Now, the secret of a cake business is time management. Do you want to work 24 hours straight, with no sleep, to fill a cake order? I know I certainly don’t!
And no cake decorator should be. Getting your workload, so that you are not over worked, having sleepless nights or (God forbid) have a cake disaster that needs fixing at the last minute!
There is a very simple rule of thumb that many Cake Decorators use, to get your cakes baked and decorated, stress-free.
4 Day Cake Rule
When you are talking about slightly larger cakes, tiered cakes or fondant decorated cakes, then the 4 Day Cake Rule Applies.
A cake for a wedding is never (ever) baked off the day before. That is just completely unrealistic! To make the batter, bake off, cool down, layer, ganache, fondant, final decorations and deliver is a pretty mammoth effort and needs planning and stress free environment, so it can be what it is intended to be – a labor of love (rather than a Spawn of Satan!)
The ‘myth’ that cake will go stale is complete rubbish. A mud cake, especially a good mud cake will last 10+ days and still taste amazing. I have done a lot of testing, and have eaten 21 day old mud cake, that was kept at room temperature, and it still wasn’t dry. (I don’t suggest having cake that old being sold to customers, but just for your information).
Not only that, with the ‘lighter’ cakes such as vanilla cake, you can drizzle each layer with a Sugar Syrup to moisten the crumb and keep the cake softer. The Sugar Syrup can also be flavored with liquors or essences to add more awesomeness to a cake flavor. (Think Hazelnut Liquor, Strawberry Liquor, Lemon or Lime Juice, Coffee Liquor, Peppermint, etc.).
Day 1 –
- Bake the cakes
- Cool, wrap and freeze them
- Cover cake board in fondant
- Final decorations finished (such as fondant flowers, figurines)
Day 2 –
- Layer & Ganache cakes (or crumb coat with buttercream)
- Cover each cake in fondant. Leave to ‘set’ overnight.
Day 3 –
- Stack the cakes.
- Final decorations.
- Take photos.
Day 4 –
The idea for 4 Day Cake rule, is that you are not doing any decorating on the delivery day. This is leaving time for any ‘what if’s’ or ‘just in case’. I would hate to say the word ‘Cake Disaster’, but yes, if this happens, you need to have time up your sleeve!
If you kid is sick on Day 2, then you know you can still get everything done.
If you burn a cake, you got time to make again.
A typical weekly schedule would look like for me –
Monday: Grocery shopping
Emails up to date
Confirming this week’s cake orders
Baking off cookies for the markets
Tuesday: Baking off large cakes
Making Cake Pops for the markets (while cakes are baking)
Making any final decorations (edible flowers, butterflies, etc.)
Covering cake board in fondant
Wednesday: Layering & ganaching cakes
Covering cakes in fondant
Thursday: Finishing Friday cake orders
Baking cupcakes for the markets
Friday: Finishing cake orders
Decorating cupcakes for the markets
Delivering cake orders
Some weeks I would do the markets, some weeks I wouldn’t. If I had a lot of cake orders, the markets were out and I would concentrate on the orders, as they are a guaranteed income.
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Founder – Angel Foods and Cake Business School
I would love to hear from you.
Do you use the 4 day cake rule? How far in advance do you bake your cakes? Comment below.