Fundamentals Course
Sometimes, you just need someone to tell you where to begin. This course covers all you need to know to build the foundation for your beautiful cakes.

Section 1 - Prepping Your Cake Pans

  • This session covers:
    • Choosing which pans to use
    • An easy non-stick concoction used to prepare them
    • A trick for even cooking
    • Convection vs. non convection ovens
    • Knowing when your cake is done
  • Materials used:
    • cake pans
    • equal parts flour, vegetable oil, and shortening (1 cup of each)
    • brush
    • flower nails or heating cores
    • cake batter

Section 2 - Making Buttercream

  • This session covers:
    • Crusting vs. non-crusting buttercream & how to make both
    • Appropriate uses for different buttercreams
    • Getting the right buttercream consistency
  • Material used:

Section 3 - Making Ganache

  • This session covers:
    • How to make ganache the easy way!
    • How to store left over ganache
    • How to reheat frozen or refrigerated ganache
    • When to use ganache
  • Materials used:
    • ganache recipe
    • good quality chocolate in bulk, chips or chopped
    • heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
    • kitchen scale
    • microwave safe bowl
    • rubber spatula
    • whisk

Section 4 - Leveling, Torting and Filling

  • This session covers:
    • How to easily level your layers
    • How to easily torte your layers
    • How to appropriately fill your layers to avoid structural problems
    • Tips and tricks on how to avoid buttercream blowouts and the dreaded “bulge”!
  • Materials used:
    • cake leveler
    • carboard cake round
    • angled spatula
    • cake turntable

Section 5 - Icing Your Cake

  • This session covers:
    • When to use ganache vs. buttercream to ice a cake
    • How to ice a cake with smooth sides
    • How to get a SUPAH sharp top edge on your iced cake using ganache or buttercream!
  • Materials used:
    • Wilton Icer tip
    • pastry bag
    • cake turntable
    • angled spatula
    • chocolate ganache
    • wax paper or reusable baking foil
    • large foam core round
    • level/square
    • bench scraper

Section 6 - Covering with Fondant (& getting sharp edges!)

  • This session covers:
    • Which buttercream recipe to use as a layer underneath your fondant
    • How to cover your cake with fondant and get SUPAH sharp edges!
    • How to properly support cake tiers and stack them without stress
  • Materials used:
    • fondant (Carma Massa Ticino’s my FAV)
    • fondant smoother(s)
    • powdered sugar
    • large rolling pin
    • straight pin or acupuncture needle
    • disposable razor blades
    • kitchen knife or exacto knife
    • paint brush or spray bottle
    • large foam core round

Section 7 - All About the Cake Board

  • This session covers:
    • Where to find a cheaper alternative to cake drums
    • Different ways you can cover your cake board
    • How to transfer your cake, center it  and secure it onto your cake board
  • Materials Used:
    • cake board (I get my foam core boards from Guildcraft Furniture, online)
    • materials you choose to cover your cake board with
    • cake card (same size as your cake)
    • pallet knife or tool to score fondant
    • paint brush and water
    • bench scraper
    • fondant smoother
    • powdered sugar

Section 8 - Stacking Tiers with Supports

  • This session covers:
    • How to properly support cake tiers and stack them without stress!
  • Materials used:
    • bubble tea straws
    • one or two regular straws
    • edible marker
    • sharp knife
    • cutting board
    • cake card (same size as the tier you’re putting on top of the straws)
    • tool to score the fondant
    • bench scraper
    • water and brush or buttercream/ganache

If you're ready to move on to something a bit more challenging, check out the Pink Flamingo Mini Cake project in the Cakeheads project center which is also free!

flamingo cake

The only white (vanilla) cake recipe I’ll use, now, as it’s moist, dense, carves well, and is RIDICULOUSLY delicious! (Works great for cupcakes, too!) Just leave out the almond extract and substitute it for more vanilla if you want this to be a delicious vanilla cake!

I like to use this buttercream recipe most often, even when using it as the finish on a buttercream cake. It has no shortening in it which means it won't be entirely "white".  It will be more of a cream color.  This recipe works great as the layer of icing underneath fondant if you’re trying to achieve sharp edges, because it will harden when you chill your cake before adding your layer of fondant.

