When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating: Fondant and Gum Paste Class 4 February 26, 2009

When life gives you lemons…

Don’t leave them in the fridge to get all moldy like I did.  Make a lemon cream tart or a cake; then everyone will be happy.

100_1983Yesterday I finished my final Wilton Cake Decorating Class, Fondant and Gum Paste.   Our instructor gave us a choice on which final cake that we wanted to do that was in the book.  At first I was going to do a square cake and make the colors black and white, but then I accidentally made an 8-inch round cake so I ended up picking another cake and decided not to change the colors.  The cake I made was a Red Velvet box cake mix.  I made a cream cheese icing filling and iced the cake in Vanilla Italian Buttercream and covered it with Fondant.

When we started off class, we all rolled out our fondant to cover our cakes.  This weeks I decided that I wasn’t going to make any of my fondant because I didn’t have time so I just used the Wilton pre-made stuff, even though it tastes like crap.  I rolled it out pretty thin because I was starting to see through it and I knew that it shouldn’t get any thinner.  I placed the fondant on my cake and started to work it around the cake and it started to tear.  I didn’t even pull on it or anything.  My instructor came up and told me it was rolled a little too thick.


I keep working with the fondant and it is going pretty well and then another side tears, and the fondant is starting to get hard.

What is going on?

Meanwhile, all the ladies at my table are having tear problems with their fondant, but the other 10 people in the class are doing just fine.  I think our table is cursed because alot of us didn’t have this much trouble covering our wedding cakes.

My instructor comes up in the middle of my disaster and feels the fondant (it started to get hard) and asks what I was using (Wilton).  I also tell her that it is a brand new package and I just opened it at the beginning of class.  She leaves and comes back with a free box of fondant for me because apparently I had a bad batch….grrr.

I finished covering my cake, tears and all.  I wasn’t too worried about all the imperfections because I knew that the handkerchiefs and the band around the bottom would cover most of the crappiness.

Our instructor went over how to make a favor box, inlays, and different borders.  Then we were to finish our cakes.  I actually finished my cake before class was over, but I had one more problem.  The instructions for my cake said that I needed to cut out 8 handkerchiefs .  When I was about to cut them out I realized I forgot my pastry wheel at home so I had to borrow someone elses.  For my entire table, one of us forgot something so we were actually sharing everything 🙂  I cut out the 8 and then start to place them on the cake…..

Well I actually needed 8.75 handkerchiefs.  I told my instructor and she asked if I cut out the right one (yes) and if my cake was the right size (yes).  So I added another one to the back of the cake so  you can’t see the crappiness of it 🙂  From then on it was easy sailing.  I put the favor box on top with the daisy and then I finished off the cake with the bottom border.

While taking pictures of my cake Theoden decided to watch and hope for a piece.


There is a rumor going around that later this year there is going to be 3 more classes added to the Wilton Cake Decorating lineup, but no one knows what they are or when it is going to happen.  When the classes finally get announced, I will take a look at them to see if it is anything worth persuing.


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating: Fondant and Gum Paste Class 1-2 February 12, 2009

Last week I started my final set of Wilton Cake Decorating Classes.  The first class was pretty short.  We covered out cake boards in fondant and then learned how to cover a cake in fondant.  It was nice to actually see the instructor demonstrate instead of just looking at pictures and being talking through it.  For our second class we had to bring in an 8 x 3 inch cake iced with buttercream that we would be using to learn a handful of different techniques.

The instructor liked to call our cake a sample cake because it just had a bunch if different things all over it.  We made a drap, one handkerchief, a border, and drop stringy things.  I don’t have my book on me currently so I am pretty sure I got the correct names for things wrong 🙂 I knew that I didn’t want my cake to look like a sample cake for its final design.



Initially I decided that I was going to cover the cake in black fondant and put a white bow on top.  That ended up going out the window when my black fondant went to crap and I had to throw it out.  I ended up deciding on a red cake with a black bow.  I used the multi color fondant back in Primary and Neutral.  For the red fondant I combined one 4.4 oz package of red fondant with 24 oz of white.  It ended up turning hot pick and I didn’t feel like adding color to it so I left it the way it was.  For the black fondant, I used the Neutral fondant packet and mixed the black, dark brown, and light brown together.  After that I added enough black gel color to turn the fondant from gray to black.  It actually worked really well, unlike the chocolate fondant incident that ended up in the trash 🙂

In the end I went with a hot pink cake with a black bow, black dots, and a black band on the bottom.  The black band covered my mistake of not paying attention when I am trimming my fondant 🙂  It worked out perfectly.

For the cake base I was initially going to use a box red velvet cake mix, but then realized that I had to make a cake for Tuesdays with Dorie next week.  In the end, I baked up the Red Velvet Cake and froze it for my final cake, and baked up the Tuesdays with Dorie Cake.  The TWD is actually a Devil’s Food White Out Cake.  The cake and the filling was by the recipe and then I iced the cake in Italian Buttercream and then covered it in fondant for class.  I will post more about the cake and its flavors on Tuesday 🙂

But for now my creation, which I call my Birthday cake.  Even though my birthday isn’t for another 2 days.



Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating Course 3 Class 4 Final January 29, 2009


I finally finished the Wilton Course 3 class.  Next month, I start taking the fondant and gum paste class.  So I am not done yet, and rumor has it there will be two new classes coming out 🙂  I guess they really want my money 🙂

Final class went by pretty smoothly.  I didn’t random scream any cuss words 🙂

I have been preparing for this cake since Saturday/Sunday. (more…)


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating Course 3 Class 2 January 16, 2009

100_1874This week we finally had the chance to play with fondant.  It wasn’t too bad.  Granted this was my first time covering a cake in fondant, I didn’t have too much trouble.  I had a stretch mark on two corners, but nothing a strategically placed flower couldn’t fix.  I did have some trouble with my black fondant.  Since I added cocoa powder to my black fondant before I added black coloring to it; it actually dried it out a little so I had to keep added shortening to it :/

Oh well, it ended up turning out okay.  For the class, I bought the Wilton fondant but it tastes extremely gross.  I have decided that for my final cake and any other I have to cover with fondant; that I am going to make my own.  Also, it will make it easier to make black fondant since I will just make chocolate fondant instead of white 🙂

In class we started to learn how to make fondant roses, but we ran out of time and only learned up to the rose bud.  It is actually pretty easy and very pretty.  I can’t wait to learn how to actually finish it.

The actually cake is the Berry Surprise Cake for Tuesdays with Dorie next week.  I am not going to write anything about the taste of the cake, but just remember this I took the fondant off the cake and redecorated it to make it look pretty.  It will look different when I post on Tuesday, but it is the same cake 🙂  The fondant came off perfectly it was awesome.


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating Course 2 Classes 3-4 January 7, 2009

Filed under: Course 2,Wilton Cake Decorating — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am

100_1849I know that I am a little behind on my Wilton Course 2 posts, especially since I start Course 3 TODAY!!!  I will update everyone on that later in the week.  Back to Course 2.  For Class 3, we learned a few more flowers and our instructor taught us the basketweave earlier so that we could practice it at home.  The flowers that we learned to make were the primrose, pansy, daffodil, and daisy.  You wouldn’t think that out of all of those flowers the one that was the hardest would be the daisy, for me that is.  I have no idea why but trying to get those petals to look right just drove me crazy.  Also anytime I would have to pipe the last petal on anything I would cut part of the first petal off :/ (more…)


Adventures In Wilton Cake Decorating Course 2 Classes 1-2 December 17, 2008

Filed under: Course 2,Wilton Cake Decorating — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am

I started the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 2 last week.  I am so thankful that we don’t have to make a cake every week like in Course 1.  That was CRAZY.  Just having a cake in my apartment every week is dangerous.  For Course 2 there is only the final cake that you have to make.  All of the classes concentrate on all of the flowers that you need to make to put on your cake.

For the first class we had to bring 1 recipe of buttercream icing in and we practice 2 new flowers (rose bud and mum), reviewed some of the boarders from Course 1, learned 1 new boarder (reverse shell), and how to make a rosette.  The rosebud was probably the hardest thing for me to get down that night because I was trying to get the perfect curl in the middle.  By the end of the class I had it down, but of course I haven’t practiced since then.  The mum was also very simple.  The new reverse shell boarder was really cool, but you have to constantly remind yourself to alternate positions while making the boarder.  The rosette actually came in handy this past weekend.  I ended up piping rosettes in stabilized whipped cream on top of my Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes and Mini Key Lime Pies.  They turned out perfect 🙂

For the second class, we had to learn to make two new icings: royal icing and color flow.  Both of these I have actually worked with before while decorating cookies, and when I made the swirl flowers for one of my cakes in Course 1.  I found it interesting that when making the royal icing the 100_1787wilton method essentially tells you to put everything in a bowl and mix it together for 7-10 minutes.  Any time that I have learned how to make royal icing, first you whip up the meringue powered with the water until stiff peaks form, then you add the sugar and whip it up until everything is combined.  I asked my instructor why Wilton did it this way and she didn’t have any idea.  Oh well.

For the second class we learned how to make apple blossoms, violets, violet leaves, and color flow birds.  The two flowers gave me the most trouble.  They weren’t hard it was just making sure that the tip of the bag was at the right angle so that I could get the flower right.  For the apple blossom I just need to work on making sure the last petal that I put on doesn’t stand up.  I actually had the violet and the violet leaves down by the end of class.  Of course we were suppose to make 5-10 flowers and leaves of each and have them for our final cake.  Well in class I made 1 apple blossom, 3 violets, and 5 violet leaves.  I wanted to make sure that I was happy with what I made and not just putting it on there for the hell of it.  The color flow birds were fun.  We only need to make two for the final cake but they tell you to make 4 just in case two of your birds come to an untimely end.  Which is wise.  I ended up only making 2 in class because I thought we were going to make the other two at home.  They turned out great.  I still need to color flow in their beaks and add an eye, but they look almost like the picture 🙂

100_1784Next class is going to be crazy because we are learning 4-5 more flowers, which are a little difficult.  Also if we have time our instructor is going to teach us how to pipe a basketweave, which I am really looking forward to 🙂


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating: Course 1 Class 4 November 27, 2008

Filed under: Course 1,Wilton Cake Decorating — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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For all the things that seemed to go wrong on Monday and Tuesday, I actually finished my cake.  Not in class though.  I was having some issues and I mean ISSUES.

First, the District Manager at Michaels decided to order the store a CRAP ton of Christmas Trees.  With nowhere to put them, they got dumped in the teaching classroom.  So we ended up having class in their break room.

NOT A GOOD IDEA!!! (more…)