Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Hello all! I am 100% new to baking and decorating cakes! I discovered I loved baking a cake when I made my first sour cream bundt cake with fudge icing..turned out amazing and had fun doing it! I want to take the Wilton cake decorating class in a few weeks. Any input on this if you have taken it? What do you recommend I start off with buying as a beginner? I was looking at all kinds of kits but there are so many. And I am starting to realize this might not be a super cheap hobby, but how much did you put into it when you first started? Well I know it is a lot of questions but I would love anyones input for my new adventure!! Thanks, Erica

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Erica,

I started off with a little at a time because I'm a Hobby Person only.  After I thought I would try more, I slowly purchased items at my Local Craft Store with coupons.  I know it is not the Best Stuff as tools but it is a start.  The Wilton classes I did not take because of the distance from my home.  I relied on this site and just did it.  I watched a lot of videos on YouTube and I do have my favorites which happen to be MEMBERS on our site!!!  Also, I purchased smaller cake pans, 4 and 6 inch which are deeper - because I have my normal old 8 inch pans, now I hardly ever use them.

 

What I've learned and hope to purchase one day soon is a different color packages.  For instance, I'm not completely dissatisfied with Wilton but I HEARD that America colors (I think that is the name - a lot of members talk about this so I'm sure the correct name will come up) is much better!!!  So since it is a Hobby for me, I went less expensive and I'm going to use up what I have before I change.  Remember, it is a HOBBY for me.

I found I like to make my own Fondant with Marshmallow instead of purchasing the ready made.  I heard and trust that Wilton is still not very good tasting but there are others on the market.  I still have two Wilton fondants in my storage pantry not used.  Again, depending on Hobby or Selling your creations will make a huge difference in what you do at first.  Buttercream is my favorite and it is very easy to make as well as my preferred fondant.

 

I really like YouTube "seriouscakes" she is funny, fun to learn and the videos are so easy to learn.  She was my main source when I started and she works with buttercream.

I also really enjoy to watch "Edna" because she does a lot with fondant.  Again, I use my marshmallow fondant.  She taught me how to make my very first bow!  I do believe that her video is on her webpage and she is also on YouTube.  She has great easy directions for fondant.

Both of these lovely gals are members here.  I've learned so much from everyone on this site who was so patient and fun loving people.  I hope you check out the group, CWB Cake Group and all the other groups here too.

Have tons of fun!

Sher

Hi Erica!

Sher gave you a great answer!  Both Edna and Seriouscakes will answer questions also, if you have any from their videos.  I did that the Wilton classes many - many - many years ago and I thought they were a good base to build upon.  I have to agree the Americolors are much better and more true than the Wilton colors,  the Wilton fondant does taste a little better,  (I do not use it however!)  I like Fondx, but have to order it.  Check ebay for pans and supplies, I have been able to get a lot on there, but you have to know what they cost new, so you don't get taken advantage of.  Have fun!!!

Karen

Hi I did take Wiltons Classes1,2,3,and 4..They are going to have you buy kits for the classes. Student 1 kit and so on..I would also buy a cake carrier.. It can be costly, but I love it and have 2 suitcases of stuff. That will be up to you... Just enjoy yourself.

I have taken it, at a Joann Fabric.. it was ok.  you do need tips, bags, spatula, food coloring,  check out target and walmart, lots of things on clearance, and Joann Fabrics Michaels too. be patient, you can and will accomplish what you set out to do. Go to the library  borrow books and tapes, practice makes perfect.  stock up on zip lock bags  they are great tools.  chk out the dollar stores for spatulas, food color, tips too. A decent pair of scissors, latex gloves,  all found at walmart, target and dollar stores.  look in clearance section in food store too. Seasonally Wilton requires them to change out stock. We have the Christmas Tree shoppes in our are and Big lots too. Have found deals there.  Michaels runs specials 50 per cent off on Wilton when classes start.  check  your local school district and community college too. I know those who have food trade classes have wonderful teachers and chefs.  Ebay is an excellent source. I have over a hundred pans. think I over did it   I should sell them  lol.   ps   get a few of the plastic storage containers from the dollar store great for tips and tubes,  also   a fishing tackle box if you come across one on clearance, and  cake taker from wal mart or target on sale this week. 

 yes  it can be costly, but, well worth the investment, and  remember to check out the candy making stores in your area. usually they have cake stuff too. hugs patti in Perth NY

Hi Erica! Welcome to the wonderful world of cake decorating!  My best piece of advice is to have FUN with it!  That said, a good solid foundation is very helpful.  The beginner Wilton classes (1 and 2) are a nice way to start as they will teach you how to fill and ice cakes to get a nice, smooth consistency.  They will also teach you the basics on how to use the most common tips, how to prep your bags, that sort of thing.  The kits you buy for those classes will give you a solid start on your collection of tools.  I have found that I buy supplies on an as-needed basis, and look for ways to use tools in new ways (for example - if I have a new flower I want to try, I go to a cake supply website and see what the cutter kit looks like for that flower.  If I have cutters that are similar, I just use those and finesse the finished product to get very similar results).

