Wilton Courses - Would You Recommend Them To Get Started?

Business By Sugar_Bunny Updated 16 Feb 2010 , 5:18pm by Sugar_Bunny

Sugar_Bunny Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 5:26pm
post #1 of 29

Hi everyone icon_smile.gif

I'm basically just starting out in cake decorating and I'm thinking about doing the Wilton I, II, III and Fondant and Gum Paste courses. I eventually want to start a home bakery and if all goes well we'll move on to something bigger and better one day.

My questions are; are the Wilton courses ideal to get started in my home bakery business or should I be looking into doing a longer course at a community college or something?

28 replies
Postal_Cakemaker Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 5:45pm
post #2 of 29

I've taken all the classes and it really depends on the instructor. If you get a good one (I did for the first three classes) thumbs_up.gif that will help you a lot!!

The last class I took was with an instructor that did not like where he was teaching and it was terrible!! I know more than him and it was a waste of time. I took the last one just so I could get the certificate and add it to my resume.

So that being said I would take the first one and see how you like it. If you like it keep going and if you don't find somewhere else to take the other classes.

And be sure to learn all you can from this web site!!!! You could learn everything you need to just from here! But I do like taking classes!! icon_biggrin.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 5:56pm
post #3 of 29

I totally agree with Bunny...I took all 3 classes and had a superb teacher for all 3 and boy did I learn alot and extra too.She was a phenominal decorater and she shared all her tips etc...but I have heard horror stories too so it really does depend on the instructor.

msulli10 Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 5:56pm
post #4 of 29

It's a great inexpensive way to learn the basics.
I took all the classes Wilton had to offer and I thought they were a great jumping off point. After learning from Wilton, I then discovered Cake Central and You tube.

jhay Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 6:17pm
post #5 of 29

I agree. I liked the Wilton classes too. They're very basic, but it's good foundational information. They gave me confidence and some experience, so when I found this website, I took off!

melissad Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 2:50am
post #6 of 29

I'd say go for it. Considering how inexpensive they are, especially if you can sign up during a special and use coupons for supplies, you really don't have much to loose. If you're lucky and get a great instructor like I did, you'll learn even more than what's in the books plus get some feedback and encouragement.

Aurora_333 Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 2:28pm
post #7 of 29

I would definately recommend them. I took the first three and learned so much, but I had a fantastic instructor.

whisperingmadcow Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 2:59pm
post #8 of 29

Honestly, I think it depends on how you learn. I am a visual learner so I need to see it done, and then I can copy it. Some people learn better from reading books.

I did take all four class and I had an awesome teacher. It really helped me with basics.

cownsj Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 3:26pm
post #9 of 29

I agree with everyone else. It so depends on your instructor. We got the best, she had more patience with the whole class than I would have thought possible, she had time for everyone and showed you over and over until you were able to get it. Years ago I did the shaped cakes, just tips 3 and 18, but I wanted to learn to make a buttercream rose. That's what I started out with. My husband had never baked a cake or held a decorating bag in his hand before we started the classes. Tomorrow will be exactly 2 years since he made his first cake. He's naturally artistic and this is what has come from the classes:
http://s314.photobucket.com/albums/ll426/ShelbyLynnCakes/
We'd still be taking more if they had them. Our instructor still gives us tips when we need them. And my husband befriended a cake decorator in the area who also mentors him.

MACakes Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 3:45pm
post #10 of 29

Yup the classes are a great starting point. Having an instructor to show you the technique can sometimes make the difference between "that's nice" and "WOW!!" Also gives you some of the basic jargon so you know what to search on this site and youtube.

Good luck with your aspirations!

ethanriley Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 4:20pm
post #11 of 29

I definately agree with everyone. The Wilton courses are a great starting point especially if you have a great instructor. I had a wonderful instructor who taught everything from Wilton and then some. She inspired me to keep going and she introduced me to cake central. Now that I have taken the Wilton courses I have the confidence to start taking some other more advance courses.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 4:20pm
post #12 of 29

The classes are a good starting off point, but just keep in mind that the methods they teach are not the only way to decorate cakes. I've found that they teach a lot of unnecessary steps.