This is the easiest way I’ve found to prepare ganache when using it to fill and/or ice a cake, before covering a cake in fondant, or even just leaving it as the finish!  See Section 3 (Making Ganache) of the Fundamentals Course for a detailed video showing how to make this ganache.

See the notes section to adjust the amounts for making white chocolate ganache!

2 Inch Cake Baking Heating Core - Stainless Steel
- They Work Perfectly In Any Cake Pan
- Short Pans Or Small Pans Are Not A Problem
- Replace The Flower Nails (they rust!)
- These Cake Heating Core Pins Are Made Of Stainless Steel and are 2 inches tall (they won't rust)
Wilton Performance Pans Large Round Cake Pans Set, 4-Piece
Generous 3 inch depth for higher cakes

For all your cake baking needs! This set of 4 round cake pans made of durable, even-heating aluminum were built to last for many years. From simple layer cakes to a tiered cake, this cake pan set does it all. Includes 8, 10, 12 and 14-inch size pans.
KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
The Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer is perfect for heavy, dense mixtures. Burnished metal flat beater, PowerKnead Spiral dough hook and 6-wire whisk will help you mix, knead and whip ingredients into culinary masterpieces quickly and easily. And for even more versatility, the power hub fits optional attachments from food grinders to pasta makers and more.
Original BeaterBlade for KitchenAid 6-Quart Bowl Lift Mixer, KA-6L, White
The Original Beater Blade by New Metro Design is an electric mixer attachment which thoroughly mixes batter, eliminating the need to stop and scrape the bowl manually and is engineered for use with most KitchenAid 6qt bowl lift mixers. The new Beater Blade beats, scrapes, folds and incorporates ingredients thoroughly for fool-proof baking.
Anchor Hocking 5 Ounce Measuring Glass
Measure small quantities of food in the kitchen quickly with this set of two small measuring glasses by Anchor Hocking. With graduated measurements printed on the side in ounces, teaspoons, and milliliters, it is nearly impossible to get confused by kitchen conversions.
EatSmart ESKS-10 Precision Elite Scale-15 lb. Capacity
The EatSmart precision Elite digital kitchen scale is the chef-preferred food scale for everyday use. From weighing food to monitoring caloric intake, The precision Elite provides exactly what its name States - reliably precise measurements Every time. In fact, this cooking scale was designed in conjunction with professional chefs and bakers to represent the Elite in kitchen scales on the market today.
PME CL18 Adjustable Slicer 18 in. Cake Leveller
This 18" Cake leveler has a new serrated blade that precisely levels and divides cakes into even layers. An easy to adjust, essential tool for all cake decorators ideal for keeping cakes level and consistent.
Sugarworks Artists Cake Turntable
The Innovative Sugarworks Artists’ Turntable is beyond compare- we feel it's simply the best pedestal turntable available! The highly-durable, food-grade aluminum work surface cleans up easily and effortlessly glides a full 360 degrees on a super-smooth stainless steel thrust bearing.
StarMar Set of 18 - Cake Board Rounds, Circle Cardboard Base, 6, 8 and 10-Inch
You get 6 circles each of 6", 8", and 10" - that's 18 cake boards in all. Use these to
make 6 fancy 3-tier cakes for weddings, parties, events, family reunions,
celebrations or just to impress your family and friends.
Ateco Professional Offset Spatula Set
Great quality, created for professional pastry chefs. Offset spatulas are ideal for icing large cakes quickly. Offset design allows you to keep your hands clear of frosting. Handles are made of high grade polypropylene and are dishwasher safe. Set contains the 4 1/2 inch, 7 3/4 inch and 9 3/4 inch blade lengths.
Wilton 418-789 Carded Tip Cake Icer
Wilton-Decorating tip. These icing tips simply screw onto Wilton decorating icing pouches or tubes and make it easy for you to create great looking designs on your cakes in minutes. This package contains one decorating tip made of nickel-plated brass. Dishwasher safe. Comes in a variety of styles. Each sold separately.
Wilton Decorating Bag
With this reusable Wilton piping bag, you'll be able to decorate cakes, cookies, cupcakes and other iced desserts time and time again; Made of lightweight, strong and flexible polyester, the 35cm (14in) Featherweight piping bag will never get stiff;
3 Pack PTFE Teflon Sheet for Heat Press Transfer Sheet Non Stick 16 x 20
Heat Resistance & Non Stick- Heat press transfers sheet allows high temperature resistance up to 600 °degrees, protect your working surface,perfect for heat press.
Foam Core Cake Board Round White, 14 x 0.5 Inches by GSA
Foam Core Cake Board Round White, 14 x 1/2 Inches by GSA.This sturdy cake board is made from a plastic laminated, high density polystyrene foam core board. It is lightweight and has a washable surface that may allow for reuse. These are very popular as cake bases or to be used as separator plates in tiered cakes.
IRWIN Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 6-Inch
This IRWIN Metal Combination Square features a cast-zinc body and a rust-proof stainless-steel blade to help ensure lasting use. The black, precision-etched scales give you accurate 90° and 45° readings.
Cakeheads Bench Scraper
EMAIL THOMAS AT [email protected] (or click on the link and fill out the contact form) IF YOU'D LIKE TO ORDER A BENCH SCRAPER.
(We're running low in stock and don't currently have them listed on Amazon.)

