How To Make it in the Cake Decorating World

How To Make it in the Cake Decorating World

This post is adapted from Chris Eliopoulos’ “Staying In” article for comic book artists. The article was forwarded to me by my husband who is an artist and this rung true with him. I read the article and realized that a lot of these points really stand out in the cake decorating community as well.

I’ve been a cake decorator now for 5 years but I’ve been an artist my whole life. At this point in my life I can watch newbies coming into the industry and spot areas that need improvement fairly easily because well, I was there a few years ago. I’m sure in another five, ten or hopefully 20 years, I will look back at this time in my life and spot even more flaws in my career outlook. For now, these are some that might help you if you are a caking noob.

Learn to Bake – This might seem really really silly to people outside of the caking community but trust me, this is sound advice. If you’re looking to sell your cakes to the public then PLEASE learn to actually bake a proper cake (fillings, buttercreams, cookies etc) that tastes good before you go charging someone for it. When you sell bad cake, it gives the whole caking community a bad name and trust me, people talk. Soon you’ll be known as that horrible baker who can’t bake and your business will dry up and your name will be ruined. Whether it’s scratch or out of the box, be truthful in your advertising and make damn sure it tastes good. PS- the better your ingredients are, the better your product will taste.

The Great Schooling Debate – Self taught or pastry school? The never ending question. The answer is really up to you. There is no right answer here. You can be the most famous decorator in the world and be self-taught or you could be the worst baker in the world and hail from the world’s best pastry school. There are no guarantees in life. You get out what you put in. What I CAN tell you is that no pastry school is going to teach you how to be a creative cake decorator. They will teach you how to make a good cake, buttercream, cookies and pies and how to keep a clean work space. You will learn how to read a recipe and the science behind creating your own but the creativity is up to you. So if you want to learn how to bake, then yes, school could be the option for you but if you’ve been baking since you could hold a spatula, don’t sweat it. All you need is the motivation to google any technique and give it a try or the imagination to invent something you’ve never seen.

Be Good at Your Job – Again, this sounds like a no-brainer but it’s true. Practice new techniques before you have to do the real deal on a client’s cake. Spend the time to make every cake look great and taste great, especially if you are a newbie. Every cake that goes out the door is a chance for someone to take notice. Cake a little crooked? Fix it. Botched the cake recipe and it’s a little dry? Re-bake it. Don’t settle for anything but the best you can do and people will take notice.

Don’t be a Know-it-all Jerk – Yes, you may have been in the industry for years and years or maybe you went to that fancy pastry school but that does not make you any more talented or knowledgeable than someone who didn’t. At any rate, it will just isolate you from the caking community and they will avoid you like the plague. Be humble, share your secrets willingly, be NICE and you’ll be amazed at how far that alone will take you. 50% of your success is defined by your peers so don’t treat them like dirt. Oh and if someone doesn’t take your advice, it’s not the end of the world.

Don’t Lie, Cheat or Steal –  So you’ve just decided you want to bake cakes for a living five minutes ago. You’ve created a Facebook page and decided on a business name. You’ve sketched up a logo and you’re already hitting up your friends for orders. Your first step is get that cake portfolio up right? Well maybe you’ve only created 3 cakes and they didn’t look that great or they where blurry blah blah blah. So you think, why don’t I  just “borrow” some photos from my fellow cake decorators showing my potential? NO! Just stop right there! Nothing pisses the caking community off more than having their photos stolen. There is absolutely NO excuse for this and you WILL be found out in no time. Cakers look out for each other and report these offenses immediately and will flush you out and bury your page in rage comments before the week is out. This website is entirely dedicated to finding cake photo thieves.  Need good photos of cakes for your website? Make some, take a photo, post them. There are no short cuts.

Figure it Out – Looking to try a new technique that you saw on your favorite cake decorators facebook page? Avoid asking them directly how they did it (unless you know they are open to this type of inquiry). Someday you may be lucky enough to be one of those decorators that is constantly bombarded by beginner questions like “how do you cover a cake in fondant” or “how did you make it that shape”. This can really really rub decorators the wrong way and it’s a fast way to get on their bad side. Some decorators just straight up don’t want to share their secrets and will be highly offended if you ask them to reveal them. Seek out cake communities and groups (like Shop Bakers Nook) that openly share their knowledge, tips and techniques. You can also try google and youtube. There are a plethora of free tutorials out there, you only have to look.