So supplement your classes with lots of youtube tutorials and lurking around these forums! A good way to learn the basics fast could be to perhaps get a part time job at a grocery store bakery. There you will learn to ice a cake in your sleep, pipe a rose blindfolded, and your writing could become better with icing than with a pen! icon_smile.gif

Congratulations and good luck! I envy you for living in a state that allows home bakeries!

obabassa Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 4:38pm
post #13 of 29

Didn't feel like I got anything out of the wilton classes. If I were you I would get the Sharon Zambito DVDs.

tracienvegas Posted 14 Feb 2010 , 3:48am
post #14 of 29

I think the Wilton classes are a great start. I do, however, agree that the instructor makes a huge difference. Check out the stores around you that teach classes and try to talk to the teachers before you sign up. I am an instructor at JoAnn's and we have open houses once a month. I take that opportunity to meet anyone interested in classes, so that would be a good option for you. See when the instructors are having demos, classes, etc. and just watch them to see if the personality and knowledge fit what you need.

princesitarita Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 1:26am
post #15 of 29

Do it! It'll be one of your best investments! I had sooo much fun taking mine! Still waiting for them to post up dates for the Fondant and Gum Paste Course.

pearlydi Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 1:41am
post #16 of 29

Yes, take them you will learn a lot!!

pattigunter Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 1:48am
post #17 of 29

I started with the Wilton Classes and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. After doing that I took every class I could find within driving distance of home. Also please invest in all of sharon Zambitos videos - they are well worth the expense!

sweetartbakery Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 1:49am
post #18 of 29

I've never taken a class and learn everything I need to know online. youtube is a hell of a teacher! icon_smile.gif Don't know if the classes are good or not, but I do know that you don't HAVE to take any classes. I am a home baker now, but I'm building a shop to scale up right now.

snarkybaker Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 2:38am
post #19 of 29

Hicon_eek.gif LL NO!!! Wilton classes are for amateurs only. Every person I have interviewed or bench tested that had been in a Wilton class had bad habits and ridiculous ideas about decorating that were very difficult for them to un-learn.

cownsj Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:25am
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Hicon_eek.gif LL NO!!! Wilton classes are for amateurs only. Every person I have interviewed or bench tested that had been in a Wilton class had bad habits and ridiculous ideas about decorating that were very difficult for them to un-learn.




I'm very curious about what bad habits and ideas you mean? I'm serious because if there is something we need to get past, I'd love to know what kind of things they are. Heck, anything that can help us learn more and get better is a huge benefit for us.

metria Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:53am
post #21 of 29

definitely! also look for any local bakeries or cake supply shops that offer classes as well in case Wilton doesn't turn out to be what you're looking for. don't go nuts at first, just start with course 1. you'll get an idea of the time and money that goes into this.

snarkybaker Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 4:12am
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Hicon_eek.gif LL NO!!! Wilton classes are for amateurs only. Every person I have interviewed or bench tested that had been in a Wilton class had bad habits and ridiculous ideas about decorating that were very difficult for them to un-learn.



I'm very curious about what bad habits and ideas you mean? I'm serious because if there is something we need to get past, I'd love to know what kind of things they are. Heck, anything that can help us learn more and get better is a huge benefit for us.




I've never met anybody who learned from Wilton who could smooth ice a cake worth a darn. It's that creepy crusty buttercream and those ridiculous small spatulas.

In professional cake decorating, you will NEVER need to know how to make a buttercream mum or lily. You will NEVER decorate a cake using a star tip to cover the whole thing.

I personally
think that Wilton cakes look very " grocery store"

cownsj Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:35pm
post #23 of 29

I can't remember what we were taught exactly about icing a cake smooth, I just know I never could, and yes, we do have large size spatula's. I learned on here to use the sponge roller and just began with that. My first attempt or two were frustrating and while I don't have it down pat yet, I think my latest attempt isn't too bad. It's my grand piano cake.

I think you're right that you don't always have a need for the different flowers taught. And some things like their rose buds I simply could not do using their method, so I went home and practiced until I figured out how to do it for myself. I do think so much has to do with your particular instructor. And I also think it's alot like regular school. It's teaching you techniques and principles, then it's up to you to practice and reach out for more, but they give you a "general" understanding of what and how to use your tips. The only class we used the star tip, as I recall, was the first cake. I just thought it was kind of an introduction to using tips at all. Simple, basic, kindergarten class. But I do see your point. And maybe we were just lucky to have an instructor who does do cake professionally and could take us to another level even while teaching the course itself. We had someone join our class for course 2 after taking course 1 elsewhere, where they didn't learn a thing.
Any other tips you'd care to share for me to get my icing smooth. That is our biggest problem. Therefore, we both LOVE using fondant.

