Discover the Best Cake Decorating Classes in Chicago
Beautifully decorated cakes have long been a part of our celebrations and gatherings. From weddings to birthdays, promotions to baby showers, this deliciously sweet treat is the centerpiece of every well-decorated party table. Home to well over twenty bakeries, Chicago has a booming wedding industry and was projected to host over 55,000 weddings in 2022 alone.
Requiring both chef-life precision and artistic expression, the origin of cake decorating is a bit of a mystery. Elaborately decorated cakes became widespread during the 1600-1700s and their popularity grew in 1769 when Mrs. Raffald published The Experienced English Housekeeper with detailed recipes for cake, marzipan, and icing.
While every cake starts with the most basic of ingredients like eggs, flour, sugar, and butter, it is the delicate final decorations that bring the sweet treat to life. Fondant, buttercream, sugar crystals, and edible pearls can all be combined to create an exquisite design that your guests are sure to both savor and remember.
Why You Should Learn Cake Decorating in Chicago
Chicago is home to several well-known cake shops like Lutz Bakery, Dinkel’s, and Roeser’s Bakery (which is Chicago’s oldest family-owned bakery). It’s also home to a booming wedding industry, catering to both local couples and those seeking a vibrant city for a destination wedding. It is this combination that makes Chicago a truly special place to learn cake decorating, offering novices a large pool of expert bakers and decorators to learn and draw inspiration from.
Living in Chicago can, at times, be overstimulating. Navigating public transit and living in a more densely populated area can often lead to an increased level of stress. Decorating cakes allows you to focus on a single task and provides you with a creative outlet, both of which can be helpful in decreasing anxiety and stress. Creating something with your hands can be extremely rewarding and offering that creation as a gift to someone else can elevate your mood.
Joining a cake decorating class in Chicago can also be a great way to meet new friends. You’ll have the common ground of a love for baking and decorating as a foundation for your new friendship. Have a new neighbor or coworker? Making them a one-of-a-kind cake can be a great way to make them feel welcome and encourage connection.
Becoming a cake decorator can be a very lucrative career move. The average cost of a wedding is around $29,000 and the price of a wedding cake can range from $350 to more than $1000, so there is certainly demand for high-quality cakes. When you add in birthdays, promotions, and baby and bridal showers, decorating cake can easily be a full-time job.
Whatever your reasons for learning to decorate cakes, you’re likely to find even more benefits as you improve your skills and expand your knowledge.
In-Person Cake Decorating Classes & Schools in Chicago
Hands-On Cupcake Boot Camp is a great way to practice all your cake decorating skills on a smaller scale. Bakers will make several varieties of cupcakes and frostings and will gain experience making buttercream, working with chocolate, creating the perfect confectionary cupcake toppings. Held by The Chopping Block Lincoln Square, this class will have students working in groups of three to five so you can expect to make new friends, too.
The Chicago Botanic Garden hosts Hands-On Baking: Cake Decorating that will teach novice bakers to make standout cakes for every celebration. Students will use piping bags and tips, offset spatulas, and a turntable to decorate pre-made cakes and cupcakes. Make sure you bring your own container so you can take your goodies home after class!
Also held at the botanic garden, this cut-out cookies class can help you enhance your fine-detailing skills. Students will make their own sugar cookie dough and then roll out, cute, and bake their multi-shaped treats. You’ll get first-hand experience with flat icing, flat icing with agar, and royal icing when you decorate your creations. (Don’t forget your take-home container for this class, either!)
Wanting to expand your baking knowledge so you have more delicious canvases to decorate? Why not try a donut-making class where you can get hands-on experience making both yeast and cake donuts. Students will make cinnamon sugar and chocolate glazed donuts that they can take home with them!
If you need to refresh your baking skills, then Hands-On Baking: Baking Tools 101 may be for you. This class teaches everything you need to know about the small appliances and tools needed for baking. Students will learn (or practice again) how to use an immersion blender, offset spatula, and rubber spatula. You’ll also try your hand at piping frosting, glazing breads, folding and portioning batter, and using a blowtorch to brûlée fruit. By the end of class, each student will have made both banana bread and lemon pound cake, and take their creations with them.
Virtual Cake Decorating Classes & Schools
Do you want to learn at your leisure or live in an area with limited in-person options? Then check out online cake decorating classes. There are often more options available virtually and they allow you to attend from anywhere. While students will have to source their materials and equipment for these classes, there’s no need to worry about traffic, parking, or any of the stressors of commuting.
While there aren’t currently online cake decorating classes available, there are several baking courses worth considering. "Great British Bake Off" Classics teaches participants to recreate their favorite recipes from the iconic British show. You can make a Victoria sandwich cake with raspberry jam and whipped cream, and learn the ins and outs of savory scones with British condiments and sharp English cheddar, all while sipping a cup of English breakfast tea. Each student will receive a take-home recipe for lemon poppy-seed drizzle cake, too!
Another delicious hands-on experience is the Sweet & Savory Cream Puff course. Held via Zoom, class participants will master the art of pâte à choux (puff pastries) and will be able to create both a savory option and a classic version with chocolate ganache and whipped cream that are sure to wow any guest.
The craft of macaron making is a well-honed skill and one that any baker will love. In this French Macaron Step-by-Step class, students will make, flavor, pipe, and bake their very own macarons! This class includes knowledge of the best ingredients, how to add a burst of flavor to these colorful treats, and how to ensure each macaron always turns out perfectly.
Private Group Cake Decorating Classes in Chicago
CourseHorse offers a variety of private live online cooking and baking classes for businesses and organizations. Organizers can customize group size (and even change it after booking) with absolutely no booking fees. Confirmation will be sent within 24 hours of booking and some class providers may even offer additional services like in-person venue space, catering, or the ability to come directly to a requested home or office.
Customizations can also be made to an event for a $150 fee. These include things like combining different games, requesting specific questions or a themed game, or adding something to an event with materials included.
To learn more about the available private group cake decorating class options, reach out through the contact form on CourseHorse’s website.