Founded by a former cake baker and decorator, My Cake School is a free online platform that provides weekly tutorials and recipes.
The site covers lessons on everything from the basics to more advanced techniques such as working with fondant, gum paste, buttercream, and more. Recipes are divided into Cakes and Cupcakes, Fillings, Frostings and Glazes, Fondant/Gumpaste, and Miscellaneous, and you can also search for specific recipes.
The Free Tutorial section includes 40 pages of lessons on baking and decorating written in blog format and/or video that can be filtered through an easy drop-down menu. (If video is not included, the blog includes very detailed instructions and step-by-step photos). Recipes featured include Lemon Sour Cream Cake, Chocolate Nutella Cake, Champagne and Strawberries Cake, Marbled Buttercream Cake, and many more.
There are also numerous holiday-themed cakes such as a decorative Easter Basket Cake or a Halloween Monster Pretzel Monster Cake. For an all-access pass to video archives and forums where you can ask specific questions about cake decorating, there is an option to become a member of the site for around $30 per year. There is also a shop section with helpful information about kitchen equipment and tools to help you with baking and decorating.
CakeFlix provides an archive of resources for all skill levels. As a partner in CakeFlix and the primary teaching instructor, Paul Bradford has an impressive background in the field and has received numerous awards for his excellence in cake decorating and teaching, including Cake Masters Best Learning Experience on five separate occasions.
There are a number of free decorating tutorials, such as how to make and use buttercream and ganache and how to stack cakes. There's also a selection of themed videos such as how to decorate a box explosion cake. The website also offers useful recipe calculators for baking and decorating. For access to the more than 1,000 video tutorials on the site, you will need to sign up for a membership.
There are three types of memberships: Standard, Premium, and Pro. CakeFlix offers a free seven-day trial and beyond that, membership fees range from around $7 to $30 per month.
The Pro level gives members access to business courses in addition to the tutorials. But for those just focused on learning the skills, the Standard or Premium memberships will do. New cake course tutorials are published weekly and content is never removed from the website, so as a member you will always have access to previous posts.
Best for Professionals:
The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts
Based in Illinois, The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts is a brick-and-mortar institution that has been teaching students how to make cakes and other desserts since 1929.
The “Wilton Method” has been coined to represent a specific set of techniques developed at the school that have since been adopted by generations of decorators worldwide. For those who cannot enroll in classes at the actual school, Wilton offers a variety of online tutorials and videos.
The Wilton School’s blog contains an archive of free, "how-to" cake decorating videos and articles covering tips and techniques for baking and cake decorating as well as recipes. Resources on the blog include Fondant Tips & Tricks, 9 Beginner Piping Techniques, How to Assemble and Ice a Cake, 10 Easy Buttercream Cake Decorating Techniques, Kid-Friendly Recipes and Projects, and more.
If you want to receive tips regularly, you can sign up for the newsletter, which sends free tips and technique videos directly to your inbox. The Wilton School's website also sells bakeware, tools and accessories, ingredients, and display and storage supplies.
Best for Sculpted Cakes:
Ashlee Marie Cake Decorating Classes
Self-taught food blogger Ashlee Marie has made a name for herself as a baker and cake decorator with millions of video views online and multiple appearances on the Food Network.
Her website provides a variety of recipes both sweet and savory, but cakes are the star of her content. Separated into categories that include party cakes, holiday cakes, carved cakes (aka sculpted cakes), smash cakes, and wedding cakes, this is the ultimate resource for decorating a showstopping dessert for your next party or special event.
Whether you want to make a cake that looks like Elsa or Anna from "Frozen" for your child’s next birthday or an elegant Naked Cake with Candied and Sugared Berries, you will more than likely find an ideal dessert to make.
If you've ever watched the Food Network’s "Buddy vs. Duff" or "Cake Boss" and thought, “how do they do that?” Ashlee’s tutorials walk you step-by-step through the entire process, including personalized tips and suggestions, detailed written instructions and, often, extensive videos to supplement the text.
Free videos air live on Ashlee’s YouTube channel and Facebook page and then are added to the blog for permanent viewing.
Created by world-renowned pastry chefs who are also the founders of the French Pastry School in Chicago, The Butter Book is an online resource for all things pastry.
