WINNER!!
Dena (#1258) who said: Hi Mel! I believe that I am a professional cake decorator hiding in an amatuer’s body just waiting to bust out! I would love some tools of the trade to boost my skill level. I just love your website. It has helped me in so many ways to prepare new and exciting foods for my family. Thank you for all your help!

———————————————————————

Usually, January isn’t my favorite of the 12 months. Just not a lot to look forward to, if you ask me, with the holidays over and spring still months away (at least in my neck of the woods). But this year, I’m actually excited for the dreary, blustery month…because…for the next two weeks, sprinkled amongst the new, fantastic recipes I have to share, I will be hosting giveaway upon giveaway. Oh yes! And I can’t tell you how excited I am to give away some of my favorite things. I purposely avoided the blog giveaway craziness and fun over the last few holiday weeks in order to selfishly save the giveaways for now!

A moment of heartfelt sappiness: I really, really adore all of you. I know, you are rolling your eyes, but it is true. I wouldn’t have the continual energy and motivation to keep up this here food blog if it wasn’t for all of your comments and support. It keeps me moving in my lazy state, so seriously…thank you! These giveaways are for you! So may the force be with you and your entry(s).

Tomorrow I promise you a new, delicious recipe. Promise! But today I want to give away something I’ve been so very excited to put together.

I am by no means a professional cake decorator, but I have somehow developed a tradition of taking birthday requests from my kids and decorating things like snakes, sharks, bats, monsters…you know, boy cakes. I gladly took on the challenge last year to decorate two more girly cakes for my sweet neighbors:

Completely self-taught (and it kind of shows, I know!), I have a habit of pulling all-nighters to finish the cakes (like I said, I’m not a professional and have to redo things, like, 20 times to get them right sometimes), but I have loved learning little techniques.

What makes my life easier? This Wilton Tool Caddy that my fabulous cousin (and long ago roommate!), Camille, gave me years ago when we went to an amateur cake decorating class together (um, I was the only one that left class each session with frosting stuck in my hair).

I have loved this caddy and have gradually added supplies to it over the last ten years as I’ve ventured out trying new cake styles. Besides my loving husband who graciously stays up late with me every time I take on a cake project, this caddy is my #1 partner in crime when it comes to cake decorating. We’re tight, me and my caddy.

I want to give away ONE of these awesome tool caddies (yes, they kind of look like an old school plastic makeup carrier I had when I was, like, 13, but oh well) filled with many of the same things I have in mine – my favorite gel colors, no less than 15 of my favorite tips, decorating bags, couplers, and lots of other goodies, including an offset spatula or three. I’ll put it all together and ship it off to you lickety split!

To enter, just leave a comment on THIS post telling me what kind of cake decorator you are (professional, slap on some canned frosting to a cake mix kinda person, experimenter extraordinaire) – whatever the case may be! I’ll announce a winner before the next giveaway goes up, probably in a day or two.

{Giveaway and details and opinions all sponsored by me (a.k.a. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe), like it or not!}

1,476 Responses to Giveaway Bonanza!

  1. Brittany says:

    I’m definitely an experimenter!

  2. Annie says:

    Amateur, but love it!

  3. Michelle says:

    I’m not a professional. I am trying to learn how to frost cakes and cookies. I do enjoy doing it because my kids love it and I do too!

  4. Kathryn R. says:

    I’m an amateur, but love to plan and make a fun cake for the kid’s birthdays!

  5. Katie Rose says:

    I decorated ice cream cakes in high school at our local homemade ice cream parlor, and started to get pretty good and thought I was all that…until I started baking them myself. Now that I’m making the cakes, icings, frostings, etc. from scratch myself it seems that I’m the type of person that can invest energy in the cake once: to make it taste good or to make it look good. Maybe having the same kind of equipment I used for the ice cream cakes would help (wink wink, nudge nudge)

  6. wynne says:

    I am about taste and not so concerned with a splashy presentation.

  7. I’m definitely no expert at decorating cakes, but I’ve been doing it more and more recently and am slowly improving!

  8. I am a complete beginner and have only recently begun to be interested in cake decorating, mostly because of pinterest.

  9. Kim in MD says:

    I feel exactly the same way about January, Mel! February is better because of the Super Bowl (party!) and Valentine’s Day. Thanks to you I am excited about January now!

