To Cake or Not

Gaining knowledge -Favorite places to go

In a recent post I briefly mentioned websites because there is a wealth of information out that can be helpful when you are first starting out in this art form.

I know some people may see this as just “cake” but I believe it’s more than that.  If one was to go back and look at the history of baking and the origin of what is know as cake today, it is a tremendously long one.   This sweet, bread like food has become a staple at most celebrations.  Whether it’s a fantastic 6 tiered wedding cake covered in sugar flowers and intricate piping to a single beautifully made cake pop it is something that people remember.  It becomes a part of the celebration.

From the very first decorated cake that I attempted before I took any classes to the last sugar project that I did for a competition, I love the expressions of happiness and awe that people give upon seeing it.  It’s an awesome feeling to be a part of that.

So I tell people that have taken my classes before that the people you are making the cake for will love it not matter what because you took the time to create something special for them.  As cake decorators and sugar artists we are sometimes our own worst critic.

Now on to some of the places that I go to find inspiration and knowledge:

Businesses and Magazines

Cake Central – This was the very first website I discovered after I started taking cake classes.  It has lots of pictures, tutorials and forums full of bakers & cake decorators with a years of experience plus a really beautiful magazine.  Cake Central

Wilton – This is where I learned the basics of cake decorating as a student and where I refer my students to now as a Certified Wilton Method Instructor.  It’s a great place to find inspiration, tutorials, recipes and products. Wilton

International Cake Exploration Societe (ICES) –  This organization works to promote cake decorating and sugar arts through meetings, shows and days of sharing.  It has chapters reps in both the US and worldwide.  It does require a membership to receive their newsletters but provides information about upcoming events. ICES

Global Sugar Art – This is mainly a website to purchase products online but it contains a section called the education center that has lots of tutorials and project ideas.  The tutorials are in both step by step picture or video format.  Global Sugar Art

Cake Masters Magazine – I was fortunate enough to discover this magazine site after I won a drawing through an online tutorial site and won a years subscription to their digital magazine.  It is great site with lots of information about events not only in the US but abroad. They have a blog section and tutorials.  Cake Masters

Pretty Witty Cakes – This is another digital magazine subscription that I won through a cake competition I entered.  It has a lot of free stuff on it from tutorials to a magazine.  There is also a forum if you have questions. Pretty Witty Cakes

Shop Bakers Nook – I was fortunate enough to meet the owner of this business during a sugar art class I attended.  It has a blog with some helpful information along with tutorials.  Shop Bakers Nook

Sweet Wise – I was also fortunate enough to meet the owner during my first cake competition and she was gracious enough to let interview her for my marketing class paper.  The website has lots of products but also has some great video tutorials. Sweet Wise

Sugar Artists and Cake Decorators

Ceri Griffiths – Ceri DZ Artistry & Design – I had a wonderful experience attending a class that he taught after the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show and learned so much about royal icing and piping.  His work is beautiful.  His website offers free video tutorials as well as templates that can be used.  Ceri Griffiths

Elizabeth Marek – The Sugar Geek Show – I actually became aware of her work through a website I found called Threadcakes and their online cake contest.  She was the 2013-3D grand prize winner.  Her site does require you to become a member to see her video tutorials but does have a free option.  Elizabeth Marek

Amelia Carbine – Cake FU – This website has some great video webinars taught by some of the best in the industry.  The website also has some great articles and does have video tutorials that can be purchased.  Cake Fu

Dawn Parrott – Dawn Parrott Designs –  I had the opportunity to see her work up close when she won Grand Prize at OSSAS 2014.  Her work is beautiful and so intricate. This website has some great links to other sites and a few tutorials.  I also was fortunate to win one of her DVD’s during that same competition and recommend them as additions to your learning library.  Dawn Parrott

Julia Usher – Recipes for a Sweet Life – I was fortunate enough to see her live demonstrations at the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show and see her work up close.  It’s amazing what can be done on a cookie.  She has some wonderful video tutorials on YouTube as well.  Julia Usher

Alan Richardson and Karen Tack – Hello Cupcake – Authors of some pretty fun looking cupcakes and cakes.  I won a copy of their book and got them to autograph it for me after their demonstration at the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show.  They are a lot of fun to watch.  Alan Richardson and Karen Tack

Other Sites for Inspiration

Threadcakes – Online cake competition with some pretty amazing cakes.  Threadcakes

MimiCafe Union – Adorable and awe inspiring cake toppers & some tutorials – MimiCafe Union

Bakerella – If you like cake pops and cookies this site has some great info –Bakerella

Margaret Braun – Author of the book “Cakewalk adventures in sugar with Margaret Braun” her website has beautiful pictures of her work that is sure to inspire.  Margaret Braun

Joshua John Russell – I got to see his work up close and meet him during a class I took. His fashion inspired work is beautiful and creative.  His blog also has links to his website with a gallery of his work.  Joshua John Russell

Well these are just a few of my favorites that I like to wander through on days when I need some inspiration.  There is so much information out there still yet to be explored.  So hopefully you find them useful in your sugar pursuits.

Have a Happy Monday!