What Have You Learned Since You Started Cake Decorating?

Decorating By krisann Updated 28 Mar 2010 , 9:57pm by bobwonderbuns

krisann Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 2:25pm
post #1 of 82

I thought of all the things I have learned since I started cake decorating? It hasn't been years...but I have picked up or learned stuff on my own.

1.Don't try and do it all at once. Don't bake a cake ,cool, torte ,crumb coat, ice , fondant and decorate all in one day..

2. Cake is destructible. Just because Buddy and Duff can save cake from the brink...doesnt mean everyone can.

3. Take your time ( see#1). Enjoy the process!

What have you learned?

81 replies
TexasSugar Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 2:39pm
post #2 of 82

Never try too many new techinques at once. You shouldn't do a new icing, new filling and new cake recipe at the same time, then top it off with other new decorating techinques.

Also if one thing goes wrong it is usually followed by others. And it is okay, sometimes even a great idea, to step out of the kitchen when you are having issues with a cake and come back to it later.

Caths_Cakes Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 2:47pm
post #3 of 82

to be patient, keep practicing and to persevere !

jennicita Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:01pm
post #4 of 82

How to say no!

If I wanted to, I could become the main supplier of free or nearly-free cakes for friends, friends of friends, neighbors, their children and many other "big fans" of mine. But no, my time is worth a lot more than that and I'd much rather spend it with friends, family or catching up on housework. Ok, scratch that last part, but it's what I SHOULD be doing. Not next-to-free cakes for the entire town!

Oh, and I've learned lots of cake-related stuff, too! icon_wink.gif


aggiechef Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:02pm
post #5 of 82

Accidents happen to everyone. Even if everything has been going smoothly, it only takes a second for something to go horribly wrong.

JulieMN Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:50pm
post #6 of 82

1. How much I still have to learn
2. That the flaws I see in my work are not noticed by my family and friends (I do this as a hobby, not a business)
3. That this community has a wealth of information and so many wonderful people who are willing to share their time and talent.


jennicita Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:53pm
post #7 of 82

I'd have to wholeheartedly agree with JulieMN!
(and not just because you're from the Twin Cities! I grew up in Maple Grove icon_smile.gif Boy, do I miss it!)


aggiechef Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:58pm
post #8 of 82

I have just recently discovered how extremely useful the articles are on here. I used the one for FBCT and it worked wonderfully. I love having the pictures to show how to do something.

I also love going through the pictures and looking at new techniques that I've never tried before. I tend to stick with things that are "comfortable", and now I'm trying to expand my horizons. icon_smile.gif

JustToEatCake Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:59pm
post #9 of 82

I learned that eating too much cake and icing makes one gain weight and it doesn't have to be pretty to be delicious....

nanikins Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:12pm
post #10 of 82

and it doesn't have to be pretty to be delicious....


My grandmother always used to say, "It all eats the same."

I'm surprised how many times I find myself repeating that like a calming mantra when I'm having trouble with a cake.

I've learned that everything takes more time than you think it will, you are generally your own worst critic, if you make a cake on short notice once people will always expect it in that time frame, and that kids are genetically compelled to stick their fingers in any cake at any stage.

aquamom Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:30pm
post #11 of 82

My daughter can make an amazing zebra shark from fondant. Now I just need to learn how to get pictures from my iphone to the computer.

Oh and it always takes more time than I imagined. And the more you practice the better you are.

EverAfterCakes Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:32pm
post #12 of 82

I've learned quite a bit seeing as how I've only been decorating for 4 months. I've learned that it takes alot of patience and practice to get the results I'm looking for especially if you are self taught like me!

Also, I learned about this site and it has been the best thing I have come across since I've started this hobby. Great People, Great Advice, and Great Cakes! Who could ask for more?


cathyscakes Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:41pm
post #13 of 82

My biggest problem was getting buttercream smooth, I always used a hot knife, still couldn't get it as smooth as I wanted. I would talk people into doing basketweave, I was good at that. More trouble to do basketweave, but it was worth it to me to not have to deal with the stress of smoothing. After cc I learned the viva towel smoothing and its been awesome, no stress now. There are so many things, but that is the most important to me.

Sherry1030 Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:51pm
post #14 of 82

I agree - it always takes longer than I expect! I've learned to bake and crumb coat the night before I decorate rather than do it all in 1 day. I've learned that I am not, nor will I ever be, Buddy or Anne Heap.. I've learned patience. I've learned that no one else seems to notice the little mistakes. I've learned that cake scraps and leftover icing make a fine lunch. Most importantly, I've learned tons and tons of techniques and ideas from this website! It has been a Godsend!!

