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Getting started - no time for classes

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've dabbled in decorating cakes, cupcakes, and cookies since having kids. Now my eldest has been diagnosed with a tree nut allergy and I have designated myself 'official cake baker and decorator' icon_smile.gif I dug out the few things I bought before (one of those wilton starter kits) and ordered the 50pc tool caddy, a turntable, and a few other things.

Now, I need advice on how best to learn how to decorate. I won't have time for a class until fall. Can I learn from books? Should I get the Wilton DVD? Any other good DVDs for beginners?

I assume practice is key? Should I just decorate the flip side of a pan or should I buy a dummy (I don't like cake) or should I do real cakes (and just give them away)? What's the purpose of practicing on the practice board vs on a cake (or something shaped like a cake)?

I'm making a cake for my daughter's class on Monday. I already made a FBCT of Buzz Lightyear (which looks alright from the underside of the glass - now I just hope it doesn't run or melt after I put it on the cake). Now I'm trying to decide whether to do a cupcake cake or a 1/4 sheet cake. Is a cupcake cake significantly harder to frost?

I have about a million more questions but I'll leave it at that for now.
Tanya - baking without nuts in Massachusetts
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Tanya - baking without nuts in Massachusetts
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post #2 of 7
Hi and welcome to CC. I have never taken any classes. I came to this board and learned ALOT. Everyone is super here.
There is so much information on the internet nowadays, if you really like making cakes and you get creative you'll be able to do it. I think practice and patience is the key. For me that also meant practicing on the real thing so I would just bake, decorate and made my co-workers and family try them all. They loved it so it gave me inspiration to keep at it.

Good luck and if you make any practice cakes post a picture.
post #3 of 7
I would look on ebay for wilton course 1, 2,3 booklets and get the practice boards. The board is good at first but I ended up just flipping the cake pan upside down and decorated that way. Course 1 has tons of cakes to make. I felt I was absorbing sugar through mt skin.

kathyg icon_smile.gif
have a great day
kathyg
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have a great day
kathyg
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post #4 of 7
WELCOME- Great site
have a great day
kathyg
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have a great day
kathyg
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post #5 of 7
Boy, lots of questions! Fortunately for you, lots of decorators to answer them. First of all, you can actually buy the Wilton course books. I have them and they are nice to have, if even just for reference.
Secondly, the advantage of the practice board is that you can scrape the frosting off and reuse it to keep on practicing, but you can also use waxed or parchment paper if you have the course books and save yourself the expense of a practice board.
Lastly, practice, practice, practice! If you aren't a favorite of any of your neighbors now, you soon will be! Even just one layer cakes is good practice. If you don't want your family to eat them, find willing 'guinea pigs'. I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding any.
Oops! Forgot, CCC's are not hard to frost if you know the secret. Cali4Dawn has a great tutorial on line here that showed her using her icer tip (the GREAT BIG tip) laying down lines of frosting on the cupcakes. I'm here to tell you, it works and it's fantastic! I would suggest a CCC for your daughters class. It's so much more easier than cutting and serving cake. Just pick a cupcake and be on your way.
Have fun!

Debbi
Spanish sugar, French Pastry, Swiss chocolate, and American Apple Pie. How much sweeter can life get????
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Spanish sugar, French Pastry, Swiss chocolate, and American Apple Pie. How much sweeter can life get????
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post #6 of 7
Welcome to CC~

I always practice on back sides of cake pans. I also practice on the practice board. If you buy the 1st class kit then the practice board will be included in it. Practice & practice some more! That is the only way to learn & get better. Dummy cakes are a great practice too.

As for cupcakecakes (CCC) they are very easy! Just make sure your icing is very thin when you ice the CCC. You can even make shapes out of the CCC. It is so easy for a classroom party or really any event! Everyone loves them.

Good luck w/ you cakes!!! Make another post or add to this one if you have more questions! That's what we're all here for~
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #7 of 7
I have to agree you came to the right place, the site is the best! I'm in the same boat, I live about 2 hours from the nearest wilton class and with 2 children under the age of two it's just not possible for me right now. It's just nice to know that you're not alone! One other thing I've learned, no question is a dumb question! That's the best advise I can give!
Cowgirl Cakes!
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Cowgirl Cakes!
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