Technology Tuesday: Cake Decorating Machines

DIY Cakes for the Non-Decorator

Did you know Cricut makes printer-like machines that will cut gumpaste decorations for you? I had some time on my hands during a recent trip to Asheville and found myself at Michael's. I noticed a display of small boxes with beautiful damask cakes on the front. They were decorating cartridges for cake decorating machines. Apparently I live in a cave because the Scrapbooking giant, Provo, has been making gumpaste and fondant cutters since January 2009. Basically, you can operate something as common and straightforward as a printer you can decorate a cake.

Martha Stewart Butterfly Cake
Image from Cricut.com

The skinny: Cricut has several cake cartridges that would be wonderful for weddings. There's Martha's line available on HSN. But there's also the Elegant Cakes cartridge that allows you to create elegant damask style cakes.

You insert the cartridge into the machine, load up a thin sheet of gumpaste, choose the design you want cut, and tada! You have cute and elaborate gumpaste designs for your cake. You can also use it to decorate cupcakes and cookies. You may want to DIY your cake and have matching cookie favors for your guests.

Martha Stewart Monogram Cake
Image from MarthaStewart.com

The Price: These cake cutters are not cheap. The cutter itself costs around $400 from Provo, but you can find it on Amazon for around $300. A cartridge will run you $70, but you can use it again and again as you practice. Also, blog reviewers have had some difficulty with gumpaste sheets tearing, which totally sucks because the sheets are a whopping $18 for three 10X10 inch sheets.

DIY Demask Wedding Cake
DIY Damask Cake from CakeCentral.com

Hindsight Advice from a DIY Cake Girl

  • Your love of cake baking and decorating should extend beyond wedding planning: The upside of baking your own wedding cake is you get to keep all of your equipment and bake cakes for years to come. But you really have to ask yourself if you are truly interested in baking cakes for years to come. All of those big cake pans and decorating equipment takes up lots of space, which can be annoying if you never use any of it.
  • DIY cake baking is a labor of love, NOT a money-saving strategy. Even if you don't spring for the $400 cake decorating machine, unless you are already a professional baker, you will still spend plenty of money on practice cakes and equipment. Making 25-30 pounds of butter cream over a six month period adds up. Between equipment and ingredients for both practice cakes and the real thing, I spend nearly $500 for our wedding cake. Keep in mind I did not use fondant (which can be expensive if you buy premade fondant!). I could have bought a simple unadorned, white wedding cake from a professional baker and stuck my butterflies on for about half that amount of money and a fraction of the time.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Just because you are using a machine does not mean you will be adept at handling gumpaste or even fondant. Remember that you will likely want to cover your cake in fondant to achieve that perfectly smooth look. Also, some reviewers complained about the limited gumpaste colors Cricut offered. If you are coloring your own gumpaste, you will need to experiment with how much gel color will allow you to achieve your look. Note: regular food coloring from the supermarket will not work.

Resources:

Christie Osborne
Christie Osborne has lived in or visited every mountain range in the US. Once a mountain bride herself, she's dedicated to helping mountain brides plan their weddings and find the perfect vendors. She's known in the blogging world for her no-nonsense attitude, and she loves to ski. Follow Mountainside Bride on Twitter Facebook and Pinterest.
Christie Osborne
Mountain Gorgeousness: This couple's wedding photos have gone viral. Head over to the blog to find out why.... http://t.co/RAHt1DsTcV - 14 hours ago
Christie Osborne

Comments

  1. Hindsight Bride says

    @Aleah + Nick Valley Thanks! Just took a peak at your blog; love it!

    @TheWeddingOutlet I think the jury is still out on how easy they are. They're certainly easier than hand forming gumpaste, but the reviewers say the cutouts sometimes tear. Nonetheless, I totaqlly want one!

  2. Jes says

    ohmygosh – who knew this existed!?  seriously, what will they come up with next!!!?

  3. Hindsight Bride says

    @jes I know! Had I know about this a year ago, I totally would have convinced D that we NEEEEEDED it. LOL

  4. Amber V says

    That is so cool!!!  I have the paper version…I wonder how damaged it would get if I ran gumpaste through it??  LOL!

  5. Wedding Resource says

    I love this post and apparently so do people on bridetide! You seem like your becoming more and more popular!
     

  6. The Sassy Bride says

    OMG…you find the coolest stuff girl! I love coming to your site b/c I know I am always going to find something fun & unique. I have to look into buying one of these…I LOVE throwing parties!! ;D

Trackbacks