Juggling Cake And Job???

Business By amberlee416 Updated 26 Mar 2009 , 5:05pm by cmlr

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amberlee416 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 7:00pm
post #1 of 27

For those of you that work and have your own cake business, HOW DO YOU DO IT?? I am trying so desperately to start my cakeing in my home, and i make cakes here and there for friends and such, but overall i do not have time to do this stuff, and its my passion. In all honesty its driving me nuts that i have to go to work everyday, and i cant quit my job, because we need the money too much, i am so stressed out with work that i'm ready to say screw it and just do cakes, but then that wont help me because i wont have money to buy supplies for making the cakes. GGGGRRRRR!!!! icon_mad.gificon_cry.gif I also have a two year old with me at all times and bless his heart he tries to help, but seeing as how i'm on a time frame of what i have to get done before work his helping is more hindering sometimes. I Just need some ideas on how to juggle a normal job and get my cake bus. off the ground. TIA

26 replies
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Deb_ Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 9:15pm
post #2 of 27

It's a very difficult thing to juggle a full time job, a child that's young and needs Mommy all the time, and doing cakes.

For me, it took almost 20 yrs before I really was able to dedicate enough time into my cake business to get licensed.

I waited until my kids were almost in college before I did it. I didn't want to miss one Softball tournament or Football game so I put it on the back burner and just baked for family and friends. At the time I lived in Rhode Island and they don't allow home kitchens to be licensed so I really couldn't do anything anyway.

We finally moved to MA 5 yrs ago and when we built we added a 2nd licensed kitchen and now I'm taking more orders.

I would have loved to have been able to do this years ago, but the reality was I couldn't leave my steady day job once the kids went to school, to do cakes. It was just too risky. Plus, I didn't have enough time.

My advice to you is that in this economy I wouldn't leave a job where you know you make a certain amount of money each week to start a business that runs hot and cold. Also, enjoy your baby, these years go by SO fast and before you know it he'll be grown up.

Limit your orders to maybe 1 a week if that's all you have time for, I used to bake at night when the kids went to bed so as not to take away from their time with me, or when my DH got home from work.

I know it can get to be frustrating sometimes, I was in the same situation. I still work full time during the day at my Salon and only bake at night, so not much has changed except that my kids are in college now. (nobody around to eat the cake scraps anymore)

Good luck to you and whatever you decide.

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Carson Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 11:05pm
post #3 of 27

It is so hard!! I work a fulltime job and bake cakes in the evenings/weekends. I also have two young girls. I only take 1 cake a week - and am very picky with my schedule. I find doing things in small spurts helps. like bake one night, make fondant another, make figures and other decorations one night, cover cakes, decorate on the final day - or night before. It takes some planning but you could spread it out so you just have to do a little each evening. I'm in a position that I can't quit my job either, try not to make yourself crazy, be realistic of what you can do in a day (its a big problem I have!).

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indydebi Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 12:29am
post #4 of 27

when I worked out of my house, I didnt' have a two year old to care for, and that is going to be a big factor for you .... but I spent 2 years getting by on about 4 hours sleep a night. I was lucky enough to work 2 minutes from a Sam's Club, so I could pick up supplies on my lunch hour.

Like dkelly, I pretty much waited 20+ years to really get it going. We understand the passion and that you want to do cakes all the time ('coz to us, there's nothing more important! icon_biggrin.gif ), but don't hit burn out. You'll end up hating what you love.

I did that some years ago. And I stopped making cakes for YEARS! it wasn't fun anymore.

One of my favorite quotes about children:
If you bungle raising your children, I dont think whatever else you do well matters very much.
---Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

You can always make cakes years down the road. It's kinda hard to put a 15 year old on your lap and try to recapture the joy of reading a story to a 2-year old. icon_wink.gif

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jammjenks Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 3:23am
post #5 of 27

I work a FT job during the day, have a 5 and 6 year old...yadda, yadda. You know the rest...busy just like everybody else. It all comes down to excellent time management. I do like PP said and bake one night, make icing one night, etc. On Monday I like to make a weekly schedule. There's such a satisfaction in being able to mark things off when they're done. An average week for me is about 5 non-wedding cakes. When wedding weekends come up, my other orders are limited to 2-3 tops.

Don't take more orders than you can handle. Only you know how many that is.

