Hi to all! I was wondering if any of you had advice on how to turn out multiple cakes in one weekend. My home based business is really picking up but I'm finding myself having to turn down orders. I'm hoping there's a way to expedite my process so I can take on more orders. Obviously most if not all of my cakes are going out on Saturday so I start baking all my cakes early in the week and usually freeze them. I usually fill and stack on Thursday evening (wrap to keep air out of course) and weight them slightly so they settle to avoid the dreaded bulge. This has worked wonders along with a very stiff dam. I no longer have bulge issues. Then on Friday I frost and decorate. I find myself working solid for 12 hours on Fridays just trying to turn out a few cakes. I feel like there's a better way. Should I stack and settle then crumb coat and freeze earlier in the week? Could I frost them all on Thursday and keep in fridge and decorate on friday? I have a one year old that I stay home with so luckily my schedule works but I feel like there has to be a better way and a way to take more orders. How do you all do it? Any kind advice is welcome.
I have a 18 month old, and am a SAHM so I understand!! I bake all of my cakes that are going out for the weekend on Sunday and Monday. Wrap well, freeze, then pull out in order of pick up or delivery time Wednesday morning (torte, fill,and crumbcoat). I make any fillings and butter cream on Tuesday. I then start decorating Thursday night. Nap times and after hours are usually when I'm working on orders. I don't find myself staying up late, latest is about 2 and I'm up anyway lol I box and fridge all day Friday and out the door it goes Saturday. If it's a Sunday order, I finish decorating Saturday. The easiest way for me to figure out my timeline is to create a calendar and write it all down. So I know my scatter brain won't forget to make flowers that need time to dry, or forget something simple. I have a binder that I keep my orders and a separate one for my calendar, and that has definitely helped me stay organized and on top of my days. I also will write in something like 2-4 work on decorations, 4-5 break, etc. I have everything scheduled out. You're going to definitely need to find a system that is going to be effective for you. You're going to burn out looking at nothing but cakes for 12 hours! I don't book myself up for the weekend because I have other non cake related things I want to do, so I might only take 4 orders one weekend, 2 the next, or none at all.
Okay that sounds a little better if you start thawing and filling on Wednesday. I was just worried about freshness if I started working on them too soon. I'm pretty organized but it's just the start to finish stuff all in one day that was getting me. Crumb coat, frost, chill, add detail (fondant, piping, etc), stack, box all while trying to keep up with a one year old lol. I find that my kitchen becomes a Total wreck because I don't have time to stop and clean in between because I'm on such a time crunch. Thanks for your reply. I have one other question for you. When you say torte and fill are you meaning level and fill each two inch layer or are you literally torting into smaller slices (forgive me I'm still new to the whole torting thing). I'm just wondering if you do all of your cakes with multiple small Torted layers or do you just do the two layer? If just two layer how do you prevent your icing bulge? The only way I've prevented it is with the weight/settling method. Wondering if there's an easier way there too. Thanks again!
By torte I mean cut in half to make 2 cake layers. I like my cakes 4 layers tall. With 3 layers of filling. Once you've crumb coated, that seals the cake, and J have never had an issue with freshness. My phone is right on the brink of death lol I'll be back to finish my response!
Computer to the rescue lmao I torte each cake, which is 2 inches high, in half, so I end up with 4 1 inch layers. I've done 2 layers and I just didn't like how they looked when sliced, in my opinion, 4 layers is prettier; even though people think they are getting more cake. If I'm adding a fruit filling or custard type filling, I pipe a thick dam, fill it, stack, and then I use a ceramic tile to place on top to settle everything. If I'm doing a fondant cake, once covered in fondant, I take a lollipop stick and poke a hole in the top of the cake (the cake topper covers this up) and that hole allows air to escape from the top instead of creating air bubbles while trying to escape from the sides and creating a bulge. Hope this all makes sense!
Yes makes total sense. How thick of a layer of icing do you put in between each layer? I think this would work out better to decrease settling time and decrease chance of bulge.
I don't really measure lol just slightly more than enough to cover the layer. I just know that my cakes end up 5" tall. Do a quick Google search of how much butter cream in between cake layers. There's another CakeCentral forum that shows up where someone asks that question. Sorry I couldn't be more help there!
No worries! I appreciate all of your help :)
No problem! Hope everything works out for you!
Babernathy do you mind telling me how you weight your cake layers? Do you do this before or after filling them? TIA
Instead if 'settling' cakes you can also just put a thin layer of buttercream (or whatever filling you are using) then stack the next cake layer then take a flat object that is the same size or slightly larger than your cake and gently but firmly press down - do this each time you fill and add your next cake layer and you should get rid of any extra air.
i usually fill and stack then wrap with press n seal so they don't dry out and then put the same size cake pan on top and put something in it to weight it down. I usually use beans or whatever I have on hand that will fit in the cake pan. Just to help it settle faster.
I hope that you're charging more if you're torting all your cakes and adding those extra layers of filling. Over time that would add up.
I personally don't charge more for torting, I don't know anyone who does, but I definitely do charge for any filling that isn't BC.
Babernathy, thank you for replying...I know a couple of ladies with busy cake businesses and they both agree that stacking the cakes before decorating is very important...