Tutorials, Taking Away The Magic?

Decorating By Claire138 Updated 6 Aug 2014 , 7:53pm by enga

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 7:14am
post #1 of 38

I'll start of by saying that I buy and use tutorials for quite a few designs (I also youtube) however, my question to you all is; considering there are tutorials out there on more or less anything (I assume) don't you feel it takes away a little of the magic of cake decorating? I know that not everyone who watches the tutorials makes cakes but I think it takes away something special from the cake if they know how it's made. Anyone else agree?

37 replies
DeliciousEmma Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 7:35am
post #2 of 38

In a way, yes. People think 'I don't want to pay for this. I can do it myself because it's simple.' Then they go to google and youtube and look it up and the youtube guru makes it look simple. They don't realise all the skills the person has accumulated over years to bring this 3 minute video to you.

 

I've been guilty of this myself. I look up how to do something around the house. Say, change a washer in a tap. So I go to youtube and some guy makes it look straight forward to begin with but usually about halfway through it's sounding to me like, 'With $600 worth of tools and a degree in mechanical engineering, you too can change your tap washers!'. Then I go and call a plumber.

 

I think tutorials are great for building the skills of beginners and sharing tips between professionals. However, maybe it makes some people think cake decorating isn't worth paying for because they can learn how to do it for free at home? I doubt any of these people bother to learn though.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 11:30am
post #3 of 38

I completely agree with you - I feel the same way about telling people how a cake is made when there is something 'special' about it as it takes a lot of the wow factor away. I just try to dodge the 'how did do that question, most run of the mill non cake people will not go to any lengths to try and figure out how it was done anyway :-)

 

That being said, I used to look at a cake and think 'that is amazing' and not go any further in my thought pattern, now when I see something special I just look at it and try to decipher how it was made. Sometimes it may take a day or two but I can usually come to a decision on how I would tackle it so although 'the magic' is taken from me I find it pretty cool that I can work it out and attempt it myself.

sprinkles1 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 12:19pm
post #4 of 38

AI was amazed by peoples cakes and I did go on you tube and watch tutorials and think I can do that myself. As for doing it myself I'm still a beginner and its made me appreciate the time and effort that actually goes into the cake.

remnant3333 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 1:09pm
post #5 of 38

I love You Tube videos with cakes!!! I am thankful to those who do these videos. I make my grandchildren cakes not because I don't want to pay for them but because just like you, I love to bake!!!    My kitchen is the most favorite room in my house. At least that is what my hubby says. For hobby bakers who are not in business, You Tube is a lifesaver at giving me ideas and a great learning tool. I even go to the library and check out books on cake baking and use them as learning tools  but a video is much better at seeing how to use a piping tool the correct way.

 

I learned how to make many butter cream flowers from watching then practicing in my kitchen. Some of us are not as smart or talented as most of you are and need some help. Even most of you when you began making cakes had to learn from someone.   Many thanks to all who do cake videos. Even the professionals like Cake boss, Duff Goldman, Global Sugar Art, Betty Crocker, Ron Ben-Isreal and Wilton do videos on TV which end up on You Tube. I only named a few but there are many more who do videos. For those who went to Culinary School, that is terrific!!! Many are not fortunate enough to afford to go to those expensive schools. I am just a grandmother who enjoys baking. I also enjoy Cake Central. All the people here are so helpful and I have learned a lot from this site also.

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 2:17pm
post #6 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by remnant3333 
 

I love You Tube videos with cakes!!! I am thankful to those who do these videos. I make my grandchildren cakes not because I don't want to pay for them but because just like you, I love to bake!!!    My kitchen is the most favorite room in my house. At least that is what my hubby says. For hobby bakers who are not in business, You Tube is a lifesaver at giving me ideas and a great learning tool. I even go to the library and check out books on cake baking and use them as learning tools  but a video is much better at seeing how to use a piping tool the correct way.

