Wilton Instructors: Do You Get Your Bc As Smooth As Fondant?

Decorating By Skyebaby Updated 13 Apr 2009 , 9:09pm by Skyebaby

Skyebaby Posted 4 Apr 2009 , 7:44pm
post #1 of 26

I just had my first Wilton class today and I enjoyed it! However, I was dissapointed that the cake she iced for us in class was SO not smooth. I mean, it was okay but the edges were lumpy and flattened in parts, there were finger imprints,smudges, spatula lines on the sides etc. I have only done 2 cakes on my own at home before this course and I swear to you my cakes were smoother!! And I was very unhappy with them........

Are my expectations too high for BC in general or should my Instructor really know how to get that cake as smooth as I envision it should be?

25 replies
FeGe_Cakes Posted 4 Apr 2009 , 7:56pm
post #2 of 26

Maybe for the sake of class she did not have perfectly smooth icing/cake. It takes time to get the BC smooth. I have learned alot from Sugarshack's method, even if you don't use her recipe. I have gotten great results with Wilton recipe and her method.

Don't be too disappointed by your instructor, I don't recall my Wilton instructor concentrating on how to get picture perfect BC.

simplysweet72740 Posted 4 Apr 2009 , 7:58pm
post #3 of 26

Honestly, I would have to see it, to know your definition of smooth. I agree though that it should be extra smooth, and yes it can be as smooth as fondant. I use the Viva method to make mine as smooth as possible. They look so much nicer when they are smoothed. Maybe for sake of time she just ran through that process without really explaining it. So good luck and you will figure it out!!

Skyebaby Posted 4 Apr 2009 , 8:04pm
post #4 of 26

I was certainly surprised when she was done and I specifically asked her if that was satisfactory from a professional standpoint? She said 'yup'. Her take on it was that it's going to be decorated so all the flaws could be hidden. While that is probably absolutely true, I am a perfectionist and I think I was dissapointed that she didn't place as high a value on getting the foundation as beautiful as I'm sure her end product will be.

::shrugs::

A part of me was a bit relieved because apparently I've been striving for a perfection that is not necassary (according to my instructor).

Oh, and she said she wanted to show us the Viva method (which I've tried and also love love love) but she didn't have any so she used parchment (which I hated hated hated). She was having trouble so I offered her my own fondant smoother to help out because that's what I used in a panic when doign my own one day!!! lol. She was all like "oooh what a good idea!!". ummmmmmm............isn't that her job to know the good ideas???

Jenthecakelady Posted 4 Apr 2009 , 8:12pm
post #5 of 26

I myself am newer to decorating and was also slightly disappointed with my Wilton class. Our instructor also told us to use parchment or wax paper to smooth and that was the best method she knew of (this was less than a year ago). I did not discover the Viva method until joing CC.

I think the best advice I could give would be: use your Wilton classes as a foundation, but don't take it as gospel. There are often much easier and faster methods. When you are ready to try a new technique refer to Wilton, but do a little online research too!

shadowgypsie Posted 4 Apr 2009 , 11:57pm
post #6 of 26

Your Wilton instructor should have had her icing as smooth as she could make it in her allotted time. As a Wilton instructor I feel that our students get shorted some in class because we don't have enough time to do everything to our best. I have been teaching almost four years and have never had a class end on time because I like to give my students the best I can give them of my time. It is important to me that my students understand a technique before moving on to the next one.

tonedna Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 12:04am
post #7 of 26

I teach Wilton but I do wedding cakes for a living. I won't go to the next step until they get their icing correct. This is not typicall. But I find that's the biggest frustration with people, so I 'll stay on top of this until they are comfortable with it.
Then every week I ask them how are they doing, and what issues are they having..

Here is this..it might help




Edna icon_biggrin.gif

SweetMelissa2007 Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 12:15am
post #8 of 26

I took a wilton class and sometimes the BC looked better than others but I think it was a time limit thing. One question though-what are the Sugarshack and Viva methods?

Skyebaby Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 12:16am
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowgypsie

Your Wilton instructor should have had her icing as smooth as she could make it in her allotted time. As a Wilton instructor I feel that our students get shorted some in class because we don't have enough time to do everything to our best. I have been teaching almost four years and have never had a class end on time because I like to give my students the best I can give them of my time. It is important to me that my students understand a technique before moving on to the next one.




