Inspiration For Cakes

Lounge By Webake2gether Updated 1 Nov 2016 , 7:28pm by julia1812

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Webake2gether Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 6:59pm
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Not sure why that posted  without my question lol anyway I was wondering how other bakers find inspiration when there isn't a specific theme to go off of. I'm wanting to do some practice cakes to expand our portfolio while we are in the middle of construction. I want to do a baby shower themed cake, a wedding cake 2-3 tiers and something that would be a standard order cake. But for some reason just looking at pictures of cakes isn't sparking my creativity lol.  What are some of your most popular requests? Thanks :)

*Last edited by Webake2gether on 24 Aug 2015 , 7:06pm
14 replies
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Norcalhiker Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 8:05pm
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I was wondering about inspiration and looking for ideas as well.   I just ordered fondant and feuilletine to make a few practice cakes, so I want a few ideas before the ingredients arrive.  Since I don't want to copy any cake designs, I've been looking at design components (e.g., geometric patterns, fractals, shapes in nature, lace, architectural moldings, floweres, foliage, etc.).

I'm listing symbolic meaning (e.g., symbols of marriage, meaning of color and material, meaning of flowers, etc.) because I love to weave symbolic meaning into anything I create.

When I do look at currently popular concepts, "I ask what is the opposite of this?"  Consider how design evolves around us and you will see this everywhere.  Ornate cakes gave way naked cakes.  High waisted, flare jeans gave way to low rise, skinny jeans. Innovative design is more a matter of moving in the opposite direction, rather than moving with the pack or trying to be unique.

When I took a fundamentals of design sewing class, the teacher stated that there's nothing new to design, that everything has been done.  She said approach design by asking, "what's my take on __________, and how do I make it my own?" Design is your interpretation of a concept that already exists.

Oh, just one thing I always keep in mind regarding shower cakes, never make it in the shape of a baby.  I think it was the charm city cake guy who said they once did a realistic sleeping baby, and he would never do another. The guests all freaked out when it was time to cut the cake...

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Webake2gether Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 8:19pm
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What a wonderful reply!!! I'm rather simple and I'm a minimalist in most areas of my life. Not a lot of decor on the walls, buy the same shirt in every color, less is more you get what I'm saying lol so I feel like I may lack in creativity when it comes to cake design. But when I get an idea we usually always pull it off the way I had it in my head. I thought about buying some inexpensive ribbon that has a pattern or design and possibly some party napkins of a few different occasions and just pondering on those for awhile. Despite being rather plain I'm super good at coordinating colors everything has to match lol. My husband is awesome at sculpting fondant so I was wanting him and I to do something super creative and out of the box. Really stretch ourselves while we have the freedom to do so :)

I'll definitely take your comment to heart and keep my eyes open!! Oh and maybe scrapbook paper there are tons of different patterns and designs. Hobby Lobby here I come haha!!!

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-K8memphis Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 9:22pm
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margaret braun writes about how her creative juices flow in her pretty red cakewalk book -- i think she's pretty unique in that few cake book writers reveal their mental process like that -- her cakes are signature and beautiful but i think that's the most important part of her golden edged book --

so just a thought on that -- 

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Amps.prkns Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 9:47pm
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I would suggest looking at what's popular in your area. Metallics, fondant, flowers, shapes, naked cakes. That way your catering to your clientele. Then you can do some different styles. Water color, gold foil, ruffles.. I always incorporate some of my style into cakes. I look through pictures or things I think are pretty. You won't know till you try. How about taking ideas from things you see? Like a Tiffany lamp, how could you make a cake with that style? Or movies like the great gatsby can you do gold and silver, pearls and peacock feathers. It's all trial and error you may find you like certain things more than others. Hope this helps. 

