Essential guide to learning cake decorating

Essential Guide to Learn Cake Decorating

Ways to getting started…

Do you like learning?

I am always looking up new things, there are some great downloads, tutorials and blogs that have helped me to freshen up my cake decorating skills.

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to know who to learn from and what is actually available or out there. I thought I’d put a summary of the basics in one place, so my students (or anyone else) could use them as a reference point.

There are amazingly talented cake decorators who are sharing their tips and tricks – you just must know where to look.

So, here’s a bit of a roundup. All the various options you can explore – to get started with learning and be successful at cake decorating. Note this download does have a few affiliate links where some examples are given.

Share this page if you feel it would benefit someone else. 😊


Learning guide – for a Beginner Decorator


Step One – Focusing on your goals in cake decorating

Step Two – How to learn about cake decorating

Step Three – Online cake decorating – Tutorials – Classes – Membership Sites – Free

Step Four – Cake decorating supplies – Where to get your cake decorating supplies online

Step Five – Creating your business – How to get started with your cake business

Step Six – Other Inspiration – Get inspiration from other art forms


Focusing on your goals in cake decorating

Step One – Focusing on Your Goals in Cake Decorating

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” –  Francis of Assisi

As you begin your cake journey, you will find that having goals helps to get you started, keeps you focused and moves you forward to each new skill.

When I started, I was very young and all I could think of was making a wedding cake, but there was a lot to learn to get to that point. Having that goal, pushed me to keep learning, and that is exactly the reason you need to set some goals right from the beginning.

  • So, what is your cake-goal – what do you want to be able to make and decorate at the end of your journey?

Next, you need to break your goals down into manageable steps.

  • To get started with that goal, what do you need to start learning now?
  • What do you know?

Are you already well known for your baking? If so that’s great!

Ideally, you want to gain momentum, moving from one skill to the other.

I do recommend courses or tutorials that cover the foundation of your cake…

There can be no harm learning this from several different sources, often you can pick up on great tips and suggestions, new ways and ideas – so always learn with an open mind.

For example, if your goal is to master the latest mirror cake trend – a video tutorial that starts with baking the cake, or that shows how they put the icing on – will give you a clear idea how they got the cake to the point where it was ready to decorate.

This allows you to recap on the things you know and adds to your knowledge base bit by bit.

In this learning process, keeping notes on all the things you come across, will help you to be a better decorator, who uses time wisely. Not a note taker? Use Pinterest to search for that same idea and then pin it for a later time.

Whatever path you choose to learn cake decorating – start by doing what’s necessary.

Start by doing The Basic Things

• Have a few good recipes that bake your cakes perfectly every time, for you.

• Have go-to-recipes for the different icings or frostings, learn how to ice a cake.

• Know how to apply fondant to a cake.

• Learn to make simple decorations, that will make a cake pretty – quickly.

Each of the above has mini goals that you could break down and work on perfecting.

But learn with intent – get results.

Cake decorating, as you will soon learn; is time-consuming. You can spend a lot of time on a cake. No… really you can!

If you just need to learn a few basic skills, you certainly won’t need to buy an online course or a complete cake decorating tool kit!
But if this is a hobby you are dead set on pursuing, then you are going to need the right tools and skills to accomplish your goals.

In Summary…



  • What is your ultimate cake-goal? 

Where do you want this to lead to?

Making a three-tier wedding cake?

Starting your own cake business?

Making a cake for Granny?


Know your goals.



The following information will cover many aspects to cake decorating.  I do hope you will find what you need to keep moving forward, to gain success!  Please feel free to use the comment section for any other suggestions.

How to learn about cake decorating

Step Two – How to learn about cake decorating

It’s time to discover how you learn best!

There are a number of ways to learn cake decorating, which is great because that means there are options.

Recently I found a free learning test (click where it says new users), that helped highlight my strong points and showed where my weaker points were. A great reference and guide. Once you know where you are strongest, you can make a better decision about how to learn and where to spend your money.

Does it matter?

Yes, I think so. For example -: If you are not social, a bit of a shy person, who doesn’t do so well in groups. Then attending decorating classes would not be the best option for you, self-consciousness and nervousness would prevent you from getting the most out of this learning environment.

And the opposite is true too. If you need to have someone show you, guide you step by step and cheer you on, then you really need to find a class you can attend!


