Senior project paper


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Senior project paper

  1. 1. Cox 1 Jane Cox Mrs. Tillery AP Literature November 17th, 2011 Cake Decorating People wonder about the point of decorating cakes. The point is simply to make acake look appealing and additionally, giving more flavor to this sugary dessert. Cakedecorating is defined as “a Sugar Art that uses icing and various edible decorativeelements to make cakes visually interesting” ( Cakedecorating can be traced back to the mid-17th century where it originated in NorthernEurope. The art of decorating cakes is considered to be “one of the newer edible arts,especially when it is compared to other culinary arts” ( Sincethen, there have been methods created as to how to decorate cakes, such as: the LambethMethod and the Australian Method, but one that most people prefer here in the UnitedStates is the Wilton Method. The Wilton Method, itself, has put a touch on cakedecorating that is simple, yet appears to be complicated and detailed. Back in 1929, Wilton Enterprises was founded by Dewey Wilton in hisone room school in Chicago, Illinois. Here is where his business blossomed into “aleading innovator in cake decorating and candy making designs, products andpublications” ( He started out teaching bakers how to create thedelicious candies and cakes that has made Wilton as successful as they are today. Lateron in Wilton’s stardom, they found financial problems while trying to meet theirconsumer’s needs. Dewey Wilton then made the executive decision to create
  2. 2. Cox 2publications, books and how-to phamplets, that would guide those who wanted to learnhow to decorate cakes, without the help of the classes, to sell for more income, whichlater led to the desire of their fans demanding for Wilton to come out with their own lineof products. Of course, Wilton wanted to please their buyers, so they eventually put out aline of their own to aid every day people in the making of Wilton’s famous cakes. Whenthe business started to grow dramatically, “ Vince Naccarato was announced President ofWilton Enterprises in March 1977 and moved the business to its present location inWoodridge, Illinois” ( His wise decisions took Wilton off even more.He joined in with companies, such as, Copco and Rowoco to create their good qualityproducts. They even created a television series on cake decorating to display cakedecorating ideas and techniques and made partnerships with many other companies toenhance their merchandise. To this day, Wilton still carries out their classes that startedfrom the very beginning in a single room. In the end, Wilton has risen to the top andbecome one of the leaders in cake decorating and it’s merchandise. Although there are many different methods to consider while decorating a cake,Wilton’s Method is probably the easiest. The Wilton Method “mainly uses butter cream.The Wilton Method quickly became one of the most popular types of cake decoratingtechniques because it allows beginners to move through different levels of expertise anddesign” ( While other methods focus on using fondant androyal piping icing to intricately design each cake to perfection, Wilton keeps it to thesimple of plain, old icing. Wilton’s method draws out a complete outline on how to goabout the steps of creating the perfect cake. Wilton shows people that the high dollar andcomplicated decorating styles are not needed to create an elegant cake. The Method
  3. 3. Cox 3revolves around how to ice the cake. Some say that “frosting a cake can be a fun job,until you get along with it and understand that it is not at all times as simple as it appear”( Thanks to the Wilton Method, icing is no long a hassle. The processstarts out simply by applying a crumb layer to keep crumbs from showing through ontothe exterior of the cake’s design. After that layer dries for fifteen to twenty minutes, thereshould be another layer of icing added on top of that layer to cover up the crumb layer.Allowing that layer to dry, once the icing has slightly hardened on the outside, theirsecret to smoothing out the icing it to use a paper towel and gently rubbing it to give asmooth surface to make it appear as fondant. Sounds a little crazy, but in order for it towork, the icing must be slightly hardened, or else the paper towel will stick to the cake,and it can pull off the icing. In conclusion, this method makes what appears to becomplicated, quite easy. The Wilton Method of cake decorating is a unique art that is fun and interesting forpeople of all different backgrounds. The Wilton Method teaches you how to make a plaincake into a beautiful work of delicious art. Cake decorating involves incorporating manyartistic talents and skills. In the Wilton classes, they teach several various techniques. Here isa list of some of the different techniques you can learn: Icing drop flowers, rosettes, shells,pompom flowers, leaves, shaggy mums, ribbon rose ( These can beapplied to cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and many other dessert pastries. There is a vast list of oftechniques available to learn through Wilton. “For 35 years, Wilton has offered fun cakedecorating classes” ( Through Michael’s you can take three of TheWilton Cake Decorating Courses to learn how to create the very cakes that can be seen inmagazines and in bakeries. The courses they offer are decorating basics, flowers & cakedesign, and gum paste & fondant. In the decorating basics course they teach, step by step, the
