Has Elaborate Piping Gone Out Of Favor In The Usa?

Decorating By KayMc Updated 11 Aug 2010 , 10:31pm by Joyfull4444

KayMc Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 1:58am
post #1 of 103

I see websites from cake decorators in Europe, and it seems they tend to make more elegant, elaborate cakes than we do here in the States. I have seen some sites with very detailed piping, that I can only dream of ever successfully doing!

I don't notice this kind of decorating here in the States. Has it simply gone out of favor here, or is there another reason?

102 replies
JayyBugg Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 2:10am
post #2 of 103

I personally love the elaborate piping! But it is hard to do and time consuming so i guess maybe that would be part of why its not as popular?

kakeladi Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 2:16am
post #3 of 103

The Lambeth method is sooooooooooo very time consuming very few will do it.
I'm getting ready to try one for my county fair in 2 weeks.

KayMc Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 3:37am
post #4 of 103

Oh kakeladi, I hope you give us pictures of your cake w/ the piping!

Joyfull4444 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 7:42am
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

The Lambeth method is sooooooooooo very time consuming very few will do it.
I'm getting ready to try one for my county fair in 2 weeks.




I love looking at cakes with the old style piping, the intricate designs, the Lambeth method, all of it. It truly is becoming a lost art which is a shame. I hope you post pictures of your entry, kakeladi, I'd love to see it!

I have something I think you'll enjoy and remember quite well. Not the how to do part, you're a pro at that anyway. Its the cake and the decorator. You mention her in one of your posted cake photo's.

Click on the link, then click on Cile's kitchen. icon_biggrin.gif

http://www.pem.org/sites/weddedbliss/

KayMc Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 11:45am
post #6 of 103

Holy Smokes! Wonder how many servings are in THAT cake!!!!! I've never seen anything like that! Gorgeous!

ozgirl42 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 12:24pm
post #7 of 103

I have seen some amazing cakes just recently here in Australia that have a lot of piping, but it is more updated. For example there was an amazing wedding cake that was black and white. The piping and extension work was all BLACK. It looked stunning, but I kept thinking, my god you would have to be good to get it right, as any mistake would end up marking the white fondant on the cake!!

leah_s Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 1:15pm
post #8 of 103

WOW!!

Joyfull4444 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 1:19pm
post #9 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMc

Holy Smokes! Wonder how many servings are in THAT cake!!!!! I've never seen anything like that! Gorgeous!




KayMc, look at Kakeladi's photos, first page, last row, second one in from the left. Thats beauty in piping!

tesso Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 2:00pm
post #10 of 103

gorgeous piping. I think the problem is no one wants to pay for the time and effort it would take to create an elaborate cake like in the video. Everyone wants cake at drive thru prices!

catlharper Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 5:15pm
post #11 of 103

The trend right now in American Weddings is simple and clean cut looking...smooth fondant with ribbon and a flower or two...or the same thing with a fall of flowers on one side. If there is piping then it's a very simple piped design here or there on the sides. I think the most complicated style that has become vogue is the damask. I'm sure fancy piping will come back again, it's a trend thing, and when it does I'm determined to have learned how to do it! LOL!

Cat

lecrn Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 5:30pm
post #12 of 103

Some may see piping as "old fashioned", but I think it's absolutely fabulous. I can't pipe to save my life, but I've never really practiced b/c it's never been requested. I'm in awe watching Buddy on Cake Boss when he pipes. I think it's his best work. I'm much more impressed with a perfectly iced buttercream cake with intricate piping than a fondant covered cake with fondant cookie cutter cut-outs.
BTW, that cake is insane!

Jeep_girl816 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 5:32pm
post #13 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesso

gorgeous piping. I think the problem is no one wants to pay for the time and effort it would take to create an elaborate cake like in the video. Everyone wants cake at drive thru prices!


I think you just hit the nail on the head. I'm not going to spend hours and years perfecting that fabulousness if no one wants to pay what it's worth.

