Sugar skills

For the past month I have spent several hours each Sunday at the local craft store, learning how to decorate cakes with butter cream frosting.

I hadn’t exactly planned on engaging in this activity this summer.  I don’t really eat cake, so I don’t usually have much desire to make cake.  However.  In the last days of July my sister asked me if I would sign up to take this decorating class – the same one she and my mom were taking – so that when the three of us ladies see one another this coming holiday season, we could spend some time together, creating together.

How could I say no to a request like that?

So each Saturday for the past four weeks I have baked, cut, whipped, colored, filled, squeezed, dabbed, and twisted, learning increasingly complex decorating techniques.

Today was the last class in the series, where I showcased all of my recently-acquired skills into a final project:

And while it is nice to be finished with the time commitment, what I learned throughout these four afternoons is that I kind of like decorating cakes.  It’s an entirely different space from the activities in which I’m usually engaged; and it’s lovely to have something tangible-yet-ephemeral resulting from a decorating session.  It’s also very fun for me to see other people respond so enthusiastically to my creations; and it’s nice to not be viewed as so “different” all of the time.

If you want to read the story and see the results of all four weeks of classes, you are welcome to check out my weekly food blog – in that space, I did a more in-depth write-up of the logistics of the class series, and showed pictures of the products that resulted from each session.

In this space, I’ll end with a comment a friend emailed me that summarizes our shared perspective on this activity: I took these classes before, and I found decorating to be calming and relaxing to do. Almost like coloring when you were a kid; and kind of like meditating.

A mediation you can eat.  Yum.  🙂


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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13 Responses to Sugar skills

  1. Congrats, very pretty cake! I took a class like that many (many, many, etc) years ago and really enjoyed it. Struggled with the writing part but it was still fun.

    I also checked out your food blog about the course…love the zucchini cake, what a creative idea!


    • Stef says:

      There were definitely parts of the class I’m by no means ‘expert’ at – but it’s fun to just try. And really, how bad can it be? After all, it’s just cake! 😉

      Thanks for the compliment on the zucchini cake! So many gardeners I know are running a little heavy on the stuff – so I wanted to give them a different usage option. 🙂


  2. rutheh says:

    Many years ago I took a class in cake decorating when we lived in Germany. Time and time again I use those skills and have brought much joy to my family and myself.
    Your “final” looks like you aced the course to me!


    • Stef says:

      Ruth, I do think it’s a handy skill that is going to come into play many times in the future – and probably more than I even realize right now.

      Thank you for the compliment on the cake – I appreciate your kind words! 🙂


  3. Touch2Touch says:

    You are always doing the most interesting things!
    I wouldn’t dare, because then I would eat the creations, and get fatter than I am.
    Your cake is BEAUTIFUL. Meditative? Why not!


    • Stef says:

      Ah, that’s where working in an office is a big benefit – nearly 100 people on my floor means the cake is always gone by the end of the day! (And usually within just a few hours…) 🙂

      Thank you for your very sweet words about the cake – I’m flattered, and grateful. 🙂


  4. Hallysann says:

    Your final project is beautiful. Although, I’m guessing practice would have been fun … disposing of the evidence every time it went wrong. 😀


  5. carlaat says:

    Love your cake!
    And love how your posts so often bring back happy memories for me!
    My mom was WAAY into cake decorating back when I was a kid, so we had all kinds of great equipment – lots of different icing tips, lots of the “good” paste coloring, etc.
    I decorated a few cakes back then and had great fun with it – I agree that it’s a soothing activity like coloring.
    So cool!


    • Stef says:

      My mom was also big into cake decorating – she made wonderful birthday cakes for my sister and I. I never did much decorating, though – so I was quite the novice at it. But it is fun… I might have to do it every now and again.

      And yes, the “good” paste coloring makes a world of difference! Who knew?


  6. It looks amazing Stef, truly. 🙂

    A very sweet, inspiring & selfless act of kindness. Your Mum must be very proud of you.


  7. Pingback: #64: Listen to a polka band at Nye’s Polonaise Room | Smile, kiddo.

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