Teaching Kids Cake/cupcake Decorating

Business By HajraK Updated 27 Apr 2016 , 11:46pm by HajraK

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HajraK Posted 26 Apr 2016 , 2:21am
post #1 of 11

Hi Everyone,

I know there was a thread on this topic in the past, but as it's quite old (and I have some other questions to add in the mix), I thought I would start a new thread.

So some of the teachers at my son's school know I like to bake a lot and they think I'm quite good at it. One of them even suggested I propose to the principal that I offer some classes as part of an after-school club. Just to clarify it would be just to teach decorating cakes and cupcakes, NOT actually baking them. 

It sounds like it could be really fun and I could charge at least $25/student for a 1.5 hr class simply teaching basic cupcake decorating (with them getting 4 cupcakes to take home in a box an me supplying the materials).

However, I want to know if there are some rules to doing this in Colorado (do I need a license? insurance?). From what I have read so far, if I were to do this at home and it involved baking, THEN I would need some protection. Also, if the school gives me permission, what kinds of classes should I do to make it into a series of classes (other than a basic cupcake decorating one)? Mini cake decorating? How to work with fondant?

Any advice on how to go about doing this (class plans, fees etc.) would be greatly appreciated.


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kakeladi Posted 26 Apr 2016 , 11:40pm
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Teaching cake decorating (to kids or adults) takes a lot of prep on your part - especially if you have not taught before.  .  Does the school have a kitchen?  How are they/you going to clean up?    Have you ever taken Wilton classes?  Remember how the 1st one or two lessons went?  If you don't make icing for them to see how, you're going to have a mess from soup to cement.  

I would think you are going to have to supply *EVERYTHING* which means you need lots of time for make cuppies, cake &/or icing  & have duplicates  of equipment :(   Or are you going to have the kids bring from home?   There is so much that needs to be shown that will be used and it's expensive if the student needs to purchase it :(   One possibility is for you to purchase those really cheap plastic sets at a dollar store.  (You could sell to student or if you can afford it just give.  Usually there are 3 or 4 tips, coupler and bag to the set.)

I would start by teaching equip,ent - pastry bags, tips, spatulas, how to fill bags that sort of basics for 1st class.  Show things that can be substituted - like a butter knife for a spatula, plastic zip loc bag for pastry bag  etc.  You also will have to find where equipment can be purchased for the kids parent can get it if they want.

I remember one time when teaching adults, the list of what to bring to class mentioned a 'spatula' and one lady (who had been to some 6 weeks of lessons)  came with a pancake turner - yes that's a spatula but........... :(

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HajraK Posted 26 Apr 2016 , 11:57pm
post #3 of 11

Thanks Kakeladi

Lol just had to laugh at the spatula part :)

Yes I have taken one Wilton class (never took the rest since I'm not into making gumpaste flowers etc). But yes I have taken the first one so I have an idea where to start.

Aside from that basic class, I was also thinking I could do something like teaching easy fondant use (like covering cupcakes as opposed to cakes and just how to use it in general) and maybe showing how to use the bigger wilton tips (like 1M, 2D etc) and their various uses.

I was planning to just buy the premade Wilton decorators buttercream since I read on this forum somewhere that people who teach tend to prefer using that to save time and its a good consistency for beginners.

I know the school already does have a cooking club for after school so they do have a decent facility. Plus I wouldn't be teaching baking so my needs would be limited to counter space, chairs and tables and a sink. Maybe at most a microwave which I am assuming they also use for the cooking club. 

As for equipment, I was going to factor that into the cost per student. SO for example $25/student would cover me needing to buy 12 couplers (assuming 12 students took the class), pastry bags, icing tips and buttercream and making cupcakes from a cake mix and boxes for each student to take 4 cupcakes home in. Unfortunately, at the Dollar Tree in my area they don;t sell those cheap tip sets otherwise that would have been great! Any other suggestions as to where I could get them cheap? Maybe online?

I am still working out some lesson plans but am thinking maybe to discuss with the principal the idea of just doing a test class for now with something like icing basics as you suggested just to gauge interest and time/cost etc,

Thanks for the advice!

