Cake decorating 1 – cake 1

This is my first cake which I decorated in Wilton course 1 – class 2. I am not happy with my decoration, but for the first cake, I think it is okay. I didn’t make the rose which is in the center of the cake. Our instructor was teaching us making a rose and I just could not let her destroy that rose.

I wanted to seriously work on my hobbies in my free time, but I don’t know when I will be free again, so I thought of taking a step towards it right away. So finally a long time dream came true. I joined Wilton’s cake decorating classes. Thanks to Archana who gave me all the inspiration I needed to learn cake decorating. Thanks Arjuna for letting me know about Wilton classes.

We have an amazing instructor for our Wilton classes. She is an old lady, may be 80+ years old, who has taught for around 37years. I will update with more information and a small interview with her tomorrow.

Update: A conversation with my teacher at Wilton classes

I got to know that Michaels has Wilton classes from my colleague, and then I went to the store which is just across the street from my place. I saw a notice at the entrance about cake decorating course-1 which had just started 2 days ago. I had missed it by 2 days. I was so upset. I went to the cashier and asked about the next class. She said classes are not conducted if they didn’t have 3 students and she asked us to come back in the last week of February. I continued going to that store every week, even though she had asked me to come in the last week, just because I didn’t want to miss the March classes. Finally in the last week, she had the schedule and there were 8 students!!!. She asked me to come on Wednesday(classes are on Thursday) and check and see if I still want to take class. I said, I can’t wait till then so just sign me up :). That one week I counted every minute for my class to start.

Thursday I reached the class at 6PM though I knew the class was at 6.30PM. There was this old lady who was arranging all her cake decorating materials. She said her name is Barbara and she is the instructor for the classes. I could not believe it for sometime. I had imagined a young/middle aged women to be the instructor. I was so thrilled that I would be learning it from a person as experienced as her. She is a super active person. She keeps walking around and she is full of energy for her age. Hats off to her. More than the fact that I am learning cake decorating, I am thrilled to learn it from Barbara.

First class was just introduction. Barbara decorated a cake and asked us to watch her. She had decorated a beautiful cake in just a matter of 10mins. All along she gave us so many tips about baking cakes, icing them, the consistency, the flavor etc. She also told us how it is done in bakeries. In those 2 hours I realized, I would remember these tips and guidance given by her throughout my life.

In the second class, I asked her some questions about her background and how she started all this. Following is the conversation.

Me: How did you learn cake decorating?
Barbara : I am a self taught person. I started decorating cakes by looking at the recipes/methods given in Wilton’s newspapers. There were no classes at that time. Those were the days, when we didn’t even have materials required in this city.

Me: How old were you at that time?
Barbara: I don’t remember, but I had three kids. I may be in my late twenties then.

Me: How did you start teaching in Wilton classes?
Barbara: I used to live in Wichita(a small city in Kansas state) at that time. My husband was working in city. I used to take care of farm and my husband had a job in city. My husband asked me to start teaching in these classes, but I said I don’t think I can do it. But finally he persuaded me into it and I joined a Wilton class and for the first time learnt it in a class. He was very supportive of me. There were few other girls who did the classes with me. Many of them are no more now, or some have left teaching. The only other person who has taught for so long, is in California.

Me: So after learning, you started teaching in Kansas? Is this the only Michaels you have taught in?
Barbara: Yes, I started teaching in Kansas. This store has started few years ago may be in the late 80s..may be. I have taught throughout Kansas in many different places. We used to get our materials from Chicago, because we were not having the supplies here. When I mentioned this to the managers here, they started selling them here. Now a days they are available in many stores in Kansas.
I am a member of ICES(International Cake Exploration Societe) and usually attend their events. This year also I am going to attend. I will bring the details next time, if you want, you can attend. They have all the rare collection of materials which are not available easily. I know most of the popular chefs from Food Network since they all attend this event.

