Dena (#1258) who said: Hi Mel! I believe that I am a professional cake decorator hiding in an amatuerโ€™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. Liz says:

    Total amateur! I once did a snake cake similar to the one you pictured for my son…stayed up WAY too late on that one! I love how excited my kiddos get when they see the finished products, so it’s worth it!

  2. Tisha says:

    I’m a ‘stick- to- the- box- but- will- try- a- recipe- kinda- girl’. I will try recipes if I think my family will like it, but I mostly follow the box. LOL

  3. Britney says:

    I am just a beginner, we just had our first baby boy about 10 months ago; and I really want to make all his birthday cakes. His birthday is coming up and this would be awesome and a huge help!

  4. Terri says:

    An amateur…for sure….but all my cakes are from scratch…so that should count for something! LOL!!

  5. Becky says:

    I am a complete beginner at cake decorating but my new year resolution is to be better at meal planning and trying new recipes and thankfully yesterday I stumbled upon your blog. I’ve pinned close to a dozen of your recipes to my pinterest board and would probably have scores more except that we are gluten free here at our house. Thank you for all your efforts in posting good home cooked meals that everyone in the family can enjoy. I am so looking forward to trying your recipes!

  6. Nicole Peck says:

    I am generally a canned frosting to a boxed cake mike person, but I have always used the frosting in a pressurized can to decorate with names in cursive and some sprinkles. I did make a cake and frosting from scratch once, but it didn’t go so well. It was a bad day. I need to try it again.

  7. Michelle M. says:

    I’m definitely an amatuer, but I love to make fun cakes for my kids’ birthday parties!

  8. Lauren says:

    I love baking, but I’m not very good at decorating. I’ve always been interested in it, but alas, my skills are laking in that area.

  9. Beth in PA says:

    Amateur but have a lot of fun with it! I’m gearing up to make a Mickey Mouse cake for my ds in a couple days!

  10. Brenda N says:

    I just enjoy making fun cakes for my family on special occasions. I’m an amateur ready to learn:) That tool kit looks fabulous!

  11. Cindy says:

    I’m a bundt cake drizzler, it’s just too easy, but lately my daughters and I have tried some sugar cookie decorating but we are very amateur and could definetly use some help.

  12. Anita Derringer says:

    I am a real beginner. I usually just slap on some frosting and go with that but would love to learn how to make beautiful cakes in time and with a lot of practice. I am a diamond in the rough and would like to get a headstart on shining thru with this give away!!

  13. Laura Hodgins says:

    Experimenter. I really want to try one of those ones that look like the henna designs I do. I think I could do that whereas, I cannot make a frosting flower.

  14. Mrs. Sheen says:

    I usually buy store bought cake mix, and make my own frosting if it is a traditional iced cake. If they want a specific kind of cake, like cheesecake, I make it from scratch.

  15. Aubrey says:

    I’m totally an amateur but would love to get better because I really love decorating cakes.

  16. Debbie J says:

    The kind of cake decorator only my kids appreciate! haha. Very Amateur but trying.

  17. Kristen says:

    I am an experimenter, and my results can vary dramatically. The most “professional” looking one I have made was my eldest son’s first birthday cake–a two-tier monstrosity with intricately decorated jungle-animal cookies parading around the two levels. My latest was for that same son’s 8th birthday party: two 3-foot long light sabers, the chocolate one frosted red for the Dark side, the vanilla one frosted blue for the Force. A huge hit with the kids!

  18. Sherri Beattie says:

    I am a lasped cake decorator. Took a class 20 year ago when I got out of college. Time to get back in and teach my daughter and I sure do miss my friend the star tip!

  19. Gina B. says:

    I’m a just-breaking-into-the-business cake decorator.

  20. Tricia says:

    I’ve taken one Wilton cake decorating class, but I mostly figure things out as I go. I would like to do it more!

  21. Kenita Lynn says:

    I am a beginner, and I don’t have much decorating talent.

  22. Kristen says:

    So far a cake mix and canned frosting decorator. But I have two girls (oldest is 3) and another baby on the way so I know the demand will be high to make creative cakes. So far I’ve only tackled flower cupcakes, and a butterfly and carousel
    Cake! Would LOVE tools like this!

  23. Ela says:

    I am an experimenter! I love to bake cakes and I always look forward to the birthday requests I get. I am by no means a pro but I still love it… It might not always look perfect but it sure tastes good ๐Ÿ™‚ My little boy just requested a dinosaur birthday cake complete with a volcano. Wish me luck!

  24. Amy Steffes says:

    I am a total just slap on the frosting girl!!! I have attempted to make cakes…..I get frustrated easily and its time consuming!!!

