Trip to Wilton School - Gumpaste & Fondant with Colette Peters
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ICES Convention - Grapevine, Texas 2006

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These are pictures from my trip to the Wilton School in Darien, IL on October 24-28, 2005 to take a class from Cake Decorating Extraordinaire - Colette Peters

Here is a brief description of the class:

Colette Peters will teach students how to hand shape life-like poinsettias, roses, orchids and lilies in gum paste, plus how to add elegant icing embroidery and dramatic airbrush effects on fondant. Each student will create a magnificent 3-tiered fondant-covered cake to take home.

*She won the Wedding Cake Challenge on the Food Network in 2004 & most recently she won the Mystery Cake Challenge in 2006* 

She is also a judge on the Cupcake Challenge airing on the Food Network.

Darren & Colette - Graduation Day

This was taken on the last day of class.  Colette handed out the certificates to us along with our cake we created displayed in front.

My Final Class Cake

The bottom layer is a beige fondant tier with green brush embroidery and green leaves as the border.  This layer was draped with swags and decorated with sage green bows. 

The middle layer is a sage green fondant tier with a quilted design accented with buttons.  The border is lump design using alternating colors of the fondant. 

The top layer is striped with alternating luster dust colors topped with ginko leaves with brush embroidery on the ends accented with buttons on the top of the leaves.  The border is alternating colors of green and beige leaves. 

The cake is topped off with 3 gumpaste calla lillies in white & green.

Class Photograph

This class picture was taken on Friday, graduation day.

Poinsettia & Lily

These flowers are made from gumpaste painted/dusted with non-toxic chalk.

Spring Flowers

These are flowers we made the very first day.  They include sweetpeas, chrysanthemums, and other gumpaste flowers.


This is a gumpaste rose.  It starts off with a round styrofoam ball with the end pinched to form a cone.  You can actually see a small one in the background.  It is then covered with the gumpaste petals.  The flower was airbrushed with pink.

Orchid, Rose, & Eucalyptus

Shown are the orchid, rose, & eucalyptus leaves.  The rose is actually Colette's demonstration rose.  I made the orchid & eucalyptus leaves and dusted them with non-toxic chalk.  All of the flowers were put together using florist wire and tape.

Colette's Famous Crooked Cake

This is one of Colette's crooked cake designs that is displayed in the classroom at the Wilton school in Darien, IL.

Colette Teaching How to Cover a Cake with Fondant

Colette demonstrated how to marbelize the fondant, roll it out, and cover the cake.

About Colette
Colette Peters has been the owner of Colette’s Cakes, a specialty cake company in New York City, for over 20 years. Since she was 8 years old, living in Chicago, she made cakes and experimented in the kitchen. Her first love, though, was painting, and after earning a bachelor’s degree in painting, moved to New York to earn her Master’s degree in painting from Pratt Institute. She then worked as a designer for Tiffany & Company for 8 years. While at Tiffany & Co. she made cakes for her co-workers, and was then asked to design cakes for the books Tiffany Taste and The Tiffany Wedding. This exposure led to a contract to write a book of her own.
Colette is the author of four books, Colette’s Cakes: The Art of Cake Decorating (1991), Colette’s Christmas (1993), Colette’s Wedding Cakes (1995), and Colette’s Birthday Cakes (2000), all published by Little, Brown & Company. She is currently working on a fifth book, due in October, 2004.
Creator of Special Cakes
Colette has delivered cakes throughout America, Europe, and the Caribbean and has created cakes for many celebrities, including Sting, Natasha Richardson, Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Tommy Tune, Al Pacino, Eartha Kitt, and Robert Altman, just to name a few. She created cakes for the weddings of Marie-Chantal Miller and Prince Pavlos of Greece and Alexandra Miller and Alexander Von Furstenburg. In 1996 Colette was chosen to create a cake honoring the Renwick Museum as part of the 150th Anniversary Celebration for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
Edible Christmas Scenes
She also created all 5 Christmas windows for the New York Tiffany & Co. in 1997. These were all edible Christmas scenes created in icing and sugar paste.

White House Christmas Mantelpieces
In 1998, Colette was asked by First Lady, Hillary Clinton, to create 3 “sugar scenes” for the Red room, the Green room, and the Grand Foyer, as part of the White House Christmas decorations. She was then asked again to create decorations for the White House 2000 Holiday season.
Featured in Publications
Her unique cakes have been featured in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Town & Country, Brides, New York magazine, Food & Wine, Pastry Art & Design, and Victoria, among others. She has served as a food stylist for Ladies’ Home Journal, Food Arts, Womens’ Day, and Good Housekeeping. She has also created cakes for films, Broadway plays, television, and commercials.
In 1990, Colette began teaching cake decorating and has traveled throughout the United States and Europe sharing her expertise. She has instructed students at the Culinary Institute of America in California, the French Culinary Institute, The French Pastry School, The Wilton School, and the Notter School of Pastry Arts. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, The TV Food Network, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Discovery Channel, CNN, and Lifetime Television.
The Societé Culinaire Philanthropique awarded Colette three gold medals and the Grand Prix de Paris Award. She is a member of The Baker’s Dozen East, the New York Womens’ Culinary Alliance, and The International Cake Exploration Society.

In 2004, Colette won first place in the Beaver Creek Wedding Cake Extravaganza, sponsored by the TV Food Network.

© 2004 Colette’s Cakes. All rights reserved.