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jselle Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 1:07am
post #4 of 11

What a fun idea! I did this for a FACS class when my daughters were in high school, and the students loved it. We did a spaghetti and meatball cupcake, a frosted buttercream with a simple fondant ribbon rose, a rosette cupcake (spiral buttercream rose with a 2D tip) and a buttercream swirl topped with some sprinkles. They were all simple and pretty much guaranteed success. There are some great ideas in the "Hello, Cupcake" book series, and they love using candies as decorations. As a 30-year veteran teacher, I'd recommend keeping talk to a minimum and getting them hands-on as much as possible for maximum benefit. Good luck!

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remnant3333 Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 1:43am
post #5 of 11

 Sounds like fun!!! I am sure you will do just fine!!!

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kakeladi Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 5:33am
post #6 of 11

Hey, if you ever get this idea off the ground and want those cheap plastic sets - just send me your address and I'll send you some :)

It's be some 15-20 years since I taught Wilton so the lesson plan was very different than it is now.  I did it for so long I still can remember most of what/how to do it.

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johnson6ofus Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 6:02am
post #7 of 11

Having done this, my question is, what age range? It really makes a difference.


- everything prepacked and portion controlled. One kid will use ALL the candies on one cupcake. A paper cupcake liner makes a great cheap disposable cup.

- extra "time filler". Some parents pay you to babysit and the kid really doesn't want to learn. So they slap it together and are "bored" in 15 mins. I kept extra fondant and cheap cutters for them to make cutouts.

- 3D visual. They have to see the real thing to "copy".

- maybe offer an "upgrade" set of tools and "disposable" tools class option. So $25 for disposables, and $30 for "real" (reusable bag, coupler, metal tips, etc.)

- yes, ebay is a good source for some cheap stuff but shipping from China can be a month out.

- plastic "shoe box" is your friend. Something parents understand and can provide. A piece of dollar store non-skid shelf liner in there and the cupcakes don't move and all the extra junk fits in there.

- If doing lots of kids/ classes, it may be cheaper to get a white icing bucket from the sam's club bakery. That Wilton stuff can be pricey.

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HajraK Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 3:59pm
post #8 of 11

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I am meeting with the school principal this week to discuss my ideas with him. Wish me luck!

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HajraK Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 10:06pm
post #9 of 11

Hi Everyone,

Met with the principal today and he thought it was an amazing idea! He absolutely loved it and is fully behind it. So these are the ideas we came up with as to what I will be teaching and what I think my fees should be per session, taking into considering that I would be providing all equipment and cake (aside from an apron and a rolling pin should we do fondant):

1) A stand alone workshop on simple cupcake decorating where I provide 4 cupcakes and a box for max. 12 students, teach them the basics of cupcake decorating and they can take the cupcakes home with them. This class would be 1.5 hr long for ages 6 and up

2) A 4 session summer camp. 4 sessions, each one hour long. Starting from first session going over introduction to equipment and how to tint icing, fill bag etc. 2nd class teach basic cupcake decorating, 3rd class will be how to cover cupcakes with fondant and a introduction to fondant, 4th class will be learning how to frost and decorate your own 6" or 4" cake. Again at most 12 students. Each session would be an hour to 1.5 hr (have to make my timing a bit more accurate)

3) During the school year, basically teach the summer camp sessions, with the classes being once a week after school and if should more kids be interested, then I can teach twice a week as opposed to just one. So every month a new set of kids. One hour each session.

Cost wise, I was going to be providing all equipment because it can be a turnoff seeing a long list of things you need to buy for classes. Also, this way I can just keep the equipment for multiple sessions. So I figured at least $25 per student for the stand-alone workshop and then $100 per student for the "Camp" and after school club. I may be way off but I thought this figure would take into consideration my time, equipment and cupcake/cake.

Any suggestions/tips? Cost or otherwise?


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HajraK Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 11:46pm
post #10 of 11

by the way kakeladi, I sent you a PM with my email address so you can send me some info about the disposable sets.

Thanks :)

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HajraK Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 11:46pm
post #11 of 11

by the way kakeladi, I sent you a PM with my email address so you can send me some info about the disposable sets.

Thanks :)

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