I was chatting with my friend Susan earlier today about deleting some old posts and she reminded me that sometimes we like to see how much we’ve grown – how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned. That got me to thinking back to my first paid cake – this Make-Up & Zebra Stripes Birthday Cake.
In fairness, I have to tell you that this Make-Up & Zebra Stripes Birthday Cake was not my first cake ever – just the first one I was paid to do. I don’t have any of my “first cakes” on my computer because digital pictures weren’t a thing back when I started baking, but the next time I go through my storage bins of old pictures, I’ll pull out a few and write about those. Ya’ll will all get a good laugh out of them – I promise!!
Want to know more about how my business got started? Read that story here.
This is the only picture I can find of this cake (and I only found it because it was posted on my old blog), but when I look at it, I’m proud and cringing at the same time. I did good considering I’d only used fondant once or twice before this cake.
But then I see the bulges, the “wet” marks all over the zebra stripes where I glued them on with water, and the random sized balls on the border messily glued there with royal icing. Mercy.
Anyway, here’s the original post I wrote about this cake way back in 2009 (on my frugal blog that no longer exists):
Make-Up & Zebra Stripes Birthday Cake
A few days ago, a friend asked me if I could do a birthday cake for a girl in our church. Well, since I love to bake and decorate cakes (and rarely ever do it), I said ‘Yes!’. Besides, my brother has asked me to do his wedding cake for next May and I will take all the practice I can get between now and then!! I didn’t anticipate how nervous I would be – doing a cake for someone NOT in our family. (update: see that first wedding cake here)
You see, I asked for a cake decorating kit for Christmas when I was just a young girl – probably 13 or 14. Since then, I’ve been self-teaching cake decorating and practicing every chance I get (which is not very often). I’m not a professional; I’ve never taken a single class. But that’s always been okay…90% of the cakes I’ve done have been for family, mostly my own kids. They’re easy to please and I’m my own customer, so no worries.
Yesterday was a different story. This cake was to be a ‘girly-girl’ cake – with make-up and zebra stripes. It was for a girl I don’t even know – for people to see that were not in my immediate family. The cake was just plain intimidating! Besides, they were going to pay for it. That takes my stress to a whole new level!
I decided to do it in fondant too. It didn’t have to be fondant, but I knew it would look much neater in fondant. The problem was, I’ve only done a few fondant cakes, and they were just for us. I didn’t even have extra fondant to practice with and watching hundreds of shows about it on Food Network doesn’t really qualify as ‘practice’. So, again, this cake was intimidating!
Anyway, to get to my point – I did it! I made a girly-girl, zebra striped, make-up topped birthday cake. It took me 6 hours. It took help from my husband. And my son. My dear friend Shelly got three phone calls from me because I needed her encouragement and advice (she’s a much more experienced cake decorator). After all that, the cake was finally done!
Did I miss any details? Do you have any questions about this cake? Please leave them in the comments!
Isn’t that fun? I love it that I have a record and my thoughts and feelings back when I was doing that cake. I’m so much more confident now – and faster! Oh – and I ended up making that same cake again about 3 years later and it was so much improved. See it in this post.
What about you? Do you have pictures of your first cake? Have you improved a lot over the years? Or are you just starting out now? Tell me, tell me!!