Going Stir Crazy Take Our Cake Decorating Class For Free
Not sure about you all, but our pantry is quickly becoming one of our go-to besties while we’re all stuck at home. As someone who’s never been super into baking, l’ve definitely found myself considering all the different ways I can combine flour, butter, and eggs into delicious things. What better time than the present to learn how to make and decorate an epic tiered cake? And for a limited time, we’re offering all of our online classes for FREE through 3/31! Head to brit.co/learn, add the classes you want to your cart, then enter the code SELFCARE before you checkout, and voila, free classes.
In this fresh new take on Cake Decorating, Sugar Monster Ashley Holt will show you how to put together a show-stopping two-tier cake, packed with color, texture, and custom decorations. Oh, and sprinkles in the middle. That’s right. SPRINKLES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAKE! See?! There are bright spots.
A little more info on your new fave teacher, Ashley Holt: Based in Brooklyn, Holt is a self-taught pastry chef and cake artist who left her previous career as a model to pursue her passion for artful dessert. Since shifting careers Holt has won TLC’s Next Great Baker, Food Network’s Chopped, The New York Cake Show, and placed second on Food Network’s Dessert Games and FYI’s Cake Fest. Suffice it to say, if you like baking shows, you’ve probably swooned over Holt’s tasty creations at some point.
Next Level Off The Cake Tops
A flat cake is a heck of a lot easier to stack than a cake that has a dome top, so you need to level it off.
You can take a sharp, long, serrated knife and evenly, with the blade flat, start at the lowest part of the dome. Slice through in a push and pull motion .
Make sure to keep the blade at the same level throughout the whole cut or it will end up lop-sided.
A great trick is to leave the cake in the pan, and once its cooled, place the flat side of the blade of top of the pan and use it as a guide to hack off the top.
This method works well if the whole surface area of your cake baked higher than the pan.
Optional: stuff your face with the cake tops or pawn them off on someone else.
Cake Decorating Tip #5 Using A Scale
For some crazy reason, in the USA, our standard of measurement is volume . Everywhere else in the world they go by weight. This may be the reason why I straight up hated to bake my whole life. Everything I tried to make never turned out very well and I had no clue why. My guess is a lot of us start out that way. You find a recipe you like, sometimes it turns out, sometimes it doesnt.
The problem, my friend, is that not all dry ingredients can be measured by volume and turn out the same every single time. Did you know that some measuring spoons can even vary vastly from manufacturer to manufacturer? Sometimes you might get a little too much flour and not quite enough baking powder. Then your cake falls flat and youre out $18 in ingredients.
Buy a scale. Measure by weight.
I know you want to fight this change, change is scary. You no like change. But please, if you ignore all my other advice, at least take this.
I know youre going to say you cant afford one. But listen, you dont have to buy the fancy scale I have, go to Target or whatever store you have near you and go to the kitchen aisle. Scales cost less than $20 and are a priceless tool for cake decorating. This is one of my top tools for every cake decorator.
When you use a scale to measure your ingredients, no longer do you have to worry about whether your cake will turn out. It will turn out every single time . Youll make less of a mess and you can double and triple your recipes easily.
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Why Choose This Baking And Cake Decorating Course
- Affordable, well-structured and high-quality e-learning study materials
- Engaging tutorial videos, materials from the industry-leading experts
- Opportunity to study in a user-friendly, advanced online learning platform
- Efficient exam systems for the assessment and instant result
- UK & internationally recognised accredited qualification
- Access the course content on mobile, tablet, or desktop from anywhere, anytime
- Excellent career advancement opportunities
- 24/7 student support via email.
Simple Techniques For Beautiful Cake Decorating
Do you want some fun, simple, and easy ideas for decorating your next cake? You can come to the right place!
The rose cake is by far my most famous design! Here I have done it in a Yellow Ombre pattern, but I also do it in dusty rose, Neapolitan, red velvet, patriotic, and chocolate just to name a few!
You can see a video of me making this cake here.
I call this the Purple Shell Cake. I based it off of this simple design on my white cake recipe. It uses a small star tip and is a basic repeat pattern. Adding in a bit of fun contrast with the darker purple is super easy!
You can see a video of me making this cake here.
Want to know something fun? This Harlequin Cake uses the exact same tip as in the Purple Shell Cake!
This cake is all about the planning. Once you have your basic design, the actual piping only takes a few minutes!
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How To Crumbcoat Your Cake
You may or may not have heard about a crumbcoat but for the sake of learning, Im going to explain it. I told you I wasnt going to skip anything!