 

I learned how to make many butter cream flowers from watching then practicing in my kitchen. Some of us are not as smart or talented as most of you are and need some help. Even most of you when you began making cakes had to learn from someone.   Many thanks to all who do cake videos. Even the professionals like Cake boss, Duff Goldman, Global Sugar Art, Betty Crocker, Ron Ben-Isreal and Wilton do videos on TV which end up on You Tube. I only named a few but there are many more who do videos. For those who went to Culinary School, that is terrific!!! Many are not fortunate enough to afford to go to those expensive schools. I am just a grandmother who enjoys baking. I also enjoy Cake Central. All the people here are so helpful and I have learned a lot from this site also.

 

I agree with you, I too learn a lot from online. I haven't been to any expensive schools either I was only making an observation that I truly believe it takes away some of the magic because even if someone watches a cake show but doesn't make cakes they still feel that it's way easier to make then they thought & that anyone can make it even if they don't for whatever reason. For example something like sugarveil or the marvellous molds & the like which gives such a beautiful & classy effect on a cake yet is relatively easy to make and apply, I feel like the tutorials give away the secrets that make the magical effect.

Cookie Keyfi Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 3:23pm
post #7 of 38

AWatching tutorial videos doesn't mean, that you can make the same thing in the same quality. Sometimes i try a tutorial and it doesn't look the same. No matter how often i try it :D.

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 4:30pm
post #8 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cookie Keyfi 

Watching tutorial videos doesn't mean, that you can make the same thing in the same quality. Sometimes i try a tutorial and it doesn't look the same. No matter how often i try it icon_biggrin.gif.

 

I realize that, I'm just saying it takes away the magic of it when you can see it being made. Maybe I'm not expressing myself correctly.

Cookie Keyfi Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 4:36pm
post #9 of 38

AMaybe i didn't understand it right :). My english skills are not that good. You are right, it takes away the magic when you see it. It's like a magician who shows his tricks ;)

remnant3333 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 5:24pm
post #10 of 38

I definitely agree that the cakes with all the fondant figurines, etc take a lot more skill and it is like doing art work that takes a lot of time. Now, I see what you meant to say. I could never do all of that fancy stuff that I see in some of the videos. I only do the simple cakes. Yes, they do make it look simple but we know that it is not as easy as it looks for all that intricate sort of decorating cakes. Sorry that I misunderstood what you were saying My apologies!!!

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 5:42pm
post #11 of 38

No apologies necessary, I don't always explain myself well. I tend to over think and then go into a complete ramble about what I've been trying to say which may or may not have anything to do with my original point:D

enga Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 5:57pm
post #12 of 38

Well let me be the first to say that I learned way more on here, you tube/tutorials and the internet than I did in school. While tutorials can be instrumental in leaning a technique or design you are unfamiliar with I wouldn't say that thet take away the magic of cake decorating. To me the magic happens when I practice the technique over and over until I get it right. One of the main reasons I come to this site is to ooo and ahhh over the beautiful cakes and to figure out how they did it. I also read a lot of the "how to" questions on CC because I'm learning right along with the OP and sometimes it's fun trying to figure it out with them. Sometimes the replies are from personal experience, a link to a website, a pic/pictorial made by a poster. I don't think any of them take away the magic either, they are just different ways to help the OP find out how it was done

 

I sometimes think that people feel some type of way because you tube/tutorials are free opposed to paid sites with tutorials, almost like it's inferior because it's free. Tutorials have proved invaluable to me and not just for cake decorating. I have used them to fix my car, to make homemade bug repellent, replace my dryer belt even to make inexpensive fertilizer for my nutrient poor soil. So yeah when I cant figure something out or have a question I search the internet for answers, if they happen to have a tutorial for it, great, if not, I think I'm savvy enough to follow written directions, lol. When I wanted information as a kid I picked up the encyclopedia, now I reach for my laptop.

