I am new to decorating and only make cakes for family and friends, I am making my 2nd daughters birthday cake and everyone in my family hates it when i am making a cake as i am so stressed am i the only one or is it because i am new and i scratch bake which makes me nervous i love the decorating part more?
It probably is because you are just starting out and aren't as comfortable with your recipes as you will be. Maybe you need to space out the different steps on different days so it isn't so much on one day. Ex: bake one day, cool, wrap & freeze; another day make icing, fill, crumb and final ice, wrap and freeze again; day before you want to serve get cake to the right temp and cover with fondant if you want or do buttercream decorating, box until ready to serve.
Yeah...it's because you are new. Until you've been able to do the same recipe, baked the same way, and decorated the same way with only small differences, and have made the same frosting/ganache/fondant 3 TIMES MINIMUM, you will be stressed.
Basically, every single time you try something "new", you have no idea how it will turn out and it takes forever and is never the way you "pictured it in your mind".
I've been hobby baking since 2010 and recently was showing a newbie (like me in 2010) how to frost a cake with buttercream. It was funny because she was the "former me" and she went, "OOOH AAAH! How can you get it so smooth????" I just laughed and told her the reason I can get it so smooth is that I've already made most (but by no means all) of my early cake mistakes.
CakeCentral is also a forum which often showcases the BEST OF THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD. Yes. The WORLD. Hello? Do you think the cakes you see on here are all from brand new bakers? Uh, no.
Basically your family doesn't CARE if you make an eye-popping, OMG cake for a 2 year old. YOU are the one that cares. Trust me, the 2 year old does not care.
So lighten up. They're still gonna love you if your cake fails and you have to buy one from Walmart or Costco.
just BREATHE. You. Will. Do. Fine.
That's so funny, Apti, because my non-baking friend and her daughter were visiting us once when I had to do a cake, and they actually set up chairs to sit and watch me ice a cake. They thought it was super interesting to watch. Meanwhile my kids were nearby rolling their eyes because they think it's so boring.
OP--You'll get used to doing things and it takes the fear out of it. My daughter's birthday is today and she's having friends over for a sleepover on Saturday. I asked her if she wanted a cake and she said she didn't want me to have to do any extra work. I told her it literally takes me about ten minutes to mix a cake up and put it in the oven, it's no big deal anymore. So of course she then placed an order for a two-tiered cake with some kind of gumpaste flowers decoration on it. No big deal, but it would have been an all-day project when I first started out.
For me the biggest cause of stress is TIME.
Are you trying to make the cake while also supervising aforementioned 2yo? Or spending your evenings on it, trying to ignore the rest of the family? That's what makes me a mess.
My youngest is 19m and I'm a SAHP. I'm counting the minutes until she starts preschool and I'll have blocks of uninterrupted time alone in my house!
We beginners often also fall victim to "The Gap": your taste is better than your ability. You know what you want but what you're producing isn't it. The only way to bridge the gap is with practice! Lucky me I have four kids so I get lots of practice making birthday cakes. ;)
cevamel -- that is a really good quote thing -- thanks
datewitha -- make it easy on yourself and bake well in advance and freeze it -- then when it comes time to ice and decorate you will have all your nervousness behind you -- and allow twice as much time or more if necessary --
but when you say "...and everyone in my family hates it when i am making a cake as i am so stressed..." this means you need to make some changes -- i mean just rhetorically do they hate it because they feel sorry for you or is it because you have no time for them or you are just overwhelmed and that spills over onto them -- don't need to answer me -- just for your own musings
you making cakes should be a sweet time for all including you
Wow tnx for all the encouragement guys this site is really helpful i guess I will get faster but yes mostly trying new recipes and new things is whatstressful besides my daughter is my second i meant sorry for the typo was so stressed its her 4 th birthday and she was quite specific about her wants lol! This site is amazing so good to hear all ur words. Her birthday is tomm and yes i been in the kitchen since the last few days as it was my brothers bday as well he too wanted a cake! I am just taking a break now one of my cake fell but i am so lucky it fell without any damage my 4 YR OLD was trying to inspect it on the turntable i only had to redo the fondant!
I been making family cakes for a few years now. I still get nervous, I still have a bad time guessing how much time I need for each step. As a SAHM and wife I got tons of other things pulling me out of the kitchen when I should be working on my cakes. I am slowly getting that perfection isn't what the objective is, except for when you are producing to sell or compete. The object is that the birthday person or ones receiving the cake love it. I do my best and am not satisfied with the final product but when you got a 5 year old asking you if your making his cake again this year its worth it. The cake I made for him last year was a Thomas the Tank and the decorations were breaking and falling off the cake but he loved it.
