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. Claire says:

    definetly an amateur and I have only really done one decorated to try but am planning on trying lots more.

  2. Michelle T. says:

    Mostly a slap on some frosting right out of the can kind of girl. But my mom made A-mazing birthday cakes for me and my siblings when we were little. I want to do the same for my kiddos. Motivation to learn!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Amateur, and I love it. I love experimenting with new things. I had to change how I cook recently as I learned I was Gluten Intolerant, and most likely have Celiacs. So I have recently started baking again. It’s been so much fun after 1 year no cakes whatsoever to make them with new types of flour!

  4. Jenny says:

    I have always wanted to learn the art of cake decorating. I did try a few years ago to make a Care Bear cake for my daughter, but it turned out less that stellar πŸ™‚ I would love this kit!

    And BTW, you NEVER fail me with any of your recipes! I LOVE everyone I have tried! Thank you soooo much!

  5. Melissa says:

    I’m an amateur all the way, but tried doing more then the traditional rectangle cake when my daughter turned one. the lady bug cake turned out great and I’ve said to my husband many times after that, “maybe I should take a cake decorating class.” This would be a fun one to win. thanks!

  6. melanie peterson says:

    Well Mel, I am commenter no. 1306…hmmm….I won’t count on winning! πŸ™‚
    I am definitely a cake novice…c’mon…I just started making all of my own breads a few months ago…I gotta take baby steps to becoming more like you!!

  7. Amanda A says:

    i’m a wanna-be cake decorator. i refuse to buy store bought cake mixes and frosting (yuck!), but my cakes are less than perfect. thankfully, they usually taste pretty good, though!

  8. Melissa says:

    I am definitely a beginner when it comes to decorating cakes but love to learn new things and make something fun for my kids for birthdays! I would love this kit!

  9. Laurence GL says:

    I’m not so good at cake decorating. I try though !

  10. Stephanie B says:

    I am a slap some canned frosting onto homemade cakes and quickly decorate the morning or afternoon of kind of cake decorator. This past year I bought some actual cake decorating supplies for the first time.

  11. Aubrey says:

    I would consider you a professional after seeing those cakes. Me… not so much. I love to make cakes and frosting from scratch and my cakes taste great so I’m the designated cake-maker in the family (both in-laws and my side) but my decorating is to be desired. Maybe with that cool kit I can learn! Sigh.

  12. Amanda says:

    Seriously! You are famous! I cannot believe how many comments you have, I cannot believe that I know someone famous!! Hahaha!
    I am an amateur. Below amateur. If you saw Meg’s bday cake from last year, you would totally agree. It was a princess castle that fell over. Not kidding.
    Love you dearly!

  13. Dinorah Robinson says:

    I am a professional. Not! πŸ™‚ I do like to make my cakes and frosting from scratch, though they don’t always turn out that great but that’s how I learn. I have never experimented with fondant but would love to, maybe this year.

  14. Megan says:

    I am definitely a beginner! I like to experiment with different pan shapes, colors of frosting, and decorating accents, but the base of every cake I make is a cake from a box and store bought frosting.

  15. Sarah L says:

    I’m an amateur, but I would like to improve!

  16. Ann W. says:

    I am an experimenter. Always made the kids birthday cakes when they were younger, and still try new things!

  17. Kelly says:

    I’ve actually really recently wanted to take a cake decorating class and start making this my new hobby…so I guess I’m a cake decorator in training!! Thank you for all your amazing recipes…love them!!!!

  18. Krinn says:

    I am the experimenter. I love to make the fun cakes but have never been taught “properly” so I have to figure it out myself–or ask my friend the professional πŸ™‚

  19. Katie Russell says:

    I honestly I just beginning. I bought for first set of tips the other day to try to start learning how to start.

  20. Cari says:

    I am an amateur for sure, although I’m all about HOMEMADE cake. One trick that has worked well for my kids’ birthday cakes: Frost it and stick toys on top! (I even let the kids pick the toys that go on top and that’s part of their present.) Make sure it’s plastic and washable, and wash/dry before putting it on top of your cake πŸ™‚ Mel, you don’t know how many times you’ve saved dinner at our house! Congrats on the girl – it’s a whole new experience to be a mom of a girl after a house full of boys. Bring on the PINK!

  21. Camie says:

    Im definitely a box and canned frosting kind of cake maker but I don’t want to be! I made your coconut tres leches cake and will never use a boxed cake again! I would love to win and start making fun cakes!

  22. Amanda B says:

    wow…1,321 comments. We’ll see what luck I have. This looks like a lot of fun!

  23. Amanda B says:

    and I forgot to mention that I am usually a slap some frosting on from the store…but I think it’s time to improve. One more new years resolution.

