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The Icing on the Cake: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Baked Treats Hardcover – March 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Juliet Stallwood runs a bakery in Dorset, UK. She makes and sells her products to a devoted following, including Marco Pierre White and Atul Kochhar. She runs classes teaching people how to decorate and was recently featured in Country Living magazine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Duncan Baird (March 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848990820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848990821
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
56%
4 star
22%
3 star
22%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
The pictures are neat and well done.
maite27532
Great suggestions and beautiful cake decorating ideas!
RobinJean
The projects themselves are not intensive but pretty.
Toni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Toni VINE VOICE on March 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A first time offering from a rather new addition to the professional baking and decorating world, Juliet Stallwood, of the U.K.

In addition to running a successful bakery of "bespoke" goods (meaning those ethereal cakes and pastries that make you "ooooh" and "aaah"), Ms. Stallwood has written a teaching book for a variety of party treats and presentations.

This would have been a wonderful teaching book for beginners if it contained more visually detailed explanations for some of the projects. That being said, I would recommend this book for those with intermediate skills. The main reason is because many of the projects are not accompanied by photographic or step-by-step tutorials; just the instructions.

Another drawback was some of the steps for making the decorations were omitted, I am assuming that the author feels you already have that skill set. Otherwise, you might want to have another reference book handy for some of the projects. I say this only because the wording on the front of the book states "your ultimate step-by-step guide" and I found this isn't quite the case.

As an example, there are several projects that use chocolate transfer sheets, and while an explanation of chocolate transfer sheets is mentioned in a side note, there are no photos of the steps needed to use these sheets and it can be a bit of a time for someone who hasn't used them before. In another project, nothing is mentioned on how to make chocolate cigarillos. While the cake is very beautiful, for someone initially learning, any visuals are much appreciated because most people new to the decorating field need help with this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By I. Darren on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Even for many accomplished cooks, baking and decorating baked goods can still be something they avoid where possible, feeling it is too difficult. This book seeks to show that this need not be the case.

The author runs a bakery which specialises in decorated cakes and here she gives a bit of an insider's look at an art form that need not be complicated. Time, patience and a sense of humour seem to be the key ingredients for success. Unlike other books the author cuts straight to the chase and within a few pages you would be making something that could not fail to get a gasp or two of appreciation from a recipient. Yet, when you look behind the curtain it isn't that difficult to do once you know how.

The book is open, accessible and literally splitting at the seems with information - there is a bit of unavoidable too-ing and fro-ing through the book but strangely enough this does not seem to be a problem. Possibly the brilliant, engaging photographs help draw you in, get you dreaming a bit and BANG, you are hooked! At the end of the book is a large chapter of "best-kept secrets" with a lot of hints, tips, templates and resources. You might find that you keep referring to this handy section even if you are using another book for a recipe source!

When you combine the book's content and its very low price (for what you are getting) this is really a steal, a key resource for those who need a bit of a hand with baking and decorating their baked goods. The more seasoned professional might not get as much out of this book as the beginner would, although you only need to find a couple of good recipes to get your money's worth! The only negative thing is that if you are on a diet, or should be…. too much temptation can be found within and you don't like to waste good food, do you?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Succotash on March 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Juliet Stallwood's hobby making novelty cakes for her kids turned into a career in pastry and cake decorating. She went from creating fun themed cakes to cookies and 'fondant fancies'. Stallwood's website Cake and Biscuits and her book have the same feel, only the book will show how the fancies are done.

The Icing on the Cake has 4 decorating chapters separated by the end result: Decorate to Indulge (treats for any day of the week); Decorate for Love (romantic cakes, weddings, anniversaries); Decorate to Celebrate (occasion cakes and parties); and Decorate to Impress (special centerpieces).

The Best-Kept Secrets chapter is a visual on what the author likes in her bakeshop, as well as descriptions. It also contains her tips such as preparing cookies fro baking, lining shaped cake pans, dipping small cakes in fondant, and covering cakes and cakeboards with fondant. Her design templates can be copied from the book.

Stallwood's designs are all over the book and I always find it lovely when bakers sketch an idea and create something edible from it. The recipes include everything from macarons and decorated gingerbread cookies to chocolate dipped florentines and fancy tiered cakes.

If you are looking for a book that specializes in the art of decorating other than baking, you would probably enjoy this read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corbett B. Coburn III on August 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so it isn't your ultimate step-by-step guide to decorating baked goods. But it does have some good material. Autumn Carpenter's book, "The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating" is probably better. And of course there is the three volume "The Wilton Way of Cake Decorating". But this book is good because it has lots of separate projects. On the minus side, it has very few cakes. And those cakes tend to be decorated with fondant -- not "icing".

All that being said, I recommend the book for those who want to decorate backed goods but do not want to learn how to pipe icing.
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