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Webake2gether Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 12:11pm
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Thanks everyone!!! I was talking to my husband about your suggestions and I was looking around my house and sitting on the top of my stove is something we got for our wedding (7 years ago) and it remains one of my most favorite gifts we recieved. I brought it over to my husband and we came up with some really good ideas and I'm super excited. Here is a picture of what has inspired us!!! Thanks again I would've never have thought to use something like this :)55dc5b5cb5ce3.jpegI hung it on the wall for a better shot but I always look at it while I cook it's a wonderful reminder of all that I have to be grateful for!!!

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-K8memphis Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 1:22pm
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that's it -- very cool -- 

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Webake2gether Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 1:43pm
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@-K8memphis  now the work begins figuring out how to accomplish them on a cake. The border under the word family is what we want to use as the border all around the bottom of the cake and the spade like shapes as the accent decorations would laying wax paper over them and tracing then using the stencil to cut them out on fondant work??? Hope I explained that correctly :)

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-K8memphis Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 1:56pm
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yes that would work

and let me offer this -- sometimes we start with a design in mind that during the process becomes a pathway to xsomething else instead of the destination we thought it would be -- so be open for that when you can be flexible -- as in when it's not a special specific order for someone, not a 'bespoke order' --

and you might want to use candy clay to cut those out because it doesn't stretch -- 

you could roll sausages out of the fondant and trace the shapes with that, let it dry --

what if you also piped the design on the waxed paper with royal icing --

just some brainstorm type thoughts for the idea pot --

fist bump

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Webake2gether Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 2:10pm
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Thanks!!! We are always open to plan a, b, c and so on lol  you can never be too set on one way I've learned that a lot lately :) the more set I am on something the more it doesn't work out.  I've never used candy clay before  definitely interested in using different techniques and material  

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Pastrybaglady Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 7:43pm
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I think you're on the right tracking thinking about events - baby shower, wedding, birthday...  Then you should consider the different styles.  For weddings think rustic, floral, clean and simple, fondant ruffles, etc.  For birthdays think about men, women, boys, girls, babies.  Baby shower one for a boy and one for a girl.  The average customer does not have a lot of imagination and will need a visual reference for their cake.

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craftybanana2 Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 8:10pm
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I am not very artsy, but I see stuff and go "Wow that would look great on a cake!" and I did this with the shirt my pastor was wearing. I thought her shirt would make a great 3 tiered cake..... It's prob from my days at graphic design school where I would tear out magazine ads that caught my eye cause of colors and how they were used. Make up ads are great for color ideas! :) I did channel some of that when I did face painting, so it's not a total loss xD

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Webake2gether Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 10:30pm
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One more question for all of you, is there any type of design or style you say no to doing? You don't have to share what you won't do specifically but are there things you just don't do? I'm not sure I want to do carved cakes (just an example) is it ok to say we don't offer certain designs or styles? 

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Norcalhiker Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 10:52pm
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Interesting you mention purchasing ribbons etc in different designs.  I'm painting my hobby room, so everything in it had to be moved out.  Sitting on a bookshelf was a box of cards I recently purchased.  The second I looked at it, I thought, "there's an incredible cake design."  The design will allow me to practice a variety of techniques: painting, stenciling, texturizing, gumpaste flowers, embellishing with glitter.

inspriation is everywhere  

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julia1812 Posted 1 Nov 2016 , 7:28pm
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Oh lovely. I wish I had some more time to go wild on practice cakes too!

My problem is that one idea evolves into two nd then three and more and I couldn't decide what to do first.' birthday cakes...I'd just do one of a previous/new movie.  Something which hasn't been done yet. My kids loved "secret life of pets" for example. I would have fun making a cake with that theme.

Wedding cake...look at the newest trends in bridal wear and colours and nd flowers.

I think what's most important is to show your style. If you look at some cake artists' pictures you'll find that they have (not all but some) a unique style. Not meaning that they do the same old thing over and over again but that you'd recognise their work when you see just a picture of their cake. Be divers, be creative, go wild, but be you.

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