OK you guys, I have a really COOL tutorial for you! This one was a long time coming and it has a little story behind it. It involves brainstorming, inner voices, my first cake competition, some cakey politics and great friendships
First I am going to give you all the deets for the tutorial and if you want to hear about how this particular technique came about keep reading.
This is a paid video tutorial. Above is the link to purchase it in my shop. You will get a PDF download with the link to a Vimeo video and the password, along with materials list with preferred products links and printable template. Isn’t she a beauty? Perfect topper for a wedding or bridal shower cake don’t you think?
I will walk you through, step by step and show you how to execute this technique I developed. This stained glass cake topper tutorial can be used for any custom design or colors to match your cake. And..
To celebrate my first ever paid video tutorial I am offering 50% off for the next 5 days – offer ends Monday 4/17/17, so grab it now and make some gorgeous cake toppers!
Ok so now do you want to hear about what prompted me to create this technique and why it took so long to do a tutorial on it?
So this is how it all went down.
Back in 2016 I was in the process of creating a competition cake for That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show in Austin Texas. It was my first time competing. Needless to say I was super nervous and was not sure how to design an “award winning” cake. I kept telling myself not to focus on winning or loosing, to just enjoy the process and learn as much as I can. But the competitive side of me kept telling that voice to take a hike. I mean what’s the point of putting in all this effort if your not “in it to win it”? Right?
Since I couldn’t get the competitive voice to shut it, I gave in and decided not to take the easy way out. I knew I should have some crazy hard technique or some new technique to have a chance of winning anything. I was entering the Wedding cake category and my initial concept for the cake was to base the design off of a Renaissance wedding. The theme for the show that year was Night at the Museum. Not the movie. Anything found in a museum could be used as inspiration.
I figured a lot of people would go for things like dinosaur bones and famous paintings and I wanted to be different of course. I am contrary like that, I think I passed that gene on to my kids too, ugh. So I was thinking golden, gem encrusted crowns, medieval weapons and jeweled chalices, things you would find in a museum now. Something along those lines. Sparkle and bling.
I feel like I do my most inspired and creative work when I am not locked down to a specific design or concept.
So when I am designing a cake, I usually don’t really do a sketch or finished drawing of the cake design. It’s all in my head. And it’s fluid. Things evolve and change as I am going. Working on one detail will spark a new idea for something else or something doesn’t work out and I have to get creative to fix or replace it. I feel like I do my most inspired and creative work like this. When I am not locked down to a specific design or concept. Things can evolve.
Well, I ended up with a castle, for the most part. But not like you are used to seeing your typical fairy tale castle cake. This was stones and moats and turrets. Wildflower vines and rough wooden pillars. All guarded by knights in shining armor and topped with the King and Queen’s golden crowns. But the crowning glory of the design was 3 beautiful stained glass windows. I named the piece “A Royal Wedding at Camelot”
And it won 1st place in it’s category. Not only that, it won Best in Division! I was floored. It was my first competition and I was ecstatic!
Ok but here is the part that pertains to this new tutorial I just made.
The stained glass windows. My brain kept telling me they need to be on there. I kept resisting. I had NO IDEA how to go about creating an edible stained glass window. Not to mention I had never used isomalt before and it intimidated the crap out of me. Oh but little miss Competitive Voice wouldn’t let me get away with that! Nope! “Figure it out woman” she kept ranting.
So I did. I worked out this technique over about a week of trial and error. Not too many errors I am happy to say!
So when I got back from the cake show and posted my cake photos on my social media, I immediately had people wanting to know if I would make a tutorial on how I did the stained glass windows. Now, if you are deep into “cake society” and have experienced any of the drama that surrounds “cake politics”, especially putting out tutorials of a technique someone else has already done, you will know that you must be cautious. Proper cake world etiquette is to make sure you are not stepping on someone’s toes before putting out a tutorial. Now even though I had never seen someone else do this technique, I am a firm believer that there are no new ideas. If you thought of it then someone else probably has too.
The trick is that you have to beat them to it.
So I asked around in the cakey groups. I wanted to make sure someone hadn’t already made a tutorial like this. Well, guess what? Someone beat me to it. Yep. Dang! So I found out that another cake artist had come up with a technique for stained glass and made a paid tutorial out of it already. I’m not sure if her technique was the same as mine because I didn’t buy her tutorial. But we chatted a bit and she said hers was pretty much the same and that she was planning on doing another one with a different design. She was super sweet and I told her I would not do a tutorial, I would just refer people to hers when they asked how I did my windows. That’s the part about cakey politics.
But that is the way it goes. You gotta treat people how you want to be treated. And if I was in her shoes I wouldn’t have wanted another tutorial made that could take away from my sales. So that was that.
Fast forward to this year. I got to meet and become friends with this lovely lady when we spent the whole weekend together at the San Diego cake show. She is a sweetheart and an amazing cake artist. It turns out that she never had the time to make the new tutorial (she has a new version of the technique too!). So we hatched a plan to collaborate on a new tutorial. I would do my technique and she would do her new style. Hooray for cake friends!
Alas, her portion of the tutorial got held up in scheduling. But being the amazing sweet heart that she is she told me I should go ahead with mine on my own. I am encouraging her to continue with one for her new technique when she has the time, so stay tuned for that!
This sweet lady is Shannon Patric Mayes and her business is SweetArt Cake Company. She did a Halloween themed stained glass tutorial you should all check out! She has a great YouTube channel too called The Sweet Spot with lots of great tutorials and recipes.
Isn’t that cool?!! Like I said, she is ahhh-mazing!
So that is my story of how the technique for this tutorial came about and why it took so long to make it into a tutorial. In the end I am very happy how it all turned out. I won a competition, invented cool techniques, made a great friend & we both will make our tutorials. Win win win win! Thanks for being the wonderful friend that you are Shannon!
PS: I may have distracted you with my long story! Don’t forget to pop over and buy my tutorial, haha!
Have A Sweet Day!