Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wilton Round Up #1

For the last couple of months I've been working my way through the Wilton cake decorating classes offered at Michaels.

It has been so much fun! I've been taking them with my friend Carol, so it's a great time to hang out and catch up, plus learn something new. I've found that I am generally a happier person when I'm working toward a goal or attempting to achieve something creative and challenging. Since graduating college, I haven't had many "organized" learning opportunities so this has been great for me!

In this post, I will be summarizing Wilton Course #1. I just completed Course #2 last week and am starting Course #4 this Tuesday (courses #3 & 4 can be taken in any order and it just worked out that our instructor wanted to do course 4 first). Each course takes four weeks and, in my opinion, they are pretty darn informative. Obviously, we are learning the basics of cake decorating but it's pretty amazing how much can be done with a few simple skills. The one downside I will mention is that each course has a student kit that costs around $20 with a Michael's coupon (ps. NEVER go to Michael's without a coupon, it's just senseless!). Granted, the kit comes with a lot of stuff, but don't let it kid ya, you will still need to buy at least another $20-$30 worth of stuff and that's not even including frosting ingredients! Ok, so my point being, it isn't a cheap hobby, but it's also not so expensive that it would keep me away either.

In our first class, we sat and listened and watched our teacher, Joy, show us how to mix the special "Wilton buttercream" and create the different consistencies for frosting a cake, decorating and making the "Wilton rose." Yeh, Wilton pretty much acts like they invented cake decorating but I roll with it for these classes. We learned that once the frosting sets a bit, you can use a Viva paper towel to gently smooth it out (I have a great example from Course #2 in which I got my cake very smooth with this technique!).

For week two, we had to bring a cake already frosted and then we used the star tip to complete a design of our choice. This tip is actually pretty easy to use. I think it's a great one for kid's cakes, when you are filling in simple shapes or covering an entire cake. It also looks like it would take hours but goes pretty quickly. Here's my very first cake - I think it turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself. (not to toot my own horn but...toot!)

I named it "Luigi," after my brother and sister-in-law's cat!

In week three, we began learning the Wilton rose, learned the shell border, made creepy clowns and learned the star and swirl flowers. I don't have pictures of everything but I will post the ones I remembered to take.

First rose, not too bad, but the edges came out really rough.

My creepy, yet sort of cute clown.

My cuppies from week 3 - I was not happy with them because I think my pink frosting was too thick and made the flowers VERY difficult to make.

Although week 3 was fairly rough, I believe I redeemed myself in week four, our course 1 finale week. In week 4, we basically brought together everything we learned in the course for our final cake.

Preparing my roses for class, I think they are looking a lot better!

Top view.

My final project. Biggest lesson learned on this one was to make sure you start off with a well- constructed, well-frosted base. My cakes were crumbley coming out of the pans and it made the entire process really frustrating. That said, I was still happy with how it turned out.

I think my final cake from course 1 is proof that you learn A LOT in a few short weeks. Now that I am through with course 2 I have gained even more confidence. I am still amazed at how just a few simple skills can take your cakes to a whole new level. I will be back with a summary of course 2 next week. I start the Fondant course on Tuesday so I'm sure I will have a lot to share from that, too! Hope you all had a great weekend!


P.S. I have my first paid project in one week! A little girl's birthday "cupcake cake" for her school party!!!! I am soooooo excited but also a little nervous. Hey, you gotta start sometime, right?! Wish me luck!


  1. I think you have done an AMAZING job!! Seriously... I would love to take a class and get as good as you... you obviously have some natural talent too!!!

    And I bet they even taste yummy! :)

    Can't wait to see more of your creations!


  2. darnnit - now I'm gonna have to take this course at Michael's. Then the frosting job I did on my last cake wouldn't have been so horrible!

    What an amazing job you did on those cakes. Seriously, gorgeous masterpieces! :) I can't wait to see more either!