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101 List – Cake Decorating

101 in 1001 List

Number 9: Take a Cake Decorating class

Number 9 on my 101 in 1001 List was to take a Cake Decorating class.  I have strong baking skills and a pretty big artistic bone, but wanted to know how to decorate beyond frosting a cake and piping words onto the top of a cake. The most advanced cake I’ve done, decorating-wise, was The Boyf’s 30th birthday fishing cake this past August (and most of that was Sculpey clay figurines). While that was really fun and cute, I wanted to learn other techniques (roses, for example).


In my mind, I was thinking one of those pre-fab Wilton classes offered at the local Michael’s craft store – but after researching and finding out what was covered in the level one course, decided I didn’t want to go that route. They covered basics that I already knew, like how to bake a cake and how to hold a piping bag – and they covered things I didn’t really care to learn, like a pom pom or shell (and could probably figure out on my own).

Enter Craftsy: an online community of creative, passioned learners.

I found this site after receiving a Groupon offer in my inbox. With topics ranging from Crochet to Paper Crafts, I decided to take a look and see if there was a class worth the price of $20.00 (normal classes run $39.99). Lo and behold – an entire section on Cake Decorating. And lo and further behold, a FREE class right up my alley: The Hand Painted Cake.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 9.05.43 PM

The description of the class offered “a skill-building class suitable for seasoned pastry artists and cake decorating novices alike,” and promised “freehand painting techniques, how to mix custom colors and her signature tracing transfer method, which will help you replicate your favorite two-dimensional images with ease. ”

Like I said – right up my alley. And just look at the cake in the teaser graphic!

The class was free due to it being a “mini” lesson – but with 6 lessons each containing 5 or more sub topics, there was nothing mini about it. I feel like I got a great understanding of the materials, techniques, and how to troubleshoot anything I might run into with this decorating method.

The main lesson area is set up like the screenshot below – with easy-to-access navigation and a smooth video player, I thought it was set up really well! The teacher, Erin Schaefgen, walked me through a general introduction, inspiration and design, mixing custom colors, tracing transfer method and freehand painting.

I loved that I could find a topic I was interested in, educate myself on my time, rewind and replay things I wanted to, fast forward through any slow/redundant parts! The teacher was knowledgable and easy to listen to and learn from. I’m so glad I was able to do this – I can’t wait to make my next cake, I’ll definitely be trying out some cake painting!


One comment on “101 List – Cake Decorating

  1. Cristina
    January 19, 2013

    And don’t forget that you have a bestie that will teach you about ANYTHING that you want to learn! I’ll teach you the legit and official ways of doing stuff, plus tips and tricks!

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2013 by in 101 in 1001, Food and tagged , .

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