Many home cake designers and professionals gain a great deal of knowledge from leafing through the pages of books dedicated to the various aspects of cake decorating. Some books are general guides, some offer specific instructions and some simply inspire creativity or admiration with the stunning photos on the page. There are countless books available in stores and online for people interested in this subject so it can be a bit bewildering at first deciding which ones would be valuable to you. To further confuse the issue is the fact that each individual requires different inspiration and instruction so books one think are beneficial may not be wonderful for another decorator. That being said there are some books which can be valuable and should be part of your cake decorating library.
1. Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes
This is an absolutely lovely book which has over 100 ideas for cakes designed for every type of wedding. The book touches on the basics from baking the cakes, theme, structure and of course piping and sugar work. The pictures are professional and gorgeous as you would expect from a Martha Stewart project and the cakes themselves are achievable even for beginners. One of the best aspects of this book is the fact the recipes are delicious and accurate. It is a complete start to finish volume devoted to the magic of wedding cakes designed to provide a beautiful centerpiece for any theme of wedding.
2. Books by Colette Peters
Colette Peters is famous in cake decorating and her books showcase her creativity and skill in outstanding photos and step by step instructions. Some of the cakes are a bit complicated for a novice cake designer but there are always many more toned-down designs in the books as well. Most of the instructions provided are very detailed and concise with accompanying pictures for reference. The recipes in these books are delicious and in most cases simple such as her delectable one bowl chocolate cake. These books are probably a little better for someone with a little experience in the basics of cake construction and design techniques but are an essential purchase for anyone passionate about beautiful cakes.
3. Professional Cake Decorating by Toba M. Garrett
This book is a valuable instruction manual for all the special techniques that make cake decorating an art. It teaches skills from basic to expert with several hundred step by step tutorials and self quizzes to make sure you should advance to the next level of the skill. Professional Cake Decorating covers piping, gum paste flowers, all icing forms, borders, writing along with sculpting and molding of fondant, gum paste and marzipan. There is over 30 years of experience packed into these pages and the author is a respected award winning artist and teacher in this field.
4. Books by Sylvia Weinstock
Sylvia Weinstock is a cake decorating legend. Her cakes are simply magical and stunning to the senses. Books by this veteran designer such as Sylvia Weinstock's Sensational Cakes should be placed open on your coffee table to adorn your house and astonish your guests. These books are a visual feast to inspire and show that nothing is impossible in cake design. Cakes can look like the mad hatters tea party, Faberge eggs and can be a ten foot cascade of prolific roses in peach and pale pink. The instructions in Sweet Celebrations: The Art of Decorating Beautiful Cakes presents basic and advanced techniques but these instructions are not for the novice designer.
5. The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible by Lindy Smith
This book shows a great deal of the important skills needed to create professional successful cakes. The step by step instructions make even more complicated techniques achievable for novice designers. The photographs are clear and lovely and the designs are interesting and contemporary. This book provides a valuable foundation for cake decorators to branch out from with more specialized elaborate cakes. It touches upon cakes, cookies and cupcakes and can inspire anyone to roll out some fondant and create beautiful colorful unique creations from sugar.