PDA

View Full Version : Just signed up for Wilton I


wdwpluto
12-12-2005, 08:40 PM
Anyone ever take their classes? I can't wait until my first one (Jan 9) :cool1:

Feralpeg
12-12-2005, 09:10 PM
I want to do that as well. I went to Michaels to sign up, but they weren't taking signups for January yet. I can't wait.

polly p
12-12-2005, 09:12 PM
I took the course many years ago. We had a lot of fun. We learned basics as well as how to make many flowers. At the end we all made a cake and decorated it.

Enjoy!!!

clh2
12-12-2005, 09:22 PM
My DD (10 at the time) and I took this about 1 1/2 years ago. We had lots of fun with it.

We really don't decorate cakes, but I have a much better appreciation for those that do decorate our cakes.

We use the skills a little bit more for cookies, cupcakes etc. On a nuch smaller scale.

We really had fun though!

thelionqueen
12-12-2005, 09:25 PM
In fact I've been a Wilton Cake Decorating instructor for nearly 5 years. I've worked at the same account the entire time until recently.

I can tell you a couple of things that will help. First of all, the cost for supplies at the beginning of course I can be a bit of a shock. We spent over $130 each (my mom and I) and we could have spent much more if we'd purchased everything we wanted to. BUT, I still have the majority of supplies I bought then and have used them ever since. If you look at it as an investment, you will make back your investment in a little over a year by making cakes yourself.

Also, practice after class with leftover supplies. This is the biggest suggestion I can make. Those who really excelled in the class, practiced at home.

Don't get overwhelmed by Course I, it is actually the hardest and most time consuming of the 3 courses. Lastly, I would strongly suggest that you take all 3 courses, you won't regret it.

If anyone has any questions, just let me know, happy to help. Have fun in your class, they are TRULY a blast!!

soccerchick
12-12-2005, 10:10 PM
I took all three of the classes offered at my local Michael's. I loved learning how to make roses in course I, all the flowers in course II and while the fondant was neat in course III, I don't like the way it tastes and haven't made it since. Cake decorating is very fun. I've made some cool cakes for my kids as well as many baby shower, graduation, and birthday cakes for friends and family. I've even sold a few :)

Just a caution, I wanted to buy all sorts of pans after getting started -- Don't do this. You can make do very well with some round and rectangle pans.I was also able to use my 40% coupons for the classes, so don't forget those when you go to sign up.

I also am disappointed that Michael's doesn't carry a better/bigger selection of tips and colors. I know many people that keep asking the manager, but he claims those higher up won't order them :confused3

One day I'll sign up for the candy making class too.

Have fun!!

clh2
12-13-2005, 12:05 AM
Just another random thought...(yeah it happens late at night!)

Wilton's has a really nice set of "stuff" which is a little bit more than is needed for the beginner class, I think this one is pretty much good for the 1st and 2nd classes. Don't forget to use your 40% off coupon!

wilton decorating set (http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30BE52-475A-BAC0-588FEBD8D8DC2DD3&fid=375A4AEA-802D-F658-0A3C45CBB78F7894)

And, if you feel like surfing - the wilton.com site is just plain fun!

party of 3
12-13-2005, 06:53 AM
my friend and i took the classes 15yrs ago and we had a blast. every week we each made a cake for class and decorated it with what we had learned. we took the classes at jc penny. really you won't regret it. once you learn it it stays with you forever! lots and lots of fun.

enjoy!

dyna
12-15-2005, 12:52 PM
I decorated cakes years ago. As I soon found out if there is a local candy and cake shop near you that sells supplies and offers classes it's usually cheaper to take classes there and I LEARNED MUCH MORE FASTER!!!!

I sold cakes for awhile but soon found out there is much more money in confectioners candy and such than there is cakes. I used to make candy for all the Holidays Christmas, Easter, Valentines's Day, and Halloween. My mom was still working at that time and she sold my candy at her work. I sent in samples of what I was making for all to taste she took orders and I filled the orders. It was fun and easy money. Time consuming tho but at the time DH worked a shift that left me with free time to use making candy.

I'd start on Halloween soon as school started, as soon as Halloween was over I'd start on Christmas, I was able to plan my time with this and have a week or 2 to take off just before Christmas and do what I needed to do for my own Christmas. As soon as the New Year passed and kids was back in school I'd start on Valentine's Day, Then Easter right after Valentines Day.

