This post contains affiliate links.
When I was in 5th grade, I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet. Because no one I knew nearby was skilled at crochet, I checked a book out from the library, convinced my dad to buy me a crochet hook and a skein of yarn, and learned how to do it on my own.
A few years later, when I was in high school, I taught myself to quilt using the same methods (with less stunning results, but they worked).
I would say I am good with cooking and baking, but I have never learned to make those nice finishing touches to cakes. I’ve usually outsourced birthday cakes to my friend Bridget, who has a side business making cakes. She’s the one who made this amazing Thomas the Tank Engine cake for my son’s second birthday.
This past year, I have been making my own cakes and cupcakes, but they are plain and simple. Bridget learned her skills from a Wilton Cake Decorating course at Michaels. I looked into doing the same, but I didn’t want to pay if I didn’t have to. I decided to give YouTube a try to see if I can pick up some basics. I used a 50% off coupon to buy a Wilton cake decorating kit and another coupon to buy a cake turntable. My kit had everything I needed to do some basic piping for cakes, cookies, and cupcakes.
My daughters are having a combined birthday party next month, and I wanted to make a rainbow cake with piped icing. I did my first trial last week. I started out by dividing a bowl of yellow cake batter into four bowls and coloring them different colors. My daughter helped me to put some of each color in each cupcake tin. It was a little bit technicolor for me, but my 5 year old liked it.
I used this video to learn some basic techniques for cupcakes, and after a few tries, I think I got it! The nice thing is if it looks bad the first time, you just scrape it off, put the icing back in the bag, and try piping it again.
My first attempt at rainbow cake turned out well too. I’m not sure how much I like the technicolor cake, so I am thinking of making some regular cupcakes with rosette icing piped in different colors and shaped into a rainbow, like this one, instead of a brightly colored cake. If my plan goes well, I will be able to keep homemade cakes on the menu for many years to come.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get my latest content by email. As a thank you, I'll give you my grocery-saving tip sheet:
10 Steps To Save $100 or More Per Week.