Help! I Am New To Decorating And Need Help!

Decorating By wifetobe2012 Updated 17 Feb 2012 , 1:24pm by wifetobe2012

wifetobe2012 Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 21

The only thing I have decorated was cupcakes, and there was nothing to decorating them. Just used a star tip to pipe on red icing, and a writing tip to make an Alabama "A". I am wanting to start decorating cakes, and have no idea what would be a good "starter cake". I need to start practicing a lot because my fiance is wanting an 18 wheeler grooms cake. I found one on here that he really likes (with some tweeks to make it more to his liking), and I highly doubt that I will be able to do something as nice as that right now. Also, I was told there was a tutorial on here about making a 3D 18 wheeler, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Was, also, wondering about icings. He wants something tastes good, but isn't extremely sweet. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank y'all so very much!

20 replies
dulcearoma Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 5:12pm
post #2 of 21

As a starter I think you should look into taking some wilton decorating courses. You will learn alot of useful tips. Good luck!!!

cabecakes Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 5:27pm
post #3 of 21

My suggestion would be to take some cake decorating courses. If this isn't an option for you, then I suggest that you read, read, read. You can also get a lot of good information on making icing, making a marshmallow fondant, and applying marshmallow fondant on youtube. You will find good info on here too. Some of my suggestions would be: practice, practice, practice. Don't wait until you need the cake to make it. Make you some practice cakes beforehand. Always add supports for every 4" you go up in height. When doing a square of rectangular cake covered in fondant always start with the corners and then smooth between the corners afterward. Allow yourself plenty of time so you don't have to rush and have time to make corrections for problems encountered. If you like, I have a blog that might help you out getting started. It is listed in my links below for cakenewbies.

wifetobe2012 Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 6:09pm
post #4 of 21

Thank both y'all! Where would I find decorating courses? Nevermind, stupid question. The internet. What in the world would I use as supports? Any suggests as to what would be a good cake to start with?

FromScratchSF Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 9:41pm
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifetobe2012

The only thing I have decorated was cupcakes, and there was nothing to decorating them. Just used a star tip to pipe on red icing, and a writing tip to make an Alabama "A". I am wanting to start decorating cakes, and have no idea what would be a good "starter cake". I need to start practicing a lot because my fiance is wanting an 18 wheeler grooms cake. I found one on here that he really likes (with some tweeks to make it more to his liking), and I highly doubt that I will be able to do something as nice as that right now. Also, I was told there was a tutorial on here about making a 3D 18 wheeler, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Was, also, wondering about icings. He wants something tastes good, but isn't extremely sweet. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank y'all so very much!




Oh dear, so much about this makes me a lot worried... first hello, and welcome to CC!

But I have to be the voice of reason here - if you have very little, if no cake decorating experience, I do not recommend you attempt to make a 3D cake for your wedding, I don't care what Wilton classes you may be able to take between now and your special day! Most brides are nuts to try and make their own tiered cakes, but a 3D grooms cake? That's completely insane. Just think of all the stress you will already be under, do yourself a favor and don't add this to it! The few days leading up to your wedding you want to be spending with family coming from out of town, getting your nails done, getting your hair done, getting tan, getting lots of sleep... the last thing you want to be doing is be elbows deep in buttercream and fondant for 3-4 days leading up to your day!

I mean, if you want to learn to decorate cakes, that's great, but attempting this type of a project for such a life-changing, monumental day will, guaranteed, give you nightmares, frustrate you like no other frustration you've ever had in your life, keep you up for days, and make you cry (a lot). It will also wreck your nails.

It's a very sweet sentiment, but maybe think about making him that cake for his birthday or something that has a lot less stress attached to it.

Good luck!

wifetobe2012 Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 4:04am
post #6 of 21

@FromScratchSF....A little stress isn't the words for it LOL. I am going to an actual cake decorator and asking them how much it would be for them to make it. I figure it is going to be expensive. His grandmother is wanting to get a regular sheet cake and put a big truck toy on it. I guess that would work LOL. Does anyone know where I would be able to do the Wilton Cake decorating classes?

wifetobe2012 Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 5:12am
post #7 of 21

