How Many Cakes A Week?

Business By cmmom Updated 12 Jun 2006 , 2:42pm by tiptop57

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cmmom Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 4:50am
post #1 of 19

I'm new to the business. My story is the usual - took the Wilton classes a couple years ago, started decorating for friends and family. Then a year ago friends of friends started asking me to sell them cakes and I started my business. In the past two months, business is really picking up (communions, graduations, etc.). And then lately I'm making 3-5 cakes a weekend! (THAT's A LOT FOR ME - I usually have anywhere from 0-2 cakes a week)

I'm a SAHM and have a 3-1/2 and 2 year old daughters and with all these cake orders, I feel like I'm missing out with them. Since they are so small, I keep them inside on beautiful days so I could somewhat keep an eye on them. I feel horrible for doing this. Does anyone feel like this or is it just me?

I bake and freeze all my cakes on Tuesday night, make all my icing on Wed night and then Thurs and Friday I decorate. I'm still new to this so it takes me longer than the people doing this for years (my whole Thurs and Fridays are completely taken up with decorating and then cleaning up).

How many cakes do you do on average? And how do you do it with your kids? I'm kind of thinking putting a limit on my cake orders each week so I'm not overwelmed. Does 2-3 cakes sound reasonable?

Thanks for letting me getting this off my chest.

Sorry for all the questions.

18 replies
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TexasSugar Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 4:58am
post #2 of 19

Pick an amount you feel comfortable. Can you do 2 cakes a week and still give you plenty of times with the kiddos? What about 3? Do you feel overwhelmed with doing 2 cakes a week? 3?

You shouldn't have to lose out with time with your childern, unless you really need the money from cakes. As you feel more comfortable or the kids get older you can up the number of cakes you want to do.

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Uberhipster Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 5:08am
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Wow, that sounds like me! I have 4 and 1-1/2 year old daughters and I keep them inside so I can keep my eye on them and get my cakes done too. I don't have as many orders as you - the orders come in spurts - but I just finished a wedding cake, additional cake, and 45 mini cakes last weekend. Needless to say, not only were my kids neglected, but so was my husband, the house, and myself! I am caked OUT! Well, actually I'm doing 2 cakes for tomorrow... it never ends...

I try and schedule 1-2 cakes a week max and do as much of the decorations ahead of time as I can, at night when the kids are sleeping. Then put it all together on the last 1-2 days depending on how complicated it is. There is always stuff to do, but I make myself get out of the house at least a couple times a week and take the kids to play groups. They absolutely need to run around, or by the last day we don't get along. And my kids are so sweet, I just feel so bad putting the cakes and my promises to other people before my family.

Sorry, I may not be any help, but I do feel for you! Depending on how financially dependant you are on your cakes, just book some more time for your kids and try and find a good balance... I'm still looking for that balance too... Good luck!

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nicksmom Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 5:09am
post #4 of 19

I think 2-3 sounds reasonable,I know what you mean.I had 2 cake orders last weekend,a cake to feed 70 yesterday,a cake order for today,a cake for tomrrow,I have a two tier cake for monday,cake for class (I TEACH)on thursday and a graduation cake for next weekend.I have two boys 7 and 10 and I have really been feeling like I have neglected them some what over the past week(plus I have my other job)and I hate that feeling. I keep telling them sorry mommy is so busy but I'm not sure how to manage time wisely.DO you feel the same way?and as much as I want the orders to keep coming,I sat down the other night and just cryed!what have we gooten ourselves into!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!anyway good luck with the orders and your girls icon_cry.gif

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cakemommy Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 5:16am
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I couldn't handle more than two a week personally. Just for sanity purposes! I have a 4 year old boy and a 1 1/2 year old boy and I feel so guilty when I give them only five or ten minutes here and there! They are always in my site because the playroom is adjacent to the kitchen but I tell you, it's tough!!!!!!

I have four cakes to do for the week of the 11th-17th!!! This is going to be a first for me!!!! I've taken on an extra cake order the same day before but never had this many to do in one week! I just will have to make sure I have all my icing and fillings made over this coming weekend so at least I will have those done!!!!!!!!! It also helps that each one is going to have white icing/fondant on them. Not cool that I have to make 2 batches of MMF though! Maybe I'll do that this weekend and vacuum seal it!!! icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif


Good luck with your orders and if you find a technique for balancing the family with your cakes then please do share!!!! thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif



Amy

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Chef_Stef Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 5:34am
post #6 of 19

My kids are 7 and 10, and I will probably only ever do 1 a week for all the reasons above, and I always still end up decorating til 1:30 a.m. when I do one. I run our business full-time from here, PLUS I work doing medical transcription here, so I'm totally swamped, plus outside I have 2 acres of landscaping and a rose passion to control...

I don't do cakes really for an income, so I just take them as they come, and if I ever get where more people want to order, I'll just have to do what DH always tells me and "only say yes to the REALLY GOOD STUFF." Good point...he's so wise.

If it feels like too much--it is.

