Making beautiful, sweet memories

My daughter, Katie, and I have have been wanting to take a cake decorating class for the last few years. This week, she started her summer break from school, and we thought it was a good time to find a class. We looked on Groupon for some options, but then we thought, “what the heck, we can just teach ourselves!” So we searched YouTube and found the Cake Style channel, which was really helpful. With lots of inspiration, we headed to Michael’s craft store, where we bought pastry bags, tips and fun food coloring choices.


Armed with all of our supplies, we started our own DIY class. Katie and I both love succulents, so we decided to try our hands at doing succulent cupcakes.

Our inspiration and the final product.

The cake recipe we found makes a denser cupcake, and the frosting uses a lot of shortening, but both are needed to make sure the cake doesn’t crumble and the frosting stays in place! In the beginning it was rough, as our frosting kept melting in the heat of the kitchen.

But, gradually we got better at it. And we realized that the braver we got, and the more we experimented with colors, shapes and different size tips, the better the results. We are working our way toward making a succulent garden cake!

This week’s cupcakes turned out so well that we decided they’d make sweet little gifts. So, we bought some brown cupcake travel boxes and put together a garden of cupcakes in a box!

We had such a fun time … learning something new and seeing our cupcakes garden take shape. And it just goes to show you that you are never to old to do crafts with your daughter (and it’s always fun to stroll the crafts aisles at Michael’s).


  1. Patty Yocom

    This reminds me so much of my mother! She learned cake decorating and then taught others. I learned a few things from her but haven’t had the opportunity to decorate much over the years. But watching and helping her are beautiful memories and I have!

  2. I miss my Beauty. We Skype, chat and all the in between “stuff” but in all honesty,I miss my Beauty!!
    Enjoy what you have when you have it!!

  3. Cake and love…Days writers, take note (if you haven’t already resolved this), I have an idea coming on…

    Kayla has just brought cupcakes to the hospital for her coworkers and set them on the counter (maybe she got Joey’s girlfriend to learn cake decoration with her to bond with her?). Steve reaches to snatch one from the plate and Kayla slaps his hand. Steve playfully responds: “What, don’t I get a taste of your….sweetness?” [For uninitiated readers, Sweetness is Steve’s term of endearment for Kayla.] Kayla pauses briefly (music cue), then responds, “You’ll have to wait until the wedding cake.” Steve (clueless): “What wedding cake?” Pause. Kayla timidly smiles. Steve smiles (omg, she’s implying she’ll remarry me!). Kayla takes the plate from the counter and walks (struts?) out of the room while Steve stares on. Cut to commercial.

  4. Great effort Mary Beth..look lovely.

    I studied Cake Decorating at a College in UK and received a degree.
    Worked at a very high class bakery where we decorated Wedding,Birthday and specialty cakes..used Royal Icing.Made cakes for a few celebrities. 🙂 Brenda x

  5. Nancy McCarthy

    They look too good to eat! And I’ll bet you laughed a lot & made a great memory! Love it!

  6. All I can say is they look delicious, and I’d give you both an A+! Mother/daughter time is the best! I’ve always heard it said that your daughter is a best friend for a life time. I sure hope it holds true for me as I am blessed with 3!!! Thankfully, my mother and I have a very special bond, very close and enjoy doing things together! Truth is, you and I are very blessed ladies!

  7. Very creative and beautiful work by you and Katie, Mary Beth. I always loved cooking and baking with my mom when she was alive. The working together, sharing and chatting always encourages and maintains strong family bonds. Cudos to you that your daughter loves to share her time with you♥

  8. Andrea Welmaker

    Mary Beth, you and Katie made absolutely beautiful cupcakes! My daughter Katy loves baking and we’ve been talking about finding a class. Your blog this week has really inspired my to look on YouTube. Katy loved your cupcakes and wants us to try them. Hope they turn out half as pretty yours. Thank you for sharing! 💗

  9. Cynthia Carr Gardner

    Gorgeous!! I’m a zealous baker and have yet to be so experimental (maybe I need to stroll Michael’s aisles for inspiration). I don’t know which/who is more of a party in that photo..Mary Beth or the fab cakes! What a wonderful way to spend time with your treasured girl…

  10. Bravo for being brave enough to teach yourself! As an educator, that is important to being a life-long learner…

  11. Traci Whiting

    Very sweet! I’m sure you enjoyed spending time with your daughter and she you! They look too beautiful to eat!

  12. Christine Laver

    What fun Mary Beth and a great way to spend time with your daughter. This is a hobby of mine as well. I have perfected quite a few designs over the years with patience and perseverance. Great job ladies, they are to pretty to eat. Do I see another business venture here…

  13. Cindy Capps

    These are just beautiful!!!! I started pastry school a few years back as a 2nd degree for myself. It is so much fun and I love to see what I can do! You guys did an amazing job! I love them!

  14. Stacey AKA BraveWidowMama

    How cute is that! I believe the crafting gene has skipped a generation in my family. My mom and daughter are so creative.
    My Kimmie has her own cabinet for craft supplies and I’m always on Pintrest doing searches like “cleaning acrylic paint off of bamboo flooring.”

  15. An awesome project for the two of you to share in learning. The results are beautiful and tasty I’m sure.

    The Wilton cake decorating class I took for “fun” as an antidote to the stresses of college taught me a lot and proved to me that I could learn anything with effort and concentration/focus.

    Were you pleased with the taste of the cake recipe and the shortening-based icing recipe?

  16. I cannot believe you are both beginners as these look so professional. My attempts at similar cake decoration have not been nearly as nice… A lovely mother-daughter activity too. I need to book up my daughter now to do the same. Well done ladies!

  17. Susan Nolen (Suzzy1969)

    This looks like it would be so much fun to do!….sorry to say that my mother has passed on but this would make a great project for me to do with my older sister! She just loves to bake all kinds of sweet goodies! Thanks to you and Katie for sharing your new experience with us!….By the looks of these cupcakes they look almost too beautiful to eat!

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