The Rise of Reality Tv and Cake Decorating Themed Shows

In the Fire

Since the start of the The Real World on MTV in the early 1990s, the landscape of television programming has drastically changed. Reality television now accounts for more than one-quarter of prime time programming on broadcast networks. Culinary-themed shows like Top Chef, Food Network Challenge, and Cake Boss have been big names in the reality TV world. Ace of Cakes, for instance, debuted in 2006 on the Food Network and has since become one of the channel's highest rated shows.

Baking Pastry Arts

Shows like these have put extreme cake decorating on the map, initiating mainstream viewers to techniques such as fondant, handcrafted sugar decorating, and the making of gum paste flowers. The success of reality TV shows about cake decorating competitions or business have made cake decorating a major culinary trend, leading to even more shows like Cupcake Wars, Top Chef Desserts, and the Next Great Baker--all evidence that viewers' interest in decorating techniques are ever increasing.

Cake Decorating Techniques and the Art of Fondant

The use of fondant is at the foundation of most cake decorating techniques. Cake decorators roll out fondant in a multitude of colors to cover large surfaces of cake and provide a surface to play with. By using cake decorating supplies such as fondant, cake decorators are able to cover an intricately shaped chiffon cake with a smooth and unblemished white surface allowing delicate details such as flowers or human figures to be added for a flawless result.

Compared to buttercream, which is more finicky and difficult to work with, fondant makes an endless variety of eccentric cake decorating techniques possible with a thick and perfectly smooth surface as a base. Fondant can also be shaped and formed into bows, drapery, and intricate figures, making it one of the most versatile cake decorating supplies in any baker's toolkit.

Extreme Cake Decorating and New Trends

Extreme cakes are also the subject matter of the highly rated Food Network Challenge show where contestants handcraft monumental cakes such as candy castles and picture-perfect Disney characters while racing the clock. These shows have helped modernize and diversify the cake decorating industry. Cake decorating trends have evolved from the classic, tiered, pearl white wedding cakes to more elaborate, real-life inspired, colorful concoctions. Brides and grooms seeking the perfect wedding cake are now drawn towards more personal cakes that say something about their personalities.

Cake decorating schools are evolving to meet this demand, and graduates of cake decorating schools are some of the most creative bakers out there. Duff Goldman, the star of Ace of Cakes, graduated from the Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate Program at the Culinary Institute of America. Most of the cakes that have made this small Baltimore bakery such a success story are extravagant, larger than life desserts. Notable examples are his rendition of the Arthur Ashe Stadium for the US Open, an incredibly detailed version of Hogwarts castle for a Harry Potter movie premiere, and a galactic masterpiece for the Star Wars Clone Wars wrap party.

Cake decorating shows and their successes are definitely playing a role in shifting trends in cake decorating. With a degree from a cake decorating school you could be running your own bakery--or competing for big money on the next reality cake decorating show.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            Virginia College , Birmingham
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
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            • A contemporary, career-focused institution of higher education dedicated to excellence since 1902.
            • Has academic advising that provides students someone to answer questions and provide guidance.
            • Offers scholarships for qualifying military members, adult learners, as well as program-specific scholarships.
            • Provides tutoring services to help students master any assignments that give them trouble.
            • Gives students the option to study online, at one of the 12 campuses in Indiana or Ohio, or a combination of both.
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