My first cake order!

by Lisa

Oh My Goodness. I am so glad I came across your site. It is amazing.

Ok, I got my first order for a cake. I have never taken any classes before, I just make cakes for my family, and this lady asked me to make one for her daughters communion. She is having 60 people. She wants 1 choclate layer, and one yellow layer. She also wants strawberries in the center for the filling. So what do I do?

I have never used fruit in my cakes before. I was going to use buttercreeam frosting for the icing and for the filling, but can you use strawberries on top of buttercream? And how do I do it, just slice them and place on top of the buttercream?

I am sooo nervous, I thought that when I see a cake with strawberries it has whipped cream icing like from a bakery. Do you use that type of icing and filling with strawberries?

Please help. I want to ask her to let me do the cookies and cream buttercream from your recipe but I am not sure if she will like that. Thanks for your time.

Also what do I charge for a cake like this?

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Mar 10, 2011
First Order
by: Linda

I have my first order too! I'm soooo nervous but the information I've found here has really helped me a lot! Let us know how it went Lisa ")

Jul 31, 2010
Pricing - why are we scared?
by: Lucie

Hi Lisa,

I do not charge when I offer to make the cake. I live in the arctic and have to ship all my supplies here via the post office. I now charge a fair amount for my cakes since my costs average 120$ per cake (fondant,ingredients,gum paste and shipping). I make the cakes from scratch from the wonderful recipes Michelle offers on this site (I have yet to make one that does not make people ooh an aah over)and most of the cakes being requested have a average of 10 hours prep work. I was afraid at first that people would say no, and some have. Most people have NO IDEA the time we take to prepare cakes, especially novelty ones! I wish I could afford to give away 120$ to everyone I know, but I don't, and I wouldn't even give a gift for 120$ for a birthday anyhow (call me cheap). Don't feel bad for charging, and don't let people take advantage of your kindness. Michelle's advice is very wise! Word is getting out about my cakes and I have orders pouring in now. Everyone thinks the cakes look amazing, but best of all taste amazing! Good luck Lisa!

Apr 23, 2009
More Thoughts
by: Michelle (admin)

Hi Lisa,

I think sliced strawberries will be fine on buttercream. I would put down the layer of buttercream then pipe an extra ring around the perimeter of the layer, then add your strawberries to the center. Do this for each layer. That way, if there's any moisture escaping from the strawberries it will be contained.

I don't know about using the stabilized whipped cream for decorations. If you're just piping swirls, borders etc. it's probably fine, but I haven't used it for this so I can't say definitely.

Maybe you could make a very small cake as a trial run to iron out any problems.

Michelle (editor)

Apr 21, 2009
first cake order.
by: Lisa

Thank you so much for getting back to me. I really appreciate it.
The thing is she just wants sliced strawberries in the middle of the cake, on top of icing. So i was wondering if I could use buttercream for the icing and filling, and put sliced stawberries on top of the buttcream in the middle of the cake.
Everytime I buy a cake with strawberries in the middle it used whipped cream, not buttcream, so I was not sure if I could use the buttcream with the strawberries. Then if I use the buttercream with the strawberries I have to make the cake in the morning, you cannot put it in the fridge becasue it will get hard, but I am wondering about the strawberries staying fresh.

If Iuse the whipped cream recipe you gave me, is that ok to make decorations on the cake, the way buttcream is used?

Apr 17, 2009
by: Michelle (admin)

Sorry Lisa,

I just realized I haven't answered the second part of your question regarding pricing.

That's a tricky question. It depends on where you live (big city vs small town etc).

If you work out the cost of your ingredients and add a fair price for your time, that's the best advice I can give you. Set a minimum price you'd be happy with and if a potential client walks away, let them. You'll be happier in the long run doing that, than under-charging and feeling slightly resentful for it.


Apr 17, 2009
Strawberry Filling
by: Michelle (admin)

Hi Lisa,

There are a number of ways to approach strawberry filling:

1. Add sliced strawberries on stabilized whipped cream. You can stabilize whipped cream by using this little trick, increasing the recipe as needed for your cake size:

* Soften 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon of cold water for 5 minutes.

* Heat until the gelatin melts (microwave for 30 seconds on high, check then repeat if necessary).

* Add to 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whisking until gelatin and cream are well blended. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

* Add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and beat with electric mixer until cream is thick and holds its shape. It will thicken even more as it sets in refrigerator. Will hold for 2-3 days.

2. Fruit filling:

2 1/2 - 3 cups strawberries
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 c water, divided (1/4 cup and 3/4 cup)

In a large saucepan combine fruit, sugar and 3/4 cup water and cook over medium heat until almost boiling. Mix cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup cold water and add to pan, stirring constantly until boiling and thickened. Cool before using.

Pipe a ring of stiff buttercream around perimeter of each cake layer before filling center with this filling. Top with next layer and repeat for however many layers you are using.

Hope this helps.

Michelle (editor)

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