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pinklesley1 Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 3:36am
post #6 of 27

i work a full time job as a teacher, but i would love to quit and do caking ful time... we can dream

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SugarChic24 Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 3:40am
post #7 of 27

Amberlee.... I feel the same way. I hold a full time job have a 3 year old but I love caking! It is my passion as well and I dream of doing it for a living. I can't, not yet. I find comfort in knowing that i WILL. So I work hard at my job, I make about one cake a week, for me its practice, and therapy! Everything else is soooo stressful lately that its zen like to me to get lost in a buttercream border or a fondant rose. I know how hard it is, just put one foot in front of the other for now and everything else will fall into place... Right? Thanks for your post, it helps to have people that feel the same.

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dahir Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 3:43am
post #8 of 27

I work full time too. I have 3 boys 18, 17 and 17. I sent my first child to college last year and the twins will be off to college this year. Very sad and exciting time. I made it to everything they we ever involved in and believe me between three of them it was something all the time. Now I will be starting my cake business legally in Sept. after the twins leave for college. I wanted to spend their last summer at home with them as much as I can. I DO NOT regret anything (personal Dreams) that iI have put off to raise my kids. . My advice, take the time you can get now and practice and study everything you can get your hands on. The time will come sooner than you realize when you will have time again for the things you want to do and youll be ready.

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SharonK1973 Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 3:57am
post #9 of 27

I work and go to school and make cakes. I don't know what I would do if I had children! I came from work today ( I clean houses), sat and ate and then got caking. Made two and now I feel like I am about to die! All I can do is tell myself, tomorrow, I won't feel like this, so I will think about quitting tomorrow. Its very hard, but I imaging for those with toddlers, it might indeed be best to wait a while. Still make cakes and stuff for yourseld and whoever else you like, but hold off on the business part for a while.

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dreamdelights Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 4:06am
post #10 of 27

Trust me it is hard I have stressful job and think about cake every chance I get. I only bake one cake per week. Enjoy your baby because trust the time flies and before you know its college. Just take smaller orders and take this time to practice and create

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ptanyer Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 4:38am
post #11 of 27

I agree with eveything said earlier. I remember raising my son as a single parent and how hard it was to juggle one job, one child and a home. I also remember that as a parent I found myself saying "I can't wait until...my son goes to middle school, learns to drive, goes to high school...all the milestones that we anticipate our child doing as they grow up. Watching him experience those milestones was worth all the juggling I had to do.

Now, I still work a very stressful full time job (as a legal assistant) and there is no way I can give up this job - I need the money and the health insurance..but I also have a granddaughter now and she is the light of my life and we spend every weekend together. I want her to be able to remember that no matter what was going on in my life, that I always made time for her. That it is possible to multi-task and have a full life. And when she gets older, I hope she will enjoy cake decorating as much as I do. (she already knows how to use my clay machine to roll out the fondant). If so, then with any luck, she will have a cake decorating business to step right into when she is ready.

I only take one cake per week and spread the work out throughout the week. That makes a long week, but I can spend more time on the small details that make a finished cake look so good and it is a real stress buster to come home and play with cake! I often don't have any radio or tv going. It's just me and peace and quiet while I work.

Don't take on more than you can comfortably handle. Caking should be fun and rewarding, not just unending work and stress.

I wish you all the best in life! Here's to all of us cakesters!


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ClassyMommy Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 5:10am
post #12 of 27

I feel your pain! I have three little ones and luckily I don't have to work, but if I did (or when I had one baby and did) I would have never been able to deal with the stress of making cakes. Take care of your family, cherish the good times, and before you know you will know the right path for you and your family.

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SpoonfulofSugar Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 5:04pm
post #13 of 27

I can't say I know exactly how you feel....b/c I don't have children yet. But, it is very hard to work full time and run a business.....my DH helps me a lot...even decorates for me and I still am always run down...sometimes don't know wheather I'm coming or going....it's very hard and sometimes I want to give up. But, so many people tell me not too....and I remember that God will never give me more than I can handle and he wouldn't bring me this far to drop me. It's in His hands. Hang in there!

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ccr03 Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 6:28pm
post #14 of 27

Wow, another reason to count my blessings!

As single, childless, relatively young (2icon_cool.gif person, I asm so grateful that I am in the position I am in right now! I work fulltime (about 10-15 minutes from home) and Costco, Walmart, Sam's Hobby Lobby, grocery stores are ALL on my way home. I started when I got laid off about 2.5 yrs ago as a way to make extra money. I had only made for my immediate family before then. My familyis EXTREMELY supportive! Heck, my 20-yr-old bro helped me serve the wedding cake once.
But even with all that support, it's still alot. TIME MANAGEMENT is the key! During the summer I can forget about going to to the bars/clubs with my friends on Friday nights.
But I guess one thing that kind-of keeps me sane is that I try to keep things in prespective. my family has gone thought some rough times in the past few years. Cake decorating has been very therapuatic for me. Do I want my business to grow and potentioally make a living out of it, yes. But I'm not going to give up my Decemeber vaction with my family for it. If I never make it to be the next "Duff" I'm cool with that, there are more important things in life than businesses and money. But while I'm doing it, I'll keep putting my best foot forward - that's all I can ask of myself.

