The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

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“A party without a cake is just a meeting.” — Julia Child

Last Friday, April 11th, the editors of and had the wonderful opportunity of attending the 2014 Wilton Sweet Up at their headquarters in Woodridge, Illinois. It was a very intimate event with just 100 guests (including ourselves) in attendance. We loved being surrounded by fellow dessert enthusiasts who love decorating and presenting beautiful cakes.

If you’re interested in entering our 2014 Wilton Sweet Up Swag Bag Giveaway, be sure to scroll down all the way to the end of this post!

Our day began with a trip to The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionary Art. From there, we all took coach buses over to the main Wilton headquarters where dozens of Wilton employees were waiting to welcome us. As soon as we stepped through the doorway, we were invited to take photos on their bright purple carpet with speech bubbles that announced our baking personalities and post them on Instagram and Twitter with the day’s special hashtag, “#WiltonSweetUp.” We didn’t get to take ours on the purple carpet, but we did take them later in the day!

Wilton Sweet UpWilton Sweet Up
Wilton Sweet Up DemonstrationThe first event of the day was a large lecture-style kick off. The exciting part about the kick off was that it was being livestreamed worldwide so that dessert-lovers from all over were able to watch and join in on the discussion. If you follow TheBestDessertRecipes or RecipeLion on Twitter, you may have noticed us live-tweeting the event with the #WiltonSweetUp hashtag. Wilton set up this hashtag so that everyone could interact with each other and the company during the kick off! If you missed the Sweet Up broadcast, you can check out a video of it over on Wilton’s website.

Anyway, Eric Erwin, Wilton’s CMO, gave a bit of an introduction to the Sweet Up event before handing the microphone over to the main speaker Beth Somers, the Test Kitchen Manager at Wilton. She also was the season 6 Cupcake Wars winner! Beth gave us all an insight into the five mega trends for 2014 when it comes to desserts and decorating while a woman from their test kitchen demonstrated some of the techniques.

Here’s a quick breakdown of 2014’s five mega trends:

Plus-Orange-Ribbon-CakeTrend #1: Buttercream Frosting
The American style of cake decorating has always revolved around using buttercream frosting. It’s functional and has really seen a resurgence lately. Plus, it has such a wonderfully sweet flavor and you can make it as thick as you need.

Related recipe: Buttercream 101

Buttercream 101

Naked-Chocolate-Covered-Strawberry-CakeTrend #2: Decorating Simplified AKA “Keep It Simple”
When it comes to desserts, the simpler the better. Simple colors, simple textures, and simple flavors are all the rage right now. One way to achieve this sort of simplicity is by decorating the cake with foods or flavors that are inside. For instance, if your cake has a strawberry layer on the inside, place a few strawberries on top to hint to the flavor layer. Another way to keep decorating simple is by using the “messy frosting” technique. Do you remember how your mom or grandma used to frost cakes with uneven strokes and leave lines all over it? That’s “messy frosting.” It’s making a comeback.

Related recipe: Lovely Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Lovely Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Tall-Black-Forest-CakeTrend #3: Tall Cakes
Before, 4″ tall cakes were considered standard. Now, 6″ or more is the norm. You can achieve maximum height with your cakes by creating tall cakes that have a ton of layers or by creating the illusion of a tall cake with toppings and decorations. When making tall cakes, be sure to use aluminum pans because they create a strong skin on the cake and evenly distribute heat. You’ll also want to use strong enough fillings or frosting that can support multiple levels.

Related recipe: Dandy Diner Dream Cake

Dandy Diner Dream Cake

Orange-Cheesecake-BarsTrend #4: Small Treats
Most people would rather try multiple things than have a giant slice of cake all to themselves. Grazing is all the rage! Sweets that are 1-2 bite-sized (like mini cupcakes and bars) are really popular right now, especially with warmer weather approaching. Their size makes them a lighter alternative to a lot of desserts.

Related recipe: Ridiculously Easy 3 Ingredient Oreo Balls

Ridiculously Easy 3 Ingredient Oreo Balls

Burlap-and-Roses-Fondant-CakeTrend #5: Fondant
Fondant is sleek and sweet, not to mention versatile. It’s perfect for any occasion. To those of you who may be wary about using fondant because of its less-than-pleasing flavor, we have good news for you! Wilton has just created a new fondant formula that’s softer and tastes so much better than the old one. It’s almost as sweet and flavorful as a plain buttercream if you’d believe that.