 

This site is excellent! Lots of friendly people willing to share their expertise, commisserate when you're down, and offer up support when you need it most!  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Eileen-

 

I just wanted to say first off that I love your "13" birthday cake! How long did that take you to do? Sounds like the Wilton class would be a great start and to get the basics down. I was thinking of buying things as I go along when they are needed. How long have you been baking and designing cakes? I have a regular mixer not a stand mixer, it looks like this would be more complicated, any suggestions? Thanks for your reply and I cannot wait to get going on this! The Wilton class starts in 3 weeks so I got some cake decorating books at the library to give me a basis as well. Do you compete in any contests? Have a great weekend! Erica

Eileen S said:

Hi Erica! Welcome to the wonderful world of cake decorating!  My best piece of advice is to have FUN with it!  That said, a good solid foundation is very helpful.  The beginner Wilton classes (1 and 2) are a nice way to start as they will teach you how to fill and ice cakes to get a nice, smooth consistency.  They will also teach you the basics on how to use the most common tips, how to prep your bags, that sort of thing.  The kits you buy for those classes will give you a solid start on your collection of tools.  I have found that I buy supplies on an as-needed basis, and look for ways to use tools in new ways (for example - if I have a new flower I want to try, I go to a cake supply website and see what the cutter kit looks like for that flower.  If I have cutters that are similar, I just use those and finesse the finished product to get very similar results).

 

This site is excellent! Lots of friendly people willing to share their expertise, commisserate when you're down, and offer up support when you need it most!  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Sher-

 

This site looks so helpful and I already watched a few videos which were fun and easier to understand than I thought. I wanted to start by making this coconut cake recipe and it calls for 8" inch pans...Are the springform pans different than the regular aluminum pans? The cake is a three layered cake and it called for 3 8" pans and I was not sure if the actual pan type mattered. Fondant with marshmallow sounds really good! The fondant looks a little tricky to make. I am definitely going to check out those youtube videos and CWB Cake group as I can use all the help I can get! I love getting input from others! Thanks so much for all of your help!

Stampinsher said:

Erica,

I started off with a little at a time because I'm a Hobby Person only.  After I thought I would try more, I slowly purchased items at my Local Craft Store with coupons.  I know it is not the Best Stuff as tools but it is a start.  The Wilton classes I did not take because of the distance from my home.  I relied on this site and just did it.  I watched a lot of videos on YouTube and I do have my favorites which happen to be MEMBERS on our site!!!  Also, I purchased smaller cake pans, 4 and 6 inch which are deeper - because I have my normal old 8 inch pans, now I hardly ever use them.

 

What I've learned and hope to purchase one day soon is a different color packages.  For instance, I'm not completely dissatisfied with Wilton but I HEARD that America colors (I think that is the name - a lot of members talk about this so I'm sure the correct name will come up) is much better!!!  So since it is a Hobby for me, I went less expensive and I'm going to use up what I have before I change.  Remember, it is a HOBBY for me.

I found I like to make my own Fondant with Marshmallow instead of purchasing the ready made.  I heard and trust that Wilton is still not very good tasting but there are others on the market.  I still have two Wilton fondants in my storage pantry not used.  Again, depending on Hobby or Selling your creations will make a huge difference in what you do at first.  Buttercream is my favorite and it is very easy to make as well as my preferred fondant.

 

I really like YouTube "seriouscakes" she is funny, fun to learn and the videos are so easy to learn.  She was my main source when I started and she works with buttercream.

I also really enjoy to watch "Edna" because she does a lot with fondant.  Again, I use my marshmallow fondant.  She taught me how to make my very first bow!  I do believe that her video is on her webpage and she is also on YouTube.  She has great easy directions for fondant.

Both of these lovely gals are members here.  I've learned so much from everyone on this site who was so patient and fun loving people.  I hope you check out the group, CWB Cake Group and all the other groups here too.

Have tons of fun!

Sher

Karen-

Happy Saturday night :) I was wondering what exactly Americolors is? Are you talking about the colors for the fondant and icing etc? I googled it but could not find a website, do you know if they have one? Ebay does have many pans but it does seem that some of their prices are to much and you can get same for a new one. Fondx...I watched some kind of video yesterday about that when someone was making fondant and it looks fairly reasonable. The picture you have of that wedding cake was amazing! How long did that take you?

Erica



Karen Underdahl said:

Hi Erica!

Sher gave you a great answer!  Both Edna and Seriouscakes will answer questions also, if you have any from their videos.  I did that the Wilton classes many - many - many years ago and I thought they were a good base to build upon.  I have to agree the Americolors are much better and more true than the Wilton colors,  the Wilton fondant does taste a little better,  (I do not use it however!)  I like Fondx, but have to order it.  Check ebay for pans and supplies, I have been able to get a lot on there, but you have to know what they cost new, so you don't get taken advantage of.  Have fun!!!

Karen

Patricia-

I figured we would have to buy kits...were the kits expensive? The class is really cheap I was just wondering how much each kit would run? The cake carrier is probably a huge blessing. I know I will definitely need one because I am a klutz :) Did you feel Wilton cake classes was a good base?

