jmooney Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:42pm
post #1 of

Hi all,

My wife's birthday is coming up soon and she has on several occasions now expressed an interest in learning cake decorating so I'd like to get her a book and/or video plus some basic tools and pan(s) to help her get started. I was hoping some of the fine folks here could help me out with recommendations and a shopping list of tools and such she'd need to get going.

I imagine that the majority of what she would make would be cakes for holidays, our daughter's (3 years old) birthdays and school functions, and family birthdays. I don't see her doing wedding cakes or multi-tier creations or anything like that.

I really appreciate any help you could give.

Take care,

Jim


EDITED TO ADD: Tips on where to go would help too, I have access to the big 3 craft chains (AC Moore, Michael's, JoAnn's) in my area. I don't know of any specialty shops but I am just outside Philadelphia if that helps.

56 replies
peg818 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:47pm
post #2 of

Buy her a class at the local cake store. The wilton basic class is a wonderful place to start. And of course watch the baby for her while she goes. I'm sure you will reap the rewards for such a wonderful gift.

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:52pm
post #3 of

I agree with peg. I would get her lessons at the Michael's. Sometimes they offer half off, so you can get 4 classes for only $12.50 plus the Class 1 kit. Then she would probably want to take class 2 as well. I think Class 3 is for stacking & fondant.

The few hours a week out of the house would probably be so very much appreciated and she can learn quite a bit better going to a class instead of watching the videos. Not that the videos aren't good but they can be pretty pricey too.

Awesome gift idea, btw. I'm sure your wife will love it!

kmoores Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:52pm
post #4 of

You said you have a Micheals near you, they offer Wilton classes - go by and ask when they will be offering again, and trust me - your wife will love you for it icon_biggrin.gif

Terri05 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:58pm
post #5 of

They have a complete starter kit at Michaels. It has all the basic tools needed, plus a starter booklet all complete in a great case. She will love it and then as a bonus, get her a class at Michaels, too! I loved playing with my kit.

Good luck, I am sure she will appreciate anything you do!

shelly-101 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:59pm
post #6 of

thats so thoughtful of you to do this for her i agree with peg818 do the basic wilton classes at michaels....Or if you don't want to do that just buy her some wilton books that is how i learned form just reading their books i have never taken any classes only because they do not have them where i live....defantley buy her some cake pans can't bake cakes without cake pans, you can buy iceing tips in sets, i would buy some iceing spatulas.hope this helps good luck and i am sure what ever you decide to to she will love it because i can tell you put alot of thought into this.

gailsgoodies Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:02am
post #7 of

Go to YouTube, they have TONS of videos on cake decorating. We have alot of decorators on this site (tonedna, aine, seriouscakes, just to name a few!) that have tutorials on YouTube.

This should get her started:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=cake+decorating&aq=0&oq=cake+dec

Gail

(By the way, I LOVE your avatar!)

ptanyer Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:05am
post #8 of

1st of all - kudo's to you for wanting to help her. The earlier post about babysitting while she takes classes is a great idea, but should also include handling things while she learns to decorate cakes.

2nd - the first videos I would suggest are the ones from the sugarshack, here is the link: http://www.sugaredproductions.com/. All her videos are wonderful and your wife will really benefit from them. I have all the instructional videos and there is a wealth of info in them.

3rd - don't let her buy any pans from local stores unless you make sure the sides are completely straight. I made the mistake of buying as many of the standard sizes as possible when I first started baking. I realized that if the cake pans you buy will stack inside one another (like 2 8" rounds) then the sides of her cakes will slope just enough to cause her to have problems getting the cake sides straight. I personally gave all of mine to my DIL and order Fat Daddio pans. Many of the cake decorating web sites carry them.

4th - sign up at Michaels, AC Moore, Joann's for email. They will send you coupons by email and when you are setting up a baking kitchen, you can spend a ton of money. At least with the coupons you can save some money. There are lots of supplies and tools that can be purchased that will make her life easier. If you watch for the 50% off coupons you can get things like the tool caddy's for 1/2 price, which is quite a savings. That's how I built up my kitchen. The big blue tool caddy is worth every penny when you get it at 1/2 price. Check out the Wilton website and research the items you want and then check your local stores. Also don't forget about Ebay. You can get some good deals there as well. I've also been told that you can get some items from Amazon.com.

Your wife is very lucky that you understand her desire to learn cake decorating and you will definitely reap the benefits from all the cakes she will be making.

