Cake Decorating at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes

7 Dec

I loovvvveee cake. But I’m very particular – I really don’t care for icing or frosting – so it might seem strange that I would take a cake decorating class. But I stumbled upon a groupon for a class at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes, and I thought this would be a fun way to find out how professional bakeries create such fancy edibles.

Amanda Oakleaf Cakes recently relocated from Winthrop to Boston’s Back Bay. They had only been teaching classes in their new location for a few weeks when my friend W and I attended a Buttercream Basics class. The instructors admitted they were still ironing out the logistics, but overall the class ran smoothly. One student didn’t show up, so we were a class of 7 – good thing too, because it probably would have been too crowded otherwise.

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W and I arrived 10 minutes early. We waited in the store, gazing at a few white cakes in the display. I was hungry, and couldn’t resist purchasing a vegan peanut butter cookie. It was delicious! Then we headed toward the back of the bakery, behind a window that looked back out to the shop. We washed our hands, donned aprons, and applied our name tags. Then, an instructor showed us how to make vanilla buttercream frosting, stressing the importance of maintaining the right temperature. Each of us students took turns dropping chunks of room-temperature butter into the mixing  bowl.

When the frosting was done, a second instructor, Tim, showed us how to prepare three even layers from vanilla or chocolate cakes they had baked for us earlier. We got to snack on the bits and pieces that we cut off the layers. Another student remarked that the vanilla cake reminded her of angel food cake. I eyed her suspiciously. In my opinion, the vanilla cake was dense, much more like pound cake… but we both agreed it was yummy. The chocolate was fluffier, and W and I both decided that we wanted to frost chocolate cakes.

After observing Tim, each student was given a cake stand, cakes, and bowls of the buttercream frosting, to try the techniques on our own. It was incredibly difficult to cut a cake horizontally and evenly in half! I messed up my first cut horribly…luckily there was extra cake so I could try again. We applied frosting to each layer, trying hard not to get crumbs into the frosting, until we had a 3-layer cake. Then we covered the cake in yet more frosting, inhaling the delicious aroma of vanilla as it wafted from our creations.

Then, Tim showed us different techniques for piping coloured frosting, using different icing tips. I did get a bit impatient as it felt like we were observing his demonstration forever. I was anxious to get my hands on the frosting bags to try it out on my own! We practiced on sheets of wax paper first, before decorating our cakes. We even made three-dimensional roses. Roses were quite difficult to make, and as the minutes ticked by, it only got more challenging as the frosting softened from the heat of our hands.

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After 3 hours, our 5-inch cakes were finished, and we boxed them up for the trip home. We were told to eat our cakes within a day or two, so we wouldn’t have to refrigerate them. Back at home, my boyfriend and I shared a slice. Surprisingly, we found the cake itself to be a bit dry, though the frosting was as delicious as it had been in the store. Perhaps the 15 minute walk from the bakery to my car in slightly chilly weather caused the butter in the cake to harden up. I brought the cake to work the next day. Interestingly, it was not completely devoured by the end of the work day…

slice of cake

All in all, the class was a lot of fun, and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. All supplies were provided, and we didn’t have to clean up! 

Info: Amanda Oakleaf Cakes, 12 Westland Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115 USA

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One Response to “Cake Decorating at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes”

  1. Xexilia March 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

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