"I am slowly getting that perfection isn't what the objective is, except for when you are producing to sell or compete"
maybe so but i never shot for perfect when producing to sell -- that would be impossible in a business setting -- shoot for real real real good -- shoot for as good as you can shoot for better than you did last time -- but making cakes in real time means they won't be perfect -- trying to get them that way will ruin your day especially if you're doing 5-20 weddings a week --
just a thought for you
I agree 100% K8memphis! Hobby bakers never seem to understand that if you are selling cakes and trying to make a profit, then all you strive for is:
Good enough that the customer/client will come back again and refer friends.
The ONLY time you need "perfection" is if you have entered a cake competition.
If you strive for perfection every time, you will make yourself nuts.
@Cevamal -- great link! I'll try to post below.
i've said this before but the one decorating contest i entered was when the rules said even though you could use a dummy it had to be one that could be decorated in real time -- that appealed to me -- and i love the kerry vincent competitions but they are not for me -- if i ever entered one of those it would just be for the fellowship and ambiance of being around all things cakes, pretty and sugary mmm i can smell it now...
and thank you, apti, yes you said it -- and thank you for posting cevamal's great quote poster -- i love that
and big huge thanks to datewithacake for saying this,
"Wow tnx for all the encouragement guys this site is really helpful..."
we try -- thanks for the thumbs up
Awww man, I still feel like this :)
I posted something similar a while back and got a lot of good advice. Mine was for my first wedding cake and my stress levels were through the roof!
You're not alone, you'll probably rarely feel 100% happy with what you do, and you know what, that's good! If you feel 100% happy every time then you're probably setting your sights too low :D
It's that strive for perfection that drives us to do it again. And again. And again!
And yes, my kids find the things I did at the beginning, the simple rolling out of the fondant, the placing it on the cake, the first gumpaste flowers, they found all that amazing at the beginning. Now they only come in to look when the cake is finished!!
Keep doing what you love! That's what makes this hobby and business amazing :)
Tnx you so much @Apti @Pastrybaglady @Brookebakescake @Cevamal @-K8memphis @costumeczar @shdvl @CoinUK for all ur advise it really helped me and in the end my husband helped me and we sat up till 5 AM finishing the cake but our daughter was soo excited and I also felt good having made this hats off to all the cake decoraters ull do amazing jobs with true hard work and passion! This was the cake
Holy hell, that's an impressive cake!!
And this is from someone new to cakes?? I've only been at it for about 18 months but I'd love to be able to do a cake as well as that!
You have no reason to feel stressed, that's an excellent work!
Only trouble is, you've gone too big too soon, how do you top it each year? By the time she's 18 you'll need to create a monster of a cake :D
Ditto to the Holy Hell! Your design elements, styling, and placement of the plastic toy figures is superb! The plastic toy figures blend seamlessly with the edible elements. This cake could have been done by Disney bakers.
May I ask how you determined the placement of the all the elements? Which elements are plastic and which are edible? Now I want you to deconstruct this cake with us and give US a tutorial on how to make a stunning Disney cake that doesn't break copyright rules.
Everything they said and more! It's a show stopper for sure. I could imagine all the little girls freaking out. Outstanding work datewithacake! So how was your stress level on this one?
ditto on the holy hell and adding, it's magnificient
Hey tnx for those amazing comments@CoinUK ur right I cant imagine what they will want in the years to come lol! @Apti I think i am a bigger disney fan than my daughters in fact my older one never liked dolls disney or cake and the second is the opposite she loves it she inspired me to put into action all my childhood disney dreams, except for the figures everything is edible as for a tutorial lol it would be with a lot of tears and frustration trial and error being the key word. What is that about disney copy rules I am not aware? Please tell me? @Pastrybaglady thank you so much and yes they both were quite thrilled it was a proud moment for me esp with all the mishaps along the way and the sress was too much I definitly aimed too high but i guess was worth it in the end my whole family feels so proud of me now heeee! @-K8memphis thank you so much. Next is hubby bday he already told me to keep it simple as it all in this month my parents 40 TH at the end of the month but this time i am not trying anything with so much stress. I hope i can make cakes with ease one day and now i have a lot of housework pending after this longggg week!
I'll never forget the first time we did cakes for a friend of mine it was a double birthday party (2 sheet cakes and 2 smash cakes) and I came on here at 3am tired, crying, stressed out and ready to quit. Fast forward to now we just opened up for business and I'm knocking out things with little to no stress. Even new things come with more ease. It's practicing and getting comfortable with your recipes and not expecting perfection (preaching to myself on that one big time lol). Hang in there keep up the great work and try to divvy up the work over the course of the week like others have suggested. Also we've come to learn that having a clear plan and being inspired help a whole lot in the stress department.
there aren't a whole lot of people who sit and pick every detail apart like cakers do :)