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Shannon1129 Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 3:56pm
post #15 of 27

I feel your pain! I work at a church. So along with the cakes, I get about 6 hrs of sleep on an average weekend. Our church has sat services and 3 sunday services. Busy busy. I also have a 4 yr old and a 6 yr old autistic son. Time is a hot commodity here.

I do limit myself to three celebration cake order or one wedding cake a weekend though. Usually I go to bed about 2am on Saturday morning and I am up again at 6 am or 7am. but - I think one of the jobs are going to have to give soon. I am losing the laundry battle of the last job - WIFE. icon_smile.gif

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tripleD Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 4:17pm
post #16 of 27

I understand.. It took a long time for me to quite my job to stay at home.I worked a a bank 6 days a week. I take care of our town little league about 75 kids. I have three boys of my own 7,10,13. I do cakes.
When my husband realized how many cakes I turned down a week he said why don't I quite the bank and stay home. It took me two years to make that leap. I asked god to help me make this move. I was scared.
My oldest son had some emotional problems.It opened my eyes. It gave me the push to stay home.(he needed his mom).

It was the best move of my life. I have not yet missed a pay check from the bank. I have filled it by cake orders. Yes things have been tight at time but I believe miracles happen.

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klat7292 Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 4:21pm
post #17 of 27

I say AMEN to all of the comments here...it just goes to show you that God DOES NOT give us more than we can handle! Sure, as I read each and every comment, I can relate to each and every one! Amberlee, don't give up on your dreams! You have your whole life ahead of you...Don't worry about tomorrow, for today has enough problems on its on! That's easier said than done; I'm preaching to myself here!! God's grace is sufficient...if he's given you the talent, ability, and desire to accomplish this, then where He leads, He provides!! Walk by faith and not by sight!


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crazyteach Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 4:27pm
post #18 of 27

Wow Shannon!! You have a 6 year old autistic child, work, and still do cakes! I teach special needs children. My autistic children are the ones that need most of my attention. I have a 19 year old who needed a lot of medical attention his whole life. I just got back into cake decorating because he is old enough to take care of his own needs- he is also mentally able take care of his own needs, and will be going off to college in the fall. I can't wait to be able to dedicate more time to caking icon_rolleyes.gif

I agree with everyone so far-- your children should come first- caking will be there! I am looking forward to the next couple of years-- taking classes (with my 10 year old daughter) and learning more, so I can get a business going! All the posts in here makes me feel good about my decision to wait!! thumbs_up.gif

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tx_cupcake Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 4:52pm
post #19 of 27

I guess I'm also lucky that I don't have kids yet because I work full time and make cakes. However, I'm pretty strict about the number of cakes I'll do per week (2) and I adhere to a pretty regimented schedule. I only do one thing per day.

For a Saturday cake, my schedule looks like this: Monday- Make fondant; Tuesday- Make bc; Wednesday- Make cakes and freeze; Thursday- Make filling and color fondant; Friday- assemble cake and decorate.

So far I have retained my will to live icon_lol.gif . I guess we'll see what happens when a kiddo comes along in the next year or two!

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buggus Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 1:37am
post #20 of 27

Wow TripleD, I'm inspired. I'm new here, and this is exactly what I needed to read. I'm at home right now on Mat. leave just finishing up my cake courses and practicing, but I've finally found my love. Actually, I've had my love all along for cake decorating, I used to skip school to bake. Should've known better way back then.

So here I am, a mother of one baby boy, 10 months old, and can't wait to quit my day job. Good to read all these stories of how you're all doing it. Great advice. I'm going to start slow and small too, who knows what will happen, I can finally quit the day job I hate!

Anyway, to the original poster, good luck, I hear it's stressful starting out, but you've been given some terrific advice here.

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Barbclara Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 7:50pm
post #21 of 27


I am new to CC and just want to say thank you for your post. I am new to the world of cakeing and also WFT and have a 2yo son. I cannot at the moment give up my job as I need the healthcare and $$, but I hope to still start up my own home-based business, even if I'm only making and selling a few cakes a month for the next few years. I see now from the replies that this is a doable thing, with good time management skills.