Good luck and happy caking! icon_smile.gif

Edited to add: I almost forgot - some really good books are out there to learn from and for ideas. I purchased almost of Collette Peters cakes and I have one by Toba Garrett. I also have several of the instruction books purchased from Nicholas Lodge's website: http://www.nicholaslodge.com/. There is also the ICES website.

mommyle Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:08am
post #9 of

AWWWW!!!! You are a complete sweetie pie! Will you marry ME???? Seriously, though, I just wanted to say what a prize you are for doing this for her! Lucky Lady!

sayhellojana Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:11am

I never took Wilton classes but I'm sure they are great.
SugarShack's videos are raved about - sugaredproductions.com
the best cake pans are magic line, hands down. You can get the best deals and shipping from Amazon.com . Magic line are more expensive than wilton. (Don't even bother with Fat Daddio's, IMO) Wilton is just fine for round cakes, but anything with corners you deffinantly want Magic Line

get her:
turntable
a pack of disposable decorating bags
the basic tip set from craft store
the "Starter" set of icing color gels
cake boards - at least 2'' larger than the cake pan sizes
One straight spatula and one angled spatula
choose a good cook book that has cake and filling recipes

Thats about everything she should need for a lot of buttercream cakes.
HTH

cinderspritzer Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:16am

And yet, no one has said to send her to this site whenever she has questions.... icon_wink.gif

Luvsthedogs Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:21am

I'm taking the second Wilton class at the local Joann store. I'm loving it! They make it very easy to learn basics and turn out very impressive cakes for the time and money spent.

Your local library should have some books that you/she can browse through and decide if you want to borrow or perhaps buy them.

Not only will she have fun, but you'll enjoy the practice projects! icon_biggrin.gif

nannie Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:31am

more applause for a great husband icon_razz.gif

I recommend starting with a wilton class at michaels. much easier to understand when someone is showing you plus the camaraderie of a class can't be beat. She'll get some basic tools at a low price and can then decide if she does like it after all.

I wholeheartedly agree with other suggestions to go to you tube for a few "extras"

Sugarshack dvd especially the buttercream one can't be beat.

Finally, don't forget to send her to cake central. Make sure she introduces herself as the lady with the wonderful husband. we'll welcome her with open arms and answer her many questions.

this place is the best

superstar Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 12:36am

Although I have never had lessons, I would say start with a Wiltons course at Michaels & then....just point her in this direction. CC is the best school in the whole world.

Narie Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 1:05am

1) The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum- Amazon

2) 2 8x2" Magic Line round cake pans (These are top of the line and only a dollar or two more expensive than grocery store or Wilton junk-and yes, it does make a difference; the 8" is standard for a two layer cake.)- Amazon

3) A Wiltons's 1 course and a gift certificate to Michael's (They will tell her what she needs to buy in the course) - or if a local cake decorating supply store has a beginners course that would be good also.

Also know that if your wife decides she enjoys cake decorating- you will have to buy a her a Kitchen Aid Stand mixer. Expensive, but it is a one time purchase, and you get to eat the products she makes.

absijails Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 1:26am

I am very impressed that you are on here asking for advice.

I agree with everyone that said to get her the Wilton Class at Michaels. It's a great starting point. From what you've described your wife will be doing, they are perfect. Just be prepared for the flood gates to open. After a really crappy birthday two years ago, I just announced to my family that I was taking the Course 1 class. Then I just kept going through Course 3. Then I found this website...I've actually moved various kitchen appliances to our basement or sold them to make room in my cabinets. And I've started selling some cakes so I have money to buy more cake supplies. We're getting ready to move, so I'm cleaning out everything and I cannot find one single cake item I don't want/need. Just be prepared.

reece430 Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 3:02am

I'm in the Philly Burbs too, and I suggest the classes offered at Fante's. It's down in the Italian Market. Little bit of a hike but well worth it. Also, they have EVERYTHING one would need for baking, decorating etc. Also while your in the class you get 10% off the entire store.

PS- you rock for being such a sweet husband!

jmooney Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:18pm

Thanks for all the great info ladies!

I'll be heading to Michael's to see what they have going on. I'll probably buy her the Wilton's kit and give her a gift card to cover the cost of the classes so she can pick when she goes.

One more quick question:

I found this set of pans on Amazon:


http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Daddios-7-Piece-Professional-Baking/dp/B001CUBDLC/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1236485339&sr=8-1

Is this worthwile or should I look for another brand?

Thanks again for all your help and for being so welcoming to a bumbling hubby.

Jim

jmooney Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:21pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by reece430

I'm in the Philly Burbs too, and I suggest the classes offered at Fante's. It's down in the Italian Market. Little bit of a hike but well worth it. Also, they have EVERYTHING one would need for baking, decorating etc. Also while your in the class you get 10% off the entire store.

PS- you rock for being such a sweet husband!




You guys are making me blush icon_biggrin.gif

I'll check out Fante's probably for "graduate school" after getting her started at Michael's. I'm not sure how far she'll want to go (hopefully pretty far because I love cake) but I'm sure she'd fit in well down there. She grew up in the 'burbs but her parent's are both from South Philly so she 100% Italian and even thought they moved to AC her dad still comes up to 9th street a few times a year to shop.

sweetjan Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:41pm

Definitely Course 1 of the Wilton classes (then course 2, course 3...!! icon_lol.gif ) Also a definite is purchasing sugarshack's 'Buttercream' DVD...the link was given here in an earlier post.
Those two steps will give her a list of the items she needs most right now.