Be a Professional - If you want to be treated like a professional, act like a professional. Professionals have their stuff together. They don’t drop the ball on quotes, forget orders or cuss out clients (at least not publicly). License your bakery properly, get business insurance, do your dang taxes honestly and for the love of God, get a contract figured out ahead of time covering your butt and your clients butt. Other professionals do not want to be associated with unreliable drama queens.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear – And for goodness sake don’t repeat it! Cakers and people in general are horrible gossips and what goes around comes around. (Even I have been guilty of this) If you don’t want to be the subject of busy bodies, then don’t give them any ammo. The fastest way for a secret to spread is prefacing it with “don’t tell anyone but…” No one in the caking community wants to work with someone who can’t be trusted. Don’t talk bad about other bakeries on social networks and don’t spread rumors. Just do your best to avoid it all together, stay true to yourself and MAYBE you’ll be safe.

Never Stop Learning – No one knows it all and no one is the master of every technique. Absorb everything you see. Devour cake magazines, articles, blogs, everything you can find. Be constantly learning and expanding your knowledge. Be a leader not a follower. No one was ever made famous by being the best at copying other people’s designs. Try out your own techniques. Try, fail, try again. Repeat. 

Stop Comparing Yourself - We all do it. We compare our own cakes to our favorite cake decorators and then feel horrible. This can be healthy but it can also stop you from improving because you feel like you’ll never be as good as “so-and-so”. We all have our own journey to travel. Everyone started from somewhere and no one was born with un-matchable talent. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get there. Decorating is 1% inspiration and 99% hours and hours of hard work. On the flip side, be willing to grow. Don’t assume you are the best and have no where to improve. You’re only holding yourself back.

Remember Where you Came FromAfter years and years of clients complaining or asking mundane questions, your patience can run a little thin. Remember that for most clients, this is their first time ordering a cake and you could make it the best or the worst experience of their life. Treat every client like they are your first one. Remember how excited you where? Remember how much you wanted them to be happy? Try and keep a little bit of that alive in you with every email. Create pre-made emails that you can easily send to frequently asked questions like what is your pricing and how do I order a cake. This will save you time and sanity. Unless they are crazy… then just ignore, delete and move on.

Promote your work - In this day and age, it is easier than ever to let the world know who you are and what you do no matter what remote region of the planet you live on thanks to the internet. The only catch is you have to actually put yourself out there to be noticed. Get a facebook page, link it to your twitter and try and post something every day. It doesn’t have to be your content, it can be cakes you admire, articles (like this one *hint hint) tutorials or just your cake related thoughts. Don’t forget to watermark your photos! It’s actually GOOD when blogs steal your photos and link back to you. Make friends, start up conversations. Be involved and you’ll be amazed at who notices. 99% of my BEST connections have been made because of images someone found on google, flickr, facebook, pinterest or my website.
Caker Social Media Must-Haves:
Facebook fan page

The Vendor Community – Don’t be afraid to participate in bridal shows or other cake events. However, understand the audience of the show you are participating in and how many people attend. Me being a one woman bakery, I don’t want 5000 potential customers knocking at my door just so I can turn them away because I can only do so many cakes per week. I also don’t want to deal with the heavy price tag of the booth for such an event. Seek out wedding communities in your area and reach out to them. Find out what shows are great for smaller bakeries and what shows they are participating in. Also, offer to provide cakes for professional photoshoots for free. This is a great way to make connections with other vendors, get nice photos of your cakes in a styled setting and hopefully, large blogs or magazines will take notice of the photos and you’ll get some great exposure! I cannot stress enough how important it is to network with other vendors in your community.

You Don’t Have to be Everything to Everyone – Figure out what you love to do and stick to it. Like to make 3D cakes? Specialize in that and make yours the best in the city. Same goes for dessert tables or old school piped cakes. Don’t worry about what other bakeries are doing, worry about the quality and the uniqueness of your own. I happily send all requests for buttercream cakes to another bakery. Those are not my strong point and I know it. I’d rather have a happy customer who got their cake from someone who knows what they are doing than an unhappy, bad review posting, angry client who got a less than steller product with my name on it.