    I took cake decorating classes at Michael’s craft store years ago, and therefore I am a fairly good cake decorator. I actually own this caddy and love it! I have just about every tip made, too, as well as numerous gel paste colors. If I win this, I will gift it to a friend along with a gift certificate for cake decorating classes! Thanks for the give-away, Melanie!

  10. Pam S. says:

    I give it my A effort, but usually end up with a mess. But, practice makes perfect, right!?

  11. Mardi Thomas says:

    When I was a kid my mother used to sell decorated cakes. She was self taught and never really ventured beyond using buttercream icing on her cakes. As kids she encouraged us to play with it as well, We entered a couple cake decorating contests and I remember earning a few awards. None of us really won the big prizes but we did earn honorable mentions. I really haven’t decorated a cake like that since I was young but am facinated by shows like the Cake boss and the cake decorating contests on HGTV. I think my mother had she lived to see them would have been facinated as well.

  12. Amanda says:

    Definitely an experimenter with some successes and failures lol.

  13. Genevieve says:

    I love theme parties and cakes that match for my little girls. I’m just an amateur with very few tools but I make it work. I’d love to have the right tools for the job!

  14. Summer says:

    My mom had the same tradition of making us really cute cakes when we were growing up! I’ve made a couple of cakes for my daughter but plan on taking a class to teach me some basics. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. amanda says:

    I have actually never decorated a cake before but I would really love to learn so I can make birthday cakes for my kids. My grandmother always made cakes for us growing up. She would make us anything we wanted and was actually pretty good.

  16. Lana says:

    Definitely an amateur, but I try. I don’t really have the right tools and would love a chance to have some.

  17. Melanie U says:

    Definitely an ameteur but I try to experiment often.

  18. Lara says:

    I have become a pro at decorating exactly one kind of cake–a baseball. I made one for my sons’s first birthday party, and I have been fortunate that he has wanted the same thing every year since. Some have looked awesome, and some have been cut into really quickly to hide the imperfections. :) He’ll turn 7 in March, and I hope he still wants a baseball cake! If he doesn’t, I could really use a tool kit to help me out!

  19. Anne says:

    I love to make homemade cakes, but definitely an amateur in decorating :)

  20. Katie says:

    Totally amateur, but I’d love to get better!

  21. Amateur here, canned frosting or homemade frosting spread on the cake…unless it is ice cream cake which is what we usually make.

  22. Mia says:

    I am definitely an amateur, but am loving experimenting with different techniques!

  23. Sarah says:

    Definitely an amateur but I love to experiment. Having 2 little girls, I’m sure that I will be making butterfly and princess cakes before too long!

  24. Sue E says:

    I’m a total amateur but try my best! Absolutely LOVE your blog & recipes!

  25. Ramie Mariano says:

    I love to experiment with cake decorating, but usually ends up looking
    Very amateurish! I need help!

  26. Jackie says:

    I love to bake but when it comes to decorating cakes I am an amateur, just slap on some frosting.

  27. Bethany says:

    I’m a beginner…but we just had our first child in November (a boy) so I can see many boy cakes in my future too. :)

  28. courtney says:

    Ummm buy the jar of frosting and slap it on… But my mom used to have fun with it. Her kit is from the 80′s!! I would gift this to her.

  29. Traci says:

    I’m more of a cookie decorator, but do an occasional cake for my boys’ birthdays. That said, I’ve been eyeing that very caddy to carry my cookie decorating tools. Thanks for the giveaway. Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Angela says:

    Ima wannabe cake decorator, although my kids think I’m a professional!

  31. Cindy says:

    I inherited my moms old shaped Wilton pans…so i defiantly need tips on what to do with them now. The web site said to use the “star tip” on most of them…Tooo cute!

  32. Heather F says:

    I guess I’m an experimenter extraordinaire. I made a tea pot cake for my daughter’s birthday tea party this year. It turned out pretty well but I did stay up all night making it:)

  33. Cara says:

    I love decorating cakes. No lessons ever but I have lots of fun experimenting. My 4 kids love picking out what they want their cake to be for their birthday.

  34. Katie says:

    I am a novice, but it’s fun to try!

