When getting ready to make and decorate a cake, there is some thought and planning that needs to go in to it first. What if you get in the middle of it and realize you don't have all the ingredients? What if you have something else planned the day the cake is needed? Below is a list of things we check, not only with the customer, but mostly with ourselves.

  1. One of the first things we do is to check our calendar to make sure of the day the cake is needed. If we have something else going on that day, we can make it the day ahead and put it in the refrigerator. Much less stress doing this than doing the cake on a busy day with other plans. Make sure to double check the date with the customer. We once made a cake a week early because she said she needed it on Wednesday. Problem was, she needed it the NEXT Wednesday. Thank goodness for freezers!
  2. Next, we check to make sure we have all our ingredients for cake and frosting that we need: cake mix, eggs, oil, powdered sugar, shortening, and vanilla, almond and butter flavorings. We live about 90 miles from a Wal-Mart store, so we usually stock up on the listed ingredients in order to have them on hand when needed.
  3. We mix up the frosting at least a day in advance, if not four or five days. We mix up 4 batches of decorator icing at a time. It's just enough to fill a 5 quart ice cream bucket. We always seal the top of the frosting with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed down on top of the frosting to keep out any air that will cause the frosting to dry out, and then put the lid on the bucket and store it in the refrigerator. Having this step out of the way will let you concentrate on just baking and decorating cakes without having to stop and mix up frosting.
  4. The night before making the cake, we get the frosting out of the refrigerator so it will be room temperature and easier to spread.  We also get our pans out and get them ready. If we are using a 9 x 13 or 12 x 18 pan, (also any square or round pans) we line the pans with waxed paper. This saves having to grease and flour the pans. Once you turn the cake out of the pans, the waxed paper just peals off and is ready to frost. Or if you have to bake them the night before, just leave the waxed paper on till the next morning and it keeps the moisture sealed in.
  5. The night before you can also mix up any colors of frosting you will need. This will eliminate having to do it when you are in the middle of decorating cakes. We keep little yogurt containers with lids (some brands just have the foil top now) on hand just for mixing and storing colored frosting. We also use plastic wrap to seal over this frosting so it doesn't dry out.
  6. Line out what you will be using for decorations to make your cake a masterpiece. We use artificial flowers to add color and character to my cakes. We know that is cheating, but who needs all that extra sugar from eating those frosting flowers anyway? You can get cheap artificial flowers at the discount stores and just clip off the flower with just enough stem to stick down in the cake to make it pretty. Doing this the night before eliminates hunting them down when you're trying to put the finishing touches on the cake.
  7. Here is a checklist for a wedding cake planner you can download and print off: CLICK HERE .

Hopefully, there are some hints here that will help you with getting ready for making your masterpiece. These six steps are just some cake ideas we use when we're in the "preparation mode" to get ready to decorate cakes.

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