Cake Decorating Basics

When I entered the world of cake decorating and sugar art over 8 years ago little did I know how much I would grow to love this art form.  I actually started down this path by chance when the cake I ordered from a local bakery did not turn out as expected.  I was an extremely busy stay at home mom to four kids constantly on the go with all my activities, volunteering and military duties so birthdays were our family time.  The cake was not what we ordered so being a go getter I knew that I could’ve done better if I had the time.  So the next month I made time and signed up to take the Wilton Method classes.

Course 1 is dedicated to learning buttercream decorating.  I had no idea that one could create such pretty things with icing.  I also learned why my cakes were always a hit and miss on baking properly through the importance of measurements, temperature and mixing properly.  I loved the final cake I created.  It was colorful and learning to make roses was challenging to say the least.

Roses Cake Course1

In Course 2, I was introduced to the world of royal icing.  Now when I started this class I didn’t know what to expect because the only items I had ever eaten that contained royal icing was Christmas cookies.  I absolutely loved the flowers we learned to make with this mysterious and somewhat finicky icing.  Learning how to create the basket weave pattern was my favorite.

Basketweave Cake Course 2

I was definitely hooked by the second class and my collection of cake decorating tools, books and pans began accumulating much to the dismay of my now ex-husband.  I was diving into it head first and wanted to learn more.

Course 3 introduced me to the world of fondant and I was really hesitant about learning this.  I knew that it was going to be more of a challenge than the previous piping we had learned but was up to meeting it head on.  The final cake from the class was okay and my family liked it but I was still finding my way through it.

3rd Cake Class Cake

By the time I got to Course 4 we were now going to challenge ourselves by creating a tiered cake.  The person I was attending the courses with had basically had enough at that point.  We were going to do a tiered cake together but circumstances changed so the last cake didn’t turn out as I hoped and ended up being a single layer but I did like the roses we learned to make.

Fondant Roses

So now the classes were over and I still had this intense desire to learn more.  I started spending a tremendous amount of time online and pouring over as much information as possible.  I also started making and more cakes for family and friends.  Anything to be able to practice and do more.  It was at this time that I really wasn’t making the cakes to earn anything except maybe to recoup the cost of supplies but not charging for my time associated with creating the cakes which was not really a wise decision at that time, now I know better.

After working and creating cakes for others for over a year I happened to see a sign in the same retailer that they were looking for a Wilton Method Instructor for that location.  After much deliberation I decided to go for it and sent in my application with pictures of my work.  The process to become an instructor was rather lengthy then I got the news that I was accepted and being assigned as a Wilton Method Instructor.  I was excited and scared all at once.  Did I actually think that I was good enough to teach others?

I spent the next four years as an instructor, taught almost 500 students and became the only Wilton teacher for our local area.  I managed and maintained four different store locations teaching the Wilton classes.  It was a lot of hard work but I loved it.  I did leave my position after some corporate changes made it impossible to really advertise and run the program properly due restrictions put in place which caused friction between the store managers and myself.  So I took a break and left teaching for over two years.

I was starting to miss not only teaching but sharing this art form with others so two years ago I signed back up to become a Wilton Instructor again.  This time I had to go through another process to become a Certified Wilton Method Instructor and was assigned to a different retailer.  I’m still trying to get students back into the classes but with the launch of online tutoring sites over the last several years the in class enrollments have declined.

So I’m not sure if I will gain the same momentum that I had before but I will continue doing what I can to bring more awareness about taking the classes in person.IMG_0934

So I do recommend to others that want to give this a try to take a basic decorating class, practice when you can and just have fun!

Have a good Tuesday and good rest of the week!

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