Erica

Patricia Soto said:

Hi I did take Wiltons Classes1,2,3,and 4..They are going to have you buy kits for the classes. Student 1 kit and so on..I would also buy a cake carrier.. It can be costly, but I love it and have 2 suitcases of stuff. That will be up to you... Just enjoy yourself.

Patti-

 

Wow! You are full of ideas! I am all about deals so thank you for letting me know what to start off with and yes I will hit the dollar stores! I saw that Michaels does do a promotion for half off for the Wilton classes! I just think being creative with a cake is the best part and looking at all these other cakes people have made inspires me! I loveee the library! It has tons of cake decorating books (which I already got) :) So, I started off today by just buying basic ingredients that I either did not have or ran out of. Thanks for replying and for all of your help!

Erica
loveablebbw patti said:

I have taken it, at a Joann Fabric.. it was ok.  you do need tips, bags, spatula, food coloring,  check out target and walmart, lots of things on clearance, and Joann Fabrics Michaels too. be patient, you can and will accomplish what you set out to do. Go to the library  borrow books and tapes, practice makes perfect.  stock up on zip lock bags  they are great tools.  chk out the dollar stores for spatulas, food color, tips too. A decent pair of scissors, latex gloves,  all found at walmart, target and dollar stores.  look in clearance section in food store too. Seasonally Wilton requires them to change out stock. We have the Christmas Tree shoppes in our are and Big lots too. Have found deals there.  Michaels runs specials 50 per cent off on Wilton when classes start.  check  your local school district and community college too. I know those who have food trade classes have wonderful teachers and chefs.  Ebay is an excellent source. I have over a hundred pans. think I over did it   I should sell them  lol.   ps   get a few of the plastic storage containers from the dollar store great for tips and tubes,  also   a fishing tackle box if you come across one on clearance, and  cake taker from wal mart or target on sale this week. 

 yes  it can be costly, but, well worth the investment, and  remember to check out the candy making stores in your area. usually they have cake stuff too. hugs patti in Perth NY

Thanks for the compliment!  It's really hard to say how long that cake took.  I would say there's about 6 hours in the decorating alone.  That's not including the baking time or the time it took to actually make the fondant.  The zebra stripe took an hour in itself!  If you'd like to see more of my cakes, you can look at Handcrafted Cakes by Eileen on Facebook. :)  I update those more often than I do on here. I've only been doing cakes for about a year and a half, but in that time I've done about 100 cakes - CRAZY.  It's an addiction for me.  Some people knit, some people make jewelry, I make cakes!  I haven't done any cake contests - there really aren't any up here in Rhinelander - LOL!  I've entered a few in the little contests they have on here, but feel weird about it since I'm one of the moderators here on this site along with Deah and Theresa Happe.

 

If you're going to do cakes seriously, I would recommend a stand mixer - especially for making frosting since it's best if you can let it go for about 6 - 7 minutes.  I prefer to use my hand mixer for making the cake batters though because I feel you have more control then.  Weird, I know!

 

I see you joined the Wisconsin Bakers group! Excellent!  (I admit I had to look up where Grafton was though!)

 

E.

Erica K said:

Eileen-

 

I just wanted to say first off that I love your "13" birthday cake! How long did that take you to do? Sounds like the Wilton class would be a great start and to get the basics down. I was thinking of buying things as I go along when they are needed. How long have you been baking and designing cakes? I have a regular mixer not a stand mixer, it looks like this would be more complicated, any suggestions? Thanks for your reply and I cannot wait to get going on this! The Wilton class starts in 3 weeks so I got some cake decorating books at the library to give me a basis as well. Do you compete in any contests? Have a great weekend! Erica

Eileen S said:

Hi Erica! Welcome to the wonderful world of cake decorating!  My best piece of advice is to have FUN with it!  That said, a good solid foundation is very helpful.  The beginner Wilton classes (1 and 2) are a nice way to start as they will teach you how to fill and ice cakes to get a nice, smooth consistency.  They will also teach you the basics on how to use the most common tips, how to prep your bags, that sort of thing.  The kits you buy for those classes will give you a solid start on your collection of tools.  I have found that I buy supplies on an as-needed basis, and look for ways to use tools in new ways (for example - if I have a new flower I want to try, I go to a cake supply website and see what the cutter kit looks like for that flower.  If I have cutters that are similar, I just use those and finesse the finished product to get very similar results).

 

This site is excellent! Lots of friendly people willing to share their expertise, commisserate when you're down, and offer up support when you need it most!  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Hi Erica,

I've taken all three wilton cake decorating classes and there are kits to coordinate with each class. Your instructor will tell you anything else you will need. I went kind of crazy buying my supplies and took the courses back to back so I honestly don't know what I spent but you can print coupons out at Micheals online to help with the cost also they usually print coupons in your local Sunday paper. Decorating basics wasn't too pricey though :). Oh you can also buy some supplies on Amazon, they can have some pretty good deals sometimes. You can buy some gormet items on Amazon too. I just ordered 12 oz of Tahition Vanilla extract for only $16! I saw it in a fancy food store for $35 for a 4 oz bottle! I've already made a batch of frosting with it. Don't underestimate the importance of of a decent vanilla extact!

Good Luck

Monika

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