Design Your Cake - From Ideas To Completion - How To Get It Right?

Decorating By chasingmytail Updated 22 Jan 2014 , 2:20pm by HappyCake10609

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chasingmytail Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 2:05pm
post #1 of 4

I'm wondering how do you get the basic needs and requests to the design and completion.  I have a small wedding cake which needs to look a good size and in proportion.  I have done a stacked 3 tier cake with false middle tier now I'm at a lose.


Do you draw to scale - which I've done on tracing paper then photocopy numerous times and sketch ideas?


Then I've got some ideas but if its a bride has requested colours - do you get yr colouring pencils out (shades is a problem here) or can you visualise it?


Should cakes be built on a specific design or are they made by trail and error 'as you go'.


The bride is looking at a masie fantasie/zoe clarke style cake with stripes, dots/circles but my concern is too many colours will look like a kids colouring in book not a classy cake.


As for shades you you get every single detail out of the bride such as ribbon colours, is there lace, is it a satin dress, traditional or vintage endless really.  


I'm concerned that the cake style could clash with the wedding style.  In addition think there is an option that the groom may wear tartan - bold colours!!!!!


Should I concentrate on an ivory cake with 1 or 2 ribbon colours but then the style isnt what she'd ask.


Help - I feel confused!

3 replies
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SPCOhio Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 2:38pm
post #2 of 4

AI have to preface my statements with the caution that I am not super great at what I do (yet :) ) but I just sketch my designs out on paper with colored pencils as close to scale as can get it without breaking out a ruler and measuring by the centimeters. I do use color, all the while knowing that my coloring pencils aren't exactly going to match the final product. I can sort of visualize that stuff in my head, but I do like to keep fabric swatches and photographs on an inspiration board with the drawing to keep me focused. Sometimes, my plan doesn't work. Sometimes the plaque I have planned for the upper tier is just too big in scale or what looked good on paper isn't translating in real life. While sketching a design and seeing it through until the end is a valuable skill, so is the ability to adapt at the last minute and do something slightly different! In the case of a wedding, though, if I am concerned about executing the bride's design, I do a run through on dummy cakes. Of course there is a cost to be burdened with there as you are consuming product and time, but I consider it an investment in my training and education. You can run your creation by the bride and get some feedback and then move on from there. Good luck!

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chasingmytail Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 1:47pm
post #3 of 4

Thank you for your processes! Much help. I am very much an amateur.  There seems to be a lot of talk on how to make the cake but little on how to process ideas into a physical cake that looks in proportion and works well.


There is little time or budget to make up mock cake.  The cake is small and tight to budget but I seem to have got in a bit of a tizz.  The cake is travelling so cant have anything sticking out.


I have sent my ideas over and just waiting a reply.

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HappyCake10609 Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 2:20pm
post #4 of 4

I sketch my cakes on graph paper so it's easy to sketch them to scale.... I use colored pencils so I can "represent" what color would go where, but don't concern myself too much about the exact shade. 


There was a great free training on CakeFu about sketching with Photoshop- I'm strongly considering buying the template and a sketching tablet because the results are beautiful!


I ask for color swatches, pictures, stationary, etc... so I can try to coordinate with wedding colors.  I ask about their wedding to try and get a feel for it... but I would sketch the cake they want and have them approve it so they are getting what they want for the wedding. 


If you are trying to figure out what colors to put together and don't have swatches, try looking up "mood boards" or even paint chips from the hardware store to see what shades you want to put together...


And sometimes, you DO have to scale back a design to create something that you think is tasteful.  Send the sketch to the bride and she will either like it, or request changes.  I would make reasonable decisions until the couple is happy with their cake.  I require everything to be finalized no later than 30 days before the wedding, but usually it's only a couple weeks after they send in the deposit- (I won't make a sketch until I have a retainer).


If while executing the design, I feel that an element needs to be changed, I will do so... as long as it doesn't stray too far from what the bride approved.  Things like the size or placement of a decoration usually aren't a problem.  But, drawing on the graph paper helps me make sure my size will be accurate.


Hope that helps!

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