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For some cake decorating is a hobby, and for others, it is a career. The amateurs are those who find it fun and gratifying to bake the cakes and then decorate them for their family and friend, save money by doing it themselves. With expert training along with good decorating tips and ideas, anyone can master this art. With this art form you will be able to stretch your imagination. If you continue building your skills, you will experience the joy of making others happy with your expertise. The art of decorating cakes takes place when a man or woman has turned the kitchen into an art studio. When a cake is decorated in an artistic design it is pleasing to both the creator and the recipient. Creating a cake does not have to be a stressful experience, you just need to get creative. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and techniques. For the amateur, it is the simple cake decorating tips, which are the best ways to help you get started. Decorating can be as simple as using a stencil and dusting confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder on the top of a cake. Cakes can be iced with butter cream, royal fondant, or cooked icing. Adding to the icing cakes can be topped with flowers, spun sugar, or candy. Cakes can be created to look like a hot dog, pizza, or just about anything you have the imagination to create. If you want to be an amateur cake decorator, you will need to learn the basics and pick up as many of the tips you can. There are many tips and ideas widely available. You may decide to continue making and decorating cakes as a pastime or you may decide to look into making a career out of decorating and baking cakes. The Wilton schools have several students who have a professional goal in mind. Wilton schools have classes designed for anyone who loves cake decorating. Wilton classes are taught at several local retailers throughout the United States and Canada. Here are some of the Wilton school tips and hints on icing a cake. Wilton schools prefer to use Duncan Hines cake mixes because the batter volume is the same every time you make it. Adding a teaspoon or two of Wilton Meringue Powder to the mix will make the cake rise higher. When preparing your pans, use a 2-inch wide paintbrush to paint on the shortening. If an area is still shiny, apply more shortening and dust with flour. Only fill your cake pans half full. Let your cake cool completely rest in an airtight container for a day or even overnight before you ice it. Cut the mounded portion of the cake off with a leveler or a serrated knife to make the cake level and fit together easier. Turn the cake over and brush the cake with a wide paintbrush to remove the crumbs. Use a lot of icing to ice the top of the cake. Never let your spatula touch the cake. You will have crumbs in your icing if you do. If you are having a difficult time in icing the sides of the cake, Wilton has a tip, number 789, which is made just for icing the sides of the cake. Let the cake rest for 15 minutes after you have iced it. Then smooth out the cake by using parchment paper. To do this, place the parchment paper on the cake and gently smooth out the icing. If you have a cake mix, which only makes one layer. Then turn it into a torte. Slice the cake horizontally. By adding a ring of icing from a decorating bag through a tip, you will be able to create a dam on the outside of the bottom half of the cake. For a filling use the pudding from a child’s pudding cup, and spread it inside the ring. Top with the other half of the cake and ice as directed. You will need to choose a source of instruction. The culinary schools are colleges and will give you a degree making you more marketable if you choose to look for employment in this line of work. However, if you just want to be an expert there are many types of schools and classes you can take to achieve this. Some of the courses can be taken on location online or you can find web sites, which will give you instruction by video or walking you through it, step-by-step. A professional cake baker is a culinary expert who specializes in creating cakes. Most of these cakes are made for special events and weddings. There are a number of cake bakers who have their own bakeries. Cake bakers do some cake baking, whereas some pastry professional only specialize in cake decorating.