Sugarcoaters Need Not Reply......

Decorating By KakesbyKris Updated 18 Jun 2010 , 3:31am by princesscris

KakesbyKris Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 1:31am
post #1 of 16

One thing I have learned in my short time on here is you have to ask for criticism.
I just started decorating 4 months ago. I took a Wilton class to get out of the house and haven't looked back. Although my instructor is nice she is all "puppies and rainbows" as I have heard it referred to on here. Friends and family think I can do no wrong. So since I have learned more from CakeCentral than classes I am turning to my fellow CC'ers for helpful constructive critiques.
Please look at my pictures and give me any advice to better my techniques. You will see a progression in my work, at least I hope, with the breast cancer cake being the latest. I have learned a new skill for my fondant roses, I know they need work with the centers, so hopefully they will be better going forward. The cancer cake was done on a dummy so that helped with my edges.
I read a post that said you can't write negative things on the pictures so please look and reply to this thread with comments.
I really do want criticism that's helpful. I welcome it to better myself. TIA icon_biggrin.gif

15 replies
artscallion Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 1:52am
post #2 of 16

Your progression looks fine. Your cakes all look well done. It looks like you are trying new techniques with each cake. You also seem to be trying different styles with each new cake. That's a great way to progress.

I don't see any real flaws in your cakes or things that call for improvement. Everyone's cakes can be improved. But that just comes with practice.

My only advice is to continue just as you are doing. I am not sugar coating this. You are doing fine. With every different cake you do and every different technique you learn, you are adding a skill to your bag of tricks. Over time, you learn to mix and match these tricks, and you get better at them. That's exactly how to grow.

Great work. Keep at it!

Bijoudelanuit Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 1:55am
post #3 of 16

I think your cakes are fabulous!!! I especially love your basket of flowers! The only suggestion I could make would be to make the frosting for basket weave slightly thinner than you had it so that the edges and ridges on the piping will be smoother and solid. You're off to a great start!

Kibosh Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 1:58am
post #4 of 16

For taking the classes only a few short months ago, personally I think your right on par, for just starting out. i've only been decorating since about nine or ten months, I can just tell you "PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE".
I have learned a lot here from those more experienced. You tube is also a great help for showing you different techinques so you can actually see what it is you are trying to figure something out.
It's very hard not to compare yourself to others more experienced, but just stick to what you are confident in and then build from there.
Your roses for your cancer cake look great!
I still have a long way to go, but thanks to CC, I have found beautiful inspiration which inturn makes me want to keep at at thumbs_up.gif

Karen421 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:04am
post #5 of 16

If you would truly like some critique on your cakes, you should join this thread:

You will get some honest (non-sugarcoated) feedback.

anasazi17 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:10am
post #6 of 16


It looks to me like you are progressing great, and your cakes look quite nice! I would share (something I wish I listened to myself) make sure you have the basics down first before you get consumed (obsessed in my case) with the latest and greatest tool/technique. I have been doing this a while and still find myself learning some things I wished I had learned a long time ago...I mean, I still can't make a BC rose!


Kitagrl Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:15am
post #7 of 16

I checked out your photos!

First I think you have natural talent! Your piping skills seem good for just starting out...the basket cake is lovely with the nice even basketweave, pretty border, and the flowers were great! Some people have alot of problems with piping and you seem like you have a natural talent for it.

I also loved your fondant roses in the breast cancer pic!!!!! They are beautiful!!!!

What I noticed you could work on....of course something I think is one of the hardest things ever...smooth buttercream! I think sometimes Wilton has you making it too stiff...can make it a tad softer and then get a 6" scraper/putty knife at the hardware store and that really helps ice the sides (and even the top) of a cake.

Also your fondant accents you could practice making those a bit thinner. Your bow on the square cake could be rolled thinner and dried ahead shaped a bit more like fabric (if its thinner it kind of drapes a bit more like real fabric...tuck some saran wrap or paper towel in the loops while they dry....) and your breast cancer ribbon would have been really nice shortened a bit, rolled thinner, and dried in position like a real looped ribbon and then laid on the cake, or even standing up on the cake. You can mix tylose with fondant to make it dry faster, or use gumpaste.

One thing that just comes along with practice too is just picturing your cake design in your head and making all the colors and things work together on a real cake!

Anyway just want to encourage you to keep it up! Your love for the art will keep you going and keep you improving! We all have more we can learn.

Great job!

metria Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:24am
post #8 of 16

such a natural, i'm so jealous! the only thing i'd suggest is try covering your cake boards with something other than foil. you can do gift wrap paper, then cover that with clear contact paper. just keep a food safe barrier between that and your cake (like a circle of freezer paper). it can really be a great accent to your overall designs!

Kitagrl Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:30am
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by metria

such a natural, i'm so jealous! the only thing i'd suggest is try covering your cake boards with something other than foil. you can do gift wrap paper, then cover that with clear contact paper. just keep a food safe barrier between that and your cake (like a circle of freezer paper). it can really be a great accent to your overall designs!

Good point!

