Internet education sites are all the rage so it’s not a surprise to find a cake-centric dedicated destination. However, CakeMade consists almost exclusively of edgy, modern designers with an array of new and innovative techniques to teach.
I started out with Liz Marek’s Rustic Wedding Cake Trends class. She’s a fantastic talent and owner of Artisan Cake Company in Oregon, as well as the author of a new cake decorating tome (Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating). The chalkboard cake is a well know signature of hers and is rising in popularity as an aesthetic choice for events. Just recently I made a chalkboard cake for a client, so I was keen to see her method in action. Also included in this course is a lovely birch tree style cake. Again, something I’ve had some personal experience with so watching another seasoned pro go about it is great!
Ms. Marek makes her own fondant and as she makes her way through the class is quick to point out that fondant types differ widely and therefore the student may have to adjust depending on material. I like that she assumes off the bat that the student watching may or may not follow the class to letter. I have a bad habit of scanning through instructions, considering my options and only taking what I need from classes, and I suspect that’s not unusual for the audience that might view this class.
She also uses the upside down methods of frosting and fondanting cakes. This is something I’ve been dubious about in the past and I have to admit her’s is the first explanation that made enough sense to me that I might be tempted to put it to use. While the whole flipping cakes up and down feels like extra steps and opens up the possibility of damage in principal, this method is solid and well explained. There are also full explanations of building support structures and the class materials include recipes for both cake, fondant and buttercream used by Ms. Marek.
But it’s the small details that make this a really useful course. In the Chalk Board cake section, Ms. Marek explains the concept of working with white food color gel and how best to get results from it, as well as what type of expectations to have when working with it. She covers antiquing — done with white over black, but you could apply this in any number of ways and colors to other designs.
Besides the bake technique, the Birch Cake portion of the class includes stacking a topsy cake, sculpting simple figures in chocolate plastique and arranging flowers.
The Chalk Board cake has instructions for making a wafer paper flower, and also incredibly useful commentary on sizing your graphic elements for a cake.
All in all, this is timely, current subject with a wealth of information for both the intermediate and the professional decorator. Ms. Marek is concise but personable and her teaching manner is easy to follow. If all the classes are of this quality, I imagine CakeMade will do well.
If you are interested in learning more about the CakeMade platform and how it compares to Craftsy, then check out our guide for cake decorators that compares the two platforms and discusses other learning options for the cake decorator.
CakeMade Class: Rustic Wedding Cake Trends
Skill Level: Advanced/ Intermediate
"Must Have" Tools for CakeMade Class
- Ball Tool
- bench scraper
- Clay Gun
- Clay Sculpting Tool
- Exacto knife
- offset spatula. air brush
- Piping Gel
- Rolling pin
- Small Knife
- white gel color
- Your imagination!
Check out our online Cake Toppers Techniques: Figure Modeling Class!
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Anna is a classically trained sculptor and illustrator who started her career in cake decorating with Ron Ben Israel in 2000. Since then she has worked for a number of well known cake studios in the New York area doing complex sugar work and design. Her specialties include freehand painting,...