Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bake Me a Cake...Course 1

Patty cake
Patty cake
Baker's man
Bake me a cake

As fast as you can.

Earlier this year, I started taking cake decorating classes. It is something I've always wanted to do, plus it gives me another skill in my arsenal for when my current job eventually goes away.

I took the Wilton courses at Michael's. Each course was 4 weeks long. Over the next several posts, I will share with you what I've learned.

Course 1 was Discover Cake Decorating. Lesson 1 taught us how to prepare our cake for decorating including leveling, torting (layering), filling and icing. We also learned the 3 essentials of cake decorating - icing consistency, correct bag position and pressure control.

Having the correct icing consistency is very important. Too thin and your flowers won't hold together. Too thick and it is almost impossible to write on a cake.

How you hold your icing bag affects the decorations that you make. Hold it the right way and your icing will curl properly. Hold it at the wrong angle and your decorations will not look right.

How much pressure you exert on your bag also affects your decoration. Only with lots of practice can you learn how to control the pressure on your icing bag.

In Lesson 2, we needed to bring an iced cake to class. We started to learn how to decorate a cake using Star tip #16. You've probably seen "character" cakes that are completely covered in icing stars. This style of decorating is very simple to do and was a good start for me to learn. I learned I don't particularly care for this style of decorating. To each his (or her) own, I guess.

We also learned how to write and do line decorating in this lesson as well as beginning to learn how to make the "Wilton Rose".

It just so happened that the next day after class was a co-worker's birthday so my cake was designed with his birthday in mind.

My Very First Cake

In Lesson 3, we continued to learn the Wilton Rose. I also learned how to pipe shell borders which are used frequently in cake decorating. One other skill was how to do figure piping and made drop flowers from the buttercream icing.

Lesson 4 wrapped up with finishing the Wilton Rose. We also learned how to do leaves and vines. Since this was our fourth and final class for Course 1, we had to bring another iced cake to class for decorating.

Course 1 Final Cake

My co-workers were reaping the benefits of my cake decorating classes because this cake also ended up at work for them to enjoy eating.

I had a really good teacher, Diana, for Course 1 and was looking forward to starting Course 2 with her. She teaches a couple of evenings a week and also has a side business doing cakes for others. This in addition to her full-time day job.

Diana shared many good tips with us including That has become one of my go-to websites, along with the Wilton site, for cake decorating inspiration.

Next up, Course 2 - Flowers and Borders

1 comment:

Gaelyn said...

What a fun thing to learn to do, and reap the rewards. The roses are beautiful and almost look to pretty to eat. I did say Almost.