Me: When did you start your bakery?
Barbara: I started it in around 1990s when my husband died. I could not continue managing the bakery for long and I had to shut it down. I kept the materials which I thought will be useful for me. Other things we had put on sale.
I have made many wedding cakes. I still make a lot of birthday cakes for my grand children and other children in the neighborhood. I came to this Michaels store when this started, the manager wanted me to come here.

—- . —–

I was very inspired and thrilled after having this conversation with Barbara, it was a pleasure talking to her. When you meet experienced people like her, who are committed to their interests in art, cooking, baking etc, it’s completely filled with awe.
She keeps asking us if our husbands are supportive of what we are doing. When we say yes, she feels very happy. My husband comes to pick me up after the classes and she feels so happy to see him there.

63 thoughts on “Cake decorating 1 – cake 1”

  1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………………………………………….. I’m absolutely speechless… it’s beautiful!

  2. Wow! You too? It would be nice to learn from someone who is that experienced. I will check back later to read more and the interview. 🙂 All the best!

  3. Hi Shilpa, I think your cake is gorgeous!! And big congrats to you for following a dream… there’s no time like the present 🙂 Have fun with it!!

  4. I think your first cake turned out really well, we tend to be a little hard on ourselves but that one looks really pretty! Can’t wait for more delicious looking cakes from you!

  5. Shilpa, what are you complaining about? It’s beautiful! I love the colors! It’s wonderful to see how you are making time for your hobbies, given your busy schedule. I’m looking forward to reading your interview with your instructor. She must be an amazing lady.

  6. Beautiful, i dont have words to express, how good it looks. I feel like joining cake decorating classes too.Waiting to read your interview with your instructor

  7. Shilpa, this is the best investment in time and I highly recommend these classes to everyone. When you have kids 🙂 they will love all the fancy cakes you bake. When I took the Wilton classes, I always sent the cake to my kids daycare or my workplace. It disappeared sooo quickly and was higly appreciated. I am often found staring at the cakes in the bakery of the grocery store ! I have saved a ton of money baking cakes and cupcakes for my kids’ and it’s simple once you get the hang of it. Have fun in your class !

  8. Hi…
    Yummicious!!!!!!!!!Absolutely beautiful looking cake..colour combo is too good..
    Need a favour from you..If i’m not asking for too much, cld u pls post how to decorate cupcakes …For my daughter’s upcoming 2nd birthday i’m planning for a ‘jungle/zoo animals theme’..even just tips is welcome:)

  9. its really nice…but very bright colours..don’t feel like eating!!!!
    you may try some soothing colours which when u have a glance u should feel like eating…this looks like a carpet design..
    sorry for being so blunt… but i really like what u do & just felt like helping u out in being more perfect!

  10. Shilpa,

    This was a right decison……doing it right away to follow your dreams is very imp. as many tend to procastrinate this crucial point in life. I am very happy that the cake is looking sweet enough to take a bite right away!! ;p

  11. Hi Shilpa,

    Wonderful job!!!!Cake looks beautifully with fine decorations….so joined the course…good good,happy to hear…

    If any doubt then we can clear from shilpa right?

  12. Wow, your template looks so nice I had to make sure by checking out previous recipes that I am on Aayis’s blog. 🙂

    Good going with the cake! I too want to enroll one of these days.

  13. hey Shilpa…the cake decor looks good….also nice story about the lady…
    such things inspire us to pursue our hobbies and continue…no matter what..:)
    very impressive.

  14. A beautiful cake Shilpa for the first timer…liked reading about Barbara and so nice to learn from an experienced lady…

    All the best and enjoy to the fullest

  15. Beautiful looking cake Shilpa. I’ve always wanted to join these classes but hav been postponing it. Now I hav more motivation to join.

  16. Shilpa
    Wonderful cake. Where do you get the time yaar ? After a SW job its hard to get time to cook itself and you go and decorate cakes too !!!