By taking orders for the candy I was never left with unsold candy in fact I usually ended up turning down a few orders at the end of what ever season I was working on. I was able to have summers off and school holidays to have time with the kids. Since it was a private business and I did not actually advertise or anything it was all tax free money. I didn't have to have special clothes to wear other than my old ratty house cleanin clothes. Most of my molds for candy came from yard sales or ppl gave them to me. I didn't put much money into it other than the chocolate and the fillings most of the fillings I made myself.

I started into the candy making with like 5.00 invested sold that candy went bought more chocolate. More than doubled my money the 1st time I sold candy. It grew from there. I didn't count how much I'd made till I restocked my chocolate supply and everything I needed for the next holiday. I was never gonna get rich but it was easy money.

Then came along DD#3 and with a toddler it just was not gonna work to make candy and I decided to take a couple years off. My mom retired from her work during my 2 yr absence and I no longer have an easy outlet for selling candy. And with the price of gas now I would not make much to far to drive to get supplies and mom lives just far enough away that even dropping off orders weekly would really dip into my profits.

Juls
12-15-2005, 10:39 PM
I took the first two Wilton classes also about 10 years ago. Mostly I just decorated cakes for family at birthdays and holidays. But then 3 years ago I got a part time job at Brusters Ice Cream and now I decorate all my stores ice cream cakes. It is really fun and I definitely enjoy it. Who knew something I tried for fun so long ago would come in handy all these years later. You never know.

jenniferma
12-19-2005, 10:35 AM
I took the class in 2002 and loved it too-- the only bad thing I can say about it was that I ate too much of the leftover cake and gained 5 lbs!

I have done the character cakes since then-- I've done Bambi, Rudolph, Blues Clues, Minnie Mouse, Lumpy and Pooh-- I swear they are actually easier than normal cakes because you can cover your mistakes.

Learning about the tips has helped me with my cookies and cupcakes too-- great class! Enjoy!
jen :Pinkbounc :bounce: balls by dd4

Feralpeg
12-19-2005, 11:06 AM
I tried to sign up at Michaels again the other day. They still don't have their schedule for January. Drat! I really want to take this course.

jonestavern
12-19-2005, 11:50 AM
I decorated cakes years ago. As I soon found out if there is a local candy and cake shop near you that sells supplies and offers classes it's usually cheaper to take classes there and I LEARNED MUCH MORE FASTER!!!!

I made wedding cakes & novelty cakes for many years both as an out of my house business & for bakeries.
Many of my fellow ICERs had been Wilton instructors & I agree with dyna. wilton classes are convenient & teach what is needed but can be unnecessarily expensive & protracted
IMHO, there is really no reason to have an initial equipment outlay of (around here, costs vary of course) of more than $50 -$60 tops, for begining tips, nail, bags, couplings, colors, parchment.
As OP emphasized practice, practice practice--
I don't know how to post a link, but go to ices.org for cake info, including supply sites. ICES is an organization for cake decorators.

I will be giving a small class for homeschoolers, & we have them buy a small tip kit, or just a selection of 6 tips, parchment, a few bags & 2 couplings & 8 basic colors. Do investigate the different brands of supplies, especially the colors & kits. For the first few classes I have the students use my colors, try out my tips, so they get a feel for what they like. I feel most don't even need a tip kit, as some kits do not contain what you'll be commonly using when 1st starting out.
My teacher--who had cakes in movies & all the 'society weddings & functions--included her pick of 10 basic tips, parchment, coupler & 2 bags in her intro class. At the time she was only about $50 more for lessons than Wilton & her class hours & length of program were double theirs. Of course you had to sign up about 6 mos--or longer, depending on the course--in advance--
any path you choose, you'll find the classes fun & helpful. My favorite cakes were the ones I did for DS' birthdays. It's a nice little business. Take pictures for your folio. I liked being a small part of so many weddings & children's birthdays--just so much fun!

Jean

dyna
12-20-2005, 01:06 AM
I did several wedding cakes special birthday cakes along with the novelty cakes but soon found much more money in candy than cakes.

I did a simple outline of mickey mouse head one time for a birthday cake the lady I did it for was so impressed she asked if I could do Elvis on a cake (this was before the days of airbrushing pics onto cakes) I told her she didn't have enough money and I didn't have enough time.

soccerchick
12-20-2005, 07:12 AM
I did several wedding cakes special birthday cakes along with the novelty cakes but soon found much more money in candy than cakes.

