The Cake Design Process

Hello friends! I haven’t been posting recently since I’ve been doing a lot less recipe development, and a whole lot more cake designing, so I thought I’d write a post about my whole process behind designing a cake.

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A picture of my beach cake!

Everything starts with an idea, of course. Usually my client will come to me with a few requirements or ideas for their cakes, and I do my best to follow the themes they have going on for their celebration. After I have a general theme, size, preferred flavour and date set for the cake order, I usually start by doing a quick paper and pen or pencil sketch just to get the ideas flowing. This part also really helps with the overall composition of the cake, so I can roughly see what will work well and what won’t work.

Once I’ve decided on the general shape of the cake and decorations I want to make, then I work to finalize the design by putting in more detail and adding the actual colours using Adobe Sketch on my iPad mini. Sometimes I use a stylus (if I remember to charge it… which is not often haha). I will usually start with an outline of the cake — I use the ellipse tool and the line tool to make the outline, and then from there, I make multiple sketch layers for each design component that I want to add in order to keep everything editable. Sometimes I will duplicate the whole project when it’s finished in order to create multiple similar projects with slight variations to choose which design will be the one I’ll use.

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Just like anything, I have good days and bad days with cake designing, but I always find that it’s such a necessary part of cake decorating. When I first started making cakes, I would just freehand and eyeball everything — which is fun in the moment, but it really makes it hard to know when to stop. It’s almost like when you’re getting dressed for an event and you don’t stop putting on different pieces of jewelry, and then all of a sudden you’re wearing too much. When getting dressed, you can always take off layers or accessories, but on a cake, some pieces or additions may be impossible to remove after adding, which is why it’s super important to have a plan beforehand so you know when to stop. After a while I realized everything is easier when you put all your thought into the design before the actual cake is made, so that you can focus more on executing your design and all the technical aspects such as structure, and supports.

Another good thing about planning out the cake beforehand is that you can also map out what things you will need to make your cake that you might otherwise forget. I use my designs as a way to help me with my shopping list.IMG_5828

After I have finalized my designs with my client and everyone’s happy, then all that’s left to do is cost and execute the plan! At the end of the day, the design process really just helps keep me organized aka SANE.

Here is a timelapse on one of the more recent designs I’ve come up with.

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