 

I love learning new techniques from cake decorating books too and have a pretty good sized collection but I think I learn faster watching someone else do it. Tutorials are not for everyone, some people thinks it's like cheating and that people should just figure it out themselves. Well there are people who can dream up a design or technique on their own and bring it into fruition, I unfortunately am not that talented and need all the help I can get. I'm still trying to get the fondant on the cake neatly and tutorials have helped me tremendously! 

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 6:01pm
post #13 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by enga 
 

Well let me be the first to say that I learned way more on here, you tube/tutorials and the internet than I did in school. While tutorials can be instrumental in leaning a technique or design you are unfamiliar with I wouldn't say that thet take away the magic of cake decorating. To me the magic happens when I practice the technique over and over until I get it right. One of the main reasons I come to this site is to ooo and ahhh over the beautiful cakes and to figure out how they did it. I also read a lot of the "how to" questions on CC because I'm learning right along with the OP and sometimes it's fun trying to figure it out with them. Sometimes the replies are from personal experience, a link to a website, a pic/pictorial made by a poster. I don't think any of them take away the magic either, they are just different ways to help the OP find out how it was done

 

I sometimes think that people feel some type of way because you tube/tutorials are free opposed to paid sites with tutorials, almost like it's inferior because it's free. Tutorials have proved invaluable to me and not just for cake decorating. I have used them to fix my car, to make homemade bug repellent, replace my dryer belt even to make inexpensive fertilizer for my nutrient poor soil. So yeah when I cant figure something out or have a question I search the internet for answers, if they happen to have a tutorial for it, great, if not, I think I'm savvy enough to follow written directions, lol. When I wanted information as a kid I picked up the encyclopedia, now I reach for my laptop.

 

I love learning new techniques from cake decorating books too and have a pretty good sized collection but I think I learn faster watching someone else do it. Tutorials are not for everyone, some people thinks it's like cheating and that people should just figure it out themselves. Well there are people who can dream up a design or technique on their own and bring it into fruition, I unfortunately am not that talented and need all the help I can get. I'm still trying to get the fondant on the cake neatly and tutorials have helped me tremendously! 

 

I think it takes away the magic for the client (they also watch baking/ cooking shows/ youtube clips just for entertainment purposes)- not for me, I still have to make it & know that it is not done in 5 minutes.

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 6:02pm
post #14 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cookie Keyfi 

Maybe i didn't understand it right icon_smile.gif. My english skills are not that good. You are right, it takes away the magic when you see it. It's like a magician who shows his tricks icon_wink.gif


Exactly! that's a great example of what I was trying to say.

enga Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 6:25pm
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138 
 
 

 

I think it takes away the magic for the client (they also watch baking/ cooking shows/ youtube clips just for entertainment purposes)- not for me, I still have to make it & know that it is not done in 5 minutes.

You know what I did once when a client told me I should be able to do a cake at the last minute and that it cant be that hard? I invited here over to watch me assemble a cake and showed her what making a cake really entails. She was amazed. I gave her a pastry bag and told her to write her name with it, she gave up in frustration. I informed her that this is the reason why we had to have a 2 week notice for all cake orders. I also had a declaimer on my page telling customers that "We make real cakes in real time, all cake orders require a two week notice". I'm not mad at her for trying though. Sometimes people just don't get it and I don't have a problem helping them "get it".

 

Those clients that think that making a cake is easy are mostly ones who are disappointed when they are presented with the results of what a baker/cake decorator they paid to do a cake that seemed easy and cheap to make.

Apti Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 6:30pm
post #16 of 38

For me, the magic lies not with the finished, completely decorated cake.

