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Do you use Wilton products/recipes in their classes?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm taking the Wilton classes right now. I'm mostly done with course 1 and have been using their buttercream recipe thinking I should stick to the exact products while in the class. I don't care for the taste of their buttercream though. Is there any reason I shouldn't just use the Sugarshack buttercream? It can't make a difference for piping the flowers can it?

I'm also curious about the fondant and gum paste. I've heard the Wilton products taste awful and I have access to a baking supply store with Satin Ice. Is Satin Ice as easy to use as Wilton? Am I better off just sticking to the same products the rest of the class will be using?
post #2 of 13
I'm a WMI, so I do have a preference on what my students use.

In the second course you will be using fondant/gumpaste the first lesson, then royal icing the second and third. You will only use buttercream the final night.

I do ask that my students use our class buttercream recipe because it works well in class and if it is off, I can usually fix it. I can't and won't force a person to use it, but I do think that it helps to use it in class, then adapt to other recipes as you go along.

As far as the fondant, I would try it first myself before I actually judge it. I just find it sweet, that's all. It is a nice texture to work with, and I like that about it. I think that there is a big majority of people that just don't care for the texture of fondant and that is more of an issue than the taste.

I have in the past not asked my students not to by the Duff fondant for class, because it does not behave the same way Wilton's does. To me, it is harder to work with, not something you want for a beginner and it doesn't set up the way Wilton's does, which is important for things like the bow. I've never worked with Satin Ice myself, so I don't know how it compares to ease of use like Wilton's does.

From a teaching stand point it, to me, does make things go smoother if everyone is starting with the same playing field when it comes to icings and fondant in class.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight. I guess I'll just stick to the Wilton products for now.
post #4 of 13
I'm also a WMI, and I agree with everything TexasSugar said. I think that's what is great about the Wilton classes, you get the basics, then can play with everything else at home icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 13
Having taken all of the course last summer I can give you the student perspective. For the most part I used Wilton items. I did use Satin Ice instead of Wilton Fondant and did not have a problem. The bow came out just like those who used Wilton's product. I found it "easier" to use Wilton stuff because it was right there in the store--I did not want to mess with making my own gumpaste or fondant.

I don't want to minimize the claim made by others that it is easier if everyone is using the same products. However there were people in the course that used a different buttercream recipe, homemade fondant, etc and it was never an issue in class. That is it never caused an issue for the instructor.
post #6 of 13
Gator, while I've had students use different things and haven't had problems, I have had students use different things and I have problems.

I've made fondant at home before. In my opinion, anyone making fondant should try some premade first so you know what you should be getting as an end product. And on top of that not all recipes are the same or come out to the same products.

We don't have Satin Ice available locally, so that one isn't an issue for me. Between the two they can get here, I totally suggest Wilton over Duffs, at least for learning purposes.

I had a couple of students once, that decided to change up icings the last night of the first course. Instead of buttercream they made royal icing, and used it to cover their cakes. The only problem was they didn't mix it long enough, and when royal icing isn't mixed long enough, it doesn't hold it's shape. Not to mention, it isn't generally something (in the US) that you would want to icing your cake with. After having problems trying to get it to work for roses they told me what they made. When they removed the cake carrier lid they had a puddle of icing around the cake.

I'm all for experimenting. The only issue I have with it when it happens in class is that if someone has an issue with it, like the situation above, there isn't much I can do to fix the icing. And when the icing is mostly unusable it causes a lot of frustration for that person.

In the past I have told my students if they want to try half butter/half crisco or all butter in their icing, they could do that with the icing they iced their cake with. But I strongly suggest they bring the all crisco for decorating.
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post #7 of 13
I would stick with the Wilton stuff while you are in class. In course 2 we made a lot of flowers. Two of the gals in our class had made their own buttercream at home and brought it in (not the class recipe). It was too soft and they couldnt make any of the flowers. The rest of us in class scooped out a little of our own BC and gave it to them so they would have the right stuff to use. Fondant classes werent offered when I did the Wilton courses and while Ive always heard terrible things about the taste of Wilton fondant Id still buy that and use it if that was what my instructor told us to get.
post #8 of 13
For Course 1, I made the Wilton version of buttercream with butter. It was summertime so the classroom was just a little too warm and it just melted everywhere. It was the day we covered our cake and made the cupcake on top. It was so soft, I couldn't even draw my lines in the buttercream with a toothpick. One thing I learned from this website is to let my shortening cream for ten minutes or so before adding in the rest of the ingredients. It's made a world of difference in texture and even taste. Also, thanks to having a one-year-old, I now use whole milk and it makes my buttercream creamier.

I use the Wilton fondant even to this day and occasionally Satin Ice when I need a lot of a color like red or black. Frankly, I don't think the Wilton fondant tastes bad. Maybe some of the darker premade colors, but that's a problem with most fondants.
post #9 of 13
I agree with texas sugar on this one. I'm also a Wilton Instructor. I've had people in class bring different items than what is requested for the course that day and they've come to regret it in the end. Some have been successful with using other items, so really it's a toss up but in some cases it's best to use the items or recipes that are called for during that particular class.

