My Cake School- The Backstory…

Thanks for your interest in My Cake School!!

We all have something in common here, and that is a love for CAKE, or at least, cake decorating. (For me, it is both!) — This is me falling in love with cake for the first time……..birthday cake #1!  If only I could still get away with just grabbing a piece out of the middle :0)

My First Birthday

Mmmmmmm…… c-a-k-e!!!

Now, let’s jump ahead  about 13 ish years…..
Happy Easter?

Do you know what I made?  I’m not sure that Mom knew, but she took a picture of me anyway with the smiling mound of cake and jelly beans :0) – It was the Easter Bunny!! A proud day for me.  (By the way, this is the same kitchen that I film our videos in today!)

Well, many years, a husband and a couple of daughters later, I was determined to find a stay-at-home business. I knew that I wanted something that would allow for a little creative expression…but what?  I thought of everything– and made lots of lists of possible job ideas….photography, floral design, party planning, children’s book writing?? (of course I had no experience with any of these!) –   Then it hit me–

CAKE!!

I can do cake!!! (I’d already mastered the Easter bunny blob cake..how hard could it be?)–

With much practice on my family and the better part of a Wilton 1 Decortating class under my belt, I took my first order. Then magically, more orders came!  Business grew steadily by word of mouth until a typical Saturday morning looked something like this…

Cakes Everywhere!

This is me sleeping with my eyes opened! (I really am.) –Let me take this moment to tell you NOT to make this many cakes all at once.  Bad idea!!

I ran my cake business from home for several years, running on no sleep, and sleeping at inappropriate times (that could be a post all by itself!)…but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.  I loved the creative outlet, the excitement of coming up with new designs–and I loved being a part of so many celebrations!!

About four years ago, I decided to take my cake life in a different direction.  I wanted to teach decorating, but wanted some flexibility in my schedule.  I wanted to cover lots of techniques too…and to teach however I wanted.   I also knew that there were lots of cakers and potential cake decorators out there who would love to take a class or two if only they could find the time!   That’s when the idea of  My Cake School was born!  Videos and conversations on caking whenever you want–all you have to do is turn on the computer!  We post weekly tutorials in the blog, which are open to everyone…or you can become a member of our site and access the videos, forums, and recipes! And all while in your pajamas :0)  What could be better?

I hope that you enjoy the site— let’s talk cake!

Melissa

My bunny picture- old

Category: Blog Tutorials

149 Comments

  1. GlamMa8142425 says: #101

    Hi Melissa, I’m really loving everything you have here and I really appreciate it. Ive had the decorator’s bug for quite some time now myself, and the Wilton course just made me hungry for more, especially with all of the cake & cupcake shows on tv. I just graduated from LeCordon Bleu last month, after enrolling last year to gain more knowledge in the world of baking and desserts So right now I’m trying to develop my own little niche, and find out how to get inspired from current trends and colors, which has been sort of difficult.
    But thanks again, and like some of your followers have mentioned its money well spent!!!

  2. Melissa Diamond says: #102

    Hello “GlamMa”! Thanks so much for your nice comment. That is wonderful that you just graduated from LeCordon Bleu. I’m so glad that you joined us and hope that you find some interesting techniques that you’d like to try out. Please stay in touch and let us know how things are going! :0)

  3. kathrynscraftycakes says: #103

    Hi Melissa! I have been a member almost a year and I’m just now seeing this backstory! I LOVE My Cake School, the concept is brilliant! I have been decorating for 10+ yrs now, just as a hobby, and I’m working very hard now to make it a (hopefully soon) full time job. I would love to be my own boss! Your cake videos help me learn all the techniques I’ve been wanting to learn, but had no one to teach me. My skills have come leaps and bounds from where I started. Thanks so much!!!! :)

  4. Melissa Diamond says: #104

    Hello there! Thank you so much for your nice comments–they mean a lot to me! Wishing you lots of luck as you move towards having a full time cake business. I can tell that you are really motivated and excited about decorating– Keep us updated on how things are going! ;0)

  5. Susan Walker says: #105

    Hi Melissa! just found your page anf what you’ve done is beautiful, i myself is making our daughters 30 birthday cake (that parts ok) but it will be my first time decorating. Just woundering if you have any easy ant good advice when using icing.

  6. Melissa Diamond says: #106

    Hi Susan–Glad that you found us! Have you seen our blog tutorial on the “petal effect”? –Here’s a link: link to mycakeschool.com

    It’s an elegant look that is not difficult to master with a few practice runs on some waxed paper :0) –

    I’m going through a textured buttercream phase lately and so if you look on my home page on the photo carousel, you’ll see other styles such as the stucco look of the frosting on my orchid cake, and the vertical line texturing of my anemone cake (done with a spatula). I’m assuming you aren’t a member and so you won’t be able to open the orchid & anemone tutorials, but you can get a lot just from the visual of the photo.

