Advice Cake Talk

Do Cake Bitches rule the internet?

So you wanna be a cake bitch?

When is it OK to give your opinion?

And when is it better to zip the lip?

And no…I’m not lecturing anyone…it has become a serious subject, and if we are not careful we will damage the community we love. We may already have done so!

The internet is AMAZING! Fact! Communication has been revolutionised, and whereas we used to wait for the newspapers to come out, we now have instant information and opinion at our fingertips.

The internet has made us all into writers/columnists/commentators/critics….and most importantly…editors!

Yup….people can do all of the above easily….but they sometimes forget to edit themselves. EDITING! The most important bit!

So what deserves negativity…and what doesn’t?

Well obviously, I deal in the cake world, which is artistic and creative. Sure, we can like art and we can dislike art, and we can discuss it.

If you are paid for your work, if you play on your professionalism, if you put your work out there to be admired, then you also have to accept negative opinions if they come your way. Right?

And trust me, they will. I can put out an image that may be praised by thousands…THOUSANDS..but it may still get a negative comment. Get used to it. Live with it! People have opinions and they aren’t always going to go your way.

But if you are a hobbyist, and the vast majority of cake makers are, then no…you don’t expect to be crucified for sharing your creations.

 

And that is the crux of it for me. Who is putting themselves out there as an artist…and who is putting themselves out there as hobbyists?

 

I have a MASSIVE problem with this…because my raison d’être within the cake community is to encourage everyone to have a go. EVERYONE! To make something with love. For fun! To share and to enjoy.

When I was a little girl I always used to buy my Mum birthday cards…because they looked nice, and were way better than anything I could make. But she always used to ask me to make one.

Make one? Yuk! I didn’t understand why! My cards were rubbish.

But I get it now…and I think you do too.

My sister makes cakes for her kids. She watches my videos and makes them herself. She doesn’t ask me to make them for her. Because she gets it too. It isn’t about me making a fabulous cake. It’s about her making a fun cake for her own kids!

And that is the attitude that I don’t want to lose because Cake-Bitches rule the internet.

So the Queen asked Nadiya to make a cake. A cake for a public walkabout where she was meeting people … REAL people.

The_Queen_cuts_into_birthday_cake_made_by_Bake_Off_winner_Nadiya_Hussain

Nadiya is not a cake decorator. She isn’t even a professional baker. She won an amateur competition and people love her. So if you see the cake she made and it isn’t your cup of tea…OF COURSE you can say that it isn’t your cup of tea. That’s your right. You have the freedom to do so. It’s part of the discussion.

But don’t do it as though Nadiya was a professional cake artist who messed up! She didn’t. She made what looked like a really tasty cake, (REALLY tasty!) and as an amateur attempt at cake decorating….it was a gazillion times better than my first attempts. Don’t believe me? Take a look at my Top Tips for beginners and you will see that I speaketh the truth my friends. Oh yes…I made some shockers!

Purple butterflies before and after! I know, I know! It's SHOCKING!

Purple butterflies before and after!
I know, I know! It’s SHOCKING!

See…there is a massive difference between a hobby cake and a professional one!

sugar flowers gum paste

Roses – Before and After! (Stop laughing!)

But there is nothing wrong with ANY of them!

And no, I am NOT saying that people should refrain from airing negative opinions. Negativity can be part of the artistic conversation. You can like something…you can dislike something. That’s fair enough. You can even say it. Of course you can! But you can say it politely and you can say it privately or in a forum that you consider appropriate.

And bear in mind that negativity that comes from WITHIN a community or profession, will more likely than not look like jealousy. Ain’t that the truth? Wouldn’t it be great if people were to think to themselves “Would I air this negative opinion if I was doing it to the person’s face?” And if so “How would I phrase it constructively?” or “Even if I think my opinion is valid, should I just keep it to private conversations?”

EDIT YOURSELVES PEOPLE!

Because as a community, unless we do that we run the real risk that we deter people from joining us. People are already intimidated, and they shouldn’t be.

Because we need to remember what cake is for. To make people smile. To bring people together. And as a community, if we make people believe that cake is for criticising then we lose the cake artists of the future and the hobby cake makers of today.

GET A GRIP PEOPLE! IT’S CAKE!

And one last thing…if I EVER see the phrase ‘It’s free speech, I can say what I want‘ attached to a negative comment on something I have shared…. I DELETE IT! So go for it! See where it gets ya! 😉

Here endeth the rant! 😉

 

If you are a beginner and want my top tips for beginners you’ll find them here: Cake Basics

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Like

  • April Underwood James

    Rosie – I absolutely love you for this article. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. You see – I have been obsessing over your posts for the last several weeks, with my new found joy of learning to decorate cake. And last week my daughter asked that I make her wedding cake for this weekend. I was certain that I was prepared for the simple design – I had, after all, watched over 40 hours of YouTube videos on techniques and planning – ha! So I set out to making a 3 tier, simple stacked cake for her quaint back yard BBQ wedding. But by 2 o’clock this morning, I gave in to defeat and came to terms that as horrible as they looked – it was as good as I could possibly do, so I placed all three ‘finished’ tiers in my refrigerator – and set out to crying myself to sleep. This morning I was ready to toss them all in the garbage and march down to the store to buy a suitable replacement. But the truth of the matter is – I poured my heart into them and I know that my daughter will be happy that I made them for her with love. And one day I will look back at the picture of this cake – a small piece of the happiest day in my daughter’s life, and be so glad that I continued practicing a craft that I am falling in love with. Thank you for leading with your heart. You are such an inspiration to me, a true hobbyist and life long cake lover! <3

