Tips For Cake Decorating {Ask the Readers}

Cake Decorating

Last week I shared this photo on Instagram along with this.

I don’t think my son is going to mind the fact that one of my daughter’s summer projects is to learn some cake decorating skills. I think he will gladly eat even the ugly practice ones.

The story behind that picture is that in the last week my daughters have made three batches of cupcakes, several bowls of frosting, and some fondant. Learning how to decorate cakes definitely gives you a bit of a sugar overload. :-)

I am thrilled though that my girls, especially my 15 year old, is showing an interest in cake decorating.

I love to make a cake taste great. I love the experimenting. I love changing up recipes to make different flavors. I love coming up with different gluten free cakes. Cake decorating has never been my thing though. I just don’t like it.

I love making a cake taste great, but I have never enjoyed all the work involved in getting a cake to look great. I usually slap some homemade frosting on it and call it good. My daughter on the other hand loves to spend time making a cake look great. She loves the details and the artistry of it.

I am thinking the two of us will make a great team. I can work on making the cake part delicious and she can work on making the cake look great.

Since I have never really had much interest in cake decorating, I am a bit clueless on helping her learn the skills she wants to learn. Which leads me to my Ask the Readers question for today.

Ask The Readers

I am hoping some of you have come cake decorating skills and might have some suggestions for us on the best way to learn more. She is wanting to learn how to do cupcakes and cookies as well, so any tips on that would be great as well.

We have done some searching online and watched a few videos, but we would love some help in finding more information and tips.

For those of you that love cake decorating do you have a favorite book, website, or other source for learning how to decorate cakes? Or do you have any tips or advice to share with us? And by us I really mean her because again cake decorating is not my thing, but I will gladly encourage her in any way I can. I look forward to hearing from those that know way more than I do on this. Thanks!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I’m with you. I love baking cakes, but I don’t like decorating them. That’s why I mostly only make sheet cakes. Slap on a little icing and you’re good to go! :-) I have noticed craft stores, like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, offer cake decorating classes from time to time. Sometimes the parks and recreation department in our town also offers them. That might be a really good place to start. You could also check to see if the local junior college offers cake decorating classes to the general public. Often you don’t have to be an actual college student to take the continuing education classes.

  2. My mom took Wilton classes at a store. If that’s not an option, Wilton does make nice books–or at least they did. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have videos online. A mom on our little league team said she buys her supplies online though a supplier in NY–probably easy to google. Not sure what the name was, but she said it was much cheaper than buying at the craft stores or local cake supply store. Community colleges usually have classes, too. Regardless where you take a class, you’re required to buy your own kit.

    I picked up by watching my mom all those years, so I have basic skills. You can buy fondant pre-made or make your own. It may give a smooth finish, but it doesn’t have much taste–still need a good buttercream underneath. The icing gel colors are highly pigmented, use a little at a time to get the color you want, and are more cost-effective. Buy some basic colors–you can mix colors to get other colors. And, there’s usually a formula chart to tell you.

    • I usually use the Domino sugar recipe for icing, but mom used one that utilized shortening rather than butter. I try to avoid shortening.

      Classes will also give different icing recipes–royal icing for flowers and other decorative items, sugar molds, and there are probably a lot of new techniques–mom took her classes in the early 80s. Let’s just say, there was a time I didn’t eat cake because we always had leftover cake. 😉

      • She has been using a recipe with shortening, so I will have to have her look at that recipe. I would much rather her use a butter one if we can find a good one. So thank you!

    • I agree on the fondant. I don’t like the way it tastes, but she is loving it for molding things etc. I am hoping she doesn’t try a whole cake in it though. :-) And thanks on the formula idea chart. So far she has just done basic ones, but she is starting to want to do a some different colors so that would be helpful. Thanks!

  3. Adult ed! I took classes with the local rec department that offered many adult ed cooking classes. It was taught in the evening at the local high school and was fairly cheap. And it wasn’t a Wilton’s class so it didn’t require much equipment.

  4. Shealyn says:

    Try there are some free classes and always have sales- 50% off is common. Once bought you can watch the class as often as you want, pause it, ask questions. I’ve watched lots of YouTube but I took a free class at craftsy (John Russell) and did Jessica Harrias clean & some. It took my skills to an entire new level. Well worth the money.

    • I have never done Craftsy classes, but have heard they are good. I never thought to look there though for cake decorating. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. if you receive JoAnn emails, sometimes they have discounts for Crafty classes–must have a partnership.

  6. Annie’s eats website has tons of cupcake recipes

  7. Check the library for books and videos, in both the kids and adults sections. There are some great books on decorating cupcakes or big cakes in different shapes that don’t use special pans, its just how you cut the cake before you frost it.

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