Cake decorating 101


I went to my first cake decorating class last Friday! 

Sadly this is after missing 2 classes before that, due to being sick for over a week.  For the record, vertigo, is not my idea of a fun – if I wanted the sensation of spinning and dizziness I would have continued my pole dancing classes.  Now that’s a fun reason to be dizzy … but I digress….

I must admit the class was interesting.  16 women of various ages all sitting around a large metal U-shaped table, pulling out varieties of cake decorating supplies and colourful icing in closed Tupperware, all preparing themselves for the 2 hours ahead.  We all have our own reasons to learn, something shared during the first class I’m sure. 

The woman sitting next to me on my right is Suzanne, a tall lady with a warm, friendly and witty manner.  She shares that she’s always wanted to take cake decorating class in the past, and jumped on the opportunity after buying the complete cake decorating supply kit on sale and seeing it as “a sign”.  At the far end of the table is a mom and daughter team, each pulling out supplies and lining them out for one another.  Their conversation is mixed with laughter and mild critique of things they have forgotten to pack, occasionally injected with shrugs and soft sighs from each woman.  Then there is the cute and eager 16-year-old girl sitting on the opposite side of the room.  She has braces and a smile as sweet as the icing she takes out from her bag.  Her hand shoots up at every moment to ask a question or to show pictures of last weeks project.  Oh to be 16 again….

This week we’re suppose to work on piping details.  Drop flowers.  Swirled flowers.  Rosettes.  Simple enough.  I fit my piping bag with the incorrect tip (it’s actually a smaller version of the tip our instructor asks for).  I smile at the instructor who notes that it’s well done, just small.  I instantly feel like I’m back in school on the first day of class with out a pencil.

We change the tips of the piping bag in unison and move onto shells.  Once again mine is just a smaller version of what everyone else is doing.  I make notes of the tips I need to buy next time I’m out shopping.

We now move onto Pompom flowers.  I finish two effortlessly, setting them aside on the table to dry.  I can move ahead to leaves.  As you can see, I do not have the correct food colouring – only having brought blue colour gel in my cake decorating caddy.  I don’t mind.  It’s as if everything has been touch by a smurf.

So my leaves are blue (like I said, something touched by a smurf – or something from Avatar).  I find these actually challenging at first.  Coming out looking like elephants.  C’est la vie, it’s a design detail…  By my fourth attempt I am improving.  I do better with the ruffled leaves, making a mental note that in the future all my iced on leaves will be ruffled from now on.

We are given the rest of the class for free rein to decorate cupcakes.  Because I wasn’t here last week, I am decorating the full size cake I brought in.  I don’t mind.  I decorate half of it with white drop flowers, adding blue ruffled leaves in between for detail and contrast.  It looks decorative, the instructor says as she passes me … in reality I’m just using up my icing before packing it up.

Next week is our last class.  We’re suppose to bring in a smooth iced cake to decorate, of course.  Graduation, our instructor smiles.


About Leah

Hello, I'm Maria Leah. I'm a pretty average novice baker & most recently cake designer. The funny thing is I haven't taken a cake decorating class - yet. Instead I watch way too much "Ace of Cakes", "Cake Boss" & anything really off Food Network, that one day I thought to myself, "why don't I make a cake"? And so I did...One cake, turned into 2, which turned into 3...which turned into cake and cupcake orders for my family, friends and now people who are really taking an interest in my work. Photos of my progress followed, my skills started to sharpen...and my supportive friends insisted on more cakes and what you have now is me blogging about all my baking and designing adventures - the failures and the sweet success. Enjoy. ML

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