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surfergina Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 12:22pm
post #7 of 19

Since the kids are not in school yet, I would take 2-3 per weeks. My son is now in 3rd grade and that gives me time to do the cakes while he's in school. I try not to decorate late in the evening because I focus well when get enough rest.

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cmmom Posted 4 Jun 2006 , 3:31pm
post #8 of 19

Thank you all for your replies. It actually feels good to hear that you are not the only one feeling this way. I really appreciate it.

I do my cakes because I enjoy decorating, not necessarily for financial reasons - although that is an added bonus for doing something that you really love to do!

I've officially decided to cut my orders down to 2-3 cakes a week. It will be better for the whole family (and my house-ha ha).

nicksmom....I feel for you about sitting down and crying. Actually I felt like this on Friday night and that is why I posted this topic. Good luck with everything.

cakemommy....good luck on those 4 cake orders! It will really test your ability to manage your time (at least that is what it did to me). Best of luck with all the preparations.

Yet again, thank you all for your support! I love my CC family!

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MustloveDogs Posted 5 Jun 2006 , 9:26am
post #9 of 19

Good on you. I am in the same boat, two children.. a boy 4 and a little girl 2 1/2 and I can comfortably do 2 cakes a week. I occasionally get more and then ask for grandparent help, either for the day or even an overnight holiday. My kids adore them and they get fussed over, taken to parks and get 1 on 1 attention from them.
On normal weeks, I get up, take them to playgrounds and run them ragged, so that when we get home I can put my little girl down for a nap and my son has "quiet time" while I decorate and then I don't get a big case of the guilts even if it runs overtime a little bit and I have to switch tv on for a while, as they have just had a run around with me.
Also as soon as I finish, we throw balls for the dogs or hit another playground late afternoon.
I also hope that it instills in them the idea of working for themselves as I do. Good luck, it is always hard being a parent, and we are always so hard on ourselves!

I will bet that we are all pretty terrific mums cos look at the attention we give our cakes, imagine how full of love our kids are!!!!!!!!!! icon_smile.gif

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Rebekka Posted 8 Jun 2006 , 12:57am
post #10 of 19

oh my gosh. You all are very blessed. I am newly married but can't WAIT to have children (although everyone tells me I should!). I'm sure having them will cut way into my cake making time.....I will be dealing with the same issues soon enough!

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Jenn123 Posted 8 Jun 2006 , 1:25am
post #11 of 19

Yes, cut down if you are feeling stressed! Hang in there...they won't be little forever!

Can you work more in the evenings and at nap time? Can you do something to streamline your decorating/cleaning process so it doesn't take up your whole Thurs. & Fri? There are several good threads here on time saving shortcuts.

Here are some ideas off the top of my head:
-Make up your colored icing ahead of time and refrigerate in ziplocks or decorating tubes until you need it. (depends on what type of icing you use)
-Bake 2 weeks ahead since you freeze. This won't harm your cakes.
-Level cakes before freezing?
-Clean as you go. Keep the trash can in the middle of the room. Have a big sink of hot water to throw things in. Clear stuff out of the way but do most of the washing up after the kids are asleep.
-Wrap lots of extra boards ahead of time in the sizes you use most.
-Make up flowers in royal icing or freeze buttercream roses for quick use later. I make them all white and airbrush the tips.
-Maybe you need a larger mixer so you don't need to do so many batches?

Good luck!

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janetwhitson Posted 8 Jun 2006 , 2:55am
post #12 of 19

I love to read stories of other stay at home moms. I have an almost 2 year old son and I sometimes feel like he gets neglected when I'm decorating. But like many of you said, I try to do most of it when he's napping and in bed at night...and I take him on special trips to the park, etc. to make up for it! Best of luck to you!

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mamacc Posted 10 Jun 2006 , 11:44am
post #13 of 19

I have three kids, boys ages 4 & 6 and a baby girl (5 mos). I have had to limit cakes to two a week for now. I had a request for a third cake for next week but had to turn her down because I already have two sculpted cakes for next week. It's soooo hard to get things done with a baby, LOL! She takes very short naps during the day, so I can't get much done. I do most of my decorating at night, but can usually make icing and bake during the day. Sometimes I do feel like they aren't getting enough attention when I have cakes to do but I would much rather be at home with the kids than work outside the home!!

Jenn123, you had some good suggestions for getting things done ahead of time. Do everything you can ahead of time! I also do things in parts, like I'll measure out everything I need to bake a batch of cakes, then I'll take a break and go back to mix it up later. I also started giving myself two nights to assemble/decorate when it's a complex cake, and I still end up staying up past 1-2 a.m.!

