First of all, I have to say everyone's cakes here are just beautiful! I'm hoping I can do just as well eventually. I happened to stumble across this forum as I was searching the internet for cake decorating supply stores. I have no idea what I'm doing to be honest. Lol. I've just been searching for some basic supplies for the beginner. I've never decorated a cake before, other than your basic Duncan Hines box mix and frosting. I once played around with some fondant bought at Wal-Mart by Wilton, but that turned into a horrible mess. It was either too dry or too gummy and tasted icky. So, I'm trying to search for a good tasting fondant, and a good buttercream recipe to try. This is something that I very much want to do, and want to get lots of practice in. I eventually would LOVE to go to Notter School of Pastry Arts, but I don't want to go in there clueless, ya know? So anyway, I guess my questions are these; What tools do you suggest for the beginner? I'm on a very tight budget and can't afford too much. Eventually I'd love one of those Wilton kits though. And secondly, does anyone know of a great fondant recipe, and buttercream recipe that they use? I would really appreciate any advice anyone is happy to give, and I thank you greatly! Oh! One more thing.. I don't have a stand mixer. Can fondant and buttercream recipes be mixed by hand, and still turn out? Thanks so much everyone!
As far as fondant goes, I love the stuff by Duff that you can get at Michael's. It's on the expensive side but with a 40% off coupon, its not too bad. It's easy to work with and tastes yummy!
As far as BC goes, look up Indydebi's recipe. It's delicious!
Welcome to CC!
I like whimsical bakehouse's buttercream and marshmallow fondant. If you are looking for flavors, find the google document by macsmom under the gourmet flavors forum.
There are lots of recipes on CC for making your own fondant (MMF) and its alot cheaper than buying it.
Check out the recipes and i'm sure you will find something you like.
Welcome to the most addictive cake site around.
For someone with no experience, the Wilton classes are a big help. After that, youtube is a great source for tutorials in any subject you can think of.
When I first started I didn't have a stand mixer. Just a hand-held one (we always called it and egg beater and my crusting buttercream turned out fine.
These days I mostly make IMBC and I wouldn't want to do that without the stand mixer because it takes so long.
I also use marshmallow fondant - way cheaper than buying pre-made fondant, and most people like it better. I just mix that with a spoon and then my hands.
I also second scp1127's coment about the Wilton classes. HTH
I'm in a similar place as you are, being a newbie and all. First of all, you've stumbled upon (as did I) in my opinion, the best website ever for a baker!! I've quickly become addicted to this site!!
I myself am self taught with the exception of taking one wilton cake class at Hobby Lobby. To be honest, it did very little in helping me. Granted, it was the beginners class so it was very basic. Depending on your skill level and experience, it may not be a bad idea for you to look into at least one class. Otherwise, you can learn just about everything you need to know from youtube and this website! Tutorials are extremely helpful! But the best way to learn is practice, practice, practice I seem to be forever tweaking recipes and practicing my skills. It will all pay off, at least that's what I keep telling myself And I've found that there are amazing people on this website that as so helpful!!
As for buttercream-I've tried several. Right now I'm very please with the recipe on this site for Buttercream Dream Icing. I tried Indydebi's recipe from here as well, but I'm just not a big fan of straight crisco based buttercreams. You'll just have to try a few to find one you like. Keep in mind you'll need to know if the recipe you use is a crusting recipe.
Fondant-I decided to learn how to make it (MMF) because it was more cost effective. Now, I've only made it twice. After the first time I thought I'd NEVER make it again! Second time I made it with my KitchenAid mixer and I was thrilled with the ease and results!! Will never do it by hand again!!
I've used wilton and it's ok, but I'm not a fan of the taste. I haven't tried any other brands. I hear Satin Ice is good.
Don't worry, you'll eventually find things that you like and that work best for you, it just takes time and patience I think I'm preaching to myself here too!
I taught myself with youtube and CC and on a budget as well. Each cake is a learning experience, you'll be amazed how far practice and patience go!
I too use Buttercream dream. All shortening I don't like and all butter is so rich it makes my stomach churn (sorry IMBC and SMBC lovers...I hate the stuff)
I make my own Marshmallow Fondant. I will PM you my instructions. I've made it for years and don't even measure anything anymore I know it so well.
you need a turntable. I bought one for $6 at ikea. It's a sturdy wood lazy susan and it's huge, which comes in handy later with bigger cakes.
a big offset or straight icing spatula (I have a little one too, but I like my big one better) mine is wilton.
I accumulated my tips a little at a time. Mainly because I'm cheap and spending .99 wasn't a big deal, but buying the whole set of tips was! I use the disposable piping bags, cause I hate cleaning out the non-disposable ones. (see I'm cheap and lazy! ) and you'll need couplers.
I would work on the buttercream for a while then start the fondant, but that's just me. I never learned icing flowers (one day I will take a course for them, but right now I don't have a need. None of my cakes call for that) So I would just work on getting icing smooth and pipping borders. Look up sugarshacks method of making icing and icing cakes. It made my cakes so much easier to ice!
Once you want to learn fondant you need a fondant roller (or a lot of people use lengths of pvc from the hardware store - they sand down the cut edges so it's not jagged, also cheap!!)
and I use a piece of clear vinyl from the craft store (back in the home decor fabric section) I put a thin layer of shortening on it, roll out the fondant and invert it on my cake. Then I peal it off and smooth the fondant onto the cake. I use mostly my hands and then use the fondant smoother, but you have to be careful with the fondant smoother. One wrong move and you dig into your nice fondant work.
You can put fondant over buttercream, but I prefer to do fondant over ganache. It's easier to get it smooth. Either way though, buttercream or ganache, I put it in the freezer and then cover the cake when the cake is good and firm (30 min?) It helps a lot! easpecially when you are just starting out. Really hard to put fondant over squishy buttercream.
Good luck. Just keep playing and remember, if you mess up, it'll still taste good! No harm done!
There are so many recipes here. I would suggest trying the WASC cake recipe. It is a wonderful cake for holding up under fondant and great tasting.
You should also do as the others suggested and try the marshmallow fondant recipe here. It is cheaper than store bought and tastes great.
You really don't need much for supplies. If you have a cake pan then you should be good to go. You might want to get some decorating tips and try some buttercream decorating. That is how I started.
The best thing to do is go through the forums. There are tons of threads on buttercream, fondant and decorating tips. Also, don't forget to browse the galleries, my favorite part of the site. There are so many ideas here for beginners to experts. Just find a picture of a cake you like and try it out.
And don't be afraid to ask questions. There are so many helpful people here.
Welcome to CC! If you ever need help on the site, just let me know. I'm the photo gallery moderator.
best chocolate cake I have found BY FAR is the Darn Good Chocolate cake. It's awesome!