 

The REAL magic is in all the pedestrian details that make a gorgeous decorated cake possible:

 

smooth buttercream

level cakes

no bulges

stable tier construction

knowing the timeline required (!!!!!!!)

knowing shelf stable ingredients vs. what must be refrigerated for food safety

planning the decorations

researching the planning for the decorations

researching some more

knowing the amount of clean up involved --- and doing it anyway

 

and most importantly,

 

having a knowledge of excellent recipes that provide the best taste sensation ever for the person eating the gorgeous decorated cake

MBalaska Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 6:45pm
post #17 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claire138 

"..........I know that not everyone who watches the tutorials makes cakes but I think it takes away something special from the cake if they know how it's made. Anyone else agree?"

 

Claire138, I would have agreed with you until..........'The Cheesecake tutorial'.

 

A friend who loves cheesecake has had several of my homemade New York Cheesecakes.  She has also tried to make them herself at home.  She decided that If I just give her my recipe she'll make them at home and cut-out-the-middleman (me).

 

Great idea.  I invited her over and made a cheesecake.  I laid down the recipe for her to copy.  I  went step by step right in front of her, describing each and every thing to be done, and why.  I told her to take copious notes.  She'd have a wonderful recipe for the rest of her life.

 

A couple of months later she gave it a go.  Disaster.  She called and asked me to make her another cheesecake for a party, as she can't figure out the recipe and her notes don't make sense. So I'm hoping that I still have that "magic" in my kitchen that you're speaking of.

 

And Apti's right on target:  " the best taste sensation ever"

even if they do know how it's done.

SweetTzippy Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 7:29pm
post #18 of 38

A

Original message sent by Claire138

I think it takes away something special from the cake if they know how it's made. Anyone else agree?

Yes, I agree.

Not only do I agree but I have had the experience of having a client order a cake that requires a certain (expert) technique but don't want to pay the price because "oh, I saw it done on you tube and it looks so easy!".

Everything looks easy when an experienced professional makes a demonstration using all the suitable tools. The time needed to become proficient comes with a cost as do all the specific tools needed.

Most cake decorating videos and tutorials out there can be useful but also can deceive some into thinking that it is very easy to do!

Claire138 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 8:22pm
post #19 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetTzippy 


Yes, I agree.

Not only do I agree but I have had the experience of having a client order a cake that requires a certain (expert) technique but don't want to pay the price because "oh, I saw it done on you tube and it looks so easy!".

Everything looks easy when an experienced professional makes a demonstration using all the suitable tools. The time needed to become proficient comes with a cost as do all the specific tools needed.

Most cake decorating videos and tutorials out there can be useful but also can deceive some into thinking that it is very easy to do!

 

Exactly!

-K8memphis Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 8:36pm
post #20 of 38

Amaybe so but I think the magic of cake deco is that you gotta get down & dirty in the trenches to succeed -- buy all the books and watch all the videos -- you have to do it* in order to do it

*probably over and over and over etc.

it's ten thousand skills to be learned the hard way if you can add in some talent wow, magic

-K8memphis Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 9:59pm
post #21 of 38

so all that to say i think it increases the liklihood of making magic especially when someone else tries it -- like the olympics kinda sorta or any other viewable past time -- but it does set the jar on the bottom shelf -- come one come all

costumeczar Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 1:24am
post #22 of 38

I know what you mean, but knowing how something is done doesn't mean that you can or will do it. I'd say it takes away the mystery, but that's fine. And some tutorials I've seen create more mystery for me when I watch them thinking "why the heck are they doing it that way" when there's a much less complicated way to do the same thing.

DeliciousEmma Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 1:49am
post #23 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claire138 
 

 

I think it takes away the magic for the client (they also watch baking/ cooking shows/ youtube clips just for entertainment purposes)- not for me, I still have to make it & know that it is not done in 5 minutes.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetTzippy 


Yes, I agree.

Not only do I agree but I have had the experience of having a client order a cake that requires a certain (expert) technique but don't want to pay the price because "oh, I saw it done on you tube and it looks so easy!".

Everything looks easy when an experienced professional makes a demonstration using all the suitable tools. The time needed to become proficient comes with a cost as do all the specific tools needed.

