I started making cakes about a year-and-a-half ago. My friend's mom (who is a chef) asked me if I could teach a cake class at the place where she works. I gladly agreed, but I have never done anything like this before and I still consider myself an amateur. I was thinking, teaching a cake on fondant and gumpaste basics? Showing them how to knead, color, roll, and cover a cake with fondant? Teaching them how to color and make props out of gumpaste? Like I said, I've never done anything like this so I don't know what to expect! All tips, advice, input, and thoughts would be VERY much appreciated!
how to mask a cake with buttercream. how to properly handle fondant and how to cover a cake correctly. maybe a couple techniques on borders and a couple techniques on how to make quick flowers, and other designs.
I'm a hobby baker, but I teach a VERY basic class for the local community ed program. I work in buttercream, and that's mainly what I teach. I try to teach them how they can decorate a cake without buying a lot of cake toys.
I provide each student two 6" cake layers, buttercream, and basic tools-spatula, scraper, fondant smoother, tips and bag. (They pay a supply fee.) We trim, level, dam, and crumb coat. We do a simulated resting time and learn to make Duff roses and leaves with a circle cutter. Next we ice and smooth (VIVA) the cake. Then we play with 4 decorating tips and learn the basics of shells, writing, rosettes, cornelli lace, and some other simple piping. I stress that this is something they must practice themselves.
They finish up their cakes with the Duff roses and some kind of simple border or piped decorations.
We do this in 3 hours, and everyone leaves with a decorated cake.
Also-I have 4 turntables, but needed 7-for the 6 students and me, since I demo everything. I bought some circular turning shelf storage thingies (!) at Walmart that work pretty well as turntables and were very cheap.
It's a lot of prep work for me, but the students love the class, and there is a waiting list for a fall class. I also teach a Fondant Fun class where we use patterns to make fondant toppers like baby shoes. In fact, I have one of those tonight.
Hope this info was useful to you.
As I have been teaching now for several years (non-Wilton) so teaching techniques might be different, and I prefer advanced classes what I highly recommend is to show a technique once, but there is no need to finish the product and then your let the students practice the technique. My goal is the students finish the project. Then go from one student to another making sure they understand your concepts. They will have fantastic questions and make sure the whole class hears the other students questions and your answers. And if you don't know something, feel free to admit it, nobody knows everything........
Sometimes you get a know-it-all in your class and you will need to restrain them from taking over the class, I usually do that by constantly asking other students how they are doing and what they need help on the most, especially if you have an introvert in class as you want them to learn something from you.
Always give a take away freebie. If I teach a flower class I surprise them with techniques for an additional easy flower for instance or perhaps leaves. They don't necessarily have to create it, but they see it demonstrated.
Except for flowers, I find students love to pick their own colors so I just say "three" colors your choice or something in that order.
Just be yourself, if you are having a bad time covering your cake they realize even the instructors have an off day, I will always say to my class, "well that is the backside" or "this is a good place for a decoration". They laugh and are not so stressed doing it themselves.
Also, I have found it is easier for novice students to use more fondant when covering their cakes. So I have them roll out to 1/4" inch instead of the 1/8". Not sure why, but perhaps it is because they stretch the fondant once on the cake and as they do not seem to understand how easily it could tear.
Have fun and don't be too serious as this is a hobby for most people and as a hobby they should really enjoy themselves and it makes for return students.