I love having friends over especially for crafty endeavors. This past Thursday I hosted a mom's night in for cake decorating. A friend in my mom's group, Kelly, taught Wilton Cake Decorating classes for years and still makes cakes for clients. Kelly made the Mario themed cupcakes pictured for the birthday party of another friend. In addition to the adorable cupcakes, she also made a cake for the adults with Mario. Anyways, back to Thursday. Everyone brought plain cupcakes to decorate. Kelly brought her entire kit and everything needed for icing. We learned about the tools, techniques (tort, level, crumb layer, starts, shells, writing, piping), and some tricks. My favorite tips were: cook the cupcakes a couple days before you need them, you can freeze icing, and parchment/wax paper is your friend. We had a ton of fun. I never understood how someone would willingly cover a cake with little stars. Now I get it. I'll probably stick with cupcakes, but I get it.
I can't wait to try my own recipe for icing using organic shortening. I'm almost out of the Jungle Organic Shortening no longer carried at Whole Foods. I'm going to try Spectrum Naturals since I've always had great experiences with their other products.
I also want to try India Tree Natural Decorating Colors Set. I've been eying them for over a year. The reviews I've read have stated that there are no odd tastes with these colors. I bought a "red" natural coloring at Whole Foods for my daughters birthday. I was shooting for a pastel pink and it came out a kind of a dirty pink with a tart flavor. It was good, just not fabulous.