Learning to Decorate Cakes


There is something exciting, scary and humbling about learning a new technique, skill or process.

I think I’m pretty good with using my hands creatively whether it’s sewing, typing or working with crafts. I also played the piano for 8 years when I was younger so I consider myself fairly “nimble fingered”. Well, I’ve met my match! I started a cake decorating class with my daughter, Kelly; my daughter-in-law, Marnie; and my friend, Sheri. THIS has been a FUN experience doing something with “the girls”, but also frustrating for me. Our teacher, Diana, is extremely patient with everyone in the class. It is a good experience for every teacher to BE the student! I agree that new challenges and learning new skills are important in life but sometimes …… well, I’ve found that my hands and wrists are somewhat inflexible for doing cake decorating.
Here is the cake I made on Thursday. The basket is made from a sugar mold which is kind of like packing brown sugar in a mold except the sugar is extremely fine. Once it’s packed you flip it over on a board and let it dry. Now THAT was easy – my kind of cake decorating! Now onto to the roses where you have to pipe frosting (the right consistency) on basically turning a large toothpick standing up straight. I know it takes time and practice, and many of my roses were discarded back in the container of frosting. They are not as easy to make as you would think! My daughter made the beautiful yellow roses and shared them with me while I did the others (which in person look like blobs with curved thingies). The leaves are fun to make!! I was called an “over achiever” by Sheri as I put a rose on the basket! Did you know that you can keep the frosting in a refrigerator for up to one year? We have all sorts of tubs of frosting in different colors in ours now. It’s kind of like having a “frosting stash”!

While I was creating the finished cake, I thought of all the beautiful basket quilts I would love to make, and told Diana, the teacher, that piecing the basket blocks and appliqueing flowers was MUCH easier than cake decorating. She didn’t agree. Next week we’re making clowns (and hopefully I won’t look like one.)