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Online Class: Cake Decorating 101

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Course Description

Have you ever had a greasy puddle of icing on your cake plate? By the end of Cake Decorating 101, you'll be assured this will never happen to one of your cakes. Cake decorating is not just buttercream anymore.  It is the final packaging everyone sees first and should entice people to imagine the texture and flavor of what lies beneath the icing.  

Why do you want to learn to make great cakes?

  1. An upcoming wedding (you've seen what a purchased wedding cake can cost)  
  2. Did you agree to be a "classroom mother" and want to make special cakes for the holidays or specific units?
  3. Is there a baker in the family you're dying to out-do?  
  4. Are you looking for the appeal offered by more traditional domestic skills?
  5. Are you hoping to enter a local or regional baking competition?
  6. Are you thinking of baking to earn some extra dough?
  7. Is your organization looking for new fundraising opportunities like an upper scale cake walk, perhaps?

These are only a few of the reasons that may have attracted you to this course. However, whatever your motives may be, here are the skills you can look forward to gaining in the following lessons:

  • Equipment, utensils, tools and preparations
  • The basics of cake-baking: decorating techniques, planning and designing your cake, lining your tines, and more
  • Working with Marzipan, Icing, Glaze and Filling Choices
  • Decorating your cake with butter cream icing
  • Decorating your cake with royal icing
  • How to make and use a piping bag
  • Decorating with Sugar Flowers (and Other Gum Paste Creations)
  • Making and Decorating Wedding Cakes
  • Creating decorative children's cakes
  • Holiday and celebration cakes
  • Theme Cakes
  • Beloved Cupcakes
  • And More Cake and frosting recipes to express your creativity


With practice and patience, cake decorating can be learned. This exclusive course starts you out with the basics from designing your work space, cake baking, decorating tools, prepping a cake for decorating and many tips of the trade to help you create delectable cakes, icings and fillings. You'll learn the importance of texture and the temperament of icings, how to avoid cake catastrophes, ways to fix them and still keep your cake looking perfect.

Whether you're looking to start a cake decorating business or just make cakes for family and friends, Cake Decorating 101 will teach you all you need to know to turn out professionally decorated cakes. You'll develop techniques practiced by professional cake decorators such as applying buttercream icing, how to make a rose, level a cake, pour ganache and master a piping bag.

From breath taking designs to whimsy, all the latest cake decorating trends are disclosed, with instructions and ideas about how to bake and decorate the darlings of the cake world, finger licking cupcakes.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: Getting Started

Let's make sure we have the right supplies before we start decorating our cake. 105 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Article: Wedding Cake History
  • Take Poll: Your interest in Cake Decorating
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: Gathering Basic Supplies to begin Baking a Cake

Lesson 2 : Cake Decorating Tools and Work Space

In this lesson, we will get more specific about cake decorating tools that you will use, as well as creating a work organization/space for your cake decorating. 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review Article: Cake Decorating Tools
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment: Cake Decorating tools and Creating your Cake Decorating Workspace
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2 : Cake Decorating Tools and Work Space

Lesson 3 : Baking Your First Cake

In this lesson, we will begin this creative process with the successful strategy of designing and planning our cakes. 13 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review Article: Articles on Cake Designing
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: Make Yourself Some Quick Reference Cards
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3 : Planning and Designing Your Cake

Lesson 4: The 411 on Cake Baking Basics

First, we need to bake a cake before we can start decorating it. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review Article: Cake Decoration Ideas Web Resource
  • Review Video: Cake Tier/Layering Techniques Web Resource
  • Take Poll: The design or the taste?
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment: Try Baking and Decorating a Cake

Lesson 5: Basic Cake Decorating Recipes

In this lesson you will learn the basic recipes for baking your cake, frostings, and preparing your cake for decoration. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Basic Yellow Cake Recipe; Cake Recipes
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Prepare a 2 Layer Box Cake
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5 : Planning and Designing

Lesson 6 : Icing, Glaze, and Filling Choices

We will now explore the wonders of using fondant, filling and coating layers, and frequent problems/solutions of decorating your first cake. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review Article: Making Fondant Tutorial
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: Practice Working with Fondant
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6 : Icing, Glaze and Filling Choices

Lesson 7: Decorating With Buttercream Icing

Decorating with buttercream icing - it's smooth, it's creamy, and it keeps its soft texture, making it easy to cut through. In this lesson, we will learn how to make and use this basic icing. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review Article: Buttercream Icing Recipes
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment: Working with ButterCream Icing

Lesson 8: Decorating With Royal Icing

Decorating with Royal Icing, also known as glace royal, is another versatile icing you should add to your repertoire.In this lesson, you will learn how to make and use this type of icing. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review Article: Royal Icing Recipe
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment: Working with Royal Icing

