Can Anyone Here Do It That Fast?

Decorating By bakingupastorm Updated 6 Aug 2006 , 8:57am by CakeRN

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bakingupastorm Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 3:30pm
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I have watched the mystery cake challenge on Food Network for the 10th time and each time I am amazed at how quickly they ice their cakes. They just hold that icer tip up to the side of the cake and give that turntable a quick spin and POOF!! Instantly iced cake.

Do you think they speed this up during editing or is this for real? Can any of you do it that fast? Thosy guys keep me engrossed.

28 replies
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mgdqueen Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 3:33pm
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they always amaze me too. I just figure they have made hundreds more cakes than I have and I can't wait to be as fast as they are!

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aggiecakes Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 3:34pm
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I have wondered the same thing - maybe they have just had so much experience, they really are that fast. Takes me FOREVER!!

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chloe1979 Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 3:36pm
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I think that is a little quick for reality, too. My Wilton instructor told me I need to be able to ice/decorate a cake in 10 minutes or I am losing money (she used to be a bakery manager for a large grocery store). Doesn't that seem unreasonable--I won't say how long it takes me to decorate since I am new!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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goal4me Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 3:39pm
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I haven't seen that program on the food networkl as yet but would like to see it!

I recently met the "Cake Lady" that started with Wilton over 35 years ago, she is awesome, in her eighties and has a cake museum of her cakes and other cakes from around the world. Colette Peters and others that are famous have donated cakes to her museum. If there is an area that would be the right place to post these on this site I could do that...
Anyway she tells me that she and another person were icing cakes using different style tips and the person watching....said wait a minute I could combine these tip together and making an icing tip....and then it was born!!!

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cindww Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 4:32pm
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chloe..I guess if you want to do bakery work, 10 minutes is about right! I want to do cakes that take more than 10 minutes, though icon_smile.gif
I'd love to hear more about this Cake Lady! She sounds very interesting..

Cindy

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knoxcop1 Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 4:43pm
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My instructor for the first classes could decorate a whole birthday cake (round) start to finish in like 25 minutes---and she was TALKING the whole time! icon_surprised.gificon_smile.gif

I was seriously IMPRESSED--the cake was very pretty. However, with me, I don't want to hear people talking much, or even answer a simple question when I'm decorating! lol

Takes all my concentration just to get a good border going...and don't get me started about my sucky writing on cakes! icon_twisted.gif

--Knox--

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dl5crew Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 4:56pm
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After I took the Wilton courses I went to the local store bakery. Thought it would be great for practice. I was told ten minutes flat to do a cake. I got up without uttering a word & walked away. One, I knew I couldn't do a cake in 10 min. Two; I wanted to put more thought into a cake. My writing sucks too. My Wilton instructor told us if our hanswriting was bad; invest in the imprint things. Still didn't help. icon_cry.gif

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playingwithsugar Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:07pm
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I watched the decorator at my local Wal-mart superstore ice a cake that fast with an icing tip. I was amazed. She gripped the bag with one hand and squeezed with the other (the bag was the size of her arm!), and only let go long enough to spin the turntable.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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Samsgranny Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:13pm
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Wow, ice a cake in ten minutes! I would love to be able to do that, not the decorations, just get the icing on that smooth in 10 minutes. thumbs_up.gif

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chaptlps Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:27pm
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girls it can be done. Yes it can. The lady who taught me to decorate, who has RA, can and still out frosts me everytime and she does a good job too. She can and has basefrosted, 39 cakes in one hour. I do take a little longer (maybe 5 miutes) cause I am picky bout my basefrosting.
O by the way the cakes she basefrosted were all quarter sheet cakes (9x13).
As a lot of you point out, you don't have to be fast to be good. What counts is the quality and if it takes you 30 minutes to get it right go for it. But also, if you work from your home or a private bakery and not a high volume one, you should take your time. O yeah, I will NOT rush a wedding cake for any reason. That is sposed to be a once in a lifetime thing and if peeps pay a lot or not it's still for a special day and you should pay special attention to detail. And yes, I am a walmart bakery dept. manager.

