Cake Tutorial Site Subscriptions- Which One do I Choose?
As an avid cake decorator and all around sugar art enthusiast, I am always looking for more ways to elevate my work to the next level. My cakes are usually made up of a lot of "how can I make this better", a dash of " I'm going to make this so awesome their jaws will hit the floor", and a bit of "I have no idea if this will work". That being said, I subscribe to multiple tutorial websites and blogs to help make my life a bit easier. Below is my current list of sites that I subscribe to, some basic information about them them, and a quick review of their features so you can decide which one(s) you would want to check out!
Sugar Geek Show
Price: $19.99/month (Premium Membership) $29.99/month (Elite Membership)
Sugar Geek Show is run by Liz Marek of Artisan Cake Company. Liz is a super creative, award winning Cake Artist and Instructor, and I find myself using her tutorials the most out of any of the sites I subscribe to. They range in difficulty from beginner to advanced, are easy to follow, very in depth, and filled with a lot of cool techniques that can really make your cakes stand out depending on how you use them. She releases two paid tutorials per month, and occasionally some free videos.
What is really nice is that Liz and Dan (Liz's husband) send you a Vimeo link to the tutorial that you can KEEP and watch anytime! Along with the Vimeo video code link, they also send you monthly coupon codes for discounts on certain cake supplies (usually something related to one of the tutorials that Liz released that month). Other added bonuses that Sugar Geek Show offers include recipes, a community forum, and occasional guest cake artists like Shalie Socher and Sarah Meyers.
*Bonus, Liz sends you a "gift" every month! I have been a subscriber for the past year, and we have received molds, product samples, jewelry, key chains, and more. While I do not subscribe for the free gift, it is fun to get something in the mail!
ABOVE: Liz Marek's Tyrannosaurus Walkman Cake that she made for Threadcakes 2015. You can find the tutorial video for this cake on the Sugar Geek Show. I've used this tutorial personally, and can attest to how awesome it is!
BELOW: My Tyrannosaurus cake I made using Liz's tutorial!
Avalon Cake School
Price: $14.99/month (Classic) $24.99/month (Premium)
Avalon Cake School is run by Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes. Avalon is also an award winning Cake Artist and Instructor, and was named one of the Top 10 Cake Artists in North America this past year. She is super innovative, and her cakes are awesome. She releases three pieces of new content every month as a recipe, video tutorial, or pictorial. The tutorials on her site range in difficulty from beginner to advanced, and she even has a way to create a structure for your cake without any actual "construction" which may be more suited to subscribers who do not want to spend a bunch of money and time at their local hardware store.
Overall, I think Avalon's site is more "beginner savvy" because she usually creates stunning cakes without crazy structures that might intimidate some of her subscribers. Bonus features of this tutorial site include recipes, a recipe calculator, and a members only Facebook group which helps Avalon keep in touch with her subscribers. Another added bonus to Avalon Cake School is that it very frequently features guest cake artists like Kara Andretta, Renay Zamora, Timbo Sullivan, and more. The reason that this is so important is that it exposes you to new techniques that Avalon might not have come up with on her own, and it also helps you gain the knowledge from someone who specializes in that specific type of style or technique (like Renay's sculpted buttercream tutorials!)
Avalon Cake School also has a "Reward Point" system that once you accumulate enough points, you can download a copy of a tutorial that you would like to keep ($1 spent=1 point).
Avalon's Donut Ya Wanna Party cake. You can find this tutorial on Avalon's Cake School.
Patreon- Karen Portaleo
How do I even begin to describe what an amazing cake artist Karen is? If you are part of the cake community, and you don't know who she is, you are living under a rock! Karen in a master sugar artist, international instructor, and all around jaw dropping cake artist. She has competed on TONS of cake shows including Halloween Wars, Food Network's Cake Challenge, and Cake Wars, winning all but ONE of the episodes she was in! She started her Patreon page this past year, and I was one of the first people to sign up- how could I resist?!
Karen releases two pieces on content per month ranging from simple sculpting to time lapse videos of her sculpted cakes and in depth figurines. What I find the most useful is the sculpting and painting techniques she uses. Because most of Karen's cakes are large in size, you also get to see how she structures her pieces (which is far less complicated than you would think). Soon she will be creating a "premium" tier to her Patreon page, which will include exclusive content from her planned book. While Patreon does not offer any membership benefits to it's subscribers, Karen's tutorials are 100% worth the cost of the $11 if you want to be a better sculpter.
You can find the time lapse video Karen made for this amazing cake on her Patreon page!
Do YOU subscribe to any cake tutorial sites? If you do, let me know which ones and what you think of them! I know there are a few out there that I do not subscribe to, so I would love to hear from you your thoughts about why you like them! Do you think they are helping you become a better decorator? Let me know!