Wilton Course 3… cake 1

Well, here it is… my first cake for Wilton course #3.  The class is all about fondant.  Fondant… fondant… and more fondant.   And that’s A-ok with me because the opportunity to learn to work with fondant is pretty much the reason I took this class :)   One thing I’ve learned along the way is while I may not enjoy eating fondant I surely do enjoy decorating cakes with it!!!

For our first cake the requirements were pretty straightforward…

  • 8″ square cake (3″ tall)… check
  • covered with rolled fondant… check
  • decorated with a vertical and a horizontal rolled fondant ribbon… check
  • adorned with a rolled fondant bow… check

and ta-daaaah… this was my result :)  I had a week to stress about contemplate this cake and I came up with all sorts of designs and color-concepts along the way.  But in the end I decided to go with the “less is more” idea and keep it (for me) simple with just a pink and black polka-dot theme.

Inside, the actual cake is nothing spectacular.  It’s a simple double-layer box cake mix with a layer of homemade lemon curd in between.  What can I say… I had to get my lemon fix in there :)  As much as I was stressing over contemplating the actual look of the cake I didn’t want to worry about the inside as well.  And hey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using box cake mix so please no flaming emails :)

Working with fondant is soooooo much easier than I really thought it would be.  For this cake I actually used two different brands of fondant.  The white fondant covering the cake is Wilton brand.  The pink ribbon and black polka dots are Satin Ice brand.  I’d initially heard the Wilton brand fondant was difficult to roll out… difficult to work with.  I found this to absolutely not be the case.  The Wilton brand fondant rolled out beautifully and I had zero difficulty working with it.  Maybe I got lucky, I dunno… but it caused me no trouble at all :)   I will be honest and say this though… the Wilton brand fondant is vvvvvvvvery sweet; over-the-top, cloyingly sweet.  Keep in mind I’m not a fan of eating fondant in the first place but this stuff is just not something I could even consider eating.  On the other hand… the Satin Ice brand tastes a helluva lot better! LOL!  Sure, it’s sweet but to me and my colleagues who ate this cake it’s not sweet like the Wilton brand (though DH didn’t really notice a significant difference).  The Satin Ice brand of fondant rolls out beautifully as well and although the cost is higher than Wilton, Satin Ice is the brand I’m now buying.  I found it very easy to color (pink) and it just felt better in my hand.  For the black polka dots, I actually bought black (vanilla flavored) fondant because it is vvvvvvvvery difficult to take white fondant and successfully color it black.  Sure, you can add coloring to it… and keeeeeeeeeep adding coloring to it… but you end up with more of a dark grey vs. black.   For strong colors like black, red, some blues, some hot pinks, etc, it’s just easier to buy colored fondant.  And yes, you can make your own fondant instead of buying it at all.  There are fondant recipes floating all over the internet though I haven’t tried any of them yet.  I’m sure I will attempt to make my own at some point :)

To create this cake you bake the two layers, cool completely, level as needed, fill if desired and then crumb-coat using buttercream.  I prefer to freeze the cake prior to crumb-coating and then freeze again before proceeding on with the fondant.  To decorate you roll out the fondant, cover the cake, trim the excess, roll out – cut – attach the ribbon pieces then roll out – cut – attach the bow pieces. To keep the bow from collapsing I tucked rolled-up paper towel pieces inside the loops until it was completely dried (overnight).  I made the black polka dots using a round icing tip and attaching them to the pink ribbon using a tiny bit of water.

So there you have it… my first cake project from Wilton Course #3.   If you’re feeling a bit intimidated by fondant (like, uhm, I was!) definitely don’t be.  There are some really good video tutorials out on the internet that will show you how to do it so don’t believe the only way to learn is by taking a class.  Fondant is pretty darn easy… fondant is definitely fun… and I’ll be making more fondant covered cakes in the future!

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Have a delicious day!

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24 Responses to "Wilton Course 3… cake 1"

  1. Gala says:

    So Cute!
    Good luck and have fun with the rest of your course.

  2. Tom says:

    You’re cake came out great! I love working with fondant – you can do so much with it.

    You have to try marshmallow fondant. It’s easy to make, the flavor is very good, and it’s WAAAYYY cheaper than Satin Ice. Here’s the recipe that I use: http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm

    • Em says:

      I appreciate the link – I will check it out. The shipping price for fondant is crazy – but then again it IS heavy stuff.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. fried blue says:

    what a beautiful cake!

  4. Maybe says:

    For a first attempt, it’s a great one ! You made a really nice bow, mine usually don’t look that good ! I can’t wait to see your newt project, it must be great to take decorating classes…

  5. Stacy says:

    Wonderful job on your cake! I just (last weekend to be exact) conquered my fondant fear (my pic of my cake is on my blog) I wish I would have (and still might) take a fondant course. Do you need to complete all others first before taking just that one?

    I bet you in a couple of weeks we see a cake on here with homemade MMF. I’m not sure I have ever tasted pre-rolled, pre-made fondant, BUT from what I hear the homemade is SO much better than the pre-made kind. I also made homemade MMF for the first time this past weekend and let me say it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. It came together pretty easily and the clean up was nowhere near what I feared it would be (and it actually tasted pretty good and I’m not a huge fondant fan). I’m actually making two more batches tomorrow. I think you are doing amazing with your fondant cake decorating. Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Em says:

      Hi Stacy,
      Yanno… I’m just not a big fan of marshmallow to start with but ya never know, I might just try making MMF :)
      I’ve taken Wilton 1, 2 and 3 (repeating 3 now since they didn’t have fondant in 3 back in the stone ages when I first took it! LOL) and I’ve seen it written that you do need to complete 2 before taking 3 (and of course 1 is required before 2). But as I mentioned in another reply, they did not ask me to “prove” I’d taken the previous classes.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Ashley says:

        The cake came out fabulous; I am such a proud teacher! As far as the prerequisites are concerned you just need to have Course 1 before any others (or at least that is the policy at Michaels). Your website is gorgeous and I can’t wait until I have the time to really look at it all.