I did a simple outline of mickey mouse head one time for a birthday cake the lady I did it for was so impressed she asked if I could do Elvis on a cake (this was before the days of airbrushing pics onto cakes) I told her she didn't have enough money and I didn't have enough time. :rotfl2: I've done this when people ask me to make a cake for them and there's no way I want to do it. They see one of my cakes at a birthday party and ask if I could do a baby/wedding shower usually. Although my cakes are (I think, anyway ;) much prettier and better tasting than Costco and much more reasonably $$ than "the" local bakery, a $14 Costco cake usually sounds better to them than the $75 sheet cake I'd do.

Feralpeg
12-20-2005, 06:41 PM
This is probably a dumb questions. For those of you who did cakes and candy out of your home for profit, did you have to have your home inspected by the health department? What type of business license did you need? I have a business license that allows me to do gift baskets using candy, but no fresh flowers or liquor. If I were to learn how to make candy, would I need to change my license?

Feralpeg
12-21-2005, 03:47 PM
I did it. I finally managed to get signed up for the Wilton I course at Michaels. What a zoo that store is right now!

Imzadi
02-19-2006, 05:06 PM
Resurrecting this thread. :)

I have a friend who is starting his own cake & dessert business. He's actually looking for someone ONLY interested in doing the cake decorating. :cheer2:

I have always wanted to learn this & am pretty crafty in other areas. (So this would be a perfect opportunity for me as I've never wanted to bake the actual cakes or have to figure out yummy cake recipes. There actually is a famous cake bakery here in NYC, that prides its self on on their beautifully decorated cakes, but the cakes are BLAND :crazy: underneath all that beautiful frosting. :rolleyes:

Although my cakes are (I think, anyway ;) much prettier and better tasting than Costco and much more reasonably $$ than "the" local bakery, a $14 Costco cake usually sounds better to them than the $75 sheet cake I'd do.
Once I've actually mastered some skills, just how long does it take to actually decorate a birthday, shower or wedding cake? How much can I expect to charge since I'd be working for other people decorating their cakes? Thanks for any help! :)

graygables
02-19-2006, 05:38 PM
Since it was a private business and I did not actually advertise or anything it was all tax free money.

If anyone does start a business at home, remember that there is NO SUCH THING as "tax free money". Any income you make at home, regardless of whether you advertise or have a tax ID number or license of any kind is still subject to self-employment taxes. BTDoing It Now.

When I did small-time catering/cake decorating, I didn't have to have any kind of inspections b/c it was just a small side business for friends. I would imagine if you make a formal business of it, there would be some kind of inspections.

clh2
02-19-2006, 06:20 PM
Resurrecting this thread. :)

Once I've actually mastered some skills, just how long does it take to actually decorate a birthday, shower or wedding cake? How much can I expect to charge since I'd be working for other people decorating their cakes? Thanks for any help! :)

Imzadi - there is some great info on the wilton website (http://www.wilton.com/) . If you go into the discussion part of their website, you may want to put in a post about "what to charge for your cakes." It is not anything I've pursued, but it seems like there is a spreadsheet that someone could probably forward to you.

Feralpeg
02-19-2006, 06:45 PM
I just finished the Wilton I class. I was amazed at how fast I did pick up the various patterns. I moved ahead on my own to try some of the things in the book. I even made some sort of sad looking roses. They will definitely take more practice.

My biggest problem is getting the frosting the right consistency for the various things. For instance, I tried roses with too thin a consistency frosting and they were a total disaster.

Question: Do professional bakeries make their frosting from scratch or do they have some type of premade stuff they buy? I'd hate to think of trying to get it right every time and it is sort of messy to put together.

Imzadi
02-19-2006, 11:45 PM
Uh oh, I think I just overwhelmed & discouraged myself. :headache: I did as someone suggested, I Googled to see if there are local places around here for classes & lessons other than Wilton classes at Michael's. Well, "here" is New York City & the local places are all the professional culinary institutes & classes for super professionals. I landed on a website that was so advanced, making lifelike tiger lilies out of gum paste (whatever that is :confused: :confused: :confused: ) and other places advertized TWO full-day workshops for like $395 - $500!

Right now, I still need to learn how to just spread a buttercream frosting on a cake evenly - and I'm not talking about fondants. I want to learn a few simple roses, rosettes, flowers & leaves to pipe on. I just want a simple "hobby level" class to see if I'm even going to like doing this. :confused3 The most advanced I think I'd ever attempt is a bassketweave design or a faux fondant finish.

