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How Can I Learn Cake Decorating?

Working with marzipan is a more advanced skill.
A cupcake decorated with marzipan roses.
Cake decorating courses can teach students how to incorporate inedible decorations, like fresh flowers and ribbons, in their cake decorating.
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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2014
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Cake decorating is a skill that many people would like to acquire either for personal or possibly professional gain. The techniques involved in cake decorating can be learned in a variety of ways and involve the right tools and a lot of practice. Cake decorating skills allow an individual to create unique, bakery quality cakes without placing an order or being restricted by a bakery’s current collection of templates and designs.

There are numerous techniques used in cake decorating from icing a cake to creating borders and icing decorations. Each technique employs a different tool. The basic tools used for cake decorating include icing bags, decorating tips, spatulas, and cake pans. There are, however, hundreds of different cake decorating tools that serve a variety of specific purposes.

Learning to use cake decorating tools requires both knowledge of the tools and practice using them. Many large craft supply retailers sell decorating supplies and also offer classes that teach cake decorating. For those who want to learn cake decorating, electing to take classes is one way that offers both personal instruction and hands-on practice. Classes typically cost a nominal fee plus require the purchase of basic tools and supplies.

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For those individuals who prefer to be self-taught, cake decorating can be learned at home by using books and practicing the techniques. Many illustrated books are available at book stores and libraries that show various decorating techniques created with icing tips and other tools. Flowers, leaves, shells, and other designs are all created using specific icing tips and requires practice to perfect. A complete book will include tips on baking, leveling, crumb coating and icing cakes as well as the final decorating.

Regardless of how you learn cake decorating, the key to perfecting it is practice. You can practice the various designs created with tips by using parchment paper as your practice surface. The icing can be scraped off and returned to the icing bag as you perfect your techniques. Initially, it is best to purchase only the basic tools and then add to your collection as you advance. Start with simple designs and techniques before moving onto more complicated ones such as fondant, marzipan, and gum paste decorations.

Whether you simply want to create cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other special family occasions or would like to acquire a skill on which to build a business, anyone can learn cake decorating with proper instructions and practice. Browse the decorating supplies at local craft retailers to get an idea of the various tools available and look through books with pictures of finished cakes to get an idea of the different designs you can create. As your interest develops, consider honing your skills through a combination of class instruction and self-study to develop more advanced techniques.

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ellaesans
Post 4

@empanadas - You can also get a lot of your cake decorating supplies at craft stores like that as well. As for cake decorating designs, I like to look online as well just to see what's out there. I have so far tried a lot of different things, but I think the most fun I had was making Marshmallow fondant.

empanadas
Post 3

@anon110433 - You can also check with your local craft store like Michael's or Hobby Lobby. They have cake decorating classes and can provide you with plenty of different cake decorating ideas if you're at a standstill. I look online a lot too for cakes to emulate.

WalrusTusk
Post 2

@anon110433 - The Wilton books have all the cake decorating how to information you could ever want. Wilton is one of the oldest companies in the industry and they have a very traditional outlook on things.

If you're looking for a more modern or up to date book, I know that Duff from Ace of Cakes has his own line of cake decorating stuff - maybe he has something you could utilize?

anon110433
Post 1

Do you recommend a particular book for home study?

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