  6. Tracey says:

    Wow, your cake is gorgeous! I would never have thought it was your first time working with fondant.

  7. Shelly says:

    This is gorgeous! I am in the learning stages of fondant as well. I have been throwing around the idea of taking the Wilton course, do you recommend it? And again, the cake is beautiful!

    • Em says:

      Hi Shelly,
      Do I recommend the Wilton class? Yes… and no. Yes because it teaches good foundation skills that can be used as a jumping-off point or stepping stone. No because (at least at Michael’s arts-n-crafts store) it’s very very rushed. I say this from the perspective of having completed Wilton courses 1, 2 and 3 thru the Parks & Recreation system over 10 years ago. Back then Wilton 3 did not include fondant so I did not learn it then. Now Wilton 3 teaches fondant so I went back and “took it again” so to speak. Thru P&R, the class was 6 sessions long… thru Michael’s it’s only 4 sessions. For all I know P&R is now 4 sessions as well… I can’t really say. But I can tell you I feel extremely rushed in this class unlike I ever did previously… and I’ve been doing cake decorating for about 12-ish years now.

      If you don’t have a retail location near you that teaches the Wilton method, I encourage you to check out the online video tutorials people have made and posted to places like YouTube. I watched several before I took my very first one-night-2-hr fondant class so I felt very comfortable with the process. I think the videos give you the flavor for how to work with the fondant and what to expect in terms of process. Well, at least the ones I watched were great – probably some are not! LOL.

      Oh… Wilton does state course 2 is a pre-requisite for course 3 though at Michael’s the instructor only asked if I’d done cake decorating before (she didn’t ask for any proof of having taken the Wilton classes).

      If you’re considering it, I would say go for it :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Amanda says:

    Looks great! I’m half way through Wilton Course 2 right now and while I’m learning a lot, I’m getting a little bit tired of all these messy piping bags and tips. :) Fondant will be a new and exciting change. But yes… I’m definitely intimidated.

  9. ingrid says:

    Good job, EM!

    I’ve a box of Wilton fondant in my pantry that I keep saying I’m going to “play” with but still haven’t.

  10. Monica H says:

    Lovely cake.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of taking Wilton classes but I haven’t decided where. Michaels has them but I’ve heard some not so good things about the instructors, so I’m iffy.

    I can take it at a local bakeshop with more qualified teachers but it costs more and I have to travel further.

    Right now I’m deciding on which decorating tips to purchase. I know all they require is the Student Kit, but I wanted a larger set. Do you have a preference in Wilton vs. Ateco tips? Or any other brand/kit?

    Thanks, Monica

    • Em says:

      Hi Monica,
      I use a combination of both Wilton and Ateco tips. I don’t find they perform any differently and rarely is there one from one brand that isn’t duplicated in the other. I buy the tip I need… whatever brand the store has in stock at that time. If you haven’t taken any classes before, get the student 1 kit since it will have all the basics that you NEED for the class… then you can add other tips as you learn techniques and decide what fits in with your own personal style :) I know you didn’t ask but… take the class where the instructors are good. It’ll be worth the extra cost and further drive.

      Enjoy – and thanks for stopping by!

      • Monica H says:

        Thanks Em for responding so quickly. My husband thinks I should pay extra and have better qualified teachers too. I think it will be worth the investment.

  11. Lainey says:

    Your cake came out beautifully! I took the Wilton 3 class back a couple of months ago. I started taking Wilton classes to get to that particular class, and was so excited. Unfortunately, I ended up having to teach myself everything because my teacher was not so bright! I made my own marshmallow fondant, which I found to be quite simple. I don’t like the store bought Wilton stuff either.

  12. Jacki says:

    Cute as a button!! I’m envious of your ability to get your cake so perfectly square, it looks fabulous! Thanks for the comparison of Wilton vs. Satin Ice. I’ve never tried Satin Ice but I think now I will!

  13. koneko says:

    i hadn’t heard that wilton brand was harder to work with, only that it didn’t taste very good. i heard that satin ice tastes much better.

    i haven’t taken course 3 yet due to living in a very tiny (barely above bachelor suite) apartment and i just don’t have the space to roll out cookie dough let alone fondant!

    i’ve never done the classes at michaels, just at a local hobby shop. we did them in three classes, the second being a double class. in retrospect, i think next time i will try michaels so long as they don’t do a double class.

    the cake looks so yummy! and yes, there is nothing wrong with box mixes. :)

  14. Your cake looks spectacular! What a perfect bow! I’ve been wanting to learn that since forever! Any plans of a tutorial of some sort? :P

  15. Jacque says:

    Wow! Looks like you’re a natural, your cake looks fantastic!

    I think Wilton is one of the nicest to work with, but the worst tasting, unfortunately. I’ve recently branched out into making my own and it has gone pretty well… and tastes better and is way cheaper. I’ve had good luck with Satin Ice too.

    Anyway, good luck on the rest of your class. Sounds fun!

  16. A very nice looking and modern cake you have made, it looks really professional and precises, especially the ribbons. You are very talented, I am interested to see what else you can do!

  17. Tracey in WA says:

    I am taking this course next month … so looking forward to it and glad to hear it isn’t as bad as you thought it was … gives me hope :)

  18. Megan says:

    I love it. The cake is super cute!

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