What No One Ever Tells You about Cake Decorating...
With the prevalence of cake competition shows, Pinterest and Craftsy, cake decorating has quickly become a very popular hobby over the last several years! As an instructor, I usually start off by asking my students WHY they decided to take a class. The answers vary, but I hear this one quite a bit:
"I know how to bake, but I want to learn how to make everything look nice."
Some of my students take one in-person class just to see if they like it. Though they enjoy the experience, a few decide that it's just not for them and never return. Others come into class determined to learn every single aspect of cake decorating because they want to be able to make amazing treats for their family and friends. No matter where you are in your cake journey, below are a few things that no one ever tells you about cake decorating... except me of course!
Patience is a MUST!
There are two statements that I frequently make during class: "Take your time" & "Don't be too hard on yourself; this is your first time doing it this way"! In the words of motivational speaker Les Brown, "Practice makes improvement." I've been decorating cakes since early 2011, and even I make mistakes from time to time. The important thing is to be patient with yourself and realize that it takes time and practice to get better as a cake artist. If you lack patience and don't take the time to practice at every opportunity, you'll quickly get frustrated and be tempted to give up.
It's all about having the right tools and knowing when/how to use them!
No doubt you've pinned some mind-blowing cake designs on Pinterest. Most cake artists are mum about telling you how they've pulled off some of those magnificent details, but I'm here to tell you that it's really all about having the right tools and knowing when and how to use them! Cake artists frequently use cutters, molds, extruders, and other tools in order to save time and maintain a consistent look. YOU CAN TOO! Build your arsenal little by little, watch tutorials on how to use these tools (proper and alternative methods) and practice using them.
Cake decorating can be an expensive hobby!
There are countless products in the world of cake decorating; about 75% of which are disposable and consumable. Let's think about some of those kinds of items: icing, fondant, sprinkles, decorating bags, cake boards, cake bases, etc... The list goes on. The other 25% are tools that you use and keep. They include, but aren't limited to, cake pans, decorating tips, levelers, cutters, molds, spatulas, mats, rolling pins, etc. All of these items can vary in price from 50 cents up to $100 depending on the item. Must people start off with a kit of some kind, then slowly accumulate items over time. I find that financially this is the easiest tactic for many people. Keep in mind that it all adds up. You may look back and realize that you've spent a pretty penny on all those cake decorating goodies!
You are uniquely positioned to make a difference in someone's life!
People are always celebrating something. Whether it's a birthday, wedding, baby shower, retirement, going-away, graduation, there's always a potential for cake (or cupcakes, cake pops, etc.)! As a cake artist, you have a unique opportunity to provide a memorable treat for those being celebrated. When you do this, please know that YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE in the lives of others! Being a cake artist can present intrinsic value and give you a sense of purpose in the world. Check out my related blog post on other ways you can give back to your community as a cake artist!