Ironically, our class went a full 40 mins over. I think it must just be my problem, TBH. The other 3 students in the class oooohed and awwwwed as I presume was the kinder reaction. I was just neutrally pity-smiling lol. I had had the advantage of having seen waaaaaaaaaaaay too many youtubes of Edna icing a cake like nobody's business (in like 8mins?) so that probably had something to do with it.

sweetcakes Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 5:57pm
post #10 of 26

the instructor is really on a tight time frame, im sure had this been an order she would have spent alot more time smoothing it. I get mine inclass as smooth as i can but i also dont want to put students off telling them i expect their cake to look like mine, especially their first one. by the time they bring in their 4th week cake its pretty much smooth. it all comes down to practce and wanting to learn. not everyone in class wants to make perfect cakes every time. its also not right for your instructor to go over the 2 hr class time frame, shes not getting paid for that extra time shes putting in.

brgrassmyer Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 1:57pm
post #11 of 26

I will be teaching my first Wilton class tomorrow. icon_biggrin.gif The Wilton Method of cake decorating is what will be taught. The Wilton Method suggests the parchemnt paper to smooth a cake. I personally use the Viva paper towel method, but unfortunalty it is not a Wilton Method. So, I will not be discussing it. We are instructed to teach only the Wilton Method. I think that anyone who has the cake decorating bug will search out more sources for decorating information , such as CC, that was the case for me. I read everything I could about decorating. I hope that helps answer your question and thank you for pointing this out as an issue. I will always make it a point to discuss it with my students.

punkinpie Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 2:13pm
post #12 of 26

I wonder if it has something to do with skill level and natural talent. I've taken 3 Wilton classes and had 2 different instructors. They both had knowledge of the proper techniques but one instructor had a lot more talent and had been at it a lot longer and obviously had a much better looking finished product.

bakery_chick Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 2:24pm
post #13 of 26

First off, as a former Wilton Instructor, I do want to point out that there were many, many things I didn't know at the time I was teaching. There are a TON of things I don't know now!! The one thing that I was disappointed in when I was a student in my Wilton classes was that they didn't feel they taught you how to frost the stupid thing to begin with. There was a quick demo--that's it. I think I could have taken a four week class in just frosting the thing. I must have made a thousand cakes during that first year just so that I could learn how to get the thing smooth. I've come a LONG way!! I am still learning though. I think you will enjoy the class more if you go into thinking just that you are there to learn specific techniques. You may find that you are better at it than the instructor. In my time teaching, I had one student that came in to improve her technique when she had been a cake decorator for a grocery store for a long time. While she could make roses about 300 times faster than I could, she still learned some new flowers and I hope she learned to be a little more creative.

tonedna Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 2:24pm
post #14 of 26

I am pretty fast...cause I do this a lot!..so that might not be a fair comparison..I have sometimes 13 weddings a week.
Edna icon_smile.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyebaby

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowgypsie

Your Wilton instructor should have had her icing as smooth as she could make it in her allotted time. As a Wilton instructor I feel that our students get shorted some in class because we don't have enough time to do everything to our best. I have been teaching almost four years and have never had a class end on time because I like to give my students the best I can give them of my time. It is important to me that my students understand a technique before moving on to the next one.



Ironically, our class went a full 40 mins over. I think it must just be my problem, TBH. The other 3 students in the class oooohed and awwwwed as I presume was the kinder reaction. I was just neutrally pity-smiling lol. I had had the advantage of having seen waaaaaaaaaaaay too many youtubes of Edna icing a cake like nobody's business (in like 8mins?) so that probably had something to do with it.


Carolynlovescake Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 2:48pm
post #15 of 26

Witon teacher chiming in here.

I've been doing cakes since 1989. Can I get it fondant smooth, pretty close.

Do I as a teacher? Absolutely not.

Why? Two things, time and setting expectations. We don't have the time it takes for me to get it that smooth and perfect in some C1 L1 classes. Also, if I were to get a cake that smooth in say 8 to 10 minutes it intimidates my students some times "you mean I have to get it THAT smooth!" Then the next week they are embarrassed to uncover their cake saying "it's nothing like yours was".