GL to you! You got some great advice from all of the PPs!

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deb12g Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 9:00pm
post #22 of 27

I teach full time, and opened my cake & catering business 2 1/2 yrs. ago.
It is NOT EASY. Good time management, organization are keys. Also, a DH that's very supportive is also helpful. While I'm teaching, DH (he's retired) runs errands - Sam's, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, bank, deliveries,etc. I make a list, and he takes care of what has to be done. He doesn't mind it--when I leave at 7 A.M., he does, too. He runs all the errands, and is back by 10 or so. He's got the rest of the day to do what he'd like to do.

My days usually start at 4 A.M. I work until it's time to get ready & leave for school which is only 2 miles away. I get home at 3:30 P.M. and start working again. Some nights, it's midnight, most nights it's 10 P.M.

I don't have small children any more, which helps. But, I do have 5 grandchildren that. I usually have at leat 2 of them each afternoon.
It's all in how you manage things. Learn to take things in stride, and how to say NO. This is a hard business, and you've got to REALLY LOVE IT to stay in it!

Good luck to you!

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cakes22 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 4:35pm
post #23 of 27

My "real" job is running a home daycare. I look after 6 kids (that aren't mine) + my 2 when they get home from school (11 & 15). My morning starts at 6:00, my first kids arrive at 7:00 and don't leave until 5:00. If I have cakes to do, I bake in the evening, which isn't much of a hassle, except when I have to drive my kids to hockey, basketball, guitar & drum lessons. I get my frosting made during lunch time with the DC kids, since I'm in the kitchen anyway.I try to get all my cake stuff done before the weekend if possible, which isn't often.
I applaud all working moms & stay at home moms. I don't love my job, but it's good money. The cake hobby is for 'extra' money and my own personal fullfillment.

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Niliquely Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 4:51pm
post #24 of 27

I read all the posts here, looked over at my beautiful red-headed two year old and started to cry. I have been so gung-ho about cake decorating and getting licensed...this all makes me realize maybe I need to just breathe and say that there is plenty of time for cakes...I'm only 29 and I don't want to miss anything with Abigail...*sigh*

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malishka Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 5:00pm
post #25 of 27

I'm a single mom of an 11 & 12 year old. I work full time and I cake in the evenings. I think it's a fantastic way to make some extra money, but I wouldn't quit my job for something so unstable.
It is very difficult to juggle kids, work and home. My house is a mess most of the time. But it's livable. You have to plan your cakes accordingly.
I usually start on Monday, the weekend before the cake is due. I also bake after I get home from work. It doesn't take much time to whip up some batter and put it in the oven. The next day I bake the rest (my oven is small) and by Wednesday or thursday I will have made my buttercream and fillings.
I do it mostly in the evenings when my kids are doing their homework at the kitchen table. This way, everyone has things to do, but we are still having a conversation and interacting. This way, I feel like I am not taking away from their "Mommy time".
I decorate my cakes only after my kids go to bed. I get to consontrate better on my craft that way. Plus, I am not taking awaay from their time. Now if I get to decorate on the weekend, they love to help me.

It's all about balance, and time management. It is extremely difficult at first, but you get used to it.

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majormichel Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 5:30pm
post #26 of 27

I am a full time student in university with three kids (5 months, 4 and 9) and will be finish May 2010. I love to bake and decorate cakes. I took the wilton master course in 2005 and was decorating ever since. Presently I have no time for cake decorating because of school work and dealing with a baby 24/7. The only baking I do is the monthly church birthday club. I love to decorating cake and hopefully I want to start a home based business. I find cake decorating relaxing. I visit CC everyday to look at the cakes, just looking at the different designs is relaxing and makes me want to go bake. But reality kicks in went the baby starts crying or the kids are being abit to loud. One day my dream will come true.

Thanks for all the advise, I plan to enjoy the kids and the moment we are in.

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cmlr Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 5:05pm
post #27 of 27

I also work full time, swing shifts !!, I have no young kids at home, a 20 yr old.
I do cakes when I can, But trying to sleep during the day,work all night,
and then knowing I have to get a cake done for Sat.is very hard.And then switch shifts the next week.I have no schedule what so ever,and sleep very little. I love doing cakes and would like to go into business,but there is no way working this job. But it pays very well and I have been there for 20 years. Oh,and did I mention,I hate going to work there.But the way the economy is I thank God I have a good job.
But my question is this. Can you really make a living at this ? And has anyone made the jump, been glad of it and been successful? And HOW DO YOU START !! icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif

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