Introduction: Introduction to Cake Decorating

Picture of Introduction to Cake Decorating

So you're interested in learning about cake decorating! Whether you are looking to start your own cake decorating business or just want to make a birthday or special occasion cake you are in the right place.

This instructable is a breakout lesson from my Cake Decorating 101 collection and will walk you through an outline of everything you can learn (from the collection of projects & recipes). It also helps you learn a bit about me and the tools you will need to succeed in cake decorating. If you are interested in learning more about the cake decorating process please take a look at the link above!

Techniques learned will include: baking a cake; leveling, filling, and stacking a cake; applying chocolate ganache; covering a cake with fondant; and hand-sculpting five different fondant flowers along with a few adorable little birds! Recipes will be provided for: double chocolate cake; delicious vanilla buttercream; dark chocolate ganache; and ganache truffles.

Step 1: What You Will Make & Learn

Whether you are a total amateur or looking to start your own cake decorating business, these projects are for you and I'm so glad you're here to learn! Throughout the lessons in the collection I will offer tips and tricks, secrets of the trade, and suggestions for making cake decorating a very simple process. Here is a rundown of what you will learn!


Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe


Leveling a Cake & Cutting Layers


Ganache Recipe & Applying Ganache


Vanilla Buttercream Recipe


Filling & Stacking Cake Layers


Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipe


Applying Rolled Fondant


Sculpting Fondant Decorations

During the lessons in the collection you will design and create two different cakes — a trendy, decadent drip cake topped with sweet confections and an adorable fondant covered cake decorated with flowers and birds. Both will start with a rich double chocolate cake covered in dark chocolate ganache as a sturdy (and delicious) base!


Making a Drip Cake


Decorating a Fondant Cake

What is a drip cake? A drip cake is traditionally a ganache or buttercream covered cake that has thinned ganache (or glaze) dripping down the sides. Drip cakes can be decorated in any way imaginable. We will be using store-bought candies and fondant flowers to decorate with. This cake will be perfect for a small wedding, an anniversary, or a birthday party.

What is a fondant cake? A fondant cake is covered with an edible sugar paste that can be molded and formed over a cake. It can also be used to create sculptural and decorative items. Fondant adds nice structure to a cake that will hold up in the elements.

Step 2: Why Should You Follow Along With Me?

There are tons of cake tutorials and classes out there, what's different about mine?

When I first started decorating cakes there weren't many videos or classes available so I learned mostly by trial-and-error. I made mistakes—lots of them! Now, you can find a video tutorial for almost anything related to cake decorating. I have watched several short Vimeo and YouTube videos to see how other cake decorators make various things. There is certainly no lack of videos and they range from working with fondant molds to making isomalt jewels but there aren't many comprehensive lessons/classes out there that can take you from the first ingredient to a completely finished and decorated cake!

I look forward to any questions you might have along the way and making things as easy for you as possible. Feel free to shoot me a message on any project or a private message to my account. I can't wait to see what you create.

Step 3: About Me

Picture of About Me

Hi, my name is Jen Wold. While I'm not working away at Instructables I run a cake decorating business called Clever Wren Cakes & Sweets located along the mighty Mississippi River and an Etsy shop called Thermies. I've been creating custom cakes for over 10 years and my kitchen is always filled with the delicious aroma of cake! My other creative hobbies include: sewing, quilting, embroidery, fused glass, stained glass, weaving, and trying and creating new recipes.

Step 4: Tools for Cake Making & Decorating

Now that you have a basic overview of how these lessons are structured and what you will be learning, let's find out about the required tools and ingredients to make fun decorated cakes!

If you have ever been to the cake decorating section at your local craft supply store you may have noticed that there are literally hundreds of specialty tools and supplies for cake making and decorating. Since one could spend a small fortune buying all of these items (some completely unnecessary) I will limit the amount of specialty tools used to keep costs down.

REQUIRED TOOLS - All of the tools in this list are necessary to complete the lessons in this collection.

OPTIONAL TOOLS - The tools listed below will make some of the steps in these lessons easier, but none of them are required to create beautiful cakes. I will offer creative solutions and substitutions for the following items that you might find in your home kitchen.

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Bio: Hi, my name is Jen! I'm a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator ... More »
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