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How long does it take you to make a cake!?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I feel like I am taking forever to make my cakes...I am a bit of a perfectionist and I fuss over things that others cannot even see but I really think that I'm taking WAY too long to do a cake! It's like a full time job, without the full time money! haha
post #2 of 35
It takes me forever to make a cake too. I don't have doubles of most of my pans, so I have to bake 1 layer at a time, wait for it to cool, wash the pan, then bake the next layer, so it usually takes me a good 3 -4 hours just baking time, then up to an hour mixing & coloring my icing, probably another hour to make fillings, torte & fill and stack the cake, THEN I can start decorating, which takes me anywhere from 3 - 7 hours, depending what I'm doing. The last cake I made was a two-tiered basketweave with roses cascading down the sides, it took me 10 hours total to make, 4 hours the night before and 6 hours the day of.
post #3 of 35
It takes me awhile too. Usually a few hours here and there over three days. Mix frosting and color, bake and crumb coat/frost, decorate. The decorating still takes me forever but I think part of it is I'm still so new I'm nervous to rush anything. I notice little things have started to get faster, like making and coloring frosting, the time it takes to frost and smooth a cake.
post #4 of 35
FOREVER!! lol ... It's nothing for me to spend 3-5 hours and more just w/the decorating part of the cake .. that' excludes all the baking, cooling, crumb coating of the cake ..
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
post #5 of 35
Heehee, well like my youngest that used to work decorating cakes always says, none of use would ever be hired by a bakery, haha!
Gosh, I vary a lot, sometimes, like for a Barbie cake, I can do it in about 20-25 minutes for the decorating part and the baking and making the icing is about 1 1/2 hours. Character cakes usually less than or around 1 - 1/2 hours. But wedding cakes, well I spend way more time on those. Plus if you make gumpaste or fondant flowers, they can take many days to do.
Buttercream transfers, well I can be slow at those. All of that mixing the colours and lttle areas to fill in and such. Plus I make separate icing for it and usually do it ahead and freeze it at least overnight or a couple of days or weeks.
I find some things easier to do, others harder. Plus if you are doing a lot, you need to take breaks because your arms do get tired.
Don't feel bad, it can take a long time to do a cake. So we might not be able to work in a bakery and we may be working for peanuts, as long as we are happy with the results, right?
It is the darn cleanup afterwards that takes forever and it is just what you feel like doing, right, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #6 of 35
I agree with Cheryl, it takes me forever to make any kind of cake. I think a big part of it is that I have not really made a ton of cakes and I have been trying different things so there is the learning curve. I also have not done enough cakes so that I have a good feel for the best way to go about creating the picture in my head or the most efficient way to use my time. I think a lot of it is practice and experience.

On the bright side, I can only get faster!

post #7 of 35
Well I wouldn't worry about how much time it takes you, the main thing is to do as good a job as you can so that you are happy with the results. I know of a lot of folks that can turn out cakes in minutes but if they took a bit more time they would have better results. I think that some people are more perfectionists than others and that is fine, we are all different!
And you are right, you do get faster as you get familiar with what you are doing. Everytime you do something different, it will take more time. If you did exactly the same cake 20 times in a row, you would be faster as you go along because you would be familiar with what you were doing.
If you don't do cakes for awhile, it takes longer and you tire more easily too.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #8 of 35
Phew!! I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one spending hours and hours on my cakes. 'icon_razz.gif' As I've been doing more and more this past month, I'm gaining speed and organization skills that really help. I've been baking the cakes and making all the frosting and coloring it usually at night, then decorate the next day if the time allows. If not, I do it all in one day but usually spend 6-8 hours start to finish. It really does help me to have all my decorating supplies layed out and ready to go which includes having my bags filled with tips on, hot soapy water in the sink to wash as I go, some music playing and my kids in school. LOL!

I'm kind of getting a routine down so I know it'll get faster as I go. But like some of you, it's still pretty much an all day event just to do one cake. I am really looking forward to making a wedding cake someday but man...the pressure! EEK!!

I competed on Ultimate Cake Off- Monster Jam!
I competed on Ultimate Cake Off- Monster Jam!
post #9 of 35
I have literally been in the kitchen all day!!! I just finished cleaning up the HUGE mess!!!! I made several cakes today...I did the wilton butterfly on top of a 12x18 sheet, wilton wonder mold on top of 11x15 sheet(rock climbing cake), 12x18 sheet first birthday, 6 inch round first birthday smash cake, and 2 dozen cupcakes!!!! I am really glad I am done and I hope I did not forget about anyone's order!!! I better check my book to make sure!!! icon_smile.gif
Sharing is caring.
Sharing is caring.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
I really like doing it and I like the final product...I just don't know how anyone makes a living out of it! I'm glad I'm not the only one...I thought I was just really slow at it! haha
post #11 of 35
I have actually gotten WAY faster at the decorating part. The wedding cake I made I decorated the whole thing in about 45 minutes. All 3 layers.

The baking takes a while becuase of my oven size and just the time it takes to bake things off. I don't really "count" that too much when I'm not actively making batter or cleaning up. I try and do my icings when the cakes are baking.

I need to get a bit faster at my smoothing. I'm getting there and I've cut my time in half with the smoothing.

Now--my quick time is for cakes that I've diagramed on paper or have a good idea in my head of what I want to do with it. If I'm out of ideas or don't know quite what I want to do---that's another story altogether! lol!

At this point, if I know where I'm going with something, it's just a matter of executing my plan.

post #12 of 35
Time varies with each cake...I do sugar work and it depends upon the kind of flowers, amounts needed etc.

The Rememberance cake I did took about 60 hours total time.

You will get faster with the baking and icing as you do more cakes...when I first started I took forever at it too.

I've learned to keep a notebook..each cake I do I make notes. I list colors I I mixed them... flavors I used..and any little problems I may have had..what I would do differently, that sort of thing. It helps me to recall what I did and how I did it.

I also have a planner for each cake. Once a client orders something I jot down ideas..rough sketches, etc.
post #13 of 35
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only slow one. I like to take my time because I've found that if I try to be fast, I make alot of mistakes that have to be corrected. Plus I give my hands a much needed rest.
post #14 of 35
Hi fellow cake decorators-When I was hired at the bakery where I work, I thought the owner was going to have a coronary!! He would hover over me and ask the dumbest questions--"are you going to add a border, are you about done, do you need a box-I'll get one for you!!"

I knew I didn't want to work under those circumstances, so I told him to "hire a whiz-bang decorator" who could dec a cake in 20 minutes. Well, they didn't want to loose me, so we compromized--I work on comission now. I do my own thing, at my pace. I have found ways to speed up, when I need to, but I'm like so many others-a perfectionist. If it takes me 6hrs to dec a wedding cake--it doesn't bother him!!I'm the one loosing money--but I truly love the work, and he lets me try anything new. This little town doesn't know what hit it sometimes!! Fun-fun-fun Carol
post #15 of 35
It's true that the more cakes you do, the more comfortable you are doing it. I just started making cakes for customers in June, after 11 years of doing them only for family and friends as gifts. Now instead of digging around for tools I used to only use 6-7 times a year, I have a cart and organized shelves for all of my cake equipment. I have stockpiles of boxes and boards and now it's not such a long trip to the cake supply store because I know what I need and I am not as anxious as I was just a few months ago!
I think I've gotten a bit faster too, but I still can take a couple of hours to do a Wilton on top of a sheet, etc. AND, it depends what's on the television and if the children are awake or not! I'm just glad to be doing something that lets me be creative and stay home with my kids. So don't worry about how long, just deal with how good your work is!
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