Lesson 9: The Piping Bag

A great deal of cake decorating does require the use of a piping bag. Making and using a piping bag does scare off many cooks, but it really is not difficult to master, as this lesson will demonstrate. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review Article: How to Use a Piping bag to Decorate a Cake
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: Practicing Making a Pastry Bag
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: The Scary Piping Bag

Lesson 10: Decorating With Sugar Flowers (And Other Gum Paste Creations)

In this lesson you will learn the secrets of decorating with (or even making your own) sugar flowers as a great way to show off your skills in an elegant, sophisticated way. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment: Working with Flowers

Lesson 11 : Fruits, Flowers, Fun, and Fancy

In this lesson you will learn how to make flowers, leaves, fruits, frosted ornaments, and a simple stripple cake. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review Article: Finishing Touches
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment: Practice Making Leafs
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11 : Fruits, Flowers, Fun and Fancy

Lesson 12 : Wedding Cakes

Forget traditional! Today's wedding cakes are rising to a whole new level of creativity. In this lesson, you will learn current decorating trends. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review Article: Instructions on how to Decorate a Wedding Cake
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment: Cake Decorating Expertise
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12 : Wedding Cakes

Lesson 13: Decorative Children's Cakes

Now that you've armed yourself with new icings and decorating ideas, it's time to put it all together in an entire cake. We'll begin with creating decorative children's cakes. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Children's Cake Photos; Photos of Children's Cakes
  • Take Poll: For your First Cake...
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment: Making Children's Cakes

Lesson 14: Holiday and Celebration Cakes

Holiday and celebration Cakes are always in demand. Whether snowflakes are in the air, turkey is on the table, or Easter eggs are hiding in the shrubbery, there are literally hundreds of occasions that call for a celebration cake. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Cake Designs for the Holidays; Family Fun and Celebration Cakes
  • Take Poll: Your Cake Decorating Future
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment: Decorating a Holiday Cake

Lesson 15: Cool Theme Cakes

In this lesson, we will look at many popular theme cakes, such as portrait cakes; how to use gum paste to make a personal statement; and lots of other ideas and recipes. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Review Article: Party Theme Cakes Images
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment: Making Memories
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 15 : Cool Theme Cakes

Lesson 16 : Beloved Cupcakes

Mastering the art of baking and decorating cupcakes must be a part of anyone learning how to make cake desserts. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Cupcake Decorating Ideas; Decorating Cupcakes
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Assignment: Make Some Cupcakes
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 16 : Beloved Cupcakes

Lesson 17: Express Your Creativity

Marzipan is a wonderful topping that will help you express your creativity. It can be a decorative icing, can provide a firm undercoat for royal icing, or a sugarpaste icing covering. It's very pliable and the white tinted marzipan takes color well. 133 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Review Article: Marzipan Recipe
  • Complete Assignment: New Things
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Assignment: Ganache Decorations
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 17 : Express Your Creativity

Lesson 18: Some More Cake and Frosting Recipes

Learn the recipes for cakes, frostings, and icings, including: classic white layer cake, yellow cake, chocolate cake, butter cream icing, royal icing, marzipan, rolled fondant, and gum paste. 100 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Review Article: All Recipes
  • Take Poll: End of Course Poll
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Final Assignment
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Cake Decorating 101
Course Number: 8900279
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: How To
CEU Value: 1.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Nancy Fillip
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the tools and workspace needed to decorate a cake.
  • Describe how to plan and design a cake.
  • Know the best cake decorating recipes.
  • Describe icing, glazing and filling techniques.
  • Demonstrate decorating cakes with butter cream icing.
  • Demonstrate decorating cakes with royal icing.
  • Demonstrate creating cake decorations using a piping bag.
  • Know methods used to decorate cakes with gum paste.
  • Describe procedures involved in decorating wedding cakes, children's cakes, holiday and celebration cakes, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Student Testimonials

  • "Happy so far with everything." -- Stephanie D.
  • "I liked it, great info!" -- Adam G.
  • "Learning about Buttercream icing which I had never used before was most helpful. And I find that since learning about the butter cream I have used it a number of times. A brilliant course, very informative." -- Pamela B.
  • "I enjoyed this class and will probably take another one in the future. It was fun and informative." -- Linda F.
  • "I really enjoyed the course it gave me loads of web sites that I have saved on my computer and can always refer to. The instructor was great...I found it most helpful that I could send photo's of the work that I completed. It was great to show my work rather than just explain it." -- Lorraine H.
  • "The whole course was very helpful for me. It was very detailed and easy to follow." -- Staci C.
  • "Every part was extremely helpful to a novice like myself." -- Sue A.
  • View More Testimonials...

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