Newbie - Where Do I Start?

Decorating By Beth51 Updated 5 Apr 2010 , 6:57pm by Beth51

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Beth51 Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 6:09pm
post #1 of 17

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time here and I am also new to baking/decorating cakes. I have made two batches of cupcakes (here in the UK we call them "fairy cakes") and the response from family and friends was excellent! I did a basic recipe and decorated them with basic lemon flavoured buttercream/silver balls etc that I bought from my local supermarket.

I would really like to go into cake decorating in a bigger way, eventually maybe setting up a small business from home but I don't know where to start on what equipment to buy? I would be really grateful if anyone could advise on the best equipment/utensils to buy for a novice/beginner? I have looked online and there are so many tools and products you can buy - it is almost like a language of its own?! lol!

I do intend to enrol at a local college on a cake decorating course but in the meantime would really appreciate any advice or help? I looked on ebay and have ordered a basic set of metal piping ends so that I can begin learning how to make fondant leaves, petals etc.

I had to give up full time work a few years ago due to my youngest son being very ill with a brain tumour and suffering from long lasting problems following surgery. I have found making cakes and decorating them very therapeutic, something I enjoy so much and hopefully, eventually something I will be able to make some money from.
Any help/advice would be very gratefully received!

Many thanks!

Beth xx

16 replies
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JaimeAnn Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:55pm
post #2 of 17

Hi Beth!

First of all Welcome to CakeCentral! There is a TON of things here to help you , from helpfull advice, pictures, recipes and a great group of suppotive friends that share your passion for baking and decorating.

I can't give you much advice on how things work in the UK but there are quite a few people on these boards that are alson fom there that should be able to give you some advice. I do know that some things are harder to get over there and some things may be called something else even though they are the same thing. So hopefully someone closer to your home location pops up and can give you some pointers. But in the meantime . the best place to start leaning is right here by looking at pictures and tutorials.

There are also some great video tutorials on Youtube, search cake decorating, or fondant , or buttercream or whatever you want to learn about! Just about anything you are looking for can be found .

Have Fun!

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green_goddess Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 9:36pm
post #3 of 17

Hi Beth,

I live in Yorkshire & just starting out myself, only for fun though not intending on taking seriously really but I was recommended to buy most of my equipment from a site: they are fast delivery & reasonably priced!

You will find some local cake decorating businesses can be quite helpful with advice & can hire tins for like 50p or £1 a day useful when doing shaped cakes you wouldnt really want to fork out paying 20 or 30 quid for a one off novelty cake.

This site is great! I also use YouTube to watch tutorials on things I'm not sure of.

Good luck & enjoy your cake craft xxx

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SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 11:58pm
post #4 of 17

Practice.... that's the BEST thing you can do. Pick a simple cake to do, watch a tutorial.... and then do it. Don't worry if it's not perfect, just keep doing it until you are satisfied with your own work. Then move on to something else. You will really enjoy how much fun it is to learn something new... but you will be tired of eating cake icon_biggrin.gif

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katies_cakes Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:33am
post #5 of 17

hi beth im from the midlands. you have come to the right place, everyone here is lovely! welcome to CC. starting out with tools is very expensive, just buy things as you need them, a good set of tins and a good and large rolling pin are good starting points. &check out youtube. if you do decide to look into the buisness side go to the job center for help and advice. (also even here in the uk cupcakes and fairycakes are different) have fun!!

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GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:36am
post #6 of 17

Hi Beth,welcome to CC.. I'm new here to but I love it , so many wonderful people here, great idea's,very helpful... all I can tell you is to practice , ask questions and most of all have fun...I to have a lot to learn ,took 5 diffrent cake class ,learned and loved them so much I have just started culinary school,very happy about me you will love it here...

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green_goddess Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 11:04am
post #7 of 17

Gave wrong web address for that online store I was talking about, its:


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aquamom Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:12pm
post #8 of 17


I'm a stay-at-home-hobby-cakdecorator and I love cake decorating. Again what everyone else has said--youtube is a great place to start--aine2 has some great videos on how to make things out of fondant.

There are so many talented artists on this website that give helpful advice. I love going through the galleries and seeing what people are creating.

Have fun --when you put your passion into what you do people will notice.

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jayne1873 Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:52pm
post #9 of 17

Hi Beth I am from the midlands too. You will find if you do a cake dec course they will give you a list of things you need to buy for that course. I did a 10 week one and there were things I needed to buy but also found that some of the things I bought I never used again as the courses here tend to be more sugar craft related ie making flowers etc and not so much modelling that I wanted but they are great to learn the basics of atcually covering the cake.