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chaptlps Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:30pm
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o yeah, forgot to mention, neither the lady who taught me, nor I use a quick icer to basefrost our cakes. We do if it's bc on a totally thawed out cake so we don't get crumbs

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Pootchi Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:31pm
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10 minutes to decorate a cake???? their cakes must look all alike. You can't personnalize a cake in 10 minutes. I have the decorating tip, but never used it. I've been thinking about trying it, but can't seem to have the courage... yet! Maybe with my next practice cake!! I have to do one since hubby starts back at work on Monday, and he loves to get a piece of cake in his lunch box!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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alicegop Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:36pm
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Hmmm, I've never timed myself. If I thought it off the top of my head I would say 20-30 min for a 9x13. Now I am going to get out the stopwatch!

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mkerton Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:44pm
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I love using the frosting tip...it does make things go really really fast...my only complaint is that sometimes I think I get the frosting on too heavy...of course while I am smoothing I take some off, but I am always wondering what the "perfect" amount of frosting is....

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lakecountrymommy Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goal4me

I haven't seen that program on the food networkl as yet but would like to see it!

I recently met the "Cake Lady" that started with Wilton over 35 years ago, she is awesome, in her eighties and has a cake museum of her cakes and other cakes from around the world. Colette Peters and others that are famous have donated cakes to her museum. If there is an area that would be the right place to post these on this site I could do that...
Anyway she tells me that she and another person were icing cakes using different style tips and the person watching....said wait a minute I could combine these tip together and making an icing tip....and then it was born!!!




A cake museum? I'd like to hear more about this. A physical place with dummie cakes, or a museum of photographs? Where?

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chaptlps Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:45pm
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Pootchi darlin,
yes some of the cakes are similar but one of our mantras in the bakery is "color sells cakes". The more eye-catching the better the sales. But you also have to remember too, especially in the larger supercenters in larger cities, You have to be fast or you won't have any product to sell. A customer can always ask you to embellish it a bit more if they want too. And, no, not all cakes are or should be done in "ten minutes". Some you do want to take your time. Special orders always take a little longer, because they are just that, special orders. But when you have 30-50 cakes due on a given Sat. You need to be quick. As for creativity, it depends on the decorator.

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AuntAndrea Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:47pm
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If you're just talking about basic "getting buttercream on the cake and smooth it down" then sure, I can see doing it in 10 minutes. But ONLY that. I'm not talking about borders, writing, etc., let alone adding a fondant cover!

I use the big icing tip on my biggest icing bag -- full -- put it against the side of the cake, and start pushing out the icing while turning the cake on the turntable. It's pretty darn quick that way, because the tip is HUGE! Then I just spread it down and try to make it as smooth as I can. But to me, that's just getting the basic covering of icing down. The decorating first begins at that point for me!

I think if you do it over and over again as in a bakery setting, you'll get to a point where you're going pretty darn fast. I sometimes watch the prep folks at a local bakery that is set up so you CAN watch them work all day if you want... they work amazingly fast to me icing the cakes. But the decorators then take over and are more detailed, and that takes more than 10 minutes.

Geez, I'm tired just thinking about having to decorate that fast!! icon_eek.gif

...Andrea

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imartsy Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:54pm
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I wish!!! My mother is always amazed at how long I take. She always says "it doesn't have to be that smooth" or "why don't you just run a fork over it to imprint it a little and it doens't have to be perfect?" Of course it has to be perfect!!! (for me anyway) and I hate the little fork trick.... it's fine if you're not decorating a cake at all and just want a little something to the frosting to make it special - but if you're a "real decorator" and want to use all those great techniques you've learned - running a fork through some icing is NOT gonna cut it.

Hmmm 10 min in a bakery, huh? Maybe that's why I didn't get the job at the one I went to - I'm sure I took much longer than that. Of course, they didn't tell me I had a time limit.... but I didn't want to work there anyway - the icing was nasty, the bags were gross - the tools weren't all that great and the end product looked crappy....... and I'm sure it wasn't that tasty either. I didn't feel I was going to get any "good" experience... just a lot of experience making shells for borders.....

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chloe1979 Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 5:59pm
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Thanks for making me feel better, everyone. I was feeling pathetic every time I did a cake because it took me a LONG time. I am a perfectionist (obsessive compulsive sometimes) and my own worst critic. I do cookies and have since I was little, and I learned that with more experience, you devise better and faster ways. So, thanks again for reaffirming the fact that speed comes with experience. And, I don't like doing just a plain cake. I want something unique that stands out if I can help it. Does creativity get easier over time, too? I am always so afraid of disappointing the customer.

