Cake Decorating Classes For The Disabled??

Business By yummymummycakes Updated 13 Oct 2008 , 6:40am by chezz

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yummymummycakes Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 2:11pm
post #1 of 11

I have been approached with the opportunity to teach intellectually and physically disabled people the art of cake decorating.

Obviously there are a number of factors that need to be considered before we start doing this:

Things I have considered so far are:

Physical capabilities (although I think we all realise that the physically handicapped have an extraudinary talent to achieve things)
Mental capabilities
Concentration span

I was thinking of doing a 2 classes per week with no more than 10 students. (I really cant commit to anymore than 3 days per week as I have a 2 yr old with developmental delays, epilepsy and autism. )

Obviously I will bring in cakes pre baked, will teach them how to make buttercream but may find it easier to just bring it in bulk.

I was thinking buttercream would be easier but at the same time fondant can give more scope for their creativity in terms of painting on cakes, etc.

What do you think would be the easiest to teach given the circumstances?
Buttercream or fondant.

Any other ideas, comments and suggestions would be more than appreciated.


10 replies
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sarahpierce Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 4:45pm
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What about fondant sheets that they can paint on then place on their cake? I think you will probably get a wide variety of abilites in 1 class. So, maybe prepare for everything. You may end up with an autistic student who can create the most realistic and amazing gumpaste figures and flowers. And you may also have someone who will only want to pipe frosting in sqwiggles all over the cake. You could have the parent fill out a questionier about the students abilities when they sign up for the class. This way you will be able to plan ahead better and know what to expect. HTH icon_smile.gif . Also, make sure you keep us updated, and post pictures of your students work! thumbs_up.gif

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yummymummycakes Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 11:37pm
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sarahpierce: thanks for the idea of the fondant sheets. And I also like the idea about the questionarre, although in this case it would be carers completing it as the students are adults.

I am really excited and nervous at the same time about doing this!

This Company does an art show every year so I am hoping that we could get them to include this into it to inspire people.

Thanks for the suggestions and if anyone else has any ideas please keep them coming.


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sarahpierce Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 11:27am
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You could take pictures of all your students work and compile a book or a calendar ( with permission of course). Then sell them and donate the money to a charity for the disabled. I know autism research could always use donations, and especially since that is so near and dear to your heart.

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craftycakes Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 1:54am
post #5 of 11

Just wondering if you started the classes?

My experience working with people with disabilities, cognitive or physical, is that they are all very different. They will have different skill levels and abilities just like those without disabilites. It would be hard to plan just one activity to suit everyone. It would be good to have different options and once you are familiar with students, match them accordingly.

I have always wondered about the possibility of employing people with disbilities in the bakery or baking business!!!

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yummymummycakes Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 12:17pm
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SACII, no I havent started yet.

I spoke very briefly with the organisation today and we will start in the new year which will allow me plenty of time to organize my own daughter and get an idea on what they will be able to do. So I will have a good couple of months to look at how I will handle this.

We are thinking of starting off with cupcakes as this will not be to challenging (sp?) or stressful for the students. We dont want them to get frustrated and throw in the towel, so to speak.

Whilst I was there they also gave me the name of another organization that is looking for a teacher (part time - my choice of hours) the first one that approached me is paying $50 ph + super and the 2nd one is paying $60 ph + super!!!!

I am really excited by the opportunity that has been handed to me. icon_biggrin.gif

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playingwithsugar Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 12:47pm
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Will you have an assistant to help you?

I ask because it's difficult enough for an instructor to handle 10 students who are not disabled. As you already know, disabled adults and children require a lot more individual attention.

I was also thinking that they might enjoy decorating giant cookies, too. You know, the ones which are baked in pizza pans? They would be easier to transport to the site than cakes.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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yummymummycakes Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 3:31am
post #8 of 11

Having an assistant is a great idea! And one I hadn't thought of......

What are giant cookies baked in a pizza pan? I have never heard of these.


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playingwithsugar Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 3:44am
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Sorry, I forgot to look and see where you are writing from. Here in the USA, we have some stores in shopping malls which sell giant decorated cookies.

If I were considering teaching that type of class, I would consider using the cookies. They won't dry out, and they don't spoil easily.

In the shops they are decorated similarly to basic BC decorated birthday cakes, but that doesn't mean that they can't be decorated a step or two further. (see sample picture attached).

These cookies are baked in thin-crust pizza pans, preferably those with straight sides - in other words, inexpensive ones. They range from 12" to 16" (30.0-40.5 cm) in diameter.

There are several recipes online for these cookies, called by different names:

Pan Cookies
Giant Cookies
Pizza Pan Cookies

I used the term Giant Decorated Cookie to find that picture.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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yummymummycakes Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:59am
post #10 of 11

Thanks for the ideas and I will keep them in mind when I go to speak to the company over the next couple of weeks.


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chezz Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 6:40am
post #11 of 11

Cheryl, what quals do you need to teach these people. I would have assumed you would need some sort of special needs teaching behind you, especially if they are talking of paying the big bikkies like that.
My cousin helps show special needs kids art, crafts, cake decorating etc at the nearby community centre but because she doesn't have any recognised qualifications, she can't be paid, it has to be voluntary.

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