If you want to do modelling ie figures etc Aine2 as previously said has some great tutorials and Debbie Brown does some courses (I did the woman in a shoe one) and she is lovely and you learn loads.

Start with the basics and then away you go. Good luck with it all and everyone on here is a great help.

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dalis4joe Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 12:54pm
post #10 of 17

Welcome.... go through our How to... tutorials thread... it's ba good place to see how you can do a lot of the nice things u see... good luck!!

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Beth51 Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 9:40pm
post #11 of 17

Hi Everyone!

I've just done a great long reply - thanking you all individually for your wonderful replies and offers of help and advice - and I've just lost it!!! Grrrr!!!! LOL!

It will take too long to do it all again so I'll just say a great big THANK YOU to you all for all your lovely words of wisdom and advice - very much appreciated and very much taken on board!

For the lovely girls in the UK ... I am in Liverpool so am not that far from Yorkshire OR the Midlands!

My daughter and son-in-law are police officers so at the moment I am trying my cakes out on the local bobbies and they're taking batches into the station with them! LOL! They're all delighted at the moment but I'm sure will be sick of them soon enough! he,he! I've found the lemon flavoured ones are the favourite - I did try some strawberry flavoured iced cakes but they didn't go down as well.

I do intend to just keep practising and will definitely check out all the tutorials on here and of course you tube which seems to have been a great help to many people! I'll keep you posted!

Kelli .... I hope I DO get tired of eating cakes though cos at this rate I'm going to be enormous as I keep taste testing them!! LOL!

Thanks again everyone! The response was overwhelming and I really am delighted! Oh and greengoddess ... I had no idea you could even hire cake tins?!!! You live and learn eh?! lol!

Take care, love,

Beth xxx

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pinkorchid Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 10:22pm
post #12 of 17

Welcome and best of luck icon_smile.gif

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Beth51 Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 10:38pm
post #13 of 17

Thank you too pinkorchid!

I have just posted a picture of the first cakes that I did just the other day - they are the lemon cupcakes. I've been viewing all of yours too! They're just amazing! I've got a long way to go! lol! xxx

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jayne1873 Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 11:49pm
post #14 of 17

Great cupcakes Beth.
I used to take cake into work to practise on people and still do now if I try out different flavours or fillings and they never seem to get fed up with the 'taste session' lol.
My first attempt at cakes were brownies that are still a major wow and people keep asking me to bring them in but I insist only of special birthdays or when I have no cakes to make and am itching to bake lol

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laidbackluvvie Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 4:31pm
post #15 of 17

hi beth, im from st helens, i have looked around at different cake decorating suppliers and the best i have found is windsors in warrington, it is just off the motorway behind b&q, you go down a bit of a country lane and come to a small industrial estate they have a great choice and are very reasonable and helpful. they also have a website and you can buy on line which i have done but its better if you go there its like aladdins cave to cake decorators hope this helps. if you have trouble finding it private message me and i will try to help regards sue. (windsors cakedecoratingsuppliers)

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lynn66 Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 5:39pm
post #16 of 17

Hi Beth,
I have been a lurker on this site for a long time, its about time I started posting!!!!! I am in Stockport, Manchester, UK.
This site is wonderful, but very addictive, and some fantastic people on here.
I bake for family and close friends.

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Beth51 Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 6:57pm
post #17 of 17

Hi Lyn, lovely to hear from another UK cake addict out there! This site is so great and it's lovely to be able to be in touch ..... all the American girls are great too and it's interesting to read of the different measurements and products etc between the two countries. I have started watching a prog on sky called "Ace of Cakes" ... it's about a cake decorating store in the US with a guy called "Duff"? He made a fab harry potter cake for the last premiere in LA ... it was amazing but I never realised that some parts of such cakes are made out of polystyrene and covered in fondant? Good show though.

Sue .... thanks for the advce on the shop in Warrington... it is definitely on my list for a visit this week! I know the B&Q in Warrington well, I have been there lots - I live close to Woolton Village so it's easy for me to jump on the M62 and I'm at Warrington in 15 mins. I'll let you know how I get on - I really can't wait! I'm dying to try this rainbow dust stuff that I've seen on the internet? It looks really pretty.

I'm still spending hours on the internet at the mo, mainly on youtube, learning lots each day but enjoying myself so much! Speak soon, love, Beth xx

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