Thanksharla Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 8:02pm
post #15 of 82

I've been a hobby decorator since August of 2009. What I've learned so far:
-It always, always always takes longer than I think it's going to.
-I can't get a thing done cake wise when the kids are awake.
-I wish my Wilton instructor would of told me about the Viva towel method.
-The more cakes I do the better I become.
-I will make up any excuse to make a cake. icon_biggrin.gif
-My hubby thinks my hobby is a great one.
-I've become addicted to cake shows. Hubby hates that one.
-My kids will eat it no matter what it looks like.

tavyheather Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 8:07pm
post #16 of 82
Originally Posted by JustToEatCake

I learned that eating too much cake and icing makes one gain weight and it doesn't have to be pretty to be delicious....

mmm...lol...I've learned that the trimming makes a wonderful snack if you dip in the excess icing/filling...totally useless knowledge icon_biggrin.gif you're welcome!! icon_razz.gif

Caralinc Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 8:30pm
post #17 of 82

- I've learned with lots of practice your skills DO improve.
- To become more patient to finish a cake ( when I am getting to the end of putting the cake together I get so excited to see the end results that I sometimes rush it)
- Will make any excuse to make a cake.
- Other people do not notice the small errors on the cake that I see.
- Have more faith in and to challenge myself more

chrissypie Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 8:41pm
post #18 of 82


that is awesome! I need to remember to say those things to myself! Great advice

Motorhead Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 8:49pm
post #19 of 82

I've learned that there is edible tylose glue for figurines, and that what i think is a mediocore figureine/cake is amazing to someone else.
i've learned to keep challenging myself, that failed tries are delicious, that people are extremely helpful on this site all you have to do is ask!
oh yeah and chocolate guiness cake is the best so far for fondant-holds up well for carving, is great tasting and is moist! icon_lol.gif

Classycakes Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 9:13pm
post #20 of 82

Besides the technical improvement in my work and all of the things mentioned above, I've learned that my work and time has value and I can and should charge accordingly.

I've learned to say no when I feel I have enough on my schedule already.

I've learned to feel confident and take pride in what I do, that it is a wonderful profession and not just a job.

And, I've learned to ask for advice from my fellow CC'ers when I'm not sure of something. It's OK and no one has ever made me feel "less than" for not knowing something.

Lita829 Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 9:13pm
post #21 of 82

Where do I start? I've learned that practice does help with confidence and increasing skill. I never heard of tylose, gumpaste, or fondant before 2009 icon_redface.gif . Yes...I have been a baker since I was 12 years old but the vastness of the decorating world and what you can do with cake never ceases to amaze me. I just love it!

indydebi Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 9:16pm
post #22 of 82

- That cake is fragile and requires some skill just in knowing how to handle it.
- That cake is NOT as fragile as we make it out to be and it's not as hard to handle as we think.
- THat there are certain "rules" that need followed (dowel every 4"; allow the cake to settle).
- THat there are no rules and stepping outside of the rulebox is always ok!
- That sometimes overthinking a cake project is a bad thing. Bad. Very bad.
- That no matter how much I have already learned, there is always something new on the horizon! Old dogs CAN learn new tricks! thumbs_up.gif
- That cake civilians will think whatever I make is awesome, simply because they can't do anything CLOSE to what I do (so no stressing over the teeny flaws that no one but me can see).
- THat no matter how much I explain what's involved, most cake civilians will never get it! dunce.gif
- THat we can spend our entire cake life worrying about what MIGHT happend and 99% of the time, the cake and delivery goes off without a hitch, SO STOP WORRYING!

2txmedics Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 4:26pm
post #23 of 82

Well lets see where do I start?:

Be patient, and take your time, BUT DONT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MIN. to work on a cake.

Dont be afraid to try something, if you dont get it right, dont give up, keep trying

Dont be afraid to say, No, or that I cant do that to a person.

Know you will fail at somethings, and ITS OK!...It's just a Cake!

and DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK ON THE THREAD, THERE ARE NO DUMB QUESTIONS...to some it maybe dumb, but to us, its very important. Someone will HELP, THAT IS WHAT CAKE CENTRAL IS ALL ABOUT, WONDERFUL PPL.!!!

Mikel79 Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 5:59pm
post #24 of 82

I have learned so much just from this site alone.

1. Less is more. Every inch of your cake does not need to be covered with a decoration.

2. It is OK that my cakes are more expensive than the local grocery store.

3. No one will ever know (except the ones reading this) how much work goes into a cake.

4. Don't bake, fill and decorate in one day/night.

5. WASC recipe. OMG!!

6. It is OK TO USE box mixes =)

revskg Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 6:07pm
post #25 of 82

That I really don't need as much sleep as I thought I did. And, late night caking can be therapeutic

Sherry G

mamawrobin Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 6:48pm
post #26 of 82

1. That I couldn't get by without Cake Central!

2. Don't try to do everything in one day..(bake, torte, fill, decorate)

3. That it usually always takes longer than you think it will. (it does me anyway icon_lol.gif )

4. Most people will NEVER see the "flaws" you see on your cakes.

5. That I learn something new EVERYDAY.

Mikel79 Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 6:56pm
post #27 of 82

Wilton "Class" Buttercream icing is not the only icing in the world!!..Thank God!


Kellbella Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 7:05pm
post #28 of 82

I've learned that no matter how many icing recipes I try... Sharon Zambito's recipe and technique is by far the best.

I've learned you can never have too many paper towels in the house.

I work best when I'm listening to 80's music.

I would be lost without Cake Central icon_cry.gif

Mikel79 Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 7:11pm
post #29 of 82

OMG!!! How could I forget.....SHARON ZAMBITO is by far the most amazing thing I learned since cake decorating.

She is amazing. Her BC icing is the BEST icing out there!!!!! All of her DVD's have helped me soooooooo much!


Kellbella Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 7:14pm
post #30 of 82
Originally Posted by Mikel79

OMG!!! How could I forget.....SHARON ZAMBITO is by far the most amazing thing I learned since cake decorating.

She is amazing. Her BC icing is the BEST icing out there!!!!! All of her DVD's have helped me soooooooo much!


thumbs_up.gif Ditto

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