Last week, Diana and I were invited to join a group of bloggers for a cake icing class at the fabulous Magnolia Bakery. As you may recall, we used to have a monthly cooking class date, but after our schedules started getting a bit too complicated to keep up, we had to take a step back. While we no longer have our regular commitment, our love of trying new foodie classes hasn't faded... especially when the class involves heaps of delicious buttercream icing at one of our favorite bakeries in the city!
While I consider myself to be a professional consumer of confections, I'm far from a pro when it comes to the decorating end. I'm one of those people who loves to bake, but kind of dreads the decorating side - not because I don't want my sugary delights to look good, but more because I'm totally OCD about it and drive myself crazy trying to achieve perfection (see: the cake ball craziness). Honestly, I'd rather just dump a load of sprinkles on my baked goods and be done with it. However, I know that part of my craziness comes from the fact that I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to decorating; I know how to make something taste good, but not always how to make it look good. This is why classes like those at Magnolia are perfect for me - I love having someone show me exactly what to do in a low pressure situation (i.e. if you mess it up, you have someone there to show you the best way to fix it!).
Magnolia offers a variety of icing classes; our two hour class was focused specifically on how to create their signature rosette cakes. The class included step-by-step instructions on everything involved in cake decorating from the best way to fill the pastry bags to choosing the correct tips and assembling cake layers.
How can you not love a decorating class that includes Disco Dust?!
After filling our pastry bags, we had a lesson in inscriptions and rosettes (complete with a resuable practice placemat that we got to take home). I definitely have a new respect for those who can produce perfect icing script, as it's crazy hard on your wrists! I found that it's way easier to pipe in flowy cursive script that it is to use block print, as straight lines are the enemy when using a pastry bag.
Once we finished our piping lesson, we moved on to cake assembly and decorating part of the class, where we got to put our newfound skills to use (the cake layers were pre-made in order to keep the focus of the class on the decorating).
Our fantastic instructor/icing pro in action!
Diana gave us all a run for our money with her kickass frosting and piping skills!
I went a little crazy with the color scheme and ended up with a Easter-meets-baby-shower-glitter-disco-bomb themed cake (this was pre-glitter). And yes, there's approximately three pounds of icing on my cake. ;-)
Diana's final creation included a healthy dusting of Disco Dust! Yay!
Diana and I had a fantastic night (fueled by a buttercream high) and walked away with not only a stash of new skills, but also our delicious cakes, and at-home decorating kits and recipes so that we can do it all over again. I loved the small-class format (which allowed for individual attention) and laid back atmosphere - I would definitely recommended Magnolia's classes for newbies and seasoned decorating pros alike!
Want to try your hand at decorating the Magnolia way? Check out the class calendar here. Each class is $75 per person, two hours long and has a theme, from specialty filled cupcakes and holiday cupcakes to cake decorating. You can even schedule a private BYOB class!