I just found a Wilton cake decorating course about 45 minutes from my home. I am kind of excited to go. Unfortunately, I won't be able to go for at least 2 more weeks. In the meantime, I have found some online courses (they are called courses, but really it is simply reading) that I can do while I can't go to the Wilton course. For my first attempt at actually decorating a cake, what would y'alls suggestions be for something simple a newbie could do? Oh and, CabeCakes....I have looked at your newbie site and I do believe I will be making it a habit to visit often. Haven't had a chance to look at the rest of them as of yet, but I will. I really do appreciate all the help y'all are giving me! I am super excited! Thank y'all so much again!

icednice Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 1:14pm
post #8 of 21

Wow! 45 minutes is a bit of a drive. There are some good videos on Youtube and some good books you can download right to your computer. One I like is Cake Decorating Genius http://bit.ly/ACeIBn. Lots of recipes and decorating help.

wifetobe2012 Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 5:17pm
post #9 of 21

@icednice......Thank you! I found a few things. I am looking at some stuff I have already found. I didn't find the one that you listed, though. Thank you for the site!!! What did you make for the very first cake that you decorated?

luckyblueeye Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 7:03pm
post #10 of 21

Hi wifetobe2012, I'm new to cake decorating as well and wanted to tell you how I managed my first cake 10 months ago. My daughter asked for a Tangled cake for her 5th birthday...I totally stressed out because I had never made anything like that...and I was bad at baking anyways. So after finding cakecentral, I read and read for weeks...and read some more...and felt ok to give it a try. I had never made buttercream or heard of fondant...a totally new world to me...but I was hooked!
I made a WASC because the reviews were so great, and then I made my very first MMF and took at least a week to build a tower for the cake.
If you're still going to make the groom's cake, make sure you have a great recipe that won't let you down...have the right kind of pans, colors, tools etc...and make as much as you can way ahead of time.
I'm loving cake making so much now that I take every opportunity I can get to decorate one for a friend or neighbor. Good luck!

Debbye27 Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 7:33pm
post #11 of 21

Aww, I started the same way lucky blue eye - 5 months ago my son wanted a superhero cake for his 3rd birthday....I knew nothing!!! I read a lot too- in fact, I put little wooden dowels in the cake like I read - - only I didn't know each layer needed to be on cardboard, I just put another layer of cake on top of each dowel---I thought it seemed wierd to do that- but that's what I read!! I made everything from scratch and was so proud - - and then super hooked after that moment! And wife to be- - all I can advise is practice, practice, practice! I've never taken the wilton course- some day I intend to get to it, but I usually pick a cake inspiration and then if I can't figure it out- I go to youtube!

carmijok Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 7:35pm
post #12 of 21

The very first cake I made was a Tiffany box cake http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1550995/tiffany-blue-gift-box-cake-with-bracelet and it was fairly simple, but it got me hooked on decorating.

Make something that is simple but looks impressive. Polka dots, bows, stripes etc., on a regular layer cake all can be done easily and without the stress of making figures or elaborate piping.

You'll learn how to smooth your buttercream, how to color fondant, get the cutters you'll need, etc. All good basics to start with.
My suggestions...get an offset spatula...one large, one small.
Get a fondant roller if you can. Right now a small one would be fine if you are just doing decor. Available at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

Crumb coat your cake when it is COLD.. you won't be pulling up warm cake with your buttercream and making a huge mess if it is. Put it back in the refrigerator after crumb coating to set it so that your frosting goes on smoothly. (check out all the Youtube videos on how to smooth buttercream).

Buy your fondant first...don't make it yet. Get used to the feel and how it rolls out. Download the usual 40% off coupon at Michaels or Hobby Lobby and buy it there. Wilton fondant is good for decor.

Buy gel colors...Americolor is the best and easiest to find at Hobby Lobby. Wilton colors work OK too if you can't find Americolor.

I am totally self taught with the exception of one 2 hour buttercream class where I learned to do basic piping (borders and such). I also worked at a bakery and observed how they did things then applied that to when I started decorating.

I agree with the others that are telling you NOT to do your groom's cake. Your wedding should be about you having fun not getting stressed. And no matter how simple a cake is, you'll still get stressed to some degree because you want it to be perfect! However decorating is such fun, maybe look to doing your 1st anniversary cake instead! Good luck!

