Cake Decorating Business Reality

by Maria Paula Duarte

Lorelie's Luscious Cakes- Home Kitchen Back In The Early Days

Lorelie's Luscious Cakes- Home Kitchen Back In The Early Days

Lorelie's Luscious Cakes- Home Kitchen Back In The Early Days
Lorelie's- Littlest One In The Home Kitchen
Messy Cake Station At First Bakery Job In California-1985
Lorenzo (second one in on the right)- My First Mentor-La Foret Patisserie'

Question: Can you tell me, what is the cake decorating business reality? What is the cake creators schedule? Do you start early and finish late? What is your experience and the experience of other people that you know?


Lorelie's Answer Hi Maria,

The reality is that it is satisfying yet hard work. You have to really love it to do this as a career. I am hoping that other cake decorators will jump in here and talk about their experiences as well.

The schedule depends on where you are working, at home, bakery or a catering hall. I have done all three and am currently working part time at a bakery/market, which is a new experience for me.

There are many scenarios, but with all of the following situations you will have to work weekends most likely, and because the summer months are so popular for weddings you will be giving up a lot of your summer time and holidays as well.


It is difficult to get permission legally to do a food related business from home. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that allows this, then you could consider it. I did it when the children were young, it helped to get us by and the inspector came twice a year.

The down side is it gets a little lonely, you have to market yourself and be willing to have people come to your house for tastings, and pickups. The biggest negatives being that you never can get away from your work and you will have to buy some large pieces of equipment.

The upside is that you have complete control over your work.


This is probably the best place to start because you can learn so much by working under a master cake decorator. The pay will be low, at least at first although some places start at $14 an hour.

Working for a bakery can be fun at times, but the schedule can be grueling and messy as you can see by the picture above of my first cake decorating station.(lol) its messy no matter where you work...

The baking usually happens early in the mornings or you may have to depend on someone else to do the baking, which can become an issue because you will not have control over the quality and timing.

Banquet Facility

I think the best case scenario, at least for me, was the catering facility. You will have down time during slow periods to rest in between the busy times, and if you have the ability to oversee the desserts and cakes you can possibly be paid by salary.

In this scenario you don't usually meet with the brides, which can be good and bad. LOL... (for the most part brides are pleasant and appreciative)I like to meet them and get a feel for what they are like, but it is a small price to pay for a great job.

The cake decorating reality is that although satisfying it can be grueling work, because you are on your feet for sometimes 12 hours at a time during busy times.

I don't want to discourage you but as you can see you will need to be the hardy type to do this for a living.

In the end it is always a great feeling to set up the wedding cakes, take a step back and admire what you have just created. It is a special kind of gratification being a part of an important event in someone's life. And it feels so good when a bride and groom let you know how happy they were.

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Jun 28, 2011
Cake decorating reality
by: Sherene

I absolutely MUST pay you the highest compliment on this wonderful site and thank you for the lengths you go to to cultivate it! Really fabulous! I am a home based cake decorator /baker and agree totally with the answers which you have given about hard work and long hours. I work alone (for now) and put in 18 hours a day six days a week! At least 3 times a month, I work through the night! I make fondant novelty cakes and cupcakes and make all the embellishments for each theme myself.

I make all my cupcakes and 80% of my cakes from scratch and very rarely use pre-measured cake mixes. Very gratifying, but it has to become your way of life and you have to love it and embrace it or the long hours will have you dissatisfied and unfulfilled. That having been said, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing properly and, if you can earn your living by doing something you love, do it! Thanks again for your wonderful site! Kind regards, Sherene -South Africa

Hi Sherene, Thank you so much! Yes you really do have to love it. And I agree if you find something you love and you can make a living doing it then go for it:-) What a fabulous testimonial. May I use it elsewhere on the site? Thank you so much for visiting and writing such kind words.

Jul 18, 2011
Bakery Business
by: KB

I have been decorating cakes for many years for family and friends. A few years ago, I begin decorating cakes as a side business at home. In the past 2-3 years, my business has grown from decorating a few cakes per month to 8+ orders per week including at least one wedding cake per month. I have now outgrown my home kitchen with all the extra equipment I have acquired and am now considering opening my own Bakery. I live in a very small town where commercial property is very limited. My husband is encouraging this new adventure along with numerous other supporters. I have acquired a very extensive clientele that spans into another State. What tips and suggestions would you give me before I take the plunge into the commercial world? I am not afraid of hard work. I work a 40hr job, part-time job, and I own the "Tea Cottage" in which I cater dress-up tea parties for birthday's, showers, and etc... I am still a little scared of giving up my "real job". I appreciate any suggestions and comments that would put me at ease. I dearly love the creative world of cake decorating!!

Jul 18, 2011
Before opening a cake decorating business
by: Lorelie

Hi KB, Sounds like you have a pretty good start with your cake decorating business. It's wonderful that you have your husband and friends to support you. They obviously feel that you can do this.

You may want to begin with a market analysis in the area you are considering. Check into all of the licensing etc. Call the health department and the Town Hall to find out what you will need when setting up your business. A business plan will be important as well.

You are obviously very passionate about baking and decorating cakes and as you know it takes a love for this to be successful. Follow your heart and your dreams and make it a reality.

Start there and if you need more help let me know. I will also ask my facebook professional to add to this post. Thank you for visiting and I wish you all the best. Please update us on how it goes for you.

Jan 01, 2012
by: Colleen

I wish I had bought stock in: Dawn (dish soap), Heinz (white vinegar), Mr. Clean (floors), Clorox bleach (towels and spray cleaner),Whisk (laundry),Wilton, Lorann oils, Crisco, Gold Medal flour, Michigan Cane Sugar, Ck powdered and brown sugar, Hershey's, Callebut (cocoa), The grocery store in general, Gordan Foods, Philadelphia cream cheese, Cutrite (wax paper), Reynolds (parchment paper),Consumers Power for Gas and Electric,Tylenol (self explanatory), Phone company, HP (computer), Office Max (paper to run copies, print brochures, ink for computer to run copies, Print shop program), bought a few chickens and MICHIGAN WINES!!!!!!!!! hahaha

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