Every Sunday at noon for 2 hours over a period of 12 weeks was such an awesome experience. In total we took all 3 courses, each course had 4 classes that were each 2 hours long. The lessons costed about $22.50 (before taxes) per course for each individual so it came to $71 (after taxes) for all my lessons. We weren't required to purchase the course kits but it was strongly recommended as it provided you with a colour booklet of your lesson plan as well as 90% of the tools and supplies required to learn cake decorating. I bought them all. Each course kit costed about $40 but I paid $20 because I'd use the weekly 50% off coupons on them. In addition, I had to purchase a couple piping tips that weren't included in the course kits but were required for some of the flower piping, colour gels and some random things here and there. 99% of what I needed was sold at Micheals. Some of the other things were found at Walmart and now at Bulk Barn (which didn't exist at that time). To save money and realizing that this hobby was going to last me for a long time, I invested in the blue/grey Wilton 50 Piece Tool Caddy which I paid about $30 for (after using my 50% off coupon).
Note: its been a couple years since I've first taken these classes. Wilton has changed their lessons a couple times and it's now 4 courses instead of 3. Prices (CAD), lessons and details will vary so please check www.wilton.com and your nearby Michael's for current prices and updated lesson plans.
Anyways, here's a break down of my courses:
(1) Discover Cake Decorating: This course gave a nice introduction to cake decorating tools, terminology, and basic techniques.You can quit after this course and still be able to make some pretty decent cakes and cupcakes (such as the ones you commonly see in grocery stores).
- Lesson 1 - The Fundamentals: Making, colouring and flavouring basic buttercream icing. How to use decorating bags and how to prepare cakes for decorating.
- Lesson 2 - Starting to Decorate: Decorating with star and round tips. How to pipe and write. How to do gel pattern transfers. How to make the base for piping roses.
- Lesson 3 - Flowers and Figures: How to pipe the first petal on your rose base. Piping shell borders, figures and drop flowers.
- Lesson 4 - Decorating with Flowers: How to pipe the rest of the petals on a rose. How to make floral accents, leaves, vines and rose sprays.
- Lesson 1 - Build on the Basics: More on piping shell borders, rosettes, reverse shells, rosebuds, chrysanthemums, and an introduction to making royal icing and Wilton's color flow icing (which is essentially a really runny royal icing).
- Lesson 2 - New Additions: Decorating with color flow. How to pipe royal icing apple blossoms, violet leaves, and violets.
- Lesson 3 - Decorations in Bloom: More royal icing flower piping - victorian rose, daisy, daffodil, pansy, and primrose.
- Lesson 4 - The Grand Finale: How to pipe a basketweave, rope, assemble cakes, and making flower sprays.
- Lesson 1 - Introduction to using and coloring gumpaste and fondant. How to make gumpaste/fondant bow loops and how to assemble a bow for a cake. How to make bases for flowers such as mums, roses and carnations.
- Lesson 2 - Basic principles of floral cake design, making calla lillies, petals for roses and carnations, and calyxes and leaves for flowers.
- Lesson 3 - Making fondant daisies, finishing mums, covering a cake board with fondant, making geometric designs and using fondant cut-outs, overlays and inlays.
- Lesson 4 - Getting started, covering a cake with fondant, making rope borders, creating eyelets, ruffles, ball borders and finally assembling your fondant decorated cake.
- great instructor that was very friendly, nice, knowledgeable, patient, helpful and inspiring
- great intro to cake decorating, terminology, recipes, techniques, styles and tools. You learn tons!
- great classmates. Everyone was nice and fun to work with.
- inexpensive lessons! Great for those that don't have the funds or time to take culinary school!
- convenient! I have 4 Michael's in my city that all provide lessons. Class times and dates vary from location to location making it very easy to find a schedule and location that works for you.
- relaxed learning atmosphere. Pressure and stress free.
- SO FUN!
- The classroom (their craft/party room) is not designed for cake decorating. The tables were small, wobbly, old, and dirty (from other crafting classes). We didn't always have enough seats. There was only 1 sink that was only for washing our hands. We couldn't wash any of our tools in it so we had to drag all our dirtied tools home to clean which can get pretty messy. Every now and then, someone would accidentally wash some buttercream down the sink creating an immediate clog and disuse of the sink --> gross and very inconvenient!
- Everyone learns at different speeds so some of the slower or struggling students consumed most of the instructor's time making it difficult for you to have your fair time with the instructor which makes you waste time waiting for help.
- The course kits were sometimes in complete. I did have to run around a bit to look for certain tips to pipe flowers.
- 2 hours is too short! You lose 30-60 minutes per class from just setting up and cleaning up. We couldn't come early or stay late so we would have to scramble sometimes to set up or clean up.
- There is prep work required before classes that must be done at home. This could be baking a cake and preparing it for cake decorating or making icing, buttercreams and fondant. I took this course with my sister and buddy which saved us time and inconvenience. My sister and me would take turns in prepping for our next day of lessons and cleaning our stuff after our lessons. Between the 3 of us, we would also assign different colors for each person to make. So instead of each person having to make 9 different icing colors, each of us would make only 3 and then we would share!
- Prices don't include your icing and baking ingredients. You have to make that on your own time at home before your lessons. Make sure you have time for all the homework required. If you don't do your required homework and prep work, you will not be able to participate in your class lessons unless you have a classmate that doesn't mind sharing her icing and cake.
- This course is sooooooo fun if you can take it with a friend or family member. Some moms would take it with their daughters. It's great bonding time for anyone and can be a great gift idea.
- Cake decorating can get expensive. After finishing these classes, I continued on to learn more things on my own (via TV, internet, books and YouTube). I've bought tons of cake decorating supplies and tools. A hobby a easily go from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars.... You can however, take all of these courses, buy a couple kits and never have to buy anything ever again and still cake decorate to your hearts content so don't think you HAVE TO spend anymore money after these lessons.