Last night I went to my first cake decorating class. I was so so excited to finally get to go! Sometime last summer I decided that I really wanted to take a cake decorating class; just as I was getting ready to sign up for a class in Lexington, we found out that Michael had gotten this new job and that we were moving immediately so I didn’t get to take it then. Once we moved we had to get settled, then we travelled a ton and were gone several weeks during those first few months – since the cake decorating class is one night a week for four weeks I wasn’t able to commit to it then. And then the holidays rolled around and I didn’t want to try to take classes then. When January came I went to Hobby Lobby and signed up for the Wilton class that started in March. And then I waited some more. Now finally it’s March and I get to take my classes!
When you sign up and pay for your class you get a list of things to buy. There is a kit made especially for this class that you can buy at craft stores, and then there were a few additional things. So I bought my kit, bought the other few things I needed (icing and food coloring) and gathered up the things I had at home (apron, plastic baggies, scissors, pen). I also had to bring 6 cookies to practice on, so Wednesday I baked some sugar cookies.
I baked almost all of the cookies from the mix regular (rounded scoops), but eight of them I flattened out (I wanted nice big cookies so I’d have a big surface for decorating) – I used the bottom of a drinking glass with a little flour on it to press the cookies down and make them nice and flat.
So last night I took my supplies and my cookies and headed to Hobby Lobby for my first class. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I was definitely excited.
There were eight other ladies in my class (the two sitting next to me also work in the school system – fun!) plus our instructor. Most of the first class was spent learning how to make a cake and icing properly. Our instructor had made a cake prior to the class but hadn’t removed it from the pan or anything. She told us how to keep our cakes from sticking, how to make the cake moist, and how to make sure the edges don’t get too done. She showed us how to level the cake and to cut it into layers (if you want to put filling in the middle). She made a batch of icing right there in our class to show us how to make it and give some tips. Then she showed us how to ice the cake without getting crumbs all in the icing and how to make the icing smooth.
For this first class we were supposed to bring store-bought icing (the Wilton decorating icing). For next week we are supposed to bring a batch of the homemade icing that she taught us to make. But for this week we used our store bought and added food coloring (I chose pink, of course).
The only actual decorating thing that we did tonight was to learn how to make these star things. The kit for our class came with these templates – you put them under a piece of transparent plastic and then you can practice right on top of the example.
Once we felt like we had mastered the star shape, we got to decorate our cookies. Mine were pretty boring since I only know one shape so far and I only mixed up one color of icing, but they are already way better than what I could do prior to this class!
So this first class wasn’t quite as “cake decorate-y” as I expected, but I’m glad that I learned all the tricks for making the cake and the icing! For next week I have to bake a cake and make a batch of icing and bring them both to class. Then we will spend our time in class practicing leveling our cake, icing it, and then I hope we will get to learn some other decorating methods and make it all pretty.
Speaking of pretty…while we were decorating our cookies, our instructor went ahead and decorated the example cake that she had used to show us how to frost.
I had a blast! It was nice to take a break from PRAXIS-studying and portfolio-making to “Sharpen the Saw” (the school I’m doing my practicum at is a 7 Habits school – which is an awesome program and totally deserves it’s own post on another date – but anyway, “Sharpen the Saw” is one of their key phrases that means taking a break from work to have fun).
I am already wishing it was next week so I can learn more. I’m excited and a little nervous about making my cake for next week. Even though I love to cook and bake, making cakes is not really my “thing” (which is one of the reasons I’m taking this class – so I can get better at it!) and I’ve really only made a few cakes on my own before so I hope that it turns out ok. Stayed tuned next week to see how it goes!