Rusti Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 9:42pm
post #13 of 21

You can find Wilton decorating classes at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and some Jo-Anns fabric stores. Supports can be wooden dowels or plastic tubes both of which you can find in the cake decorating isle at any of those stores.

wifetobe2012 Posted 15 Feb 2012 , 7:06pm
post #14 of 21

Y'all are all helping me so very much! After much thought, I have decided to either let a professional make his cake, or just have his grandmother buy a sheet cake and toy. I did attempt my first decorating the night before Valentine's Day. It turned out HORRIBLE! I don't know where I went wrong either. After I baked the layers, ! placed them in the freezer to cool completely. When I took them out, I tried putting the crumb layer on it, but on top of the cake, chunks were coming out of the cake. The icing wasn't sticking. I got aggravated and said the heck with it. I just gooped the icing on it without setting the crumb layer. What did I do wrong?

wifetobe2012 Posted 15 Feb 2012 , 7:15pm
post #15 of 21

Y'all are all helping me so very much! After much thought, I have decided to either let a professional make his cake, or just have his grandmother buy a sheet cake and toy. I did attempt my first decorating the night before Valentine's Day. It turned out HORRIBLE! I don't know where I went wrong either. After I baked the layers, ! placed them in the freezer to cool completely. When I took them out, I tried putting the crumb layer on it, but on top of the cake, chunks were coming out of the cake. The icing wasn't sticking. I got aggravated and said the heck with it. I just gooped the icing on it without setting the crumb layer. What did I do wrong?

carmijok Posted 15 Feb 2012 , 7:43pm
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifetobe2012

Y'all are all helping me so very much! After much thought, I have decided to either let a professional make his cake, or just have his grandmother buy a sheet cake and toy. I did attempt my first decorating the night before Valentine's Day. It turned out HORRIBLE! I don't know where I went wrong either. After I baked the layers, ! placed them in the freezer to cool completely. When I took them out, I tried putting the crumb layer on it, but on top of the cake, chunks were coming out of the cake. The icing wasn't sticking. I got aggravated and said the heck with it. I just gooped the icing on it without setting the crumb layer. What did I do wrong?




Don't put your cake layers in the freezer until they've cooled completely. Then wrap them tightly in Saran Wrap and put in the freezer. You more than likely had a lot of condensation that made your cake too moist and sticky for the crumb coat. Don't pull up on your knife when you're applying...keep it flat on your cake and slide it to the edge and then off. Also, if you're having trouble applying a crumb coat, thin a small amount of your buttercream and it will be easier to smooth over the sticky parts. (The crumb coat is merely to seal the crumbs in so they don't end up in your frosting.) Put it in the fridge to set and then you can start smoothing your buttercream on without picking up pieces of cake.

wifetobe2012 Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 12:52am
post #17 of 21

Thank you! I thought I had read somewhere that I could stick them in the frige or freezer to speed up the cooling off period. Guess I can just try again when I get home icon_smile.gif I, also, used store bought icing instead of making my own. Think that may have added to the problem too? I should probably perfect applying regular icing before I attempt fondant, huh? I do apologize for all the questions. I guess I am just eager to learn as much as possible from people who have been doing this for long enough to make it look pretty lol

carmijok Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 3:29am
post #18 of 21

Oh God you used canned icing? No wonder. Keep in mind that particular icing (besides tasting awful) does not crust, will not harden in the fridge and will not smooth like you want it to. It's also very expensive when you could be making your own that tastes SO much better!

charlita48 Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 4:41am
post #19 of 21

Ok what am I doing wrong with the fondant.I have read all the directions and watched 3 videos but still am tearing at the top and folding at the bottom. .

carmijok Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 5:48pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlita48

Ok what am I doing wrong with the fondant.I have read all the directions and watched 3 videos but still am tearing at the top and folding at the bottom. .




I don't cover with fondant. It's something that my customers don't like to eat and I can't do it. It takes lots of practice and patience. Why not just use buttercream instead? Smooth it like fondant and add your decor.

wifetobe2012 Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 1:24pm
post #21 of 21

Charlita48.....i heard that fondant tastes aweful. i am kind of leery of using it. i figure i will just try to perfect buttercream icing and then maybe if i want to try fondant, use MMF instead. when i get home i am going to make my very first batch of buttercream, try and follow the directions exactly on how to apply the icing, the cooling, all of it, and then trying to decorate with the wilton sugar sheets. maybe do some cut out hearts or some strips or maybe some strips. dont think i want to attempt fondant bows right now. i just want to see if i can do something simple and make it pretty. if this one turns out better than my first attempt with canned icing, i will take a picture and post it.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%