Customer Discussions > cooking discussion forum

Cake decorating

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Mar 2012 10:23:55 BDT
Can anyone recommend a book that is for beginners like me. I need the basics like how to cover a cake with buttercream icing, or covering a sponge cake for a celebration cake, just slapping it on will not do this flowers too, would be a bonus. Xx

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 23:12:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Mar 2012 23:13:41 BDT
L says:
There is a new magazine out called Cake Decorating by DeAgostini - - issue 2 is on sale at the moment until Tuesday 3rd April and covers everything you want in that issue. The current issue comes with a free gift of icing bags and nozzles and is quite large and so in larger stores such as Tesco and Sainsburys tends to be seperated from the main magazine sections and on it's own little stand.

Good luck with your decorating!

Posted on 5 Apr 2012 14:37:16 BDT
BluEyes401 says:
Cake Decorating Tricks: Clever Ideas for Creating Fantastic Cakes [Book] by Sue McMahon in Books

I brought this book for my mum as we have just started making and selling out cakes. Thought it was a fab book.

Posted on 7 Apr 2012 10:38:28 BDT
Like L, I can thoroughly reccomend the new Cake Decorating by DeAgostini magazines too. While I had very basic skills in cake decorating picked up from watching my mother as a child and in later life attended sugarcraft classes to enable me to decorate my son's wedding cake (which thankfully went well) I felt that I lacked the underpinning knowledge. Subsequently I have used and can recommend a number of sugarcraft books and magazines eg "Cake magazine" and books by Mich Turner which both cover flower and model making I still felt that these were at a higher level and my basic skills were lacking. However the new DeAgostini magazine provides that basic knowledge and the techniques to achieve a semi-professional finish. The "free gifts" provided also go a long way to paying for the £2.99 cost and I am considering taking out a subscription, at least for a short while. As it is a weekly magazine I dare say there will come a time when it starts to repeat itself and I don't think I am learning anything new but for the moment I am finding it very good.

Good luck with your "special" cake.


Posted on 8 Apr 2012 11:20:25 BDT
classybird says:
Hi Carole - have you tried 'Video Jug' for free video tutorials. I don't mind books and pictures but prefer to see how it's done as much as look at pictures. I'm a seasoned cook, but when I wanted to bone out the Christmas turkey for a multi-bird roast I went there for a tips and it was much easier. Some videos are better than others but you can generally find what you want. Here's a link for basic butter icing -, there's links to sugar paste flowers too.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2012 13:12:31 BDT
Minkey says:
Do search on internet there are lots of useful tips and videos to watch too! Purchase cutters to make simple flowers or order from website such as Cake Craft World.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2012 15:53:47 BDT
Thank you classy bird, will look that up .......

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2012 15:54:36 BDT
Thanks minkey, good tip x

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2012 15:56:03 BDT
I've been looking for this at tesco, but they seem to be selling out pretty quickly, could I get back issues do you think? X

Posted on 8 Apr 2012 17:43:22 BDT
Mrs J says:
YouTube have some great videos to learn tips and techniques.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 14:46:19 BDT
jagtar says:
Is issue 4 out yet as I can't wait to buy it.

Posted on 15 Apr 2012 12:34:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Apr 2012 12:41:05 BDT
Adrian says:
I find learning a skill through reading not particularly helpful. I'm more a visual learner in that sense. Try searching for the techniques on youtube, having done a preliminary search for the name of the decorating technique of course. Icing a cake is not that difficult when you have the right equipments, i.e; a cake turn table and a good pallet knife. I personally like the idea of using buttercream roses as a finishing touch to my cakes, purely because they look pretty and taste a thousand times better than fondants or royal icing(I still don't understand why people would choose fondants over buttercream roses, seriously!). When you get to more advanced level you can try out things like imprinted bicsuit joconde and even enter the world of chocolate tempering! The best thing is you can learn all these for free and not spend a penny on books and whatnot.

Speaking of chocolate tempering, does anyone know a good source for acetate strips/sheets on amazon?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Apr 2012 19:10:36 BDT
Yes, I,m a very visual person when it comes to learning and I would have liked a class but they are few and far around here. I think buttercream roses would be nice cos I am only doing the top cake. Daughter wants cupcakes for the rest which we have ordered but she wants Mum ( that's me) to do the decorative one on top plus I,m doing a big fruit cake for cutting up as well, but that can be plain if needs be.
It,s for a wedding so any ideas would be helpful. Her colours are autumnal (October wedding) and her cupcakes will be cream, chocolate with gold cases and dragees etc

Posted on 15 Apr 2012 20:04:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Apr 2012 20:05:43 BDT
Adrian says:
I think a mixture of red and yellow buttercreams would be perfect for the autumnal theme. The idea is to get the marbling effect of both colours so you'd end up with nice autumn leaves effect. Have you thought of getting some, or, make some french macarons for the wedding? I personally think french macarons really add an elegant touch to any occasion! And it's popular in France too, but I digress.

