Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Disasters › Crying....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Crying....

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
So, I have only been on my own for about two months and so far, have loved every minute of it. Last week I took an order for a Minecraft themed cake and a Zebra striped with a blue bow. The customer sent me pictures of the birthday invitation to match the blue. I have never seen Minecraft so I looked up some ideas and then ultimately, she sent me a picture to copy. I spent all morning creating the accent pieces and building the cakes. But when she came to pick them up, she hated them. She told me they looked nothing like what she wanted and she could have done a better job herself. I now have two giant cakes and a lump in my throat. I think perhaps I should give up on this. I love baking but perhaps I am not very good at decorating. Maybe I am delusional about my cakes but I thought they were cute. Are they really terrible? Please be honest because I need to figure out if I am continuing on this path.[IMG]400
post #2 of 32
Thread Starter 
400
post #3 of 32

They're cute.  You have a lot of promise.   But....they're not what I would have expected for sale.

 

Honestly,  the Minecraft one is not up to par for what is out there. 

 

Here for honest critique?

 

You are almost there on the basics.  Frosting could be smoother.  Fondant work on the zebra cake could be neater. The cake should be level with straight sides.  The bow should be neater.  the piping on the bottom should not have points on each ball.  Fix it or learn another border technique.  The medallion is pretty.  All cakeboards should be finished with cake foil or fondant.

 

The Minecraft cake:  All four figures should be more professional - these could be done well ahead of time.  The top scene should be more composed.  The lettering should be better.  Practice your cake handwriting and/or use fondant cutout letters.  The "grass" doesn't look like grass.  There are better grass piping techniques that would have looked good.  Again the piping around the bottom looks amateur.  Practice a better border technique.

 

So that's the bad news.  The good news is your cakes must be good.  You bit off more than you could chew this time.  Start with simple celebration cakes.  Add on one difficulty at a time.  Take it slower.  Keep on doing it, but don't jump off the cliff the next time.

post #4 of 32
What matthewryankelley said. Keep plugging away and I wouldn't be selling in the meantime. I know I'm jumping to conclusions here, but I bet you're selling really cheap too, please don't take that offensively, it's just a given. You want to be able to command good money for good work.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #5 of 32

I agree with with @matthewkyrankelly critiques. 

 

Don't give up!  Just keep practicing!

Yes, you were a bit too ambitious with this cake order which was a mistake, but don't let this situation break you down. The first time I ever met Colette Peters she told me a story about a cake delivery in her early cake years that went horribly wrong, she spent the next few days crying her eyes out and and swearing she would never make a cake again. But she never gave up. She went right back at it, and she is one of the most celebrated cake decorators of all time.  

 

Try and set aside some time and materials and try to remake the same cake order as practice for yourself.  One thing I did in my early days learning to decorate cakes was I purchased some styrofoam dummies, covered them in plastic-wrap, and went to town covering them in buttercream, wiping them off, then covering them again.  Covering a real cake in buttercream is more difficult, but once you really nail down the movement of your spatual and become "one" with the buttercream, it really starts coming together. 

 

Once you have been practicing for a few weeks, remake the cakes and phtoograph them, You will be surprised how far you have come!

 

Recipes

Start with good recipes for modeling and buttercream

 

Some tutorials on smoothing buttercream

Experiment with different techniques to get crisp smooth buttercream

http://cakecentral.com/b/tutorial/upside-down-icing-technique-for-perfectly-smooth-icing

 

http://cakecentral.com/b/tutorial/buttercream-smooth-cake

 

 

 

Plus a lot more tutorials, videos and recipes

http://cakecentral.com/b/?s=buttercream

birthday.gif Jackie

Reply

birthday.gif Jackie

Reply
post #6 of 32

I also wanted to add:

Here is quick video tutorial from Cake Darla on how you can practice getting nice bead buttercream borders:

 

 

http://cakecentral.com/b/tutorial/cake-decorating-piping-techniques-make-dots-beads

birthday.gif Jackie

Reply

birthday.gif Jackie

Reply
post #7 of 32
All really good advice. Do the research...look at tutorials and practice...but not necessarily on paying customers yet. I dare say part of the problem with your situation occurred because you had a customer who thinks all decorators can produce works of art...and if they can get it cheap so much the better. Their expectations are often unrealistic and they act surprised when they aren't presented with a Ron Ben Israel masterpiece for $50. If your customer had seen the level of your prior work they should have been prepared for something similar. Again...it's not horrible...it's just not professional---YET!

You have a talent and now you just need to focus on taking your skills to the next level. Follow the advice given above and you are on your way! Good luck!

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply
post #8 of 32

You've gotten such great advice already, but here's a tutorial for the zebra stripes because (to me personally) that's what's most wrong with the first cake...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJoGKtopx3o

post #9 of 32
I don't really think any of us put out masterpieces our first go round. Practicing and fine tuning should be part of the fun of the job, learning what to and not to do, learning about the business side of things before you start selling, etc. Take it easy and soak up everything you can before you accept an order again. You'll thank yourself in years to come if you stick with it.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #10 of 32
No one becomes a cake decorator in 2 months. Keep at it. You'll get there icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 32
Chin up! Even if you don't post that often hang around here....I learned so much in the short time I've been here...you can really elevate your game by picking up tips. Making mistakes is also how you learn! Dont worry
post #12 of 32

And please don't cry, it will be okay.   I see buttercream that could be a bit smoother and gum paste that could use a little tweaking.  But you are on your way.  Keep practicing.   I think the medallion looks really good.

 

 Also, Minecraft is difficult!  Sometimes I get orders that seem too difficult for my skill level, so I turn them down.  But I still have a cake business!

 

I have, in the past, made a cake or two for sale that were not very good, and offered a refund. (Kindly, the customers did not take me up on the offer.)  That's how I learned what I was good at and what needed practice.  Now I stick to things I enjoy making and I feel confident making, like gum paste flowers and the occasional figurine.

 

So keep practicing, find out what kinds of decorations you are good at and then showcase those.  

 

I also think your customer was unkind in her wording, but custom cakes are something people want done perfectly.  So, as everyone has stated, keep going, practice, practice, practice!!

post #13 of 32
A suggestion about Minecraft: Minecraft is built around the "pixel" look, think early 16-bit Nintendo. With gamers, accurate detail is a must. Take time to research your design a bit more. The grass does look like grass, but Minecraft is boxy with everything: water, grass, figures, dirt, even the sun is a box shape, lols. If you need to, plan out your design a little more and then compare it to what the customer wanted. I'm not a professional, nor do I sell my stuff (yet), I'm just a Minecraft nerd... heh heh. Just take it slow and you'll get there!
I should be sleeping Zzzz
Reply
I should be sleeping Zzzz
Reply
post #14 of 32
Good point about Minecraft and it's very specific look. Some things you can get away with putting your own touch to, making it look a bit different, but something like that needs to be "pixel" perfect.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #15 of 32

Do not give up!!! With each cake you make you will get better and better. You definitely have talent but you need to keep practicing. No one does a perfect cake within 2 months of practicing.  You just need more practice!!! Hang in there and don't throw in the towel!!! You are going to be fine!!!! One day you will look back and say, wow, look how good my cakes look compared to when I first started!!! If you give up now then you will never know how good you can really be at decorating cakes. It takes practice, practice and more practice!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Disasters
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Disasters › Crying....