Why Me

Decorating By cakenista Updated 6 Mar 2009 , 12:38am by Bonnell

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cakenista Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:31pm
post #1 of 30

Ok I guess ill start hear cuz Im really frustrated .I am starting to bake and decorate cakes so Im no pro but I have made cakes in the past,so anyway I was making this cake for a friend and it was a simple round cake chocolate frosting banana cream filling nothing hard about it (so are you with me so far ookkay any hoo )everything is right so far I followed the directions made the frosting damn so no filling oozes out the sides leveled it and all that good stuff so I am frosting it and Ive watched videos and watched tv about making your frosting so smooth on the cake like u see the pros do well I ve tried those techniques several times like the paper towel angeling your off set spatula at just the right angle warming the spatula with water lightly did all that everybody elses turnes out great but not mine tried it several times same results and I know what your going to say temp outside not right ,to much of this not enough of that when you made your frosting did you beat it at a low speed cuz thats what makes the frosting smooth well let me tell you been there done that still no good what am I doing wrong Maybe Im not cut out for this I love baking and I really love making people happy maybe My ex husband was right Im aa loser and I will never amount to anything and by the way when i got done frosting the cake even when i put the frosting damn so the filling wouldnt leak out it still did, not only that I crumb coat and I still get crumbs and I let it crumb the alotted times specified should I just give up does it take a special kind of person to do this well thank you for listening to my ramble im just really frustrated icon_sad.gif

29 replies
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Dawanka Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:43pm
post #2 of 30

First I want to say only you can let someone make you feel bad. Don't give them that satisfaction. For 10 years I lived in that kind of environment and I know it gets to you. However, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I have had the same problems with cakes over and over again. You will get it don't worry. Just don't try and have perfection on everything it does take time. I've only been doing this for a year now and I've had some really nice cakes and some doozy of flops including my brothers recent b-day cake luckily I was able to salvage it. We've all been there and it happens just put your best foot forward. Remember you are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

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FullHouse Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:44pm
post #3 of 30

Practice, practice, practice. My cakes didn't start out smooth either. Also, if you are able to take a Wilton Course, that might help. You can usually find a special at Michael's where the class in around $17 and then use a 40-50% coupon to buy your kit (around $25 w/o coupon). HTH. Hang in there and PRACTICE.

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mmgiles Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:47pm
post #4 of 30

Walk away, take a break and come back to it. You'll be fine. We all start out this way. I tried a lot of different methods in the begining, and my cakes still arent perfect, but I found the hot spatchula worked best for me. It isnt about the technique, its about practice. Making that method work for you. One thing I've found about the fillings bulging is that you need to use a firm frosting for the dam, then get it all smooth when you crumb coat. Let the crumb coat set up too, maybe longer. It cant hurt to put it in the fridge to firm up either, so that when you ice the cake, you arent pushing too hard, that you push the filling out.

You'll get through it. Dont give up just yet. Just keep practicing on friends.

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cakenista Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:50pm
post #5 of 30

thank you very much Its hard though when someone is expecting this cake from you and I cant salvage it how do you salvage acake when it just got frosted and filling is ooozing all over and I dont have the money to do it again I had to call her and tell her I threw the cake away and I cant make you another one I feel embarrassed its not professional I know its sounds like Im having a pity party

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newnancy Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:51pm
post #6 of 30

First off, I'm no pro by any means. I'm just a home baker like you. 2nd, you're lucky he's you ex, he sounds like a real idiot. You're NOT a loser because you like to make people happy, nothing wrong with that. You CAN do it, it just takes practice, practice, practice & a lot of patience. You can do whatever you want if you try & don't give up. Show you ex you can & rub his face in one of your beautiful cakes. Good Luck! thumbs_up.gif

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pinkbox Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:52pm
post #7 of 30

First off you are NOT A LOSER!! Dont say that about yourself. When you speak those words, you make yourself believe it. You are a beautiful person with a lot of untapped talent!

No one gets this overnight. I am still having issues with perfect icing etc... which is why I LOVE fondant.

I have come to the conclusion that perfection is overrated... its cake! It WILL be eaten!

You will get there... just keep telling yourself... your are awesome and each cake you do is a step toward the artist you will be.

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FullMoonRanch Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:53pm
post #8 of 30

You are not a loser!!! Some days (weeks, years) are just like that. Nothing seems to go right. Keep practicing. I am no pro either but I keep trying. My frosting was bulgy, fondant stripes had ratty edges, RI pieces kept breaking, etc. I was discouraged yesterday too. If you keep at it I will too. Practice makes maybe not perfect but at least a lot better! Like I tell me daughter, you won't be great at something when you first start. The more you do it the better you will get. It is easy to get discouraged especially in our tough times now. Keep working for your own enjoyment. Make YOU happy!

