How Do I...

Decorating By tg1979 Updated 9 Aug 2010 , 3:41pm by BeanCountingBaker

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tg1979 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:30pm
post #1 of 13

START?!?! icon_lol.gif

First let me introduce myself, my name is Travis!

I came across some videos on YouTube on cake decorating and I think it looks like something I'd really enjoy. So I did a search for cake decorating forums and found this site. I've been lurking for a few weeks now reading some of the wonderful tips the CakeCentral community has to offer.

Here's the thing... I have NO experience with cake decorating, lol.

My question is, what is the best way to start out doing cakes? I see that the Michael's here in town will be offering Wilton classes in a few weeks, are they good for beginners or should those be taken after I've practiced more? What icings are best to practice with when starting? What tools/essentials would you recommend for a newbie?

Any advice is appreciated! I look forward to getting to know everyone.

12 replies
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TexasSugar Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:38pm
post #2 of 13

My suggestion, is take the Wilton classes. They are made for beginners, and give you basics you can grow on and expand with. icon_smile.gif

Other than that, read everything you can here, try a couple of different recipes for icing since everyone has what works best for them, bake a cake and just have at it. icon_smile.gif

Welcome to the board.

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Doug Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:39pm
post #3 of 13

Welcome Travis.

Well, you start by starting.....

bake a cake, ice it.

and just keep experimenting and trying new techniques and recipes.

Yes, the Wilton courses are a good way to start. The first course is based on the idea that
a) you can at least use a box mix to bake cake layers
b) you can use a mixer to make icing (they even show this in first lesson)

and they take it from there

between youtube videos, the advice here, and the opportunity to make all your friends hate you for making them have to buy new, bigger clothes after all the cakes you'll feed them, you should be able to pick up this.

One member, Rylan, went from zero to WOW OH WOW in just a few short months, he was a "natural"

Keep posting, keep asking questions, and just have fun learning how to do this.

Best part -- you (unless the dog or friends get there first) get to eat the mistakes!

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LisaMarie86 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:41pm
post #4 of 13

Wilton is good for beginners. I am taking them and am learning a lot. I would say make a buttercream with shortening that will last longer to start practicing it will last a really long time so you can pipe on a practice board and then wipe off and reuse over and over again. Piping bags and tips, offset spatula, turntable if you can afford one, you can decorate and do lots of designs with a little amount of stuff. Good luck!! Feel free to ask any other questions icon_smile.gif And WELCOM!! Its easy to get addicted to this site.

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Doug Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:46pm
post #5 of 13

FYI - the class kits -- bought with % off coupons at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore which you get in Sunday paper and via email online (register at each stores website) -- are good start on the basic items needed for decorating.

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tweeter_bug98 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:48pm
post #6 of 13

Welcome! I would say the Wilton classes at Michael's are a great way to start. You learn the very basics and go from there. Once you get the basics down, you can let your imagination run wild. I must give you one warning though: Cake decorating is highly addictive (and so is this site!)!

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tg1979 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 7:04pm
post #7 of 13

Thanks for the replies everyone! I do at least know how to do mix cakes and use a mixer, so I'm off to a start I guess, lol.

I'll look into taking the Wilton classes as recommended, and of course I look forward to learning and trying new things with you all!

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Luvmyboys0609 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 7:13pm
post #8 of 13

I am taking my last of the classes Wilton has to offer. I had very little experience before and they have helped tons to get lots of basics down. Then there is also this site which is invaluable on how helpful it is!! Not sure if you have heard of "cake dummies" yet (discovered them on CC) but they are wonderful to practice on!! Not that eating the cakes isn't a yummy treat but its nice to scrape it off and try and try again in one sitting icon_biggrin.gif

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adventuregal Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 8:24am
post #9 of 13

thats AWESOME that you want to start caking! I would recommend getting the Cake Mix Doctor-it's a book of recipes that add items to mixed cakes to make them taste home made. It's a great help for beginners or people who are more focused on the decorating aspect rather than 'baking' IMHO.
I took classes at Michaels and thought they were semi helpful, but I definitely learned WAY more on here and on other websites icon_biggrin.gif.
One tip that I would have given myself back in the day is to make a list of steps before you make the cake-simple steps that you might forget from a to z like spray pan, bake, tort, fill, crumbcoat, etc....a few of my first mistakes were simply skipping steps icon_redface.gif I also keep a list of things I learned from each cake so that I would remember to apply it to the next (some times there were long lag periods in between baking)
Have fun and good luck on the new venture!

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Mikel79 Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 7:50pm
post #10 of 13

Welcome Travis!

I never baked a cake in my life until 3 or 4 years ago! I was a stay at home dad for the first 1 1/2 year of my son's life and happen to come across a cake show on TLC while he was napping. Since then, I was hooked.

I started with the Wilton classes at my local Michael's. They will teach you some of the basics. But, your best bet is to practice a lot, Google searching, Cake Central, Books and DVD's.

HTH some...

Good Luck!


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luckylibra Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:11pm
post #11 of 13

Also, I am not sure if this is everywhere but our Joann's accepts coupons from Hobby Lobby and Michaels. So I usually print off the 40% off ones before I go out and then get discounts on each item. The coupons each have to have a different code so you can only print one of each but it still saves a ton of money. I am saving up for an AGBAY!!!!
Have fun

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BeanCountingBaker Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:31pm
post #12 of 13

Practice, practice, practice!

My first real cake was for my daughter's 1st birthday it was 5 8" round cakes stacked on a 10" cake and I didn't use any straws or cake boards, just wooden skewers. Luckily it survived, but wow what a risk.

Be sure to find the thread about the icing plugs, what a time saver, if you get it right you can re-use your bags without more than a quick little rinse.

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BeanCountingBaker Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:41pm
post #13 of 13

The cat's hat from Dr. Suess's The Cat in the Hat. Just to explain.

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