Sunday, May 30, 2010

June 2010: 1st week of Cakes

Welcome to my first blog. I never thought I'd actually do this but after more than one inquiry about where my blog is located I decided to give it a try. I'm starting this as a way to keep people updated on what's going on in my world but, more importantly, give them an inside view of what it's like to go through the process of being a cake artist.

The most common impression about someone who makes cakes for a living is that either they need to be working in a storefront bakery making birthday cakes 8 hours a day or they are like Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes and make amazing and even weird cakes 8 hours a day. The truth is that many of us "cakers" are somewhere in between. For many of us this is a part time job along with being wives and mothers and working an outside of the home day job. Most of us work out of licensed kitchens that we rent or have found a church or other organization that allows them to work out of their kitchens. Storefronts, while a dream most of us have, are a very expensive proposition and, with this economy, out of reach for many of us.

My reality is that I am a wife and mother and hold down a day job as well as being a part time event coordinator and a cake artist. I do not have a store front and must rent a licensed kitchen in order to create my cakes because California does not allow in home bakeries. If anyone out there feels like they just HAVE to fund a storefront business for me, don't be shy, step right up and we can get this started! LOL! Ok, ok, back down to Earth.

I make up to six cakes per month and they cover a whole range of celebrations from birthdays to anniversaries to weddings to showers and more. BUT there are a few things I don't do. One is what you would normally find in your average supermarket...if that's what you need then the supermarket would be your best bet. I also don't make licensed characters. That is illegal in the state of California and the fines are not worth the risk. I will be glad to make a "scene" cake for you to add your licensed figurines in order to help you have the cake you want for your occassion. I also don't make "adult" cakes. I have a child in the home and can't expose him to that sort of thing. The last thing I don't do is copy cakes but I can use them for inspiration for you own personal cake so please do show me photos of what you are looking for. Making original work is part of being an artist and just like you wouldn't spend thousands to have a wedding gown created for you that is just like the one you can get off the rack, you should have a custom cake that no one else has ever had before as well.

Cakes are a passion of mine. As a mom for the past 20+ years I've been the family member who made the cakes...from birthday to 3D shapes. Two years ago I went professional because I decided to take my passion to the next level. Whether its a suitcase, or a TV or a wedding cake, I love the challenge of coming up with the design and then finding a way to take that design from paper into reality. Cake artists do charge more than supermarkets but what you get, if you keep reading this blog, is someone who will take the time to make an original creation and all the little details necessary in order to make your cake a work of art that will take your breath away.

This week brings two family cakes. One is for my oldest daughter's birthday and the other is for my youngest daughter's wedding anniversary. When you are a cake artist the demand and expectations from your own kids are HIGH! And you work very very hard to give them something they haven't had before...and then hope that they absolutely love it. I am doing a 3D cake for my daughter's birthday and started working on it today. Yup...with 3D cakes you often have to make the extra decorative pieces a week, even two, in advance. I'm not going to say what the cake design is yet because she'll be reading this and I want to keep it a secret till Saturday when she sees it! My son turned 9 recently and I did a TV cake. The work on the pieces started the week before as I needed the knobs/tuner/rabbit ears to be solid as a rock before placing them on the tv. Between those pieces I worked about 4 hours on shaping, handcutting and painting the pieces so they would look as close to the real thing as I could make them. With baking and covering the cake took a total of about 12 hours of work to create. I'm happy to say that he loved it. That's the cake at the beginning of this post!

This week I'll bake on Tuesday (I work the day job Tues/Wed) and freeze the cakes till Thursday. On Thursday I'll start the birthday cake and put the finishing pieces on it Friday morning for a Saturday morning delivery. the Anniversary cake will be finished Friday afternoon for a Saturday night delivery...both cakes go to San Jose which is a 2 hour trip from our home here in Sacramento. A little nerve wracking but totally worth it in the end.

Since we lived in the Bay Area for many years and the Event buisiness is based in San Jose, many of the cakes I create have to travel from here to there. Eventually we'd like to live there again and that would make it all a whole lot easier.

So here we are. Beginning of June, beginning of the blog and hopefully the beginning of a new way to share my passion with my family/friends and the world. I'll be posting every Sunday with an update and photos of the cakes from the week/weekend before. I know this beginning post was a long one and I promise to keep them MUCH shorter in the future! LOL! Thanx for checking in!