21 April 2017

Book Review: Buttercream Basics: Learn the Art of Buttercream Decorating by Carey Madden

Buttercream Basics: Learn the Art of Buttercream Decorating

By Carey Madden

We were given this book in consideration of a review. We will always give our honest opinion of the books that we review and this one is great!

The author, Carey Madden, had me hooked from her introduction. She sees cake decorating as a creative expression along with other things that maybe folks don’t usually see as creative, such as working on cars. She is very encouraging and implies that we are all creative in some way. She wants us to just do it and enjoy it, whatever the “it” is in our lives. We are encouraged to silence that inner critic and explore our creativity. This is a great attitude!

The first three chapters cover the basics: tools, recipes, and how to get started, all things that we need to know in order to have a successful cake baking and decorating adventure.

Pages 59 through 252 are devoted to various ways to ice the cake and lots of cool ideas and techniques for further decorating your cakes with buttercream embellishments. Carey Madden even shares some of her mistakes along the way with pointers for how we can go about avoiding them ourselves.

Along the way there are tips to either simply parts of the project or turn it into a more advanced project for that WOW factor. There are explanations of terms as well as answers to questions frequently asked about cake decorating.

There is even a section on color theory to help you get the colors mixed just right for the buttercream art you are wishing to create.

There are great pictures throughout the book. If you’re not battling a sweet tooth going into this, you will certainly be doing so by the end of this book!

One of the prettiest cakes in the book is decorated with buttercream cherry blossoms (“sakura” in Japanese). Compared to some of the other designs in the book, this one is minimalistic and just absolutely beautiful. It is one of the first that I would like to try. It is found on page 193. Maybe you will try it to and we can compare notes.

If, like me, you think you can’t possibly ever have too many cake-related books, then you will definitely want to get a copy of Buttercream Basics: Learn the Art of Buttercream Decorating!

Stay tuned for a post with more about this book as well as images for a design called Spellbound, which is on page 71.

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  1. One year at church, we held adult VBS including craft time. A woman at our church who had long been known for cake decorating taught a class for one of the options of activities. I took it. Learned to make a beautiful rose! But never decorated a cake at home. Way I see it, they eat just as well simply iced or decorated. 😉
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    1. That sounds like a fun class. I enjoyed the cake decorating classes that I took through the mail with Wilton and, to a lesser degree, the class that I took through a technical school back in South Carolina. The teacher and I didn't see eye to eye on some rather important points. :)

      I agree. The folks are going to eat them regardless of what they look like, but it sure is fun to decorate them with the flowers and other things. I remember one design from years ago where the cake sides were decorated with a basket-weave pattern and the top of the cake held a bunch of flowers. It looked like it would be great fun to make, but I never got around to making it, at least, not that I remember. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed weekend!

  2. Sounds good. I took cake decorating classes many years ago.

    1. Did you enjoy it? Where did you take the classes, at a college or at a craft store or baker? I've seen them advertised in craft stores in the past.

      Have you ever thought about making it a business?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed weekend. :)


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