Critique Please - How Could I Improve This Cake?

Decorating By Emmar308 Updated 10 Apr 2011 , 11:22am by Terri66

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Emmar308 Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 8:35am
post #1 of 22

Hi there

The cake i am refering to is the most recent in my gallery - Gerbera cake. When i planned this cake in my head it looked alot better than when it was finished. I can't put my finger on what's not right about it, but i'm just not happy with the finished product. I'm appreciate some feedback on what you guys would have done differently, i am beginning to think the design side of caking is never going to come to me - is artistic flair something you can learn??! All comments gratefully received, tfl xx

21 replies
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Coral3 Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 9:03am
post #2 of 22

I think it needs leaves.

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cutiepiecupcake Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 10:09am
post #3 of 22

Lovely neat work icon_smile.gif I do agree with Coral regarding some leaves. I think it is because you have the flower stems but no leaves to balance the foliage effect. Visually I think you could have even stuck with just clusters of the flower heads alone. Still a lovely cake though!

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online_annie Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 10:55am
post #4 of 22

I think it's very pretty, but I too think it could use some leaves. Great work! Thanks for sharing!

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Caths_Cakes Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:12am
post #5 of 22

Its very pretty, And sunny, but yes a few leaves would of been great, and for me perhaps adding a top edge border imo icon_smile.gif

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SugarFiend Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:13am
post #6 of 22

First, I must say beatiful, neat, clean work! I like your color choices, and your daisies are wonderful. It's really a beautiful, well-done cake, so what I will say next is very, VERY nitpicky... It's just arrangement, really:

* I would center the phrase
* Then I would use the daisy design to frame the phrase in L shapes, as you have done, except with more definition.
* Since the stems are abstract to begin with... Instead of making them simply long and squiggly, I would shorten them and roll them into scrolled curliques at their beginnings and/or ends.
* I *might* possibly add leaves, as other posters have suggested, but that would depend on how the scrolling of the stems affected the design.
* I might also vary the thicknesses of the stems depending on the size daisy they went to.
* I might have perched a butterfly on the edge of a large daisy, either at the top or bottom corner. Probably top.

Really, very nicely done cake! icon_smile.gif

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robinmarie Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:20am
post #7 of 22

I thought is was great!! Good job!!

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cutiepiecupcake Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 12:32pm
post #8 of 22

I love sugarfiend's suggestions.. especially about the stems

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grandmaruth Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 12:47pm
post #9 of 22

love the colors and the flowers

I always do odd numbers in decorating
I would like to see "airier" cant see the detail on the imprinted butterflies..maybe using a little different colors for them than the flowers..
I think the stems are the problem...maybe if they somehow all came together with a tie around them at some point and i do believe that leaves would make a difference
one stray butterfly somewhere on the base or on the flower is always a nice touch....

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 1:02pm
post #10 of 22
Originally Posted by Emmar308

i am beginning to think the design side of caking is never going to come to me - is artistic flair something you can learn??!

I'm not sure. Maybe for some people. I think not for me. I try, but never seem to get it right. I'm really good at copying someone else, though! I think we can learn 'rules' for art though, such as centering, balancing, framing, etc. Some people will naturally remember to do these things the more they practice, other, like me, either take longer, or just never remember to do it.

That makes me remember a project I wanted to work on. I have a binder I keep all of my cake decorating stuff in. I am going to make a page with those artistic rules to add to my binder. I will write the term and include a photo of an example. I always flip through my binder before making a cake (just do it as a hobby), so I will see it each time. Perhaps someday it will become easier.

Good luck to you! Your cake is lovely. I just ordered the butterfly cutter and had been debating about those daisies. After seeing your cake, I think I will get the daisies now as well.

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Kaykaymay Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 2:04pm
post #11 of 22

I think its a really cute cake and the flowers are very pretty.

I agree with SugarFiend's comment and SecretAgentCakeBaker's suggestion of keeping a list of "artistic rules" to follow.

The one thing I would add along with making the stems not so even all the way down. It looks like you used an extruder next time roll it with your hands to give a more organic look and to add some more stems going up the sides, because the sides we see looks a little bare in my opinion. Or maybe some grass as a bottom border.

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mrsfoxxy2u Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 2:26pm
post #12 of 22

I thought your cake was lovely. I also agree with sugarfiend and the leaves would help quite a bit. But I looked at your other cakes and you have wonderful artistic flair!!! Don't doubt yourself, we all have cakes that come out 'less than' we wanted, but thats part of learning and improving our teqniques and talent! So I say keep up the fantastic work, and have fun with it, thats the best part of being a caker!!!