In terms of decoration for the cupcakes..perhaps painting individual raspberries with either edible gold or silver luster and place one on top of each frosted cupcake? Not sure what colour your frosting is going to be though. This might not work if it's pale brown. Just experiment with the colours. Bronze might work better for pale chocolatey frosting.

Hope it turns out well!

Posted on 19 Apr 2012 14:02:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Apr 2012 14:05:05 BDT
Hi Carole,
My sugarcraft 'bibles' that I taught myself from scratch from are; 'The International School of Sugarcraft' series, I think they are brilliant and have reviewed them on The Book People website. I have 4 books and book 1 is for beginners. They are written chapter by chapter by different authors who are the top recognised experts in each technique, and are so easy to follow with plenty of step by step colourful pictures and photos that it's almost impossible to go wrong(!) The tips and recipes are fool-proof and come from years of professional experience and all the templates are very handy too.
I've just checked and they are available on Amazon and you can also click to look inside to decide if they are the books for you. I notice that there are a couple of low rated reviews from people who felt that the books were out-dated, but this makes no sense to me, as the techniques (explained/shown more accurately than anywhere else) are exactly the same techniques used today in the very latest contemporary designs. I think it is because the styles and designs illustrated might sometimes be a bit dated to the 1980's when the books originally came out - but they have been updated with every re-issue and it is the techniques that you wish to understand and to perfect not necessarily the colours and styles they have used.
If you want up-to-date contemporary, there are some great books around with stunning photos but the methods stated to achieve the same result is often missing or vague. I think many sugarcraft experts either assume their readers will have a lot of previous knowledge or that they prefer (understandably) to withhold their own secrets to success for commercial reasons. After all, who will buy their cakes if it proves to be so easy to make them at home following their instructions?

Photo wise, I bought the 2 Maisie Fantasie books by May Clee-Cadman which both focus on the main cake and also the matching accompanying cupcakes and cookies which would be a truly fantastic touch for the wedding. But although there are a lot of absolutely beautiful photos (which I often use for inspiration) and some step by step instructions they still lack a few details that might baffle a complete beginner. My friend used them to make a wedding cake for her daughter but still needed me to explain the best way to use the fondant moulds. They are very chic, modern and stylish designs though and surprizingly quite straightforward, and these books too are available on Amazon and The Book People. I would highly recommend them, especially for wedding themes. You could use the Maisie Fantasie books to match a simple yet stunning design on the top cake with the cupcakes (even though now ordered, if you find a great design and want them to match up, I'm sure that this early on they will agree to any changes), and then pick out a more basic but similar detail on the large cutting cake.
Congratulations to your daughter and also to you Carole, just remember whatever you do that less is often more than enough when it comes to stylish designs, so try not to panic - relax, have fun playing with colours and ideas and enjoy yourselves too!
Best Wishes, suzysunshine7 x

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Apr 2012 21:30:36 BDT
What a lovely reply Suzy, thank you so much for all your efforts and best wishes on my behalf, I am going straight to amazon to have look. It seems that all the nicest people are on this site.....Carolexx

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2012 12:05:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Apr 2012 12:14:58 BDT
Glad to be of some use Carole! The Maisie Fantasie books (and website) are particularily useful because unlike most of the other books they show how to make and to match up the cake >to the cupcakes >to the cookies - which looks very chic and more classy at a big do like a wedding (and maybe after that - a christening!). Happy baking and have a great day!
Best Wishes, suzysunshine7 x

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2012 13:08:14 BDT
J. Heaton says:
Don't know if I'm too late, but I taught myself by watching loads of videos people have made on You Tube. There are some great ones out there offering all kinds of advice. Good luck.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in

Recent discussions in the cooking discussion forum (660 discussions)

Discussion Replies Latest Post
New books! 6823 51 minutes ago
mmmm! what's for dinner 8423 56 minutes ago
Halogen Oven 232 1 day ago
Gourmet Kitchenware 19 1 day ago
Frying pans 19 1 day ago
Carving Roast Duck 14 2 days ago
Which steam cleaner for oven 102 2 days ago
Make ahead cold canapes 20 2 days ago
What was the last food you bought out of curiousity? 125 5 days ago
gossip and general chat about all things 332 6 days ago
Yerba Mate, anyone? 205 13 days ago
I want to pass on a tip... 940 15 days ago

This discussion

Discussion in:  cooking discussion forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  25 Mar 2012
Latest post:  20 Apr 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 5 customers

Search Customer Discussions