planning to come back, I started taking cake decorating classes. It came pretty naturally to me, so when she was officially leaving I applied for the job and got it. I've branched out into practicing the more advanced techniques on my own (like gumpaste, fondant, things grocery stores don't do) I'm getting to the point where I have a good enough portfolio to think about applying at some "real" bakeries around town, so I am working on my scratch recipe development as well.

malou1021 Posted 12 May 2015 , 5:35am
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Decorating cakes never entered my mind until my first son turned one in 2011. I made everything from scratch and when it came to decorating it I had my sister help me because she had experience working at a bakery before. It was a really cute half sheet cake in a monkey theme. She basically did most of the work because she is just a doer type. We didn't know how to get rid of all the powder sugar on the fondant so we, including nieces, started dabbing water on the cake. Little did we know that water is like the cryptonite of fondant. But the cake survived and it was cute and yummy. Well, that peeked my interest so I started obsessing over it and I talked my sis in law into letting me make a purse cake for her daughters bday. My profile picture was that purse cake and it is officially my first cake because I did it all by myself. When I posted it on fb the rest was history. 

Happyfood Posted 19 May 2015 , 12:04am
post #15 of 28

My sister and I used to take the frosting out of the middle of those pink, orange, and brown straw cookies and use it in our Play Doh fun factory so I guess I have always loved playing with my food!

Actually the baking hobby really hit when my boys were teenagers.  They required LOTS of food and they had quirky ideas for birthday cakes and cut out cookies.  It turned into a fun, learn-as-you- go hobby.   With an art background, this was a great outlet for creativity so now I get to bake stuff and instead of eating it all myself, get to make people happy by sharing my creativity with them.  Best thing is that since baking is not my livelihood, I can push myself to try to new things and not worry about getting it perfect for a customer.  It has been tons of fun learning new skills and while I did not get a chance to go the professional school route, there is something satisfying in learning through the trial and error method.

Sometimes I think about trying to turn my baking interest into a real job but with the rest of my obligations and volunteer work to tend to, it has remained a really fun hobby instead.


-K8memphis Posted 19 May 2015 , 12:51am
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natka -- your mom didn't use a mixer? ouch -- but wow you have some serious baking dna -- very cool

Natka81 Posted 19 May 2015 , 2:02am
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K8memphis, we didn't have stand mixers back then. We used hand mixer or whisk. I remember that whipping up  egg whites for meringue with whisk, took about 30 minutes. 


We also had what you guys call" home economics" class, where we learned all the basics of baking,  cooking, sewing and knitting.

Yes, I guess baking is in my DNA

mark78_fd Posted 19 May 2015 , 2:25am
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Learned from the missus who is great at making pastries, a few years after we decided to open a restaurant which doesn't only sell her pastries, but other dishes as well.



Cantina Restaurant

julia1812 Posted 19 May 2015 , 6:16am
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Ya, it's funny how people actually kind of slowing get pulled into baking. Unconsciously sort of.

My granny had a farm so it was normal to help out. We had our own eggs, milk, butter, cream, meat, flour, veggies and fruits. 

Most fun when I was very young was making Christmas cookies and cakes for the weekend, birthdays etc. Having all ingredients free and fresh available kind of spoilt me I think

mccantsbakes Posted 19 May 2015 , 8:23am
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For me, I guess I have always been a baker.   My Mammaw who did everything from scratch, started me out on cookies and rolling out pie crust as a little girl.  

I have always been obsessed with cakes.   I have a special fondness for buttercream roses, they remind me of childhood and some whimsical idea that I could do them someday.   A pipe dream if you will.

What I have always loved about baking is the structure of a recipe.    Everything you need for success is RIGHT there.  I love the control and rules and precision of measuring.   Amidst chaos, I find baking to be so calming....just follow the rules and it will all turn out ok.   

I didn't get started on cakes until about 5 years ago.  I made my sons birthday cake.  It was a disaster.  But I had a great time doing it.   From there I began reading and learning about structure of cakes, icing, and technique.    I have taught myself everything I know.  (I have so much yet to learn....as with any field of interest.)  I was getting pretty confident about my skills and really considering taking it on as a profession.....but that wasn't to be at the time, this was 18 months ago.  

i just re entered the baking world two months ago  after a year long hiatus.    A close family member of mine was murdered, and it knocked the wind and all passion for baking out of me.      My family member was one of my biggest supporters of my craft, and for a while there I didn't think I would ever touch another cake.....it just felt like too much effort for something "happy" when my world was nothing but loss and trying to find a new normal...clawing my way back from that to once again feel the love and passion for the art, feels like beginning again.    

I am not the same baker as I was 18 months ago.  My passion for it is now rooted in surviving the unthinkable and finding joy again.  

