Baking your cake and eating it too


Photo Illustration: Abby Gilman/Iowa State Daily

Selection of supplies needed to bake a cake. Photo Illustration: Abby Gilman/Iowa State Daily

Laura Bucklin

Being in college and getting married most likely means one thing: you’re on a budget. Many brides may not have the money to spend $6 or more per slice on a professional cake. Therefore, baking your very own cake is definitely a great option to save money on a wedding.

Making a wedding cake may seem like a large feat — because it is — but there are resources out there besides Google that can lead you to a successful wedding cake.

The Ames Hobby Lobby offers cake decorating courses throughout the year.

“We keep the classes fun, so it’s not all work,” said Rob Burns, Wilton Method cake decorating instructor. “We also try to make sure everybody leaves happy about learning new skills.”

The classroom comfortably holds eight students so that instructors can spend a little time with each person and make sure they understand what they’re learning.

Everyone must start with the Decorating Basics class, where students learn how to frost and fill a cake, do writing, borders and make some flowers.

Hobby Lobby also offers an array of other cake classes including royal icing class, gum based fondant class and will soon offer a tier cake class.

“The tier cake class will be great with wedding cakes because you’ll probably be putting together a taller cake,” Burns said.

Courses such as this one can save a bride-to-be a great sum of money.

“I would say they probably save a couple hundred dollars on a wedding cake depending on the size and how elaborate it is,” Burns said.

If one chose to take the class and not actually bake their own cake, he or she would still leave the class with some skills when picking out a wedding cake. The class participant would know what is possible with wedding cakes and better understand the industry lingo, which is always a plus.

“I think it’s helpful because if a professional suggests something you’re not thinking, you can actually send them in a different direction because you’ll have that knowledge,” Burns said.

If you do plan on making your own cake, it is important to leave yourself some time to practice.

“Most students have something in mind when taking the class,” Burns said. “But they need to also plan for practice time before making that special event cake.”

Burns’ biggest advice while practicing is to “make sure the cake tastes good.”

So many times, people make a cake and it’s beautiful, but the taste is bland. Hobby Lobby and other stores have some great books to help bakers with the baking process.

Many cut down the baking responsibility by taking the class with family members. Burns said they have had mother, daughters and granddaughters take the class together.

“When you’re all learning the same skills, making the final cake is easier because you’re all talking the same language,” Burns said.

Another plus about making your own wedding cake is that you’ll have the skill forever.

“It’s not just about making your own wedding cake. It’s about making cakes when you starting having kids, for when they grow up, for their graduation, for family through the years and then for your grandchildren,” Burns said. “It’s a life-long skill.”

To sign up for theses classes, visit the Hobby Lobby front register.