    Finally, for a smooth look, I like to use the Viva paper towel method or “hot knife method”. A quick google will give you info on these– but I think the texturing techniques are probably the most forgiving when first starting out! Good luck!!

  7. clavirste says: #107

    …sei proprio brava…ho scoperto per caso il tuo blog e ora non ti lascio più….che torte meravigliose!!!complimenti

  8. brittany whitlock says: #108

    Hi, I just became a member recently and was wondering how I could share my chocolate cake recipe with everyone else!! =)

  9. Melissa Diamond says: #109

    Hi Brittany–That sounds great! If you visit the forums, you’ll see a section for Recipes. Can’t wait to see it ;0)

  10. Katrina Crews says: #110

    Hey Melissa, I was surfing the internet and found your website and I’m loving it already. I assume the only way to get all the benefits of your website . . . I must pay the membership?
    I have so many questions, but for starters . . . how much did you charge for your cakes when you first started out? I have been doing this for a while but it is hard to charge people properly. I want to complete my bochure, so that everything is layed out and I want have to explain the standard price each time. Thank you for your time!

  11. Kristi Hickam says: #111

    Hi GlamMa, I have been thinking about signing up at LeCordon Bleu but have been a little reluctant. I love to bake but have very little experience & no formal education. I love to learn & pick things up a lot more quickly if I am taught in a “hands on” environment. I am hoping you can give me a little information regarding your experience with LCB & whether or not you found the experience invaluable. My dream would be to open a little bakery in our city. There is def. a market for baked goods and money to be spent on specialty cakes/cup cakes/cookies etc in my area. Thank you so much, Kristi

  12. Willetta Gillespie says: #112

    Hi Melisssa. Your cakes are so amazing. For years I have been baking and have many persons interested in my desserts. You and I have much in common except you are doing what you love and I am still wondering how to get started as a business from home. Can you direct me in the right path so that I can get started so many tell me that I need to get my recipes patent but I don’t know how. I am also interested in learning more about decorations. God bless you and congratulations on your success. Willetta.

  13. sandra donahue says: #113

    Hi Melissa, love your site & after drooling over your pics & gorgeous decorating techniques for over a year, am planning to join today! I have a question & hope you can give me some advice. Would you recommend using a pound cake recipe for cupcakes? Thanks, Sandra

  14. BeBe says: #114

    Hi Sandra, we have never tried pound cake batter in cupcakes, so I’m not sure. I think they might be a little flat.

  15. Rosa Alfonso says: #115

    Hi Melissa, I was just wondering if you will do a tutorial on “Making MMF”. I have tried 3 times now and I just cant seem to get the right conssistancy. The first time it ended up way to DRY, I had to add water and it was a mess. My second attempted I used less powder sugar but it ended up way to soft and sticky. I just cant get it right! Any advice?

  16. renee Mikulin says: #116

    Hi- I am new to this blog and have just recently joined. I was wondering how often you post new tutorials ? I would love to see some tutorials on design transfers to a cake. ( Like stenciling, Frozen BC transfers, Color flow -and actual painting on fondant or buttercream. ) Tips on doing sheetcakes would be great too- I often struggle with ideas to fill the space on the cake without it looking to busy or disconnected.

    Thanks,
    Renee

  17. Melissa Diamond says: #117

    Hi Renee–Welcome! We aim for posting a couple of videos and a couple of blog tutorials a month. (Alternating between blog tutorial and video tutorial every week when possible.) -

    Here are links to our stenciling and frozen buttercream transfer videos~
    link to mycakeschool.com

    link to mycakeschool.com

    We often paint in our tutorials (using a little coloring gel mixed with a small amount of vodka for a watercolor look, or petal dust mixed with vodka for a thicker “paint”) — We don’t have a tutorial specifically aimed at painting though–and we hope to do this soon! Thanks for the other suggestions! I agree that a sheet cake tutorial would be a good one. Enjoy the site!

  18. Deanna Bynog says: #118

    Hi Melissa and BeBe,
    I am so happy that my sister decided to get me this subscription for my 27th birthday. At first, I was a little mad that she didn’t get me the gift I asked for or a monetary gift, but now I am so overjoyed that she got me this subscription. I will honestly say I have been a member since July 22nd and this is my first time actually viewing some of the tutorial videos tonight while at work on graveyard shift. I am off for the next couple of days and I have already picked out some cakes I am going to make… the vertical ruffle, the rosette cake, and the leopard print!! I read your bio and I can totally relate to the sleepless days and nights being that I am a plant technician at a local plant, where I work a rotating day and night shift and I also have a very active 4-year old son!!! Cake decorating has become my passion and one day hopefully I can solely focus on this as you are doing now!!! Great Job and Thanks for this website!!!!

