Friday, March 16, 2018

Cake Decorating Video: How To Make Painted Chocolate Seashells

There are a few ways to get a multicolored effect on seashells. This video shows the method of painting the mold itself so that there are contrasting details once the chocolate is poured into the mold on top of the painted areas.

Click here to see the molds: Seashell molds

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

When Is It Time To Stop Selling Something?

When you have any type of business, there will inevitably come a time when you have to decide if you want to keep selling an item or not.

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does making this thing make me want to die?
  • When I get an order for it, do I shudder a little?
  • Am I making so little on it I think it's not worth the time?
  • If I stop making it, will it affect my income so much I'll feel the pinch?
Now, you might think that the last two questions are contradictory, but sometimes they're what's causing the problem. If you raised the price of this thing, whatever it is, would it make a difference? Maybe if you increased how much you're charging you wouldn't get as many orders, but you'd be making a larger profit, so it might not affect your income as much as you think. Plus, you wouldn't be working as hard on something that kills your soul.

So think about raising prices first.

If you've raised your prices and still hate making the thing, it might be time to eliminate it from your products.

There's nothing wrong with saying "nope, I'm not making mini cupcakes anymore, they kill my soul." Or "no more smash cakes, they just make me want to smash something."

I stopped selling a few things this year because whenever I got an order for them I cried a little. When you stop appreciating orders for a specific item it could just be time to give yourself permission to stop making them. Somewhere out there, someone else enjoys making the thing that you hate, so let them have that order.

Give yourself permission to NOT make the things that you hate making. Spend your time doing things that you like, or just ones that don't make you feel like your spirit is being crushed, at the very least. You're not going to love everything that you make, but there's no reason to do things that you can't stand.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Monday, March 5, 2018

How to Make Edible Eyes, Or, Isomalt Eyeballs for Everyone!

How many times have you done a 3D animal cake and needed realistic eyes for it? Okay, maybe not too often, but wouldn't it be good to have a way to make some realistic ones? Or just have some eyes to put on cupcakes to freak out the kids...

Well, here's how to make them using isomalt, wafer paper, and a mold to make the round part. You can use the mold with clear resin, too, and just use paper eyes glued on to make the colored part.

I have these eyes listed in my paper shop on Etsy to make 1" pinback buttons, but I reduced the size to fit the eye molds. I printed them on wafer paper and cut them out. They're about 3/4" across, so they would fit a mold that was a little larger or smaller than that.

 Making them is really easy--

Fill the mold cavities about 3/4 full.

Use a spatula to push any bubbles out to the side so that the surface is smooth.

Take the wafer paper and place it face down on top of the isomalt.

Press gently to make sure that the image is flat on the surface of the isomalt.

Fill the mold the rest of the way up with isomalt to encapsulate the wafer paper.

Let the eyes set up until the isomalt is totally cooled. When you remove the eyes it will look like this:

This particular mold has two cavity sizes so the eyes can be a little larger or smaller.

You can use this method with any rounded mold that will take the heat of the isomalt. You can also do this, as I mentioned before, with resin and regular paper to make plastic eyes for craft projects, you just need to size the eyes to the mold.

For a kit that's enough to make 30 eyes of different styles and colors, click here: Edible eye set
And if you don't want to make them yourself, you can click here to get premade ones.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Friday, March 2, 2018

How to Make Wafer Paper Sunflowers with Wired Wafer Paper Centers

I was wondering about whether I could make wired wafer paper centers for some larger flowers to avoid having to combine gumpaste and wafer paper in one flower, and yes, you can. So Here's how to make the centers:

And here's how to make the flowers:

You could make centers for all types of flowers like ranunculus, daisies, sunflowers, etc. Basically anything that has a flat center if you're using this method. Start with wafer paper that's colored in the final center color to make it easier, or paint them after they dry completely.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cake Business Interview-- Amy's Cakes & Candies in Greensboro NC

Here's a look at a home-based cake business and some advice for people thinking about going into the field of custom cakes. My guest blogger today is Amy Filipoff from Amy's Cakes N Candies in Greensboro NC.

