Lambeth Method - Is It Worth It?

Decorating By imartsy Updated 3 Dec 2014 , 9:45pm by Rusti

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imartsy Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 8:25pm
post #1 of 16

Has anyone done the Lambeth method? I know it's a lot of work - is it worth it to learn? Do people ever ask for it? Do people even want to pay for it? I know Toba Garrett does it - but does anyone else? I think it's pretty -but I wouldn't have a clue what to charge for it. Heck, the book alone is anywhere between $200 - $700. And the class at Wilton is at least $700, right? So is it a technique making a come-back that we should learn, or is it something that was so much work that people didn't want to pay for and now it's basically gone?

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JoAnnB Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 9:39pm
post #2 of 16

It would be very rare that anyone even knows about Lambeth, and it would very unlikely they would pay the thousands of dollars that Toba charges for Lambeth cakes.

using some example photos, you can try on your own to create layered borders. Practicing your piping skills will help your overall skill. But, unless you in an upscale, knowledgeable neighborhood, you probably should save your money for something you can really use.

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Doug Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 9:42pm
post #3 of 16

site w/ instructions for beginners -- only site i've found like this.

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lsawyer Posted 24 Jul 2006 , 9:55pm
post #4 of 16

I found a used Lambeth book on; it was just $65. I decorate as a hobby only, but I love the look of this type of decoration. It's very unique. My cake teacher showed me a photo of one (3 or 4 tiered) that sold for $10,000. Those who do buy them are willing to fork over the big bucks, but I have to assume that it's a very small market. One of the Wilton wedding books has instructions for a simplied Lambeth cake; no special pans are required. If you're in business, it could be a speciality that you offer. Heck, if you could do just a few of those each year, you could go to Hawaii on a whim! You'd have to market to the hoity-toity (spelling?) group, maybe via a caterer?

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leta Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:13am
post #5 of 16

I have a small book I got for $4.98 that is called Extension Work. It would be a great thing for cake competitions. or a beautiful small border on a fondant cake that is very special.

If it interests you, learn it. I doubt that if you don't learn it you'll be missing out on the next big trend. I'm sure you can learn it for less than $700, though. Just keep your eyes open.

Some of the books and pans are considered collectors items, so don't go there. Toba Garrett has some instructions in her book "the well decorated cake"

The one thing you must have is: TIME all that stuff has to be built up layer upon layer drying in between. I'd like to give it a try. Maybe now that I have some cake dummies, I'll do it.

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mrsright41401 Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:24am
post #6 of 16

I already talked to you over PM, but I wanted to post my opinion on the board.

I have the actual antique Lambeth Method book. It's UNBELIEVABLY beautiful but the instructions are actually pretty vague in it on HOW to do some of the techniques. And the tips they state are not the same numbers and classifications as the tips they had back then. So...

The Lambeth method is something to learn if you want to be able to do it for competitions and for the VERY rare bride who will pay 10K for a cake. (The cake that lsawyer is talking about, I believe, is one that Toba Garrett did with the Lambeth Method for 10K and I believe it was for royalty!)

However, even if you don't do a FULL ON Lambeth cake, there is lots you can do that is elements of it. In the Wilton year book I think either last year or this one there is a cake that has fleur-de-lis with overpiping (basically all that the Lambeth Method is GOREGOUS overpiping techniques) and drop strings. That, is a very simplified version of the Lambeth method.

So, is the book worth 200-700 dollars? NO. I don't regret getting it because I collect antiques and this book will stay with me for a VERY long time. However, I keep it on the top shelf of a tall bookcase so my 4 and 2 year old sons won't get their hands on it and color the black and white cake pictures and I get it down only when they are asleep and I can look at it and dream.

I do plan on taking the Lambeth Method class in Illinois when I can, but I need to work on my string work FIRST. If your stringwork isn't SUPERIOR, Lambeth Method will be VERY hard to do.


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freddyfl Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:28am
post #7 of 16

does anyone have a picture that they could show with this technique, I have never even heard of it before.

i found this on ebay, the bidding time ended, but it didn't sell, so maybe you could email the person? It is a first edition signed copy. I still can't find a picture of what the technique is yet though.

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mrsright41401 Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:34am
post #8 of 16

Here are a couple:

(sorry for this one being on its side)
From the actual book by Joseph Lambeth:

From Toba Garrett's "A Well Decorated Cake" (SUPER FABULOUS BOOK & IT IS CHEAP!!)


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cakerunner Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:41am
post #9 of 16

I'm sold on the Toba book!

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TERRYHORTON Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:44am
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mrsright41401 Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 1:56am
post #11 of 16

Let me make this clear. Lambeth Method cakes cost so much because it takes HUNDREDS of hours to do a completely Lambeth based cake. This is why the technique is primarily done on fruitcakes covered in marzipan, then frosted with Royal Icing. On Toba's cake, the cushion technique is a 1 inch ball of icing, covered in PERFECTLY spaced lines, then crossing them going the other way - waiting about an hour, then doing it again, waiting an hour doing it again, waiting an hour doing it again - I believe each cushion takes about 7 hours. And your lines have to be PERFEECT. On & the V and U cups that go around that are the extention work type things where you do a line on top of a line on top of a line.


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JanH Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 2:52am
post #12 of 16

The Lambeth style is incredibly ornate and detailed....

From the photos pictured it has been primarily used on round cakes.

My question is where do the Lambeth style cake pans come in, then.

I just think the Lambeth pans are cool, and would easily lend themselves to more interesting decorating, without having to trim your cakes to shape.

Does that make sense? Also would be just another style of round, not requiring yet another different cake board like the petal or oval pans.

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Doug Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 3:00am
post #13 of 16

the angle part of the pans enables you to do the massive amount of overpiping and build large dimensional shapes that don't hang way out off of sides.

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mrsright41401 Posted 25 Jul 2006 , 3:17am
post #14 of 16

It's just a round cake that you cut to a beveled edge to give you more stability when piping these huge mounds of icing.


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Evilevie314 Posted 3 Dec 2014 , 9:05pm
post #15 of 16

for anyone interested in an on line class for the Lambeth Method - check out craftsy. they have a class that teaches a few step by step methods for decorating.

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Rusti Posted 3 Dec 2014 , 9:45pm
post #16 of 16

AYes, Craftsy does have a Lambeth class for 24.99, that would be your best bet. I think it's worth it and you don't have to do a complete Lambeth cake. It would help you do a bit more elaborate piped cakes something that is coming back in style. Just a more elaborate border would look beautiful and I think people that like it would pay a bit more.

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