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on March 25, 2009
I gave it 4 stars because it generally met my needs. Objectively speaking:

Pros:
* This book has clear and detailed instructions for executing cake decorations which are suitable not only for wedding cakes but also for other special occasion cakes.

* Pictures and illustrations accompany each step of the procedures and templates are provided when needed.

* A (long) list of tools and equipment is supplied

* Designs are basic and classic - not trendy

Cons

* Many designs and techniques require specialized tools and equipment such as molds, cutters, gumpaste/clay extruders

* Few pictures of finished cakes. The book really just gives instructions on decorating techniques. How to put them together on a cake is left to the reader's/cake designer's artistry

* Does not include directions for creating sugarpaste figures like people, animals, shoes, and bags, which are currently very on trend in the cake industry. No discussion on trends like carved cakes or whimsical cakes.

* Only 5 mediocre recipes. Relies on commercial premade fondant and gumpaste.

* No color mixing chart - one of the most frequent charts cake designers refer to

Recommended for
* Cake professionals looking for a handy reference for classic cake decorating techniques

* Cake pros or committed novices wanting to learn classic cake decorating techniques through self study/practice

* Hobbyists and committed home decorators who regularly make cakes for friends and family

Not recommended for
* Occasional home bakers unless they're loaded with cash and are prepared to spend - list of equipment is extensive!

* Cake designers looking for trendy, modern techniques

* Complete novices. Instead would recommend books like The Home Guide to Cake Decorating by Jane Price or books by Debbi Brown
22 comments65 of 69 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon May 20, 2010
I am not particularly interested in making wedding cakes but bought this book thinking it might provide help with techniques and ideas. I was not disappointed and in fact got more than I had hoped for. The book is divided into four sections: 1. Foundations, which covers tools, equipment and coating techniques. 2. Designing a wedding cake. 3. Decorative Techiniques including Modeled rose, crimper work, frills and flounces, embossing, cut-outs, stenciling, gelatine work, piping bags, piping designs, piped embroidery, brush embroidery, lace, clay gun techniques, Battenburg lace, sugar ribbons, sugar accents, molds, cocoa painting, buttercream flip, chocolate decorations, ribbon, fresh flowers, and crystallized flowers. 4. Sugar Flowers. Alan Dunn is a master of sugar flowers and this section includes instructions for various roses, lilies of the valley, calla lilies, Asiatic lilies, Cattleya orchids, and various leaves and fillers. (There are also instructions for chocolate or marzipan roses in section 3.) I would highly recommend this book.
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on October 22, 2010
As an ardent Alan Dunn 'groupie' I never hesitate to order a new Alan Dunn, even before it gets to press. I confess to having mixed feelings about THIS Alan Dunn book.

On the up-side, it does deliver to a moderate extent as a 'cake decorator's bible' in that it has a chapter dedicated to many cake decorating techniques, including some of the more 'modern' techniques such as stencilling, gelatine work and molds. Basic techniques like covering cakes with marzipan, royal icing, fondant and buttercream are included; as are the traditional techniques such as piping, lace-work and crimping. In addition, there is some attention to the high quality flower moulding that is Dunns's trademark. And the written and graphic instructions are up to Dunns usual high standard.

On the downside, it seems to lack substance as it only skims the surface of each technique. I can recommend it for someone who wants a good 'overall' manual on cake decorating, but it's not my favourite Alan Dunn book.
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on April 5, 2009
I have practically every book written on cake decorating. Some are amazing, some very pretty but not instructive, and of course some are very dissappointing. This Alan Dunn book is pretty good. As a flower maker he is amazing, however his cake styles in the past have been a little dated. With this book he has updated his styles and offers some new and enlightened cake decorating ideas. Keep up the good work Alan!
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on May 24, 2010
I love this book, it is chock full of very interesting techniques and information. So what if there isn't a receipe for fondant! I want to spend my time USING the fondant, not laboring over it. I can buy great tasting fondant! This is a book for inspiration. True, there aren't many pictures of finished cakes, but I really don't want to copy some elses work. This might not be a book for beginners but for someone a bit more advanced, it's great. It is like finding a book that has picked the brain of one of the BIG GUYS. He shows a technique and then gives you variations on that theme so you can use it in your own unique way. It is a great buy, I think. Not every book on the market needs to meet the demands of a beginner, after all, once you get going, you won't be beginner forever! Then you will want a book like this to spur you on to bigger and better cake artistry! If you like fondant roses, he has a book out with Tombi Peck all about those beautiful flowers. Once again, NOT a beginning book.
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on November 8, 2009
This book is incredibly helpful. I have been cake decorating for 12 months and have purchased 4 of Alans amazing books. This is the book I should have started with. It covers so well what you need to know and how to do it. A must for anyone who is interested in the art and a great book for beginners, as everything is explained so well to take you forward.
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on April 13, 2010
I own a small cake business. I have bought at least 20 books in the past year to help me. Out of all the books I have, this is the one I use the most! I highly suggest it, especially for people who would like to improve their gum paste flowers :)
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on August 14, 2009
Design and decorate amazing wedding cakes with The Wedding Cake Decorator's Bible, a decorator's companion covering everything from traditional tiered cakes to luxury designs and specialty piping. Color photos illustrate not just finished products but also step-by-step instructions, making it easy for bakers to duplicate professional-quality results.
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on September 5, 2009
A real artist in action! Alan Dunn is a magician, and all of us can get a taste of his magic and try to reproduce it! Many, many great photos, accompanied with detailed explanations and instructions, a must have for any cake decorator, both amateur and professional!
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on June 6, 2010
Just rec'd the book and I love it! Clear, step by step pictures on cake decorating and I can't wait to try out some of the techniques. A must have for any cake decorator, this book will be a classic!!
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