I started a home baking business about 3 months ago and have been lucky enough to get some orders. Most of them have been fine but today i had a bit of a disaster when a cake moved in transit. I managed to fix the icing and decorations on site, but i couldn't fix the fact that the top tier of the cake was now leaning to one side. Its really got me down as i feel i have let down my customer and myself and am contemplating stopping business before i buy any more equipment. I chose this as i love to bake, love decorating and being creative and it was a way to work from home amd be there for my children. Any advice?
I've heard people have good success using the sps system for tiered cakes - much more sturdy for transporting
I don't think you should give up just because of one mishap! I'm sure these things happen to everyone now and then especially when just starting out! Hang in there :)
Exactly as @Coffeelover77 said, everyone has mishaps and this is certainly no reason for you to give up. In my opinion, delivering a tiered cake is the hardest part of the business.
Did you have sufficient dowels, a central dowel anchored in the cake base, a no-skid mat underneath your cake and underneath the box, was your cake chilled? There are dozens of tutorials on transporting cakes and if you are not already comfortable with your methods, watch them. I often transport the tiers separately and stack them and finish off at the venue. Lots less stressful that way.
Chin up! You have already spent enough time beating yourself up over this. If you don't feel comfortable investing in more equipment right now, carry on with what you have and keep improving and gaining experience. When you have regained your confidence, buy that equipment! Good luck!
Please don't give up! I also usually transport layers separately and setup at delivery if over two tiers. But I still sweat with the two stacked at times (if you live in Alabama and know some I FB the country road conditions...lol), but I have been looking into the Cake Safe System.
Thanks, was just feeling so disheartened yesterday. I think in future tiered cakes will be set up on site. I did chill the cake before hand but the heat (texas) and humidity got to it in the car.
Stacked cakes are not my favourite (i love the creativity of carved cakes), bit thats what people want.
you can do a search for 'climate control' if you want -- or here is a post with how i deliver in memphis heat with no worries -- scroll down & look for my doggie --
Don't give up. I agree with the other posters. Reevaluate your stacking and delivery method, make the necessary changes and everything will be fine. These are learning experiences.
I travel with already stacked cakes up to 4 teirs - if they aren't super heavy. I hate stacking on site because you don't know what the conditions are when you get there. And if it's a buttercream cake it will be soft by the time I get it there and stacking warm buttercream cakes sucks :-) I've been taking cakes to outside barns this year. No AC, no running water, no proper lighting - it's a barn, certainly don't want to stack on site :-)
I travel with well chilled cakes if they are buttercream. I always use bubble tea straws and a centre dowel to stop any shifting while in transit. I have travelled 3 hours with a stacked cake without any issues. I drive slow and careful - stopping and starting carefully and turning carefully. Never had any issues. I turn the AC on in the car a good 15-20 min before I put the cake in. And I leave it on full until I get to the venue. I always have a delivery buddy (Mom) we place the cake on a thick wood board covered in non slip foam and we put the cake in and out of the car on the board & right into the venue. It stays on the board the entire trip, this is safer then trying to carry it around by it's board.
I hope these tips help - keep moving forward - things will only get better :-)
All the best & happy baking.
As other have said "Don't give up!" Turn this into a learning experience:) Don't stop what you love, just learn how to make it bettger. Disect your problem - what caused the shifting of the tiers? Were all the dowels cut to the same size? Or did you just put them into the cake and cut where they met the icing? (a No, no) Learn exactly what is needed to prevent it from happening again. Hey, even after 20+ yrs of decorating/delivering cakes I had a 4 tier wedding cake that traveled about a 1/2 way to venue before falling apart and I had to make major repairs on site......it happens to many of us.
Let me tell you a story...*clears throat*. So, I made a double barrel 6'' birthday cake with a rainbow on the side, clouds on top (lots of stabilized whipped cream) and a cool my little pony cake topper cookie with a royal icing transfer. Things were fine until I woke up the next morning (delivery day) and my clouds were falling off. I was out of my SMBC so I thought I'd stop by the store and get a can or two of frosting for emergency purposes. It's reasonable.
I load the cake and I had put it on a stand since I thought I was only driving interstate all the way there. I maintain it would have been fine had that been what actually happened.
ANYWAY! I go to pull into the grocery store parking lot and it has a sizable hump going into the drive way. I kid you not, that cake went airborne...legit...caught air. I would have given it a 10 for form.
It flew across my car (that I just flew to Minnesota to pick up...another story) and landed on my purse after smearing down the car door...clouds down...of course. I was mortified. I went home, picked up my icing bags from the night before, got that stupid canned frosting and went to work. I "fixed it" before handing it off and no one could tell. That is what a good structure will do...you can throw it across your car and it will stay together. The rest...uh...not so much.
I'm STILL baking cakes. I STILL have mishaps. And I've learned to laugh about it because...it's hilarious...after you recover anyway. I got a new Kate Spade purse out of the deal, I learned and my customers got cake. It was a win, win, win!
Don't stop doing what you love to do!!! Some people prefer to take the cake in separate boxes and set up at the venue. I have heard good things about SPS if you choose to deliver cake already stacked.
Hang in there and keep your faith!!!!
Trust me, we've all had cake disaster. I was setting up a wedding cake, was cutting ribbon, and I kid you not, cut my finger. Thank goodness my hand wasn't near the cake, cause my finger squirted blood!! Fortunately, I had paper towels with me and bandages in my purse! As far as transporting, every decorators nightmare, especially in the summer. Besides the cake structures mentioned, you might be interested in this homemade insulated cake box. From Avalon cakes blog. Gave this info to a 40 yr pro decorator. Her husband made it for her, and she said it was a game changer! Works great. Heres the link.
Talk about a mishap! We went to a (late) 4th of July picnic today and I carried a Hummingbird Cake. For those of you not familiar, it is a cake with bananas, pineapple and pecans, fairly light and fragile. I put it in a cooler to transport, but when we got to the party location, I took it out and put it on the table in an air conditioned room. I went ahead and sliced half the cake for ease of serving. Little did I know that it would be hours before we ate. Though the room was air conditioned, traffic was constant in and out from outside, so it was not really that cool. By the time we got ready to eat, the cut slices were starting to fall all over the place. Looked a total train wreck.
Was I upset. No, but thank goodness it wasn't a wedding cake! As it was, no one cared if their piece of cake was in one piece or not as long as they got to eat it. Frosting (of any kind) just hates summer!