Where Do I Start?

Decorating By marie92001 Updated 2 Jun 2008 , 4:34pm by AmyGonzalez

marie92001 Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:21am
post #1 of 35

Hello everyone!
I am new to cake central and would LOVE to learn how to create and make wonderful cakes like ones posted here! A little about me... I wanted to go to school to become a pastry chef but with 3 boys and one little one still at home i could not attend school during the day and had to settle for becoming a phlebotimist. (could do night school) Anyway, i would LOVe to get started making & designing cakes like i have seen here.
I have been purchasing some wilton books & supplies and would like to try and make a cake (nothing fancy yet) for a friends son who will be going to irac in july for the marines! Any suggestions? I was reading about a dummy cake. I would like to make a simply (round) cake with the marie symbol and a dummy cake with the flag drapped over it.
Thank you kindly for any help!
Donna

34 replies
Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:32am
post #2 of 35

Hi, Donna.

Welcome to CC! Well, you've definitely come to the right site if you want to learn about anything cake. There are so many here, from beginners to amazing experts, that instruct, advise and simply share what they know and what they've learned and make it easier for the rest of us. It's such a great community.

One of the great things about this site is the gallery. You can see photos posted by other members and even do searches so that you can look up certain key words/topics and you'll have oodles of pictures to look at for ideas. I can tell you already there are many cakes with the Marines logo upon them.

Here's a quick tutorial on what to do: click on the "galleries" button right under the CakeCentral banner on top and then click on the word Search nder Cake Decorating Photo Galleries (just to the right of my account). Type in: "Marines" (don't need to use quotes) and then click on the 'search the image collection' buttom. You should get a lot of results.

Hope that helps!

Again, welcome to the site!

jammjenks Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:39am
post #3 of 35

I highly recommend you take the Wilton cake decorating classes (or at least course 1) if you are able to. Although you do learn WAY more on this site than any craft store class, it will give you a good foundation to build on. Many on here have taken the classes, many have not, but it is certainly a good start to learning the basics. Search this site for recipes for buttercream and cakes from scratch or mix.

I'd recommend the following basics to get you started. Then you can build from there.

8" offset spatula
disposable icing bags
set of tips and couplers
few round pans
sheet pan (I like the 11X15)

Welcome to CC and best of luck to you.

plbennett_8 Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:43am
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie92001

I have been purchasing some wilton books & supplies and would like to try and make a cake (nothing fancy yet) for a friends son who will be going to irac in july for the marines! Any suggestions? I was reading about a dummy cake. I would like to make a simply (round) cake with the marie symbol and a dummy cake with the flag drapped over it.




Marine symbol and a dummy cake with the flag drapped over it. icon_eek.gif Nothing fancy yet?...chuckle icon_smile.gif You go girl! icon_biggrin.gif

Ok... I have to ask why you would make a dummy cake rather than a real cake? You mean to practice ahead of time? If you can swing a Wilton I night course, I would recommend it to get the basics under your belt. The How to's...

For the Marine symbol, I would start looking for somewhere in your area that sells edible images...that will be your simplest solution for that... There is an ARTICLE (see tab above) that explains how to do a frozen buttercream transfer... I haven't tried that yet...

I also haven't tried the flag, but you could always get some fondant and play with it... Do a SEARCH for it too... Folks forget to search and read all the Wonderful Articles on this site sometimes... icon_smile.gif

Do a SEARCH for White Almond Sour Cream, and I'm sure some forum topics will come up and JanH will point you to all the variation to this cake. It is super versatal, and very reliable. I don't have the link handy, but if you don't come up with it let me know. icon_smile.gif

Happy Baking! icon_biggrin.gif
Pat

michellesArt Posted 29 May 2008 , 2:50am
post #5 of 35

oh welcome welcome!! i myself have not taken any courses but am already very creative and learn a lot by sight-cc is a great place to learn tricks and help with problem areas and develope experience. definately check out the galleries they are a great resource and don't forget to post your pics when your done-i'd love to see how it works out-good luck and remember to enjoy what you're doing icon_smile.gif

marie92001 Posted 29 May 2008 , 10:44am
post #6 of 35

Thank you Grace for the warm welcome!
I have seen the pictures of the marie cakes! There are SOOOOO many i would love to learn about but i think i will look into take the wilton class first! I am very excited about getting started!