  35. Nancy says:

    I’ve never even made a cake that wasn’t from a box..and yes, I am ashamed :x
    Would LOVE to hear your tips and experiment with the awesome cake caddy!

  36. Angie H says:

    Definitely NOT a professional. Still a novice at cake decorating, but like to have some sort of design for the kids even if it isn’t perfect! Wouldn’t it be great if we moved closer and then you could teach me all you know?!?

  37. Megan says:

    experimental extraordinar!

  38. norma says:

    i try! my kids come to me with a picture of what they want their cakes to look like.. sometimes the end results look like the picture and sometimes they don’t,but i tried ! and the happy grins make all the effort worthwhile!

  39. Andrew Fast says:

    We love experimenting (last night we experimented with peppermint cream cheese – yum!) We just took a cupcake decorating class though, which was tons of fun and very informative!

  40. Holly says:

    Experimenter that needs the right tools to make the magic happen. My son would love it if I could figure out how to make some type of Star Wars cake

  41. Mandi says:

    I’m an amateur, but would love tips so I can make my kids’ birthday cakes.

  42. Emily Grace says:

    Traditionalist — and amateur!! Your cakes look fantastic!

  43. Pamela says:

    A total wannabe! Everytime I attempt decorating a cake or cupcakes I thank God I am not a perfectionist or else I’d be majorly bummed. Oh well, perfectly decorated or not, cake tastes good, right? :)

  44. Melinda George says:

    I decorated cakes with my grandma growing up, I make them now for special occasions, and my grown daughter makes wedding cakes that are lovely.

  45. Em Rohrer says:

    I am definitely an experimenter and would love the tools to be able to do more!

  46. Kim says:

    Experimenter no doubt, half the time I can’t get the frosting to stick to the cake! With 2 birthdays coming up at the end of the month, this would be fun!

  47. Alicia says:

    I’m definitely an amateur, but I love a pretty cake. I have 3 girls and we love to experiment in the kitchen and make pretty foods. I’d love this giveaway!

    Happy New Year, Melanie, and thanks for all of the great recipes! Love your site!!

  48. Whitney L says:

    I took a class and am obsessed with all things cake! I mean, is there anything in this world better than buttercream??

  49. Regina P says:

    I’m a newbie cake decoratar. I’m barely good at writing on a cake but i really want to practice with flowerings and other pretty things :)
    BTW I made your ‘best of’ chocolate cake & it was AMAZING!!

  50. Amateur for sure, but I have always taken birthday requests, everything from barbie doll cakes to pokemon balls. I am working on a wedding cake for my son and his new bride right now, probably bit off more than I can chew but I always pleased him with birthday cakes, so we shall see…

  51. Leslie says:

    I’m definitely an amateur, although I’m more of a cupcake decorator, haha! I ADORE baking cupcakes, for my hubby, for friends, parties, and birthdays. I guess I could call myself an experimenter as well because I always enjoy trying a new recipe/technique! I’ve been wanting to get even more into cake decorating and buy myself some real tools (seeing as how mine consists of ziploc baggies with a hole cut out of the corner). Oh, if only we ever actually had the spare money for things like that!
    By the way, I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say it shows you’re self-taught, because your cakes look AMAZING. I wish I could do that!

  52. Candace says:

    I don’t think I’ve found my cake decorating personality yet. I would say experimenter, but I haven’t actually made that many cakes. I’ve always wanted to be a cake decorator, but I don’t want to make (and eat!) all of that cake!

  53. Danielle says:

    I’m an amature but enjoy it so much!! And practice makes perfect, right?

  54. Anita says:

    I’m lucky to get the cake frosted! I think you cakes are beautiful.

  55. joanna says:

    Newbie all the way, just started 6 or so months ago.. :)

  56. Miz Gala says:

    A dusting of powdered sugar.

  57. Katie says:

    I’ fall into the amateur camp. Most of my cakes are pretty sad, though I did make some awesome dinosaur and fish cakes by closely following your instructions. Thanks!

  58. riv says:

    none at all! but my 1130 yo daughter would be in cake heaven ;-)

  59. Marti says:

    Just started but want to get better.

  60. Angela A says:

    I do some experimenting, but I’m far from doing anything great.

