It was one year ago today that I started my cake decorating blog... so once again, Happy Birthday to the horses and those who share their birthday with them, and Happy 1st Birthday Kylie’s Cakes & Things. One year ago I was getting ready for my first serious attempt at cake decorating for my son Cameron’s 3rd birthday. Now my boy is nearly 4, and looking down the row of thumbnails in my side-bar reminds me of just how much I’ve learned and achieved in the last 12 months.
I've baked and decorated over 20 special occasion cakes for friends, family and paying customers, as well as dozens of decorated cookies, and countless other recipes and baking experiments that didn't even get recorded. I've gone from taking a few decorating classes as part of a long term plan to retrain as a pastry chef to being a self-employed cake decorator. I'm also on the doorstep of my busiest week yet... Cameron's birthday cake plus two for customers, my first ever 3 cake week!
The greatest disappointment of the past year is that I haven't been able to find work. Although cake decorating has become my main focus, I wanted to be a pastry chef first and foremost, and that is still my long-term dream. If I'm not being turned down by employers that aren't interested in taking mature-age apprentices, I'm being overlooked in favour of others who already have some experience in the industry. Still, I'm not giving up... further delays with the TAFE kitchen renovations notwithstanding, I start my Retail Baking studies later this month, and hopefully that elusive "foot in the door" moment will come along.
- Kylie Skellams
- Newcastle, NSW, Australia
- I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.