Well, the kids are officially done with school for summer so that should be interesting! icon_smile.gif

Courtney

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tirby Posted 10 Jun 2006 , 12:25pm
post #14 of 19

Well I must say I am blessed to have older children. The two at home are 10 and 14. The other two are 18 and 19. BUT I home school and that is very time consuming. With that said
A few things over the last three years that I have set as rules you might say.
1. I need a weeks notice, at least. (I mean they knew about the date for graduation how long ago???!!) More for a wedding. Pay in advance. no $$ no baking! ( no one ever complains about that)
2.When I get to 1/2 to 1/4 supplies left, I get more. (no last minute crazy shopping)
3. Kids love to help. (no not with the cake) so let them wash tables or bowls or something. Yes even a little 3 year old needs to feel needed.
4. Quality time is simply undivided attention. like playing catch, reading,(no not reading your decorating book to them. I ment the book they pick. lol)
5. I only do two orders a week. People will still be eating and ordering cake when the kids are older. You don't want to make it a chore. I do it because I love it. I want to keep it that way.
6. The Whipped Cream Buttercream recipe here stays good for ages. Add a little extra meringue and it can be smoothed out nice. Look at the lilac wedding I did. So one day when you have no cake, and extra time, make a double batch or more and you have it ready. Seal tight and good to go.
7. PRAY. God will give strength and wisdom to keep things in order.
8. LEARN TO SAY NO! Twice a year my sons come home from school to visit. Christmas and 4th of July two weeks each time. I say no cake thoes two monthes. From the week before Thanksgiving until the first of January and the end of June until July 15th.
I never want to hear my kids say they felt like I didn't take time for them.
So good luck and set your bounds.

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cakesondemand Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 1:22am
post #15 of 19

I guess I am blessed too my kids are also grown my daughter is married and 2 children my oldest son is getting married in 2 wks and my youngest lives in Vancouver. I just did 5 cakes this week and delivered 4 all on the same day. I do my baking on one day and the icing on another day and then spend the next day just decorating and the next is for pickup or delivery. Since I'm new at this business of doing cakes I have already said no for week of my sons wedding and for 1 week in July so we can go have a vacation. Then Im booked l every weekend until sept for weddings even some mid week days.

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cakesondemand Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 1:23am
post #16 of 19

I guess I am blessed too my kids are also grown my daughter is married and 2 children my oldest son is getting married in 2 wks and my youngest lives in Vancouver. I just did 5 cakes this week and delivered 4 all on the same day. I do my baking on one day and the icing on another day and then spend the next day just decorating and the next is for pickup or delivery. Since I'm new at this business of doing cakes I have already said no for week of my sons wedding and for 1 week in July so we can go have a vacation. Then Im booked l every weekend until sept for weddings even some mid week days.

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srmaxwell Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 4:34am
post #17 of 19

I have a 13 year old and a 6 year old. I started decorating several years ago and only did 2-3 a week until Edison was older. When he was able to play by himself some - I would stay up late into the night and work until the wee hours. My older son would get up and get ready with my husband who was getting ready for work and they would tiptoe out. Edison and I would sleep in until 9ish. So, even though I didn't go to bed until 3 am I still got 6 hours sleep and didn't take any time away from my sons. Then I would take a nap with him in the afternoon. Worked out great for me until he went to Kindergarten and now I work all day on wednesday,thursday and friday until the kids come home. In the meantime, word of mouth spread so now that I DO have daytime hours to work, I have all the work I really want. I turned out 14 cakes alst Wed-Fri and another 10 this weekend with 2 more tomorrow, 2 chocolate orders and a catering order.

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momsandraven Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 2:29pm
post #18 of 19

cmmom, your story sounds so much like mine it's eerie! LOL I'm not quite as busy with orders as you are, but have been doing about 3 cakes a week for the last month or so. My kids are 4 and 3, and it is hard some days, like you said. The idea that someone said about letting the kids visit the grandparents is golden! I never feel guilty when my kids are with their grandparents. A good share of my best childhood memories involve my grandparents, so I know that it is wonderful time spent.

I try to do my baking during the day, setting the timer on my watch for 5 minutes less than the baking time so that we can step outside to ride trikes and play without burning the cakes. The days that I am decorating, DH takes over making supper, so that's when I make up the frosting. DH also takes over bedtime stuff those nights, so they head upstairs at 7:30 for baths, stories and bedtime prayers. I don't need to feel guilty because they are having a blast being silly with their Daddy instead of a tired-out Mommy. I don't think I could get DH to do it every night, but he loves doing it 2 or 3 nights a week. I am lucky that he is so willing to pitch in and help! icon_smile.gif

I definitely wouldn't be able to handle 5 cakes a week. Both my little ones will be in preschool this fall, MWF for 2 1/2 hours a day. That will free up some time for me, but until then, I am a SAHM first. Take a look at their beautiful little faces and let your heart guide you on what time allotment is right for you. (But don't forget that time with other family members is very important for them too!! icon_wink.gif )

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tiptop57 Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 2:42pm
post #19 of 19

Hey everyone,
I was actually complaining at my cake supply store the other day on how busy I was, and she basically told me to zip it up, cuz there were plenty of people coming into her shop who wish they were in my shoes. It's sad, but ya can't win I guess. icon_wink.gif

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