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HappyCake10609 Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 2:31pm
post #13 of 22

I think you've gotten some great feedback here, so I don't really have much to add... but I wanted to say that I love the way your Gerber Daisies came out!

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Unlimited Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 7:23pm
post #14 of 22

I don't think the lettering needs to be exactly centered in the middle, but I would have started it up a little higher and more to the left so that you didn't run out of room before coming so close to the edge. The lettering isn't aligned on a straight line; "HA" is higher than "PPY", and "BIRT" is higher than "HDAY". It looks like you realized that it wasn't going to fit, and dropped the "H" in BIRTHDAY down lower to make up for it, which I understand improvising to make it fit. Some people do the lettering first, and the decorating around it. It's just something to consider, if it helps.

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Cupcations Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 8:02pm
post #15 of 22

The cake looks great! very pretty & elegant
Suggestions: I would make the writing a darker color for it to stand out, & add a different boarder I think yours is too plain,maybe even a different color

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bcarb Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 8:25pm
post #16 of 22

I really like the cake, but maybe a little green like a few leaves or sepals under the flowers with stems.
Very attractive cake, though.

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Ummeiko Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:11pm
post #17 of 22

I like the colors, but there are two related things that sort of throw me off.

The blank space in the upper right seems imbalanced. It feels like there should either be MORE blank space (perhaps just run the flowers along two sides) or no blank space (completely frame the cake... even just a single flower without any stems). As it is, my eye is drawn right to that spot, instead of looking at the beautiful flowers or the words.

Speaking of the text, I think the first line would be better moved up and to the left a little. You've framed a nice corner for it. Perhaps have the H of happy line up with the left side of the little orange flower. That would also may the Y of birthday line up with the orange flower on the right instead of looking like it's about to fall of the edge.

Just my 2 cents.

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dynee Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:37pm
post #18 of 22

Your cake is lovely. Like Ummeko said, it is a question of balance. If you had grouped the flowers with some space between the groups, the blank space would not appear. Also if the lettering were a color that contrasts more with the white background, the spacing problems would have been more apparent to you when you were placing them. Before your next cake you might consider cutting blank flowers out of colored construction paper or using a program like ol' reliable Print Shop and playing around with the spacing. I design my flower beds in Print Shop by using various shapes and colors. You'd be surprised how you can get a feel for the spacing and contrast issues.

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sillywabbitz Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:51pm
post #19 of 22

It's lovely. I agree with cupcations. A colored border would have brought the eye to the complete cake. I actually like the kind of modern stem and flowers but agree brighter lettering would have added to the cake. It's a really pretty cake.

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cakemamaof3 Posted 9 Apr 2011 , 11:55pm
post #20 of 22

I do agree with the other comments but I would also break up the white at the bottom of the cake. Instead of putting a white rope to border the white cake and white cake board, maybe place a green rope to go with your foilage.

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Emmar308 Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 9:49am
post #21 of 22

Thankyou so much for all of your replies, all excellent advice. Looking at the cake now, i totally agree with the problem of the blank top right corner - my original idea had been to cluster flowers bottom right and top left kind of in two 'L' shapes, but i lost this in the execution. I had also intended the stems to be more scrolled, but changed that idea at last minute - i should have stuck with scrolls i think, or if not, leaves would have been a good addition.
I'm not sure what you mean, Aruth, by 'airier' butterflies? Do you mean more delicate? If so, i would agree with that too, they do look a little heavy!
I am going to make a list of all of your suggestions and then try Dynee's idea of a little Computer Aided Design - this is a really really excellent idea i have never thought of!
Thankyou to you all for taking the time to help me out - it's wonderful to know there's such a generous cake community out there behind my computer screen! xxx

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Terri66 Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 11:22am
post #22 of 22

I think you did a great job on the flowers and fondant. It does need leaves and the writing should be darker....the base trim could be a darker colour will give it balance...right now the cake looks a little "top heavy". But, as cakes go, yours is still very pretty!!!!

The design side of a cake...I picked up allot looking at other peoples cakes. I try to remember "coordinating colours/complimentary colours" theory...purple and yellow together..or all one hue (colour family), all shades of purple on one cake...and balance. A little higher details in the back of the cake...sloping forward (not the cake..ha haha...the details). You have great cakes...keep up the good work!

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