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Pyxxydust Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 9:35pm
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I'm with lakecountrymommy - where is this cake museum? That sounds really cool!

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debsuewoo Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 9:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkerton

I love using the frosting tip...it does make things go really really fast...my only complaint is that sometimes I think I get the frosting on too heavy...of course while I am smoothing I take some off, but I am always wondering what the "perfect" amount of frosting is....





hmfff.... you can never get the icing on too heavy! thumbs_up.gif

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irisinbloom Posted 4 Aug 2006 , 9:49pm
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I still remember the Alton Brown show where he put an 8 inch cake on a portable record player and turned it on to ice his cake and had both hands free to work on the cake, that was so cool to watch and didn't take long, sooooo just a thought would maybe be a good investment to save timeicon_smile.gif

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cupcake Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 8:16am
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Years ago I was a Bakery Manager for a grocery food chain. When I started I had to go through the Decorating part and pass their test for icing and decorating. We had to ice and decorate 3 cakes in 15 minutes. Their standard decoration was 3 Roses, border, leaves and write HB. We did not have the large icing tip. They would require us to have 50 cakes finished in the back-stock cooler so we could restock the bakery cases. I also remember having to ice 60 chocolate fudge cakes, without a turntable. We had to hold the cake in our left hand and ice in mid-air. My arm hurt so bad I thought it would fall off. I always dreaded when they ran sales, they worked us to death. Of course that was back in the old days where they highly abused bakers and decorators, there was no sympathy. I did that for 5 years. I finally ventured out on my own and can pace myself to whatever speed I want. I still have the speed and can ice a quarter sheet in less than 2 minutes. I only use the icing tip now for the round cakes, however I still think I am faster without it. I don't have to worry now about a gillion cakes in back-up, but I know I can do it if I have to. The more you do, the more proficient you become. If you do cakes for money, you have to consider the labor in your pricing. Your time is worth something.

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mbelgard Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 1:01pm
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I worked in a little bakery (mostly donuts) during the summer for a couple years and the owner had worked for a big grocery store in the Twin Cities. He had carpel tunnel really bad and he still could turn out a cake in under 10 minutes, that was with roses, leaves, rosebuds and a border. It wasn't perfect by any strech but he was quick.

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oceanspitfire Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 4:52pm
post #26 of 29

practice makes perfect (or can I guess lol), and it seems as I go along I learn little things that save me time- of course I'm a very long way off from charging if I ever do, but yeah labour has to be factored in when you're working out a price. Hard to figure out when you love what you're doing (which is why most graphic design projects I do, I charge a fixed price -for the actual designing part- some days I'll put something together quicker than others, but the end product would be the same. Like with cakes I imagine, one day you could do a cake in 2 hours, another time might take 10 but both look the same. (especially if you run a biz out of home and have kids/family/life happening along side) Should they cost different? I don't think so. That's my opinion anyway lol

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KimAZ Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 7:41pm
post #27 of 29

Bakingupastrom,
Yes, those decorators at the challenge actually frosted their cakes that fast. And the reason I know this is because I was lucky enough to be in the audience for that taping and watched them do it! It was AMAZING!! You have to remember that they've all been doing it for years and years, have the best tools and equiptment and have assistants too.

Check out some of the photos I posted in the Events gallery that I took at that Challenge. It was taped in July 2005 in Phoenix, AZ. It was a blast!

KimAZ

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birdgirl Posted 6 Aug 2006 , 1:04am
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The icing tip from Wilton helps a lot. I can ice a cake smooth in about 5 to 10 minutes--depends on size and shape. A round cake goes fast--it seems like seconds. Put it on the turn table spin it and go. I get smoother icing when I use the tip--I figure since it is an even layer to start with. If I do it by hand with a spatula don't ask it takes forever.

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CakeRN Posted 6 Aug 2006 , 8:57am
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Frances Kuyper is the original Cake Lady and this is a link to her website. She has the museum and a lifesize cake of herself. She has a book out about her life and cake decorating. I met her years ago in Louisville, KY and at an ICES conventiona too. She reminds me and looks a bit like the "crabby old lady" on the hallmark cards. She is very funny and she can ice a sheet cake in less than a minute.

http://www.hollenbeckhome.com/minicakemuseum.html

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