Where To Take Cake Decorating Classes In The DC Area

Crumb Coat

The crumb coat. No, it still doesn't make my finished cakes look any better.

I’ve been hunting around for cake decorating classes lately, mostly because I’ve become increasingly frustrated with my inability to frost a cake. All I want is a cake with smooth, straight sides, like the cakes I see in bakeries, and yet this simple result eludes me. I’ve tried to do a crumb coat, and that helps a little, and I’ve tried using different types of frosting, but my cakes always look very . . . well, “rustic” is a nice way of saying it.

Class prices range quite a bit – from $20 for a Wilton Class at craft stores out in the ‘burbs, to $95 for a two-hour course at Fancy Cakes By Leslie in Bethesda. And it’s interesting that all the cake decorating classes are out of the District – like, are we too hip and cool to decorate some cakes in DC?

Also, did I miss anything? Any other cake decorating classes that you want to share?

  • Cake Love – Cake Assembly/Decorating
    Description: This class will cover how to put a cake together using the simple, rustic feel we are known for here at CakeLove, no fussy piping bags or fake flowers here. You will learn about buttercream and ganache as well as terminology and basic tools. Best of all you’ll have the opportunity to put your new skills to the test, assembling your own 6 inch cake.
    Two hour participation class
    Cost: $60
    Check the Cake Love calendar for dates, locations, and registration info.
  • Fancy Cakes By Leslie – Beginning Cake Decorating Workshop
    4939 Elm Street, Bethesda, MD, 20814
    (301) 652-9390
    Description: This is a two-hour hands-on class starting with a discussion on which type of cake to use for decoration — box mix cakes/icings vs. scratch cakes/icings. Workshop participants will learn about torting and filling cakes. The workshop will end with a finish icing in buttercream and piped pulled borders. All materials will be provided.
    Two hours, participation class.
    Cost: $95.00
    Check web site for dates and times, and registration info.

    Note: Fancy Cakes by Leslie also offers Buttercream Piping Workshops and Beginning Fondant Workshops, which are also two-hour, $95 classes. Check web site for dates and times, and registration info.

  • L’Academie De CuisineCake Decorating 201
    5021 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814
    (301) 986-9490
    Description: Fondant icing gives you a beautiful satin covering to cakes and it also makes beautiful roses, ribbons and other decorations. Cake and icing will be provided. Cakes & Icing will be provided for students who have basic cake decorating skills.
    Participation class – 2.5 hours
    Cost: $75
    Check web site for dates, times, and registration info.
  • Sur La Table – Cake Decorating Basics
    Pentagon Row, 1101 South Joyce Street, Suite B-20, Arlington, VA 22202
    (703) 414-3580
    Description: Learn cake decorating from an expert. In this class you’ll learn to turn an ordinary layer cake into a true masterpiece. A beginner’s cake decorating set is included in your class registration fee. (Note: the January class date has already past, and looking at the calendar it looks like another basic class hasn’t been scheduled yet.)
    Cost: $69.00
    Check the web site for dates, times, and registration info.
  • Wilton Cake Decorating Classes
    Wilton, the big cake decorating supplier, holds cake decorating classes at various craft stores around the country.
    Four classes, 2 hours each
    Cost: $20
    To find a class in your area, and for specific dates, times, and pricing, visit the Wilton Class locator.



  1. I’ve assisted several classes at Sur La Table taught by Nick Malgieri (I might be completley butchering his name). These were all demo classes, but I’ve never in my life seen anyone frost a cake better than him. It was like magic!

    • moderndomestic said

      Oooh, that sounds awesome. Although I definitely want a participation class – I’ve seen people frost cakes on TV, and I still can’t do it!

  2. Kaydee said

    Do you chill your cake for a bit after the crumb coat? That helps, it makes the crumb coat a little more solid. Decorating cakes is fun!

    • moderndomestic said

      Oh yes, I do. I do. It helps, but my cakes still don’t have those super-smooth polished professional sides. Maybe I need a turnstile?

  3. Kaydee said

    I don’t know how into chocolates you are but I just found this online chocolate school! http://www.ecolechocolat.com/chocolate-course.php I would love love love to do a chocolate class!

    • moderndomestic said

      But can you really learn how to make food from an online class? Like, I feel like I could do that from a book and the Internet – if I’m going to take a class I want in-person instruction.

      Mmmm, chocolate . . .

  4. emily said

    i am a wilton trained cake decorator (then i worked at cakelove) and can speak very highly of the basics that their classes cover!

  5. Ashley said

    I took Wilton I & II at the Wheaton, MD Michael’s and it was a thorough class taught by a great instructor. Personally, though, I was mildly turned off to cake decorating when I discovered how much shortening goes into buttercream. Ew. I’d prefer to not know and enjoy my sweet treats in blissful ignorance! 🙂

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