Friday, May 17, 2013

Cake Decorating (Is Not For Me)

I like to decorate cakes. Too bad I suck at it.

Back in the day (read: pre-children), I had a lot of free time on my hands. I took an interest in cooking, watching cooking shows, and searching the internet for new recipes. I also took an interest in baking—so much so that I decided to take up cake decorating as a hobby.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t into decorating cakes with a pastry bag—you know, piping work. I was into baking a cake in the shape of something, or decorating a cake to make it look like a scene. Here are a few examples (Note: The bookmarks for the websites containing the directions to make these cakes went out the door with the computer I had ten years ago. I apologize I can’t give credit to the creative souls who came up with these ideas—but I will say it wasn’t me):

A graduation cake for my sister in the shape of a rolled up diploma

A cake in the shape of a hot dog and fries

A cake in the shape of a castle

I taught elementary school before having children, and one summer, I attended technology camps during the day with other teachers. That same summer, I found a cake online called a Campout Cake, and I thought, how fitting! So I made this cake

For my fellow, grown-up, professional colleagues.



Do you see a common theme in all of my cakes? You’re right if you said none of them are very good.

You may wonder why I didn’t try decorating cakes with fondant, pastry bags, decorating tips, and buttercream frosting—you know, like most cake decorators do. Honestly, I don’t know. All I can figure is I was having too much fun with my way of “decorating”. In hindsight, though, I think it worked out just as well. I mean, if my Peppermint Forest cake looked like this

Why the hell would I go near a pastry bag?

I finally had the presence of mind to put this hobby aside and pursue another, more suitable interest: writing. I’ve always loved writing stories—and editing is pretty damn fun, too. In the last three years, I’ve spent my free time writing and researching the publishing industry. I’ve had five short stories and three magazine articles published—and last year, my dream came true when the manuscript for my first contemporary romance novel was accepted for publication.

While I’m on the subject of my debut novel, you want to guess what the heroine does for a living? Here’s a hint: she inherited Sullivan’s Cakery from her grandma.

That’s right! She’s a baker—but unlike me, she excels at cake decorating. 

To write the novel, Baking Love, I "filled-in-the-blanks" of what I knew with research. I studied online videos demonstrating cake decorating skills, read forum exchanges between bakers, and worked my way through dozens of websites about baking and cake decorating and assembling. The fruit of my labor releases today from MuseItUp Publishing. In fact, here’s the cover by Marion Sipe

Now that girl’s got artistic skills.

Baking Love is available from Muse It Up Publishing,, and pretty much every other ebook vendor you can think of. It’s also available in paperback from

Visit Lauren Boyd, Romance Novelist to find out how to connect with me via the usual suspects (Facebook, email, etc.) I’d love to hear from you—and I’d love to hear what you think of Baking Love!

(Incidentally, if you are good at decorating cakes, you amaze me. Seriously, I am in awe of you.)


Jane Richardson said...

LOL great post! I bet all those cakes tasted scrumptious anyway! Very best of luck with your novel. :)

Jane x

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Thank you, Jane, for your kind words and for stopping by! It's so great to meet you!

John Wiswell said...

The grown-up colleagues image made me snort. This was funny! And I bet I'd do much worse at creative caking. My sister is the only one in the family who can sculpt food aesthetically. It's a real skill.

Beth Overmyer said...

I've seen this book and have always thought the title was well as the cover ;)

I'm going to try to teach myself to decorate cakes. I have a few books, one by the uber-talented Debbie Brown. Oh my word. Her cakes are MASTERPIECES! I've never decorated a cake, so this should be interesting :-D

Helena Fairfax said...

Hi Lauren, the cakes actually look brilliant! And I love the cover of your book. It looks a cracking read. Congratulations, and good luck with the book launch!

Leona~Author said...

Hi Lauren, loved your post. I've seen a few beautifully decorated cakes that tasted like, well, they weren't very good. I'm a lover of fluffy, whipped frosting, and I'm not picky about the looks. But still - it's nice nice to get both taste and looks.

Your book sounds like a winner. Best of luck with the launch.

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hey, John! I love that image, too! I totally admire your sister's ability to decorate cakes. It seems like such a fun hobby - that is, for those who have more artistic talent than I do.

It's great to meet you! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

anne stenhouse said...

Lauren, I just love people enjoying what they do and not being too grown-up about it. I did all the birthday cakes for my own young. It was such fun. Good luck with your book. Anne

J.Q. Rose said...

I think your cake creations were very imaginative, but the true test is the taste! Were they delicious as well as , shall we say,unusual?? Best wishes with your new book. Love that title!!

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hi Beth! It's great to meet you - thanks for commenting! Thanks, too for your kind words about Baking Love. I'm so glad you like the title and cover! My husband actually came up with that title right before I submitted it. My original title was A Recipe For Love.

I wish you much success with your self-taught cake decorating endeavor!!!!

Take care, and thanks again!

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hi Helena! It's great to see you here! Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. I love the cover, too - Marion Sipe did a wonderful job!

I am SO excited for you and The Silk Romance! I wish you much success with your book launch on Friday! (It's almost here!)

Take care, and thanks again!

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hi Leona! It's great to meet you! Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I'm with you: I've had cakes that are beautiful but don't taste it. I, too, like it better when they have both!

Many congrats on the upcoming release of Hemphill Towers! It sounds so intriguing, and I can't wait to see the cover!

Take care, and thanks again!

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hi Anne! It's great to see you here! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I like how you made your child's birthday cakes. Despite how mine seem to turn out, I should give it a try and let my kids help, just because they love working in the kitchen. Thanks for the great idea!

Many congrats on the release of Mariah's Marriage!!! I hope things are going well with your current writing project.

Take care, and thanks again!

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hi J.Q.! It's great to meet you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! You know, you're right: those unusual cakes DID taste good! Maybe people should've just closed their eyes when they ate them, HAHA!

Thanks for your kind words about Baking Love. Many congrats on your publishing accomplishments as well!

Take care, and thanks again!