They’re everywhere. They’re in your suburbs. Your supermarkets. Clearing out the butter supply when they’re on special.. Yep, we know of a great number of cake decorators out there (hey you’re probably one yourself!) but what do we REALLY know about the cake decorating life? There are quite a few misconceptions, and a great deal churns undisclosed in the background…And so, I thought it’ll be fun to lift the cloche and shed some light on a few quirky and surprising facts about the secret life of cake decorators…
We spend more time answering emails than baking
The one man (or woman) cake decorator wears many hats, one of which is le secrétaire. “How much for a six tier cake with a dancing bear topper and cascading sugar roses all around, finished with hand-piped filigree?” Wellll…..Let me wave my magic wand and see what number comes up.. Yeah, no. Each individual enquiry is calculated factoring in the amount of time needed to create each handmade element, ingredients costing for each different sized cake, percentages…math…a flurry of back & forth correspondence and voila! I present to you… A quote. Now onto the next 10 emails that just came in.
We often go to bed smelling like buttercream
We wash, we scrub… But it’s still THERE… How? MMmmmMm… We often throw our hands in the air and surrender to the sweet serenade of frosting-filled dreams. *sniff *sniff
We almost never wear “real pants” when we work
Oh yeaaaah…show of hands? That’s how we roll. Though we put on a glamorous show of chef whites & aprons such when crafting our cakes on videos, the reality is that we’re often in our daggiest, baggiest, most scrumptiously comfortable set of trackies / Pjs… Hair in a topknot, headbanging to music – that’s how we design our most elegant looking masterpieces.
Summer is our greatest enemy
When the frost clears, and the fog lifts..cue the nervous laughter of cake decorators everywhere. There ain’t not stress like a 40 degree day and contrary to popular belief, a lot of wedding cakes don’t do well in fridges due to fragile decorations wilting. Our strategy in the scorching seasons …? Throw on a jumper or two and switch on every air conditioner to arctic.
Our collection of cake stands outnumber our handbag collection
Guilty! But but but…I need one in pink, and gold, and silver. A tall white one! A short white one! A medium one? It’s never ending really. But how can we resist, they’re puuurty and frame our lovingly crafted works of art in a way nothing else really can. Cake stand sale at the other end of town? Yep, cancel all my appointments! Err…I need to go get some urgent cake “supplies” (wink* wink*). [Cake stand hoarder alert]
We can never buy more than 1 tub of ice-cream cause our freezers are full of cake offcuts & other cakie mixes
Yep, making beautifully elegant cakes actually requires the removal/disposal of A LOT of cake. We take the tops off, the sides.. all to achieve perfectly flat, smooth cake surfaces ready for decorating. We often try and salvage as much as we can in our freezers in the event of an apocalypse, buuut its highly likely that your average neighbourhood caker is throwing away a decent amount of cake scraps (or feeding them to their husbands & kids for dinner). So pop round with a Tupperware & a big cheesy smile and you just might score a pile of yummy crumbs for tea! (ps: you’ll just have to eat it out of a bowl with a spoon)
We’re all workaholics
Maybe it’s the joy on our clients’ faces when they lay eyes on their cake for the first time, or maybe it’s the golden glow around our chest when we post up a gorgeous photo of one of our creations – but there’s something about the caker job that drives us to stay up till the wee hours of a Friday night finishing a 4 tier cake. It’s that lil’ passionate zing that causes us to drive across town to source the perfect edible gold leaf. We study, experiment, bake, frost, toil and fiddle all in the name of perfection…finally stepping back from a piece of work that we’ve laboured on for a majority of our week, with happy hearts & exhausted bodies – ready to do it all over again.