Happy Friday! We made it! Today is my last day at my current position and, naturally, I’m having some mixed emotions. While I’m excited for my new opportunity, I have met some great people here. All and all, though, I’m ready for my next adventure. And what I better way to celebrate my last day then with cake?

Well, not really. But, this post is about cake decorating. Last Saturday, I took part one of a two-part cake decorating class in Boston. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s been a pretty good class so far. The teacher is knowledgeable and I now feel a little more confident in my decorating skills.

Last week’s class was focused on making buttercream frostings, frosting a cake and using a pastry bag and tips to decorate. We used the star tip and leaf tip, which are two of the most common tips to use in cake decorating.

The instructor suggested we practice our skills this week prior to returning to class on Saturday. One night this week, I did just that. I prepared my frosting (and colored it blue so it photographed okay for the blog), added the frosting to the pastry bag and went to town. My one dilemma: taking photos while covered in frosting and trying not to get frosting on my camera. I need a photographer.

The star tip is the most versatile, with the ability to create a variety of borders, flowers and other designs.

Shell border.

Rope border.

Stars/Flowers.

Frosting Drops.

The leaf tip was fun too, but I need more practice with it. Right now, the tips of my leaves aren’t the prettiest. But practice makes perfect, right?

Ruffled Leaf.

Here are some tips I learned in the first class:

  1. Place the empty pastry bag in a glass and fold the outer edges of the bag down before filling it with frosting. This will provide you with extra stability and less of a mess when filling the bag with frosting.  

     2.  Use an ice cream scoop to add frosting to the prepared pastry bag (see #1). This allows you to measure how much frosting you’re using while making less of a mess. (See a theme here?)

     3. Before starting to decorate, squeeze all of the frosting down in the bag to the tip – allowing all the air bubbles to be released.

     4. Twist the pastry bag closed (don’t fold it closed). Hold your hand over the twisted area when decorating.

      5. When frosting a cake (this is a big one!), first spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake and then refrigerate it for 10 minutes. The thin layer seals the cake so when you add the next layer of frosting (that’s visible to everyone), the crumbs from the cake    don’t get into the frosting. Clever, huh? I have definitely ended up with a cookies-and-cream-looking cake due to crumbs in my frosting so I love this last tip! 

If cake decorating interests you, I suggest taking a class or even picking up a book on it. I found a book called “Decorating Cakes” for $10 at Michael’s and it’s really good for beginners. I love the step-by-step instructions and the beautiful photos. For me, I know a book like this will help supplement what I learn in the class and I’m sure I’ll reference it a lot in the future!

In addition to part two of my class this weekend, I’m also making my grandmother’s birthday cake.  Eek! Let’s see if I’m skilled enough to bake and decorate a pretty cake. I’m nervous but I’ll be sure to post my results.

Any big plans for the weekend? Enjoy it!

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