Wilton Cake Experts? I need advice!

16 replies [Last post]
By mommamia8 on Mon, 10-09-06, 01:42

OK. How hard is it for a beginner to jump right in? I want to decorate a Cars cake for my son's birthday in Dec. I bought the pan. And have an email in about their icing pastes.

Do I need a class? Or just practice?
If I can't use their pastes what will I do?
I guess I'll use their Buttercream frosting recipe.

Any tips/suggestions?

Thanks!

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By mjfavazza on Mon, 10-09-06, 01:57

I'm currently enrolled in Wilton 2 and am enjoying it immensely! I figure if I'm always going to have to bake my DD's cakes and send her to parties with a cupcake, they can at least look good.

It's pretty easy to follow Wilton's directions with their character pans, so you can probably do it on your own.

I use Cake Kraft colors because the Wilton colors are not guaranteed safe. I bought them at a cake supply store or you can order them online.

My DD also has an egg allergy so I also avoid using Wilton Meringue Poweder in the frosting. It hasn't been a problem with the Buttercream but it is proving a challenge with Royal Icing!

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By mommamia8 on Mon, 10-09-06, 02:02

Thanks for the info!

What is Royal icing?

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By mommamia8 on Mon, 10-09-06, 02:05

Hmm. I don't see Cake Kraft when I google. Could you give me a link

Thanks again!

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By joeybeth on Mon, 10-09-06, 02:52

if you are planning to use one of their themed pans and decorate with the stars, it should be pretty easy. i used to do those a few years ago with no experience and they always came out really, really cute. i even let my then 6 yr old (she's now 15!) help with a couple and she did fine. just follow the instructions on the paper that came with the pan.

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By ryan's mom on Mon, 10-09-06, 12:14

I took all three Wilton courses. I did try on my own at first, but learning from a Wilton instructor just let me zoom with all I could do. You'll learn how to do the kids' themed cakes as well as fancy wedding cakes. It depends on how you learn too. Structured classes are great for me and help me set a good timeframe in which to do things. Doing it at home by myself opens me up to all kinds of interruptions. When I "officially" took the classes, I got time away from DH and the kids to really work on the cakes. And I also had "real" homework to do too.

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By dgood on Mon, 10-09-06, 14:30

I HIGHLY recommend the Wilton Decorator Pro. It works so incredibly well and anyone can use it to make perfect "piped" shells, stars, etc. with no training whatsoever. You fill the metal tube, add your favorite metal tip and simply pump each star, shell,etc. I make all my cakes with it and people think I took a cake decorating lesson! It's so easy and impressive. You can find it at AC Moore, JoAnn's, Michaels, craft stores and I those places usually run 40-50% coupons. There is the Dessert Decorator Pro and another version that is less expensive. They both work well but the one in the link below is better quality and does the same things.

[url="http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E31922D-475A-BAC0-54C576DE24DBEE35&fid=3E32B08D-475A-BAC0-5B2A9290CE06CAD1"]http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product...B2A9290CE06CAD1[/url]

I tried to use the bags and tips for pros and it is really hard. I think one needs to practice a lot with books or videos before doing that!

Also, I use the Wilton Buttercream icing which gets a stiff shell on it after it sets so it doesn't mess. It is VERY sweet though. I also use regular Betty Crocker icing and the piping works great. The only think with Betty Crocker is the icing doesn't "set" and it will mess up if it is touched or pressed against a box, etc.

Wilton Buttercream Icing
Ingredients:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine*
1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk**
Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

YIELD: 3 cups

Also, I always buy a professional cardboard / window top box from our local Party City store and it looks like it came from a bakery!! Good luck!!!

[This message has been edited by dgood (edited October 09, 2006).]

__________________

DD (age 4) - allergic to peanuts, some tree nuts, egg whites, dogs, cats, environmental allergies

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By on Mon, 10-09-06, 17:00

I bought some tips and one of their magazines and started practicing. The good news is, the first few messy starts taste good even if they look funny. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

If I took the course I think I would do better, but my kids always seems happy with what I provided -- and some of them I have been quite proud of. I've never used the shaped cakes, I just bake a square or round cake and design my own picture.