  4. 4. Cox 4process of the Wilton Method to bake a great cake. Also in this course, they teach how tomake and color icing and the best way to ice a cake. Most importantly, they give you theknowledge of the basic fundamentals of cake decorating . In the flower and cake designsection they teach the art of making various flowers, such as the famous Wilton Rose. Theyalso teach the art of arranging a beautiful and balanced cake top design. The gum paste andfondant course teaches people how to work with and use these easy-to-shape icings. Studentsalso learn the Wilton Technique to making various flowers such as a calla lily or carnation. Inaddition to that, they also learn how to make several designs and fun cakes. Wilton hasseveral techniques that are wonderful, fun and easy to learn. Each of their techniques are usedin many bakeries and schools, which has helped them get their name out in the world. From the beginning, Wilton’s goal has not been to teach people how to decoratecakes, but how to explore and be creative in the way that they go about in doing so. Asmentioned “the curriculum at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating and ConfectionaryArt focuses on teaching students the kind of technical mastery and innovative designsthat allow them to go on and create their own unique designs”( Wilton equips their learners with the knowledge of thebasics and the how-to’s, but once thing that they can not teach them is how to use theirimagination to come up with their own designs to awe people. The way they teach ishand-on, so their students work with the teachers to grasp the concept. Originally,Wilton’s “classes were advertised to enterprising chefs, caterers and other gourmandswith an interest in baking and cake decorating” ( Today,these classes are offered to all those who have interest in them. The classes are typicallyheld in Michael’s arts and craft stores, where they offer three different courses consisting
  5. 5. Cox 5of four classes each. Wilton is not all about hiding their secrets; they like sharing theirideas to help this art to grow. Most importantly, Wilton is really good about updating their designs. Wilton’scourses “offer new and updated techniques that are perfect for both beginners andadvanced students” ( The changes are clearly made in their booksover time. Wilton pays attention to the change in times and he change of what designs arecommonly found in designs, to know how to make their updates. “To keep up with thetimes, the method also incorporates English and Australian approaches, and recent pulledsugar and gum paste techniques” ( As time hasprogressed, the Australian and English Methods have grown, especially with the creationof wedding cakes, but Wilton is still the most common way found to decorate cakes.Wilton has opened it’s arms to accept the times, the changes, and their competingmethods to help them grow as a company. Overall, while Wilton makes sure to keep theirstyle traditional, they also embrace the modern way of decorating as well. All in all, Wilton has by far made it’s mark on the art of cake decorating. “Today,Wilton Enterprises offers the industry´s most comprehensive and innovative selection ofbaking, cake decorating, candy making, cookie making, wedding, baby, party, seasonal,kitchen and hydration products," all which have made them the successful company thatthey are today ( Wilton has what is needed to fit any occasion, nomatter how big or small. Seeing them grow from a classroom to a large company over theyears shows their true success. Their classes, their products, and their method itself haschanged cake decorating for the rest of the world, while still sticking to the traditional
  6. 6. Cox 6styles that brought up the art itself and incorporating it into modern day design. Wilton’ssuccess has effected the success of cake decorating and will continue for years to come.
  7. 7. Cox 7 Works Cited“Cake Decorating Made Easy.” Squidoo. LLC, 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌busymoms_cake_decorations>.David, Maggie. “Cake Decorating .” Your Cake Decorating Class. N.p., 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.G, Sid. “The Cake Decorating WIlton Method.” Ezine Articles . Worldwide, 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌?The-Cake-Decorating-Wilton- Method&id=1579377>.“Is Cake Decoration an Art? Exploring this Confectionary Tradition.” Copyright , 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌articles/‌is-cake-decoration-an-art-exploring- this-confectionary-tradition/>.“Learning to Decorate Cakes the Wilton Method Way.” Copyright, 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌articles/‌learning-to-decorate-cakes-the- wilton-method-way/>.Michaels. “Wilton Cake Decorating.” Michaels. Michaels , 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌wilton_cake_decorating/‌wilton_cake_decorating,defa ult,pg.html>.“A Short History of Cake Decorating.” Copyright, 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌articles/‌a-short-history-of- cake-decorating/>.
  8. 8. Cox 8Wilton. “Corporate Overview.” Wilton . Wilton Industries, 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌about/‌corporate.cfm>.“Wilton Cake Decorating Classes .” Cake Decorating Classes. Copyright, 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <‌cake-decorating- classes/‌wilton-cake-decorating-classes/>. Wilton Industries. “History of Wilton.” Wilton . Wilton Industries , 2011. Web. 17Nov. 2011. <‌about/‌history.cfm>.