AgBaker Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 5:22am
post #1 of

Hello all,

 

I am new in the bakery world and wanted to reach out to all you fellow bakers.   I would like to start off by saying that I am totally floored by the pictures of cakes that I have come across on this website.  You all rock !! I can’t even imagine creating such pretty cakes, and this is why I am posting to get some suggestions from you pros. 

 

I am a stay at home mom and love to bake but I have NEVER EVER decorated cakes.  Someday I would like to start a home based bakery but I do not know where to begin.  I know that currently I do not have the skills to do so, but how do I become awesome like you guys?  Should I go to a pastry school to learn the skills? Or should I take up Wilton (or any other?) decorating classes.  I mean I just google recipes and follow them-that’s all I can do—how do I advance my skills? 

 

I contacted LCB and they are starting a new session for pastry and baking next month.  The course seems really good and I am really tempted to sign up.  Would it be worth going to LCB to eventually open a home bakery?

 

I need all the advice you can offer J

16 replies
morganchampagne Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 5:43am
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AI'm going to culinary school. But there's TONS of super super talented people here who didnt. To practice decorations. I started with just buying some disposable decorating bags and some decorating tips. Just watching YouTube there's TONS of free videos. 2 years ago I knew nothing and it's amazing what all you can learn just by watching the Internet

Jenna1588 Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 9:32am
post #3 of

AHi, welcome to CC!

I personally would try decorating at home. You never know, you could be an awesome decorator. Give it a go, that's what I did. I don't bake as much as I'd like to but you learn a lot trying, watching tutorials and asking questions, especially on here!

Good luck :)

AgBaker Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 2:20pm
post #4 of

Thank you both for your responses.  

 

laxgirl715 Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 3:08pm
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AIf you want to start learning about the business and legal aspect look up cottage baking laws for your state. There's a lot of movement at the moment in some states, I'm in Texas and things will really open up for us in September. I'd also suggest purchasing some Craftsy classes, they also have free ones, they're great to practice and refer to at home. Best of luck!

remnant3333 Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 3:27pm
post #6 of

Here is a site with  loads of videos showing how to make several designs including lots of flowers with tips, how to hold them, how to smooth cakes, etc. I am a hands on person and learn by watching. Serious cakes has not done any videos lately but has plenty for you to watch.  You could practice and make cupcakes by taking off the paper around them just for practice and treat them as a small cake and decorate them or just practice on sides of cake pans. 

http://seriouscakes.com/wordpress/?page_id=16

 

Also, like another person said you can go on you tube and type in cake decorating, icing flowers, smoothing cakes, buttercream flowers, etc. You will find tons and tons of them.  If you are into fondant they have a lot on that too. Seeing with your eyes then practicing will help you a whole lot. Yes, CC has some beautiful cakes. I have many older Wilton books but have seen prettier cakes here on this site!!! The people here really have talent and you learn from others!!! Good luck and keep practicing!!!! You can do it!!!!!

morganchampagne Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 9:39pm
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AIt's pretty good. But I have to say its not all about cake decorating. I've used some electives and focused in on more of it. But I really wanted up get an understanding of all pastries and desserts. I've gotten a good solid understanding of the science of baking. That's been the most valuable

Narie Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 9:59pm
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Take a local cake decorating class or two.  40 years ago I took a class offered through the local park department taught by an experienced wedding cake decorator.  I learned a great deal about decorating including the fact that you couldn't pay me enough to do it as a job.   I enjoy doing an occasional cake but not all the time.  I love to bake but not decorate.  That said, make a shortening based butter cream without any milk or cream.  Then practice on the backs of your pans.  Scrape the frosting off the pan and put it back in the bowl.  You can use the frosting for weeks to practice. It is a great way to learn to make borders, simple flowers and leaves. Eventually you can frost a cake/ cup cakes with your practice frosting.