A crumbcoat is a thin layer of your buttercream all over the cake to seal in the crumbs. This is an important step so that you dont get any of those crumbs in your final layer of buttercream frosting.
Place a big dollop of buttercream on the top of your cake and use your small offset spatula to spread the buttercream into a thin layer all over your cake. You dont have to be neat and tidy, just a thin coat will do. You can see there are a lot of crumbs and chunks of strawberry in this layer of buttercream, thats totally ok.
Once your cake is fully covered, you can place it into the fridge or the freezer to firm up. Once the buttercream is firm to the touch you can put on your final coat of buttercream without the crumbs getting into it.
Six Things I Learned In My First Six Months Of Cake Decorating
Six months ago I decided to try out a new hobby: cake decorating.
Learning to decorate cakes is something that has always interested me. It seemed like a fun creative outlet, and yummy tooIm a sucker for anything sweet. Plus, baking is my jam. Ive shared before that I dont love to cook, but I could bake cookies all day, every day.
Last year for my birthday my husband got me the Wilton Ultimate Cake Decorating Tools Set. While ecstatic to receive it, I was so intimidated by it and all its fancy tools that it sat unopened on my kitchen counter for months. I had no idea what to do with it or where to start. I couldnt decorate a cake. What was I thinking telling Huz it was something I always wanted to learn?
Then in October I went to a friends daughters birthday party. One of the guests had made a unicorn cake for the birthday girl and it was so cool. After inquiring where she learned the trade I thought, ok, if she can do it without any special training, so can I.
I spent the next few weeks devouring Youtube, watching nearly every video that exists on beginning cake decorating. And after that, I went to my favorite blogs to learn more, including my friend, Robyns blog, Robyn Loves Cake. Robyns a pro who owns her own bakery and makes the most amazing cakes ever.
And here are six things I learned in my first six months of cake decorating:
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Learning To Decorate Cakes In 4 Steps
Walking into a gathering with a beautiful cake in your hands immediately makes you a holiday hero. Cake decorating is a wonderful skill to possess, whether youre a regular guest or more often a hostess. It can take time and patience to learn to decorate cakes, but there are tricks to making your next confection look as though youve been perfecting your skills for years!
Step 1: Use the Right Tools
Professional bakers and decorators invest in vast collections of tools to help them build beautiful cakes. You dont need a ton of accessories to make pretty cakes your family, friends and neighbors will love. Start with a turntable and either a cake spatula or bench scraper. Piping bags and a few piping tips will help you add borders to your cakes.
Step 2: Take a Cake Decorating Class
There are lots of options when it comes to learning how to decorate cakes from a professional. You can find informal tutorials online along with regimented online classes.Local bakeries often have classes as well.
Step 3: Practice Decorating Techniques
Many beautiful cake decorating techniques build on simple piping and frosting skills. You dont need to bake a cake every time you want to practice piping. Use wax paper or even paper towels as a base to become familiar with each piping tip, as well as how it feels to write with icing. Bake a batch of cupcakes to practice multiple cake decorating techniques one for each cupcake!
Step 4: Learn Simple Decoration Ideas
Creating A Cake Timeline
To best prepare yourself, especially if youre just getting started on your cake journey, its a really good idea to establish a cake timeline for yourself. This just helps you plan ahead so youre not scrambling to get your materials together last minute. Heres a sample timeline that I have gone by when making cakes with due dates:
Notice that frosting and decorating the cake is split between day 3 and 4. This is just to give you extra padding in case you dont want to do all the final decorating the day before. Your timeline will depend on what your final design will be, so be sure to take some time to think about things and plan out your schedule before you get in over your head.
Once you get the hang of how long things take, you can certainly squeeze this timeline even tighter and do more work closer to the due date. You can also freeze cake layers and store buttercream weeks in advance so you can eliminate more work for yourself the week of. Its all up to you! But hopefully these make ahead tips and sample timeline give you the tools you need to set yourself up for success. Happy cake making!
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Best Free: My Cake School
My Cake School
Founded by a former cake baker and decorator, My Cake School is a free online platform that provides weekly tutorials and recipes.
The site covers lessons on everything from the basics to more advanced techniques such as working with fondant, gum paste, buttercream, and more. Recipes are divided into Cakes and Cupcakes, Fillings, Frostings and Glazes, Fondant/Gumpaste, and Miscellaneous, and you can also search for specific recipes.