Online cake decorating – Tutorials - Classes - Membership Sites - Free

 Step Three –

Online cake decorating – Tutorials – Classes – Membership Sites – Free Stuff

Now you have an idea of:

  • where you are going with your cake decorating
  • have found out how you learn best

– you can now choose from the following options and get started!



Getting started online with your cake decorating

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to learn cake decorating is to do so online. There are many options out there, so you can be confident you will find a good fit.

Do you remember when you were at school and there were some teachers you loved and others not so much? You will find the same with online cake decorating instructors.

The good news is that many well-established instructors have free material that you can view, so you can see if you like them. There is nothing worse than a droning voice that drives you dilly or if the pace is so slow you are totally bored after a few minutes. Generally, though, the quality will be high if the material is paid for.

What to choose?

This is where your goals will come into play.

Do you need a full course, a particular tutorial or quick video?


Decorating Courses what you need to know

A complete decorating course

If you want to get serious right from the start, a full-on course is probably the way to go.

Usually, such courses have many lessons within the course, each building on the previous ones.  As it is a course, there will be no gaps in your learning, which sometimes can happen with other learning methods.

After payment, email contact is usually made outlining how you can access the material.   Some online courses even offer certificates, but to make cakes and run a cake business, this is not a requirement.


Individual Tutorials what you need to know


What is a single cake icing tutorial?

Individual tutorials, lessons or classes are just that – it’s only the one lesson on a chosen topic.

Like for example – you want to learn how to make a giraffe cake.  This is what will be covered in the lesson.  It can be broken down into mini-lessons, but at the end of it, you have made a giraffe cake.

3D Giraffe Cake


This lesson is almost 2:45 hours in length

Is broken up into 22 mini lessons

It costs 34.95

Includes a blueprint download


Here’s another example of an Elephant Cake tutorial – very sweet.  This particular one has 17 mini-lessons.

Tutorials can be downloaded to your computer and phone or will remain on the website, and when you log in, you will have access (usually for life) to that bought product.

One thing to note about individual lessons or tutorials is that often the cost of one is the same or even more than a full months subscription, where you would be able to access the whole tutorial library.


Online cake decorating – Tutorials - Classes - Membership Sites - Free

Free lessons are easily found on YouTube – I am a fan of Zoe’s Fancy Cakes.  This is a sped up version – they are usually in real time and step-by-step.


This is a fantastic way to learn and it’s free!  There is a need for caution though… YouTube has many versions of similar lessons.  The danger? You spend a whole afternoon watching one after the other, (can’t find the one you actually liked) then end up watching other stuff – and, you still have a cake to decorate…

  • Have a clear goal what you need to learn.
  • Decide how long you will search and watch.
  • Use the knowledge straight away – or take notes.


Membership Sites what you need to know


Joining a cake decorating membership site

While we are covering online learning, membership sites are a good one to look into.  Many cake decorating instructors offer tutorials and have a membership option too.

How does this work?

To gain full access to their awesome tutorials or lessons, you pay a monthly fee.

It’s often less or the same as what you would pay for a single tutorial, and could work in your favour, as you then have a variety and range of skills you could learn at your own pace.

The forum sections are a wealth of information and help is never far. Some membership sites, allow you to set up your own profile and share your photos – of results achieved by using their material – or your own inspirations.

Before joining be sure it’s something you will benefit from.  One thing there should always be, is some free content, videos, tutorials and downloadable content. So if you aren’t sure what would be a good fit, try a few sites and check out the freebies.

So who has cake decorating membership sites?

Yenners way

  • Free – videos and recipes to try out.
  • 2 new tutorials are added each month.
  • Each tutorial has reference images, blueprints, templates and stencils that are downloadable.
  • You can purchase tutorials/courses as you go and have access to them forever.
  • You can subscribe to :
    • Monthly plan at $24.95
    • Six-month plan at $124
    • Annual plan at $224 – (this gives you access to all premium tutorials 24/7)
  • Courses are purchased individually.
  • Tools are available to make your life easier.
  • You do not need to be a member to purchase a tutorial or course.

Ready to try them out?



Attending Classes what you need to know


Classes by Tracy

Looking for a cake decorating class to attend

If this is the best way for you to learn, how can you find a cake decorating class near you? One way I found helpful, was to type into google – cake decorating classes in – and then your town and the country.

Do you live in Victoria Falls?  Contact me to set up your personalised classes.


