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Do you really make x, y, and z from scratch?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm just wondering how many folks here make everything from scratch. I know some of you make fondant, scratch cakes, etc. so far I've only baked from mixes and used commercial fondant. But I have made various buttercreams, ganaches, and tonight I made a double batch of modeling chocolate and a double batch of whit chocolate ganache. Do you really make a lot of thus from scratch? I'm just wondering because it takes me forever (especially the modeling chocolate).

Currently, I'm a serious hobbyist who's new to the game. However, I am considering the option of turning pro so I'm testing out techniques, brands of fondant, mucking colors, and recipes. Considering what I've seen folks price cake at on here, I can't imagine how it's possible to make a decent hourly rate making it all from scratch. Am I confused or dud I miss something?

I know this can be a sensitive subject for done folks and I'm not trying to start an argument. Us like to get some opinions straight from the horse's mouth. Thanks so much. As always, you guts are awesome!
post #2 of 25
Its a good question, im just a hobby baker also but i make most things from scratch. Things like fondant and gumpaste i buy, i did try and make homemade MMF but it didnt turn out right, so i gave up lol. Everything else i do make because its more satisfying to know that i created that, but i suppose if you run a business then some people just dont have the time to make everything themselves. I've yet to make modeling chocolate but i cant wait to try it icon_biggrin.gif
post #3 of 25

I think the better question to ask yourself is, can YOU handle making everything from scratch? If you have a high volume and go through pounds of fondant quickly or have last minute orders, will you have enough time to make it ahead of time or will your order get there in time if your local store doesn't carry it?  I like making my own gumpaste, fondant, modeling choc...BUT if I know I'm going to have a crazy week of orders and other life..I'll buy it to save my own sanity or make a huge batch ahead of time so I won't run out. Pre-made can save you time, but sometimes you get bad batches, so don't wait until last minute to open the package and try it out. You just have to figure out what works for you, regardless of what other people do!

 :-D 

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Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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post #4 of 25
I don't make my own fondant or ganache. Everything else is scratch.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #5 of 25

I make all my cakes, fillings, frostings, ganache, and fondant from scratch, at this point I haven't really done anything with modeling chocolate or gumpaste to have experimented with recipes or storebought for those. You should get a lot faster once you have made the same recipes a gazillion times, as well as if you have a larger volume of orders you can make all the buttercream or filling (if it's the same) for the week at once, that sort of thing. I really need to work on getting faster, because I know I dawdle and take too much time. I way underestimate what it really takes me, but I try to estimate the time it would take if I was at a decent pace.

Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; know that wisdom is thus for your soul...
Proverbs 24:13b-14a

 

~Licensed, inspected, home-based baker~

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Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; know that wisdom is thus for your soul...
Proverbs 24:13b-14a

 

~Licensed, inspected, home-based baker~

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post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the thoughtful responses! I don't think I will go down the path of making my own fondant, but I do like making other things from scratch. I do find it more fulfilling and I like that my baked goods look and taste how I want them to.

I really like Six's idea of making ahead of time. Does anyone know how long modeling chocolate and buttercream will keep for in the fridge? Also, can I mix all of the dry ingredients for a cake and quadruple it so that the next time I need to make a cake I have my own "mix" and I just add the wet ingredients?

I think JustDesserts is right too, I'm just starting out so I'm slow with everything. Once I figure out what works best for me and do it a couple of dozen times I'll hopefully get faster. I've also just signed up to do a 12 hour cake decorating course. It starts in late October and meets on e a week for four weeks. I'm really looking forward to that!

Thanks again!!!
post #7 of 25

Yes, I do because it is part of my USP (unique selling proposition).  However, I don't do fondant covered cakes, so I can't help you in that respect.  I think homemade/marshmallow fondant tastes terrible, though, so maybe you could look into the higher end fondants if you will be purchasing.

 

Liz

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Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #8 of 25

I make everything except my own fondant, I use Carma Massa for that. I will occasionally buy my gumpaste, but I usually make that as well.

I actually had no idea you could buy ganache, except in small quantities.

 

Modelling chocolate can be frozen for up to 2 years or so. I make a huge batch, make some basic colours, wrap up and freeze in smaller packages. I only make it about once or twice a year.

 

I made a box cake the beginning of the year and it actually took me longer than my scratch ones, lol, the speed just comes with practice.

post #9 of 25

everyone does it different of course and fwiw--bakeries large and small, specialty and common will be the same as us--some use commercial mixes and some mix it all up from 'scratch'--i know fancy schmancy places that buy bulk duncan hines from wal-mart on the sly (their choice to be discreet about it)  and i know some that labor over the tiniest ingredient detail with amazing results--so there's that too--and like sixinarow sagely said upthread-- feel free to do things your way for what's best & comfortable for you

 

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #10 of 25

I CAN  and do make everything from scratch. But I prefer not to make my own fondant and gum paste.

 

Making things from scratch is usually cheaper than purchasing the product and that off sets the time spent making everything.

 

The hardest part is investing the years it takes to find and perfect your recipes. I can see how it would be painful to a new baker to start at the beginning. I was blessed to be a working pastry chef, so I was being paid while I learned and perfected things.

post #11 of 25
Everything from scratch except for fondant, primarily due to food allergy concerns. Luckily Satin Ice is nut-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
post #12 of 25

Like others here I currently make everything from scratch except sugarpaste/fondant. I can make my own sugarpaste and did years ago when I was learning, but I just don't have time these days as the majority of my cakes are sugarpaste covered. When you factor in the cost of my time, it actually doesn't cost me much more to buy it than make it and the brand I use is not too bad flavour-wise.

The main reason I started making my own modelling chocolate is that I can make it for a tenth of the cost of buying it. Also in the UK you just can't buy it in large quantities. However, I don't really find it time-consuming to make at all. I mix up and cling-wrap the ingredients in the evening (which takes about 30 mins for 5kgs) and leave to rest on the counter. The next morning it's ready to use or store.

Like with anything, time management and planning are key really when you want to do everything from scratch.

However, I don't think there is anything wrong with using ready-made ingredients - it's always worth knowing how to make them in case you get stuck though.

For example, puff pastry is the most tedious thing to make ever. I forgot to buy some last Christmas and had to make vol-au-vents. Ended up making it myself.
Puff pastry is now at the top of my shopping list this year! ;)

New to Cake Central, but have been baking from scratch and decorating for 20 years and running my business for 3 years.
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New to Cake Central, but have been baking from scratch and decorating for 20 years and running my business for 3 years.
Misc 3D Cakes
(10 photos)
Anniversary
(2 photos)
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post #13 of 25
I also make everything from scratch right now but I don't know if I would continue to make my own fondant when I start my business, it will depend on how busy I am. I'm not really a fan of mixes, I know a lot of people run very successful businesses with them though so it's obviously something that works for some. Same goes for pre-made buttercream and fillings.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #14 of 25

I CANNOT make a tender vanilla butter cake from scratch to save my life. the flavor is good, but it's so crumbly, that I'm afraid my customers will think it's stale, so, much to my shame., I use a mix for that. Wouldn't you know, Vanilla is the most commonly ordered flavor?    Grrrr.

 

I make everything else from scratch. 

post #15 of 25
I bake everything from scratch. But here's the thing. I spent ALOT of money testing stuff. I'm talking about making stuff and testing it and throwing it out sometimes. I was fortunate to be in a place where I could do that.

I would say that if you don't have time to extensively test. Commercial mixes are better
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