I do use Wilton pastes -- but I'd prefer to find another brand that would tell me it's peanut-free. The last time I contacted Wilton they said the pastes *may contain*, but when I asked specific questions, it seemed the risk would be in the ingredients they purchased -- not a risk within their own plant. Since I had already been using the pastes, I decided to continue using them -- though I rarely buy new colours.

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By mommamia8 on Mon, 10-16-06, 16:56

Wow! Thanks for all the tips and advice. I got the cake pan the other day and was reading the directions. It talked about icing the cake and how to do piping, etc. I'm confused though. Is white icing applied to the whole cake and then the little colored star parts are put over the icing? If so, will I see the indentations of the pan well enough?

hehe...beginner...

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By joeybeth on Mon, 10-16-06, 18:13

it's been so long since i've done one of those but as i remember, it was still easy to tell where the lines would be. seems like i remember the piping is your guide. ??? not sure. also, you will have the instructions handy and can look off those for the picture of what it's supposed to look like finished. i don't remember icing the cake first, but that would make sense. i do remember piping along the lines (indentations) of the cake and then filling in those areas with stars.

if i could do it....and ours turned out really cute...then you certainly can. haha. i think you will be surprised how nicely it comes out. have fun and good luck!

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By amyd on Mon, 10-16-06, 19:07

I did a class a few years ago when I contemplated catering and needed to brush up on my cake decorating skills. It was at the actual Wilton headquarters in Illinois and I had a great time! I'm not sure what kind of class exactly that you are taking (is it live or online or what?) But learning to decorate is really, really fun!

My first flowers and such came out looking hideous but by the end we got to design and construct a wedding cake (made of foam, covered in royal icing). It was fun.

I'm not a fan of Wilton products like frosting or their recipes for buttercream... there are much tastier things you can make. But their directions for things like piping and stuff are spot on.

Have fuN!

Amy

__________________

Amy

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By NicoleinNH on Mon, 02-05-07, 02:15

I (like you) taught myself to decorate cakes out of ncessity (my DD was diagnosed with Peanut & egg allergy at 14 months). I wanted her cakes to be fabulous, so she would never feel like her birthday cake wasn't "as special". I think we have achieved that. I have decorated so many cakes since that time. I never took a class, but would love to do that when time permits. The shaped pans are quite easy, but time-consuming. My sister usually helps me. I now have 3 children and make all of their birthday cakes--I want my DD with allergies to always be able to share her family's birthday cake, since she is unable to do that with friends.

It is a lot of fun. I would post pictures if I knew how.

I know this is a late response. I hope your son's birthday was very happy!
Nicole

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited February 04, 2007).]

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By ryan's mom on Wed, 02-14-07, 13:17

Maybe I can finally get my scanner going today since DH's office closed due to bad weather. I can scan in pics of my efforts before taking the 3 Wilton classes and my work after. Um...there's no comparison LOL! I had a terrific instructor and the results prove it.

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By joeybeth on Wed, 02-14-07, 16:48

isn't it nice to be able to do something special and professional looking for your food allergic child(ren)? the smiles are worth all the hard work. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By mjfavazza on Wed, 02-14-07, 19:06

You can find Cake Craft colors at [url="http://www.cakecraftshoppe.com/showprod.asp?catid=22&mcatid=30."]http://www.cakecraftshoppe.com/showprod.asp?catid=22&mcatid=30.[/url]

Royal Icing is a combination of meringue powder, confectioners' sugar and water and in the Wilton classes is made to use flowers, decorations,etc. Without the meringue powder it doesn't hold together. So I make my flowers out of buttercream instead.

I use 1 C. confectioners' sugar, 2 tsp. water and 2 tsp. corn syrup plus flavoring and color to make a good egg-free "royal" icing that I use to decorate my egg-free sugar cookies. We just decorated some last night for Valentine's Day!

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By SallyL on Wed, 02-14-07, 19:49

Bless your heart! I'm taking the Wilton classes too and my DD is egg allergic as well as PA (the main reason for me taking the class...only to find out we need to put meringue in everything!) I've skipped it so far, but this week we start using royal icing.

Thanks for the recipe - I'll be trying it out for sure!

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By ryan's mom on Thu, 02-15-07, 18:17

I put some of my "After the Wilton Courses" cakes on the Misc board under the What are your Hobbies thread. If you want me to post my befores (which I don't like very much), I will. There IS a difference.

Cake decorating courses will teach you proper floral arrangements, fill-ins, etc.

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