All of life's important moments are marked by one of three things: eating a cake, passing a torch, or signing on the bottom line of a clown-college certificate. Embrace edible celebration with today's Groupon: for $45, you get one cake-decorating class at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes in Winthrop (up to a $90 value). All classes begin at 6 p.m.
Amanda Oakleaf, a savvy baker featured on TLC's Fabulous Cakes and Food Network Cake Challenge, helms a close-knit crew of cakesmiths who teach students of all skill levels to craft dazzling desserts from homemade fondant and buttercream. Cake-makers can choose from a variety of classes, on topics such as architecting a set of holiday cupcakes, home-brewing buttercream and fondant, and baking life-size cake replicas of all 44 presidents. In Fun With Fondant (Tuesday, November 15) students receive a crumb-coated cake to adorn with their own handcrafted fondant and gumpaste embellishments, and Buttercream Basics (Tuesday, December 6) provides a precursor to more advanced classes as pupils learn to level, fill, stack, and decorate within the rich, velvety medium. Experienced frosting-slingers might sign up for Intro to Gumpaste Figurines (Tuesday, November 29), where they bring photos to help hand-sculpt one human and one pet in sugary style. Amanda Oakleaf Cakes regularly adds classes, and includes supplies with each two- or three-hour session. All participants may take cakes home afterward, where they devour them or stuff them with precious family heirlooms.
Amanda Oakleaf Cakes
Butter, sugar, and flour. These three simple ingredients form the basis of each treat cooked up at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes. While the ingredients are straightforward, the cakes are anything but, as proven by head baker Amanda Oakleaf and the 4-foot-tall Dora the Explorer cake she constructed on the Food Network’s Cake Challenge. At her shop, Amanda and her team of artists, sculptors, and bakers create treats that run the gamut in flavor and function, from elegant tiers of red velvet to sugary cartoon figurines placed atop marshmallow fondant. Guests can dream up flavor combinations such as gingerbread cake slathered in white-chocolate buttercream or chocolate samoa layered in honey icing, or offer up a 3-D object for Amanda and her team to re-create in meticulous, edible detail. Regularly scheduled cake-decorating classes impart visitors with some of the team’s creative tricks of the trade, such as leveling cakes and keeping schoolchildren from swarming in through the doggy door at the sight of snickerdoodle cupcakes.