Forum: Cupcakes

Help with big order

Hi all,

I’ve been asked to get a display stand at a brunch to raise money for a Children’s Cancer Foundation with a Spring Blossoms theme on April 23. Three hundred prominent ladies are invited in the best hotel in town. I have until Monday to give them an answer if I would accept this offer or not. Of course part of the money I make must be donated to the foundation (25-30%).

I have to make at least 300 floral cupcakes and 300 floral cookies. I work from home with a regular oven. So, do yo think I can do this? I don’t want to embark on something I can’t do and my motto is if I can’t make something good and nice, better not do it. I was thinking I could make the cookies in advance an freeze and decorate them probably a week before the event. Can I do the same with cupcakes? Bake and freeze in advance? I do it sometimes with leftover cupcakes but they never turn out as good as freshly baked ones. How far in advance can I make them, add buttercream and decorations?

Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot :-)

Dina @ miettes, http://www.facebook.com/pages/miettes/257790597632317

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8 Replies

Ciccio ...

Wow Dina such a big order, I personally wouldn’t freeze cupcakes, but you could make the night before & pipe the buttercream I would use IMBC then attach premade flowers & you’re good to go with just adding a flower or 2 to each, in a regular oven you can probably only bake 24 – 48 cupcakes at a time if each takes 20-25 mins to bake it will take aproximately 5-6 hours to make 300 (you make the next batch of batter while they are cooking) so you end up with a conveyer belt sytem of some being made some baking & some cooling constantly rototing, You can make all of your IMBC a couple of hours a head of time then pipe away, even doing some as piped rosettes will save on adding dired flowers, you could even do some with sugared real flowers like violets & pansies….hope this helps & not too confusing if I was over ther eI would give you a hand with it <3

ClearlyCake ...

Hi Dina,

I have done cupcakes for a couple of charity events – I now know that with my domestic oven and my Kenwood, I can bake, ice and box 240 cupcakes in one day.
But I was knackered.
And I don’t think I could envisage doing 2 days beforehand of baking and icing that many (plus more) biscuits/cookies.
When I looked at how much money the cupcakes raised, it would have been better for the charity if I’d have just given them the money I had spent on ingredients, oven time, electricity, cupcake cases, cupcake boxes, etc. I think you have to decide if this order is worth it, in terms of raising your profile locally.
I have never frozen my cakes, cupcakes or biscuits, because I like my customers to have everything as fresh as possible, although there are lots of cake decorators who do freeze.
Regarding the decorations, it depends if you can make these beforehand.
Also, are you required to provide the table for the stand, and decorate it?
Do you have the transport for all of this?

Hope I’ve helped to give you food for thought, and the best of luck :)

Eat Cake ...

Hi Dina

I have done a couple of charity events, one where I baked 700 cupcakes and one where I baked 500 cookies (thankfully not for the same event!) I did both of these from home as we are allowed to bake in our home oven for one off charity events here in New Zealand. The cupcakes took me a solid two days of baking and icing (just swirls of buttercream, no other decorations) and the same time frame with the cookies – they were iced with plain white fondant as they were for my sons school fair and the kids were going to handpaint them themselves! Both times I had an ‘employee’ (friend or family member) to help. So I would suggest that if you have someone who could help you? Even just to mix batter while you deorate – it’s very helpful, and moral boosting at the end of a long day :) If you are making sugar cookies, you could make up the dough and cut out the shapes 3-4 days in advance and leave them in the fridge until a couple of days before the event, then bake and decorate them two days in advance (they will still be fine) and then perhaps do the cupcakes the day before. As Jo said it will take 5-6 hours if you get a good rotation system going (and a helper) and if you make any flowers etc the week before or as in advance as you can this will cut time down too.

I didn’t make a cent off either of these big charity events, but I believe in karma and if you are going to be there serving these prominent ladies your creations (?) then the exposure for your business might be worth your time? Hope this helps a little bit and good luck! :)

miettes ...

Jo, Helenna and Kerry, thank you so much for your responses!!! I truly appreciate you taking the time to send me your input. I must admit I am a bit scared (agree with you Helenna about your concerns) but everyone around me is telling me not to miss this opportunity as I will gain a lot of exposure! It is going to be a lot of work, I know I am going to have sleepless nights (from anxiety) but I should I should trust what I can do and go for it!!! Still have until tomorrow to make up my mind. I will keep you posted :-)

Nicole - Just For The Cake Of It ...

Hi Dina, I can’t say I have anything else to add, everyone covered everything very well. Just wanted to offer some encouragement, I know it can be a lot of work when you’re overseeing a company of 1!!! I have done about 250 cupcakes and 150 cookies for one day and it all worked out. The cupcakes I did the day before and the cookies earlier in the week, packaged up so they’d stay fresh (and keeping the cookie decoration pretty streamlined so I could be consistent). Just some good ol’ planning … and not a lot of sleep the night before, but it’s all worth it in the end. Good luck! :)

miettes ...

Nicole, thanks a lot for your words of encouragement….

And to everyone, I did accept this challenge. It is a for a good cause and I could not say “no” :-)
Now, let’s hope everything goes well… yes, time management is key!!

Eat Cake ...

Hi Dina

Congratulations on making the decision! Your cakes, cupcakes and flowers are all gorgeous so I am sure you will be fine! Keep us posted with pictures etc and let us know how it goes and good luck (have a week of good nights’ sleep before :) !

miettes ...

Kerry, thanks a lot!!! Of course, I will post pics :-)))