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Cake Decorating Madness

Jan 3, 2020

Am I mad for wanting to learn cake decorating?

Absolutely not! Who would think that? You? What? Cake is delicious. And beautiful cake is delightful.

Cake Decorating Wonder

Once upon a time, I learned that people create beautiful cakes. My friend’s mom had this intricately designed cake that looked like a basket sitting on the dining room table. The way she weaved the frosting, incredible.

It was awesome, and I stared, and wondered. But that was as far as my curiosity went.

Years later, I worked at a craft store, where they also had art classes and cake decorating classes. I watched in fascination as the students in the cake decorating class came out with plates frosted with leaves and flowers. “You can do that with frosting?” I thought.

That’s when I first said, “I want to take a class.” But it didn’t happened.

Even after Scott and I got married, I mentioned a few times that I wanted to learn cake decorating. He said he would go to a class with me. “But, life is busy,” I excused myself. And that was that.

Until this year when Scott came home and we stayed up late decorating a naked cake.

Embracing Cakes

Can you embrace cakes? I mean, physically? I guess you could, but you’d get a little messy.

Figuratively, I embraced cakes.

This was my first venture with a semi-naked cake:

It didn’t turn out so great. The frosting was too soft. We, Scott and I, probably should have used buttercream instead of a cream cheese frosting. I didn’t cut the tops off the layers very straight. You see how it’s tilting?

But, it was delicious. And it was fun.

Second Attempt

I found a kindred spirit who likes decorating cakes as well. So we met up one night and decorated together.

By this time, I had devoured a hundred videos on instagram on cake decorating. Also, Scott gave me a few tips he remembered from his Le Cordon Bleu days. And my awesome cake decorating partner gave me some tips as well.

Here’s how the cake turned out:

I wasn’t sure what I was doing here. I had no plan. So I started slathering on frosting and piped something on top. The colors didn’t turn out exactly the way I hoped. What I learned: Use more coloring.

In the end, I turned it into a beach-themed cake and threw some crushed graham crackers in the middle for sand.

At least it tasted amazing!

Third Cake

My third cake was actually pretty amazing. I decided to make a chocolate something while visiting my parents. I tried out a piping technique I saw on some Instagram video, and viola!

That chocolate buttercream frosting was… so yummy!

It was a little messy, but I was getting better.

Fourth Cake

This was my favorite cake!

If you know me well, you know I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. So, this is my chocolate chip cookie cake.

I used a yellow cake and sprinkled mini chocolate chips in between layers with the buttercream. I then made a cheating chocolate ganache to drizzle over the top and placed homemade chocolate chip cookies all over —top and sides.

It was a chocolate chip delight. And it didn’t look half bad.

My biggest struggle was getting the crushed cookie to stick to the sides. I had to place a bit more buttercream to make it stay.

My piping isn’t the best, but, again, I’m learning. Geeze! 🙂

October Cake

In October, I invited my kindred-spirit, cake-decorating partner over again and we tried our hands at a marshmallow spiderweb technique. I also wanted to try a fault line cake.

A few things I learned:

  1. Think about your steps. I wanted to put the webbing in between my fault lines. I completely missed it.

  2. You have to work fast with the marshmallow. It cools very fast. And you need it to be warm/hot to stretch it. Yes, it burns the fingers, so be careful.

  3. Use different food coloring. Did you know there’s a whole line of colors that include royal purples, blacks, the colors you don’t get in a standard food coloring set at the grocery store?

The cake may not have turned out the way I hoped, but look at the marshmallow oozing from the center!

November Cake

This is probably my best and also most frustrating cake.

This was not what I planned, at all!

I wanted to do a white pumpkin buttercream all over, make some swirls in it with a spoon, and then pipe flowers cascading down the side.

My flowers were horrible. And I’d never worked with pumpkin buttercream and quickly learned that it doesn’t pipe as easily.

After playing with it and it not cooperating, I gave up and went a different direction.

I colored the frosting in some orange and yellow fall colors and used a knife to smear frosting all over the sides. Then I did my best with some piping on the top.

The cake looks amazing, but was slightly disappointing.

Oh, and the pumpkin buttercream was delicious!

Cake Decorating Journey

I am truly enjoying my cake decorating journey. It’s been tough, disappointing, fun, delightful, delicious. I’ve learned a lot. I still have a lot to learn. And one day I’ll finally get myself to a cake decorating class and really learn how to pipe.

My goal is to do a cake a month. I missed December because of all the other goodies. I made my traditional pumpkin cake role and sent some to Scott. I also made cake pops for neighbors. And I had a ton of fun decorating cookies with my sisters.

This month I’m taking up my cake decorating apron once again and making something special for my birthday. Be sure to follow us @TheComteCreative on Instagram to see what I make. And I’ll be sure to post all my other cake decorating ventures as well.

Creativity Is a Journey

Let me say that again. Creativity is a journey. You don’t start out perfect. You learn. You grow. You have some disappointments. But if you let yourself enjoy the adventure, you’ll enjoy yourself along the way. You’ll see the beauty in your creations. You’ll see your improvements. You’ll end up with something amazing.

What are you creating today? Post it on social and tag us (@thecomtecreative).

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