Each of these classes is a “single serving”: They are one day projects, most lasting 2 to 3 hours.
All of these projects are “hands-on” unless specified as demonstration only. Students provide cakes, fillings, icings and general tools (I supply shopping lists, handout notes and easy recipes). There is a special emphasis on using inexpensive tools. When possible students use instructor’s tools unless they are sure they want to invest in their own (cutters, texture mats, silicone molds, crimpers, extruders, etc.)
These classes are meant for adults, unless noted. If your child is a little older and is very gifted and motivated please contact instructor so they can consider making an exception.
Private Lessons (Create Your Own Class)
Your lessons will be based on the class descriptions and prices below, but may be custom tailored to your needs. Please contact us for availability.
Average cost is $25 for the first hour, $15 each additional hour, with a 2 hour minimum, plus the cost of items given by the instructor. Lessons are provided at your home or business. A travel fee of .58/mile each way will apply – for example, if your location is 15 miles from Gilroy, CA your cost would be $17. Students prepare cakes and ingredients according to simple recipes provided.
Discounts are given for multiple students (5% for every additional student up to 25%). Lessons are taught using many tools shared by the instructor so there are very few you need to purchase on your own.
Basic Cake Decorating I: Demonstration Class
I provide a small demo cake, plus ingredients for icing and filling. Students get to eat the cake I create with them in class!
Baking, torting, filling, preparing, applying and smoothing icing, pattern transfer, shell borders, stars, dots, lines, and a ribbon rose. TONS of helpful information and some hands-on practice.
Basic Cake Decorating II
We’ll revisit smoothing the icing, then it’s on to writing, vines, easy rope border, sweet peas, leaves, the classic rose, chrysanthemums and more! Roses are taught several different ways – students go home able to create roses after a single lesson. You do not need prior classes/experience for this class. Simply contact instructor a week ahead to receive instruction and recipes then bring what you have to class. Also excellent for self-taught decorators or those who’ve taken classes but feel like something’s missing.
Buttercream Elegance: Flowers and Arrangements
Basketweave and other side-design techniques and lots of beautiful icing flowers and leaves piped in buttercream. Quick and easy to do, but cakes will look like you spent hours on them!
Royal Icing Flowers
Icing will be prepared in class so you can see how it’s done!
Create flowers that can be air-dried and used weeks after they are created. Royal Icing preparation, bag striping, mum, daisy, daffodil, primrose, apple blossom, leaves, wired flowers, 3-D Flowers, such as hibiscus, morning glory, petunia and Easter lily.
Silky Smooth Buttercream: Demonstration Class
Using different icings to make a sleek and smooth, flawless iced cake. Instructor creates Decorator Buttercream, Silky Smooth Buttercream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream in class. Students get to sample each and learn about their storage, use and workability.
Fondant and Other Rolled Icings
Best techniques for covering a cake in fondant, marshmallow fondant, rolled buttercream, or chocolate wrap. Foolproof recipes for all are provided. We will focus on fondant in class; techniques for dealing with others will be discussed. Draping, smoothing, quilting, ropes, cutouts, standing 3D bows and other simple decorations will be taught – as well as how to repair mistakes!
Making Your Own Rolled Icings: Fondant, Marshmallow Fondant, Rolled Buttercream, Chocolate Wrap (Modeling Chocolate): Demonstration Class
Students take home samples of each
Learn the best way to create perfect fondant every time for pennies per pound! These are wonderful and delicious alternatives to rolled fondant, but can be a little tricky to make and work with. Learn the best methods for making these yourself as well as valuable hints on how to adjust for warm weather and various types of decorating.
Quick and Easy Fondant Fantasy Flowers
Fast and friendly flowers that do not include wires so they are entirely edible. Roses, daisies, calla lilies, ribbon roses, leaves and more will be created in class.
Sculpted Cakes: Purse, Guitar, Pillows & Cars
Learn about how to use interior supports to create extra-tall cakes and how to create molded shapes for 3D edible sculptures. Information on using various cereal treats and other materials for sculpting and supports. Safe transportation and how to serve cake will be discussed.
Towering Tiered Cakes and Fearless Transportation
Best techniques for creating stacked and separated tiered cakes. Instructions for transporting, setting up and serving included.
Simple Two Tier Wedding Cake Using Fresh Flowers
Students provide two cake tiers, iced in buttercream or wrapped with fondant. Students will stack cakes, pipe lace side designs with brush embroidery flowers and finish with a simple border. Learn how to choose, prepare and display fresh flowers safely on cakes.
Fancy Stringwork and Other Wedding Cake Décor
Ruffles, garlands, lace, drop strings and other fancy wedding cake designs practiced in buttercream and royal icing. Decorating a real cake in class is optional.
Lambeth-Style (Overpiping Method) Made Easy
Ridiculously complicated stringwork can be simplified. Learn a quick and easy way to mimic the design of these intricate decorations using fondant and royal icing.
Whimsical / Tapered Tiers/ Topsy-Turvy / Mad Hatter / Crooked Cakes: 3 hours
Dowel rods and other supports will be provided.
Creating topsy-turvy towers that look like they’re about to fall over – but never will! Tried-and-true methods for stacking and transporting these cakes will be covered, as will how to serve them once they arrive! This class is four hours long – we take two “naked” cakes all the way through to completion!
Spiral Tiered Cakes: 3 hours
Laurie’s method for creating cakes that flow in a continuous spiral from top to bottom – but have invisible internal supports like regular tiered cakes.
Carved Candle Cake
Laurie’s original design idea for replicating this fancy candle creation. Students create this cake complete with flickering candle flame.