Yes and most times it won't be because I have practice on my side where for them it's usually their first time frosting a cake outside of a pyxrex dish.

When I start doing my cake that day I let them know it won't be as perfect as I prefer it because I could sit there an hour some weeks getting it that way.

Another reason is that many times I have a really anxious student who wants to try using the cake icer tip that day. I'll let a couple of them try it out and when they do it leaves me with a less than perfect set up getting that cake frosted and looking decent. Totaly uneven tops and sides of icing thickness. It takes time to get it all level and perfect and time just doesn't usually permit it.

Jenthecakelady Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 3:34pm
post #16 of 26

I'm feeling really cheated here. My instructor didn't even demonstrate on her own cake. We brought in ours and she would demonstrate using one of our tips, spatulas, etc. and that was that.

cakeymom Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 3:53pm
post #17 of 26

I took courses 1 and 2 and enjoyed them thoroughly. I do however, understand your frustration. I took the courses in order to get some guideline basics in decorating, and that's what I got.

You are definitely going to have to practice, practice, and practice. I also did a lot of research, as there is more good information on the internet. I never went into the class thinking that I was going to be a cake decorator extraordinaire. But, I learned some very good basics to build from.

Remember that the Wilton techniques are not the only ones out there. Go to your local library and I think that you will be amazed what they have to offer, by way of decorating books and baking books. I'm a scratch baker only, that's what I prefer (not open to scratch vs box extender recipes) but I respect each person for what they do and how they do it.

So, just try to have fun and enjoy getting some good basic techniques in which to build from.

thumbs_up.gif

cakeymom

dynee Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 4:02pm
post #18 of 26

I know my Wilton 1 is a member here so I'm not giving details because I don't want to hurt her feelings. I'm pretty sure she had just finished classes herself. BUT Not only was her icing not smooth, she didn't even level her cakes. Just kind of slapped it all together. I did learn a couple of things, but was over-all disappointed in the experience.

tonedna Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 5:19pm
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakery_chick

First off, as a former Wilton Instructor, I do want to point out that there were many, many things I didn't know at the time I was teaching. There are a TON of things I don't know now!! The one thing that I was disappointed in when I was a student in my Wilton classes was that they didn't feel they taught you how to frost the stupid thing to begin with. There was a quick demo--that's it. I think I could have taken a four week class in just frosting the thing. I must have made a thousand cakes during that first year just so that I could learn how to get the thing smooth. I've come a LONG way!! I am still learning though. I think you will enjoy the class more if you go into thinking just that you are there to learn specific techniques. You may find that you are better at it than the instructor. In my time teaching, I had one student that came in to improve her technique when she had been a cake decorator for a grocery store for a long time. While she could make roses about 300 times faster than I could, she still learned some
new flowers and I hope she learned to be a little more creative.







That was the way I felt with my first Wilton Course.. It was a quick Demo. It left me with so many questions on how I was supposed to do my cake. That's the same reason why I take so much time with my
students getting that perfect buttercream. And they actually love it.

They feel like even though their skills are not great at the beginning, there is so much room to improve. I keep reassuring them that time and practice will help.
I had one student once, she couldnt get almost anything, but she kept at it. Even with her frustrations, she kept doing it. She almost gave up, but she never did.
Finally on the last course, her last cake, something happened. It was like a gate had open. Her cake was the most beautiful cake from all the girls in the class. Everybody congratulated her on her determination.

Im proud of this determination..It's the best learning tool..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

all4cake Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 5:41pm
post #20 of 26

at class 1, as I'm demonstrating, depending on the number enrolling in that class(some folk have difficulty adjusting their butts to the chairs), I don't get it as smooth as glass but it is smoother than Grandma's coconut cake. I have made the remark that it's okay if it isn't perfect if there's going to be borders...the more decorations that go on, the less I worry about dents and that everything comes with practice....I bring in a perfectly smoothed finish cake as well as individual layers to demo in front of them...If I'm unable to show them the rest of the smoothing that night, I assure them that before course 1 is done I will have shown them that plus a few extras...please, don't be late and settle in quickly 'cause the lessons in this course are many and 2 hours will fly by quickly.

rottieluvr2000 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:16pm
post #21 of 26

As a WMI myself I just have to say that sometimes the cake gods are just against us. I know how to ice a perfectly smooth cake but sometimes in class that just doesn't happen. In my last C1 class that happened and I felt so bad but I knew that there was no way I was going to recover in the time I had to I apologized and let them know that it just wasn't going to happen.

