Are You Ever Satisfied?

Decorating By NickiKR Updated 28 May 2008 , 11:32pm by Price

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NickiKR Posted 27 May 2008 , 5:36pm
post #1 of 25

Are you ever completely satisfied with your final results? I am very new to this, so I am still learning and making plenty of mistakes.

When I delivered a cake on the weekend, the client went on and on about how much she loved it. I kept thinking "Can't you see the ding in the buttercream or the off-centre top tier?"

I wonder if the satisfcation with the final product will ever outweigh the need for perfection?

Do you still have cake insecurities?

24 replies
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diane Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:41pm
post #2 of 25

we are our worst critics. we are the professionals, so we can see the flaws...but they can't. they have no idea how you put together and decorated a cake. if she's happy with it, then smile and be happy and press on! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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gottabakenow Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:48pm
post #3 of 25

happy with it, yes. i spose so. perfectly satisfied, no. lol

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cakelady15 Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:51pm
post #4 of 25

I never think that my cakes look good enough. I haven't been decorating them for very long, but everyone always thinks they look so good. I think the reason I am not happy is because I compare them to all the other cakes I look at. I have to remind myself that the people that are getting my cakes aren't looking at beautiful cakes all day and they are impressed with anything that doesn't look like it came from the grocery storeicon_smile.gif I looked at your pictures and your cakes are very nice so you shouldn't be so hard on yourselficon_smile.gif

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Denae Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:54pm
post #5 of 25

heck yes! i am like that hubby will be like "babe it looks so awesome" and i'm thinking yeah right.."do you not see that there? or there? or there?" but like someone mentioned earlier, we are our worst critics! and i am definately very hard on myself when it comes to everything not just decorating! it's not such a bad thing, you know!

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CakeBaker Posted 27 May 2008 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 25

oh heck no -- never completely satisfied, and many times not even completely finished. I just run out of time and have to stop. I would always use up another 10 minutes or 10 hours or 10 days if it was possible!

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Launa Posted 27 May 2008 , 8:04pm
post #7 of 25

Oh, I can SO relate!!! I keep thinking that when I give someone a cake, they are just being nice and saying how wonderful it is and how perfect everything is....all I can think is, "You're kidding, right???" Oh, well, I'm doing my best, and that's all I can worry about! In my 1 1/2 year of decorating, I've had 2 cakes that I was absolutely thrilled with, and they were both for my daughter's events! Her first being graduation, then her piano recital! I guess I should keep making cakes for her!!

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NickiKR Posted 27 May 2008 , 8:49pm
post #8 of 25

I am so glad to know I am not alone.

I am definitely my biggest critic!

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Tramski Posted 27 May 2008 , 8:58pm
post #9 of 25

My hubby tells me that if there ever comes a day where I am happy with a cake I did then he knows I have lost my mind. I am my worst critic and he knows it icon_smile.gif

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ericaann79 Posted 27 May 2008 , 9:14pm
post #10 of 25

Just remember that the average person doesn't see the flaws that we see as decorators. No, I am never fully satisfied with my work as I am sure that no decorator is...there is always something. just like when I delivered a cake on Sunday the caterer was placing the final product on the cake table and he asked if there was a "good" side I wanted showing towards the front and I told him that with a cake decorator there is always a good side! but no one else knows that.

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weirkd Posted 27 May 2008 , 9:24pm
post #11 of 25

Oh yes, we are the worst critics out there because we know when something is a flaw. I even get that way when Im looking at wedding cakes in magazines! Ive seen some mistakes and think to myself "How could they put THAT cake in a magazine and not be embarrassed!!"
But I think being never satisfied is also a good thing. You dont want to be THAT person that is so full of themselves that they think everything is perfect! Ive seen chef's like that and all you want to do is smack them!

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indydebi Posted 27 May 2008 , 11:04pm
post #12 of 25

ok, ONE Of us has to be the egotist, so I'll volunteer!!

When I'm done with a cake, I stand back and proclaim loud and clear, "Geesh, Brim, you're a freakin GENIUS .... AGAIN! It's GORGEIOUS!!!" (whether it is or not!) icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

No, seriously, I'm just so glad to have gotten it finished that I'm not going to look for the imperfections because then I'd have to fix them. If I don't look for them ... then I'm officially done! thumbs_up.gif

And I learned a long time ago that when people can't do what we do, then they think ANYTHING we do is fan-tabulous!!