Ok i have located a location to take the cake decorating class from wilton! YEAH! Now all i have to do is call!
I have all the items you have mentioned!

plbennett_8,
I wanted to start with maybe just a simple cake with a marine edible design and then i have seen the dummy cake with the fondant flag over it and i loved it! I wanted to do a dummy with the flag and didnt want to cut into it! haha

I will try and post pictures after my first attempt but dont laugh! hahaha
Thank you ALL very much! I cant wait to get started!
Donna

plbennett_8 Posted 29 May 2008 , 1:34pm
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie92001

plbennett_8,
I wanted to start with maybe just a simple cake with a marine edible design and then i have seen the dummy cake with the fondant flag over it and i loved it! I wanted to do a dummy with the flag and didnt want to cut into it! haha




Ohhhhh...now I understand...laughing... icon_rolleyes.gif Ok, so sometimes I'm a little dense...lol You want to Keep the one with the flag on it... Sorry... icon_lol.gif

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 29 May 2008 , 10:11pm
post #8 of 35

Marie, you're welcome and good luck. Of course once you complete your Wilton class cakes you have to post the photos! icon_smile.gif There's a section just for 'first cakes'. Have fun!

marie92001 Posted 30 May 2008 , 12:53am
post #9 of 35

Thank you Grace! WOW this is such a friendly board! I have been reading and reading most of the day!
I have been reading the thread about cakes from scratch!
I am going to try my first cake (hopefully) tomorrow. If it is NOT burnt or too funky i will try and post pictures! (cross your fingers for me!)

I do have a dumb question....I have purchased some tips, and bags and supplies and in the box came a silver strap. I went to JoAnns today to get some other supplies as i can NOT find a baking supply store anywhere near me and saw these same straps and on the package it said is was to make a level cake. OK wait for the stupid question.............how do i use it? hahaha
I wish there was a cake for beginners messanger so i can get emergency answers! hahaha
TY
Donna

joy5678 Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:05am
post #10 of 35

Hi Marie,
I'm excited for you. Having this site to refer to will really get you on the fast track for learning in conjunction with taking classes. It really is a love/hate relationship but it just has a way of becoming a part of who you are. I think the straps you are describing are baking strips. You moisten them really good & wrap around your cake pan before putting in the oven. They help distribute the heat evenly so that your cake will rise level & not domed. I always use them & they work wonderfully for me. I make my own from old towels & they work just as well. Saves money too! Good luck to you & welcome to CC. Joyce

marie92001 Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:40am
post #11 of 35

Thank you Joyce!
Yes that is what i was talking about!
I think there was only one in the package. How many do you suggest for 2 round cake pans?

I was trying to find out how to apply my marine transfer to one of my cakes and there are soooooooooooo many posts but i cant seem to find out how to do it!

joy5678 Posted 30 May 2008 , 4:25am
post #12 of 35

It's been so long since I purchased one that I'm not sure how long they are. Seems like one strip will go around maybe a 10 or 12"??? Just give it a try & see how far it goes. It's ok if it overlaps if you use a smaller pan but try not to leave a gap if the pan is too large around. Sorry, but I'm not familiar with the transfer that much. Keep looking, you'll find someone who can help. God Bless!

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 30 May 2008 , 4:26am
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie92001

Thank you Joyce!
Yes that is what i was talking about!
I think there was only one in the package. How many do you suggest for 2 round cake pans?

I was trying to find out how to apply my marine transfer to one of my cakes and there are soooooooooooo many posts but i cant seem to find out how to do it!




The baking strips have to fit around the outside of your pan so it depends on the size of your pans and if you want to bake both cakes at once then you'll obviously need more than one stip; and you're expected to secure it with the (usually) included straight pin, but when I use mine (not very often), I use a binder clip (one of these black things that has two silver squeeze levers/handles that holds paper - larger than a paper clip). Honestly, I really didn't notice much of a difference. Also, when you wet them you have to soak them for 5-10 minutes so that they're really saturated. Then before putting them around your pan, sqeeze them out a bit - don't wring them out as you want them to stay wet, just not dripping.