  24. Tamara Palmer says:

    I took a beginning class, but since then have only made a couple of birthday cakes for my kids. It’s fun, but I’m not very good!

  25. jamie says:

    i am a cake decorator wannabe. however, i don’t do boxed cakes or canned frosting. i have found a go-to chocolate and vanilla cake recipe and will never go back. still trying to find the perfect homemade frosting, but until then, i purchase it from a local baker’s shop. would LOVE to win this giveaway. thank you so much.

  26. Rebecca says:

    My cakes taste great (always homemade!) and look fine–but not awesome! When I used my friend’s cake decorating kit, though, I decorated some gorgeous cupcakes (If I do say so myself!)

  27. Whitney R. says:

    Amateur! I do make my three kiddos their birthday cakes every year.
    This would definately help! Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Michele Johnson says:

    I am definitely an amateur cake decorator but I would love to be able to do amazing cakes like yours! P.S. I LOVE love your blog. Just sayin’. πŸ™‚

  29. Toni Larson says:

    I am a total amateur but aspire to be great one day!

  30. Marcie says:

    I try to make cute birthday cakes for my three boys but get overly stressed about it. My husband has relieved me of that duty and taken over the decorating – he’d love this πŸ™‚

  31. kelsey says:

    We live and breathe by the store bought frosting. You can nuke that sucker till it’s nice and runny, then a simply pour, and top it with sprinkles. Sure would be nice to know another way. πŸ˜‰

  32. Debbie says:

    Total experimenter….I make it up as I go. πŸ™‚

  33. Mrs.S says:

    I just found out I am going to be having my first lil feller and have been sicker than a dog, but I guess I would say I am a budding beginner cupcake decorator. Nothing fancy. Bless you for your ambition and generosity.

  34. Maresa says:

    I also am not a pro. I took cake decorating in 4-H when I was about 11, but now I am professional decorator mom for my kids b-days. All 4 of them try to see if they can stump me, but every year I am successful in cutting, piecing, and decorating some awesome cakes. I love the challenge and I totally sympathize with you!

  35. Leah says:

    I took a class (and gained a lot of weight from eating a cake a week) before my oldest turned 1. Now it’s too much work to find the supplies I need so I slap frosting on. I make homemade frosting though so it still tastes yummy!

  36. Toni says:

    I am an amateur but aspire to be great one day!

  37. JaNae says:

    I am a beginner for sure!

  38. Apryl says:

    Depends on the day. Love homemade frosting but sometimes canned will do in a pinch πŸ™‚

  39. Courtney G says:

    I love decorating cookies. I can duplicate any picture I see. It’s so much fun to bring a picture to a cookie.

  40. Sheila Perry says:

    I thought I was going to be an awesome cake decorator when I was in my teens many years ago…I liked making really cool cakes like Holly Hobbie(you are too young to know her!), Sweet Sixteen and several other fun cakes with the whole cake decorated with the star tip…Now I am 51 I have not made another cool cake since…instead I buy most of my cakes! It’s never to late to go back to cake decorating…right??!

    BTW… I was in search of a great manicotti recipe and stumbled upon your blog just last week. I made it this weekend and it was sooooo good and everybody loved it!! I am so excited to try ALL your recipes. Also, Congratulations on a Baby Girl!!!

  41. Shelli says:

    I am a total amateur… but I try, and try and TRY for my kids. The happiness on their faces when I have given them their requested cake is the best reward of all… even if my cakes sometimes turn out lopsided. πŸ™‚ We just turn that side AWAY from the camera! πŸ™‚

  42. Kristina says:

    Cake Decorator? That may going a bit far when it comes to my talents with frosting! I am the the grab some powdered sugar, add some milk and vanilla, and slather it all over the cake kind of decorator. Of course, I use my spatula and knife to make sure the frosting is smooth and pretty. πŸ™‚ I’m sure I could shock my own amazing roomate with the birthday cake of the century for her 30th this year if I put a little more elbow grease into my decorating.

    Thanks so much for the amazing blog to follow! I cannot tell you how many recipes I have borrowed (read: stolen) from you!

  43. Lori H says:

    I took classes years ago (in high school) and loved it. I always swore my girls would always have a “mom” decorated cake — that lasted until the oldest was 4 — they did have pretty cakes every year – just not a “mom” one. Now I have 4 granddaughters that I’d like to make cakes with! What a neat giveaway! — I’m also an all nighter decorater πŸ™‚

  44. Hannah says:

    Each time one of my kids birthdays rolls around I think I should make the effort to make a cool cake, but unfortunately, this hasn’t actually happened yet! We usually just make homemade cupcakes and decorate them ourselves and let the kids go wild, it’s fun and hands on, not very professional looking but fun!