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KHalstead Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:57pm
post #9 of 30

I have two words for you that I did NOT see mentioned in your post

MELVIRA METHOD........check it out, you'll never go back to anything else!

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confectioneista Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:58pm
post #10 of 30

Whoa, hold on here Sweetcheeks! First of all, you are NOT a loser and anyone who tells you that is the loser. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're just starting out and we have ALL been-there-done-that, too! Everyone goes through those same kind of frustrations, even pros.

Do not give up on yourself or on what you enjoy doing. Anything worth doing is worth sticking to! I know it's hard doing cakes without any formal training, but CC is the perfect place to learn from a whole community of cakers - there is a lot of talent here and they are willing to help! The thing to do is try, try and try again - never stop until you are happy with what you accomplish. Practice your talent and decorating skills; try recipes out on family and friends. But whatever you do, do not give up on yourself!!

I've never had the opportunity to be formally trained, so I did the next best thing that I could do - I got magazines, how-to books, watched every cake how-to show and video I could and then practiced, practiced, practiced. And I refuse to give up. I know I'm not Collette Peters or Wendy Kromer but I've made a lot of brides, friends and family happy with my cakes! So don't you quit!! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF - YOU ARE SPECIAL AND YOU CAN DO IT! thumbs_up.gif **hugs**

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Donnagardner Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:01pm
post #11 of 30

First of all.....YOU SHOULD SHOOT YOUR EX-HUSBAND..... HE IS THE LOSER HERE.......now that that is off my chest.....practice.....practice.....practice and have lots of patience.

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cakenista Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:02pm
post #12 of 30

thank you to all of you I practice everyday I bought everything I need to do this I took the courses to Ive walked a way I crumb coat over night in the fridge and still crumbs my frosting doesnt have that smooth apearance when im mixing it in my kitchen aid mixer I have the beater blade as well still my frosting looks grainy not smooth I have the appropriate frosting recipes ive made the frostings millions of times still grainy I level the cakes they still dont look like they do when i see other bakers do it I do love all of your caring comments you guys are great Im not going to give up But it does put a damper on myself esteem hahah im turning this into a counseling session ..lol

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jillmakescakes Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:07pm
post #13 of 30

Everyone has bad days- this just happens to be yours.

You are not a loser, and EX-husband's (or ex-wives) are NEVER right-- it is in the divore handbook icon_biggrin.gif

It takes a lot of cakes and a lot of practice to get the smoothing right, and even then it isn't always perfect.

Just keep on cakin' and you'll get it.

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jillmakescakes Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:08pm
post #14 of 30

Everyone has bad days- this just happens to be yours.

You are not a loser, and EX-husband's (or ex-wives) are NEVER right-- it is in the divore handbook icon_biggrin.gif

It takes a lot of cakes and a lot of practice to get the smoothing right, and even then it isn't always perfect.

Just keep on cakin' and you'll get it.

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jennabell441 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:09pm
post #15 of 30

Anyone who calls anyone a loser is a loser himself!!! You need to practice and keep at it. I've seen improvement in my cakes over the last couple of years and you will as well. Keep your chin up!!!

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kakeladi Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:12pm
post #16 of 30

I agree w/everyone else so far.....*YOU* are not a loser!

Now on to the filling: You mention banana - did you make it a pudding or just sliced fruit? How much? The dam - did you use a thick consistency icing? Did the filling go above the dam?

Icing: Again, consistency has a lot to do w/how it smooths. You need a thin to medium consistency. Have you checked out the videos on YouTube? There are several people on this site who have very good videos including SharonsSugarShack and Serious_Cakes. Watching those should help you a lot on icing you cakes.
Please give it another chance. As others have said, practice makes perfect. If you can, dig that cake out of the trash and practice, practice, practice again and again until you get it right. No, no one has to eat it but you will get things down pat for the next time you make a cake. And.......there *will* be a next timeicon_smile.gif

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confectioneista Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:12pm
post #17 of 30

Hey, this is what we are here for - cake therapy as well as emotional therapy and support!! Tell us what recipe you are using and the exact ingredients you use. Sometimes it's the recipe, sometimes it's the "type" of ingredients - not all ingredients are made the same! Once we know what you're using, we can try to figure out the problem!

