Which Books Are A Must Have?

Decorating By shannonlovebug Updated 5 Apr 2008 , 4:34am by dandelion56602

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shannonlovebug Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 9:27pm
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I told DH I wanted some cake decorating books for my b-day but there are SOOOOO many to choose from. I am just starting out but I plan to do cakes as a business in the next couple years (after I get some practice under my belt) but I don't necessarily want just beginner type books. Please tell me which books you use the most for inspiration, techniques, tips, etc.

So far a few that have caught my eye on Amazon are...
Cakes to Dream On by Colette Peters
Colettes Birthday Cakes
The Confetti Cakes Cookbook by Elisa Strauss
Cakes to Inspire and Desire by Lindy Smith
50 Easy Party Cakes by Debbie Brown

Are these books any good? Or do they just look pretty on Amazon? Will I be able to make anything in these books now or are they very advanced? Any others you would recommend?

Thanks so much! I have already learned a bunch of stuff just from reading this forum. I can't wait to get started on my Wilton classes next month!!

10 replies
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carol9 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 10:30pm
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Besides making cake--you haven't really indicated what you are interested in learning. What is it that you want to learn??

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shannonlovebug Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 10:48pm
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mainly wedding and party cakes (tiered and sculpted). Not interested in character/novelty cakes. I do plan to take all 4 Wilton classes if that helps.

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carol9 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 10:58pm
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I guess what I am getting at here is--what kind of ingredients do you want to work with. You will make yourself crazy trying to learn everything all at once. For example, are you mainly interested in working with fondant or chocolate clay, buttercream?? What do you want to cover your cakes in and how do you think you would like to decorate them??

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daisy114 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 11:05pm
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Those are great choices for books. I have the Confetti Cakes and Cakes to Dream On and love them! I also want to get the 50 Easy Party Cakes which I hear is great.

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staceyboots Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 11:09pm
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you have picked some popular cake decorators, so you should be "good to go". as a matter of fact, i have all of these books on my wishlist...i especially love debbie brown.

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saracupcake Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 11:13pm
post #7 of 11

The only 2 on your list that I don't own are the 2 by Collete Peters. I love all of the rest but if you are not interested in novelty cakes then I wouldn't get Debbie Brown's book, it is great but they are all novely cakes. The Confetti cake book is fantastic, it is one of my favourite but there are some novelty cakes in there along with some cookies, but there are also some really good sections on constucting tiered cakes which are useful.
The Linday Smith book is breathtking but possibly not a beginners book.
Out of the 3 I have I would say that Confetti Cakes has the most basic information which could help a beginner but if your husband is feeling generous then I would get them all, they are all good.

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messyeater Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 11:25pm
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OK I'm going against the crowd here but I have all those books and to be honest if you want inspiration I'd go for peggy porschens book instead. It's by far my most well used.

I know everyone raves about collette but I think her style is a little bit dated now...I dont often pick her books up anymore.

Another book which is good for inspiration is Margaret Braun...she is great for ideas of what you can do with royal icing.

By far my best book is the International school of (Cant say the name but you know that cake stuff store website we cant mention insert their name here)
Nick Lodge is the author and there are 3 books. INCREDIBLE. Not good for photos but everything you need to know about decorating is in there.

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QueenBee1 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 11:30pm
post #9 of 11

Here are a few others that I own that you might want to check out:

Pretty Party Cakes & Beautiful Cakes (both by Peggy Porschen) - These include decorated cakes, cookies and mini cakes.

Professional Cake Decorating (by Toba Garrett) - You might think it's a bit pricey, but check it out in the bookstore and then try to find a good price on-line. I think it's worth it. I got mine for a good price at ecookbooks.com (aka Jessica's Biscuit). It is written as a sort of textbook, but with color photos and illustrations. It is divided into various lessons (from beginning to advanced) and includes step by step instructions for each skill.

I also have The Well Decorated Cake by Toba Garrett which I think is great.

I started building a library of current and old Wilton Yearbooks a while back. If you can get your hands on these, they are great for ideas and some instruction. I have gotten many on E-bay and found some in secondhand book stores and rummage sales.

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saracupcake Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 11:39pm
post #10 of 11

Oh I have to recommend Peggy Porschen too, her books are beautiful and her cakes are very achievable. www.peggyporschen.com

I wouldl also recomend ebay, I've bought a lot of books on it. It is also worth keeping an eye on ebay.co.uk. All of the british cake designers books come up for sale regularly on it.

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dandelion56602 Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 4:34am
post #11 of 11

Hands down LOVE my Peggy Porschen books I received for xmas. A place to check book prices. www.fetchbook.info then you can search by different means, it brings up a lot of choices & even figures in s&h prices.

Personally I don't like Colette or Toba's. I would begin w/ easier more updated stuff. How many cakes are you going to make that have intricate designs when just beginning? I would recommend going to a book store (BAM or B & N ) getting a coffee & looking through numerous books to see what you like

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