One of my favorite parts of baking is the designing!! It is also one of the most challenging parts of my job. I received a request for a “simple circus cake” for a first birthday last month. I was pretty booked for the weekend but thought I could add a simple cake to my schedule. “Sure thing I said. Tell me more about what you are hoping for with flavor, design etc.”
The potential customer sent me a couple of pictures, let me know that his son was turning 1 and he would like a chocolate pudding filling with a marble cake. He also wanted a smash cake for Hawke to enjoy.
Ironically the photo he liked the most was from a cake company in Arkansas in the same town that Scott’s Aunt and Uncle live in. They know her and when I first started baking they told me all about her business. Here is the picture.
Hmmm… they didn’t need to feed too many people. I was pretty booked and I hadn’t inquired about budget yet. I decided that we should move our conversation from email to phone. It would be easier to discern the important aspects of the desired cake in a conversation.
While talking I discovered he wanted to capture the spirit of the design – we didn’t need to include 3D circus animals and he was open to having a large cupcake as part of the cake for a smash cake instead of a fully separate cake. The cake only needed to serve 20 people so we didn’t need to focus on servings. We needed to keep the budget realistic and I had to work it into my schedule of full-time day job and part-time bakery job timeframe. I asked if he could give me a couple of days to come up with a design and said I’d email him soon.
And this is why I love running
Nearing the end of the school year, I was super busy with teaching and whenever I wasn’t at work or prepping for lessons, I was baking for Emoticakes. I found myself with no time to think about this upcoming circus cake. And when I did have some time I was just struggling with how to make it cool but not so large and not so challenging.
Then I found time for a 6 mile run. Aaah … my most creative ideas come while I’m running. I have all this time to only think about what I set my intention on. As I was flying down Falls road the idea came to me. I came home and sketched it out on my iPad music app ForScore that I use in the classroom. I have drawing programs but I haven’t spent time learning them so putting the drawing in would take time in any of them. ForScore would be quick and it would communicate the essentials. I drew quickly and then showed Scott. “What do you think?” I asked him. I shared the original picture and then the important pieces that we wanted to keep. “You nailed it.” he replied. It looks great! Scott is brutally honest when I don’t “nail it” so I knew I could trust his opinion.
I emailed the picture and he thought it would be great! The one change – ditch the gum balls and use something else. That works for me. We have a plan.
Hawke enjoying his circus cake
I asked Hawke’s dad if he could send me some pictures and he happily obliged. As a mom to a 14 year old and 17 year old I forget how little (and adorable) one is!! He enjoyed the opportunity to smash his cupcake and I’m sure the guests had fun eating his circus cake. I know I had a great time designing it and baking it for him.