And I go with that! icon_biggrin.gif

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waywordz Posted 28 May 2008 , 7:47am
post #13 of 25

indydebi I hear you! I'm not without an inflated ego probably, but, I used to look at the cakes my big sis did for years and think; Wow! I could never do that beautiful of a job!" I took a couple of courses (ok several) started doing them for my friends and family but, I was always fault finding my cakes. Then my other sis (whom I showed how to do show of the stuff I learned) found some old pics our big sis had done and she sent them to me. My eyes almost popped out! I asked her how could this be? Her cakes were perfection. She said No. I knew that was true. I realized they were just seen through a novices eyes. I know so much more now, than my sister did back then. I've taken more classes on more subjects. But, more, I respect that I thought her cakes were the best, so, how can I complain about mine now. I'm a long ways from what I WISH I could do. But, I try to be more accepting of myself. There is a quote in Jurassic Park II that I live by now "All your life people will try to take your accomplishments away from you, don't you take them away from yourself." I may have misquoted it. But, I follow that. Now, if I can just get up the courage to post them in here. The pic I use is one I made copying a Frances Kruyper design. Sorry this took so long.

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JulissaMyCakes Posted 28 May 2008 , 8:57am
post #14 of 25

I've been decorating for 5 years. At the begining I was very hard on my self. I wanted my cakes to be so darn perfect that I was draining the life out of me.
As decorators, we have high standards because we see each others work and compare our work with everybody else.
I had to retrained my way of thinking and lower a bit my so high standards. If my customers are happy and I receive good comments and they still talk about the cake days later... I must have done an EXCELLENT job!
Every cake is a challenge and there is always room for improvement. Accepting the fact that we spend hours decorating a cake and seeing the final result... that's rewarding enough!!!
I have learned that if it looks good in a picture... that's what everybody else would see and not the flaws that we see.
To be sure... I would ask my daughter her opinion and trust me... she is brutally honest!!!

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Texas_Rose Posted 28 May 2008 , 9:15am
post #15 of 25

I must not be as much of a perfectionist as everyone else, because I'm always fairly pleased with my cakes when they're done. I will say it's easier to be happy with a fondant cake than a buttercream one, at least for me, and it's easier to know when I'm done.

What's really funny is that my 6 year old is turning into a cake critic...we were at a birthday party this weekend and when she saw their cake, she said, "I really don't like those colors together, and look, it's lumpy right here. You should see my mom's cakes." I was embarassed...but fortunately it was a bakery cake and not one that the other mom had made.

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mgdsue02 Posted 28 May 2008 , 10:01am
post #16 of 25

What a relief to know it isn't just me that is never completely happy with their cakes. I always see the imperfections here and there on my cakes and used to try over and over to make them perfect. All I succeeded in doing was making myself more stressed and the cake more "imperfect". I still notice the little things here and there, but have come to realize that no one can do anything perfectly. All I can do is my best. icon_smile.gif

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yummymummy Posted 28 May 2008 , 10:06am
post #17 of 25

I'm fairly new at this too and have only delivered a hand full of cakes...and no, I wasn't completly satisfied w/ any of them. I was happy with them...but not satisfied. I could see every little flaw and every difficulty I had w/ them! My hubby said that they looked amazing...but I'm like icon_confused.gif seriously...don't you see that? The important thing is that all those non-cake people think we're amazing too! icon_lol.gif

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NickiKR Posted 28 May 2008 , 7:03pm
post #18 of 25
Originally Posted by indydebi

ok, ONE Of us has to be the egotist, so I'll volunteer!!

When I'm done with a cake, I stand back and proclaim loud and clear, "Geesh, Brim, you're a freakin GENIUS .... AGAIN! It's GORGEIOUS!!!" (whether it is or not!) icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

And I go with that! icon_biggrin.gif

Ha! I totally do that. I satnd there telling my husband. "Look at that! I am freaking AMAZING!"

Problem is, I don't leave it at that. There is always a "but..." with me.

I think I meed to learn to stop at "I am freaking amazing".

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CeeTee Posted 28 May 2008 , 8:40pm
post #19 of 25
Originally Posted by indydebi

ok, ONE Of us has to be the egotist, so I'll volunteer!!

When I'm done with a cake, I stand back and proclaim loud and clear, "Geesh, Brim, you're a freakin GENIUS .... AGAIN! It's GORGEIOUS!!!" (whether it is or not!) icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

No, seriously, I'm just so glad to have gotten it finished that I'm not going to look for the imperfections because then I'd have to fix them. If I don't look for them ... then I'm officially done! thumbs_up.gif

Quote For TRUTH!!