Measuring 10″ in height, the Cakeheads bench scraper is ideal for icing double barrel height cake tiers as well as regular height tiers, and its curved handle sits flush with your cake board creating a 90 degree angle, helping you achieve perfectly vertical sides when icing your cakes.
Carma Massa Ticcino - Rolling Fondant
Carma Massa Ticino Tropic Rolling Fondant White 7 Kilograms (15.4 Pounds). Popularly known as CARMA fondant, this product has become the most widely used and revered fondant throughout Europe. It is absolutely the choice fondant of professional pastry chefs worldwide. It covers better than other products with no cracking or wrinkling and is easy to color making it ideal for special-occasion cakes and modelling.
Wilton Easy Glide Fondant Smoother
Easy-Glide Fondant Smoother. Essential tool for shaping and smoothing rolled fondant. 5.75 inches long x 3.25 inches wide.
Innovative Sugarworks Sugar Smoothers, Small and Medium
Created by decorators for decorators, the new Sugar Smoothers are perfect for removing excess fondant and creating cleanly covered cakes, excellent for curved or flat surfaces. Its lightly frosted surface prevents sticking or pulling while working with edible and non-edible ingredients, helping you achieve amazingly smooth finishes. The perfect tool for sculpting, shaping and smoothing buttercream, ganache, fondant, marzipan, and much more. Rounded corners, with one 90 corner. Each set comes with two sizes and two thicknesses. Edge ruler for measuring. Made from durable, food-grade material.
Accupuncture Needles 0.20mm x 25mm Blue
Manufactured by one of the largest Chinese acupuncture needles companies for JorVet. Quality but* yet very affordable. Box of 100 needles with insertion tubes* spiral wound head. 0.20mm x 25mm.
Single Edge Industrial Razor Blades
Standard 0.009" thick single edge razor blades
Each package includes 100 SUPER SHARP industrial single edge razor blades
Individually Wrapped by Antirust Waxed Paper, Only by RexBeTi
Fits most standard scrapers and carton cutters
X-ACTO #1 Knife, Z Series With Safety Cap
Make precise, fine cuts every time with the X-ACTO #1 Z-Series Knife with Safety Cap. This knife features a #11 fine point zirconium nitride-coated blade for sharpness and strength, and the lightweight aluminum handle enables you to make agile cuts with ease.
Artists' Cake Decorating Brush Set
This set includes our Small Flat Oval Brush, Medium Flat Oval Brush, Fluffy Dusting Brush, Round Blending Brush, Round Precision Brush, Straight Fine Point Brush, and Angled Fine Point Brush. Our Complete Artists' Brush Set will give you everything you need to bring your edible creations to life! We use only the best bristles made from high grade synthetic fibers safe for use with food and edible media. These bristles are incredibly durable and won't shed, giving your brushes an indefinite lifespan with proper care.
Guildcraft Round Cake Boards
Cake Boards Are 3/8″ Thick EPS Foam With “Non-Food Grade” Craftpaper On Both Sides.
Clear With Stripe Boba Straws
Stripe colors may vary: orange, red, pink, yellow, purple, green, blue. Size: approx. 8.25" x 0.5". 172+ quality straws One slanted end. Great for cake decorating also
Wilton FoodWriter Color Fine-Tip Edible Markers, 5-Piece
Write messages and add custom details to your desserts using this 5-piece set of edible markers. Kids will love getting in on the fun and drawing their own edible designs.