Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby Shower Cake

For the last year or so I've gained an interest in cake decorating. I love the process of baking and cooking, but if its something sweet I need to get it out of the house. So I'm a good neighbour to have :)

When I moved here I spent more time than I should have in the local kitchen supplies shop. Seriously, that store is bad for my budget. As in, my budget gets completely ignored when a cute cookbook holder is staring at me.
While in the shop I saw that there was a cake decorating class going on, so I signed up. The objective of the course was to learn the techniques involved in decorating a cake. We worked with sugar paste (sometimes known as fondant), royal icing, learned how to make a piping bag out of parchment paper (which I felt was the most useful tip), piping, gumpaste and different cutters and ways to use them. It was one night every 4 weeks, 2 hours a go. I am surprised how much we fit in considering we only had 8 hours! 
The instructor would start building something and then we'd follow suit. So the first week we learned about rolling out sugar paste and covering a cake and cake board. I also learned to use a crimper to add some depth to the top edge of the cake. In the second week I learned about piping. We were given templates to follow which had a bunch of different shapes to replicate. Most of them involved piping the tiny dots, which were actually harder than I thought they would be, but after practicing a bit it got easier. I need a lot more practice but I was surprised how quickly I got into a groove with it.
In the third week we started working with gumpaste, which is used to make more stable items (the booties, crib and bib on the top of the cake are made from gumpaste). It hardens very quickly which makes it a little challenging to work with, but its very useful if you want to make something that requires some structure (like chairs). We also worked on the lacy frilly things around the edge of the cake, which I struggled with but will just have to practice more :)
In the final class we finished off the cake by using puncher cutters to cut out flowers and stuck them around the cake.
I really enjoyed the class. It was great for learning the basic techniques that I could take away and apply to make the type of cakes I am interested in making, like the Ambulance Cake or the Jersey cake. I wouldn't necessarily make a cake like the one we made in class (I wouldn't cover a cake for a boy's baby shower with flowers or frills, for instance. Maybe ships and bikes or something) but it was really great for learning the basics. 
But I still loved it :)

So have you ever pursued something you enjoyed from afar for ages before taking it up?

Jenn x


  1. That is so perfectly pretty! so intricate, very clever of you :)

  2. Such a cute cake! There so many thing I enjoy from afar, like beekeeping, making cheese, embroidery... one day :)

  3. Jenn, I really love the crimping effect on this one! Love the overall design!

  4. nicely done Jenn! I hope you're proud of your work [and didn't cry when it was eaten...:)]

  5. What a work of art! That crib is just amazing and the crimped edges are darling :D

  6. Hey, did you make anything cool for The Wedding? Anything new to report?

  7. What a lovely cake -everything about it is cutesy!