Originally Posted by melimel00
I agree with everything that has been posted on here so far. I too was in your shoes last year and this is what I did to help:
1. Bake at least 5-7 days prior and freeze cakes
2. Make fillings, buttercream 1-2 days in advance (I use fresh ingredients- I could probably get away with making the fillings and buttercream 3 days in advance, but I'm worried about everything staying fresh!)
3. Make fondant, gumpaste, all edible decorations as soon as possible- weeks in advance if possible (this will save a lot of time!)
4. Cover all cake boards etc (I'm talking about what the cake will actually be on-I usually use a triple thick cardboard and wrap it with floral foil)
5. PLAN PLAN PLAN ahead! Once I receive payment and the order is official- I go to my calendar, enter the order then plan the previous 7-10 days before that order is due. If I am lucky to get more than 14 days notice, I will plan weeks ahead of time and make gumpaste flowers, figures etc weeks ahead of time then store them safely in a plastic storage box. Make lists of ingredients and supplies that you'll need for the orders of that week so that you're only making 1-3 trips to the grocery store or cake supply store.
6. Charge more for your cakes, set a minimum dollar amount or serving amount.
7. Only take a limited number of orders per week
8. STRICTLY ENFORCE #6 and #7- I think I'm superwoman sometimes and overbook myself which results in very late nights and grumpiness- if you have any doubts as to whether or not you can fit it all in, don't take the order.
I do buy pre-made fondant. I use Fondx to cover the cakes. I use Satin Ice pre colored fondant for all my color needs. This saves a LOT of time- you're not sitting there kneading color into fondant all day!
Make sure to take care of yourself during the whole process! If you aren't well, then your cakes will suffer. Take a weekend off if you need it. I took the entire summer off after getting burned out during the spring wedding season. It was exactly what I needed and I got all my cake motivation back!
I think we can all agree that sometimes cakes take longer than you planned- I think that's something that can never truly be avoided no matter how much experience we have :(
Make sure to really ENFORCE charging more for your cakes and taking a limited number of orders! This will really help! I hope that helps! :)