Related recipe: How to Make a Spider-Man Cake

How to Make a Spider-Man Cake

With the five mega trends, we also picked up on two other dessert trends.

  1. Metallics – Metallic colors make desserts really pop.
  2. Natural, more muted colors – People nowadays are, in general, trying to eat healthier and have a more natural diet. Fashion, decoration, and cake colors are starting to reflect this with more pastel and natural-looking hues like creamy peach and robin’s egg blue.

At the end of the livestream event, Wilton unveiled its 2014 Cake of the Year (which is pictured below). Created by one of their own, the cake exemplifies many current dessert trends in one cohesive design. How many trends can you spot?

2014 Cake of the Year
Later in the afternoon, all of the Sweet Up attendees were separated into groups for a few hands-on workshops. We were fortunate enough to have been able to attend a session on building and decorating small tall cakes and then another session on using fondant. At first, we were intimidated by the thought of decorating cakes with no prior experience but, with the help of Wilton’s products and some encouraging words from their employees, we were able to leave the workshops with a few cute treats. Below are photos from our two sessions so you can see what we made!

Tall CakeCaptain America Fondant Cupcake
All in all, we had a wonderful day at the 2014 Wilton Sweet Up. We learned so many new things about decorating (including a few tips that we’ll share in a later blog post) and desserts in general. We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity and we hope to be able to attend again next year!


2014 Wilton Sweet Up Swag Bag Giveaway!

As you can imagine, Wilton gave us so many take-home gifts that we don’t know what to do with all of them! So, we decided that we would share the loot with you, our lovely readers! The swag bag is filled with everything you see in this photo, including Wilton’s new fondant (which tastes so much better and is softer than the old formula), Key Lime Pie candy melts, Sugar Sheets, and decorating tips for frosting.

Wilton Sweet Up Swag Bag Giveaway
The Fine Print:
Contest open to US and Canada residents 18+.
Leave a comment on this blog post answering the question below to enter.
One comment per person, please answer the question below.
You have until 11:59pm ET next Tuesday, April 29, 2014 to enter the contest.
We’ll be picking two winners, so be sure to check your email frequently to see if you’re one of them!

What’s your favorite cake decorating tool?



TheBestDessertRecipes is dedicated to the best dessert recipes and baking tips. From easy cookie recipes to recipes with cake mix, we find and deliver the best desserts from all over the web. Plus, we feature free product reviews and giveaways of all the latest and greatest products including baking gadgets, cookbooks, food, and more. TheBestDessertRecipes is a wonderful online resource for bakers and dessert enthusiasts of all skill levels.

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  1. Margot C says

    Lately I love my Wilton Twist Quick Coupler; I love being able to change tips with the ame bag and the same color!

    • Margot C says

      Sorry, I meant ‘same’ above.

      Also, I watched the #SweetUp on YouTube live while it was going on. I can’t believe that you got to be there. How fun!

  2. Teresa F. Heslip says

    My favorite tool would have to be my offset icing spatula – I couldn’t ice a cake without it!

  3. Lacey Burd says

    My favorite tool for decorating is a lazy Susan. I’m not exactly sure what brand it is, but it’s made for cake decorating. It’s absolutely wonderful and makes things so much easier! Especially with taller cakes.

  4. Linda romer says

    Wow! Thats a beautiful cake. I can’t live without my offset spatula, I just love it for frosting cupcakes and cakes.

  5. Janet Welte says

    I love all the new bags that they offer now., makes it so much easier to keep moving on decorating several cakes at a time!

  6. Jennifer says

    I have loved every class I have ever taken. I look forward to taking the advanced classes. I love Wilton

  7. michele says

    I have not bought anything in so long, I am sure there are so many great items. I am happy to have the disposable bags for decorating.

  8. Deb Karns says

    I am just starting to learn how to decorate so I would say my spatula. Thank you for this wonderful contest. Good Luck to everyone.