I myself have taken all the wilton courses (as have almost all wilton instructors). During my final course 3 class where we had to bring in a fondant covered cake to tier, I used a homemade fondant and had so many problems with it and it made me hate dealing with fondant. I can now cover cakes with any fondant without issues, but for someomne who's first learning, it's a good idea to stick with the basics until you hone your skills. The one's who come and take a wilton class want to go home with a nicely decorated cake and when they have a hard time with it, it tends to make them shy away from it. Once the classes are done, try different things and have fun. But make sure you dont sabotage yourself by trying to do something different while learning!
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Gator, while I've had students use different things and haven't had problems, I have had students use different things and I have problems.

I've made fondant at home before. In my opinion, anyone making fondant should try some premade first so you know what you should be getting as an end product. And on top of that not all recipes are the same or come out to the same products.

We don't have available locally, so that one isn't an issue for me. Between the two they can get here, I totally suggest Wilton over Duffs, at least for learning purposes.

I had a couple of students once, that decided to change up icings the last night of the first course. Instead of buttercream they made royal icing, and used it to cover their cakes. The only problem was they didn't mix it long enough, and when royal icing isn't mixed long enough, it doesn't hold it's shape. Not to mention, it isn't generally something (in the US) that you would want to icing your cake with. After having problems trying to get it to work for roses they told me what they made. When they removed the cake carrier lid they had a puddle of icing around the cake.

I'm all for experimenting. The only issue I have with it when it happens in class is that if someone has an issue with it, like the situation above, there isn't much I can do to fix the icing. And when the icing is mostly unusable it causes a lot of frustration for that person.

In the past I have told my students if they want to try half butter/half crisco or all butter in their icing, they could do that with the icing they iced their cake with. But I strongly suggest they bring the all crisco for decorating.



First I never suggested not following the course guides. There is a difference in using a different style of American buttercream and royal icing when the lesson for the day is how to work with buttercream. Yes opting to use RI when the lesson is in buttercream can be a source of problems when they behave completely differently and must be handled accordingly.

The question, however, was should you use the Wilton stuff. While I agree there is value to using Wilton products, I can speak to a student experience where using a a non-recipe for the same item used in class that day was not a problem.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am taking the Wilton classes, but I'm not a total novice to decorating with buttercream. I've done a lot of piped buttercream cakes, I just wanted to learn the official method and then do the fondant/gumpaste stuff. So I would never substitute a different kind of frosting, I was just thinking a better tasting buttercream that I think is easier to decorate with. But I can stick with the Wilton recipe for a few more weeks.

As far as fondant, I haven't tried the Wilton so I will give it a try. I've just read so many people on here talking about how bad it is and how they like Satin Ice better which is locally available for me. I wouldn't make my own since I don't know what consistency I'm going for until I get used to working with it. But I'll try the Wilton for the class and make my own judgement on the taste.

Thanks for the feedback.
post #12 of 13
Wilton changed their fondant about a year ago or so and it is much better. A lot of people that say it taste terrible probably haven't tried the new version. It still isn't the best tasting fondant by any means but for me it is the best I have found for making decorations. A lot of my cakes have a lot of fondant decorations. Duff's tastes very good but never dries so it is not good for bows, etc. that you need to stand up. My problem with Satin Ice is it is inconsistent. Sometimes I get it and it is dried up, sometimes it is as soft as Duff's and sometimes it is great. Wilton's is ALWAYS the same. Also most people don't eat the fondant so what difference does it make what it tastes like.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

First I never suggested not following the course guides.



I never said you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

There is a difference in using a different style of American buttercream and royal icing when the lesson for the day is how to work with buttercream. Yes opting to use RI when the lesson is in buttercream can be a source of problems when they behave completely differently and must be handled accordingly.



My example about the royal was simply meant that in the beginning some people may not know the differences in the icings. The students I mentioned before, said after the fact, that they didn't like the taste of the Wilton buttercream and decided to try something else. They had no idea that royal would dry hard. Be it royal, IMBC or even a different 'recipe' of icing, like the all butter example above, in class it can preform differently.

The OP did ask about using other buttercream recipes, which is also why I mentioned what I did. While I'm know in theory Sharon's or even Indy's recipes are along the same lines as the Wilton, the recipes are mostly by feel. And when you are still learning, I do think, it helps to have a recipes to follow for stiff, med and thin.

I do see things different than a student, but after teaching for 7 years I've seen a lot, and I try to run my classes in ways to make it flow smoothly, not only for me but also for my students. I want them to go in and have a fun, not frustrating experience.

If a student asks about different recipes I direct them to places to find them or give them suggestions to try with our buttercream to play with the tastes. I've even told them to email me for fondant recipes.

If a student came in the class with other types of icing or fondant I don't kick them out, I don't make an issue, we just have class.

The only exception would be two months ago when we got the Duff Neon Fondant and I had a couple of students bring it in place of Wilton's. Because I had just worked with Duff's fondant and noticed the stretchy and non drying, I asked them not to use it for their flowers we were making. I was worried their flowers wouldn't dry.
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