Monday, February 25, 2008

Money-Making Monday: Cake Decorating

Crystal challenged us to post about some way that we've made money recently. I thought I'd share my most recent paid cake with you. This cake always gets rave reviews, and it is the easiest cake I've ever decorated! It's not original with me. I discovered the idea here at the Wilton Discussion Forums. I'm sure you're wondering how to make it. I use a 9x13" pan, although you can use a larger pan if you need to feed more people. Bake and cool it as usual. (This needs to be taken out of the pan, so cool it for 15 minutes only before inverting it onto a cooling rack. If you don't do it at the "magical" 15 minutes, it won't come out.) If you're stacking the cake, you'll want to cool both layers completely and stack them before you continue.

The next step is to measure and cut. Experiment with the size that works best for your pan, but I measured up 3" from the bottom of the cake, 3" from the side of the cake (at the bottom), connected the line and cut off the triangle I just created. Do this on both bottom sides of the cake. (This creates the onesie's leg holes.) Take those triangles and move them up to the top of the cake, butting them up against the sides to create the sleeves.

Now all you have to do is ice it smooth and add minimal decorations, such as the name of the baby and a few flowers or polka-dots. I used lids to give me the perfect circles to trace around the armholes and legholes, by the way. Trust me - cake decorating doesn't get much easier than this!

So now on to the money-making part ... I had approximately $5 in this double-layer cake. I bought a box and cake board so it could be carried to the shower and look professional (minimal cost = big effect), 2 cake mixes and ingredients, as well as icing ingredients. She paid me $40!

I don't set fees for my cakes. You might think that's foolish, but I've found people are far more generous than I could hope for, and I'd have lost quite a bit of money by charging a set fee. I actually told her I didn't want that much for it, but she insisted. (And later she told me it was the hit of the baby shower, so that made me feel better.)

If you have a regular cake business, let's get real. You're going to have to set prices. But I don't have a cake business. I just do this for friends - and their friends - who want cute (or classy) cakes that Wal-Mart won't provide. No one has ever taken advantage of me.

I took Wilton cake decorating courses at my local Michael's, never expecting to be able to do anything beyond the star tip decorating for my kids' birthay cakes (which was the motivation to take the course in the first place). But I discovered cake decorating wasn't as hard as I had thought, and there's money in it.

I'll try to post some more of my cakes in the coming weeks.


Sue said...

Awwww!!! That is an adorable cake.

jemilyea said...

Ditto the above post. It's a wonderful cake! I'm glad cake-decorating has turned into a profitable hobby for you.

The Q Family said...

Wow! Gorgeous cake. I will buy it if I have a baby shower for a friend for sure. Great job!

Amy @ The Q Family

Feminine Pursuits said...

That cake is so cute! I love it. Good thinking about not setting a price.

Kim said...

I love the cake :) Much better than anything you could buy in stores :)

Katie Gregg said...

You did a fantastic job with that cake!

bethany said...

Awesome cake-thanks so much for the little tutorial about making it. I'm NOT a professional-I think once I made a sailboat cake about 7 years ago and that's the extent of my experience, but I'm supposed to make a cake for a friend's baby shower and I think this is just the thing!!
Thanks for sharing your creative idea!!

Jessica said...

I came across your cake while searching for ideas for a cake to make for a friend's shower. I decided to try this one and it turned out great. Thanks so much for the tips!

The Culbertsons said...

This is a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for sharing it (I found it via google). I'm making 2 baby shower cakes for the next two weekends and was looking for an easy, but fun idea. Did you do a two layer cake? Around how many ppl does this feed with a two layer, 9x13 pan size?

Btw, I'm a pastor's wife too!

Sophia said...

Yes, I did make it a 2-layer cake. You wouldn't have to, though, if you didn't need to feed as many.

A 2-layer 9x13" serves roughly 45 people, depending on the size of the portions.

And if you ever need to know about the number of servings in other pans, you can check out these links from Wilton: (smaller slices for wedding cakes) (larger slices for party cakes)

HTH! :)

Sarah said...

This is great and so simple! i am going to make this for a baby shower I am hosting in January.