The website offers a variety of formal courses with instruction on everything from bread baking and French pastry to chocolate candies. One of the courses offered includes Cake Decorating and Icing. Within that category, you can select from a variety of lessons that range from beginner to advanced, including the basic Building & Icing a Buttercream Cake, Rolled Fondant essentials, and a variety of royal icing classes with intricate detail.
The Butter Book also offers a course on fundamentals for those just getting into baking and pastry. Designed in the more traditional course format, the site provides tips and terminology definitions throughout lessons, guidance on how to evaluate final products on taste, presentation and textures, as well as quizzes to check your understanding of skills.
Membership is required for access to online courses, but The Butter Book offers a free 10-day trial. Beyond that, the monthly fee is about $25 per month or $200 per year.
Best for Modern Cakes:
Sugar Sugar Cake School - Sugar Sugar Cakes
For a mix of free and paid premium tutorials, Sugar Sugar Cake School offers tools for those wanting to learn more about decorating for personal enrichment, but also education for professionals wanting to start their own cake business.
Founded by professional Australian cake decorator Amanda Lee who is known for her painted, modern wedding cakes and sculpted works, Sugar Sugar Cakes provides an incredible learning platform. The website offers everything you need to know when it comes to decorating cakes with modern techniques.
Sign up for a free membership and gain access to an array of online courses on topics like how to make swiss meringue buttercream, how to stack, fill, and cover an extra tall Double Barrel Cake, or themed techniques such as how to make unicorn cupcakes.
More elaborate tutorials such as how to make painted cakes or fondant ruffles are available for purchase under the Premium Tutorial section of the Sugar Sugar Cakes website. Costs range from around $20 to $80 per lesson.
Each course contains clear information about its duration, skill level, and preparation time. Tutorials often include video content, and some supplemental instruction is available in PDF pictorial format.
If you want to explore your inner artist, Avalon Cakes School will guide you through detailed cake decorating techniques to make true works of art.
In addition to tiered cakes, sculpted cakes, and buttercream iced cakes, Avalon Cakes School offers instruction on how to make incredible, gravity-defying desserts and special effects cakes. You can also learn how to make painted and airbrushed cakes, along with cake toppers through video and picture tutorials, recipes, and articles. This site is worth checking out for inspiration alone, not to mention the valuable educational content.
If you are just starting out as a cake decorator, you can filter for beginner-level tutorials or instruction on fundamentals. If you are looking to take your skills up a few notches, opt for the advanced level. Some content is free but most isn't; you can buy single tutorials or select a monthly membership.
Choose from a classic membership for about $15 per month or a premium package for around $25 per month, which gives you access to the full library of tutorials, useful calculators, downloadable templates, and more.
What Is an Online Cake Decorating Class?
Online cake decorating classes are a way for the home baker, as well as the aspiring entrepreneur, to take classes and learn cake decorating techniques.
Which Techniques Will I Learn in an Online Cake Decorating Class?
Depending on your skill level, cake decorating classes teach myriad techniques. Beginning decorators may learn how to stack cakes, use buttercream and ganache, or create painted or airbrushed cakes, along with cake toppers. More advanced classes teach decorating for themed cakes such as unicorn, wedding, sculpted cakes, and even how to decorate a box explosion cake.
How Much Does an Online Cake Decorating Class Cost?
Prices vary depending on the company and the classes offered. For example, CakeFlix memberships range from $7 to $30 per month, while My Cake School is free for basic use or $30 a year for an all-access pass.
How We Chose the Best Online Cake Decorating Classes
Selections were chosen based on a combination of factors, including the quality of video tutorials and online resources and the level of detail provided in step-by-step instructions. Important, too, were the variety of cake decorating methods and styles covered, as well as the training of baking and cake decorating instructors. Customer reviews were also taken into consideration.
For example, Ashlee Marie’s Cake Decorating classes were selected for their themed party and sculpted cakes whereas Sugar Sugar Cakes was recognized for its modern painted cakes. We like CakeFlix for its impressive archive of more than 1,000 video tutorials on baking and decorating. And we couldn't pass up including the Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts, because this trusted, longstanding brand has been helping cake decorators for decades.