Craftsy Class Review- Fondant Frills

This Fondant Frills class was the one by Maggie Austin, whose ruffle cakes made that trend take off last year. I've done a bunch of ruffle cakes but I was curious about why the class description kept talking about her magical secret method or whatever it was to do the ruffles.

The thing about the way that she does this type of design is that it's really uneven and raggedy, which I'm not a huge fan of. I think that having a background in sewing has put the desire to sew even rows into my soul, so to have the frills and ruffles going everywhere in an uneven manner isn't really my bag, baby. So the ruffle cakes that I do are more evenly arranged, as opposed to her method, which results in a really thick layer of ragged rows.

Having said that, I was still interested in seeing how she does it, so let's move on to the video. It was pretty basic, not a lot of new information for me, to tell the truth.

There were sections on how to knead fondant. Very long sections. Also an entire lesson on how to make gumpaste with scintillating shots of a mixer beating the gumpaste. And a section on how to color the ruffles which involved how to put petal dust on a paintbrush. So although this all would have been good for total beginners and gumpaste noobs, it felt like there was a lot of filler if you're more experienced in those areas. The covering of the cakes themselves isn't complicated, so it looks like they had to add a lot of extras to make the class long enough.

I also have a gripe with some of her answers on the questions that people have asked. Specifically, whether you can do this on a buttercream cake. Of course you can, but she says the frills would just slide off. No, they wouldn't, because they kind of end up being stuck to each other and forming a solid blanket of fondant. A couple of people have said that they did the cake using buttercream but she still replies that you can't do it. Uh, yes, you can. So relax.

So here are my ratings:
Skill level necessary: beginner
Equipment You Have To Have: KA paste roller or something else that will roll fondant really thin.
Check the material list before you  buy this class, but without the roller it's going to be pretty difficult.
Sleep-Inducing Level:  Fairly low, but I skipped through a lot and the other parts kept me awake because I kept getting irritated that she was doing things in such an unnecessarily complicated way.
What it Assumes You Already Know: How to cover a cake with fondant. Her method uses a fondant-covered cake and won't work with buttercream. Well, it could, but it would be a lot more difficult.
Unnecessary Difficulty of Methods Demonstrated: Mid-level...At one point she made a special tool to separate the frills when she could have just used a popsicle stick, spoon, or a toothpick for pete's sake. Also some unnecessary weighing of fondant when eyeballing it would work fine.
Annoying Host Habits: She seemed nervous, but went really slow too. That would be good for some people but I wanted to pick up the pace a little. Other than that, not too annoying.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned: Low, but I've also done a bunch of ruffly cakes already. If you've never done one this is one way to do them, but it isn't the way I'd recommend since it looks so messy. If you love the look, it's worth watching. If you've never made gumpaste there's that section that could be useful.
Final Verdict: Good on sale or for curiosity's sake. Better for beginners, but at the same time there are neater ways to do ruffles, so this might not be the best way to learn to do them. Depends on what look you're going for.

(FYI- watching Craftsy classes on a PC allows you to see the questions that have been asked by other students. Mobile devices don't always show those.)


 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com