The Free Tutorial section includes 40 pages of lessons on baking and decorating written in blog format and/or video that can be filtered through an easy drop-down menu. . Recipes featured include Lemon Sour Cream Cake, Chocolate Nutella Cake, Champagne and Strawberries Cake, Marbled Buttercream Cake, and many more.
There are also numerous holiday-themed cakes such as a decorative Easter Basket Cake or a Halloween Monster Pretzel Monster Cake. For an all-access pass to video archives and forums where you can ask specific questions about cake decorating, there is an option to become a member of the site for around $30 per year. There is also a shop section with helpful information about kitchen equipment and tools to help you with baking and decorating.
Cake Decorating Tip #2 Cake Goop
I am embarrassed to tell you how long I used the old vegetable shortening and dusted flour technique for prepping my cake pans. It was the only thing I could do that was fairly easy and dependable. The issue? Super messy. I always had flour remnants all over the trash can, the sink, the floor .
I WISH I could remember who told me about cake goop because it changed my world.
No more pan spray, no more shortening and flour, no more parchment paper. Just brush it in the pan and bake it up. Cakes will slide out of that pan so easy peezy, youll kick yourself for not making up a batch of cake goop sooner.
The ingredients are simple, mix up equal parts vegetable shortening vegetable oil and flour. Mix well until combined and then store in a container. You can keep it on the countertop or the fridge but it wont spoil. I use a pastry brush to brush it on the pans evenly. Dont worry, you dont need a lot. Just a nice even coating will do you.
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Fantang Mould Fondant Tools
14 basic molds that can print graphics and patterns on the cake, DIY cake, flexible combination, engraving directly on the surface of the cake, used before baking the cake.
Fondant molds with all these simple and crazy cake designs right away.
Making fondant cake is an art, and with cake fondant you will find that this is fairly easy even for first-time users. Not only does this save you time, but it also helps you gum the cake icing to get all the graphics and alphabet patterns and designs.
Cake Decorating Is Not A Job Its How I Create Art
But lets back up and give a little history just in case you dont have my book and have no idea who this Liz chick is.
I grew up as an artist in a small town. If anyone asks what I do now, I say I am a cake artist. All I ever wanted to do when I grew up was to be an artist and get the heck out of my small town. Alas, life loves to crush your childhood dreams and a not-so-delicate 8th grade teacher informed me that being an artist was not a career. She suggested maybe veterinarian since I liked to draw cats and horses.
I proceeded to live life basically goal-less for the next 10 years. No clue what I wanted to do or what job I should have. I have had over 30 jobs in my lifetime. Everything from fast food to filing home liens. Nothing stuck and I would get bored around the 4-6 month mark. Id quit my job and move on.
Charcoal portrait circa 2006 I used to have a side hustle that involved making charcoal portraits of kids. I dont know why I didnt just do this for a living. Things seems a lot less attainable in art before social media.
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Cake Decorating Tip #4 Professional Cake Pans
One of the things I distinctly remember struggling with early on was getting straight sides to my cakes. I would look in these books that showed these perfect cakes getting stacked on top of each other and the sides where just super straight. Mine were not. They where curved or shrunken or crispy on the top and stuck to the bottom. What was the deal?
So for some INSANE reason, the pans I started out with had slanted sides. The walls where super thin and the best part? They werent even evenly sized so instead of 8 they where like 7.5. Oye. One of the very first things I did was invest in some good quality cake pans.
It seems across-the-board, favorites are either Fat Daddio or Magic Line. I personally like the nice browning that happens on Fat Daddios because it makes them easier to release from the pan but I know others love how Magic Line produces a much lighter looking cake.
Whichever way you go, you cant go wrong with professional pans. They will make your cakes bake up much more evenly.
Vanilla cakes made with Magic Line pans, sprayed with bakers joy and line with parchment paper. Photo credit from Short Cakes
Making Easy Buttercream Frosting
Now is a good time to make your buttercream. I know a lot of beginners think they want to use whipped cream because it is light and creamy but for making a cake, you will get nothing but headaches. I prefer to make my easy buttercream frosting because you can just throw everything into the mixer, whip it up until its white and its done! Its super light and not too sweet.
The easy buttercream frosting is also great for frosting the cake and getting a smooth finish and is firm enough to pipe with.
Store your easy buttercream at room temperature with plastic wrap covering the top until you need it. If you leave it out overnight make sure you whip it a little bit before you use it to make it smooth again.
Store leftover buttercream in the fridge or freeze it for up to 6 months in a ziplock bag.
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