Cake Class #3: Decorating Tips

Thursday night was cake class!

week #1 i wore "chef's whites;" this week i went with "representing team (iron chef?!) canada!"

This week we got down to the nitty-gritty of cake decorating. There was no time to spare!

Shay kept our noses to the grindstone  – kidding! Shaw is much too nice and fun for that seriousness (hi Shay – am I sucking up too much!?!) Seriously, though, I am glad that Shay is experienced in teaching this course. Week #3 is jam-packed with decorating lessons.

[Sidenote: I’ve taken to calling our course the Survivor Cake Class: week one we started out with 12 participants, week two we saw 11 class members, and this week there were only nine of us!].

I liked the organization of this week’s class: Shay demonstrated the decorating idea…

first up: the drop flower!

…we tried out our technique using our Practice Board…

the drop flower was not too taxing!

…then we’d move on. Like I said, our evening’s curriculum covered a lot of “tips” (note the dual-meaning!…tips as in handy knowledge AND the physical decorating tool on the end of our icing bags!).

The rosette followed the drop flower:

the trick to the rosette is all in the squeeze pressure and the hand rotation!

Next, the technique that proved to be my nemesis: THE SHELL:

Shay stressed that we wanted SHELLS not SNAILS. Let’s just say that I foresee a lot of aquatic-themed cakes in my future. I make excellent snails. Ho-hum!

shay makes it look so easy - wah!!!

my family of snails - i mean shells! this is called a shell border!!!

The trick, I figured out, is all in the release of pressure – I had more success if I added a wrist swoop…not sure if that is officially allowed (Shhh!).

Here’s today’s Tip of Brilliant Wisdom that Shay imparted at some point during the evening: “Every cake has a front and a back. Start [decorating] at the back.” Haha, I can just picture myself waving my hands over my cake, asking it: “….and where do YOU feel your front is, mr cake??? ommmmm…”

Anyway, where were we…yes! Making Barbie bouquets! That’s what our next trick reminded me of anyway!….

we got to use a little pedestal/golf tee thing-y on which to make our FLOWER

We sped along to the pompom flower: multi-steps and multi-tips are needed!…

hard at work!

Can I just give a shout out to my table-mate, Linda? I am so glad we ended up together…I love her relaxed approach and the wealth of cakey knowledge she has:

maybe the trick to being a natural is being a grandmum and mother...years of experience!

If you have flowers, you’re gonna need LEAVES!!! My leaves kept coming out perpendicular to the work surface. Shay to the rescue – just turn Tip #352 to the SIDE and your leaf will lie flat! I foresee a lot of FORESTED CAKES in my future: I like making leaves, and they are easy!

Our last flower was my favourite of the whole night: the shaggy mum. ALLLL I could think of as I practised was the Muppets! I have this urge to make a shaggy cake…I foresee MUPPET CAKES (ok, maybe “creature cakes”) in my future!

my first efforts at the shaggy look!

All I could think of after seeing my shaggy cupcake was that it looked like when you over-condition your hair or use hard water and it goes limp and flat. My shaggy cupcake needs a salon treatment!

I was glad I did not attempt to fill my cupcakes (this lesson was optional) – as it was, I only had about 15 minutes with which to ice my six cupcakes. Class #3 could use another half hour!

i LOVE making the drop flower!!! a spring look to cupcake #1!

shay helped me transfer my platformed flower onto my cuppie-cake with this neat-o lifter thing!

...and i humbly present to you...

that's a better angle!

...and my box of cupcakes that i brought home!

Whew! That was a lot of work, this class! But now I feel a lot more confident with the tips that are in my possession. Look at all the tools we used!…

i washed everything up asap - dried and hardened icing would be no fun to clean up!

Our homework for next week is to bring in a cake, and have a design plan for it. I will make my cake tomorrow eve during the Oscars, and then brainstorm how to make shaggy + drop flowers be friends how to decorate it! So sad it’s our final class next Thursday!