    • Rosie

      YES YES YES April!
      You have melted my heart! I would have your cake over a soul-less shop bought cake ANY DAY!
      This is EXACTLY what cake should be about. You are NOT in a competition. You are creating memories for your daughter.
      One day I will tell you the whole sordid story of my own wedding cake. (That did not end well but it created a much loved story….and that is much more interesting.)
      You’ve remembered why you are doing this and that’s FABULOUS!
      Good luck to your daughter and her future husband and I hope you have an AMAZING day with wonderful memories. (Especially of the cake! 😉 )

    • YES YES YES April!

      You have melted my heart! I would have your cake over a soul-less shop bought cake ANY DAY!

      This is EXACTLY what cake should be about. You are NOT in a competition. You are creating memories for your daughter.

      One day I will tell you the whole sordid story of my own wedding cake. (That did not end well but it created a much loved story….and that is much more interesting.)

      You’ve remembered why you are doing this and that’s FABULOUS!

      Good luck to your daughter and her future husband and I hope you have an AMAZING day with wonderful memories. (Especially of the cake! 😉 )

    • Peggy Lee

      April, your comment made me cry. Wonderful post. Wonderful Comment. Thank you, Rosie, for being so lovely!

  • I chose not to participate in any of these conversations except one where I agreed whole heartedly with yourself. As a cake artist we can become caught up in the bubble of cake heaven/hell. I miss the days of baking for fun, trying new recipes and not constantly criticising myself. I don’t need to criticise anyone I do it to myself daily. Nadia’s cake is beautiful, it was made with meaning, and I for one am glad they didn’t get one of the huge London based artists to produce it but a lady who is like us all, someone who likes to watch other people enjoy eating what they make

    • I couldn’t agree more. I am certain she could have had a high class cake artist if she wanted…but she chose a member of the public. I like that. 😉

    • Vanessa Cracknell Mclean

      I think, as decorators, we often forget the most important thing about a cake is what it tastes like.

  • Robyn Michela Wilson

    Awwwww, I love you Minnie!!!!

    • Lol Robyn. Don’t tell Minnie Driver! She might not be too impressed! 😉

  • Akhanmayo

    Well said..

  • Umm Wa Abu Abdullah

    Absolutely love this article!!! This doesn’t only apply to cake makers but in every other profession – negative criticism can be good but it has to be delivered in the correct manner.. If one is to criticise in a very hurtful way, y’know they’re saying it because they’re envious!!

  • Bev Murray

    Rosie I have been saying this about her since she made the cake on bake off ! People were saying ” her fondant was to thick etc etc ” but as you said she is not a cake decorator plus bless her she made her own fondant ( I don’t ). She is a lovely person and I for one think she did well and I hope she is not upset by any bad comments she may read!
    Go Nadiya !!!!

  • Kerstie ‘Lahey’ Dayson

    I started my cake journey watching my nan, making cakes for all our family and her friends, she was a whizz at making royal icing flowers and baby cribs, never in a million years did I think that I would follow in her footsteps. My first cake was for my sons first birthday, over 16yrs ago and it’s carried on from there. As a hobby baker I’ve had the chance to be a part of many of my families and friends special occasions, they seem to love setting me a cake challenge. I’ve had some cakes I’ve loved on completion, but others where I’ve thought I needed to tweak this bit and that. I had one that I disliked so much it reduced me to tears and I never took a photo of it. My mums friend wanted a cake for her daughter Rachel’s 21st birthday, she wanted 8 X 6″ square sponge cakes stacked and covered in icing to look like the Empire State Building as they were going to NYC, I made the cake and to my eye it was leaning (my husband said it wasn’t) and the colour was too dull and there were so many little black windows. I delivered it and Rachel started to cry, I thought I had made this awful cake and ruined her birthday, she said she loved it, it was just what she had pictured in her mind and was crying because it was just what she wanted. A few days later I had a thank you card to say that everyone loved the cake, and that they had counted all of the little windows on the cake and was 1004 correct?
    I saw Nadias cake in many different posts and was quite annoyed at some of the comments. Did these people not understand what an honor it was for Nadia to be asked to make this cake? Did they not know she probably had a few sleepless nights over the task? And how incredibly nervous she would have felt knowing that what she was making was going to be beamed around the world to millions of people. My first thoughts when I saw the cake were – Wow, look at the size of them tiers, and I bet it tastes amazing as I remember Nadia, was always complemented on gbbo for her ability of balance of flavours. My point being, unless you have had a go yourself at baking and decorating, you shouldn’t give negative comments. As tons of time, effort and patience goes into creating the ideas and design briefs we are given, like my youngest son who wanted a half and half minion, and he wanted to only see the yellow at the front, no purple and the purple one at the back, no yellow. Nadia did her best and that’s all anyone can ask, and what a story to tell the grandkids later in life, that she made the queens 90th birthday cake X

  • Beth Somers

    I love this, and I love you for putting it out there! Let’s support and inspire each other, not tear each other down. After all…it’s JUST cake, and cake is supposed to be fun.

Please choose whether you would like to enter the UK or the USA version of my website.