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Wilton Cake Decorating Classes

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone take one of these classes? Did you find it informative? Sounds like fun, but the closest one is about 30 - 40 mins away. Not sure whether to make the trek...
post #2 of 11
i would also like to know-my biggest hurdle (besides child care, transportation and money) is that im sure they will be using ABC instead of a traditional buttercream and ABC is just ugh.

i prefer flavor over stability as a fellow baker friend of mine puts it!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
wow you are so much further ahead than me... I have no idea what ABC is... But I love buttercream ~ that's what I use now and am hoping to get a little fancier with.
post #4 of 11
I've heard mixed reviews on these classes. Sometimes the instructors know their stuff and sometimes they may as well be someone hired off the street. Your better bet than asking here would be to look for reviews of your local classes to see if they hire instructors who know what they're doing.
post #5 of 11
My mom took one when us kids were little (80's) and she really liked it. She learned how to make the Wilton's Cake Decorator's frosting and how to use all the tips. She made most of our cakes in those early years.

But, I don't know about "modern" classes. I second what the pp said and would check out the instructors to make sure they will teach you well.
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by jlpumkin View Post
wow you are so much further ahead than me... I have no idea what ABC is... But I love buttercream ~ that's what I use now and am hoping to get a little fancier with.
ABC= american butter cream

abc are made with a higher sugar to fat ratio and the fat is vegetable shortening and perhaps a bit of butter-the shortening makes it stable.

european buttecreams(swiss meringue buttercream, french buttercream,italian buttercream) have a a higher fat to sugar ratio and use real butter and some sort of egg (SMBC use the whites only with a meringue technique) and the others use a pate a bomb with whole eggs or egg yolks and a sugar syrup in a candy stage incorporated into the butter. european buttercreams use butter always and never vegetable shortenings, making them much more fragile to temp and humidity and thats why commercial bakers in the US use ABC or fondant (blech) because it can be molded, dyed, etc and can stage up to sitting for hours without refrigeration.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wowsers... see you are way ahead of me
post #8 of 11
I took one years ago, don't know if they've changed much since then.

These classes are not about tasty cakes. They use shortening-based frostings and boxed cakes.

That being said, for me it was SO GREAT to have a human show me how to do stuff, especially things like making roses, which are hard to learn from a book.

The classes are inexpensive, but you will need supplies. Be prepared to be marketed to a lot--that's really the whole point.

I think the classes can be a great, inexpensive way to learn the basics, but just go in with your eyes open.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks pinky! I hadn't thought of the marketing but obviously it makes sense. Thanks! I guess I'll just plan on sending the class cakes to work with hubby and make the yummy ones for us =)
post #10 of 11
I took the Wilton classes about 2 years ago and we were lucky enough to have an instructor who was also a professional baker and owned a cake decorating shop. She gave us the Wilton recipes but was also kind enough to share some of her personal recipes. She also didn't require that we use the Wilton recipes (Like the pp, I despise their ABC recipe... yuck!). I used classic buttercream for my cakes, though I did use the Wilton recipe for class practice just because it doesn't need to be kept cold and won't spoil.

Overall, I learned a lot. I had been making cakes for years and I'm pretty crafty, but I learned A LOT of tips and tricks and now my cakes look fabulous! It was worth it just for the money I save on birthday cakes for the kids. Having someone to ask right there if I had a question was awesome and seeing the techniques in person made a big difference for me.

I would suggest doing some research and learning a bit about cake decorating before you take the class. The more you already know, the more you will get out of the class. You can go in with questions and pick the instructors brain at each class. I learned a lot more than I would have otherwise because I already had experience with the basics. There was another woman in the class who also had a bit of experience and I think we drove the instructor nuts, LOL! She was really nice and had years of commercial baking under her belt. So, I think your experience with the class will depend quite a bit on the person teaching.

I only took the Level I class and I intend to go back and take the other 2 classes next year, once the babe is old enough to stay with DP for a few hours. I really enjoyed it!

Oh, and scan the Michaels/AC Moore ads in the Sunday paper and find a 50% off coupon to use to buy the Wilton cake decorating starter kit. I saved A LOT of money this way!!! The kit gave me everything I needed to get started and with the coupon I saved a lot more than buying things individually.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Great tips Beth. I've been lucky enough to find some other cake decorating classes in the area taught by a professional baker. I'm learning more and more everyday... I completely agree that there are a lot of things that you just have to learn in person. I'm excited!
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