And I laughed at your comment....'she won't be doing wedding cakes, etc...' because just wait 6 months!!! It gets in your blood! And I mean that in the best way possible!!!!!!

You're an awesome husband. Promise that she'll post her very first completed cake here on CC!

Best wishes to all of you~

jmooney Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 4:44pm

Ok gang here's what I've ordered based on your recommendations and what I've seen around CC:

From countrykitchensa.com:

Magic Line Round Cake Pan-8 x 2" (2)
Round Cake Cardboards 10"
Icing Spatula-8" Straight
Icing Spatula-8" Angled
Book-The Cake Bible (Beranbaum)

The Fat Daddio's Low Profile Cake Decorating Turntable, 12 Inch x 2 Inch from Amazon.

I'm going to go to Michael's and get her:

Wilton Course 1
Disposable bags
Set of tips
Gift card for the class

Anything big I'm missing?

Of course I'm going to tell her (after her birthday) to come and sign up here! I promise that even if she forgets I'll post a picture of her first cake with all her new gear.

Hopefully, I'll be able to steal a Michael's coupon away too. She's big into scrapbooking and rubber stamping so she usually pockets the weekly 50% coupons to go and buy supplies.

I really can't thank you all enough for your help with this, you have a wonderful community here!

stephi17 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 5:03pm

I don't know if you have a Hobby Lobby by you, but everything you were going to get at Michael's, you can get there ... and they have a 40% off coupon for all Wilton products this week, no limit! Just go to their website and print the coupon there. Good luck, I'm sure she'll love everything!

Kay_NL Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 5:04pm

Okay, you missed MY Birthday! LOL!

Sounds like you did your research and have great products for her! I'm sure she will be absolutely thrilled, and congrats to you for trying so hard to get her exactly what she wants!!

mandysue Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 5:05pm

Great job! She will LOVE the gifts, and your thoughtfulness! And I got such a kick out of you saying that you hope she goes far because you like cake!

Start saving now for the KitchenAid stand mixer you'll have to get her for Christmas! It has made the biggest difference in the ease of cake decorating so far for me!

jmooney Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 5:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandysue

Great job! She will LOVE the gifts, and your thoughtfulness! And I got such a kick out of you saying that you hope she goes far because you like cake!

Start saving now for the KitchenAid stand mixer you'll have to get her for Christmas! It has made the biggest difference in the ease of cake decorating so far for me!




We're in good shape with the KitchenAid, we got one for a wedding gift. We use it a lot too, it's pretty darn handy!

jer702 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 5:31pm

Your wife is such a lucky lady, my hubby would just buy the gift card and tell me to shop. But your actually doing your homework on this stuff. She's going to be sooo happy.

mmdiez10 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 6:03pm

Oh my gosh. Just reading this post brought tears to my eyes. It is obvious how much you esteem your wife. The list of items you got is great. The Wilton classes are a great starting point. Once she is done with the classes, if she still is enthusiastic, you can get her the DVDs from Sugarshack and Nicholas Lodge. My husband has given me many expensive gifts over the years for different holidays: mother's day, valentine's day, anniversary, etc. But the gift I appreciated the most was the Wilton Gumpaste Tool Kit. Just the thought that he was actually paying attention to what I am interested in and went to Michaels all by himself was awesome. He even "stole" one of my coupons and used it to get the gift. I didn't think this was "cheap" at all, but frugal. I like that. After her birthday, you can "accidentally - on purpose" let her read this "chat log" so she can see how you did your homework and how all of us Cake Central members think she is so blessed to have you.

jer702 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 6:26pm

Just the thought that he was actually paying attention to what I am interested in and went to Michaels all by himself was awesome. He even "stole" one of my coupons and used it to get the gift. I didn't think this was "cheap" at all, but frugal.

My hubby did this for me for xmas, he stole one of my 50% off coupons to buy me the Ulitmate tool caddy. The funny thing was, the minute I opened it, I asked did you use a coupon? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

mmdiez10 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 6:52pm

jer702: so did I! That's how I found out he had taken my coupon from the flyer. I mean it was not like it was so expensive - maybe $30 without the coupon, but I am glad he didn't pay full price. Aren't we pathetic? But I was happy with my gift. I kept saying thanks to him for a few days. The old guys do surprise us sometimes don't they? He always tells me that I am so easy to please. I get excited over unexpected Chinese food for dinner or even something as small as my favorite chocolate bar. Don't get me wrong, I do like the expensive stuff like Victorias Secret or perfume or even a nice pair of shoes; but it is the small stuff that shows how much they know you that really counts. With the cake stuff, it is eventually going to work out for them, because they get to eat what they helped you to be able to create!

Narie Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 10:57pm

The list of what you ordered from Country Kitchen is perfect. Also the source you chose is outstanding- they are very good. You did your homework and really did pay attention to what people suggested. Your very lucky wife is going to be well equipped for her venture in to decorating.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%