I'm here for a little encouragement. I'm sure everyone has been where I am at some point. I've been doing cakes as a fun hobby for 4 years (although I take very minimal orders - like 1-2 cakes a month...some months I don't have any - because I stay home with my kids and homeschool and it's just too much to be doing cakes full-time on top of that. But one day....) and I'm starting to get bored with your typical cake or tiered cake. I'm dying to get into sculpting, gravity defying, etc. - anything that has a "surprising" aspect to it.
The perfect order for me to try something different came along this week for a rocket ship themed cake. I thought I could have the cake be a rocket ship blasting off into space - so the cake is lifted off the cake board and I'd have fire be where the separator was. I'd figured out structure/support and everything. Well, when it comes down to it - I'm just too darn scared to take a risk on something I've never done before for a kid's birthday cake! What if I overlooked a tiny detail that completely ruined the cake?
I've changed the design to something "safer" but I'm feeling discouraged - if I don't take risks, how will I ever move to the next level? I know some of you will say to practice - so if I make a practice cake, then what the heck do I do with it? I hate to invest so much money and ingredients if I'm not going to sell it, or at least get my money out of it. These cakes aren't cheap to make!
Sorry for the whining and thank you for reading :P Would love your thoughts! Happy caking!!
Honestly, when you sell cakes 99.9% of them aren't going to be exciting. If you want to try that kind of thing you'll have to do it on your own time. There's no way around it, unfortunately.
I don't remember who said it, but I remember someone saying that they took a class with Mike McCarey and said something to him about how much fun it would be to make cakes like that for people. He laughed and said something to the effect that people don't actually buy cakes like that, and that most of what he sells is regular wedding cakes or whatever. And Duff Goldman once said that the majority of what they do are classic wedding cakes, not the ones they show them making on tv.
Also, I would NEVER do anything with fire or open flames with a cake setup. I understand the idea of wanting to do something interesting, but that's not a good idea!
Oh goodness I did not mean real fire! HAHA! No, I meant fire made out of fondant or modeling chocolate. Sorry I should have made that more clear!!!
Hahaha! Good...There was a Craftsy class where the instructor was waving a torch around like it was nothing, almost setting things on fire, so I don't assume anything anymore :/
Wait....I can't put pyrotechnics on my cake? People do it on tv all the time so why can't I? I can have it coming out of the rocket ship going towards the board. What's wrong with that????
No but in all seriousness, do you think I made the right decision about the rocket ship cake for next weekend? I KNOW the support structure I had planned is correct (confirmed it with a friend here who sculpts)...I just hate taking a risk on an actual order! And this poor kid, what if something goes wrong? His cake would be ruined!
I'd go ahead and do it, why not? If you're worried about it being top-heavy the only dangerous part would be the transport, so you could do the base of it in cake and the top of the rocket in rice krispies to keep it light. Could you potentially do the setup at the party itself so that you don't have to move it while it's on a pedestal or however you were planning on doing it? When I do tricky structures like that I try to set things up at the site and as close to presentation time as possible to give gravity less time to do its dirty work.
Or you could have the base sitting on a slightly smaller styrofoam round that had flames all around it, and that way it would look like the fire was coming out the end of the rocket when you sat it on top of that. I'd go for it since you really don't get too many chances to do stuff like this in general.
Ok, I'm going to have to muster up the courage to try it, but tell me if you agree with my plans. The cake only needs to feed 15 people so I was going to do a double-barrel 3-layer 6" cake. It will be a little extra but the rocket needs to be long. I was going to set the cake on a 6" drum and dowel it down into the drum with probably 3 wooden dowels. Lifting the cake off the board, I have a 2 1/2" diameter styrofoam cylinder that's about 6" tall. I was going to have a 12" base and then I was going to run a long 1/2" dowel through the entire cake and cylinder down into the base. I've just never run a dowel through styrofoam so I don't know how well it would work.
Just make 2 cakes.
Make your daring, OMG 3-D Rocket Cake. Play. Have fun. Explore new horizons.
Make a safe, quick, 1 tier cake with a fondant rocket.
If the second cake is needed because the 3-D Rocket fell apart, you can use your "safe", back-up cake. If the back-up cake isn't needed, freeze it and give it away to someone else.
BTW.... kids do NOT care if their fancy 3-D Rocket Ship cake falls apart. They want presents. Only the baker and the parents care. In this particular case, it sounds like you may be the only one who wants to make a fancy 3-D rocket cake. I can't imagine for a second that you may be charging Fancy 3-D prices if there are only 15 servings needed.
You may wish to read a fascinating insight into cake by an interesting man, Mike Elder of Black Sheep Custom Cakes.
The cake plans sound cute, post a photo when you're done!
oh sure do it -- putting dowel though styrofoam is fine -- do it all the time --
what's the purpose of the half inch dowel?
for a structure three dowel is kinda risky -- even though the cakes are small i'd use 4 quarter inch wooden dowel to hold things up -- or better yet -- skewers -- and i'd actually use 5 skewers in a 6" for a structure -- you don't want to use so many the cake falls apart from perforation but you want enough in there to be secure -- and skewers are very tiny --
in fact what i actually do is use the pointy tip of the skewer which will attach to the board just a bit -- so it grabs -- then have the skewers inserted into the skinny drinking straws for the support so the skewer doesn't just keep going through the board --
works for moi -- i make purses to scale and when you have a twelve inch tall cake that's five inches wide at the bottom and tapers upward -- you've got to use some teeny weeny extra secure doweling
Hey y'all! just an update - I didn't end up doing my original design, but I did go out on a limb and make my first fondant figure and 3D topper (and was mostly satisfied with the results, given it was my first attempt at them) - so I'm still excited I ventured into new territory! Hooray! Thanks again for the encouragement - I'm not a risk taker by nature and probably need to step it up if I'm going to get better! Will try to post a pic but if it doesn't work there's one in my gallery (the outer space cake).
Love it! Great job for your first attempt.
Thanks apti! But why does my rocket look like it has cellulite?? Ha! That's the only thing I see when I look at the picture and it really bugs me. I sanded the styrofoam before I covered it.
Aerodynamic stress on a vehicle in atmospheric flight causes the cellulite, not you. (lol)
OH, I love your rocket ship cake! You did a great job. Yes, the pic is small (if it could be enlarged I didn't) so if there are any 'goofs' I didn't see them.