The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

pinit fg en rect gray 20 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

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

Last Friday, April 11th, the editors of TheBestDessertRecipes.com and RecipeLion.com 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 5 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!wilton 6 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!
wilton 1 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!The 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 Cake The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!Trend #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

buttercream101 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

Naked Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!Trend #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

strawberry shortcake cupcake The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

Tall Black Forest Cake The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!Trend #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 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

Orange Cheesecake Bars The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!Trend #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 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

Burlap and Roses Fondant Cake The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!Trend #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 Spider Man Cake The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!

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?

wilton 4 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!
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!

wilton 2 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!wilton 3 The 2014 Wilton Sweet Up + Swag Bag Giveaway!
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 giveaway The 2014 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?

 

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Comments

  1. Featherlight Pastry Bags

  2. The Wilton squeeze bottle for decorating cookies. So much easier than using a pastry bag.

  3. Henrietta Adcock says:

    Featherlight pastry bags

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

    • 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!

  5. just started my classas and really depend on the triangle for the sides of mycakes

  6. Teresa F. Heslip says:

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

  7. I love the new twist quick coupler and the new coupler for cupcakes batter.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. Sue Hesano says:

    My daughter would love this!

  12. What a fun place to visit! I’m sure you had a ball there. I know i would! Now – my favorite cake decorating tool? Well, that would have to be an offset spatula. Makes applying the frosting so much easier.

  13. Jennifer says:

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

  14. Joanne Villa says:

    Love Wilton and would Love to win!!!!!

  15. Marcie Tippets says:

    Have to say, offset spatula

  16. jane zupp says:

    The rose tip

  17. Michele K says:

    My favorite tool is my spatula that has the bend in the blade for easier frosting

  18. Definitely pastry bags, various tips for various jobs..

  19. jodi farley says:

    OMG I so need this!

  20. I love the spatulas!!

  21. Angela Rocco says:

    I love the pastry bags and tips. Because your imagination can just run free

  22. Anna Dowdy says:

    I love the disposable bags. Not only can you decorate with them, they make amazing crafts.

  23. Charlotte Christensen says:

    I love my disposable bags using the couplers so it’s so easy to change the tips!

  24. The disposable bags and tips are wonderful but honestly I love the spatulas. I can’t live without them.

  25. Laura Elmer says:

    Definitely my offset spatula!

  26. Marinne R says:

    My spatula is my favorite tool, because it is the beginning of my creation.

  27. Brandi Lawton says:

    I’m new to cake decorating but so far my offset spatula is the best tool

  28. 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.

  29. wesley Snyder says:

    I love to bake & decorate this would sure make it a lot easier

  30. Angela Wrzesniewski says:

    Offset spatula and featherlight pastry bag, I love Wilton products .

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. Susan Goll says:

    I like the pastry bags and the tips.

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. Stephanie Cassidy says:

    Gotta be my set of pastry tips.

  39. My spatula. It’s the only decorating tool that I have.

  40. Linda Allen says:

    My favorite tool is the turntable.

  41. Aisha Gripper says:

    My spatula is all I have.

  42. My Spatula

  43. 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! !

  44. Chris Morrow says:

    The offset spatula!

  45. helen king says:

    The rose making tool.

  46. Carrie Dillon says:

    I love my tips and the coupler so I can quickly change my tips!

  47. Carolyn Ford says:

    I like the throw away pastry bags and the rose et tip.

  48. Margie Porreco says:

    Offset spatula…..makes icing the cake easier!

  49. gayla Arnold says:

    Pastry bags are my favorite tool

  50. 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.

  51. 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!

  52. theresa J says:

    My offset spatula

  53. Offset spatula

  54. Tammy Stephens says:

    Definitely lazy Susan!

  55. My niece would LOVE this

  56. Maryann Ponikvar says:

    Like all things you have

  57. Maryann Ponikvar says:

    Rose tool

  58. Amy Ledesma says:

    I love my dinosaur shaped cake pan.

  59. 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.

