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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Tastes good, looks like it was baked by a 7-year-old.
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    Tastes good, looks like it was baked by a 7-year-old.

    Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:31 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Actually, that's probably an insult to some 7-year-olds. =)

    A few years ago, my sister asked me to bake her a cake for her birthday from scratch, and so I did. It's since become a tradition that I bake a cake on everyone's birthday, and my family has started asking for more and more obscure and complex cakes just to mess with me (last year the request was lavender lemonade cake!). I never thought of myself in the slightest as a baker, but it turns out I actually really enjoy it! Who knew? Yesterday, for my brother's birthday, I made a (relatively plain!) dark chocolate cake with salted caramel filling, iced with bittersweet ganache and then drizzled with more caramel and sea salt flakes. It was maybe the best cake I've made thus far, if I do say so myself! Huzzah!

    The problem is, while I've gotten slowly better at not turning out dry cakes or mealy frosting, my actual cake-assembling skills have not improved a whit. Yesterdays "treat" was slightly lopsided, and - as always - I had a terrible time frosting the sides. The caramel, when cold, was too hard to spread, and when warm, it was runny; so I ended up with caramel leaking out of the sides and mixing with the side-frosting. Rather than sharp edges - let alone beautiful piping - the whole cake had a chaotically scalloped appearance, as though a child had thrown handfuls of frosting at it at random. It vexed me.

    Ok, I exaggerate a little, but the point is that I can't find any resources on how to be a better cake-maker (rather than cake-baker, if you get my drift). Anyone have any ideas? Is there a book? Is there some amazing tool I'm missing? Are there videos? How did you learn to decorate and assemble cakes?? Just to put it out there, it's not *just* more practice - I've made probably 3-4 cakes a year for the past 4 years and they haven't gotten any better (in terms of assembly). I also have some decent cake equipment, but in the hands of an idiot, they're no better than a plastic spork and some dental floss. Is there any hope for me? =)

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions!!

    Baker Boy[/img]
    Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:26 am
    Forum Host
    There is lots of help for you! icon_smile.gif
    Check out the Wilton website Cake decorating. There are lots of cake decorating tips on their website (how to level a cake, how to apply frostings and fillings, etc.)
    Cake Central is another good website with decorating tutorials.
    There are a lot of cake decorating videos posted on you tube.
    Most craft stores (AC Moore; Michael's; Hobby Lobby; etc.) give reasonably priced cake decorating classes through out the year.

    If you have specific questions, the members here are very helpful too. icon_biggrin.gif
    Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:17 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thank you so much! I'll check these resources out!
    Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:18 pm
    Forum Host
    I took one of those cake decorating classes at a community college, and it was so helpful and interesting. You learned an awful lot of techniques. Your community college may have a cake baking and decorating class, check it out.
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