Sunday, May 22, 2016

Giveaway Time! Enter For a Chance To Win Petal Dusts!

Time for a giveaway! To enter for a chance to win this set of 30, count 'em, 30 petal dusts, follow this link: Enter To Win! If that doesn't work, go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/acaketoremember and click on the giveaway tab.

If you're a subscriber to my newsletter check your inboxes, too. I sent out the emails to my VIP Club yesterday, and if you open the newsletter you can get extra entries!

The winner will be chosen by random number on the 29th. International entries are welcome but you'll be responsible for any VAT or import taxes that your country imposes on mail shipments. I can't keep track of that, I can barely keep track of what day it is...



Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com


Friday, May 20, 2016

How To Disguise Wires In Gumpaste

Sometimes you can see the wires that are inserted into a gumpaste petal a little too well. Even if you use white wires it can happen, so what should you do if you want to make them less noticeable?

You could petal dust the petal if that's appropriate, but if you want the petal to remain completely white that might not work. Here's one way to disguise the wires that I use (it's a short video, don't worry):


If you can't see the video, you basically paint over the wire with gum glue, then pat a tiny bit of corn starch onto the glue. You can also use titanium dioxide airbrush color to paint over the wire, then pat the corn starch on. Let it dry completely then brush the excess corn starch off.

Super easy, and it whitens up the area where the wires are showing.


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

Some Tips To Avoid Cake Tumors (Or Blowouts, Whichever You Prefer.)

I did a little video with a few tips on how to avoid cake tumors, but here's the video and a quick summary:



1. Remember that you can't 100% avoid a cake tumor from forming, but there are ways to help minimize your risk.

2. Work with cakes at room temperature, since that will allow you to put the cakes together and see what they're going to do when they warm up at the party site. Air bubbles are caused when air warms up, expands, and tries to escape from inside of the cake, so give it an opportunity to escape while you're putting the cake together and not later after it's all assembled.

3. Make sure that your fillings are as level as they can get before stacking the layers together. Try to void divots where air can get trapped when you place another layer on top of it.

4. When you put your layers together, kind of roll the layers onto each other to push any air out ahead of the layer, don't just plop them onto each other, which can trap air between the layers.

5. After assembling all of the layers, press gently but firmly on the cake to force out any air that might have been trapped inside the filling layers. You can even put a book or another weighted item on it for a while to force out any air.

6. When the cake is covered with fondant or buttercream, poke a hole or holes in the outer icing to create an "escape valve" of sorts to allow any air out. If you'll be putting flowers on the cake or stacking another tier on top, you can poke holes in the top with a drinking straw.

7. Let the cake sit at room temperature for a while after covering it to allow any air that might want to come out to do so before you start decorating it. It's a lot easier to fix an air bubble when the decorations aren't on the cake yet.

8. After the cake is decorated, refrigerate it so that it will be cold when it's moved to be delivered. This will minimize shifting of tiers and fillings, which can prevent trapped air from squeezing out.

These are just some suggestions that will help avoid cake tumors...If you have any more suggestions please add them in the comments below!


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Should I Take Every Job that Comes Along?

Should I Take Every Job that Comes Along?

The short answer to that is no. The long answer is oh HELL no.

When you're starting out (and often when you're trying to maintain an income if you've been in business for a while) people often feel pressure to say yes to every client that asks about a cake.



There's also the guilt that we self-impose when someone calls and cries on the phone that the NEED the cake from you, and that their life will be RUINED if you don't make it for them.

I'm here to tell you that it really won't be ruined. Maybe they'll just plan ahead better next time and order from you earlier. Learn to say NO and your life will be much easier.

Another time that you should say no right away is if your psycho detector goes off from the first time you talk to someone. I wrote about this at length before, but you can sum it all up in one sentence:

IF SOMEONE IS RUDE AT THE START, THEY"RE NOT GOING TO BE POLITE LATER.

Check out this example from one of my favorite websites, Clients From Hell. It's an example of the perfect response that you should have prepared for the moment when someone sets off alarm bells (like this one literally did).

Learn to say no...The word will set you free.


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

Monday, May 9, 2016

What Slamming On The Brakes Will Do To A Cake

I've heard of a lot of cake tragedies where people post a picture of the cake and say that the customer claimed that it "fell over." When you look at the cake it's obvious that the cake didn't just "fall over," it had to go through some kind of tragic treatment to end up the way that it ended up.

Of course, the customer won't admit that, they'll try to blame it on you. Or, like in one situation, the friend who picked it up won't tell them the full story about how they were steering with their knees while applying makeup and driving 70mph down the highway, so nobody will know what really happened.

One of my friends (who shall remain nameless because I don't want people writing to her telling her what she did wrong) had a cake tragedy.

Her customer picked up a birthday cake, put it in her car and on the way home had to hit the brakes to avoid hitting someone in front of her. This is the cake before and after.



Her customer says that she "cried like a baby," then she called my friend, who was able to go over and fix the cake somehow so that it looked like this for the party:


I'm not sure how she managed to make it look like that again, but kudos to her!

When I started quizzing her about how the cake was made, she said that both tiers were doweled, and that there was even a center dowel.

I'll say this again...A center dowel is false security! Slamming on the brakes will just make the dowel shift and when it goes, it rips the cake in half as it's pulled through the cake.

Now the big question here was whether the cake was room temperature or cold. She said that it was room temp, and that's where the problem was (Well, that, and the laws of physics working against you as a large, fast-moving object comes to a complete stop.)

Would the cake have collapsed if it had been refrigerated? There's no way to really know, but it might have stood a better chance of survival. Remember this horror story of a wedding cake that was dropped on the ground?   That one took a real fall, and it was the fondant, center dowel and the fact that it was cold that saved it. However, I think that if it had been room temp the fondant and center dowel wouldn't have been enough to save it. The fact that it was cold was the key to saving it's life.

If you're delivering a tiered cake make sure to refrigerate it overnight beforehand, especially if the customer is gong to be picking it up. Make sure that you box it up and carry it to the customer's car yourself and that you put it in their car yourself. That way you can control the safety up until the moment that they drive away with it!

And tell your customer to drive like they have a baby in a car seat sitting on the roof of the car. Watch out for those slamming brakes!


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com