  60. I’m partial to the pastry bag and the tools it has with it

  61. Dericka Buckels says:

    My favorite cake decorating tool is definitely the icing spatula.

  62. Margaret Smith says:

    Pastry tips is my favorite. Love to make stars or flowers with these.

  63. I love the different colors of food coloring

  64. Bonnie Pavel says:

    My favorite tool is my offset spatula!

  65. brandy g. says:

    I love the pastry bags.

  66. My favorite tool is my offset spatula

  67. Erica C. says:

    Pastry bags are great.

  68. DeeAnn S says:

    I have an offset spatula that I absolutely love! It’s my gotta have tool. Thanks.

  69. Featherweight pastry bag with a ton of tips

  70. ELIZABETH C. says:

    I love my pastry bags. I love decorating and they Definately come in handy.

  71. chckie brewer says:

    It would have to be the pastry bag. It is so much fun to use!

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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!

  75. Jennifer J says:

    I am not a super skilled baker, so right now it is an offset spatula. Thank you!

  76. Elizabeth Drake says:

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

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

  78. Karrie Millheim says:

    Featherlight pastry bags. yum drooling over the pics above

  79. Melissa L. says:

    My favorite is the offset spatula. It makes it so much easier! Thanks for the giveaway!

  80. just simple pastry bags so i can make fancy shapes

  81. Sky Evans says:

    I love using homemade pastry bags.

  82. Featherweight pastry bag

  83. sara wood says:

    I love using different tips when I am frosting a cake.

  84. yana ryjova says:

    I have an icing spatula i love. and all my pans are great too!

  85. Rachel H. says:

    I like the feather lite pastry bags!

  86. A medium star tip – just amazing how you can dress up a plain cake and look like such a professional!

  87. I really like my cake comb. I can do a lot of different things with them.

  88. I love the new twist quick coupler

  89. I like the squeeze bottles the most. Well I use them the most.

  90. 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.

  91. 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 :D

  92. Stephanie Galbraith says:

    My favorite decorating item is the frosting already made in the tubes.

  93. heather c says:

    The 28 Piece Decorative Press Set makes decorating fun and easy…and gorgeous!

  94. 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!

  95. Rickie Hinrichs says:

    The Pastry Bag.

  96. amanda whiltey says:

    i love pastry bags because i love adding decor to my cookies/cakes

  97. Melanie Montgomery says:

    I like using fondant to decorate with!

  98. 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.

  99. Tracy Pryor says:

    I really love my offset spatula.

  100. I have to go with the tips, I can use them for so many different things to create any look I want. :)

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

  102. Charlotte Padgett says:

    I think the icing spatula would be the most useful tool for me.

  103. susan smoaks says:

    i like my spatulas, they make it so much easier

  104. Carmen N says:

    Offset spatula

  105. 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 :)

  106. 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.

  107. My icing spatula is my fave.

  108. I would have to say my off-set spatula.

  109. My favorite cake decorating tool is the Wilton sugar sheets

  110. I love their pastry bags and offset spatula!

  111. Lauren Olivia Wood says:

    My favorite cake decorating tool is the fondant smoother tool!

  112. good ol’ ziploc bag with a hole in the corner.

  113. I like my pastry bag from Wilton.

  114. I have to say the decorating tips. Love to use them.

  115. Rochel S says:

    I like the disposable bags and tips the best!

  116. Catherine Robb-Husen says:

    offset spatula

  117. Kathy Pease says:

    I love my Icing Sculptor it always makes cakes look fancy :)

  118. Marie Constantineau says:

    cutting the corner from baggies to decorate

  119. Charlene S. says:

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

  120. I like the offset spatula

  121. MARIA simon says:

    MY OFFSET SPATULA IS SOMETHING I LOVE..YOUR CAKES ARE AMAZING..YOU ARE SO TALENTED..THANKS FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN THIS!!!!

  122. Buddy Garrett says:

    My wife’s favorite tool is her offset spatula.

  123. Leah Shumack says:

    I love the pasty bags with tips! And your cake is so pretty!

  124. Trisha McKee says:

    I do my best with pastry bags.

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