I'm not a professional baker, just a SAHM who started playing around w/ cakes back in March of this year. I'm learning a lot and having fun making family and friends cakes. My BFF is having her baby shower at my home next Saturday.
When I first found out she was pregnant I told her I wanted to make her a cake.....she could pick anything she wanted. (oh boy do I regret saying that) She wanted a 3 tier topsy turvy Alice in Wonderland themed cake for her shower. OMG!! I have never done a topsy turvy and convinced her a few weeks ago to do each tier as it's own cake and not stacked. She wants the new version of the mad hatter's hat, the old version of the cheshire cat, and a tea pot w/ a tea cup cut in half on top. She also wants bread and butterflies, the caterpillar, playing cards, the singing flowers, etc etc etc.
It's a week from tomorrow and I haven't started ANYTHING! All the excitement and zeal I've had for cakes and cake decorating has all of a sudden vanished. I did call her and tell her that I would do what I could, but can't promise all the things she wants. She's ok with that. It's not like she's being mean or demanding.....she honestly just doesn't understand how much work is involved.
Sorry I'm whining to you all. I know if I said a word to my hubby he would have zero compassion since I put myself in this position. Just needed to vent a bit I guess. It's just a really bad time for the fire to go out. Thanks for "listening" my cake friends. ¢¾
Bless your heart! I hope it all works out for you. I understand that feeling that you really want to do this amazing wonderful cake for your friend but they have seen too many cake shows and think it is easy to do 100 elements in a week....wish they could see how many people it really takes working how long each week to create those masterpieces.. Best of luck to you.. (((hugs))))
Sit down and figure out what you can realistically do in the time frame you have left. Once you do, call your friend back and let her know what you have decided you'd be able to do. You can always add in extras if you have time for it in the end, but start with what you have plenty of time to do.
Honestly I have found when I'm not in the mood to do a big, elaborate cake, that is when things go wrong. I have to work up the motivation and procrastinate until I can't procrastinate any more. That's why I say simplify things now to help you find your grove.
Maybe suggest doing the cake as two tiers instead of three and about half of the decorations she's suggested instead of all.
Have you made a topsy turvy cake before? Some things I've learned... a topsy turvy cake is actually an optical illusion.. so make a hole in the bottom tier so that the top tier is actually sitting flat on the tier below it - there are lots of instructions here on that. Also, make your tiers quite high, or the cake will look 'squat'. And be sure to use dowels (just inside the hole) so the cake doesn't fall into itself. If you are using a mix use only half or a quarter of the oil it calls for so your cake is nice and dense.
You can start the decorations now if you'd like... if you are doing anything in gum paste, then it will have time to dry. Maybe you can do up a sketch, so you know where you are going to put everything on the cake. You can also start colouring your fondant now (if you're using fondant), start baking now, and freeze the cakes - I like to do as much as I can ahead of time, so that I am able to only focus on decorating the day or so before.
Thanks everyone. =) I will go to the store today and get the rest of my ingredients and start making the cakes, fillings, frostings, and fondant. Tomorrow I'll start the gum paste figures. Time to pull up my big girl panties and push my way through. Thanks again xoxo
Good luck with your cake periperi! I'm also a SAHM who entered the world of cakes in March/April. You are so right, people have no idea how long it takes to make and decorate cakes, especially for newbies. I made 2 cakes last week for a family reunion and when I told them that it took me all together 20 hours to make them (royal icing gates took very long), I don't think they believed me.
I would do cute cake boards for each cake (you said that you're not stacking), use the board to help you with your design...more 2D than 3D. Glass of wine always relaxes me and makes me more creative while thinking it through