Don’t Wait for an Order –  Been dying to try out a new technique or have a great idea for a kick-ass cake rambling around in your head? Don’t wait for someone to order it, make it for yourself and post it to your website, facebook, twitter! Again, be a trend-setter, not a trend follower. Don’t be afraid to do something really unique. People take notice of unique cakes and in turn, you.

You can Say No – Understand we all have a problem with this. Saying no to an order is also in a way, saying no to money. But keep in mind, it may not be worth your time. By the time you deal with all the back and forth emails, asking for more but not paying for more and the sheer stress of it all, you will be in the hole financially and emotionally. Be wary of phrases like “we need something as cheap as possible”, “I don’t need anything fancy”, or “If you make it smaller will it be cheaper?”. Politely decline and ignore any future emails from these types of clients. They will ask for the world and pay you as little as possible and sometimes even try guilting you into taking on these nightmare orders due to their own lack of planning etc. Figure out what your costs are, price your cakes accordingly and stick to it. You’re not in competition with the local grocery store’s prices. You are selling hand-made art and have the right to charge accordingly.

Invest in Your Business – In the first two years of opening my own business, I made absolutely NO money. It’s not because I was a bad business woman, it’s not from lack of orders, it WAS partially due to the fact I was under-charging but mostly, it was because I spent every dime I made on my business. I used my income to buy better tools, more mixers, advertising, business cards and classes. If you’re expecting to get rich off your home-based bakery, it isn’t going to happen (at least not overnight). After my first two years, I had basically all the pans, bowls and mixers I would ever need as a one-woman bakery and now I am able to take home more income than ever. You have to spend money to make money.

Do You Enjoy 80 Hour Work Weeks? – There is a wide mis-conception that quitting your day job to bake and decorate cakes for a living is going to be packed with fun, freedom and MONEY! Whoever made up that horrible lie should be shot. Cake decorating is HARD WORK. You have to wear many hats that don’t have anything to do with decorating. Things like accounting, office work, quotes, deliveries, shopping, dish washing and endless phone calls and emails. Every now and then you might get to decorate a cake. If you are the type who can’t motivate themselves to get things done, don’t have the “head” for business or bookkeeping or you think you might take up cake decorating for the “fun” of it, this is not the job for you. Don’t get me wrong, making cakes for people is extremely rewarding but requires more hard work than you have ever put into any 9-5 job.

I could go on and on but I’ll stop there. Hopefully you have gleaned some helpful information from this article and you will share it with your fellow cake noobs. If you have any suggestions for things to add, just post it in the comments!

  • michelle

    You gave some very valuable information. Thanks for the help.

  • Tina

    Hi Liz, as one of my mentors I just wanted to say thank you for your honest down to earth approach and words of wisdom. Very often your little voice pops in my head while I’m beavering away still trying to not get my figurines to look like zombies. “Work the boobies, work work the boobies” and your rant on covering cake boards… is a classic! :D I’m going to launch my business in August, I have a current 3 month plan aka Kara’s kind words and I’m adding in your advise. Thank you and here’s to happy caking for us all x

  • Cassandra Romany

    I just loved this post. There is everything any baker / caker should know. Thank a million :D

  • Kate Baking

    Great write up, I’ve been on the internet for hours researching as much as I can about setting up a cake business. It’s great to find people who share their own stories and experiences to give readers and insight into their potential future. I’d also recommend anyone looking at this thinking they’d like to start up to also check out the ‘baking it’ blog. I just signed up to that and it’s got some really useful information with what I’m hoping will be more to come.

  • Nirmala Arokia

    Dear Elizabeth, I love the way you mention learn to bake as your first advice to people who want to start a bakery business. Could you please tell me what is a cake portfolio ? does it include things more than pictures and menu or do you have to mention the pricing too.