About how much money do the Wilton I classes at Michael's or the Rag Shop run? And how long are the classes in terms of weeks? Various Michael's websites say to call for details. :confused3

Feralpeg
02-20-2006, 10:52 AM
Uh oh, I think I just overwhelmed & discouraged myself. :headache: I did as someone suggested, I Googled to see if there are local places around here for classes & lessons other than Wilton classes at Michael's. Well, "here" is New York City & the local places are all the professional culinary institutes & classes for super professionals. I landed on a website that was so advanced, making lifelike tiger lilies out of gum paste (whatever that is :confused: :confused: :confused: ) and other places advertized TWO full-day workshops for like $395 - $500!

Right now, I still need to learn how to just spread a buttercream frosting on a cake evenly - and I'm not talking about fondants. I want to learn a few simple roses, rosettes, flowers & leaves to pipe on. I just want a simple "hobby level" class to see if I'm even going to like doing this. :confused3 The most advanced I think I'd ever attempt is a bassketweave design or a faux fondant finish.

About how much money do the Wilton I classes at Michael's or the Rag Shop run? And how long are the classes in terms of weeks? Various Michael's websites say to call for details. :confused3

The Wilton I class at our Michaels was $25 for 4 classes. To tell you the truth, you could buy the Wilton book and the Wilton I class kit and you could learn it yourself. I really got more out of following the book than I did from the class. A lot of that probably depends on the instructor, but our instructor just had us do the book exercises. The recipe for the frosting is in the Wilton book. The tips you need for the basics are in the Wilton I kit. After that, it is mostly a matter of practicing.

Imzadi
02-20-2006, 04:38 PM
Thanks Peg. :)
I just found this video demo on the Wilton site on how to do the roses. You need Windows Media player to view it.
http://www.wilton.com/decorating/basic/roses.cfm

There is also a page about getting the right consistancy for the icing:
http://www.wilton.com/decorating/basic/essentials.cfm

On their discussion board there, some people are using premade icings that only need water mixed to get the right consistancy, so no fussing with the flavor, once you find one you like. :cool1:

Like there's these:
http://www.countrykitchensa.com/ckideas/ckIdea.aspx?idea=503&occasion=General%20Cake%20Instructions

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=3&threadid=88429

josanna
02-21-2006, 03:28 PM
I took the first two Wilton courses 2 years ago, and signed up for the third class, but it was cancelled due to low interest. I personally learn much better doing it with help rather than watching a video or reading a manual. Plus, I like the interaction and ideas from other people. I have only done birthday cakes for my family, but that is enough for me! I am interested in learning how to do the candy, but it seems like another investment that I don't know if I'll really take the time to do. I have too many pans that I don't even use. My MIL took the class with me and she makes cakes all the time. I really can't say that I've even made a flower since a few months after the class, I'd probably have to re-learn that part. I do mostly character cakes and easy stuff, guess I didn't really need to take the class to do that. It was fun, I'd say go for it!!
Here's a question though, does anyone have a receipe for the whipped cream type frosting? Our Hy-Vee grocery store makes this type of frosting and it is wonderful. Its a similar consistency as the buttercream so they can decorate the cakes as well. I haven't been able to find this receipe anywhere and don't really like the buttercream, maybe that's why I only make cakes for events. Thanks in advance!

jenniferma
02-22-2006, 09:12 AM
For Josanna--

I took the Wilton Class too and I am not real fond of the frosting they recommend. I make my own variation-- which I think tastes better and still holds up to decorating because it does have some shortening/Crisco in it.

My recipe is:
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1/4 cup Crisco
1 box powdered sugar
1 teas. vanilla
3 Tbls. milk-- added in one at a time for the right consistency

When I am making icing for normal use (like spreading on cookies) I use a 1/2 cup of butter and no Crisco.

I think this recipe give you more flavor than the Wilton one... And it works well on the character cakes. Which ones have you done? I have done Pooh, Minnie/heart, Blues Clues, Bambi/Rudolph, Bunnies and I did Lumpy the Heffalump last year on a flat cake-- I think he was my favorite!