Quick quick…last eve  my friend Michelle, B and I went to see “The King’s Speech.” We all agreed that it was fantastic. Go see this movie! I hope it cleans up at the Oscars tomorrow. For a future blog post, I would like to examine the relationship between Colin First and his speech therapist, played by Geoffrey Rush. Suffice to say, for now, that the film is simply wonderful. And while Colin Firth does an amazing job, my favourite actor was Geoffrey Rush. Luckily, they are nominated in two different categories tomorrow eve!


Lastly, I’m going to gaze into my crystal ball and make five predictions on winners for tomorrow night’s Academy Awards. And I hearby solemnly swear that if I get all five correct, I will hold a cookie giveaway. I can’t mail a cake. 🙂

Best Picture: Inception will win

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges will win for True Grit

Best Actress: Michelle Williams will win for Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale will win for The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter will win for The King’s Speech

* who I predict is not necessarily who I want to win!


We’re off to Jillian and Duncan‘s Stag & Doe tonight! To Drink or Not To Drink, That is the Important Question… 🙂

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  • Zo  On February 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

    How cute are those cupcakes. Again, I’m amazed by seeing how much skill, work, and (equipment!)go into it. You also look like you’re having fun!
    Good luck on the Oscar predictions. We are having a little contest in the strivingcynic household where mr. sc, sc teen, and I each wrote our predictions, put them in an envelope, sealed it, each signed over the seal (seriously)…but it’s just a points system…no other award for the winner.
    My picks. King’s Speech, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Natalie Portman, and Hailee Steinfeld (I think, not sure who I picked in that category…). So, we’ll see!

    • 1970kikiproject  On February 27, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Oooo, I think you’ve made some wise and potentially winning oscar picks! I love the contest the three of you have…including the sealed envelopes! Can’t wait to hear who wins (both the awards and your contest!) Yes, it’s great to own all these cake decorating tools, now…and also the worse workbook/manual – I’m going to be referring to it a lot in the future. My fam better watch out – any excuse for a special occasion is going to get a cake thrown in!!

  • Holly  On February 26, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I love the cake decorating “practice sheets” — what a good idea. And yes, you could make a cake and decorate it with the shaggy tip and throw on two big googly eyes to make Sesame Street characters! How fun.

    I heard King’s Speech is really good — I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies though 😦 I keep hearing that Natalie Portman will win best actress and Colin Firth will win best actor…although I hope your picks are correct so you have a cookie giveaway!

    My 9 miles went great today, and I’ve spent more time on my foam roller than I ever have before!

    • 1970kikiproject  On February 27, 2011 at 5:52 am

      i, too, hope natalie and colin win – since i saw both of their movies, i know they are worthy. i just know “the academy” tends to vote conservatively and some actors just some to be “the in thing” certain years. another example: jesse from the social network was brilliant, but i don’t think he’s “popular” enough to win. great job on the miles today! foam roll tonight, too, and watch the oscars!!!! 🙂 love your idea of googly eyes!! thanks!

  • Deb  On February 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    LMAO at the to drink or not to drink …. I believe all readers know you better than that!

    AND your Oscar picks – not a single for The King’s Speech. was your audience also filled with seniors???? Months ago ours was!

    • 1970kikiproject  On February 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      Yup, you know me! I ended up being DD!! Maybe I’ll drink while I watch the oscars!? Audience was….not young!!

  • Katherine: Unemployed  On February 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    oh how I love giveaways. seriously, this cake decorating class is so neat. I wish I could be graded on something other than school. How awesome to see the different techniques you’re learning

    • 1970kikiproject  On February 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      it IS fun, katherine! you make a good point, here: it’s refreshing to be learning new skills, yet not being marked on how *well* you perform them. usually, i’m the type that goes for the A+…with this course, i am enjoying just trying my best, but also laughing at limp shaggies and bumpy shells. that’s my a-ha of decorating class!

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