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If baking is an art form, then cake decorating is the pièce de résistance. While it’s easy to whip up a batch of frosting (or buy a can from the store), slather it on top of a cake, and call it a day, adding some final flourishes can elevate the cake to a whole new level. But with all the piping tips, fondants, sprinkles, spatulas, scrapers, and other decorating tools out there, where does an amateur home baker start? Easy: Just sign up for an online cake decorating class!
These classes will teach you everything you need to know about decorating fabulous cakes, from basic icing techniques to phenomenal finishing touches. Some classes are founded by world-renowned pastry chefs, while others are led by self-taught home cooks with a passion for baking. Whichever class you choose, you’re sure to level up your cake decorating game within a few sessions.
With multiple membership options granting access to over 1,000 video tutorials, plus an instructor who has won awards for his cake decorating skills, CakeFlix has everything you need to up the ante on your cakes.
Award-winning cake decorating instructor
Three different membership tiers with affordable monthly fees
Access to over 1,000 video tutorials
Free trial only lasts a week
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.
Not only does My Cake School allow you to hone your baking skills from the comfort of home, but you can access dozens of tutorials and recipes for free.
Free access to cake decorating tutorials
Can search for specific recipes for cakes, frostings, and more
Shop section provides useful info about baking tools and equipment
Fee to become a site member if you choose
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.
Best for Professionals:
The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts
If you're seeking a professional cake decorating education, look no further than the Wilton School, which has been teaching confectionery classes for over 90 years.
Access to a variety of online tutorials and videos
Techniques have been adopted by bakers worldwide
Website sells ingredients, bakeware, and other supplies
You'll need to sign up for classes at least three business days in advance
Classes are individually priced, and the costs can add up
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
Led by a self-taught baker who's made appearances on the Food Network, Ashlee Marie's classes will have you whipping up cake masterpieces in no time.
Tutorials teach you to make cakes that look like virtually anything
Free videos air live on YouTube and Facebook
Signing up for the newsletter gives you access to exclusive recipes
Some of the classes have a fee
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 show-stopping 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.
World-renowned pastry chefs guide you on an educational journey on all things pastry, from cakes to custards to breads and beyond.
Created by world-renowned pastry chefs
Classes range from cake decorating to bread baking
Quizzes test your understanding of what you've learned
Membership required to access online courses, which comes with a monthly fee
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
Sugar Sugar Cakes offers everything you need to know when it comes to decorating cakes with modern techniques.
Founded by a professional cake decorator
Free membership grants access to a variety of online courses
Tutorials cover a variety of topics, including swiss meringue, fondants, and painted cakes
Premium tutorials can be a bit pricey
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. 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.
Classes taught by award-winning instructors
Can rewatch tutorials unlimited times
Online community allows you to connect with other bakers
Have to pay for membership
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.
While all of these online courses offer plenty of benefits, we think CakeFlix takes the...well, cake. Its variety of classes and resources, both free and paid, make it a standout choice among the others. Plus, the fact that the courses are led by an award-winning instructor is the icing on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Selections for the best online cake decorating classes were based on the quality of video tutorials, online resources, step-by-step instructions, cake decorating methods, styles, instructors, and customer reviews.