Learning from books


Cake decorating books

Books are golden!  I remember being given my first cake book when I was eleven – The Merehurst Cake Book.  I still have this book – it’s my companion for all my cake projects. I’m surprised how timeless it is!

There is a huge choice out there, from numerous cake artist.

Remember to keep focused.  Your goals will help you narrow things down a bit.

EBooks and PDF downloads are the new books and are worth looking into if you learn best with books.  They can download them on to your phone and you are good to go.

It’s a good idea to have a cake book that has recipes that have been perfected and that work for anyone. Have a look at this one, it’s a good example of a cake decorating guide.

Your goals are going to help narrow things down a bit here.  So don’t get overwhelmed with choices.


This website has over 140 different cake books.  Search “cake decorating” and find something to get started with.  Use the coupon to get a discount.  You are also able to preview quite a bit of the content – some books I’ve checked out had as many as 20 pages to view!


Cake Decor Magazines


Magazines on cake

Keeping up is important in the caking world! What is trending today, may change tomorrow. When I did my first classes, royal icing was at the heart of most decorations. It’s a whole new ballgame today!

So how do you keep current?

One way is to get a subscription to a cake magazine or pick one up from the magazine stand regularly.

What will you find there…

  • Inspiration
  • let you in on the what’s new
  • new tutorials or how to’s
  • learn about other cake decorators
  • success stories
  • cake competitions
  • awards are given
  • advertisers products and reviews

This is an example of a cake decorating magazine.  And below is an example of a compilation of a magazine’s best cakes for the year.

Cake decorating supplies – Where to get your cake decorating supplies

Step Four


Tools of the trade

Ok, so there is definitely a need to have the tools of the trade for cake decorating.

In fact, many of the latest sharp edges and corners are not possible without the proper tools.

You know what skills you are building, so get what you need as you go. If you are definitely going to make this your hobby or career, then for sure a kit is the way to go. Where can you get these supplies?

Online cake decorating shops

Local decorating shops

Online decorating Kits


Have a tool list for various skills and techniques.

By now you have:

  • some goals
  • a learning plan
  • and have an idea where to get tools for various skills.


What’s next???


Cake decorating supplies – Where to get your cake decorating supplies

Step Five


Turning your skills into a business

As you progress and achieve results, you may decide its time to make this a full-time career.

So what do you need to know?

How to legally start a cake business

How to niche your cakes

How to price your cakes

How to sell your cakes



How to set up a cake website?

Building your cake business may then take you to the next logical step, building a website. Here are a few options that will guide you to achieving this next step successfully.

Free options – that can be upgraded in time.

Have you thought of a name for your cake business?  Check if it’s available below it’s free.

Help, I don’t know how…

Perhaps you aren’t so techy, it would be good to get help to learn what’s what in the website world.  This kind of stuff requires hand holding and you need good support and training.  Cake – is a piece of cake in comparison! lol!

Where can you learn?

I know a few like this platform – I don’t use it myself

Or you will get a good foundation for your website here – you can thank me later.  🙂

This is an essential keyword tool that I would not do without.

Other Inspiration – Get inspiration from other art forms

Step Six


Be open to inspiration, it could come from anything!

Be observant other crafts, art mediums and of all the things around you.

When something strikes you as beautiful, unique or you get excited by the thought of how you could turn this into a cake decoration – note it down.  Or better yet, get working on it straight away.  This is how you find yourself a niche in this industry.

Find what you love, and make it yours.

So, for now, this is my list.  I will be updating and adding to it regularly, so bookmark this page.

Wishing you all the best in your cake decorating journey!

Please leave a comment I’d love to hear your thoughts.



  1. Now this is a rare find learning how to decorate cakes. Many people can excel at cooking them but decorating them is a separate art form. Many a times i have stopped and looked in the window of my local delicatessen and marvelled at the art form of the latest novelty or wedding cake. Thank you for showing this to the world as it will definitely become quite popular.

    1. Hi there Andrew,

      You are right!  Decorating cakes is a separate art form.  Once you get learning it’s hard to stop! I do hope that this information will help anyone looking into cake decorating – sometimes an overview is exactly what you need to see that whole picture.  It’s not just anyone thing, but often an accumulation of skills and inspiration.  Knowing from the beginning how to start learning, better prepares you for what’s involved and gets you achieving your cake goals faster.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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