 

Try it out and see what you think of decorating before placing your dreams on it.

rockymtnbaker Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 10:40pm
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Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I took a few classes at a cake decorating supply store and got hooked. Did a lot of cakes in the '90's when my kids were little, mostly as a hobby, but I was getting paid for them most of the time. We moved to a state that did not allow home bakeries, so I pretty much gave up on the idea of a cake business. I still dabbled a bit but nothing seriously. Nowadays, there are soooo many resources online to learn about decorating, as well as classes, that there is really no reason to spend the thousands of dollars going to pastry school to learn cakes. As a previous poster said, there is not a lot of intensive instruction in cake decorating alone. Having said that, now that I live in a home bakery friendly state and my kids are getting older, I am going to go to pastry school because I am fascinated with the whole baking and pastry process. And it will only help me as I get my business going again. I think if you really want to learn cake decorating, go for it! Check out the classes on Craftsy.com, look at Wilton or other classes at decorating supply stores, check out books from the library, etc. 

Good luck! :)

AgBaker Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:14pm

AThank you all so much for your responses. I will look into the classes you have suggested and get working on improving my skills!

BatterUpCake Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:20pm

I started off watching YouTube tutorials....you may love baking but hate decorating.....I am taking my placement test for Virginia Culinary Institute's Baking and Pastry school tomorrow... Try a few things before you sink a lot of money in supplies, tools, etc...

thelittlecakery Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 11:27pm

youtube, youtube, youtube! I am taking the Wilton classes just because I want some hands on work with an instructor and flowers. Like everyone has said, start playing with decorating at home, watch some tutorials. I am slowly working on opening my own small business as well. You should determine how big you want your business to be, do you want a store front shop or (like me) look to do a few cakes a month at most. Its all up to you, I say start playing with decorating, start buying some tools and go from there.

BatterUpCake Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 2:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelittlecakery 

youtube, youtube, youtube! I am taking the Wilton classes just because I want some hands on work with an instructor and flowers. Like everyone has said, start playing with decorating at home, watch some tutorials. I am slowly working on opening my own small business as well. You should determine how big you want your business to be, do you want a store front shop or (like me) look to do a few cakes a month at most. Its all up to you, I say start playing with decorating, start buying some tools and go from there.

Jeez....she hasn't even decorated a cake yet!! lol Don't put the cart before the horse. Take it slow...there is way too much to learn before jumping into starting a business.

cofeewoman Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 4:22am

I started in 1993 to make a Barney cake for my son's 2nd b-day.  Barney was so new, no bakery's had licensing to make them- found a cake topper only. I even got real close to the Barney color on my own.  I bought the Wilton practice board. It has plastic and you put the sheets under it.  Then started making lots of cakes for everyone I knew, for any an all occasions for practice & free.  It takes a lot of time and PRACTICE, PRACTICE and more PRACTICE.  Good luck! 

thelittlecakery Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 4:47am
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

Jeez....she hasn't even decorated a cake yet!! lol Don't put the cart before the horse. Take it slow...there is way too much to learn before jumping into starting a business.

 

Yea I did get a little ahead of everything there. She did talk about wanting to open a bakery from home, that is why I put that in there.

BatterUpCake Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 10:36am

I do too....but unless you are a prodigy artist it takes a LONG time and lots of practice before someone can even think of starting a business. That is how the market gets flooded. And not everyone who has a skill has what it takes to run a business. I get really excited about things too and tend to jump the gun but the cake world is the only place I have seen where everyone who makes a cute cake decides to start a business. I started before I should have but I had been researching starting some kind of business for a few years and have expert advice from my daughter, son in law and an attorney. Making cakes and running a business are 2 different animals entirely requiring totally different skill sets. If you have what it takes for BOTH then you should start a business. This is not directed at the OP as discouragement now LittleCakery as an admonishment. It is simply my POV.

thelittlecakery Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 1:59pm

AOh I agree. I've been baking for a long time and became "serious" about a year and a half ago. I've been doing my research and seeing how I want my business to be, I'm far from opening a business, but the thought is there as I do each of my cakes. That is just me. I also have a very business savvy momma who is helping me since she is no longer working. When I do open, she will help run the business side of things.

I want to say I do appreciate your honesty and knowledge. I'm sure AGbaker saw my post thinking "what the hell" but I do get excited I'm also currently on pain meds... Maybe that should be in my signature line "please understand I am currently and for the foreseeable future will be on heavy narcotics, take anything I say with that in mind." Ha ha!

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