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Yes a cake portfolio is just photos of all the cakes you make :)

  • Kate Baking

    This is a great article, very insightful. I’ve been researching running a cake business and it’s hard to find useful information online. I’ve started using the baking it blog, some great advice on their on how do it properly; plus some fun. Loved reading this, I’m def number 8…

  • Gabriella Haughton

    Every newby cake maker needs to read this! In fact I think every cake maker-newby or not- needs to read this! This is a fantastic article, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and advice. I have been doing this for about 2 years and just reading through really solidifies a lot of decisions regarding pricing and being a bit picky with what orders you take. You are so spot on about that! I wish I had read this years 2 years ago when I started out…
    Thanks again Xxx

  • Alene ArbZ

    Hi this blog is really awesome it helped me a lot specially now I’m on my processes of starting my own cake business. And oh! I am your fan as well. I love your cakes, very amazing! I am from the Philippines :)

  • Tayla Rogers

    Thank you so much for this article! I just decorated my first cake 3 days ago for fun, but I got so much good feedback that I’m thinking about selling cakes. I am a total beginner and I’ve watched 100’s of videos and have read lots of articles over the last week. I am looking forward to learning a lot from wonderful people like yourself. I know its gonna take some time and patience learning different baking and decorating techniques, but this is something that I am interested in pursuing.

  • Silvia Regina Ibelli Ramsvik

    Just love it! Thanks for your post, it just gave me more strength to do my work today. I got a bit down when saying the customer the price of the cake and she, although settling the order, mentioned that it was too high! And I promise you that it was much less than it should be. How to get people educated about the art for cake design?

  • Ro

    Thank you so much! This has helped me a lot by reading your article. I’m going to take all your advice and learn from it. Pending… my face book page then website etc..etc… I have researched so much on opening my own bakery-home based..I’m in my late 20’s and been baking cakes cupcakes you name it since 4 years old!!! My mum would let me go in the Cuba Rd and fill up the coffee table and start putting ingredients together from age 6…Now I’ve been thinking..should I do pastry school and complete my dream?? But my dream started since my mother taught me..IV been baking my whole life (: and now it’s just time to start my own business and go with the flow and with home-based..I’mean a junior chef and it has been a nightmare of ungrateful bosses that take advantage of you and so on..So stuff it..That’s has put me off for over a year. So I’m going own buisnesseyyyy. Thank you!! (:

  • Andrea Viens

    my mother had me do a wedding cake for one of her friends and she priced her at $100 for 3 tier cake. The cake cost me $250 to $300 dollars. The thing was huge. if you get a a member of your family to refer a cake for you don’t let them give them a price. that thing took me 3 days to make definitely was not worth $100 especially my time

  • Kelly Smith

    Love, love, love this post! It’s all true!
    I admit, I watched you blossom on Flickr & I too was guilty of comparing my work to yours…you really do great work:) Cake shows are the worst! I find I have to put on my blinders when I go to drop off my pieces (not like that works) . I always feel so dejected after I see everyone else’s work.

  • Judit

    I have to add: Be wary of friends and family – we love them this I know, but a prophet is never known among its own and they will WANT CAKES!!! and you will not be able to charge them accordingly. I have already found this frightening and have hardly started out.

  • Tiffany

    Would you say that in time you become creative? I mean, I am pretty creative but sometimes I want to make something completely out of the box and I am not there yet. Just started and am not sure that in time, with experience, I will be able to do that. However, I want for a customer to be able to give me a theme and I create something completely out of the box. Would you say that with experience and time I will develop the creativity to do something like that?

  • Manish Dwivedi

    Brilliant article. I have been comparing myself to others and got really downhearted. Reading this put things into perspective. Such a great words and inspiring thoughts you putted here.

    Thanks! a lot..
    Kids birthday cakes in

  • Rosie Eder

    Amen. This why I am always trying my best to learn my craft. Even if it’s not always fun. I know I am on the right path with this cake journey. This totally just made my day. Makes me more than detrimened than ever to not rush it.

  • Gladys Orozco

    This article scared me, motivated me, made me happy and pumped me up! Thanks for being honest and kind with your knowledge :-D

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Those are all good things! Go forth and cake on :)

  • missmavis

    You are right that it’s hard work. Be prepared for hand cramps that keep you awake at night. I’m a newbie and I hope this goes away with time.

    • artisancakes

      It will, make sure you take breaks and stretch your hands every hour or so or you can get tendonitis :)

  • Crystal Thompson

    I am re-reading this again. The comparison point hit home . In fact, the whole article hit home.

  • Sam Clifton

    Kudos from mamabutton. <3

  • Jasmine

    I have been asked to provide some cakes at the launch of a new designer bridal collection. They say they want to promote a cake company alongside the launch of the dresses, and there will be press there. Just wondering if it is normal for them to expect it for free?
    it won’t be at a big cost for me as it’s a small number of cupcakes but I wasn’t sure if this was a normal industry request?
    Many Thanks!