What’s your background, and how did you get started with your business?

I have a BFA in Theatre Design. I worked at a bakery all through college and learned the basics of baking and cake decorating then. I went to work in the corporate sector for 10 years, making cakes still as a hobby for friends and family. My start in this as a real business came after My company was making cuts and I was offered a severance package around the same time my husband was offered a new position in a different state. I was in a state that, at the time, didn’t allow home baking business and we moved to a state that did. So it just made sense.

What kind of cakes do you make the most? Weddings, birthday, dessert cakes etc. What’s the “cake economy” like where you are? Have prices gone up or down in the last few years? 

I focus on wedding cakes but I do all types of celebration cakes. I have found that the wedding cake economy is on a slight uptick in the past few years but fewer people are willing to pay custom cake prices for birthdays and smaller celebrations. Prices have gone up slightly.

To earn a full-time income with a home-based cake business, how many hours per week do you think people have to work? 

I only work part time. That is by choice. If I needed to get a full time income out of making cakes from my home I would need to put in around 50-55 hours a week.

If you are looking to make a lot of money, run the other way. You have to love doing it or you will burn out quick. Also, you have to treat it like a business. I think this is the hardest part for hobbyists starting a business. I was fortunate to have those 10 years of business experience to learn how to sell myself and my products. If you don’t price to consider ALL your expenses PLUS an income for you then you are putting in a lot of effort for nothing.

What do you think will surprise people who want to start a custom cake business most about owning a home-based business? In other words, what do you think people find out the hard way about it? 

For me the hardest part is that there is no separation from your home and work life. Since I work in my home kitchen I can't just shut the door and come back to something later. I must be completely cleaned up with everything tucked away by the time my kids get home from school. Also, incomplete work is constantly nagging at me when I try to relax or step away. Also, it’s difficult for customers to understand that just because I work from home doesn’t mean I am “ on the clock” 24/7. And I get a lot of calls from people looking for a cash and carry cake, I feel like I need a recording to play that explains how my business works and why I don’t just have a cake you can pick up at any time.

What do you like most and least about working in the custom cake industry? 

I love the reactions I get from my cakes, mostly you are part of very happy times in peoples lives and it’s cool to be part of that. I love the opportunity to be creative and make a little money doing it.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start a home-based cake business?

Be ready to put in a lot of time and effort. Treat it like a business and don’t forget to cover your legalities ( inspection, licensing, insurance etc.)


Thanks, Amy, for the insight into your business! You can find Amy on Facebook at Amy's Cakes N Candies

If you have a home-based cake business and would like to submit a guest blogger post, just answer the questions here and email them to me at Or if you'd like to write about a different topic, including business tips or a decorating tutorial, email me and let me know what you'd like to write about!

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Monday, February 19, 2018

How To Use The Beer Bottle Mold

If you're making any cooler cakes this year, you would do yourself a favor to get a silicone bottle mold. I added a different type of silicone into my product line recently to make molds of larger items, and I thought about adding bottle molds to my website.

THOSE SUCKERS ARE EXPENSIVE!!!! I knew it, but looking into the pricing was a little horrifying. They do take a lot of silicone to make, and the room for error in making them needs to be higher because it's pretty easy to mess them up, so the pricing is understandable. But if you're only making one cake and you don't want to invest $100 in a 3D mold, that's understandable too!

So I decided to add half-bottle molds, which seem to be what more people need anyway. If you're making a cooler cake, you don't need a full bottle mold, you just need the top half that sticks out of the cooler. So here's a video of the mold I can up with and how you would use it. You could use isomalt, regular sugar, or chocolate in the mold. (If you're doing other crafts it will also work for resin, soap and wax.

