A question I get asked a lot is "How long does it take you to make *that* cake?"
The short answer to that of course is something along the lines of "How long is a piece of string?"
Every cake I make is bespoke and so it is nearly impossible to put a time stamp on it.
The other thing that makes this question hard to answer is that it depends on how many cakes I have that week. While there is certainly a time saving to be had when baking, filling, trimming and crumb coating several cakes all at once, it still depends on variables such as whether they are all the same flavour, shape etc. and so cannot be guaranteed and there are certainly no short cuts where the decorating is involved!
However it did get me thinking that people seem interested in what goes on 'behind the scenes' so I thought I'd do a sneak peek for you all!
Our new week starts here! Once all of the orders for the previous week have been collected and the studio is clear, I print out the order forms and get all boards, boxes and anything related to the orders out and ready for the coming week. This helps me to identify any missing items and order them in time.
A Sunday work surface!
Monday is ingredients shopping day. There are obviously several things I keep in stock but I am only blessed with limited storage in the kitchen and there are often things needed for specific orders as well. If I have time in the afternoon, this is usually when I would make a start on any edible models, flowers and cupcake toppers.
Tuesday is a quieter day. As my little girl is home with me, my main working time is during her nap... I utilise this time on a Tuesday to carry on getting all the edible models and cupcake toppers finished off and basically anything that can be done in advance!
Wednesday is my longest, messiest and least favourite day - the day I actually have to bake! All cakes (not cupcakes) are baked, filled, trimmed and crumb coated today. It can take around 12-14 hours to end up with eight or nine cakes that look like this.
Baked, filled, trimmed, crumb coated and ready for decorating
Yippee! It is Decorating Day 1! The way I do things on these final two days really depends on what orders I have and more importantly, on what day each cake is being collected but my favourite method is to cover all the cakes in sugarpaste first and put them on their cake boards. This way, all the cakes are nice and airtight and I have lots of lovely blank cakes that I can concentrate on decorating one by one! I often pick up work where I left off after the kids go to bed on a Thursday so it can be another long day.
Moving on to Decorating Day 2.... this is basically usually a mad scramble to get everything finished off that wasn't done on Thursday. Lots of the final details such as adding toppers and edible prints, making board lettering and painting happens on this day and then taking photographs of the cakes once they are finished. My current aim in life is never to work on a Friday night and I usually manage but it depends on the week.
That somewhere in amongst all this chaos, I answer enquiries as they come in, post on social media and once in a blue moon, I even do my expenses.... but none of those things are as exciting as making lovely cakes so we'll leave it there but I hope this has given you little insight into how we do things here!