Birthday “Slice” Cake and other “Bigger is Better” Cakes: 3 hours
Sometimes you want a cake that says “WOW” but you only have so many people who will be eating it! In class we will be creating a two-tier cake with a “slice” on top – perfect for a first birthday (the “slice” can be used as a “smash-me” cake for the birthday baby!) We will also walk through other possibilities: 3 tier “castle” cakes built with 2 tiers and other applications will be discussed.
Realistic & Lifelike Flowers Using Gumpaste or Pastillage: 3 hours
Instructor provides all ingredients and tools.
Intricate, delicate works of art – mounted on wires for realism. Excellent recipe provided for soft, workable paste that dries thin and crispy. Garden Rose, wired leaves, hand-pulled Stephanotis and Calla Lily will be created in class.
Realistic & Lifelike Flowers Using Cold Porcelain: 3 hours
Instructor provides all ingredients and tools. Cold porcelain is made by hand from many ingredients and takes significant time; price of class is adjusted accordingly.
Flowers are very lifelike, nearly identical in appearance to gumpaste. Cold Porcelain is non-toxic but inedible. Used for creating permanent flowers that resist weather, damage and fading. Cosmos, wired leaves and other flowers will be created in class.
Wafer Paper Flowers and Fun With Printed Fondant Sheets (Edible Images)
Create lace, bows, leaves and flowers almost instantly. Learn the benefits and limitations of designs and shapes made with each of these mediums.
Creating Custom Molds and Veiners: Demonstration Class
Includes Silicone Mold Putty for your project; you take home completed molds.
Create re-usable molds from a variety of materials, most available at your local craft store. All are food-safe and easy to make. Flower centers, tire treads, leaf veiners and 3-D two-part molds will be shown.
Decorating Creative Cookies
Decorating with poured and piped icings (royal icing; cookie glaze) as well as fondant. Instructor provides cookies and icings in class. Delicious recipes for easy cookies and yummy icing are provided.
Decadent Chocolate Cakes
To-die-for chocolate cake recipe, chocolate ganache recipes and instructions are provided. Making chocolate ganache, creating a mousse filling with ganache, covering a cake in poured chocolate icing. Piped chocolate decorations to add a delicate gourmet touch. Directions on making handmade truffles with your leftovers will also be discussed.
Creating Easy Chocolate Candies: Demonstration Class
Guess who gets to take the candies home?
Molded candies, chocolate suckers, peanut butter cups, layered chocolates, marbled chocolates, filled truffles, dipped pretzels, crisp rice bars, bark and chocolate covered popcorn.
Professional Chocolate Molding Techniques: Demonstration Class
Get the tools for creating pretty, perfectly shaped chocolates with gorgeous designs on top (using chocolate transfer sheets and magnetic molds) – and learn how easy it is to make these high-end designer chocolates once you have the proper tools!
Sugar Molding Techniques: Panoramic Sugar Eggs and Beyond: Demonstration Class
Includes ingredients and use of molds and tools.
Learn the basics of coloring and flavoring sugar and how to use this method to create boxes, bowls, custom flavored/shaped sugar cubes and more! Students get some hands-on experience in class.
Easy Isomalt Techniques: Demonstration Class
Learning about Isomalt as an alternative to sugar and how to create simple decorations that look like stained glass. Bowls, coral, lava, jewels and water will be shown.
Classic and Truffle-Style Petit Fours: Demonstration Class
Tiny bite-sized cakes that look like they were created by a master sugar artist. This method uses delicious white or dark chocolate as an outer coating. Create delicate and delicious single-serving cakes you’ll be excited to serve at your next event!
“Cupcake Cakes”, or “Pull-Apart Cakes”
Learn how to create these easy and fun cakes in all shapes and sizes! Shape of “cake” created in class varies.
Sunflowers, roses, mums, petunias, gardenias, carnations -- all on a cupcake!
Using Gelatin for Decorating Cakes: Sunglasses, Sequins, Bubbles, Bows and More: Demonstration Class
Learn how to create edible sunglasses as well as tiny sequins. An awesome addition to any glam cake!
Edible Images: Chocolate “Stickers”: Demonstration Class
Chocolate coating is a tasty alternative to piped buttercream designs. Easy to create, smooth-looking “stickers” that can even be made into cake toppers! If your piping skills leave something to be desired, or you’re just looking for an easy way to recreate an image on your cake, this is a great method to learn. Frozen Buttercream transfers (which remain soft and easy to cut through on cake) will be discussed.
Gift-Wrapped Cakes: Using Chocolate Transfers or Edible Images/Printed Fondant
Pre-printed chocolate transfer sheets will be provided for you. Designs of your choosing may be pre-ordered for you.
Using pre-printed chocolate transfer acetate sheets to transfer designs around the side of your cakes. How to create bows out of wafer paper included.
Airbrushing on Cakes
Learn the differences between airbrushes (and compressors) and techniques using stencils, freehand design, and how to adjust settings so airbrush can safely be used on buttercream and whipped icing. Students will create airbrushed designs on cardboard.
Figure Sculpting with Modeling Chocolate (Dragon): Demonstration Class
Creating internal supports for gravity-defying decorations, how to keep sculptures from sagging or sliding, making modeling chocolate and “Construction Grade” cereal treats. Learn benefits and disadvantages of working with this medium.
Edible, Flexible Dragon Wings and Silky Fabric (Jelly Satin): Demonstration Class
Technique similar to those used on Sugar Dome by Laurie’s Team, Vicious and Delicious – but new and improved!* Using wires to made a posable structure for the wings, applying the Jelly Satin recipe to the frame, distressing and coloring the wings for realism. Creating smooth or patterned “fabric” with Jelly Satin. *Original recipe/technique was a collaboration between Laurie Clarke and Bob Newton of CreatureFX