  61. sara says:

    So did you know the infamous Caboodles (plastic makeup case) are making a comeback?!? Craziness! I pretty much only decorate for my kids’ birthdays and avoid the real decorating with frosting as much as I can by filling in with candies, etc. Maybe this kit is the magic tool I need!

  62. Amanda says:

    I’m new to cake decorating but my two daughters give me lots of occasions to practice!

  63. Nancy C says:

    I love to bake but have never tried to decorate my finished product. I would love to have this caddy to practice with.

  64. Karen says:

    I am an experimenter. Only 2 of my 4 boys like cake on their birthdays. The other 2 are pie requesters.

  65. patrice says:

    An experimenter for sure! I made a Thomas the train cake for my 3 year old last year and was quite impressed by it (although any professional would have thrown it right out with it’s saggy lines :-)). This year I made the little green alien men as cupcakes for the kids Toy Story themed b-day party. I had such fun figuring it all out. I only started baking seriously about 5 years ago and had only learned how to cook 4 years before that. I love your website and thank you in advance for all the future recipes I’ll get to try! Your huge cinnamon buns were a hit Xmas morning!

  66. Leslie says:

    Baking isn’t the problem for me, but decorating I totally stink at. I try so hard too!! I guess you’d say I’m an amateur! I too dread January! Trying to have a good attitude!!

  67. Amanda A says:

    Very timid amateur! I’ve never tried to decorate a whole cake, we eat a lot of cupcakes around here for birthdays. Maybe some new tools would give me the confidence I need to try and decorate a real cake :) thanks Mel!

  68. Nicole G says:

    I’m a beginning but would definitely move up a notch if I win that fabulous box of tricks.

  69. Ange Taylor says:

    I have a 9 year old that has so wanted us to start decorating cakes and this would be a great way to start!!!!

  70. DeeElle says:

    Oh, I can make the easy kind of buttercream and spread and swirl on a cake.
    Beyond that, I need to learn, practice, and discover tools beyond my little spreader.
    Many thanks for your wonderful posts! There is so much to learn here.

  71. melissa says:

    I am a cake decorating novice. While I prefer homemade frosting, I have been known to open a can of frosting too. I made some cute toy story alien cupcakes but would love to have some tools to work with to make a cute cake for my daughters first birthday!

  72. tina says:

    Oh my gosh, PLEASE, oh PLEASE COUNT ME IN for this giveaway!! I have to admit, I do use the store-bought, ready-made frosting on my cakes, and I’m definitely an amateur; but I love being creative with my cakes, most especially for birthdays or the holidays… I haven’t taken a cake decorating class yet, but it’s on my bucket list! Best wishes to you for a blessed and very Happy New Year!

  73. Geneil says:

    Totally an amateur, experimenter. My husband is actually a much better cake decorator than I am. My best cake was one of those Barbie cakes for my daughter’s 6th or 7th birthday. And last year we did penguin cupcakes, which turned out well. Funny you should have this giveaway now because her 14th birthday is tomorrow and I’m trying to figure out today what kind of cake/cupcake to make! Happy New Year :)

  74. Tanya H. says:

    I’m kind of like you: not a professional cake decorator, but determined that my little boys will get the special cake they want each year (will definitely be trying some of your boyish cake ideas!). I also have an affinity for baby shower cakes — such happy occasions Thanks for sharing your goodies!

  75. Terri says:

    I am a cake decorating wannabe. I bought a few tips and have tried a few things but would totally love to take a class and be all professional- like with this nifty caddy and tools!

  76. Ann J says:

    Amature experimenter. I have the baking part down, I always put the extra effort into making homemade frosting, but the decorating is pretty sad! We have a 1 year old boy, and there are lots of cakes in my future!

  77. Joyce says:

    I am totally amateur but took the first set of classes years ago when my kids were young. I am now a grandmother to six and would love to be able to share this kit with my daughters and daughters in law. So much fun to share a labor of love for special occasions. I love your blog and the many recipes that you share.

  78. Elizabeth says:

    amateur but would like to move up! :)

  79. Jocelyn says:

    Amateur that is dying to become an experimenter!