As for the marine transfer, what kind is it? Did you purchase an edible image? If so, after your cake is all frosted, you just peel the icing off the plastic backing and place it on your cake. If your frosing has crusted you can give it an extremely light mist of water first or else just put it on top of the frosted cake. The best way to detach the image from the backing is to lay the sheet plastic-side down on a counter or table and take hold of the end of the sheet that you pull off the counter and down while holding the other side of the sheet on the counter or table. So the edge of the counter or table will help the image release from the plastic backing. Hope that makes sense.

If you have a Frozen Buttercream Transfer, you're going to do something different, so just let me know if that's the case and I'll help you out with that (also very easily done though).

marie92001 Posted 30 May 2008 , 9:58am
post #14 of 35

I will have to check if i have one or two of those straps!

Grace,
I have purchased one of those edible transfers from or grocery store. I really need to find a cake supply store but it seems that there is NOT one near me! UGH!

I read on here that instead of using grease to grease the bottoms of my pans it said to use cake release? I will NEVER be able to find that where i live! Is it a MUST HAVE?

Grace what is cake camp?
It sounds interesting!!!!
Thank you!
Donna

lchristi27 Posted 30 May 2008 , 10:13am
post #15 of 35

Hi all,

I too was new here once, and now I'm addicted. I have learned more on this website than anywhere!

Just to share, here is a homemade recipe for Cake Release. It will save you a bunch of $$
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-5919456-.html#5919456

1c each flour, shortening, vegetable oil. Blend until well mixed and store in the fridge. I just brush it on my pan and I don't have to use parchment anymore the cake (or cupcakes) pop right out!

Someone said you dont have to store it in the fridge.

Hope that helps!

marie92001 Posted 30 May 2008 , 10:26am
post #16 of 35

I am already addicted! hahaha I have been reading this site non stop for 4 days now!
Thank you for the recipe for the cake pans! I will try it today and let you know how it did or if there was a disaster! hahaha

nancylynwallace Posted 30 May 2008 , 11:26am
post #17 of 35

Hi Marie, and welcome to your new addiction icon_lol.gif and to the CC Family! You will find so many wonderfully talented people here that will bend over backwards to help you. All you have to do is to ask. I also suggest if at all possible, taking the Wilton class 1. It will give you lots of information and you will learn the basics. If that isn't possible, your BEST bet is right here!! Just browse the forums and read the questions and answers. There are so many times that I wasn't sure how to do something, and went into the forums and found my answer. thumbs_up.gif Remember...DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!!

icon_biggrin.gif
Nancy

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 30 May 2008 , 2:41pm
post #18 of 35

I use the recipe that lchristi27 mentioned to coat my pans with prior to filling them and it works like a charm every time.

It's equal parts of shortening, oil and flour stored in a tightly sealed container and I don't keep it in the refrigerator. I first heard about it on this site and it really works well!

terrylee Posted 30 May 2008 , 3:00pm
post #19 of 35

Hi Marie92001.......welcome to CC.......you'll be sorry....this site is soooooo addicting.....

I am fairly new also....you get so many great ideas, hints and support from people all over the world....and the ideas are endless.... everyone is so great at sharing. and as you can see thru this forum.....they are here to help you.

Anyways, I just spray my pans with a nonstick spray and line the bottom with waxed paper (cut to the shape of the pan)...they come out perfect everytime. just peal off the waxed paper before icing.

You go for it.....get a few supplies at a time and have fun.....

mommycakediva Posted 30 May 2008 , 3:11pm
post #20 of 35

Welcome to CC! It really is as addictive as evereyone says! Hope you have fun and find many ideas here! Everyone has been real friendly so I'm sure you'll have no problems.