I wish there was some sort of website for people to share cake pics-- I love doing them!

good luck with your decorating!
jennifer

josanna
02-22-2006, 10:07 AM
Jenniferma,
Thanks so much for the receipe, I will definitely be trying it! I agree, the recommended icing is just too sweet and I think the Crisco also has a lot to do with it. The cakes I've done are, a car cake, a flag cake, Blues Clues, GI Joe (without the face plate which was really difficult), a t-shirt cake, two Scooby Doo's.. that's all I can think of right now, probably covers them all. I love being able to make cakes for our events, it just gives me a sense of accomplishment. Mine are definitely not professional, but they are cute and taste good and much cheaper, plus I hope it will be more special to my family!

josanna
02-22-2006, 10:10 AM
Jenniferma,
I just realized you don't use any meringue powder in your icing. I'm not sure what the purpose of that is, do you know? Just curious, because I know it is something else that is in their recommended receipe. Thanks!

jenniferma
02-23-2006, 02:43 PM
josanna-- I have the meringue powder and I have to admit-- I cannot remember why I bought it. I also bought the clear vanilla and butter flavoring too-- probably all in attempts to make the Crisco taste better!

It said on the box that the meringue can be used as egg substitute and will stay hard and not soften.

I think their recipe with the Crisco does not have to be refrigerated, while the ones with butter and milk should be stored in the fridge till you use them. I usually frost the same day we eat the cakes- so I don't worry about it too much.

I have even used the star tip with the all butter recipe too-- but it gets so runny .. it is hard to do! I did Cookie monster cookies for Valentine's Day and thank goodness his blue "fur" looks kind of fuzzy!

hope this helps!
jen

Torontogal
02-23-2006, 04:00 PM
I am soo glad you asked this. I have been thinking about taking a cake decorating course for sometime now. My husband bought me a cake decorating kit by Wilton but I have no idea how to use it. I would love your thoughts on this course. I am assuming I take it at Michaels right?
Sounds really fun!

Torontogal
02-23-2006, 04:13 PM
By the way, I would love to see any photos of your creations!
Thanks and hello feralpeg!

scarlett873
05-18-2006, 02:26 PM
How on earth did I miss this thread??? lol

I took the Wilton classes a few years ago and totally fell in love with cake decorating! It actually inspired me to go back to school. I found a culinary arts program locally and am specializing in Baking and Pastry Arts that will give me my associate's.

Josanna...Hy-Vee may actually use an icing called Bettercreme. I know that my local grocery stores use that stuff...you can buy it at Gordon's Food Service stores, but I'm not sure where else. It's non-dairy and comes in a carton that is similar to a milk carton. It's pre-mixed, all you have to do is pour it in your mixer and mix for until it's the right consistency. It stores in your freezer, unopened, for about a year, and if opened, it needs to be used within 7 days, I believe. You can't use it for roses or anything that requires a really stiff consistency, but it's great for borders and stars!

I have found a recipe I love that was given to me by one of my instructors for regular buttercream icing. The only recipe I have burned to memory is for a really really really large batch of icing. It's 10lbs lightly salted butter, 10lbs of shortening, 20lbs of powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup of vanilla. Cream the butter and shortening together, then add the powdered sugar a little at a time until well blended. Add the vanilla at the end. My little kitchen aid mixer at home won't even hold half of that recipe!!! I had to take my ingredients to school and use the big mixer...lol

I have a webpage that hosts pictures of some of my cakes. Feel free to take a looksie! (http://brandieraleigh.googlepages.com/home)

There's also an awesome community for cake decorators out there. It's called Cake Central (http://www.cakecentral.com) . There are tons of galleries to look through for inspiration!!

Flora Fan
05-21-2006, 06:00 PM
I took the Wilton classes when my DS was 2 months old. It was the best investment I ever made. I have made all of his cakes myself. While in Japan I had a business running and did very well.

I wanted to post about the roses. When I took the course, the instructor had us put the flower nail aside and use a dowl rod that was the thickness of a pencil. She had her husband sharpen the dowl to a point. I use this for making all of my roses and once complete, I use a pair of scissors with a safety point (rounded) to slide the rose off the dowl and place on the cake. It is a thousand times easier than the flower nail, in my opinion.

To start, place the tip lightly on the dowl. Once you start squeezing, rotate the dowl in your fingers until you are back to the point in which you started. Stop squeezing and attach the frosting to the beginning. Now make three separate leaves. They should overlap just a bit. Just keep on going until you have a rose the size that you would like it to be.

Merangue Powder is used to allow the flowers to harden. (I use the recipe provided with the powdeer) I put wax paper on the flower nail and simply lay the paper on the counter when complete. It takes approximately 12 - 24 hours. They will be harder almost like candy. You can pick them up with your fingers without crushing them. It makes it easier to place on the cake. And if you have a cake with tons of flowers, it allows you to make them up ahead of time. Place the dryed flowers in a tupperware. They keep for months.