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tiggy2 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:23pm
post #18 of 30

The best thing you can do to perfect your dam and get a perfectly smooth cake is to get sugarshack's "Perfecting The Art of Buttercream" DVD www.sugaredproductions.com It's the best money I've ever spent and it's inexpensive. You can do this you just need to know the right way to do it. Good Luck!

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CCCTina Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:24pm
post #19 of 30

I agree with what everyone else said. You also need to find a recipe that works for YOU. You may be doing everything right, but the recipe is just not working for you. I had the same problem with smoothing icing and have tried various highly rated recipes. It took trial and error, but I finally found a buttercream that smooths for me. It is the same with cake recipes. I don't know why some recipes work well for one person and not another, but that just seems to be the way it is. That is why you will see so many differences of opinion on here. So my suggestion, learn from your mistakes and try again with another buttercream. Don't let this get you down--cake are fun when you get beyond the frustration of perfection!

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cakenista Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:28pm
post #20 of 30

Actually when I watched the serious cakes on you tube she inspired me to do this she made it look sooo easy very inspiring she is shes awesome

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gerripje Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:46pm
post #21 of 30

First of all, it took me a long time to figure out that when your partner says things like that to you, it means you're not and he was desperately trying to make you think that you are, to put you down to his level. So every negative thing that he said to you, was just the opposite, so you're actually really awesome!!
Now, I'm new at cakes too, and it just takes practice. After awhile you'll get it and I love the Melvira method too. I can try to smooth a cake till the cows come home, or get out my roller and, viola!! HTH!

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chrissypie Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:00pm
post #22 of 30


Listen, believe me, I know how you feel. You want to be great and something and you want it now. You are in no way, shape or form, a loser. Cake decorating, like most things, takes practice, and you can constantly learn someting new. I am new at this, big time, but I am going to guess and say that even experienced decorators learn something new every now and again. I understand how easy it is to get down on yourself when your cake isn't what you thought it would be. I have to tell you, the biggest things that helped me were, Wilton Classes. I loved them, but also Sharon Zambito's video on Buttercream. Initially, her techniques take a while, but once you learn them, it gets faster. And I have to say, I see a tremendous improvement in my frosting. Now, my cakes are not perfect, I just don't do enough, practice enough, but my cakes do look nicely frosted! I always get a compliment. I really, really recommend her video if you have the extra money I would definitely buy it. I believe the web is sugaredproductions.com.

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cathyscakes Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:11pm
post #23 of 30

I know how you feel, the smoothing drove me crazy too. In fact I would try to talk people into basketweave because I hated trying to get it smooth. I would put the extra work on myself, just because I hated getting buttercream smooth. Now it seems so easy, found the right recipe, one that lightly crusts where I can smooth with paper towel method. You will get it too, you'll look back and think what was I so worried about. I level the cakes, make a stiff dam of buttercream (not right on the edge, in a little) and I'm really careful that the fillings aren't too runny, put the cakes together and crumb ice, then I let them sit overnight and let the cakes settle. I then ice, let set up, use paper towel with a fondant smoother, it works great.

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susanscakecreations Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:25pm
post #24 of 30

Don't be discouraged! I'm no pro either, (look at some of MY doozies!) Like everyone says, practice, practice, practice!!!!!!!!
You are NOT a loser, and don't ever think that way!!!!!!
After all, it's not brain surgery, it's cake!!!!!!!

Take a look at Edna's video on how to ice a cake:

Keep your spirits up!!!!!! Don't give up!!!!!!

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Ruth0209 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:36pm
post #25 of 30

Please don't EVER, EVER think of yourself as a loser EVER again. Even if you never figure out how to make a smooth cake, that doesn't have a thing to do with who you are. Tell me where that ex is and I'll go slap him up for you for making you feel like you're a failure. That's about him. It's what unhappy people do so they have company. Let go of all that, please.

It's so important that you learn to see inside and love yourself for all the wonderful things you are. Forget about icing. Spend some time reflecting on what a good person you are. If there are things you don't like about yourself, just decide to work on them. None of us is perfect, but we are all precious souls of this universe.

Now, just add a bunch of powdered sugar to your icing for the dam (until you can actually pick it up and form it a bit), and don't fill very thick in between the layers. If you torte it, you can have more thinner layers of filling so the balance is still good.

The pros here are GENIUSES at smoothing and leveling. My cakes are never as level as Sharon's, and it takes me forever to get it smooth. You must find a good crusting icing recipe. I ice mine relatively smooth and then chill it way down before I go after it with a paper towel or roller. That helps me.