  19. Melissa Diamond says: #119

    Hi Deanna–Thanks so much for your nice post. Even if it wasn’t the gift that you had in mind originally, ;0) -I’m glad that you are enjoying it!! There is a ton of info here, between the tutorials we’ve posted and the advice & input that you’ll find from our members in the forums, etc. It sounds like you have a very full schedule not to mention keeping up with a little one! I think a lot of us here can relate to crazy hours and not nearly enough sleep! ;0) – Best of luck to you as you learn and work towards your goal of doing cakes full time!! Keep us posted on how things are going! xox

  20. Ann Saye says: #120

    Melissa & BeBe,
    I have to tell you that I really love being a member here! I have learned so much already! I have taken all of the Wilton courses and now with your tutorials, I am able to continue to learn new cake decorating techniques. I will be purchasing my BFF a membership for Christmas. She’ll love it!

  21. Melissa Diamond says: #121

    Thank you so much, Ann! So happy to hear that! ;0)

  22. Adela Peña Vela says: #122

    hola! Estan muy lindas todas sus fotos,donde puedo comprar los push ups de cupcakes! Gracias

    ESPERO SU AYUDA.
    SALUDOS!

  23. Raven says: #123

    Hi is this school also for beginners

  24. Melissa Diamond says: #124

    Hi Raven–Yes, it is for everyone! We do have a section of videos devoted to the basics of decorating. If you click on the “Video Tutorials” tab, you’ll see thumbnails of all that we have to offer.

  25. patricia reed says: #125

    hi Melissa, im new on your sight saw the poinsettia with fondant so signed up right away. but cant find it im still learning your sight so maybe i have to go to a tutorial on it. suppose to do a cake for 50th aneversity new at that. so looking forward to seeing more. turkeys, were wonderful. my grandson wanted to do a cake with the fondant and all got me sooo hooked. made every type of flower there is except poinsettia. sincerely lubbyann. son gave me that silly name

  26. BeBe says: #126

    Hi Patricia, here is a link to the poinsettia tutorial. It is in the tutorial section under the heading Gum Paste and Fondant
    link to mycakeschool.com

    Hope you will enjoy the site.

  27. Karla says: #127

    I live in the Houston Texas area. Do u make the leopard on the inside cake to sell or do u just teach? Does anyone know we’re I can order a cake that?

  28. Yvonne Brilhart says: #128

    Hi Melissa,
    Like you..I love cake and just realized a couple years a go..I love decorate the cake too. I came from Indonesia, my family in my side are businessman but no one think about make cake or something creative. They want cake they bought from bakery..hahaha.. I’m the only one tried to bake cake and pastry.
    Since I moved to America and married with my husband, he support me. And this is me….want to learn and learn. I really want to sell my cake, only I still don’t know how…anyone can help me ?

  29. Melissa Diamond says: #129

    @Karla~ I’m sorry, we only teach how to make the leopard print cake. I wish I could help! –

    @Yvonne~ Thanks for your comment, it is nice to hear from you! It sounds like you have found your passion in cake decorating. Are you wanting to set up a business from your home? Let us know what questions you have and we will try to help point you in the right direction. Feel free to post in our Forums, so that even more people will see your comment and be able to offer advice.

  30. letty says: #130

    hey i will really like to know if you have a bakery store where you sale ur cakes because an having a baby shower and i will love 1 of ur leopard printed cake plis write back to me asap thank you….. <3

  31. BeBe says: #131

    Hi letty, I’m sorry, we do not sell our cakes. Ours is an instructional cake decorating site.

  32. veronica caballero says: #132

    hi Melissa I think I left my comment in the wrong blog, but my question for you is if you have any ideas on a violin or cello cake. I have a 14 year old son who will turn 15 in February, he loves music,the utah symphony and plays cello and violin , I am dying to make a cake that shows his personality. Thanks!!

  33. Melissa Diamond says: #133

    Hi Veronica– It sounds like you have an extremely talented son on your hands! ;0) — That is great that you are making a special cake for him. Do you like to make cake toppers? Since I do, that would be my first thought– to maybe make some fondant music notes around the sides of the cake and then mold a violin or cello from rice cereal treats for the body of it, cover with fondant, mold more fondant around a lollipop stick to form the neck, pipe or draw on strings, and anchor with a lollipop stick.

