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Discussion Forum

Topic: When do you get confidence in cake decorating?
Staci13 04/30/2013 3:42 PM
I have always loved art and baking and I finally put the two together a year or two ago. I am constantly volunteering to bake for my immediate family and the local school my kids attend. I get really excited to do this. Everyone tells me I need to sell them. Through this discussion forum, I have learned it is tuff to start a cake business, especially at home. When people ask me if I can bake them a cake and they will pay me, I freeze up. I become stressed and make an excuse why I can't. In my heart I know I can do it and my cakes are not bad, but I chicken out. Has this happened to anyone else? (I was laid off from my accounting job a year ago, after working for them for 18 years. Maybe that is why?)
cakedujour 04/30/2013 4:47 PM
Do the first one. The second will be easier. The third will be easier than the second one. And so on. But bite the bullet and do the first. You'll find that it goes ok, the sun will come up, and the world will continue to spin on its axis. Most importantly, you will have gained a little of that elusive confidence.
whoknew? 04/30/2013 5:55 PM
Staci, if you did accounting, then you should be able to crunch the numbers and see what it costs you in time, ingredients, supplies, and overhead to make a cake. Once you have those numbers (and ONLY when you have those numbers), you'll be able to arrive at a "sell" price.

First step, see if it is legal to sell in your county/state. You can look it up on this site:
Cottage Food Law States

Second step, read these articles:
How'd you arrive at that number?
New Cake Business at home, Help
How much should I charge for my cakes?

Third step, if you can do this legally and profitably, then GO FOR IT!
hacotter1 04/30/2013 9:09 PM
Oh my goodness I was just thinking this same thig yesterday. You are definitely not alone. I have been decorating cakes on and off for 8 years and I still stress way too much about them. I think if it was my full time job and I did it on a regular basis with more time to do it, it would become second nature. But with a full time job, a family farm, a 5 year old, and an eighteen month old it can get pretty nerve wracking. I still somehow enjoy it though. It's one of those things that I can do a few times a year and enjoy it, where I'm afraid if I did it full time it would lose its charm for me. I don't know how bakers like salsaman (Scott) works full time and then some and still make 2-3 cakes a weekend that are stunning. I think it's just something the more often you do it and find your tricks of the trade you'll gain your confidence, just know you're not alone
ginnyl 04/30/2013 11:30 PM
Having confidence in your cake baking ability comes with practice and time.
I, myself, love to bake and decorate and fortunately do not have to rely on it for income. Thus I am able to pick and chose the cakes I want to do and also to ask a goof price for my cakes..I figure if I am going to spend my time, money and talent on making a wonderful creation I need to make a good profit.

In the beginning I lacked some confidence in my work..then I developed the motto that the customer doesn't see the tiny mistakes or imperfections only the final wonderful cake.
And once you get some speed to your work you will really enjoy baking and seeing the smiles on your customer's faces that make it all worthwhile.
Have fun and enjoy what you plan to do.
Staci13 05/01/2013 8:23 AM
Thanks everyone. I am lucky enough that when my I lost my job, my husband was able to support us. He has told me that if I want to work, I should do something that makes me smile. I was not planning on doing this full time, just an occasional cake here or there. This forum has been so helpful. I have made some delicious recipes that I have found here and found some great advice. I am signing up for course 4 today and I can't wait! Thanks for all your advice.
ginnyl 05/01/2013 8:51 AM
Enjoy your new class and look forward to seeing your creations.. most of all..have fun.
whoknew? 05/01/2013 11:38 AM
The 4th course (Advanced Gum Paste Flowers) was my favorite!!!! You will LOVE it!