Good luck, darling. You keep your chin WAY up and remember you're wonderful.

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cakedoll Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:47pm
post #26 of 30

I'm just getting the hang of this too. I see pictures in the gallery and it's like "OMG...how did they get this so PERFECT!"

But the main thing I had to chime in on here is this; don't ever ever let anyone tell you that you are a loser. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

I was married way too long to a man (and I use that term loosely) who made himself feel better by psychologically and physically abusing me.

Not going to go into specifics here, but I finally kicked him to the curb. Now, 20 years later, he is still living with his mother, not working, drinking, and blaming everyone else for his failures.

This site is a wealth of knowledge, information, and encouragement that is unbelievable. Take advantage of it. Every time I sign in, I learn something new.

And one of these days, I will be able to frost a cake with perfectly smooth buttercream. icon_biggrin.gif

Sorry if I sound a bit preachy but I'm passionate about abuse of any kind.

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tjrobin31 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 7:03pm
post #27 of 30

keep your head up girl, your in no way shape or form a loser,
buttercream can be a pain the butt to smooth, i've been trying for months and can't get it right, it gets frustrating but just keep trying, you'll get it (and hopefully so will i eventually). i'm new to this too and like the previous poster said, i think omg( when i see the cakes posted here) i'll never be able to do that, all these cakes seem so perfect, and i want mine to be perfect too, but even if they aren't i'm doing something i like to do and learning soo much as i go... stay positive and keep trying, you can do it , you can do it,(SAY IT WITH ME NOW) YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! hope you have a better day, you deserve it..

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newmansmom2004 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 7:14pm
post #28 of 30

OK, Sweetcheeks. No more loser talk. We're all winners and even sometimes winners have bad days or it takes us just a little bit longer to reach those goals. Don't give up...especially if you enjoy doing the cakes! I've been doing cakes for a couple years now and I continue to learn new things that help make my cakes better.

On the crumb coating: I found out that I had a lot fewer crumbs if I turned my leveled cake upside down so that the cut side was on the bottom and I was actually icing the smooth 'bottom' of the cake. That one step alone probably cut my crumbs down by 70%. Don't be afraid to be generous with your icing when you do the final coat. I mean - you don't want an inch of icing, but don't be skimpy either.

On the filling: Make sure you have a nice substantial dam. If you have to double-pipe the dam so you have two rows of buttercream to hold the filling in...it's ok. Make sure you don't overfill the fruit filling.

Pick up a styrofoam cake dummy and practice on that with the icing. Dummies are very inexpensive (couple dollars) and you don't waste money on actual cake that might just get thrown out if you get frustrated. With the dummies you just scrape off the icing, give it a good wash and start over.

Keep going, girl - you'll get there!!

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jules96 Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 12:07am
post #29 of 30

first of all, as everyone else has said, YOU ARE NOT A LOSER! it takes a lot of courage to come on here and admit your messes. I have been a member for a long time and just looked at cakes and read dfferent posts,(I don't even have any pics on here) I applaud you for coming on and asking for help. Keep on practicing and you will soar. You are a WINNER! I will add a pic tonight and you make a cake and look for all of the good things in it, not the bad.

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Bonnell Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 12:38am
post #30 of 30

Hey Sweetcheeks,

As someone that is also new to decorating I totally understand your frustration w/buttercream. It is very, very difficult to get it smooth (I still can't get it real smooth but lots better than when I started). Try different recipes until you find the one that works best for you. I use one that uses whipping cream in it and I use high ratio shortening. Those two things made a world of difference in the smoothness of my buttercream - not grainy at all. I really prefer fondant because then I don't have to worry so much about the buttercream.

Also, I tell people up front when they ask me to make a cake for them (I don't charge) that I am still learning and I don't guarantee the results but that I am happy to give it a try if they are happy to eat the end product. No one has turned me down yet (amazing what people will agree to for free cake). I do it free so I can get the practice. Now I have people all over the hospital where I work asking me to make cakes for them! (Be careful what you ask for)

The practice really, really helps. Just make yourself understand that it takes time to perfect the art of decorating and that with each "failure" you will learn at least one valuable lesson. That's my attitude. It's not a failure - it's a learning experience and believe me, I have learned A LOT in the last year!

Watch the YouTube videos - they're great. And the people on this site are amazing - the most helpful, generous people I've ever seen.

Good luck and hang in there but most of all RELAX - it's only cake!

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