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A dummy hot air balloon cake

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone.

I have a request for a hot air balloon cake in primary colors that is made out of fake cake to be used as a center piece. The mom's only specs/request are primary colors and a hot air balloon. Her budget is between $50 and $75. Rest is upto me to decide..

I am thinking of a 4 or 6 inch square for the bottom. My question is, how can I make the balloon? Can I carve a styrofoam? Or maybe get a round foam ball and work with it? Has anyone been there, done that? Any experiences?

I have seen some threads on cakecentral for hot air balloons but not precisely what I am looking for.

On the same note, how do you price dummy cakes? It is the same amount of decorating time involved..
post #2 of 16
You could carve it out of styrofoam, then use cake pop sticks on four sides to make it look like how a balloon attaches to the basket (trying to visualize a hot hair balloon in my head) while holding the balloon above the cake.

Most of the costs are from decorations. Definitely a styrofoam cake takes as much time to decorate (subtract your ingredients and baking time) your still doing some carving and prep as with any cake, fondant, etc.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smckinney07 View Post

You could carve it out of styrofoam, then use cake pop sticks on four sides to make it look like how a balloon attaches to the basket (trying to visualize a hot hair balloon in my head) while holding the balloon above the cake.

Most of the costs are from decorations. Definitely a styrofoam cake takes as much time to decorate (subtract your ingredients and baking time) your still doing some carving and prep as with any cake, fondant, etc.


Thanks.. Yep.. That's what I am planning as well.. Just never carved a styrofoam.. I am still wondering what sizes I should use.. Ay input on that would be extremely helpful.
post #4 of 16
What size of cake? Or foam?
It depends on how intricate your design is and how much you typically charge for your work-since you already know their budget you want to make sure you provide the product they want while staying within their budget. So it has a lot to do with your fees, how much fondant your using, complexity of the design, how long it's going to take you-do you charge by the hour, etc.
If your asking about the size of the balloon that depends on the size of your base lol. Have I confused you enough yet
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Lol.. don't worry, I was confused to begin with. Since she doesn't have to feed this cake, she is not bothered with the size, big or small. So that's why I was confused..
Anyways, I have decided to do a 5-6 inch foam sphere and then a basket proportionate to the balloon.
post #6 of 16
Sounds cute! Can't wait to see how it turns out! When carving styrofoam I use an iron hanger with my mini torch it's much easier than trying to cut with a knife especially if you want a specific design!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smckinney07 View Post

Sounds cute! Can't wait to see how it turns out! When carving styrofoam I use an iron hanger with my mini torch it's much easier than trying to cut with a knife especially if you want a specific design!
Neat idea...I won't have to carve this time as I am starting off with a spherebut will keep in mind.
I am still waiting for a confirmation from the mom as I gave her two options and she said will need to ask her hubby. Let's see.. I am excited, hope she confirms soon.
post #8 of 16

You could add a LED tea light at the bottom to shine down and then take some yellow hard candy (Jolly Ranchers) that you have melted and break up, to make it look like fire coming down out of the balloon.  This would add a sweet touch and not add much to the cost at all. 

 

I do this same thing for campfire cakes!  It works well.
 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteangel View Post

You could add a LED tea light at the bottom to shine down and then take some yellow hard candy (Jolly Ranchers) that you have melted and break up, to make it look like fire coming down out of the balloon.  This would add a sweet touch and not add much to the cost at all. 

I do this same thing for campfire cakes!  It works well.

 

Oh wow!! That's an awesome idea! I cant wait to do this project. That's another story the mom has not gotten back to me yet. It surprises me that she herself said she wants within a certain budget and then when I give her two options with two prices within her budget, she tells me she will need to make sure and get back to me. More than 24 hours and no response icon_sad.gif Now this is for someone I know and don't want to circle back looking desperate. Oh well..
post #10 of 16

This is when you have to back way off.  If she is contacting you through texts or email...wait to respond for a while.  Had to do this with a friend also.  It worked.

 

I used Elmers glue to stick lighting in foam.  It is food safe and doesn't melt the foam like hot glue does.  Making a cake for my daughter's Sweet 16 that will have lots of little individual LED lights in the center of flowers.  Here is what I am using:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-SUBMERSIBLE-waterproof-LED-Light-Paper-Lantern-Balloon-Floral-WEDDING-Party/130657528606?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D261%26meid%3D8658507282733385886%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D150895048925%26

 

They are submersible so not worried about moisture from cake.  Because I don't really know what they are made with, once I get them, I am going to see if they fit inside a straw to keep them from touching cake.  They twist on and last 8 hours!

post #11 of 16

You really want to do all that work for that tiny budget? You're very generous.

*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
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post #12 of 16
If its due in 24hours and she's checking with her husband, after she already gave you a budget, she's acting funny. I wouldn't bother with it at this point, with no response and practically no time.
I don't want to get you down, maybe she simply doesn't realize it takes time to create something like this. I would give deadlines in the future, a contract, and I charge extra for a rush order.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smckinney07 View Post

If its due in 24hours and she's checking with her husband, after she already gave you a budget, she's acting funny. I wouldn't bother with it at this point, with no response and practically no time.
I don't want to get you down, maybe she simply doesn't realize it takes time to create something like this. I would give deadlines in the future, a contract, and I charge extra for a rush order.

I guess you are right.. Anyways, this was for next Saturday, the 20th.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

You really want to do all that work for that tiny budget? You're very generous.

Hmm.. usually I am the one giving quotes.. this was a first with a budget given first and asking me what I could do..

 

Anyways, she hasn;t responded yet. I will give her until noon tomorrow and if i don't hear back, then let her know that I wont be able to do it.

 

Thanks everyone was giving out your opinions and advise. I sure do learn something new everytime I come here..

post #15 of 16
I aske my customers about their budget, it helps save time I think. If I have someone who emails me a picture of a six tiered cake but her budget is >$300 I can immediately explain to her that this cake with exceed her budget. So she can either cut costs in a different area to have more money for her cake or we'll discuss how we can get her the cake of her dreams while staying within her budget.

Anyway, I would just send her a friendly email saying, "Payment and confirmation are required by ____ time tomorrow in order to secure your date and allow me to have your cake completed by ______." Or something like that. People that don't bake or decorate don't always realize how much goes into making these creations and how time consuming they actually are! If it were me I would charge an additional rush charge, for booking so late-but that's your call.
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