  9. Debra says

    I took lessons several years ago but due to things beyond my control, I lost all of my tips, bags, etc in a fire. Would love to try my hand at it again.

  10. says

    I love using parchment paper to make my decorating bags. Just break your tip out and throw away the used paper! Easiest cleanup ever. Learned this from Wilton!

  11. Rochelle Adsitt says

    My favorite tool is the Wilton Cake Lifter – it gives me the confidence to know I can move and manipulate my cakes when I need to.

  12. amy layng says

    i love to decorate with just about everything i recently started exploring with using fondant. i had to stop for about six months due to having open heart surgery but i am starting to get back into it

  13. Kallie Seiter says

    I have never decorated a cake. I keep wanting to take a class in decorating. I could really use this to get started in learning to decorate.

  14. Ruth Wickerd says

    Offset spatula would make things easier for me. I love making cakes and cupcakes and don’t have many proper tools to use. Winning this would be awesome! !

  15. Laurie Bolduc-Cadieux says

    I would have to say my favorite decorating tool is my pastry tips. I use them each and every time. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. Elizabeth says

    I love Wilton Cake Decorating and all the merchandise that they sell. I just bought the sleeves for your cake pans, and they are wonderful, my layers come out so much better and more evenly on the top. I have an electric oven, I am not fond of electric at all, but needless to say, that is what I have to work with for now. I bought the sleeves to help regulate the baking of the cake. I would sometimes take the cake out and it would look fine, but within a few minutes it would drop, become so much smaller in size, or it would be a little raw in the middle. I have to say that the sleeves are wonderful, I don’t know what is in them, or how they are made, but who ever invented them came up with a winner. I would never make a layer cake without using them now. God Bless you for all your products, videos, classes and all your suggestions to help us become better Baker’s!

  17. Jonathan Brigden says

    My fav tool to use is the Wilton easy glide fondant smoother. I used to do it by hand and this tool has helped tons.

  18. Angela Ash says

    My favorite cake decorating tools are decorating tips. I love how many different looks I can get just switching out the tips.

  19. Laurie Emerson says

    My favorite cake decorating tool is the brand new pastry bag I bought for myself. I love putting in my homemade butter cream frosting and frost cakes and cupcakes.

  20. Holly Wright says

    I am not much of a baker but would love this prize and try it out! Of the few cakes I have made, I would say it would be an icing spatula!

  21. Elizabeth Drake says

    Wilton Twist Quick Coupler is my favorite. It’s nice to be able to switch textures and designs so freely.

  22. Alecia says

    My favorite cake decorating tool is a simple spatula. It is very useful when smoothing out the frosting.

  23. Leslie L Stanziani says

    I am just starting to build a collection (esp. since my 16 yr old daughter has a passion for baking).I love my offset spatula.

  24. Melanie Comello says

    The pastry bag tips. I have a set that has about 20 different tips with it, and i absolutely love them and they’re a must have, from cake and cupcake decorating to spritz cookie decorating 😀

  25. Charles Burbridge says

    My favorite cake decorating tool is my wife. I say, “Bake a cake and decorate it,” and it usually gets done. Ta-da!

  26. Mary M. says

    I like the coupler. I like having a variety of decorating tips and the coupler makes it easy to change tips. I also like my Wilton baking pans.

  27. Missy says

    My favorite are pastry bags and different tips. I use them for cakes, and even things like deviled eggs and twice baked potatoes.

  28. Sheyla Martinez says

    My favorite cake decorating tool would be my tips. I can’t just choose a specific one because they all have a different purpose and outcome. I believe it was one of the best inventions of all time 🙂

  29. Amira C says

    An extra set of eyes is my favorite tool when decorating a cake, or any dish for that matter. I value the opinions of those I’m baking for (because I want them to LOVE it!), so I like to make sure that my creations are as appealing to the eyes of others as I intend them to be. Just because I think something is great, doesn’t mean everyone else will. Getting a second opinion ensures that I’m creating something that will be appreciated by a greater majority of enjoyers. As for a “real” tool, I really enjoy using a simple, icing spatula.

  30. Charlene S. says

    My fave tool is my butter frosting spatula. It spreads frosting easy & has a easy to grip handle 🙂

  31. MARIA simon says


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