Since I have quite a collection of cake decorating books, I have decided to share with you which ones are, in my opinion, the best ones.
When I lived in Essex, our library had a fantastic selection of cake decorating books and I probably read a couple of dozens before deciding on which ones I would buy. This was definitely a sensible things to do since many hide behind an attractive cover but don't deliver much.
I have to say that two authors/cake decorators particularly amazed me: Debbie Brown, for 3D children party cakes, and Peggie Porschen, for slylish grown up cake.
My first review will be about 50 Easy Party Cakes from Debbie Brown.
This was one of the first books I bough, and this is where the design of my first ever fondant cake comes from.
When I started cake decorating 2 years ago, I enrolled for a class at my local college. Unfortunately, since the information about the course was poor, I ended up in a Royal Icing class, instead of the fondant course I was keen on doing.
After my initial disappointment I realized that this was a lucky mistake since Royal Icing is so difficult to work with. The class was great and gave me the confidence to start decorating cakes. And thanks to the many video tutorials online, I was able to complement the course and learn how to ice a cake using fondant.
This is my first cake:
Of course it was far from perfect and my little indian character ended up being quite pale... but still a good enough first try.
The book gives clear instructions and the recipes are good.
The materials and equipment needed are well listed and the assembly process is easy to follow.
I would say that some knowledge on cake decorating is needed to succeed in making a good looking cake, but this is appropriate for beginners.
There is a design for every occasion. Some are easier than others so you will most probably use this book several times.
I also made the Fairy Toadstool form this book:
original design (bottom left):
A little tip: Most cake decorating shops will rent tins out so you don't need to keep buying cake tins of different sizes. For square cakes, I myself purchased this fantastic piece of kit which allows me to make square and rectangular cakes up to 30cm/12in. A little dear but well worth the investment.