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Gift giving can be challenging. There are those gifts that only certain people would appreciate (say, a new fly fishing pole) and then those gifts that almost anyone would love. I suppose getting a gift for a cake designer is a lot like that. Sure, I have a whole list of cake design tools that I would absolutely love, but they’re somewhat specific to the kind of cake design I do. There are, however, a whole lot of gifts that would be great for any cake designer, from the passionate amateur to the consummate professional. Here are a few favorites.
1. Cake Design Classes. I learned from Jaqueline Butler that it’s important to continually refine our skills. Like doctors, dentists, hairstylists and other professionals who must stay current with the latest developments in their field, so must cake designers. Of course for aspiring cake artists, classes are the best way to learn the craft. But even for experienced or expert decorators, there’s always something to learn. Thanks to Jacqueline, I now treat myself to at least one class each year. I would love it if someone treated me to one.
2. Cake Stands. The cake stand does for the cake what the high heel does for the leg: makes it appear taller, more regal, and just plain better. Every cake needs a cake stand, and every designer should have at least a few classic stands in her collection.
Recommended: Martha Stewart Whiteware Collection. These cake stands are classic, sturdy, and at around $29 (less if you catch them on sale), a real steal.
3. Gift Certificates. A great one-size-fits-all gift, gift certificates will allow your favorite cake designer to get just what she needs (or, better yet, wants) for Christmas.
Recommended: Global Sugar Art. A great selection with an easy to navigate website. They ship quickly too.
4. Cake Design Books. There are many to choose from, and not all are created equally. Some are more visually appealing while others have more practical information. Spend some time perusing before you choose. You’ll want to keep in mind that while there are many excellent cake design books out of England, a lot of the products they use are not widely available in the U.S. (or must be imported at great expense).
Recommended: Elisa Strauss’ Confetti Cakes Cookbook. I’ve gotten so many great tips from her (scalpels instead of x-actos? Genius!) and I rely pretty much exclusively on her fondant measurement chart. Plus, she’s totally adorable.
5. Cake Design Magazines. Cake design magazines have come a long way since I started decorating 18 years ago, and magazine subscriptions are (at least to me) one of those things you might want but wouldn’t necessarily get for yourself.
Recommended: Cake Central Magazine. A relative newcomer only in their third volume, Cake Central Magazine launched in 2012 and is the product of the popular Cake Central website. The magazine features trendy cake artists, recipes, and tutorials for everyone from the novice to the professional cake decorator. Gorgeous photos and good production quality.
6. Gifts That Spoil: Massage. This is not directly cake related, but just imagine how great a massage would feel after standing on your feet all day (and often way into the night), or, for that matter, any time.
Recommended: Yelp. Search “massage” and find reviews for local spas.
Thanks so much to my Facebook friends for their input. And Cory, if you’re reading this, I’ll take #6. Have a great holiday everyone!
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