Ugly Cake Got Me Three Orders...

Decorating By galaglow Updated 24 Jun 2005 , 1:54am by leily

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galaglow Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 3:42pm
post #1 of 27

I don't get it! I made the ugliest cake I've ever made for a 65th birthday yesterday. It was a disaster from start to finish...the first cake fell apart when I took it out of the pan (that's never happened in all my baking days - don't know what went wrong) so using my last eggs, I kept my fingers crossed since the store was already closed. I was up til midnite decorating it, and I hated it. Didn't even want to take it to the party and everyone loved it?! I got two more grad cake orders because of this ugly cake...

26 replies
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veejaytx Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 3:51pm
post #2 of 27

Actually I think it looks pretty good (the colors are good and the flowers are beautiful!), but the greeting could stand some work.

It is the general feeling here that each of us is our own worst critic! I can see why you got new business, that's great! Janice

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Ironbaker Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 3:54pm
post #3 of 27

icon_biggrin.gif We are our worst critics! I can always spot my flaws also and think it's "just OK" and 5 others will rave about it.

Your flowers are nicely done! Congrats on the orders.

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galaglow Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 3:56pm
post #4 of 27

Thanks for the compliments on the flowers. You're right...I am terrible for being critical of my own greetings do suck though icon_biggrin.gif I always wind up with the message being off centre or going up or downhill. I tried using the wilton message press and the letters got stuck in the holder and now I can't get them out! LOL! I think that's what ruined the whole cake for me, I always leave the message for last because I'm afraid of ruining the cake with my sloppy writing Ugh! I do better with piping gel.

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Stefy Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 4:04pm
post #5 of 27

I think it's great - even the message. I'll tell you what I did you solve my writing dilema. I can write good and it looks nice but my problem is I can't write straight -mine always tends to go uphill or downhill. I've tried several things - I've tried the ruler - put a light indentation in the cake to reference a straight line but I could just never be satisified with the end result - I've tried just putting a few reference points but still didn't work. The BEST thing that works for me is I type my saying on the computer - make it the size, shape, format you want and mirror the image so it prints out backwards. I then trace the backwards print out onto a piece of parchment paper with piping gel (usually a tip 2) and transfer the image to the cake. It has never failed me yet AND I've gotten to the point now where I don't even have to use the transfer sometimes. Hope this helps

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veejaytx Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 27

I have a problem with the writing as well. My son, who is a commercial artist, suggested that I get a calligraphy set and learn that, he seemed to think it would help! I haven't done this yet, but it might be a helpful thing to do! Janice

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galaglow Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 4:09pm
post #7 of 27

Thanks for the tips! I'll have to try the piping gel transfer. Now, this will sound silly probably, but do you use tinted piping gel or clear and trace over it?

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ntertayneme Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 4:15pm
post #8 of 27

I want to take a calligraphy class too.. and an art class.. I just feel it would help a lot in my cake decorating .. I can't even draw a darned stick figure right and my writing is even worse lol

I think your cake looks great .. I love the variety of flowers you used .. we are our own worse critics!! lol

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kakesbyrobin Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 5:13pm
post #9 of 27

I also have the letter press set.I wish I could get my money back for it!

It is the most frustrating thing that I have ever tried to use.

Letters stick hard in the slide thing,even after shaving them .Like to throw it across the

You have to push and pull so hard on those stupid little tiles,that they do fly across the kitchen once you get them free.

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Stefy Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 5:18pm
post #10 of 27

I always use the clear piping gel

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NEWTODECORATING Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 5:26pm
post #11 of 27

I think I have solved my writing problem, unfortunatly my pictures aren't developed yet to prove it. (Yes I know I am still in the stone age) LOL Anyway I was doing a pirate cake and wanted a masculine script, so I went to my computer in microsoft word and typed my message in the font I wanted and size I wanted, then I put the message on a floral foam square and poked the living daylights out of it with a large straight pin. It leaves the back of the paper very rough. I layed the paper on my crusted BC and lightly press across it, and TA DAH It is follow the dots.

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briansbaker Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 5:30pm
post #12 of 27
Originally Posted by kakesbyrobin

I also have the letter press set.I wish I could get my money back for it!

It is the most frustrating thing that I have ever tried to use.

Letters stick hard in the slide thing,even after shaving them .Like to throw it across the

You have to push and pull so hard on those stupid little tiles,that they do fly across the kitchen once you get them free.

