Great Cake Decorating by Erin Gardner

I love cake decorating, so as soon as I saw this book I immediately requested to review it. Luckily for me my request got accepted!

The book is Great Cake Decorating by Erin Gardner. It will be out to buy in early Febuary (UK), but until then you can pre-order your copy on amazon.

great cake decorations

The author, Erin Gardner, is an established pastry chef, cake decorator and winner of food network show Sweet Genius.

There were some things about this book I loved, then there were a few things I didn’t.

The book is set out into chapters, the first chapter being the cake basics; baking, shaping, filling, crumb coating, stacking, and icing. It explains that a beautiful cake is nothing if it doesn’t taste good. Gardner discusses which tools she uses and why, which is something I found really useful. Often when an author lists tools to use they do just that, but in this book there is a full explanation of why this particular tool is better than other brands or types.

splitting and filling a cake

This book is thorough from the first page to the very last, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced bakers/decorators, who might even find themselves learning a few useful tips. I certainly read some tips I’ve never seen before.

The second chapter ‘I’ts All in the Details’ describes everything you need to know from adding colour, to flower making.

cake stamping

This is followed by the section of the book that gets to the point. The cake designs, at last! There are some designs I loved, some designed I hated. Often the designs I didn’t like I could still take inspiration, or techniques.

bird cake

Now we get to the features of the book I loved:

  •  ‘Make it or fake it’ This feature was full of top time saving tips. These tips might be useful for someone who wants to make things quickly but still impress. I imagine this feature would be great for someone that loves the look of cake but is not actually a cake fan, for example some ‘make it or fake it’ suggest substituting cake for rice crispy treats
  • ‘Variations’ This is a great little idea box on how to change the cake up for different occasions or seasons
  • ‘Smaller shindigs’ My favourite feature by far. Tips for how to scale the cake down to a mini cake or cupcakes. This is something I’ve never seen before and I fell in love with the idea instantly.

Overall I loved this book. I thought it would be a great book to buy if you’re ready to get serious about cake decorating. It would also work well for a beginner who wants to be able to put their hand to a book that contains all the information on everything you’d possibly want to know. This book really does cover everything, from baking to transporting cakes. I would even go as far to say it is the ultimate cake decorating bible.

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