Thursday, 24 June 2010

Cake decorating class (Domestic Arts 5)

I went on a Cake Decorating Course last Friday as I wanted to add another string to my bow of Domestic Arts. I had an ulterior motive; I wanted to find out whether I might be capable of decorating my wedding cake next year. I know I can cook a wedding cake, but could I decorate it? So, I booked myself onto Introduction to Celebration Cakes run by Lindy Smith of Lindy's Cakes. It was a fantastic day, and I learnt a lot. The day was divided between demonstration by Lindy, and hands on practice ourselves, and I took some photos to show what I did.

We started off by learning how to knead and colour sugarpaste and then to roll it out evenly. We then used it to cover the base board:

Next came preparing the cake. We had all been instructed to bake a 6 egg madeira in an 8" tin. As I did not have a big enough tin I had borrowed one from a colleague who has a side line in cake decorating. Unfortunately she lent me the wrong size! And my 8" mixture was baked in a 10" tin! Disaster! I was not able to level my cake like the other students as it wouldn't have left me with a deep enough cake to cover. But Lindy had a wonderful solution - I inverted the cake...
and then filled in the gaps with sugar paste...
This was then smoothed off, and you couldn't tell in the finished covered cake, only when it was sliced (and then not as badly as anticipated). The cake was then covered with buttercream, to give it a smooth finish (I forgot to take a picture of this stage), and then covered with white sugarpaste. We used smoothers to give it a smooth finish.
The afternoon was devoted to the decoration of the cake. Lindy demonstrated a number of techniques and tools and then we got to go and have a play! I decided to use cutters, although I also used a roller to make a ribbon out of coloured sugarpaste to go around my cake.
I was really pleased with the result, and my fiance said that he'd be proud to have this as our wedding cake.

I am DEFINITELY going to attempt to do my own wedding cake. I have lots of ideas floating around my head and I am sure I will be blogging more about my plans. We've just ordered a Kenwood Mixer to help me, and first up will be some cake recipe testing and sampling. I'd quite like to post about this so hope that it won't bore too many people - at the moment I can barely stop talking about wedding cakes so it would be a bit weird if my blog didn't reflect that!

(PS: Do you want to see what the disaster looked like inside?

not so bad at all - the extra sugarpaste padding isn't as noticeable as I thought it would be!)


  1. Verity, you are an inspiration! The cake looks fantastic and the icing is so smooth. You definitely have a talent. Good luck with your wedding cake.

  2. Verity, that is gorgeous! Your fiance is right, anyone would be proud to have that as their wedding cake. Well done!

  3. Your cake is gorgeous! I'm sure you can do your own wedding cake - that would be so special! My mom made quite a few wedding cakes while I was growing up, including mine - she even had a fountain (those were big in the 80's... not sure if they're used any more).

  4. Looking forward to reading about your wedding cake recipe testing - and decorating. How wonderful to bake your own cake. I managed to bake heart biscuits for our wedding - so mightily impressed with your baking. Happy Planning

  5. That was your first attempt?! Oh my goodness,'s gorgeous! You definitely have a talent for baking and such a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with others.

    Don't be surprised if others request you make cakes for their weddings!

  6. This is a lovely cake. I'm not sure I believe it was your first try :) And I"ll have to keep the tip you learned in mind, great save

  7. It looks splendid - especially for a first attempt - but *shocked* - you are not wearing your Persephone apron!

  8. That looks lovely, Verity. My mother in law made our wedding cake, and a lady that we baby sat for during our courting days iced it.

  9. Well done, Verity! Can I tell you how excited I am to be a taste guinea-pig?! For a first attempt, that is beyond fabulous.

  10. Echoing what other have said before, but it has to be said - this is a gorgeous cake! Good look with the testing for your wedding cake.

  11. I would love to learn to decorate a cake like that. It looks gorgeous :)

  12. Vivienne - it's surprisingly easy to get the sugarpaste so smooth with a smoother. I got a load of cake crumbs in it actually, but I stuck the hearts on top!

    Rosie - thank you! My plans for the real thing are somewhat more ambitious (tiers!)

    JoAnn - a fountain on a cake?

    Joan - I am planning to make heart biscuits for our guests too, and maybe ice "V & K" on some of them (I have some pink glitter too to use!)

    Leaning - it really was my first try!!

    Hannah - that's not me in the picture, that's the lady who helped me rescue the cake! I couldn't wear my Persephone apron anyway, far too nice to wear around food coloruing. I wore my Paddington Bear one.

    Geraldine - I think my parents did something similar with using friends and relatives to make and ice the cake. It's nice to have personal involvement if you can.

    Claire - I'm starting with the vegan ones as they won't need to be made in the Kenwood.

    Bookish Spare - I can't wait to get going.

    Iris - even if you can't go on a class, there are loads of really helpful books. I recommend Essential Cake Decorating by Alex Barker.

  13. Wow, you are extrememly talented at this, how brilliant if you can make your own wedding cake!

  14. Yes, fountains were included in some very elaborate cakes. Sometimes the water was even colored to match the theme. Here are a couple of examples:

  15. Bizarrely I'm just reading a 1980s wedding cake book and there is a design for one (which made me feel hugely inadequate_

    "for the bride who plans a fairytale wedding, this sparkling, ten tier cake will make an unforgettable centrepiece at the celebration breakfast. The illuminated water fountain complements the arrangement without detracting from the cakes".

    Thanks for the pics!


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