Discussion in 'Cooking' started by wdwpluto, Dec 12, 2005.
Anyone ever take their classes? I can't wait until my first one (Jan 9)
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.
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.
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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!
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!!
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
One day I'll sign up for the candy making class too.
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
And, if you feel like surfing - the wilton.com site is just plain fun!
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.
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.
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.
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 balls by dd4
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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 underneath all that beautiful frosting.
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!
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.
Imzadi - there is some great info on the wilton website . 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.
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