    Love your passion

  17. Nice writeup.It was interesting to get to know about the Instructor….Hats off to her in this old age,she works and stands on her own leg..great na…

  18. hi….it feels very nice to know about such people & their lives….& you have done a real nice thing to write about her here…you can write more interviews like this with experienced people…

  19. Thanks a lot, after reading all your comments, I feel, I am doing a good job ;). That day every other student had shown up with a nice print on the cake which they would decorate in class. I didn’t know what to make. So I just went on putting what I felt like :).

    Manisha, Aruna, I have updated the post. Please have a look.

    Usha, definitely you can ask. I will try my best to answer :).

    Chitra, as of now I don’t know anything about decorating, thats the reason I joined these classes. Let me see if I can find out anything more on your theme.

    Sandeepa, you are absolutely right. This class along with job is very difficult to handle, considering I have been told to put extra hours at work. But this was my dream for a long time, so I am managing to work from 8AM to 7PM/8PM on other days so that I can go to these classes on Thursdays :). Hope I survive after so much of load :).

    Aruna, Deepz, Believe me, these classes are worth every cent. Thats why I am doing these even though I am already overloaded with work.

    Sangeetha, I will try my best to take more interviews in future. Barbara inspired me a lot, so I just could not stop myself from writing about her. People give lot of importance to big chefs and they usually tend to ignore the gems like her.

  20. Hey Shilpa,
    Such a cute story! I am so happy for u and impressed at your determination and will to learn something so new 🙂 Good luck! Your cake looks gorgeous!
    Sorry for my late comment. I am so busy at work and at home that I dont get too much time to visit others blogs or post anything of my own very often. But when I do visit I try to leave my comments 🙂
    Your story really touched me! Hats off to people like Barbara!
    Waiting for more wonderful cakes!

  21. Read your updated post. Indeed fortunate to have Barbara teach you. Lucky people from Kansas city to have a tutor like her. I am going this weekend to Michaels to find abt the classes. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. Dear Shilpa,
    Your icing looks so perfect – hard to believe that you are a beginner and this is your first cake :). Truly impressive.
    I also enjoyed reading your conversation with barbara – and the cute bit about the spouse at the end. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

  23. Yay! Shilpa its a real good step. Believe me this will be a good stress buster for you now that you are working. So now its going to be non traditional era on the blog. Keep it going!

  24. Iwant to learn how to prepare the cream which u used for decoration(Imean the pink and violet).If u dont mind can u please give me the receipe.

    Ithink ur decoration was very good.

  25. Kalyani, I used Wilton’s ready made icing and mixed Wilton’s color in it. There is a very good book, you can use that book for the recipe. Better yet, join the classes which are really amazing.

  26. I just started this class at Michael’s on 4/1/07.. so about 6 weeks after yours..

    So can you share some of the tips Barbara told you about the cake decoration? we ran out of time in my class so we did get some tips, but I felt there must be more to it…

    I can’t wait to start class 2 of the course I… do you think you will take Course II and III as well?

  27. Winnie,there were no extra tips for cake decorating since she just referred book for the cake decoration. We practiced from the instruction book. She iced a cake and made some roses in front of us.

    I have already signed in for course 2. I will be doing all the courses. Barbara has created enough interest in me to do them all. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to learn it all from her. She is truly a legend.

  28. Hi Shilpa,

    I’m visiting your website for the first time..You cake looks gorgeous..

    I’ve also registered for Wilton cake decorating course 1 classes starting next week..Can’t wait for the classes to begin..

    I’m looking for eggless cake recipes, if you have any good ones, please share it with me..

    1.Did you buy “Wilton Student Cake
    Decorating Kit 1”. What else do we need?

    2.Should I take a white sponge cake or any kind of cake will do?

  29. Hi,

    I’m visting your site for the first time. I’m always on the lookout for eggless cake recipes. Your cake decoration looks wonderful.

    I’ve also registered for the Wilton cake decorating class Course 1.

