Beginning of the year 2013, I enrolled myself into Wilton’s Cake Decorating Basics course. This is to share with you the good, bad and the ugly of my experience.
The course is four 2 hour sessions spread over 4 weeks. When I registered for the course I received a list of things to bring with me to the course. The items included among other things a “student kit” but no where did it list what the kit contains. Since I had some cake decorating tools already I wasn’t willing to spend money on things I already had knowing that I will likely need more equipment during the course of the course. The course description states that the cost of the course is the enrollment fee plus supplies. But since you don’t know what the supplies are and what they might cost, you really are going in blind as to the costs associated with the course. In my case, I the enrollment fee was $22.50 as I received a promotional offer of 50% discount. This was lucrative as no one else really offers 4 week cake decorating courses at that price. The what I spent on the course was a little more than that.
Here is a list of things that I purchased for the course:
Wilton Ultimate Decorating Set – It has 177 pieces and I intended to complete all 4 of the Wilton cake decorating courses. This is their old discontinued set. The new set contains a few different pieces but they were negligible differences for me. Also I found a really good price at a local cake decorating supply store. I paid $99 + tax where as normally the cheapest price for the new set if about $200. The student kit at Michael’s sales for about $50. But if you have the 40% or 50% discount coupon of theirs, it might not be so bad. But if you are thinking of taking all of the courses, it may be worthwhile investing in a big kit. It might be more cost effective if the price is right.
Wilton The Trim ´n Turn® ULTRA turntable – I liked this over the others is because it gave me a little more height than the others at a comparable price. I purchased it from a store that was closing down so I got it at $18+tax. You can get wooden lazy susans that can do the job but I wanted something light cause you need to carry it to your class. Plastic one is light.
Wilton Small Cake Leveler – I purchased it because it is the cheapest one I could find at the time. You don’t have to buy it but I find a cake leveler works better for me than using a bread knife. The cost was approximately $6+tax.
Wilton Bake Even Strips – I will be honest that I was skeptical about buying these. I had seen them in my browsing through the world of cooking related websites but I thought that these must be a gimmick. But bought them anyway to see if they worked. Well to my surprise they actually work so you don’t need to level the top of the cake after all.
Wilton Flower Lifter – you do need this and I was able to find them for as little as $2 + tax.
2″x8″ cake pans – I needed two of them to bake the same size double layer cakes. I had to buy these because I didn’t have any 8″ cake pans. Each pan cost me about $10+tax.
Cake & Cupcake boxes from the local store. Each box was about $2. I got these instead of a carrier because I was sending my cakes to my husband’s office as I didn’t want to waste the cake and since I am not working, it had to be his.
Cake supplies such as flour, sugar, butter, eggs and anything else you include in your cake. Cake boards are also needed for the cakes. I bought a pack of 12 for about $5.
Icing supplies such as vegetable shortening, icing sugar, icing colour, meringue powder, piping bags. You can buy ready made icing but it has to be Wilton brand and that can get a lot more expensive than making your own at home. Also needed are fillings for cake and cupcakes.
Other items that you will need are piping gels, parchment icing flower squares (can be bought for about $2 or made at home) and other little items that are found around the house. Here is a link to the full list on Wilton’s website. Note that your instructor may not require you to have all of the items and can suggest alternates.
So as you can see from the above list, it was not just the course fee. The supplies can cost quite a bit but if you shop around, you can find all of these items at a discount. The next post will be about what I did and what I learned!