Hello everyone, I’ve been baking cakes for about 4 years now. I started out making simple cakes for holidays and then started getting more skills under my belt and doing more advanced designs. I get questions from potential customers asking if I can do certain cakes that I’m not skilled for and of course I’m honest if I know I can’t fulfill their request. But I wanted to know, is it important for a baker to have a wide variety of skill sets to please the customers or is it better to perfect a few decorating skills/specialties that you can offer your customers?
Well, you're turning away business, and any future business that they may word of mouth about you, people that taste it, etc. I'm not telling you to do what you can't, but in my opinion, if you're really into it as a business, then learn.
I've never turned down an order because I didn't think I could do it. I study up, figure it out, and accept challenges. I love carving cakes, such as vehicles, or 3 foot tall figures, etc. I am so amazed at myself when these tasks are accomplished. Maybe they are not for you? But, for me, they are some of the most rewarding cakes I do, and I am amazed that I, myself made these. In the cake world there are always new trends and new skills to learn. I feel like it is never ending. I always want to learn new techniques and continue to improve however I can. I would have sold myself short had I not accepted challenges and would never know what I was capable of otherwise.
Well said, inthekitchen2. If someone asks if you have made a certain design previously, (assuming you can/want to do it) you might say "no, I have never done that exact design previously because I rarely make the same thing twice, but I have the skills, and experience to create that cake for you". To me, that is what makes caking fun - each one is new and different.
Totally agree with inthekitchen2 and yortma. If you feel uncomfortable taking an order for a particular type cake because you have not done it previously, try doing one for a family member or friend, just for the practice. I am considering doing a standing pony for an upcoming Icing Smiles cake and I've never done one before. However, I know how to do structures and I know how to carve, so it is not scary at all. Because the grandmother will be traveling with the cake to the party, I may choose to do a 2D instead, but I will do the standing one one day.