Thursday, February 20, 2014

Craftsy Class Review: The Art Of Painted Cakes

The Art Of Painted Cakes was taught by Kate Sullivan, who owns Cake Power in New York. It covers three specific cake designs and the techniques.

For each cake she goes over the method to transfer the designs onto the cake, and the method to paint the design. The first is a royal icing stamp for embossing that requires a lot of piping. The second uses a pencil transfer so that everyone who has a fit when a pencil touches a cake can go crazy. The third is a wet-on-wet technique that she refers to as tie dye but is really more like a watercolor painting.

The royal icing embossing technique has been around for quite a while, but she shows how to make the stamp in great detail. The one that she makes is complicated enough that you could just make one like it, then leave the cake totally unpainted once it was embossed. You could also just do the outline of the shape and press that into the cake. Or just draw it on, which is what I would do, but if you can't draw then you can emboss.

She shows how to mix the food color to create paint that can be applied to the cake, using powdered food color and petal dusts plus lemon oil. She also goes over how luster dust works a little differently on the second cake, which is the pencil transfer method.

In typical Craftsy fashion, there are a lot of very long segments of watching her coloring in shapes and mixing colors. If you've never mixed a color before this might be useful, but you can skip ahead a lot if you know how to mix powder with liquid.

She also spends some time doing essentially what is a brush embroidery with really thick powder color paint. I don't know how that will taste, but I have a feeling that most people will be peeling the fondant off of cakes like this instead of eating it.

The tie dye method uses a buttload of fondant and food coloring, and the thought of eating that is fairly frightening. To avoid using so much fondant you could apply the fondant panels to buttercream...It would just taste better.

The major complaint that I have with this class, once again, is that it's all fondant, no buttercream in sight. For those of you saying "But Kara, you can't paint on buttercream..." well, of course you can. But it's more difficult so of course it's ignored. Poor neglected buttercream...

I did like how she talked about color and how she decides to use which color, how she gets ideas, etc.

My final review:
Skill Level: Beginner other than assuming that you know how to pipe icing, which is apparently an exotic skill these days.
Equipment You Have To Have: Paintbrushes, food colors, rulers, knives and foamcore if you want to make the pattern thingies. You can do a lot of the prep work freehand though.
Sleep-Inducing Level: Not bad but I skipped around in it to watch the pattern transfer sections first, then the painting sections.
What It Assumes You Already Know: How to do a paint by numbers.

Unnecessary Difficulty Level Of Methods Demonstrated: It was all pretty straightforward.
Annoying Host Habits: Nothing I noticed.

Level of Helpful Hints Learned: For me personally not a lot. If you've never painted on cakes before you'll pick up some helpful tips for fondant painting. For buttercream painting, nothing. You can use the techniques that she went over and pick and choose parts of them to use in other ways, though.

Click here for my Craftsy pattern shop, which has a bunch of freebies in it: A Cake To Remember On Craftsy


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

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