  45. adrienne says:

    I am a total amateur! I love decorating, but am not very good at it. Love one of these…

  46. Julie in Edmonds says:

    I admit it. I used canned frosting. πŸ˜›

  47. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful site and delicious recipes. What a nice give away. I am the kind of cake decorator who uses frosting with things sprinked as the decoration, no fancy cakes for me, but I can sprinkle on some nuts or chopped reeces.

  48. Rachael K says:

    I am a terrible cake decorator, but I love doing it anyways. I know this caddy would help me big time. Happy new year!

  49. Miranda says:

    Well, I have to say that I have been wanting to learn how (I think my daughter would love for me to learn also), but just don’t have the right tools to be able to do it. It could be the new hobby that I am looking for. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  50. Emily says:

    I am a twice-a-year for my kids birthdays kinda decorator. Took the Wilton class with a friend learned enough to try to do it myself, but definitely not quite enough to get a full night’s rest when attempting to decorate a cake. :o)

  51. Amy Cocanour says:

    My husband and I make up one chef:) My husband loves to present the cake beautifully, and I like to bake it!

  52. Wendy says:

    just a beginner, but i love to decorate cakes for my kids’ birthdays.

  53. Joyzelle says:

    I am a lazy cake decorator as I usually make Lemon Cake with a glaze so I don’t have to bother with frosting. My daughter is fabulous and has fun with it though and she is who would get this from me (so she will keep doing the great stuff for me)

  54. Jane says:

    Total rookie here but would love to become an at home expert. Thanks for the chance!

  55. Heather says:

    Definately an amature, but I do my best with whatever theme my son asks for his birthday cake. πŸ™‚

  56. I am an experimenter…but oh, how I love to experiment! (usually). Growing up, one of my favorite things about birthdays were the fun and creative cakes my mom would make for her kids. I have tried (though not always successfully) to carry on the tradition. A Shrek cake that looked more like a Hulk cake comes to mind. …

  57. Jennifer Terry says:

    I am the same cake decorator as you. take requests from my kids on what they would like for the cake and make the whole party to that theme. Something so easy to make them happy. i love to decorate cakes and yes, my cakes are not the best either, but I still like it. I use whatever tools I can find around my house. I do not have an offset spatula I learned to use a piece of paper to make it smooth. I should look into one though. i love your cakes! Very Cute!

  58. Kristin says:

    Definitely amateur, but having fun learning and trying new things!

  59. Tara C says:

    I am an amateur experimenter. πŸ™‚

  60. Tina says:

    I am totally an amateur, but I’ve been saying for a few years that I want to learn how to decorate cakes. This might just be my motivation.

  61. Alysse says:

    I am a practicing cake baker… amateur completely but working on my skills.

  62. Josie says:

    I am an amateur but would love to get better. Your monster cake is my favorite. But, shamu gets points for “How in the world did you make that?”

  63. Donna A says:

    I am definitely an amateur but I like to do cut-up cakes and have tried the cake pops. I enjoy your site very much.

  64. Suzanne says:

    I took a cake decorating class several years ago. I’m still a novice, but have fun experimenting!!

  65. Cameron says:

    Amateur experimenter! I’m always looking for interesting recipes.

  66. Wonderful giveaway! I love cakes (from scratch!) and decorating, but I’m not so detail oriented. I prefer taste over beauty, but would love to improve my techniques!

  67. Tamara says:

    I am definitely an experimentor. I say I’m not going to take the time to try to make something awesome for my kids but then I don’t want them to feel left out of the awesome cake birthday that all their friends get. So, I try to do great things and luckily they are still little that they don’t know the difference. I would love to get better. I have years of practice ahead of me. I would LOVE the kit!

  68. Cheryl says:

    Amateur experimenter. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes Mel!

  69. Shannon says:

    I am a stay up all night kind of cake decorator! I love it though!

  70. Abi says:

    I was just thinking about taking a cake decorating class — I haven’t done anything really since high school, but I thought I really had a knack for it.

  71. Jaylene Mosley says:

    I love to decorate my kids birthday cakes as well but am very far from a professional. Luckily they are still young so they think they are great despite all the inperfections

  72. Melanie Steiner says:

    Definietly experimenter! I also love getting reqests from my kids and just diving in! Good thing they are a thankful and non critical bunch πŸ˜‰

  73. Liz says:

    I like to experiment, but I don’t expect perfection out of myself πŸ™‚

  74. Kim says:

    Definately experimental. Sure wish I had more patience and utensils to be a Maryha Stewart, but I guess everyone learns one way or another!

  75. Carly says:

    I am a out of the can kind of girl, striving to become more πŸ™‚

  76. Janelle says:

    I’m certainly not a pro cake decorator but I love trying and experimenting! I just made a cake this week for my baby’s 1st birthday and it turned out ok but this kit would have come in handy!!! I would love something like this to help me out in my future endeavors!