    • artisancakes

      Yes that is normal but it is up to you to decide if it is worth it.

      • Jasmine

        Great, thank you for your fast reply!

  • Myriam Perez Garcia

    Hi Liz, just want so say thank you for being so honest and direct and most of all for sharing your knowledge, that is just amazing… if there is something that is invaluable is knowledge, that takes money, time and courage to acquire. I started my business just over a year ago (officially as I used to do it for friends and family, etc.). I am so motivated to learn new things, try techniques, recipes, you really never stop learning… and although I also started the hard way by undercharging, now I do not take orders that will be stressful, not worth the effort, or might be a nightmare client, however I have had to learn to deal with tricky clients (not all people are wonderful to deal with!) but I have had to learn to be professional and move on, this is the real world after all. Thanks again for all your advice! xx

    • artisancakes

      glad to help and good luck to you in your future business plans :)

  • Rachel Haney

    Thanks for posting this article, it’s great! (:


    Very inspirational. I decided to make my very 1st 3 tier cake today. I
    had already baked the cakes(2 madeiras and 1 fruit) and couldn’t think
    what to do with them, so decided to stack them. I got frustrated with my
    fondant, because they weren’t stretching as far as i wanted, then there
    were tears, stretching of the actual fondant and then i discovered that
    my 2nd layer was lopsided. It would have been great if i’d noticed it
    beforehand, because i would have carved it and made a topsy-turvy cake. I
    was more angry with myself because they weren’t perfect or anything
    like i’d seen in the magazines or on Cake boss. I had to remind myself
    that i am not a professional and that it takes practise to get better
    and just because i made a perfect cake at the beginning of the year,
    doesn’t mean they’ll all be perfect. Thank you for reiterating the need
    to not be so hard on ourselves as we’re still ‘green’ in certain areas.
    God bless you.

  • Jasmine

    Hi Thank you for this article, it was so helpful as I have recently set up my cake business! You have mentioned networking with other vendors, which I am keen to do. I was just wondering if you could share any practical tips on how to do this, as I am a bit apprehensive about approaching random vendors who I have never contacted before, and what would make them want to work with me?! Thanks for your advice!

    • artisancakes

      Do some small bridal shows and make it a point to introduce yourself, hand out your card and let them know if they ever need a display cake for a shoot or a display table, to let you know. Never make actual cakes for free. Hope this helps. Liz

      • Jasmine

        Thank you!

  • Ashley P

    Hello Liz! I admire your work so much and hope one day to be as successful in this business as you are. I don’t know what it is about cakes but I love decorating. I’m a bio chem major and have worked in a hospital for 4 years, but for some reason I keep getting pulled into this craft. I’m falling in love with it!!!!!! At this point I am having a hard time trying to figure out what and how to charge for my cakes. I have been getting quite a few inquiries and I am stumped. It there any advice you have or sources you used when you were here? I will include my email just in case. Thank you So much for your time :)

    • artisancakes

      Check your area for similar bakeries (not grocery stores, do NOT try and compete with them, if I find out you’re only charging $40 for a cake I will come find you and smack you ;) A good place to start is about $4/serving (depending on your area) You should also invest in the app tieredcaker if you have an iPhone or something similar to help you price out cakes and figure out what sizes to make them. Hope that helps!

  • Tina Deluca Tsourtsoulas

    Wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you for taking the time and sharing your experience with us!

  • Cuppalicious Cakes

    Wow..this all sums everything in one..defiantly relates to me and my silly mistakes but I have become more stronger and can say i can look after my husband, my 2 children, clean and cook and bake too…You are fab for putting this article up and defiantly can say your a fantastic artist and baker…

  • Deb Burnett

    fabulous blog post and very insightful x

  • Sym Sugar & Spice Delicious De

    What an amazing article & read! I’ve just posted this on my facebook cake page, hopefully it will grab others attention as it did mine. I love your work! :-)

  • Kat Rovang

    I’m a college student that does cake decorating beyond my classes. I get overwhelmed often and wonder why the hell I’m even doing this. I really can’t explain it, but I feel I can’t leave it behind. A few cakes I have done recently I needed to Google and try new techniques and all three times I was brought to your tutorials. (gum paste mermaid, RKT velociraptor, and an opera cake). I just googled “making it in the cake industry” and there you were again. You are so brilliant and inspiring and an amazing reminder of why I am even doing this. I’m sure you hear it often, but a thousand thank you’s coming from Texas!

