How can I start learning cake decoration

Fondant or motif cakes - how do you start?

That's exactly what I asked myself for a good year. How to start My mother came to me one day and also wanted “a cake with lots of flowers like the one on the Internet”. Aha.
Up to now I knew that there were such cakes, but I had no idea what you need or need to know.

I'm by no means an expert on this type of cake and I'm still busy studying and practicing, but since I often have to answer one or the other question, I'll just put everything together that helped me get started .
Here we go!

 

1. Basic knowledge
Before you embark on the adventure, you should read a little first. For me it took several weeks until I felt more or less ready.
Google is always your friend - even more so when you are masters of the English language.

I got stuck with the cake aunt during my search and always like to stop by there. In my explorations through the web, the cake aunt was mentioned again and again, so it seems not only I have found my start there;)
If you look around there, you will find a multitude of tutorials, recipes and other things worth knowing.

The most important thing here is to familiarize yourself with ganache, the handling of fondant and usable cakes & fillings.

At Chefkoch.de I recently stumbled across two threads that deal with the latter: cakes & fillings.

 

2. Material & Shops
Your own experience and of course your wallet are also very important here. When I start something new, I don't want to spend huge sums of money if I don't yet know whether I will deal with it in the future. On the other hand, higher quality materials can be enormously advantageous, especially at the beginning. So that's always a bit of a quandary.
Online shops are a dime a dozen, the business next door probably less. At least I don't have the opportunity to buy cake decorations directly in a shop in my immediate vicinity.
However, some larger chain grocery stores have recently started offering fondant. One can argue about price and quality. The varieties that I have had so far have not convinced me and a certain Dr. is just too expensive for me (from the ratio).

I am satisfied with Satin Ice (global brand) and the in-house fondant of the cake boutique. Satin Ice smells very vanilla and the smell stays on the hands for a long time.
The Renshaw brand fondant worked well, but what was left - despite being well packaged - was no longer usable after it had been stored for a while. Maybe I did something wrong there.

For colors you shouldn't use the commercially available (liquid) ones. You're only messing up the fondant. And I was never friends with them in other baking experiments either. So far I have always worked with pastes and powders from SugarFlair and I am very satisfied with them.
I haven't touched Wilton's colors yet. According to the description, the color should be washed off immediately (!) After contact with the skin. In view of the fact that the paint is processed with edible materials, I find this a bit strange. Reads more like handling corrosive cleaners.

In principle, brands like Wilton, Dr. Birkmann und Städter are probably market leaders when it comes to baking and cake decoration. Of course, this is also reflected in the price. But over time you will come across other names as well. Here, too, you have to decide for yourself where to focus and what is important to you personally.

To go shopping I like to rummage on ebay and then wait a few weeks for my goods from China (cutters, straighteners, etc.).
Everything that comes in the mouth should come from Germany or Great Britain or at most the USA for me. So if it's not from the shop around the corner, I've only ordered from the cake boutique so far. Always went quickly and easily. I can't say anything about other shops so far.

 

3. Inspiration
Especially at the beginning you don't really dare or have no idea how exactly you should do something with regard to the decoration. The web also offers more than enough opportunities to be inspired. Among other things, I'm on Pinterest and Deviantart.com - the latter has the advantage that you can also talk to people directly.
And of course Facebook also offers the opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people or to be inspired by well-known figures. In addition to the cake aunt, there are the following that are guaranteed to be worth a look:

Zoe’s Fancy Cakes | Crazy Sweets | Cakecrumbs | Sharon Wee Creations

There are also a number of magazines that are now also available on the German market. These come with instructions, recipes and often the right tools.
If you can't find them at the newsagents, you should also have a look on ebay or directly on the pages to reorder.
 

4. Cake courses & shows
Here, too, I have no chance in my environment. Hamburg, Düsseldorf and all these cities regularly have one or the other cake event, which is definitely worth a visit. You will quickly find what you are looking for abroad too. Here you can meet like-minded people en masse and you can usually shop to your heart's content. Cake World Germany seems to be one of the biggest organizers there.
If cake shows were more dense, I wouldn't think twice and get myself a ticket!

It is similar for courses, although you can be lucky in smaller places here. I haven't participated in a course myself so far. The price for a course is heavily dependent on who gives it, in what context it takes place and what is to be done. Here, too, it is definitely worth taking one or the other with you. Especially when it comes to certain basic courses in order to have a proper basis. But special courses are also definitely a great experience.
In order to avoid any possible black sheep, I would always orientate myself here on what the respective tutors have created so far and what the experience is like. Cake shows also often offer courses directly on site - but you probably have one or the other spectator;)

 
So that was a lot of text and should be enough for the first. Maybe it will be helpful for one or the other!