As you may remember, Samantha's First Birthday cake was the first cake I had ever decorated. I enjoyed making it, but didn't do any other cakes until her second birthday.
The Crown cake was what I made for her second birthday. It was hard and I was sweating. The directions called for 5 cups of icing, but I only had enough powdered sugar to make 4 cups. I stretched it, but only barely.
For Christmas I asked for a set of cake decorating tips. Joe obliged and bought the large set with lots of tips that I had no clue how to use. I saw that Hobby Lobby had Wilton Method classes in January for 50% off, so I headed over there one day to see what it would cost me. "Only" $17.50 for a 4-week session with classes one night a week. I signed right up for Wilton 1.
The first week my instructor Melissa showed us around the cake decorating aisle at the store. So many tools to make the experience more enjoyable because the class kit ($24.99 then) contained only the bare minimum to get through class. Then she made up a double batch of buttercream icing and flavored it with equal parts of vanilla, almond and butter flavorings. (I concluded right then and there that I'm not crazy about the butter.) She left us with a list of things that we needed to bring to the following class including a cake and icing. We had two options for the cake. We would either need to bring a "character" cake (such as the shaped crown pan above) or we would need a pattern to transfer onto our cake. I chose the transfer cake option.
I scoured Samantha's coloring books looking for a suitable image that I could transfer onto my cake. She was crazy about Happy Feet at the time, so I thought a penguin would be good. The night before class I laid out my plan step by step so that I would do it all in order. The next day I got a phone call from Melissa. Class was canceled because we were expecting bad weather that evening. I decorated the cake at home and the Penguin Cake is what I made. Looks ok, but the mouth is goofy.
The following week I wanted to again make a transfer cake, but I wanted to do a different cake than before. I found a rubber duck online and printed it out. Ducky Cake used stars and outlines and the transfer method.
In Week 3 we learned how to make clowns. In real life I think clowns are scary, but made from icing they're kinda cute. They use up lots of icing though. We also learned drop flowers that night. This picture doesn't show a very good drop flower. The other cupcakes I was just messing around trying different techniques on. They're not worth mentioning.
Week 4 we were given the task of choosing any cake in our book and replicating the concept. I really liked drop flowers, so that's what I knew I could do. One bonus was that we made them ahead and allowed them to dry. In class all I had to do was add the bottom shell border and place the flowers wherever I wanted. While a drop flower border is great for covering up a lousy shell, this cake was one of my best shell borders.
Wilton 1 teaches the "Wilton Rose", but I haven't yet mentioned it because during this class I wasn't very good at it. They're ok, but not my favorite flower.