For the first couple of months I was very over critical of my cakes, but one time when I brought a practice cake to work that I had stayed up all night working on getting Just Perfect. I had fretted and sweated over every little swirl of icing and all I wanted was for people to gush in awe over it. And they fact, everyone told me my cake was too pretty to cut. They didn't want to destroy it. Instead of being flattered like I thought I would be, I was kind of put off by it. It was CAKE! I spent 10 hours on that thing! Don't insult me by not eating it!!! icon_confused.gif

So, I got the biggest knife I could find in the break room, and while the rest of the office watched in horror, I made a big ol' cut right down the center of my "Perfect" cake. It was gloriously cathartic. icon_biggrin.gif

I know everyone ooohs and ahhhs over my cakes wether I do a quick icing job with some slapped on RI flowers (my bridal shower cake from a couple weeks ago) or do an intricately piped original design (my cinco de mayo cake) because I know my cakes are GOOD. Not just to look at, but to taste.

The imperfections? What imperfections. That's just where you start slicing! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

(Tho I will admit I have had my fair share of cakes that would NOT behave for me no matter what I did. I still got them to bend to my will in the end. Muahahaha!!) thumbs_up.gif

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KHalstead Posted 28 May 2008 , 8:59pm
post #20 of 25

I have NEVER EVER been completely happy with a cake that I've made. In fact, the last wedding cake I did (topsy turvy-3 tiers, plus 5 satellite cakes and a double layer half sheet kitchen about tired) I thought was so horrible that I almost offered a 100% refund even though I had already accidentally undercharged the bride by close to $150.00!!!! My 9 yr. old son was like mom you can't give the money back it looks awesome! (I took him with me to hold open the doors so I could carry all those darn cakes in) and I thought to myself "I can't AFFORD to give her ALL the money back" so I decided to wait it out and if she asked for a refund I'd give it to her! To my amazement she gushed over the cake, called me the day after the wedding and left a message saying it FAR exceeded every hope she'd had for it and her guests were equally amazed by the cake. I have had 5 cake orders stem from this ONE wedding already.....and the wedding was may 3 of this year!! So even though I am never satisfied at least the customers are!! They have more faith in my talent than I do!

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cwcopeland Posted 28 May 2008 , 9:14pm
post #21 of 25

When I first started posting pics on CC, I'd point out my faults and some of the "experts" on here would comment and say they wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't pointed it out. So I quit being so critical on myself and started leaving things alone.

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aligotmatt Posted 28 May 2008 , 9:16pm
post #22 of 25

Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not. Okay, I actually have a cake that I JUST finished sitting and waiting for delivery. And really, I'm close to hating it... not QUITE there, but I'm close. So my husband was standing there and I was like, well what do you think? and he said, "it's not your best cake ever, but i'm sure everyone else will think it's amazing because they think a walmart cake is coming"

But really, some cakes I finish and I give myself a huge pat on the back - like that new peach cake in my photo's. I left that cake so satisfied. And then to top it off the event coordinator called me during the reception to tell me that people could not stop talking about the cake! that is was the most spectacular thing anyone had seen in person. It made me feel good about by personal pat on the back icon_smile.gif

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dragonflydreams Posted 28 May 2008 , 9:27pm
post #23 of 25

. . . usually I will stand back and say "damn I'm good" . . . but secretly in my heart I'm NEVER really pleased/satisfied . . . cause I know where all the imperfections are . . . *sign* . . . I wonder if I'll ever get over that . . . icon_confused.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 28 May 2008 , 10:00pm
post #24 of 25

We look at things differently than the average person does. The average person takes in the whole picture and sees it all at once. The cake decorator is going to look at the cake in parts and nit pick. Is the icing completely smooth? Is my writting even? Does the design look good? And so on.

I use the example for my students of if you were in band or drill team (choir, drama, cheerleading or a ny group like that) in HS, or had kids that did/do it. You watch these preformances differently if you know the processes behind them. I think that goes the same for cake decorating. We know what things to look for.

I can't say I have ever finished a cake and not been able to say, next time I'll do this or I should have done it like this. But to me every cake is a learning process. If we stop learning what do you have left? I don't dwell on the non perfect cakes any more, I just take what I learn from it and apply it to the next cake.

One thing that was hard for me to over come was I had a picture of one thing in my head and more often than not the finished product was not the same. Doesn't mean it was not as good as what I had orginally thought, but it just wasn't the same.

It doesn't mean I love every cake I do, but I don't let them get to me as much now as I use to. icon_smile.gif

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Price Posted 28 May 2008 , 11:32pm
post #25 of 25

Like many others that have posted, I am often happy with my cakes, but never completely satisfied. I was very happy with my "Old Lady in the Shoe" cake that I entered in the Mid-Atlantic Cake Show, but was not completely satisfied by any means! I would have liked to have done a better job on the roof, I wish I had modeled a child to be sliding down or sitting on to of the shoe, I wanted to put a chimmney on the roof and a stork dropping off an addition to the family, but I just ran out of time! Happy? yes. I had challenged myself and felt I did a pretty good job, but not satisfied for sure. I'm beginning to think satisfied is not in my vocabulary! icon_lol.gif

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