I put all my cakes on a cardboard circle (same size as the cake) and then I cover my boards in all different colors of florist foil...then use double sided carpet tape to stick the cake-on-cardboard to the base...and then the cake isn't touching the foil.

Loucinda Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:34am
post #10 of 16

If you would like regular "real" feedback, join this group on here:

(a previous poster also linked it, but you may have missed it)

That way you don't have to post on a regular forum for feedback....the CSM group is there for those that would like opinions on how to better their skills, and know that it is all constructive help on how to improve.

Kita gave you some great tips! You are on your way. thumbs_up.gif

kimmisue2009 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:43am
post #11 of 16

You really seem to have a knack for this. I love your basketweave cake, but I kinda thought that the little bee guy - although adorable - was a little cartoony compared to the prettiness of the rest of the cake. Your breast cancer cake flowers and the wigglies on the bottom layer were really beautiful, too. I wasn't crazy about the ribbon on the top, but I think that might have been the angle of the picture as much as anything. I totally loved the border of tiny flowers around your palm tree/beach cake. Also, your woodgrain on the chalkboard cake was great. You are off to a fantastic start. You have a good eye for placement and design and show some uniqueness. I am finding that it just takes practice practice and more practice. And then probably more practice. This stuff looks so easy, and in theory it is, but it ain't a total "cakewalk." There are some folks on here with some mad skills, but most of them didn't just wake up with them. You can take my advice to heart, too, because even though my cakes are not couture, I have impeccable taste! icon_wink.gif

EvMarie Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:44am
post #12 of 16

You may or may not welcome my criticism. I always preface my "cake" related posts with: I'm not the expert on cake. BUTTTTT, in my search to find what I'm good at for business purposes I did try my hand at cake decorating/baking.

So - here goes: (1) I think you have a great progression. Your roses on your first Wilton cake are great. And, I do love your fondant roses on your latest cake. They are soft and delicate. Oh...and I love love love your FBT palm trees. Very neat in execution & great colors.

(2) I agree with one of the earlier posters about trying new techniques and tools. I struggled with this part. I kept on trying to focus on finding "my" preferred buttercream recipe and all the ways to smooth perfect. But, my ADD got in the way and kept on pulling me here and there and everywhere. I find, that anytime I don't like my cakes or have a negative thought about somebody elses's because it's not iced smooth. You can put a simple cluster of your roses on top of a cake, a simple border and call it a day if your cake is iced smooth.

(3) Fondant decorations....I suffered from "thick decoration-itis". Yours look way better than mine for sure! But, if you like working with fondant...maybe you could purchase a pasta attachment for your kitchen aid mixer. I also found smaller machines in the clay section of the craft store. Most people reccomend getting something with a motor. Now, I only make specialty and cut out cookies. I still love working with 50/50 rolled buttercream and marshmellow fondant on cookies. The biggest challenge is getting even and appropriate thickness for my covering and decorations. It lets you keep your mind on creating.

(4) Find your own style - I'm not saying this because you haven't. Or, that you've copied somebody or something. I know that's what I'm doing now. I tried to decorate cookies in the style of some of the "big dogs" here on CC. And, it just didn't work. I got down and thought I was no good at it and why am I trying to sell these thing if they stink? Wellllll.....I let it go. I now know that I'm not that type of cookie decorator. I don't have the knack for "whimsy". Wish I did. So - after you explore all your neat ideas and new techniques. Don't be afraid to settle in to a particular medium. When you find your can take creativity to a new level.

Okay....hope you all have enjoyed my novel. I'm sooo wordy. Can't help it! It's in my blood.

Above all....remember to have fun!

cathyscakes Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:49am
post #13 of 16

I think you are doing great, i would suggest dusting your roses to add more dimension, but you are doing great.

KakesbyKris Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:52am
post #14 of 16

Thanks ladies for the link, it's exactly what I am looking for. It's hard to look at a cake and know that something is just not quite right but not have the knowledge or experience to think what to change. I appreciate the feedback. I found myself going against the grain in class, wanting to make my BC thinner and roll out my fondant differently. I will definately try the suggestions. Thank you all.

tmac670 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 3:17am
post #15 of 16

I can tell ou that as a Wilton instructor-- I would be PROUD to call you a student! You are doing great-- just keep practicing and learning. Nice work all around. I am NOT a puppies and rainbows kind of teacher- I try to be kind- but I don't lie. How will you improve if you think what you are doing is right when it isn't?

princesscris Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 3:31am
post #16 of 16

Hi KakesbyKris - I've really only looked at your latest cake - the breast cancer one.

I think you could work on getting your edges cleaner - the edges on the square cake seem a little wobbly - or that could just be the photo. The straighter they are, the more professional your work will look.

Fondant decorations definitely need to be rolled a lot thinner.

Your roses look a bit too much like cabbages (sorry!) - the centres are higher than the outside petals - it's a common problem and a big mistake. You need to use a larger cutter for the outer petals. Have a look at a real rose - see how it's put together, how the petals wrap around each other, how they differ in size and thickness. Then sit down and make lots of them - practice, practice, practice.

Overall, not bad though.

Kindest regards,

(edited to change my Cris to your Kris)

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