Also, as for handing out or knowing good tips you have to realize that we are not supposed to deviate from the 'script' they give us. And there are some students who are so overwhelmed from moment one that despite the fact that you repeat something every single class they still don't hear it. I should know as that happened to me when I took classes. I took 1, 2 and 3 all in a row and at the end of C3 the teacher said something and I was like why didn't you tell me that during C1 and all my fellow students laughed at me and said 'she did'.

rottieluvr2000 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:17pm
post #22 of 26

As a WMI myself I just have to say that sometimes the cake gods are just against us. I know how to ice a perfectly smooth cake but sometimes in class that just doesn't happen. In my last C1 class that happened and I felt so bad but I knew that there was no way I was going to recover in the time I had to I apologized and let them know that it just wasn't going to happen.

Also, as for handing out or knowing good tips you have to realize that we are not supposed to deviate from the 'script' they give us. And there are some students who are so overwhelmed from moment one that despite the fact that you repeat something every single class they still don't hear it. I should know as that happened to me when I took classes. I took 1, 2 and 3 all in a row and at the end of C3 the teacher said something and I was like why didn't you tell me that during C1 and all my fellow students laughed at me and said 'she did'.

Cubsfan85 Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 1:38am
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by brgrassmyer

I will be teaching my first Wilton class tomorrow. icon_biggrin.gif The Wilton Method of cake decorating is what will be taught. The Wilton Method suggests the parchemnt paper to smooth a cake. I personally use the Viva paper towel method, but unfortunalty it is not a Wilton Method. So, I will not be discussing it. We are instructed to teach only the Wilton Method. I think that anyone who has the cake decorating bug will search out more sources for decorating information , such as CC, that was the case for me. I read everything I could about decorating. I hope that helps answer your question and thank you for pointing this out as an issue. I will always make it a point to discuss it with my students.




My Wilton instructor taught us the Viva method. She also didn't have us use 2 different tips for making a rose even though that is what the book shows.

CAKEtankerous Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 2:47am
post #24 of 26

I will be taking my second class of course 2 in a couple of days. And I've learned also that the wilton classes are just a very basic foundation from which to build on. My friend and I went together and was going to quit because we were disappointed with the instructor for many reasons. But realized it's not the end all to cake decorating. Research, research, research, practice, practice, practice. It really is trial and error on so many things and finding wonderful websites like this one with so much info and help it would make your head swim. I find there's so much out there, i tend to get overwhelmed sometime, because i tend to want to learn it all yesterday...... hehehe but that's my personality. Good luck and best wishes to all you newbies like me.

Caralinc Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 4:17pm
post #25 of 26

Well last night was my first night teaching and I had a full class - 8 students. They all seemed very excited and anxious to see how I was going to make a smooth cake. I could see at first that some where disappointed that I did not meet their expectations and I was disappointed myself cause I really wanted to show them that it can be done. On the other hand a couple seemed very nervous and thought it was a lot for them to accomplish. However, I reassured them and also explained that a smooth cake is not done in 10 minutes. They could see that it was getting smoother the more I was going over it.

Time comes in to play with teaching this first class of Course 1 and if the cake is not yet crusted enough by the end of the class it makes it difficult to demonstrate how it can be accomplished.

I also informed my students that Wilton is the best way to learn the fundamental skills of cake decorating. These classes are to teach them the techniques and they are to practice them at home and learn additional information via books or internet as 2 hrs per class is just not enough time to perfect the skills.

In the end they were very excited to get started they were all planning when they would bake their cakes and ice them and what colors they wanted to choose.

Skyebaby Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 9:09pm
post #26 of 26

Sorry I haven't responded until today!!

Thank you for the insight, WMIs!! I have since gone to the 2nd class and things are going well. I think, for me at this stage, it is uber important and satisfying to get things as smooth as possible. It's almost like therapy for me icon_smile.gif But the Instructor has been okay on everything else I guess.

I did my third cake for Easter and it's the first that's decorated.......I'll post pics once I can figure out how to do that here icon_smile.gif

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