flowers & cake design: class 1

Hello everybody. I am taking another Wilton Cake Design course. The Wilton classes are broken into three parts: Decorating Basics (complete), Flowers and Cake Design (currently enrolled), and Gum Paste & Fondant. Since it was our first class, we didn’t really get to do a whole lot. But I do have some flowers to show you. Also, I’m realizing there is a lot they don’t tell you on those competitive cake decorating shows, I’ll talk about this in a minute.

Today was my first day working with gum paste. That stuff is a pain. When you’re watching Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes and they work with gum paste, you think it’s super easy. Well, it’s not quite that great. You can’t let this stuff just sit there. Depending on how thick you rolled it, after about three minutes, it will start to harden and you risk breaking your design. We used some type of cookie cutter thing to make flowers. Honestly, these were ugly and I can’t imagine ever wanting to make them again.

I made the purple gum paste by combining gum paste and purple fondant. This took a lot of time and effort. The final result is swirly because I eventually gave up. It’s not so well combined.

This cookie cutter is a Wilton press that came with the student kit for the course. The final result:

The cutter isn’t sharp, so there was a lot I had to pick off to shape the edges. Another thing they don’t tell you on those cake shows, you really have to work to not mix colors. My purples had streaks of yellow and vice-versa.

Next we moved on to pansies, which I think could be pretty edible flowers in a different color.

I’m not sure why we made them two colors. A simple purple would have been just fine. Here they are cut out:

And then we took a ball tool and gave them a nice curved edge.

Then we added some more petals and a stamen [woo flower anatomy!].

So obviously, I could use some practice. But I think I’ll have to make around 30 of these for a final project, so I should be a pro.

Things I’ve learned about gum paste and fondant, or what they don’t tell you on Ace of Cakes:

-It dries super fast.
-It is easy to get dirty. I used an old wooden pie crust roller and there was lint all over my yellow fondant.
-It tastes like junk. Ok, this was no surprise. But it’s ashamed how much work goes into them and how often they’re picked off the cake. This is why I truly prefer butter cream cakes with frosting decorations. Wilton is loaded. So why can’t they find a decent tasting fondant and butter cream? Truly, I didn’t east a single thing from my last course, because the butter cream tasted terrible. The same goes for these flowers.
-A little goes a little way. I spent $10 on Wilton’s gum paste and I only got two colors out of it. I’ve got to find a recipe to make my own, because I can’t afford 3 more classes worth at that rate.

I’ll be back next week with class two.

5 thoughts on “flowers & cake design: class 1

  1. A good number of years back, I went through a phase of making lots of (sugarpaste) decorated cakes but after making three wedding cakes in quick succession for a friend and her two nieces, I rather went off it all ~ waaaaay too stressful! I did quite like working with sugarpaste, though ~ and it tasted fine, too!

    Your pansies are pretty; real pansies are often two-coloured :-)

  2. I’m in the Wilton classes right now and I have a little bit of advice. The buttercream tastes WAY better if you use real, natural vanilla (I use Mexican) but you’ll never get bright white that way. Also, you can replace some of the shortening with butter (which Wilton used to suggest, but now they want to sell their “clear butter flavor” which I think tastes like acid) and it gives it a much richer, buttery flavor.

    If you still don’t like the flavor, I don’t know what else to tell you, but I don’t like it how they suggest it either :)

    1. You’re so right. Those Wilton vanilla and butter flavors taste strongly of chemicals. I prefer the natural stuff. Lately I’ve been using a whole different butter cream recipe. I’ve never re-visited Wilton’s.

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