Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wilton Cake Decorating Works for Me!

About 10 years ago I bought a "Cake Decorating Kit" with the idea that I would learn to be a decorator. It was nothing auspicious, I just wanted to be able to make shaped character cakes and have them come out looking like the character in question.

I spent an afternoon trying diligently to make canned frosting take the shapes illustrated in the kit. I'm gonna be real honest here. My roses looked like little piles of poo. There ended my 6 hour foray into the world of cake decorating.

Fast forward 7 years. A friend was having a birthday party for her son. His first birthday party to be exact. I made a cake to match the puppy theme of the party. It was really cool on the inside (a checkerboard cake), but the outside was pretty sad. I decided to finally get professional help and tame the decorating beast.

I enrolled in a local decorating class at my community center. Although not an official Wilton class, it was based on the Wilton method and tools. I learned that you cannot use canned frosting to decorate a cake...hmmm...no wonder I was getting poo-roses before. In my first class I learned proper techniques for making decorator icing, how to properly level and frost a cake, how to smooth the icing, and about all the tools of the trade. It was an 8 week class, (1 to 1 1/2 hours per week). And, the final project was, of course, a cake. The photo above is the cake that I made after 8 weeks...a definite improvement from my sad puppy cake. (I honestly tried to find a photo of that puppy cake to show you...but it appears to be buried somewhere on a cd. Trust me, it was sad.)

I then decided to take a second level course at my local Michael's craft store. Most national crafting chains now offer Wilton Classes, and they are incredibly reasonable. I think I paid $25 for 8 classes, plus the supplies. (You can use those nifty 40% off coupons that come out weekly in the sale ads for the supplies, too.) It was an investment of a little money and a little time. But, I learned so much in that short period of time. I have saved a ton of money on birthday cakes, and have been confident enough to make cakes for friends as well.

There are a couple of higher level classes that I want to take involving fondant and gum paste. I'm gonna have to carve out a little "mommy time" soon!

You can find more information about Wilton Cake Decorating classes in your area HERE. It really is a fun skill to have under your belt. And, your life is guaranteed to be free of poo-roses and sad puppy cakes ;)

*I have not been compensated in any way for this post. I'm just sharing my personal experiences and feelings about this program.

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