Apti Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 5:49pm
post #14 of 103

Joyful4444 thank you so much for posting that "wedded bliss" link. Who even knew that a cake like that was possible. I was talking about UK and Aussie cakes the other day and said stringwork/Lambeth wasn't done on soft, American, DH cakes--the techniques are used on fruit cakes which are hard, hardy, and last forever, so you can take a much longer time to finish the cake. Oriental stringwork apparently requires that you put the cake upside down!

In that vein, does anybody know a good tasting recipe for a fruit-cake type cake without the fruit or booze that actually tastes good that would hold up to stringwork practice? I'm thinking about a cake from one those sausage and meat places like Swiss Colony that sell nut cakes at Christmas.

mjballinger Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 6:05pm
post #15 of 103

That cake is amazing!!

I just did a graduation cake recently for the son of a co-worker and had a lot of fun doing different border pipings! It's nice to get out of the fondant "box" now and then.

MomLittr Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 6:14pm
post #16 of 103

Although I am no where near experienced enough to do intricate, detailed piping, I still consider a buttercream covered piped cake shows more talent than a fondant covered cake (no offense to all who do alot of fondant). A girl in my office does fantastic looking fondant covered cakes, but can she pipe a simple border? Don't think so. Now with the Cricut machine that cuts gumpaste and fondant, heck all you need is the design card to make nice designs. IMO, a piped cake just shows more skill (again no offense to those who prefer fondant decorating).
icon_smile.gif

endymion Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 6:40pm
post #17 of 103

Yes, fondant and piping are two different skill sets, and piping the harder of the two. If you can work with modeling clay, you can do fondant, but for piping you not only need free-hand artistic rendering skills but also a crazy-steady hand.

Agree that the current style is clean lines and not "fussy", so ultra-smooth finishes are popular. But eventually something else will be the rage. Maybe piping will come back or maybe it will be something new that we cannot yet imaginge... The only sure thing is that the style will eventually change!

Rusti Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 7:26pm
post #18 of 103

I love the piping too and went back to the Wilton classes to learn more but they took all the piping out of the new classes. One of several thing I don't like about the new classes, of course there are improvements too.

BeanCountingBaker Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 8:40pm
post #19 of 103

I found several 1980's Wilton yearbooks at a flea market, I just drool over the piping, fondant was all but unheard of 20-30 years ago. Some of the piping techniques in those magazines are really beautiful. More practice for me, I'm no where near that level.

sweettreat101 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 8:49pm
post #20 of 103

What a neat site. That cake was huge. Hope I never get asked to make anything like that not in my lifetime. LOL. Doesn't it look like she is putting a leaf tip on the coupler not a 104?

Gefion Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 9:04pm
post #21 of 103

I don't think there's enough piping going on here in Europe!

When you're trained it doesn't take THAT long. I can pipe a 3 tier wedding cake in one day. Obviously that wont work if you have other cakes... or work. Or a life icon_biggrin.gif But small Lambeth cakes for 20 people can be done in a few hours, if you avoid pulling out all the stops.

I have taken upon myself to make Lambeth popular. Time will tell if I succeed.

Occther Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 9:20pm
post #22 of 103

Oh, my Gefion - your cakes are fabulous. Piping is definitely a skill. Like others, I wish I were better at it. I agree with lecrn - Buddy on cake boss is definitely very skilled at piping!! Love to watch him when he is into the details!!

foodguy Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 9:42pm
post #23 of 103

As I've stated before I'm "old" and Old School. Intricate and detailed piping is my area of expertise and was much in demand in my bakery days (before retirement). Our son, who is in his late 20's visited yesterday. He was telling me about a wedding that was held recently at the museum where he works in the city.
His words, "You shudda seen the cake, Dad. It was four stacked tiers, white with purple ribbon wrapped around the bottom of each tier. No borders, no flowers, nothing". He asked me, "Where is their any talent in that"?
I told him that that was the modern trend in wedding cakes.
And then he uttered those words that made me want to shout to the world: THATS MY BOY!
He remarked, "Well I told all of my coworkers that they should see the wedding cakes that my Dad used to make-they were true things of beauty and pieces of art.

thatslifeca Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 9:59pm
post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy

As I've stated before I'm "old" and Old School. Intricate and detailed piping is my area of expertise and was much in demand in my bakery days (before retirement). Our son, who is in his late 20's visited yesterday. He was telling me about a wedding that was held recently at the museum where he works in the city.
His words, "You shudda seen the cake, Dad. It was four stacked tiers, white with purple ribbon wrapped around the bottom of each tier. No borders, no flowers, nothing". He asked me, "Where is their any talent in that"?
I told him that that was the modern trend in wedding cakes.
And then he uttered those words that made me want to shout to the world: THATS MY BOY!
He remarked, "Well I told all of my coworkers that they should see the wedding cakes that my Dad used to make-they were true things of beauty and pieces of art.




