While I was at home baking as Event Cakes Pgh the bakery had another decorator. I knew of her from the Midwife Centers Let Them Eat Cake contest/ charity event. She’s an incredibly talented artist and I was bummed that she left before I got there because I wanted to work with her. This shifted my role at the bakery from General Manager, which I was hired on as, to cake decorator. There were so many orders and so much work that I couldn’t do both positions. Maybe I could have when I was younger or before kids. But it became apparent that the artistry that goes into decorating custom cakes just isn’t something anyone off the street can do. We tried to find someone else to hire to no avail.
There were a bunch of orders that were already taken before I came on board. I was able to pick up where she left off for the most part but there were a few orders that didn’t work out as planned.
The bride was very concerned, especially with the switch in staff. She asked me to make a mock up to try it.
I had done this before, and I have since successfully pulled off cupcake centerpieces for my cousin’s wedding. It was a huge production and I’ll write it’s on post on how to achieve that.
A year prior I had taken a Craftsy class on cupcake bouquets. I made this arrangement for my sister-In-laws birthday . The leaves were homemade fruit leather! American buttercream. Tips 2D and 1M . I love the colors and the variegated look of the flowers.
Now I knew there would be challenges for this order. Such as – all that red dye is going to stain people’s mouths. How are the cupcakes going to stay on and how do we stop the icing from sliding off? Our cupcakes are so soft that they would fall apart. The swiss meringue buttercream melts so easily. How do we transport them? How long would it take to assemble each and can we accomplish this on site? How much icing would we need to bring? We were trying to figure out delivery boxes like what florists use to deliver arrangements.
I explained that I didnt want to waste all that red dye for the trial, and asked her to ignore the color. Even still, she wasn’t comfortable with me pulling it off and she canceled her wedding order with us.
I felt horrible about losing the order for the bakery but in all honesty I’m sure it saved a lot of aggravation. It was a hectic and busy time. I hope it all worked out for the couple!
Here are some tips and tricks I learned from doing my cousins cupcake centerpieces. There is a lot of prep work that needs done ahead of time. Baking the cupcakes, of course. And making tons of icing, coloring and prepping piping bags. I also has the flower cupcake liners and some filler tissue paper glued to the styrofoam ball ahead of time. I hired 3 extra people to help assemble on site at the reception. We could have used more. We used two toothpicks in each spot, angled out. To put the cupcakes on we squeeze the toothpicks together, insert the cupcake and let go. Pipe on the icing after it’s attached. We also tried piping it before affixing it. I dont remember if there was a difference, but each of us cake decorators has slightly different techniques. I also had a massive cake at the reception so I was stressing out about assembling that too. I’ll get to that in another post.
All in all, cupcake centerpiece bouquets can be done successfully with a ton of planning and preparation. (I’d prefer not to do that again any time soon)