    I would like to know the following before I start the class

    1.Can we take any cake for the decoration or should we take a whote sponge cake?

    2. Did you buy the “Wilton Student Cake Decorating Kit 1”.. What else do we need for the class..

    If you have any some eggless cake recipes, please let me know..

  30. GPriya, You can take any kind of cake for the class. We need to ice the cake at home and take it. Usually people use the ready made cake mix so that they can save some time.
    Yes, I bought the decorating kit. For the first class of course 1, you need not take anything special, just have to take a book and pen. In the first class, the instructor informs what we need to take for the second class. Usually the instructor gives a book which has all the info about what needs to be brought for each class. It also tells you what other things you need to buy.

  31. Thanks for the prompt reply and info abt the cake decorating class. Do post me some eggless cake recipes if you have any..I’m going to try your eggless date cake this weekend..

  32. the cake is very nice… but i think u should have gone easy on colours.. they look over contrasted… but like u said, for a first timer, its a job very well done.

    -suba from singapore

  33. Pingback: Footsteps in Frosting « Out Of The Garden

  34. HI shilpa, u r doing good job, i visit this website 1st time and i enjoyed myself ,with ur best recipes n tip.

    i have 1 problem, or u can say confusion that, how would i i make cake?in microwave in Combination option, micro option or on convection these three option make me confuse to choose correct one please help me out i will be thankfull…

    Shilpa: Sadia, you need to use Convention (oven) option for baking any cakes. Microwave option is for any microwave related stuff like cooking, reheating etc. Read your manual carefully before using it to avoid any problems.

  35. hey SHilpa how r u? i tried ur marvelous recipes for cakes … was first time when i baked a cake..and it was delicious.mMOM and dad liked my cake.. it was very good xperience for me thanks SHILPA…


  36. i was wondering if u could send me th recipe for the cake u have above cake decorating 1 cake 1

    Shilpa: I used “simple egg cake” for this. Its under “cakes, cookies, pies” category.

  37. Hi Shilpa,
    I also want to join wilton cake decoration classes. I’ve a query regarding that….does the icing contains eggs? Actually i dont eat eggs but want to learn decorating.
    What do u suggest me…. should i go for it or not?
    seeking your advice.

    Shilpa: It does not contain eggs. But the meringue powder which is used for butter cream icing is made of egg whites. I have tried making the icing without this powder and it works fine. So it would be good if you can consult a Wilton’s instructor and ask them.

  38. Hi Shilpa,
    thanks for your reply. My next question is “What are the things you have purchased for course 1?” Did you try course 2 decoration without maringue powder?

    Shilpa: Chocolate, Sorry, I don’t remember about the items now. When you sign up for the class, they give a list of items to be purchased and I purchased all of them. I didn’t try without maringue powder for class but I tried it recently when I baked a cake for my vegetarian friends. I made roses with it and it turned out good(a little choppy at the end but it was okay. Check out my date cake).

  39. Hi Shilpa,
    I’ve joined course 1 and i dont have electric beater. I m not in a mood to invest in kitchen aid. I m confused. Can you please tell me which one did you buy.

    Shilpa: Chocolate, I randomly picked up one two years ago and I don’t think it is the best electric blender. So sorry, I cannot help.

  40. hi, i just want to know how u r makeing cake decoration.flower, leave etc, wht is the ingreidiens. pls tell me

  41. Hi Shilpa,

    Im new to this site. Even though this is your fist cake, I think its lovely. Very colourful. I live in NJ. Do you know of any place that offers cake decoration in NJ?

    Shilpa: Check out any art stores like Micheals, Joann or Hobby Lobby.

  42. thank you so much i was looking for this information thank you ur cake looks beautiful and appitizing

  43. Wow ! Good Job! Your so blessed to have been taught by such an experienced professional! I plan on starting a Wilton class and have spoken to the instructer already… I feel as excited as you described you were in class. Please post more pictures of your cakes!!

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