Let me start off my review of Jessica Harris’ Craftsy, "Clean and Simple Cake Design", by saying that I love, love, love to learn new techniques. And this class does not disappoint!
Jessica from Jessicakes has a way of making you feel like she is talking right to you as she explains her simple, yet extremely effective techniques. If anyone else told me that I could successfully ice a cake upside down, I would have thought they were crazy with a capital “C”! But, turn a cake upside down she does, not only when she is icing the cake, but when she fondants the cake. It really is quite unbelievable the way she uses gravity to her advantage. This is one of her many methods that she reveals!
This class will appeal to beginner/intermediate cake artists who would like to really perfect the shape and covering of their cakes. I think anyone who has iced a cake, has struggled at some point with getting nice straight sides on their cakes, with a nice sharp edge and level top. Jessica shares her methods, recipes and most of all encouragement as she takes you through all of her lessons to achieve the best cake possible.
Her specialty is working with modeling chocolate, which she uses for the flowers, stripes, bands and ruffles for her cake projects. This crisp, clean style is best duplicated by using modeling chocolate with her ingenious wax paper transfer method and she explains why. When I saw her use the wax paper to transfer her design to the cake I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some and start using it in my cake decorating. Before I even finished the class, I was already using the wax paper method for cutting out and applying intricate monograms on the cakes that I decorate. Now I fear no fonts at all! It has really taken my monograms to the next level and I have Jessica’s method to thank for that.
Below is a photo of a project I created where I applied the wax paper transfer method with modeling chocolate stripes.
Another interesting thing she does involves a clay gun and fondant. Without giving it away, when you are done watching her you might want to smack your forehead and say: Why didn’t I think of that? Well, maybe you won’t smack your forehead, but I have to tell you I sure did. Jessica is very precise in all that she does, and she really gives you plenty of tips and has a suggested list of tools that can help you achieve that type of precision. That’s not to say you have to have every tool because whether you use a fettuccini pasta cutter or a simple ruler, you can be sure that you will be successful in using the templates she provides for her designs.
Although you don’t see her actually stack her cakes, she graciously explains her methods and does refer to Joshua Russell’s, “Modern Buttercream” free Craftsy class for stacking instructions. Jessica also answers any questions you send her, which really is very helpful. I have to say that I was pondering and pondering how the heck it was possible to turn a 16” square cake upside down to ice it because I knew that was something I would never do. Then I read her answer to someone who was pondering the same thing! She limits her upside downs (as I call them) to a reasonable 9” cake. I was relieved to know that somewhere out there 16” cakes weren’t being inverted!
You’ll have to take her class to see her other method for icing, which also works just as well to produce a straight, level cake. All in all, I really can’t say enough good things about this Craftsy class and in my humble opinion it is well worth the investment. Whether you are a budding cake artist or a seasoned professional, you will learn something you can take with you on your future cake journeys!
Does Clean and Simple Cake Design sound right for you? Purchase it here for 50% Off! Not ready to purchase? Then we recommend starting with one of Craftsy's free mini cake decorating classes!
Craftsy Class: Clean and Simple Cake Design
Skill Level: Beginner/ Intermediate
"Must Have" Tools for Craftsy Class
- Exacto knife
- Quilting Ruler: Must have for straight lines and consistent cuts
- Wax Paper
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Joanne’s love of pastry started with earning her Girl Scout baking badge! Since then, she has graduated from the French Culinary Institute and The New School in NYC, where she also completed an internship with Gail Watson Custom Cake. Joanne has advanced training with industry experts such as Nicholas Lodge,...