OMG I thought I was the only one throwing fits over these stupid things. I have to carefully hold the little plastic letter between my fingers and hope like hell my fingers don't touch the cake.. icon_cry.gif very nerve racking!
On the fathers day cake I entered in the contest, I found a picture of a cake that just had the words Happy Fathers Day written in some pretty letters. So I copy, pasted and flipped it then made a BCT with it.. Worked out perfect..
Your cake is beautiful!!! I feel the same way about ALL my cakes. I am my worst critic too.. icon_redface.gif

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karent Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 5:33pm
post #13 of 27

The pin idea is really cool. I will have to try that!!

I am the worst at writing on a cake, so all my writing is very "fun". I put my scrapebooking skills to use and all the letters are going in different directions and at different levels on the cake. Sometimes I use different colors for each letter also.

But I'm going to try the pins tonight!!

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aunt-judy Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 5:58pm
post #14 of 27

icon_confused.gif is this cake blue, or does it just appear that way in the photo?

i used to decorate professionally, and writing was always a pain for me, mainly because with my handwriting, i pretty much print and it's very idiosyncratic (could never do the standard script taught in schools) and the side of my hand always rests on a surface when i write. for decorating, i finally decided to just print, which works much better for me, which i do in either a stylized calligraphic square-shape script, or in a cute rounded print that's more like my personal handwriting (the letters are shaped with thicker rounded ends).

if writing on cakes is really your enemy, you may want to make friends with melted candy/chocolate coating. it will take a little practice, since it flows much faster than icing (when you finish piping, lift up your piping bag while sliding a finger from your "steadying" hand under it and over the tip to prevent drips), but here's what you do:

make up some paper piping cones (you could also use plastic disposables -- basically you want a piping bag that you can cut to use without a tip and then toss).
melt your candy coating (i like the microwave in a glass dish at 50% power for about 2 minutes, then stir to melt completely).
fill your cone half way, fold the top, and then cut your tip with a knife or scissor to the size you want (start small, as you can always go bigger).
the trick with coating is that you can pipe your message onto wax paper (on a plate or board) in either individual printed letters or fancy script with all the letters attached. chill in the fridge, and then slide an angled (offset) spatula under the letters or words, and then place on the cake. what's great about this is that it's no-fail -- you can make as many copies as you want, and you avoid spelling mistakes directly on the cake, etc. you can even attach the letters/words to the side of a freshly-iced cake (press slightly). thumbs_up.gif

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traci Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 6:12pm
post #15 of 27

I think you did a great job! I think we have all felt this way before. I also do not like the way I write. I use premade candy letters or I mold them out of candy melts. By the way, thanks for the tips on the pizza cake...I finished it yesterday! icon_wink.gif

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cakegal Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 7:01pm
post #16 of 27

I think you did a "GREAT" job as well...
I have horrible writing too... I'm going to try these ideas the next time I have something to print..
Happy baking,

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nanni Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 7:18pm
post #17 of 27

Is there any room for someone else in this boat-sounds like we are all in the same one!! I HATE THE LETTERING KIT!!! Sometimes the bar is waaay to long for a small cake-things stick to it-difficult to get letters in and out-TOO MUCH TROUBLE FOR ME!! I am going to try the candy letters-I do pretty good some of the time just writing it but there are times when it just isn't right---and the picture looks great-wonderful job on the flowers!!

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galaglow Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 7:37pm
post #18 of 27

I want to thank you all so much for your tips & compliments...I swear I wasn't fishing for compliments icon_redface.gif but I feel much better about it now. I'm going to try all the tips for my messages. Think I'll try the piping gel first since I don't have any candy melts on hand right trip to Micheals I guess.

Oh, the background icing is mint green by the does look blue on here though.

I'm glad to hear it's not just me who hates that letter press of us should invent and patent something better. I should make my hubby come up with something. He already built me a better tool for dipping chocolates than the one sold by wilton. I also hated the so-called 'stand' that came with the Wilton practice board. It took me forever to get that thing together and it is stuck that way now.

