Regulatory Requirements of A Home Based Cake Bakery

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In the last few years, we’ve witnessed huge changes in the awareness of home food production rules and regulations. People are getting smart about getting legal and taking the necessary steps to operate and grow their cake business in the open and in full compliance of the laws!

If you’re new to the dream of having a cake business at home, here are a few simple starting points:

Every community has regulatory requirements. Some are more restrictive than others when it comes to operating a cake business from home. While each state has websites to help you fill out permits, licenses and regulations these can be difficult to weed through. Information about your legal responsibility can be very confusing and you may receive conflicting information. Persistence is important when searching for the answers about home-based food production. Ultimately, you want to hear the requirements directly from your health inspector, as they typically have the final say in what you can and can not do. That said, citizens are working hard to pass and expand cottage food laws. Check out http://cottagefoods.org/laws/ a site dedicated to the latest changes to the home food business laws. Continue reading Regulatory Requirements of A Home Based Cake Bakery

Liability Insurance

liability_cakeA while back a colleague told me about a cake decorator in a precarious position in which any cake decorator could find herself — what to do if there was a foreign object lost in your cake.

The specifics of the situation were that with only a few days to go before a multi-tiered, expensive cake was to be delivered, the home-based decorator found a shard of plastic inside one of the tiers. To make matters worse, there were a few additional pieces of plastic from a piece of her equipment, missing. While the likelihood of the missing plastic shards being inside the cake was small, the risk was still significant.

Continue reading Liability Insurance

Advice and Inspiration for Beginners

Let them decorate cake:

Here’s an article about some women in upstate NY who find cake decorating  more than a hobby: 2 cake business owners, a decorator and a party store owner who offers classes.

New Berlin’s Kelly Banks started her own cake decorating business in 2005. Banks, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, decided that she didn’t want to spend all of her time working for someone else after she had her daughter. With that decision, Kelly Banks Cakes was born.

“It started off just being something fun, extra income. Every once in a while someone would ask me to do something for them,” she said. “Now I just have cakes every single weekend. It’s definitely more of a business now that it was even last year.”

Cathy Wise, Party Perfect’s owner, knew she wanted to offer cake decorating classes from the minute she opened her store. Two years ago, “it all just fell into place,” Wise said. “It’s just a fun thing to learn and it’s a great skill to have.”

…Winnie Talbot not only teaches the Wilton classes at Party Perfect, she also decorates ice cream and wedding cakes…

Talbot didn’t intend to become a Wilton teacher.

“I took a bunch of Wilton classes and then I took other cake classes because I wanted to know how to do cakes for our business. Then Wilton started calling me asking me if I’d teach class. I kept telling them `no.’ I didn’t have time. Finally I said, `you know what? If you wait until late fall, then I will start,'” Talbot said.

…Cooperstown-based cake decorator Marjorie Landers has had a few odd requests as well.

“The most unusual cakes I do are groom’s cakes, which can be in any shape or form,” Landers said. “One groom’s cake I did that was a for a groom who was a serpentologist. So that cake was in the shape of a snake.”

But these challenges are part of what has kept her engaged in her work for the last 15 years. “I do enjoy doing new things. It’s fun for the artistic part of me. If you do the same thing over and over again, it gets to be no fun,” Landers said.

via The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY – Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie County News, Sports and Opinion – Let them decorate cake: Local women find decorating desserts more than a hobby.

Best EASY White Frosting

Here’s a recipe that we have been using in our business for years. This is a simple, classic white frosting that every baker has in their arsenal:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered butter flavoring
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. With an electric mixer blend all ingredients until mixed.

Could it be any easier than that?

The BEST Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened

  • 2 sticks butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.


Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip and garnish with white chocolate flakes or fresh strawberries.

Wedding Cakes on a Budget

The art and science of cake decorating, I believe is seeing unparalleled popularity and interest. With this popular awareness we have seen talented sugar artists command higher prices for their cakes. While I think it is awesome that cake decorators are making more money per slice I think it’s important in building a business to address the needs of your community and offer a range of products that can meet any budget.

As we wrote a few posts back, many brides are often looking to save some money on their wedding and the cake is one place where she can still demonstrate elegance and style while cutting costs.

While there’s no way to make a cake LOOK bigger, there are ways to get more servings for less money.

Centerpiece cakes: instead of one large wedding cake, a smaller one for the couple, as well as a small cake at each guest table. Centerpiece cakes can also replace the floral arrangement — another savings.

Sheet cakes: A smaller display cake and simpler sheet cakes with the same flavorings. Everyone enjoys the same cake. Moreover, sheet cakes can accommodate unexpected guests.

Simple yet elegant cakes: There are some very beautiful classic designs that don’t require significant handwork. The trend towards custom cakes, sugar work and even fondant in wedding cakes is great for cake decorators but can be costly for brides.

Couples on a budget should consider alternatives to fondant work and gum paste.Brides can choose buttercream smoothed to look like fondant and use fresh, organic, edible flowers to decorate their cake.

Cupcakes: Cupcake wedding cakes are gaining in popularity for weddings. Aside from their convenience, they can also be a less expensive alternative. We often see brides choose a small traditional decorated cake with a wedding cupcake tree – some brides even choose multiple flavors for their cupcakes.

Offering a range of products is for most home bakeries the key to success and profits. More on this to come….

Ace of Cakes

How many of you watch Ace of Cakes? For those of you who don’t know, Ace of Cakes is a reality television show airing on the Food Network.

Now the question I keep hearing about Duff is: Do his cakes taste as good as they look? For most of us having our own television show is not an option so making great tasting cakes is just as important as how they look. In fact, for budget conscious couples having a large reception, there are often two cakes — a small, beautifully decorated cake out front at the reception, and a larger sheet cake in the back (kitchen).Most guests are served from the sheet cake. It is the same kind of cake, but much less expensive for the couple as it is not decorated.

Given that some of your business will come from referals — people who’ve tasted your cake at a wedding, make every cake GREAT!

Home Bakery Success

Here’s a great success story from Madison Wisconsin about a family that started a home bakery and have grown so much that they’ve opened a retail bakery and coffee shop in a former bank. Their baking operation was located in the basement of their home and used ovens found in most kitchens. You can download the article: Home Bakery Success Story or visit their website. When they were looking to expand, they found many of the high-end baking items on eBay, saving them $75,000. WOW!