JustToEatCake Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:39pm
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

I agree with everyone else. It so depends on your instructor. We got the best, she had more patience with the whole class than I would have thought possible, she had time for everyone and showed you over and over until you were able to get it. Years ago I did the shaped cakes, just tips 3 and 18, but I wanted to learn to make a buttercream rose. That's what I started out with. My husband had never baked a cake or held a decorating bag in his hand before we started the classes. Tomorrow will be exactly 2 years since he made his first cake. He's naturally artistic and this is what has come from the classes:
http://s314.photobucket.com/albums/ll426/ShelbyLynnCakes/
We'd still be taking more if they had them. Our instructor still gives us tips when we need them. And my husband befriended a cake decorator in the area who also mentors him.



Wow hubby does a beatiful job!

JustToEatCake Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:40pm
post #25 of 29

Toba Garrett started with a Wilton Class, enough said.

cownsj Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:45pm
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustToEatCake

Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

I agree with everyone else. It so depends on your instructor. We got the best, she had more patience with the whole class than I would have thought possible, she had time for everyone and showed you over and over until you were able to get it. Years ago I did the shaped cakes, just tips 3 and 18, but I wanted to learn to make a buttercream rose. That's what I started out with. My husband had never baked a cake or held a decorating bag in his hand before we started the classes. Tomorrow will be exactly 2 years since he made his first cake. He's naturally artistic and this is what has come from the classes:
http://s314.photobucket.com/albums/ll426/ShelbyLynnCakes/
We'd still be taking more if they had them. Our instructor still gives us tips when we need them. And my husband befriended a cake decorator in the area who also mentors him.


Wow hubby does a beatiful job!



Thank you. I'll pass along your compliments to him. Not bad for a
Wilton boy.... (But hey, don't let me be remiss and not tell everyone how much we learn in here everyday.) I do think that so much depends on how open a persons mind is and their eagerness to keep exploring and keep learning more.

mandysue Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:47pm
post #27 of 29

Yes, do it!

JustToEatCake Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 3:54pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustToEatCake

Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

I agree with everyone else. It so depends on your instructor. We got the best, she had more patience with the whole class than I would have thought possible, she had time for everyone and showed you over and over until you were able to get it. Years ago I did the shaped cakes, just tips 3 and 18, but I wanted to learn to make a buttercream rose. That's what I started out with. My husband had never baked a cake or held a decorating bag in his hand before we started the classes. Tomorrow will be exactly 2 years since he made his first cake. He's naturally artistic and this is what has come from the classes:
http://s314.photobucket.com/albums/ll426/ShelbyLynnCakes/
We'd still be taking more if they had them. Our instructor still gives us tips when we need them. And my husband befriended a cake decorator in the area who also mentors him.


Wow hubby does a beatiful job!


Thank you. I'll pass along your compliments to him. Not bad for a
Wilton boy.... (But hey, don't let me be remiss and not tell everyone how much we learn in here everyday.) I do think that so much depends on how open a persons mind is and their eagerness to keep exploring and keep learning more.




Yes, I think Wilton is a fine hands starting point, besides where else can you go to learn ANYTHING cake decorating. No where in my town. It's also a good place to network and find friends who are also interested. Videos are good too but nothing like first hand, esp if you have a good instructor. My instructor was terrible, but I still enjoyed going and being with the others and I learned from some other students in the class also. There were former professional cakers in there coming along with their friends who were newbies.

BTW I CAN spell BEAUTIFUL it's not beatiful as in my PP.

Sugar_Bunny Posted 16 Feb 2010 , 5:18pm
post #29 of 29

Thanks for the input people. icon_smile.gif After reading your post I have decided on doing Wilton course 1 and then I'll make the decision whether the courses are right for me. Hopefully I'll get a good instructor at the class I'll be taking. I can't wait to start next month!

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