Thanks again everyone! icon_smile.gif

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aunt-judy Posted 22 Jun 2005 , 9:29pm
post #19 of 27

piping written messages is completely different from handwriting, and uses different muscles (which, unlike your handwriting muscles, don't have the "memory" of handwriting -- your muscles actually know how to write from years of repitition and practice). best advice is to approach cake writing like any skill -- you have to practice. fortunately, you don't have to have a cake to practice on -- just a piping bag and a surface that you can pipe onto (and scrap off of so you can re-use your practice icing). a board with wax paper on top or better yet a baking pan in the size that you'll bake a cake in is perfect, since it gives you the approximate proportions of your finished cake. just invert it, and spend some time practicing (kids love this too! heck, if we all learned to write on cakes as children, as we do with handwriting, we'd all be masters at it now!) thumbs_up.gif

trust me, it's worth the practice to be free of transfering, pressing, or using other imperfect tools or methods of getting words on cake.

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littlebubbieschocolates Posted 23 Jun 2005 , 12:39am
post #20 of 27

for something that is supposed to look ugly that looks pretty good icon_smile.gif

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kalikw Posted 23 Jun 2005 , 3:03am
post #21 of 27

Hi Galaglow,
The cake does not look that bad. I think you did a good job, it was late you were frustrated so be easy on yourself. I had one of those days too, where I absolutely hated the cake, it was the world's ugliest cake to me. But everyone loved it. We are our own worst critic. Writing on a cake is hard, just practice, I can't write on a cake either, but I have experimented with different tips and have added a little extra like a dot or a star on the tips of the letter, that detracts from the type going downhill or uphill, it looks like you did it intentionally and it adds additional visual appeal to your cake. Keep up the good work.

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kalikw Posted 23 Jun 2005 , 3:04am
post #22 of 27

Oh yeah I forgot to mention, dump the lettering presses! They are completely worthless.

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nernan Posted 23 Jun 2005 , 4:17am
post #23 of 27

I do the same technique as a bct. Print script in reverse, place wax paper over lettering, pipe over freeze for a couple of hours, the lay it on your cake peel off and tada no mess no fuss.

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jscakes Posted 23 Jun 2005 , 5:38am
post #24 of 27

galaglow....I think you've done a super job on the WHOLE CAKE!!! Your writing is a helluvalot better than I can do!

(I also have that stupid letter press, need we say more?)

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tcturtleshell Posted 23 Jun 2005 , 6:58am
post #25 of 27

Hey GalaGlow, haven't seen you on CC for awhile. Where you been? Good to see you back~

I use piping gel in my BC to write with. I use a parchment bag. I cut it in 1/2 & fill it a little bit. Usually it fits in the palm of my hand very easily! I also curve my hand a little more then the way I write w/ a pen. As long as you have the BC/piping gel thin you will be able to get better w/ your writting. It took me awhile to figure it out & I have very nice handwriting.

OH.. another tip... if you're right handed hold the bag in your left hand & guide it w/ your right hand. Left handers do the opposite too. I haven't done it but I have a friend that does it that way. It works!

Good luck! You're handwriting is a lot better then some writing on cakes that I've seen! Oh.. forgot.. I think the cake is very pretty too!!

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galaglow Posted 24 Jun 2005 , 1:15am
post #26 of 27

Thanks again everyone! I appreciate all the tips to improve my lettering. I'm going to garage sale that letterpress set! I got two more compliments from people today about the cake, so I guess it wasn't too bad. icon_smile.gif I'm glad everyone was happy with it.

Hi TC! Yes, it's been a long time. We were on vacation in Disneyland, then my daughter was sick with tonsilitis, etc., etc. but I'm happy to be back at CC! I missed being here!

My oven buzzer is going so I've got to run! Thanks again everyone!

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leily Posted 24 Jun 2005 , 1:54am
post #27 of 27

I had a hard time writting also. I just practiced a lot. I did one cake with writting all over it, just for the sake of practice. I have also just used a cutting board and kept reusing my same icing-this is great it you have a little left over from a cake.

I was training someone in a bakery I used to work in. They were having problems with writting also. This is one of the hardest things for me to teach. She was watching me and noticed that the other decorators and I use our whole arm to write. (I never noticed this until she pointed it out)
But it is true. When you write with pen and paper you move your wrist and your fingers. When you write on a cake you need to move your arm from your shoulder (as if it were your wrist) and your wrist as little as possible (like your fingers holding the pen)

I hope this doesn't confuse you. But I have had better success teaching others this way. Most people (even after decorating cakes for a long time-i was one of them) Want to write with icing like you do with a pen and paper. And for most it just doesn't work that way.

Just another suggestion to try. Hope it helps and isn't confusing.


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