Most cake decorating videos and tutorials out there can be useful but also can deceive some into thinking that it is very easy to do!

I think we have to make the distinction between cakers and regular joes watching tutorials. For cakers, it's a way of learning and building new skills and sharing tips among a community. Sometimes when regular joes see a youtube tutorial we sometimes have the problem that SweetTZippy mentioned. 

cazza1 Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 2:00am
post #24 of 38

For me the 'magic' is not in the building of the cake but the WOW factor when it is finished.  That's why I love looking at the photos in the gallery.  It doesn't matter if I know how to do something, or watch a tutorial to learn, all the different parts combine in the finished cake to make something much more than the individual parts. And that's the MAGIC for me.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 2:21am
post #25 of 38

the magic for me personally is the lovely buzz when peeps like it and eat it --

 

nothing like a good cake high (the decorator's high -- not the sugar rush ;)

MBalaska Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 3:51am
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetTzippy 
".......Not only do I agree but I have had the experience of having a client order a cake that requires a certain (expert) technique but don't want to pay the price because "oh, I saw it done on you tube and it looks so easy!"......"
 

 

How positively rude that person was to you.  Some People have no walking-around-sense at all!

It seems that every business has their share of unpleasant people - cake decorating is not excluded from this.  That person probably doesn't find kindness or the sunny side of anything.

 

This is on my mind right now as I just got off the phone.  A call from a friend.  I'd sent her a dozen of the pink butterfly cupcakes, although she and her husband don't care for white cake. She usually finds someone to share with.

 

Yesterday she took them to a neighbors house, and gave them as a present to a family with four small children; whose father had just died.  The children were delighted and said they had not tasted cake like that before, with little candy flowers and butterflies. When they asked her how they were made, my friend said......... "It's magic."........

craftybanana Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 4:47pm
post #27 of 38

I'm a behind the scenes gal, I like to see what happens behind the scenes to create the magic. I don't think tutorials take away from the magic of the cake. Now there are people who look at a video and go "I can do that", we see those cakes on Cake Wrecks, lols. I think seeing what/how a cake is made is just as awesome as the finished product, if not more so. But that's just my two cents.

Apti Posted 6 Aug 2014 , 9:55am
post #28 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 

This is on my mind right now as I just got off the phone.  A call from a friend.  I'd sent her a dozen of the pink butterfly cupcakes, although she and her husband don't care for white cake. She usually finds someone to share with.

 

Yesterday she took them to a neighbors house, and gave them as a present to a family with four small children; whose father had just died.  The children were delighted and said they had not tasted cake like that before, with little candy flowers and butterflies. When they asked her how they were made, my friend said......... "It's magic."........

And that story is magic.  Becoming a cake decorator has given me the opportunity to give others some truly wonderful moments, from a funeral for a dearly loved lifetime friend, to a 100th birthday for my sister's darling mother-in-law, to smaller moments of just making someone happy for a little while.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2014 , 10:40am
post #29 of 38

Aaww, mb, how sweet!

ditto what apti said-- that's the magic and the buzz! and what a tender moment to be a blessing in a child's life -- all the stars aligned for that one

Claire138 Posted 6 Aug 2014 , 10:48am
post #30 of 38

I agree with the above but I have to also agree with SweetTzippy which is what got me thinking about this to start with, I too had a client who couldn't understand my prices bc "I saw it on facebook and youtube and it's so easy to do I would do it but I  just don't have the time".

That was my point, that all these tutorials (again, don't get me wrong I use them too although I pay for them also) have taken some of the magic out of the cakes, the 20 minute television cake shows also lead those to thinking how easy they are to make. Of course, we who know the business know that there is a little army behind the scenes making everything but they are not shown so it gives the viewers the idea that the cakes are not that hard to make after all so they can't understand the pricing - they also don't make the connection that the tv shows don't show how much their cakes cost!

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