LOL, I know what you mean. I'm from the old school and Intricate piping detailed work was what was in demand. I still think that work is out there. There are a few of us still alive and piping.

Pacific Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 10:30pm
post #25 of 103

All it will take is few celeb's having a cake with piping and it will become a trend. With everything else going retro...I bet cake styles will follow but with a new twist. Piped cakes are a work of art and so individual to the cake artist. Fondant cake are beautiful also, but for me lack the appeal of a what a wedding cake should look like. Old school I guess. I loved my wedding cake with its piping and roses etc. It was a work of art.

Postal_Cakemaker Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 11:00pm
post #26 of 103

I would love to learn this piping technique!! Are there youtube videos on this?

kakeladi Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 11:39pm
post #27 of 103

gefion said........ have taken upon myself to make Lambeth popular. Time will tell if I succeed.........

Oh, oh now I'm in trouble. It's one of your cakes I'm basing my design on icon_sad.gif I hope I can come close to such beautiful work.

I have one chocolate modified Lambeth design in my pix......and the one based on Cile's work icon_smile.gif

Joyfull4444 Posted 5 Jul 2010 , 11:53pm
post #28 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postal_Cakemaker

I would love to learn this piping technique!! Are there youtube videos on this?




Postal_Cakemaker and all, click on the links.

Lace points, & extension work examples.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvNTmU9yORw&feature=channel

Icing collar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgkwX-uOK4c&feature=channel

Piping scrolls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgkwX-uOK4c&feature=channel

ozgirl42 Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 12:29am
post #29 of 103

I'm firmly in Food Guy and Gefion's camp here. I am also from the old school. The delicacy and gravity defying appearance of stringwork, lacework and extension work is simply exquisite. It makes a cake look like something other worldly and etheral.

Here in Australia when I first started decorating cakes it was all stringwork, extensions, and flowerpaste flower bouquets. The amount of time put into these creations was incredible! Which also meant that the price of these cakes reflected that. The celebration cakes here in Australia were always fruit cake and once covered with marzipan and fondant and let to dry, they were solid. You could take ages to decorate it as fruit cake only gets better with age, doesn't go stale once covered with marzipan and fondant, unlike the celebration cakes pf the US (for example). When you ordered a wedding cake you ordered it months and months in advance so the person creating it could make all the flowers and do all the piping.

Gradually the trend has been toward more "architectual" pieces. Clean lines, cutshapes, ribbon and maybe the odd flower and even then the flowers could just as well be real. I don't see much piped worked now. At the moment customers don't want what they see as "old fashioned". Stringwork was the style of cakes many of us grew up with and they want something different from that of their mother's. I now do a lot of 3D cakes or cakes with hand moulded figures.

In many ways, there are some things about cake decorating that have been simplified so that nearly anybody with a minimum of care can make a cake. But to create a piece that is really amazing takes skill, It may not include the ability to use a piping bag to create a Lambeth piece or Australian stringwork. Just because you can cut out pieces of fondant doesn't mean you will be able to create something pleaseing. Composition, colour and even the ability to cut pieces cleanly takes skill. I'm sure a lot of us have seen our fair share of naiff cakes, and then there are the ones that seem to stand out from the crowd. Just look at Planet Cake's creations. http://www.planetcake.com.au/#

I still love piping, and using those tiny piping tips (00, 0, 1) takes a lot practice. It'll definitely be back, but with a modern twist.

KayMc Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 12:44am
post #30 of 103

Wow! All these examples of piping are humbling. I obviously need to learn this almost lost art. These are really amazing. Thanks to all of you who have shared.

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