  25. amy b. says:

    I’m as much a beginner as is possible. My saying to my daughter is that if you love someone, you buy them a cake and spend the money on them. I tell her that because I have no skills when it comes to cake decorating!

  26. Dionne says:

    I take requests from my boys and we have had fun experimenting — sometimes even successfully!

  27. Brenda says:

    I am definitely a cake mix, tub of frosting kind of cake lady…however, with three children and losts of birthdays still to come, would love to advance my skills.

  28. Christina says:

    I’m more of a salty-snacker, so I’m of the slap-on-some-frosting variety. However, I hate canned frosting – and all of the fillers that are in canned frosting. So if I’m icing a cake, it’s going to be with homemade icing. And my daughter loves to experiment with designs on cakes, so we make a good team. I make the frosting, and she makes the cake look pretty.

  29. EmilyF says:

    What a fun giveaway! I would love to break out of my cake decorating comfort zone and these items would be motivating. Thanks for spicing up an otherwise dull January!

  30. Amanda M says:

    I’m an experimenter….. my vision is great; the execution is often found to be wanting. I love the idea of this cake caboodle and LOVE the recipes from your site!

  31. I am a cake DREAMER extraordinaire! Don’t know what that means??? Well, it means that I LOVE to look at blogs, magazines and books but I hardly ever bake. I love to see everyone’s creativity but when it comes time for me to try something new, I just freeze up and panic. I am trying to coax myself into decorating cupcakes instead of big cakes to get my feet wet!

  32. Stephanie says:

    I am pretty amateur. I have made some impressive cakes for my kids birthdays though, the things we can and will do for our little ones. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have seen this bucket of goodies and it would be fantastic to have!

  33. Cyd says:

    What comes before amateur…never attempted. We usually do favorite desserts, not birthday cakes around here. Last year, my 8 year old said all she wanted was a cake with her name on it…deprived child. Would love to attempt a fun cake, only with the right equiptment, of course!

  34. ashley thompson says:

    well i thought i was decent enough for a mom who only decorates a big cake for her kids birthdays. then i saw yours, yikes, mine are put to shame!

  35. Megan says:

    I am definitely a “slap on some canned frosting to a cake mix kinda person” but I would love to be more of a real cake decorator! Yours are so good!

  36. I would say I’m an amateur experimenter. I do my best to try and make fun cakes for my little guy on his b’day but I am far from great. I would love to learn how to use fondant…that is on my list of things to figure out in 2012!

  37. Mandi says:

    We love all your recipes! Thanks so much for the giveaway. I am definitely an experimenter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. britney basting says:

    I love making and decorating cupcakes for my girls on their birthday. Then if I mess up on one I just toss it and start on a new one! That kit would be super helpful!

  39. Tanaya says:

    I own half a bakery, (not the half that does the cake decorating) but I love to pretend that i can decorate.

  40. Lisa says:

    I decorate cupcakes for my Toddler Story Hour @ the library.

  41. Jessica G says:

    Iโ€™m definitely an amateur, but I love to plan and make fun cakes for my kidโ€™s birthdays! I am slowly getting better and trying new things but I have a long way to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Lauren N. says:

    Amateur for sure! I like making my own cakes and frosting from scratch (my friends call me a dessert snob)

  43. Nicole says:

    I am an aspiring-beautiful-cake maker. I love to make my own frosting, but I’m still trying to perfect my buttercream! So, if I’m ever rushed, I’m an “out of the can” girl.

    FINGERS CROSSED that I get lucky for this!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Carolyn S says:

    I am a slap it on canned cake frosting kind of gal….would love to be able to do more than that though someday!

  45. Evonne W says:

    Amatuer for sure! For me, a cake that is not served in the 9×13 pan is fancy. But, I have started dabbling in decorating cookies and I love making things pretty!

  46. Jordan says:

    I do a lot of wedding & birthday cakes but I always need new stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Natalie Wilkins says:

    I can’t decorate cakes. I have tried. And tried. And then failed and failed and failed again. Oh, well!! But I’d love to see what makes your tools so awesome and maybe I’d have a success to rave about ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. April says:

    I’m definately an amateur but I really have fun trying to improve and create some fun and tasty cakes! My mom always made me really cute cakes when I was little and I want to be able to do that for my kids one day! (I’ll continue to practice on my husband until then!)

  49. Anna says:

    I don’t even consider myself an amateur cake decorator. More like a wanna-be. I mostly just play around, watching online videos and such to learn techniques and get ideas. I would love to take a cake decorating class or better yet, go to culinary/pastry school! Thank you so much for this wonderful collection of recipes, techniques, tips and tricks that you have put together here for us.

  50. Wendi says:

    Definite amateur but something I love doing for my kids. I always think a homemade cake tastes better than a bakery-bought one even if it doesn’t look as good!