AmyGonzalez Posted 30 May 2008 , 3:13pm
post #21 of 35

Hi Marie! icon_biggrin.gif I'm Amy and I would also like to welcome you to CC! You have come to the perfect place to learn about CAKE birthday.gif I love this site and all CC users! Everyone is awesome! I had absolutely no training in this field ( I'm a nurse) no classes either, but because of CC I have been able to make cakes I never knew I could! thumbs_up.gif Some of my costomers think I'm a full time baker icon_lol.gif I just love those compliments.
So get your spatula and get ready to have fun!


icon_biggrin.gif Welcome icon_biggrin.gif

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 30 May 2008 , 3:14pm
post #22 of 35

Oh, I forgot to mention: when you get a chance, click on the little warning box at the upper left hand side of the 'page' just below the CakeCentral.com banner. You'll see.........

lecrn Posted 30 May 2008 , 5:19pm
post #23 of 35

Hi Marie & welcome to CC! You'll find a world of knowledge here. I've taken all of the Wilton courses & only learned a fraction as compared to what I've learned here. I do suggest that you take a few of the courses to get your feet wet & learn some of the basics. I've found that cake decorating is a lot of trial & error. You'll find what works best for you & what you're best at.
Just a few words of advice....
Buy a good stand mixer.
Use the pan release (as suggested).
Try the White Almond Sour Cream Cake recipe.
Try the Buttercream Dream recipe.
Good Luck!!

marie92001 Posted 31 May 2008 , 12:20am
post #24 of 35

I am VERY impressed with how friendly this board is!
Thank you ALL very much for the warm welcome and friendly advice!
PLEASE keep it coming!
I am sure i will start to be a pain in the you know what with ALL the questions i am sure i will have! I went out today and picked up a couple more straps, a new sift and some new spatulas!
I will be trying my 2 cakes tomorrow as today got away from me with my 3 yr old and studying!
I will take some photos of the cakes and post as soon as i can!

I finally found a cake supply store through one of my moms friends! YEAH! I wont have to order everything on line!
I think i have the basic stuff to get me started and i am saving for a really good mixer. I know they are NOT cheap but does anyone have any suggestions as to a good one that is fairly priced?
Thank you, AGAIN!
Donna

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 31 May 2008 , 1:27am
post #25 of 35

I got my six quart KA (Kitchen Aid stand mixer) from Amazon.com last year (I bought it for my anniversary/birthday gift. tee hee). It was on sale and worth every penny!

I forgot exactly when I got my first KA but it was over six years ago and again, worth every penny! It's a 4.5 quart mixer. I believe I also bought/ordered it online, but I don't remember for sure. I know, shame on me. icon_redface.gif

marie92001 Posted 31 May 2008 , 1:34am
post #26 of 35

Thanks Grace!
I am looking at amazon as i type! I found one for $190 that is 4.5 quart.
Is that a good price?
Since i am new to this i dont want to spend a mint! (yet) hahaha

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 31 May 2008 , 4:23am
post #27 of 35

Honestly, I really couldn't tell you. I'd have to shop around and compare. But I did just look up my order from last year for the 6 quart and I paid - in total - $330 for the whole thing, plus I got the Mother's Day special where I could choose one of two accessories for free (just s/h). I chose the pasta attachment and use it for my fondant.

marie92001 Posted 31 May 2008 , 1:12pm
post #28 of 35

Already something is wrong! UGH! haha
I used the straps and the cake has "grown" up to the straps and is still mushy? The recipe said 350 for 25-35 mins and still mushy?!?!?!?!

AmyGonzalez Posted 31 May 2008 , 2:02pm
post #29 of 35

Sometimes when you use the straps especially on smaller cakes it may take a little longer to bake. Just keep watching your cake for 2 min at a time until it's ready. I check mine with a knife in the center, when it comes out clean your cake is done. You may have also put too much batter in the pan. If your pan is a wilton it should have come with directions as to how many cups of batter to put in the pan. You might want to check wilton.com they may have a batter chart. hope this helps. icon_biggrin.gif

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 31 May 2008 , 3:13pm
post #30 of 35

The straps are basically making your oven a moister environment which may make the cake take longer to bake. Like PP (previous poster) mentioned, just keep an eye on it at short intervals and when you think it's ready, check with a tooth pick in the center of the cake. When inserted toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.

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