    • artisancakes

      I’m so glad :) Don’t give up! It’s super hard in the beginning, learn from your mistakes <3

  • disqus_RUP9iq6gbB

    Absolutely loved this, made me realise a lot and definitely makes me more focused to get where I want to in this industry. Couldn’t of put it in a better way, so straight and honest


  • Guest

    Absolutely loved this, made me realise a lot and definitely makes me more focused to get where I want to in this industry. Couldn’t of put it in a better way, so straight and honest

  • Mollie Kelley

    Thank you so much for this article. It was what i was looking for to get started in doing a business with selling my cakes. It is a scary adventure, but if I do not try it put in a lot of hours and hard work I will never know if it was what I was called to do. I am an artist by trade and have a four year degree in Early Childhood. However, I can not find a teaching job and my true love is creating and working mainly in a quiet environment. I do not have to quit my day job because i can not find one lol. But I am willing to work long hours and realize this business is not all about glamour and fun. However, I feel it could be self-rewarding.

    Thanks for your honesty and telling it like it is. Very refreshing and thought provoking. Lots of “food for thought.” pardon the pun lol

    • artisancakes

      You’re welcome Mollie! Feel free to find me on fb and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have along the way. Good luck!

  • Tina Ashburn

    This is wonderful information. I would like to ‘steal’ some of it and put it on my blog Would that be OK with you?

    • artisancakes

      Sure, just credit the website with a link please :)

  • Fourteesix Cakes

    I love this, am a newbie* in the cake world, am a mum and a full time student. I took up baking as a part time job. But I always don’t know how to say No to friends and colleagues who underprice my work. I let them get away with it. But I have learnt from this write up. also learnt good hints on how to improve myself better. Thanks so much for this.

  • dixi

    thank you .. very, very helpful :)

  • Teah

    I love this! I just have no idea where to start with my pricing! I mean I know how much to start out by per slice but as far as detail work and how much to charge that way!

  • Sharon Douglas Cooper

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This article has been extremely helpful!!

  • Sinar Indah

    Thank you so much for the wisdom. Really the wisdom. Not only because I’ve just been only two years in the cakery/bakery business world so I am in the need of learning through the experience from the experienced ones, but for what are in there. Before I got ‘dragged’ into this world of bakery – I worked just as “another kind of office professional” – these lessons have been what would bring someone into great career and I’ve been telling myself to do such things. Now they are being re-confirmed on me. Many-many thanks…

    • artisancakes

      you are welcome!

  • Kathy Cooper

    I love this!
    My little cake business is 2 years old next month and the things I need to learn to do is to say no! I tell myself this all the time but still can’t seem to do it and with 3 children and working night shifts its hard work sometimes :0/
    And I need to sort my pricing out! I always get to scared to charge what they are worth and as everyone knows they take hours and hours to make! :0/ this drives my husband mad and he always says I need to charge more for my work.
    I’ve saved this as next time I can’t so no or when I give a quote I’m going to read this first lol x x x

    • artisancakes

      Another thing you can do is instead of saying no, say that you’re booked but you have a list of other bakers you can refer them too. This builds relationships within your cake community and makes the client less upset. Also, ask what their budget is and then come up with a design for that budget rather than saying this design will cost XX amount of dollars and then they say never mind because it’s too expensive. Of course if they want the moon for $20 you say no way but most people don’t know what cakes cost but they do know how much they can spend. Sometimes they are perfectly happy to get a cake half the size within their budget then no cake at all.

  • Grethel Garces

    Thanks very good advice

  • Heather Nicole

    I honestly feel this was written for me. I’m really wanting to make an name for myself being a home baker in my area instead of ppl constantly saying they’re a custom home bakery & then you see their work & it’s really sad. I’m not the best, but after years of making cakes, I’m getting better & I’m on my way to being the person I want to be. If I don’t get an order, I make it out of a dummy cake. After speaking to you, you really helped boost my confidence & I’m hoping to become a better business woman.
    I love the fact that you talked about the gossiping world of the cake industry. The vanity in some ppl is so disgusting & I learned that one cake weekend at a cake convention. For ppl that I once looked up to, I no longer look at them in a certain way due to their egos.
    Thank you again for writing this & giving a boost in moral for so many.
    You’ve helped so many people & honestly made my day, again!