SquirrellyCakes Posted 19 May 2015 , 8:54am
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mccantsbakes, my sympathy for your loss.

-K8memphis Posted 19 May 2015 , 12:06pm
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yes me too, mccantsbakes -- so sorry to hear of your loss -- 

-K8memphis Posted 19 May 2015 , 12:12pm
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mccantsbakes -- have you tried/mastered piping the rose yet? i too had a desire to learn piping from a booklet of ornately piped cakes mom had and as a kid i got a bakery birthday cake once with different colored roses on it -- wow that was really something --


Webake2gether Posted 19 May 2015 , 12:45pm
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Wow so interesting hearing everyone's stories!!! @Mccantsbake so sorry to hear of such a tragedy and loss but also amazing to hear the passion and drive it has given you now!!!

Thanks everyone for sharing sounds like a lot of us had mothers/grandmothers that sowed the seed of baking. My grandma did that for me now looking back at all the bunny cakes we did and all her baking from scratch she did with me. It wasn't until my husband and I started baking that I realized I could actually do it myself.  My grandma loves our cakes and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to see her enjoy something I've made since I've enjoyed her baking my whole life.  Everything is new to me and I love the excitement of trying new things and it being delicious. I love seeing people enjoy what I make it's unbelievable to me that I'm actually good at it lol. My husband is awesome in the kitchen so it's no surprise to me he can do this :) 

remnant3333 Posted 19 May 2015 , 12:54pm
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 mccantsbakes, Sorry for your loss!! I am glad you found your passion back again!!  It is very hard to recover but time heals all wounds!! Hang in there and keep your faith!!

My mom worked when I was little so I don't remember ever baking anything when I was little except a chocolate, peanut butter with oatmeal cookies that we cooked on the stovetop. We did not get sweets too often because mom was always too tired from working.

I got interested in baking later in life once I retired. I studied a lot of you tube videos and started making cakes for a few select kids in my neighborhood just for practice. The kids enjoy the cakes even if they don't come out perfect!!  I just do it for fun!!!

I can not imagine ever doing cakes for a living!! Some of you out there are so talented!!! I enjoy cake central and have learned many valuable  hints about baking from here also. All of you guys rock!!! I just want to say thank you to all here who have taught me many things over the years about baking!! I do appreciate each and every one of you!!!

mccantsbakes Posted 19 May 2015 , 7:15pm
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Thank you everyone for the kind words.   


I am definitely at a place where I am ready and fully welcome passion for good stuff again.  It's really exciting....and bittersweet too.


This past weekend I tackled self-introduction to gumpaste flowers.  Man are those things fussy and fragile.    Not sure if I will be falling in love with doing them....we shall see. 


Kate,  I can functionally pipe roses.  I can't do them on a cake yet, but with a flower nail and some luck I can.   But for the life of me, I cannot master any kind of drop flowers.  It is something that frustrates me endlessly.   (Perhaps because I am left handed? Or maybe I just don't get it....sigh) one day........I will. 

It's funny the things we struggle with, for me it's the basic stuff that I just can't nail.....but I can sculpt fondant  pretty well, I can functionally cover cakes in it.   I NAIL internal cake structure....oh man am I good at making sturdy layers.    


-K8memphis Posted 20 May 2015 , 12:42am
post #27 of 28

mccantsbakes -- well i also pipe mine on rose nails and then slide 'em off onto a cake -- if you can get the rose done on a sunny day with a tail wind i know you can get it on the cake -- i pipe a blob of icing on the cake & plant the rose on the blob -- i pick it up off the nail with scissors then as i close the scissors i scoot the rose off of them with the other end of the nail -- 

and funny you should mention drop flowers -- if all my piping was laid end to end i've probably piped from memphis to st. louis and back -- but drop flowers -- there's really only one drop flower tube that i like to use -- and doing drop flowers is very mechanical -- you start the icing flow, touch it to the surface 90 degree straight up and down and just twist your elbow out so the bag in your hand twists out the icing and stop the flow so it cuts off -- purely mechanical -- not artistic or anything -- all you want is for that icing to come out twisted y'know right at the tip -- that's it -- you'll get it --

the tube i like is the one with five petals and the little finger dooey inside -- and not the real big one the small to medium sized one -- i think they just made all the different shapes so they would have more things to sell but i can't prove that -- hahahaha

mccantsbakes Posted 20 May 2015 , 6:25am
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Thank you for the tips!   I have some left over icing from my project today and I think I will just sit down tomorrow while the kids are at school and just practice piping.   

After I  get the hang of flowers, I want to learn to air brush.  (Should give me time to save up for one :). )


have a a fantastic night all!❤️

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