Click here for the mold:

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Monday, February 5, 2018

How To Make Isomalt Geodes With A Silicone Mold for Cupcake Toppers

Have you had customers asking for geode crystal cupcake toppers yet? I'd be surprised if you haven't, because I've been selling them like crazy for the last year or so. I recently decided to add the molds that I use to make them to my shop because I figured that people could probably use as well as the ready-made ones.

The mold set includes one piece that has three sections and one piece that makes two individual crystals.

You can use them by themselves or with each other to make larger crystals. Here's the video showing how to make the geodes:

Click here for the molds: Silicone Geode Crystal Mold,
and click here for precooked isomalt: Isomalt for the geode molds

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Deciding When to Add New Items to Your Business

Have you ever thought about adding a new type of product to your business in order to diversify your income? Maybe you could do dessert cakes along with custom decorated cakes, or you could add some small desserts for buffets at weddings.

How do you know whether it's a good idea or not?

Sometimes the only way to do it is to do some research to see three things: What kind of demand is there for the product, how long does it take to make, and how much profit can you make on it?

The last question about profit is the most important, but if it's something that takes a really long time to make, or it's something that you would only be selling occasionally, it might not be worth making even if you'd be making a high profit. The reason being, if you have an order for something that's going to take you a large percentage of the time you have available, it might prevent you from taking on other work. So if one order for something is going to make you a $500 profit, but it prevents you from taking on two orders that had a total of $600 profit, you're losing out on $100. You have to look at the big picture.

Let's think about the little individual cakes that were (supposedly) popular a few years ago. As soon as you make those for one wedding you'll jack the price of them up to about 5 times higher than what you originally charged, because those take A LOT of time. And they take a lot of storage space, transportation space, setup time, etc etc. Most of the people I know who made them once refuse to make them again because the effort required isn't worth it.

I ran into this recently when I decided to look into adding hard plastic molds to my website. I ordered some plastic sheets and the setup to make them to try it out, and guess what? The results are unpredictable, the plastic sheets are expensive so the profit margins are small, and on top of that, they smell like toxic gas when they're heating up. It's definitely a "windows open" type of activity, and since you can't get a 100% guarantee that the mold will work perfectly, there's a lot of wasted material.

After weighing my options, I decided to go with a different type of flexible silicone instead of the plastic. I still have some sheets that I'll use up, then that will be it. I've put the molds that I've made on my website and will sell those at low prices just to clear them out, but I won't be adding more of them! I think my lungs will thank me, because they really do smell terrible!

So before adding a product, do a few test runs to see whether it's a good idea or not. Just because it's something that other people are selling doesn't mean that you should...They might not be making a profit at all, you never know. Test it out for yourself before adding things to your product line!

Click here for the molds

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Monday, January 22, 2018

Making Isomalt Brooches With Molds and Wafer Paper

I recently started a second Etsy shop for non-edible paper items (so that people won't buy real paper thinking that they can put it on a cake and eat it, which wouldn't be good.) I was working on some digital download clip art of some of the brooches that I have, which are the same ones that I use to make molds. 

I decided to try applying some wafer paper brooch images to the back of the molds they correspond to to see if plain isomalt plus the pictures would work to make a decent-looking edible brooch. It did work, with some shapes being better than others.

I printed out the brooch images, cut them out, then applied them to the back of the molds after filling them with clear isomalt. The picture showed through the isomalt, and the shape of the molded sugar gave the pictures some dimension. These would work well for a treasure chest cake or a jewelry box cake. Depending on the shape of the brooch, they could also work for a wedding cake, but that would have to be a mold that was easy to pour without overfilling it.

Here's a video showing how I did these brooches. The molds and corresponding images are available on my website here: Mold set to make edible brooches

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

Friday, January 19, 2018

Don't Do The Work If You Haven't Been Paid

I've said it before but it's worth saying again, apparently. If someone hasn't paid you they're not a customer with an order. Don't do the work if you haven't been paid.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and