    • artisancakes


  • Cindy Cortez

    You Are So Right! I Loved everything you had to say!

  • Bonnie Adams

    Sharing on my facebook page.. awesome!

  • ncmamabird

    This is SOOOOOOOOOOOO Helpful! I am finally learning how to say no. And wow. I am your sponge… thank-you!!

  • Annabelle Grech

    Thanks alot for all the tips in cake decorating buisness :)

  • Kerry Witt

    Brilliant article. I was a pastry chef for many years and now decided to set up my chocolate business making bespoke chocolates. I make them with a water ganche instead of a cream based ganche. I have created all my own recipes with just my knowledge & science I know of the art. I never stop learning . you words of wisdom are so true. My page is Chocolate By Miss Witt on Facebook or

  • Sara Kenny

    I wanted to cry when I read this line “You’re not in competition with the local grocery store’s prices. You are
    selling hand-made art and have the right to charge accordingly.” This is something I have struggled with since I started making cakes, and after a while I was confident enough to stand behind my prices, no matter how many people told me they would not pay what I charged (even though I am vastly less expensive then other places around) Having more people out there consider what we do as art vs “just making a cake” makes me proud to be part of this community.

    Seriously one of the best blog postings ever. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated what you wrote, and live by it…I can only hope that others will read this and learn from your words!

    • artisancakes

      Im glad you got something useful out of the article. I promise you, the higher your prices are, the happier you will be. You don’t want the trouble of working with cheap clients who won’t pay you what you are worth. People who know quality will pay quality. Do you want to make 10 budget cakes or 1 really nice cake :)

  • Cake Temptations

    Fabulous article. I couldnt agree more. Thank you so much for putting all our stresses and concerns down in black and white. Far too many people think this is just a quick and easy way to make money and pay no respect to the art of sugarcraft. Its by far an easy job, but such a rewarding one :)

  • Darimar Velazquez

    Thanks for the input. So true. It’s sad that people don’t give credit where credit is due. I believe that in any business that your in if you ruffle the wrong feathers you won’t get far. As a self- taught baker I too have fallen in a few of those mistakes mentioned above. To the point that I doubted my talent and stopped baking altogether. I needed to be true to myself so I decided to document my journey into this wonderful world of art confection, teach as much as I’ve learned, and possibly make a few friends along the way. Again, thanks so much for your sincerity. If you’d like you can visit me at (

  • Maythe Del Angel

    creible cada concepto.. y lo voy a poner en practica.. mil gracias!!!

  • Jo’s Cakes

    So very true! I’ve been running my own business from home now for 3 years and it’s soo hard! I see people setting up their businesses all the time without realising the work involved! x

  • Tess MacMahon

    This is a really brilliant post! Thank you :)

  • Laly Mookken

    Well written !!!!!!! Very true too. Been a home baker for 20+ years . Your words of wisdom will certainly help newcomers.

  • Rhu Strand

    Everything I ever been saying to my students, I shall be sharing this on my facebook page. It is hard work, it is rewarding, but I love it :) Thank you for such a great article.

  • Martie Cronje

    Wow! What an excellent article, so worth the read – as someone who left their 9 – 5 at the end of Feb 2013, and in the first month of 18 hour days, thank you – a couple of lights went up while reading it.

    • artisancakes

      Glad you enjoyed it! Let me know if you ever have any newbie questions, feels like I’m still there sometimes lol

  • Darimar Velazquez

    Thanks so much for your advice. It’s sad when people don’t give credit where credit is due. The saying does say, “what goes around comes around”. I think that in any line of work if you ruffle the wrong feathers you won’t find yourself with a promotion. I am the many faces of those who have worked in a certain field and after so many years left my job to raise my kids and found baking as an outlet to relieve the stress of a full-time mom. It’s been a great journey and, of course, like any newbie I have fallen into a few of the mistakes mentioned above. To the point that I stopped making cakes because I wasn’t being true to my artistic talent. Yes, sometimes you do have to say no to a cake order! But I can gladly say that my passion for edible art has not gone away so I decided to document my successes and failures through my personal blog (, Hopefully I will be able to inspire others and make a few friends along the way. Thanks again, and Happy Baking!

