MollyGreen.com | Spring on the Homestead | Spring 2017 62
I did not take any decorating classes.
In fact, I signed up at a local store for
the Wilton Cake Decorating Class, but
got a refund after the first day, when
the instructor told me I was already too
advanced for the beginner classes. I had
learned mostly by experimenting on
my own. The instructor and I have been
online friends ever since. She’s been great
for encouragement and for sharing ideas.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no “Cake Boss”
… I’ve had my fair share of “cake fails.”
In fact, I still have an occasional “bad
cake day.” I’ve learned to overestimate
the time required to complete an order,
because it will almost always take longer
than expected. I try to buy ingredients in
bulk or when they are on sale, because it
seems like I’m never able to find what I
need when I’m on a deadline!
If you’re looking to develop your cake
decorating skills, you’ll find great resources in other “cake ladies and gents”
on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s
often offer classes, but you can also just
buy some equipment and start practicing
on your own.
Starting a Cake Biz
State Laws: Every state has its own rules
for selling homemade baked goods direct
to consumers, often called “cottage food
laws.” A handful of states prohibit it,
but most allow it with some guidelines.
Check out the laws in your state by
searching online for “cottage food [your
Scheduling: One of the first things I did
after deciding to start my cake decorating business was to create a “cake page”
on Facebook to keep my personal page
separate from work and to keep all of my
orders in one place. It’s important (for
me) to keep every order in my planner
and also in the calendar on my phone.
That way I always have it with me. You
can easily overbook yourself if you don’t
Try your best not to overbook, because
then it becomes an “I can’t wait to be
done” project instead of an enjoyable expression of your creativity. Work is what
a regular job is for, right?! Ha!
Finances & Delivery: Always, always get
a deposit, charge for delivery, and don’t
accept checks. No exceptions. Delivery
is my least favorite part of the whole
process. That’s where my husband comes
in. He and the kids are quite good at the
delivery side of things, although I still
tend to worry that something might get
bumped or damaged until I receive the
all-clear (*nervously bites nails*).
Family Involvement: My daughters, ages
19 and 15, are very helpful when they
want to be. They know how to check
for doneness, to flip cakes, cut out basic
fondant accents (letters, numbers, and
shapes) and are quite good at mixing
frosting colors. My middle child is an
artist and has hand-painted quite a few
cakes for me. She loves to share design
ideas and is a great sounding board. Not
one to “sugarcoat it,” I value her artistic
My son (now 10) considers himself the
guinea pig and never turns down the
opportunity to sample my wares. He is
always willing to retrieve little items for
me and/or to make sure I have everything I need. It really is a family business!