What Am I Getting Myself Into?

Decorating By ChloesMom1 Updated 26 Jan 2012 , 9:24pm by ChloesMom1

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ChloesMom1 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 8:35am
post #1 of 5

Hello. I am new to CC. I am new to this whole world. My Story: I have a 1 year old daughter and I wanted to make her cake. We celebrate her half birthday because she is a Christmas baby. So I thought that it would be cheaper and fun to make her cakes myself. Well I got a bad cold and didn't feel up to it and bought a cake from Walmart.

About 2 weeks ago I made my first cake ever! I cut it into a C and covered it in fondant. It was ok. I could see where I needed to improve. My second time was a small rectangle cake covered in fondant with a bow.

I posted these pics on facebook and was getting crazy request even though I named my pics 1st cake and 2nd cake ever made. Which would tell me "inexperienced." I was overwhelmed and the main reason is that I can see my imperfections. But I thought I could practice and one day be good enough to open a bakery. So, I decided that I will take my projects to work and leave in my break room and get feedback. My co-worked saw the pics and started asking me if I use boxed cake. I said yes and she screamed at me "don't ever say you used boxed."

I was only interested in decorating cakes. I didn't think that boxed cakes were a bad thing. I don't have a palate for different flavors. I only eat white, yellow, lemon, chocolate, red velvet cake. So my question is, do I have to master baking as well as decorating? Where do I start?

I know this is long but I really need help. Thanks in advance.

4 replies
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Sam_paggers Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:08pm
post #2 of 5

Hey, welcome icon_smile.gif
I don't use mix but at the same time I only really stick to 3 favourite recipes... if someone wants a new falvour I might practise in my own time. I am only a hobby baker like yourself, so am really not too fussed about offereing hundreds of flavours and recipes I am not confident in making.

It sounds like baking is only a hobby for you too.... in which case make what you enjoy and what does is matter to a co-worker/friend if you use box or scratch... they arent paying for it?

Sam xxx

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BlakesCakes Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:17pm
post #3 of 5

Well, in the long run, I'd hope that your goal would be to have a cake taste as good as it looks icon_lol.gif A basic box can be good, but with a few premium additions, it can be great.

I started out 7 years ago the same way you did--basic Duncan Hines as a canvas for decorating and the basic Wilton buttercream as the "paint".

Over time, I changed up the recipes as I found info on this site. Now, my go-to cake is WASC:


I alter the flavor with different extracts, cake mixes, fillings, etc. and I use a buttercream recipe similar to this one:


My cakes are well received. As a matter of fact, this past weekend, I took 1st place in a tasting competition in Cleveland, OH, beating a respected baker who only bakes from scratch...........the judges were pastry chefs..............so, it can be done.

You can bake any way you want that makes you happy with the results. Don't ever let anyone belittle what you do--box or scratch--as long as YOU know that what you're doing delivers a tasty cake.


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AnnieCahill Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:25pm
post #4 of 5

Don't put the cart before the horse. You are just starting out, and that's fine. First, box mixes are not a bad thing. Lots of people use them. The important thing is to take pride in what you make. There are a lot of extender recipes like WASC that people use for their box cakes. Nothing wrong with that. If people like what you make then that's fine. But if someone asks if you use a box then you should be truthful. There is a big thread on this in the business forum right now. It's quite a hot topic.

With that said, there is nothing wrong with practicing and bringing stuff into work. Don't feel like because you are getting requests that you need to start doing cakes and charging for them. If you do that, then you need to make sure it's legal in your state to sell food from your home (cottage food law). You have to have a business license and get inspected and do all the other good stuff that comes with running a business.

If box mixes work for you then great. I do a lot of free stuff for people and I do use boxes from time to time. I can't bust out all the premium ingredients when a co-worker asks me for three dozen cupcakes for his kid's Halloween party. That's the way it goes, especially in this economy. But for very close friends and wedding cakes and the like, I do bake from scratch.

Just do what you love, and don't let anyone make you feel badly for doing it.


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ChloesMom1 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 9:24pm
post #5 of 5

thanks for replying with really good info!!!

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