  • Silvana Barreiro

    thanks for this great tips :)

  • Sabrina Haleber

    Thank you for this!! I been a cake decorator for five years now in holland, and im constantly trying to explane to ppl that it isn’t just fun, that it is hard work!! I love the things you said about those phrases, your could’nt be more right, some of them do make u feel guilty, and still im having trouble to say no :( but deffo ganna work on it, im sharing this on my fb, love sabsy cake dreams

  • Eva Cockrell

    I am just starting my own business and very happy I got to read your advice, certainly made me see things from a different perspective! :)

  • archie

    I really enjoyed reading your article. Thank you for the insight.

  • Cakewalkuae

    Thank you soo much! it was indeed a very nice read and packed with useful information! :)

  • Shereen Van Ballegooyen

    Fantastic article and so so so very true!

  • Claire North

    interesting and validates so many things I had thought of but nice to read you saying it like it is..thank you and will share this. :-)

  • Joy Lyn Parohinog Francisco

    bullseye! thanks for this!

  • Cornel Smit

    Thanks that was such a nice reminder of why I love baking!! Its an edible artform. Su
    ch a unique industry. Great article, thank you. Love from *Baked with Love*

  • 21115

    Is there a way to send this to EVERY HOBBY BLOGGER BAKER that is under-valuing our Industry by selling their baking at insanely low prices? PLEASE !!!! ;)

    • Yvette

      It wouldn’t matter. I just read it and it neither makes me want to start a cake business or charge more for the cakes I make . Cake Hobbyists like the fact that we can express our creativity, say NO if it doesn’t sound fun or would rather go out on the boat for the weekend, and have someone else fund the hobby entirely.

      Oftentimes we are X-bakers that took a different career path but still like to dabble here and there.
      You’ll just have to tolerate it.

  • Wayne Morris

    Thank you so so much. Love your advise. You are awesome. Keeping my day job. Makin cakes for fun.

  • Kerry Anderson

    Brilliant article. I have been comparing myself to others and got really downhearted. Reading this put things into perspective. Thank you x

    • artisancakes

      We all have to start somewhere <3



  • Pauline Po Soo

    Thank you for this great read! Am sharing this on my Facebook page!

  • Donna Martin

    *clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap*

    Amen, and thank you!

  • ayah

    Thank you so much for the amazing advice!!!

  • Annette

    WOW! Fantastic article. I’m into my 2nd year as a baker, and totally agree with you about the “no money” part. LOL! I am still at the stage where I invest every single dollar I make, and then some, into my business. Since I cannot afford to take classes, I Google everything, and rely on the kindness of other bakers to share their knowledge. I know it will pay off. Thank you for sharing. I’m off to share it on my FB and Twitter page Scrumptious Petites.

    • artisancakes

      So glad you liked the article Annette! Congrats on making it to your second year!

  • Lisa Templeton

    Absolutely fantastic Blog! thanks so much! xxx

  • Nicola Stretch

    Wow!! Really informative and helpful – thank you :-)

  • Tracey Churchman

    Very well written, and ever so truthful, I have been in business for almost 2 years and I, like you have re invested my money in my business, according to my books I am now JUST making a profit, I am happy, have the BEST job in the world ( love being my own boss ) and I have got to know some absolutely amazing people, The Cake community is amazing, :)

    • artisancakes

      Congrats Tracey! The two year mark is the most exciting!

  • Sally Mackintosh

    Very helpful, thank you so much.

  • Amy

    Grateful for your words of wisdom. Thank you

  • Carole Wynne

    Fabulous article :) Thank you so much x

    • artisancakes

      So glad you enjoyed it Carole!

  • Amy Ashford

    Loved this article! Very helpful and truthful :)

    • artisancakes

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Alena Ratcliffe

    You are so damn awesome. I love how you just say it straight in everything you do and say. This blog is very helpful and reaffirming that I am heading in the right direction. I’m really, really excited that I am starting my own Cake journey and I must say a big thankyou to you for all of your articles, posts, youtube videos etc. etc. Thankyou for sharing your cake wisdom Liz :)

    • artisancakes

      You are so welcome! Glad anything I do can be a help to someone! Cakers are the best people in the world and I’m lucky to know so many awesome ones :)

  • Linda Quayle

    really informative, and helpful, written with wit and a great deal of insight. Many thanks for posting this article.