  77. Amy says:

    I am definitely an experimental baker!

  78. Caroline says:

    I’m an experimenter.

  79. Cathy says:

    if it sounds good and not too hard a recipe..i’ll try it. I do love to bake. Not the best of the bunch, but i enjoy it…::::: πŸ˜€

  80. Ellen says:

    I always have good intentions with the birthday cakes but it doesn’t always work out. I did make a delicious ice-cream cake for my daughter in November. Thanks!

  81. Stacie D. says:

    I would describe myself like you (although you are much better!): I have an interest and will make attempts for my kids’ birthdays, but I have almost no experience. I do have just a few supplies, and this caddy would be perfect for holding and adding to them. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your sleeves!

  82. Annie Nielson says:

    I’m an experimenter cake decorator! I think homemade cakes taste so much better than store bought and they mean so much more, too. SO, I try to make cakes for my boys’ birthday’s, too.

  83. denise mcentee says:

    I am an amateur. Worked for a cookie company and to my total shock discovered I was pretty good at decorating (before that my statement about my art was that I needed a ruler to draw a straight line). I find ideas on the web for inspiration and pick something I feel I have TIME for when my child’s birthday is near. Sadly it’s usually very little time. I always want to do so much more. But i do attempt just about anything, sometimes it’s disastrous and I make do, sometimes it turns out pretty good considering. My best cake was a chicago blackhawks jersey made with fondant. There were some ‘errors’ but overal it looked great and i learned from them. That’s the problem too, I don’t ‘repeat’ cakes, so I always know I can do it better next time but there never is one. πŸ™‚ BTW I have a caddy and some tips and deco bags, so if by a small miracle my name comes up (I rarely win anything)- and you think it would be better to go to someone with nothing- that is fine. Love your blog and wanted to share. πŸ˜‰

  84. Alison Hamilton says:

    I’m an amateur and always think that the right tool would probably make things so much easier for me. The hardest cake I attempted was a fire truck. It wasn’t too pretty but my son still loved it!

  85. Erianne says:

    Love your recipes! I would love some better cake decorating tools too!

  86. Jackie says:

    I would like to say I’m great- I really try hard, but my cakes never turn out quite the way I have invisioned.

  87. Sally Baird says:

    I love making homemade cakes but have never really tried my hand at making them look beautiful. I’d love to try!

  88. Spendwisemom says:

    I am like Darth Vader when it comes to cake decorating. I destroy everything I touch at this point. But, I believe there is hope for me just like him!

  89. Jeff B. says:

    I’m kind of a knife wielding spreader…no decorating here. It’s time for a change.

  90. Keshakeke says:

    I am an expierimenter definitely! I love to see some of the creations my 10 year old daughter and I come up with! Not beautiful by no means, but we always have so much fun! I would love to win this to help further our cake and cookie decorating adventures!!!

  91. Becky says:

    throw it together is my way of doing it, but I’d love to get better!

  92. Becky L says:

    I am the swirl frosting on cupcakes kind of decorator. I am loving learning though!

  93. Jen says:

    I am a jewelry artist by trade & often find my way into the kitchen. I have three little kids and we love to bake! I have to admit, tools are everything!! I have been using quart bags and I snip the corner… It actually works…sometimes! What an awesome way to ring in the new year!! These tools would really improve my current arsenal of ziplocks! =β€’)

  94. Audra says:

    I took my first cake decorating class this year and really enjoyed it! It’s fun to create little “art” that you can eat too! So, I’m still an amatuer, but better than slapping the frosting on!!

  95. Katherine Cole says:

    I am definitely a beginner! πŸ™‚

  96. Katie says:

    I am for sure an amateur, but honestly I LOVE decorating cupcakes more than cakes themselves! For a baby shower I made pink cupcakes with candy google eyes and candy pacifiers and made little baby faces which is a great accomplishment that they even turned out lol. Your cakes are great though, I’ve just recently begun to be more daring on the cooking front.

  97. Jen says:

    amateur! amateur! amateur!

  98. Bill Baughn says:

    I am just like you started out making a nemo cake for my sons first bday to making, blues clues and magenta, scooby doo, Dora etc. Etc. To now for the rest ofmy friends and family. A championship giants hat to frontierville cakes. I am just an electrician who has found extreme joy in designing these cakes and making so many people smile. Please choose me for this giveaway, it will be used and appreciated.

  99. Shante says:

    I am definitely an amateur experimenter. The worst was my Star Wars cookie cake. I seriously spent 7 hours on it….and I was sooooo frustrated the WHOLE time. I turned out alright, but I may have let a few not so nice words slip during those 7 hours.

  100. Yvette Bowman says:

    I have always enjoyed cake & cupcake decorationg. In an effort to improve I have taken a class at Hobby Lobby, I am an amatuer for sure!

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