  51. Natalie says:

    Right now I’m definitely a cake mix/canned frosting type of gal, but I would so love start really baking from scratch. Wining this giveaway would be great, because I don’t own any of those neat tools that I need to get started!

  52. Stephanie C says:

    I just started about a year ago decorating cupcakes and have loved it and would love to start trying on cakes.

  53. Luda says:

    You got skillz! I have never done any decorating with cakes. The only cake I’ve decorated was a diaper cake and I use my “decorator tip” to stuff cream puffs (whenever I make them, which is about never) and do something cute on cupcakes. I am absolutely impressed with your ability to pull this off with 4 kids. How do you do it??? Can you make a post about that?

  54. Angie says:

    Ohhh, Mel! It’s sad, really. My cakes taste good, but rarely look good. I really do try, but they are always a little off. “A” for effort!

  55. Courtney Calderon says:

    I am most definitely a trial and error cake experimenter…and I love it!

  56. Karri S says:

    I am new to decorating cakes, but I try. They don’t look the best, but I know if I practice it will get better.

  57. Julia says:

    I too took a Wilton class YEARS ago! I do make all the birthday cakes for my 3 boys though.

  58. Amy M says:

    I’d love to decorate cakes but I’ve only gotten as far as learning to make a scratch made cake. I can make something that tastes good but it doesn’t look pretty. lol

  59. Barbi says:

    Though I do try to decorate my cakes, I end up being a slap on some frosting kinda girl. I definitely need to work on my creativity!

  60. Beverly Groberg says:

    I love to experiment and find ideas online! I would love some tools to make it easier!

  61. Nic says:

    I am a cake decorator wannabe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. DeRae says:

    I’m lucky if I can make a cake from scratch and open a can of frosting. However, I would love to learn how to make them a little more interesting. I love your ideas!

  63. Geneve Fallon says:

    I’m an experimenter, that’s for sure. I’ve made a spaghetti cake – that was fun. But most of the time I just slap on some frosting (from a can…:( ) and call it good.

  64. Doris says:

    I am an amateur for sure! I am more of a baker, so I am learning the aesthetics of it now! lol

  65. Eric says:

    I like to experiment for sure. It does not come out as what I am trying to replicate, but at least I am trying and practice makes perfect!

  66. jess says:

    I just fishing a decorating class!

  67. Coryn Smith says:

    If you’re talking baking cakes from a box, I’m your lady. But how boring and lame is that? I’ve always had an interest in baking sweet looking cakes to show off to my friends and family but have never had the guts to get started! I’d sure like to though.

  68. Ashley Savage says:

    Iโ€™m an amateur, but love to plan and make a fun cake for the kidโ€™s birthdays!

  69. alyssa says:

    I am a college student trying to go to medical school that started my own cupcake business to add a little extra income to the already slim funds/accruing debt ๐Ÿ™‚ I experiment but am a huge perfectionist (it’s the future doctor in me) so I do not put anything out that is less than my best!

  70. SamanthaR says:

    I am an amateur. I love to make cakes for my family members…haven’t branched out much beyond that yet ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love to take a class someday!

  71. Melissa says:

    I am kind of a make-my-own-frosting-and-plop-it-on-sloppy person. I’ve taken some cake dec classes in the past but I’ve forgotten much of what I learned.

  72. Stacey says:

    Well lets just be honest. I didn’t even know that you could make a cake from scratch until I was in college. My mother in law taught me that. It’s still a huge family joke. I have three little girls now and tried for my oldest to make her one of those barbie cakes. I just used frosting from a can and so it slid off of the barbies dress when I tried to make flowers. Good thing she was only 2 at the time and didn’t care that her barbies dress was a mess. So for sure for me that was my last attempt, but in my heart of hearts I believe that someday I will become a super chef , my family is still waiting.

  73. Breanne says:

    I am not a professional by any means, but like you I have made my children’s birthday cakes every year….and usually they turn out pretty cute!! My husband has actually tackled a few of them himself and though I hate to say it, his are usually better than mine!!

  74. Kim Scarbrough says:

    I’m an amateur decorator. I love to decorate my 3 girls’ bday cakes every year and try to do one for my hubby too. This kit would be wonderful!!

  75. nikki bex says:

    I need more information on how I can get signed up to compete in the cake contest 812-797-9444 thank you

  76. Audrey Griffith says:

    I am not a professional but I love to cook and bake for others. I have always wanted to take a cake decorating class but had never done so until last February, it was a birthday present from my sister. We both enjoyed it very much. I love to try new things. I’m always checking out Pinterest to find new ideas for things I think I can do. I have notebooks of ideas ready and waiting to be used.

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