  80. elizabeth says:

    Hi, Thanks for your blog. I just discovered it a month ago while searching for appetizers to make for our book group, and have been an avid follower since. I made your mozzerella/tomato/basil skewers, by the way, and had not a single one left over. It was nice to have a healthy appetizer to put out on the table. As to cakes, I am an ethusiastic amateur. I started making them for my friends’ kids’ birthdays…notables were a volcano cake surrounded by an ocean and a barbie bowling cake (full size barbie wearing her ballerina finest standing in the cake, aiming a bowling ball candle at the candle pins). I like them whimsical, and the kids seem to, as well. I have my own boys now and have continued the effort with them. This year I did a superhero soccer game on one (the five-year-old) and a dinosaur scene for the two-year-old. I usually use toys and props on top to make them 3D because the kids seem to like it that way. My cakes definitely look amateur but I don’t really mind…I really do do it for the kids. I have never ventured into tips, gels, bags, etc. but it sounds like fun. I would be thrilled to win this one, but if I don’t I think you might have given me a nudge toward expanding my repertoire, anyway. So thanks! And thanks for the keeping the blog going…I am a writer and have started many blogs, but have never managed to keep up with them. Posting regularly (not to mention well) is A LOT of work.

  81. Megan says:

    Im an amateur but I have fun experimenting with different tips and flavors.

  82. Haley says:

    Im a wanna be! I wish I was more professional!

  83. Lee-Anne says:

    I love my “homemade” caddy! I got a toolbox (flat for nails and screws, usually) and store all of my sprinkles, cupcake liners and gels in them! I am a semi-professional baker, as I run a business from home on the side…doing cake pops/cupcakes/sugar cookies and confectionary. I just started this summer, so I have a need for more tips, bags and tools!

  84. Michelle says:

    Definitely an amateur who wants to learn more!!

  85. Joan says:

    Amateur and would like to become a better decorator.

  86. Jennifer C says:

    I am more of the experimenter.

  87. NancyAP says:

    I’ve dabbled a little and am interested in learning more. None of my finished cakes looked as good as I envisioned.

  88. Fiona says:

    I’m certainly a beginner when it comes to decorating cakes….but when it comes to eating them – I’m a professional.

  89. carrie says:

    i guess it depends on how much time i have… i would love to become more professional :) i love the idea of making great vcakes, but on party day the time. gets away from me

  90. Stephanie says:

    I’ve never really tried, but my good friend has taken quite a few classes and is excellent! I’d give this kit to her if I won :)

  91. Jen says:

    I love making cakes from scratch. There is nothing better than a well made homemade cake. For my kiddies birthdays, I pretend I am a cake decorator.

  92. Natasha says:

    I’m deffinitely not a pro, but I love playing around to see what I can do for my boys birthday cupcakes! This kit looks awesome and recently the seal broke on the press I use to decorate with (thus leaving me at a standstill in the cupcake world) so this would be EXTREMELY appreciated and loved on!

  93. I am a horrible cake decorator, lol. Maybe this would help me!

  94. Juliet says:

    Definitely amateur, but I love making cakes from scratch and I really need to develop some skills for my 2 lil boys upcoming birthdays!

  95. Jessie says:

    I am definitely the “canned frosting” girl (and I usually eat most of it before it gets to the cake)! However, I want to bump up my skills and creativity. My husband and I don’t have children yet but I want to be able to make every birthday cake myself. I want to see their faces light up every year! Some of my co-workers have already discovered how to dazzle with their cake decorating skills and I want to be able to decorate with the best of them! My New Year’s resolution is to take a cake decorating class and make some of my nieces and nephews cakes this year!

  96. cindy says:

    I am an amateur at cake decorating, but experimenting with gluten free baking since my 16 month old son is exhibiting signs of celiac sprue. I made his first bday cake gluten free and although it looked pretty sad, it was pretty tasty. Id love some new stuff to help build fun things.
    Thanks for all your great recipes!

  97. Kim says:

    Amateur all the way, but I love to play at it.

  98. Grace says:

    Complete beginner but I keep working on it!

  99. Christa says:

    I am a cake decorator wanna-be. I have decorated cupcakes (somehow the size is less daunting) and want to take a cake decorating class this year to improve my non-existent skills. :)

  100. Shari says:

    I am definitely an amateur. I love to experiment with different cakes and frostings, in search of my family’s all time favorite. Presentation is a work in progress though, improving but still a long way to go…….My family is very thankful that I found your site. You have given us tons of great recipes that I can always trust.

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