    You could also make a gum paste cut-out of the instrument and decorate (anchoring in back with a lollipop stick adhered with a strip of gum paste).

    We don’t have a tutorial on a carved violin or cello cake–but I know that there are some out there! Let me know if you have any questions or need help finding a carved cake tutorial!

  34. Nilmar says: #134

    hola Melissa< espectacular tu pagina, tienes un arte inmenso, me gustaria saber donde estas ubicada y al principio de tu pagina tienes un cake de leopardo q me encantaria saber como puedo aprender a elaborarlo.
    gracias por tu atencion.

  35. kunbi says: #135

    hi, your website is amazing! and even though im not a member, the few tutorials i am able to access are of immense help. im new to baking, just completed my baking course in september and trying to find a niche for myself. i would love to be a member of your school but i’m hampered because of the payment system. i’m in Nigeria and we dont have paypal, we have visa,mastercard though. so how can we get around this hurdle? because id so very much like to join. thank you.

  36. Nilda Sierra says: #136

    Thank you Bebe for answering my question about airbrushing my fondant red, I decided to just tint my MMF red. My cake turned out beautifully at least to me. Lol! I uploaded my cake photo to mycakeschool. I just love the website. thank you so much Bebe and Melissa. I would love to see how you cover a square cake w/fondant and also frosted with buttercream.
    Sincerely,
    Nilda Sierra

  37. BeBe says: #137

    Hi Nilda, I just looked at your toolbox in the member gallery and it is fabulous, I wouldn’t want anyone to cut it. Your work is beautiful!!

    We are actually working on a video this week about covering a square cake with fondant.

    We appreciate your nice comments about the site.

  38. Nilda Sierra says: #138

    Hi! I wanted to know if I can use the hot knife method using The Fluffy Buttercream Frosting? Thank you, Nilda

  39. BeBe says: #139

    Hi Nilda, yes you can use the hot knife method with the Fluffy Buttercream recipe. Chill the cake briefly before using the hot knife. I want to caution you that if the frosting is a color such as blue or dark pink you could have a problem with streaking or dark color spots appearing. We usually only use the hot knife method with white or light colors. We most often use the Viva paper towel method…..any paper towel or napkin can be used that doesn’t have a printed impression on the paper.

  40. Hi Melissa and Bebe!

    I’m a newbie here, but so far I love your page, It’s totally worth it!!. i join last night and I made a Leopard cake and I have not cut it yet but I made some extra cupcake and they taste and look great!!…
    Looking forward to learn a lot more for this page!
    Veronica De Dominicis

    P.S: If you need any help translating someone questions or tutorials I speak Spanish too so feel free to ask!

  41. skipper says: #141

    Just joined up and am SO glad I did . I just love watching your tutorials . Not a lot of house work being done these days cause I’m watching you on my iPad !

  42. wafaa says: #142

    Hi how can i pay by cridet card

  43. BeBe says: #143

    Hi Wafaa, we can email you an invoice that can be paid with a credit card through Paypal, as their guest without joining Paypal.

  44. Justin says: #144

    Your site is amazing! I found you through a pin on Pinterest. I’ve taken all of the Wilton classes and loved them. I sell my cakes from time to time, mostly to family for birthdays, but I definitely don’t get to do as many cakes as I would like to. It is by far my passion and favorite hobby though.

  45. liz pedregon says: #145

    HI Melissa! your talent is awesome! love your ideas, you make everything look so easy, I love your website. I now I will learn allot from you, thx you in advance
    Liz

  46. michell says: #146

    Hi, melissa, im michell. I am working and single mon so i need an extra income i would like to learn cake decorating specialy fondant… how much i pay to learn fondant?

  47. Nilda Sierra says: #147

    Hi Melissa, I was asked to do a Cowboy Theme Cake for a little boy turning 1 yrs. old and I remembered a Baby Shower cake you did with cowboy boots. I followed your tutorial on how to make them and they turned out beautifully. The cake was a hit. Thank you for being an exceptional instructor. I submitted a photo on the member gallery. Thanks again. :)

  48. Susan Raynes says: #148

    Hi Melissa. I just love your site. I have been a member for a little while now.

    You and BeBe do a great job!!! I know you have to be so busy, but I was hoping you or BeBe, would answer a question for me.

    Where can I purchase “Stone Stamps?” You used them on your Valentines
    Day tutorial.

  49. BeBe says: #149

    Hi Susan, Melissa bought hers at Michaels Craft store. They are not on the cake isle, they were on the isle with mosaic kits or polymer clay tools. Here is a link if you want to order online, link to amazon.com

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