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Cake making secrets I had never made or decorated cakes before. I thought it would be so difficult. I now enjoy learning how to decorate cakes. YummyArts makes the learning process easy and fun with their clear video instructions.

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Most popular cake decorating styles

The Lambeth Method

The Lambeth Method is derived from a style of decorating that was popular in England where chefs and decorators would use a lot of intricate piping to create 3-D scrollwork, leaves, flowers, and other decorating on a cake. The Lambeth Method is still popular today and is frequently one of the methods used by wedding cake designers and decorators to decorate ornate wedding cakes. A cake decorated in the Lambeth Method and accented with fresh fruit or flowers is the wedding cake of choice for anyone who wants a traditional looking, elegant wedding cake.

In 1934, Joseph Lambeth put out his own book on decorating cakes using the Lambeth method. The book was a how-to book and included many tips and lessons on using the Lambeth Method to create ornate scrollwork, flowers, vines, and specialty figures.

The Lambeth Method is unique use of overpiping to create lacey, floral and ornate patterns on top of a fondant covered or marzipan cake is easy to recognize and often, people add embellishments to the ornate piping work, such as pearls or gems, lace, fresh flowers, or a bit of embroidery.

Because of the detailed instructions in the book and the popularity of the book, the Lambeth Method became extremely popular and the ornate scrollwork patterns originally designed by Lambeth became associated with American Sugarcrafting. The most common American cake decorating style is derived almost entirely from the Lambeth Method.

Examples of the Lambeth Method in American cake design can be seen most clearly in the designs of the 1950's when women had competitions to outdo each other in creating the most unique and ornate cakes for every occasion. The Lambeth Method is great for writing on cakes, so many cake decorators will use the Lambeth Method when creating cakes that have poems, songs, or other words running through the design.

The Australian Method

The Australian cake decorating method originated in Australia during the time of English colonization. When the colonists from England settled in Australia, they brought all their own customs and cooking methods from home and one of them was the Lambeth Method of cake decorating.

Once they were settled in Australia, the settlers began experimenting with more ornate cake decorating techniques and the Australian method was born. The Australian method is similar in style to the Lambeth Method because it also involves the use of overpiping on fondant covered cakes. The Australian Method uses the same style as the Lambeth Method but incorporated the use of much more ornate scrollwork and lots of curtaining.

To get the effect of a beautiful beaded curtain cake, decorators using the Australian method often use seed beads, pearls, or little candies in their decorations. It is very difficult to create frosting curtains but cake decorators who practice can achieve stunning results using the Australian Method of cake decorating.

The Australian Museum of Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft has some of the most stunning examples of the Australian Method of cake decorating ever seen. It’s hard to believe that they are edible when you look at the picture perfect decorations and most people would never dream of spoiling such artistic work by cutting into it.

While eating the cake is usually the best part of making a cake, for cake decorators, it's the time spent decorating and coaxing the cake into the final finished artistic form that is the most fun. Just like the Lambeth Method, there are classes in cake decorating using the Australian Method taught around the world, everywhere from fine culinary institutes to craft shop classes.

Since the Australian Method of cake decorating is an offshoot of the Lambeth Method of cake decorating, most classes require students to have taken a class in the Lambeth Method or be experienced with the Lambeth Method before they can take a class that teaches the Australian Method of cake decorating.

The Wilton Method

The Wilton Method of cake decorating is probably the most famous cake decorating style. The Wilton Method uses buttercream icing instead of royal icing for cake decorating. Buttercream icing is very tasty, but tends to be heavier and less refined than royal icing so it’s really not a good frosting to use when decorating in ornate scrollwork patterns or very thin piping like the Lambeth Method and the Australian Method.

There are two things that make the Wilton Method unique in the art of cake decoration. One is the use of buttercream frosting instead of royal icing to decorate the cake. The other is using special pans to change the shape of the cake and then adding icing and decoration to finish the effect.

The use of special cake pans is a truly unique feature of the Wilton Method. Previously, cakes were always the same shapes, either round or square, but the Wilton Method changed the way that cakes were decorated by using specially shaped pans. When the shaped pans were used to create the cake, the cake itself became a major feature of the design and icing and decoration were applied to finish off the design.

Before the Wilton specialty pans were invented, the cake was really a blank canvas on which the cake decorator would create art. But the introduction of the specialty Wilton shaped pans made the cake the focus of the design instead of just the blank canvas.

Also, the use of the Wilton pans meant that truly three dimensional shaped could be achieved to create cakes in shapes that were thought impossible. A great example of the Wilton Method of cake decorating is the Wilton doll cake, where a cake is baked in a large funnel pan with a hole in the center.

A plastic doll torso and head from a craft store is inserted into the hole at the top of the funnel shaped cake and the cake becomes the doll's skirt. The doll's dress is made entirely of icing, finishing off the effect. The icing dress forms a cohesive unit of the plastic top of the doll and the edible skirt and the cake is a three dimensional work of art.

A plastic doll torso and head from a craft store is inserted into the hole at the top of the funnel shaped cake and the cake becomes the doll's skirt. The doll's dress is made entirely of icing, finishing off the effect. The icing dress forms a cohesive unit of the plastic top of the doll and the edible skirt and the cake is a three dimensional work of art.

The Wilton company not only makes cake pans and a full line of cake decorating accessories; they also sell books and videos that show people how to create amazing cakes using the Wilton method. In addition, classes are taught at craft stores around the world that teach people how to use the Wilton Method to create gorgeous, one of a kind cakes.

This material was found on Cake Decorating Basics


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