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Kate's Cake Decorating: Techniques and Tips for Fun and Fancy Cakes Baked with Love Hardcover – October 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kate Sullivan's wedding and party cakes have been featured in numerous magazines, including Oprah, the New York Times, Self, and Time Out New York, as well as on VH1 and in Broadway theater. She lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592530702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592530700
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm a professional baker and have purchased many cake decorating books, including nearly all of Colette's books. I absolutely loved this book! I like the way photos instead of drawn illustrations are used for the "how to" part of each cake. She shows you step by step, how to make her unique cakes. And yes, there are some slight imperfections...it's a cake for cryin' out Larry. Her photos are great. They are real! Not airbrushed photos. If you go to a wedding, look at the cake...really look, there are always little flaws. They are covered with flowers or facing the back of the room. Kate makes cakes that are actually feasable...and cost effective. I've taken classes with some famous cake makers and their techniques although informative, are quite laborous and time consuming. I don't have that kind of time. Simple techniques, elegant, unique design. Very inspirational.
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Format: Hardcover
I like Kate's style, which is beautiful and modern. This is a great how-to book which shows us how to use the latest and neatest products, such as shimmer and pearl dusts. She shows basic techniques from from icing a cake to more challenging marzipan figures. There are a good number of projects that are well organized and easy to understand. For each one she gives us a itemized list of equipment and decorations needed for each project, timing tips, and illustrates how to make them. There is also a list of resources for cool supplies and tools. She shares her recipes for chocolate and buttercakes, ganache, buttercream, fondant, and other icings. I've made some of them and have gotten rave reviews. I have taken the Wilton courses and was looking for a book that could get me to the next level. This fit the bill perfectly and has opened up a whole new world for me!
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Format: Hardcover
This is the book that has split the community of cake decorators right down the middle, from stem to stern. Half of us think that Sullivan's craft, while passionate and inspiring, shows signs of sloppy, careless finish, while the other half holds her up as the exemplar of a new kind of fun styling that hasn't been seen in decades. I decided to make up my mind by ordering two copies of her book, one to give to my mother, one to keep for myself. We challenged each other to find the best and worst recipes and tips in Sullivan's opus.

Yes, the color photography is sometimes garish, nothing like the elegant Cecil Beaton-inspired photographs that sparkle and illuminate the "cakebooks" of her close contemporary Lindy Smith, whose brittle, icy designs have given her the reputation of a modern-day Klimt in frosting. And yet Smith could never have completed, nor even conceived of, some of Sullivan's neo-expressionistic "portrait cakes," such as the one of Elvis which is wiggy enough to have been featured permanently at Graceland, maybe sunk in intaglio form right into Elvis' tombstone. One responds to the sheer frivolity and nuttiness and yes, the love that Sullivan exudes from every pore of her body. Even her somewhat portentous crush on fondant shows us that, deep underneath her smooth surface, great feelings roil up within.

Her tips are always helpful, and most of the recipes are rather good, very rich of course, but you don't spread gold dust over cream cheese filling and expect a low calorie plate. This is cake, after all, and it's supposed to be bad for you! These cakes might have decorated the Technicolor visions of Maria Montez and Jon Hall in their Universal classics of the 1940s such as COBRA WOMAN and GYPSY WILDCAT. My mother and I both agreed that there are no bad recipes, just bad critics.
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Format: Hardcover
Some of my favorite people are cake toppers.

I don't know if you'll immediately be able to do some of the stuff Kate can do, but jeeze, there are so many inspiring ideas and helpful hints that everyone should try to make a fancier cake after reading this excellent book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the fact that this book features very many buttercream designs, a refreshing departure from all the fondant books out now. I only gave three stars because I tend to prefer more elegant cake designs. But add a star if you're looking for a book with some very nice designs for kids' parties and other casual events. There are some very cute cakes here.
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By Dee Dee on September 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kate Sullivan is truly an artist. She's a great teacher too as her instructions are easy to understand for one who has some cake decorating experience. To the novice, this book is an inspiration. Beautiful color photos!
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Format: Hardcover
It is a very good for beginner. Unlike other books that focus too much on fondant, this book has many other verities like buttercream, marzipan, royal icing etc. It showed the basic idea of cake decorating and inspires you to make your own style of cake. The picture of product may look immaturish but you can easily fix them with your own skills. This book also talked about transportation unlike some other book that I have read. If you buy Toba Garrett's "The Well-decorated Cake" and Dede Wilson's "Wedding Cakes You Can Make: Designing, Baking, and Decorating the Perfect Wedding Cake" along with this book you'll pretty much have all the foundation of cake decorating.

For recipes I suggest you buy "The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-Make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look!" and "The Cake Bible"
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