Monday, July 6, 2009

Guest Post: Frugal Cake Lady - Part 1

I know so many frugal folks who are Do-It-Yourself people. And that is a good thing! You can save a lot of money by making more things from scratch in the kitchen, mowing your own grass, cutting your own hair, changing your own oil, etc. When you get the chance to do-it-yourself and use your creative juices, it makes it all the more enjoyable!

I really enjoy decorating cakes. I'm not a pro, but did take a Wilton cake decorating class through my local craft store a few years ago. I figure, by making birthday cakes, instead of going out and purchasing one, I am saving at least $10-$20 for each cake! When you're planning a birthday party, there are many expenses that go into it, and if you can try to make the food and bake your own cake you can save quite a bit of money.

I tend to make my cakes from the box mix. Egads, I just admitted it! I actually really like Duncan Hines box cake mix and will stock up when I find a good sale and have coupons. This saves me a little bit of time in that I don't have to bake the cake from scratch. I also haven't had much luck with cakes I've made from scratch... for some reason they always turn out flat. Any suggestions from those of you who are cake experts? Abbie from Organizing-Life shared with me that she likes the recipes and decorating ideas from DeDe Wilson’s Wedding Cakes You Can Make and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible. Anyone else have an awesome cake recipe to share?

I do make my icing from scratch. I really haven't found a pre-made icing sold in containers at the grocery store that I like. I guess I'm pretty stuck on the traditional homemade buttercream frosting. There is a basic recipe here. The stiffness of the icing can be controlled better when you make the icing yourself, and you can do so much more with your piping and decorations. I've tried decorating with tubs of pre-made Betty Crocker icing, and it is just not stiff enough to create decorations with texture that will stay in place.

You do need some basic supplies such as cake pans, decorating bags or parchment paper, decorating tips, spatulas, etc.

For design ideas I suggest you check out, and also search Flickr and other photo sites if you're looking for a design for a particular themed cake.

Stay tuned for my next guest post “Frugal Cake Lady – Part 2” when I’ll share some links and tutorials for different themed cakes for a variety of occasions.

Laura is a native Northern Virginian, blessed wife to her best friend Patrick, and full-time SAHM. She was first turned on to frugal living by her parents who took her to garage sales, consignment sales, and pawn shops growing up. Laura is a relatively new "frugal blogger" and chronicles her findings and attempts at frugal living at She also contributes to her husband's business blog at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. I love to hear your feedback!