For this learning project I decided to learn how to decorate cupcakes. I have always loved baking and wanted to learn how to nicely present my baking. This project was to show that you are able to learn a new skill from online resources. With the technology we have today you are able to learn almost anything through the use of online resources, I found this to be true for my project. Finding how-to’s for cupcake decorating was fairly simple as there were many videos, blogs and pinterest ideas.
I have always wanted to be able to decorate my baking in a presentable way. Baking for my family and friends is a favorite pastime of mine but I was never good at decorating my creations. I have decorated cupcakes with my cousins for my grandpa’s 90th birthday but that was 2 years ago and I have not tried it again since. When we were decorating them one of my cousins worked in a bakery at the time so she was showing us what to do. She was walking us through each step and told us what piping tool we should be using. Though I had an idea what to do I still did not know how to do this on my own which I wanted to be able to do. That was my goal to gain the confidence and skills to do this independently.
The main source of my resources was Pinterest for my decorating ideas and recipes. I also use The Cake Blog. When I started this project I began with looking back at the pictures of the cupcakes we decorated for my grandpa’s birthday, I then looked at the tools I had. Following this I watched some simple how-to videos on youtube to give me a basic idea of how the tools worked. When using Pinterest you are able to go into the cover picture which would lead you to a blog or website. Since I did most of my learning through the use of Pinterest I came across many different blogs and bakers to help with my learning. Another form of technology I learnt to use for this project was an app called SlideShow which allowed me to take my pictures and create a slideshow to music. I was able to use this app to create a step by step video of making my buttercream and decorating my cupcakes. The other technology I was trying to learn with this project was a timelapse video which would have allowed me to make a timelapse of me decorating my cupcakes. Unfortunately I was not able to figure out how to use this. As I continue to decorate cupcakes and other baking beyond this class I look forward to being able to continue to learn through the use of online resources.
The first few weeks my main focus was to find buttercream recipes that I would be able to work with. This proved to be a lot harder than I thought. I ended up not finding a recipe I liked till the fourth week through trial and error. Many recipes I used would be too sweet because of the amount of icing sugar needed or they would not be strong enough to hold the shape made by the piping tool. Once I was able to find a recipe that was suitable I was then able to be creative with my decorating ideas. I was still finding ways to be creative before, for example when I had icing that did not really hold its shape I ended up turning them into Monsters Inc cupcakes as the blue and purple blended together to give it a nice effect. Another new thing I tried was to use chocolate melts for my decorating when I did my Valentine cupcakes. Once I was able to find a buttercream that worked I felt that I was finally able to challenge myself with developing my skills. I have included a list of my previous blogs that show my progress and thought process throughout this project. I am happy with the results of my cupcakes as I am able to see myself getting better with each cupcake attempt. Though I focused my project on decorating cupcakes this skill can go beyond cupcakes. The main thing I have learnt from this project is how to use a piping bag and different tools. Once you learn the basics of how to use each tool there was so much you could do from there. I am now able to take these skills and use them to decorate cakes as well and create pull apart cakes.
My cupcake decorating journey so far; Cupcake Decorating, Making Cupcakes, Monster Inc, Valentine’s Day, Flower Cupcake Slideshow, Cupcake Bouquet, Show Cupcakes, Pipe Your Way to Creativity. This was a very enjoyable skill and as I slowly got better and more confident it became more relaxing.
My end goal for this project was to be able to try and make a pull apart cake. That is what I created this weeked. I decided to make three flowers on a stem with leaves which involved 24 cupcakes. The cupcakes I made were a red velvet cheesecake that I got from pinterest, I also used the icing recipe that came with it. This flower design was fairly easy to make as it was not a hard design. I also used pinterest to find a design for my cake, which is how I landed on the flower design. I also thought that this would be an easy design for my first attempt of a pull apart cake. Overall I am happy with how they turned out. I hope to continue to work on this skill, though I don’t think I will be making cupcakes every week! Through this process a big takeaway is now that I have learnt what I can do with each tool, I am able to allow my creativity take over. I am excited to grow and learn new techniques through online learning. I would not have thought about learning a skill online as I thought it would be too difficult however I have since realized that it is very easy to learn a new skill with online resources. Being that we are having to stay home because of recent events, I am looking forward to developing my decorating skills and maybe learning another new skill online! Thanks to everyone that has followed me in this journey and helped me along the way with providing me recipes and useful tricks and tips!