It’s That Time of Year Again…Yearbook!

February 19th, 2010 by Courtney Porter

It’s getting very busy here in the creative department. We’re almost half way through the production of our annual Yearbook and I can already tell you, the 2011 Wilton Yearbook of Cake Decorating will be one of the best ever.

The whole Yearbook process takes around 10 months. It starts in July, with Steve Rocco (our very talented art director and cake designer) sketching out his ideas for cakes and treats. He draws his ideas based on inspiration from current party and seasonal trends, magazine pictures, pop culture trends and even local party stores. The overall goal is to create cakes for beginner to expert cake decorators. We also try to feature our new and most popular products in our projects. These projects are not only to replicate, but also provide decorators with inspiration and new technique ideas.

Yearbook Decorating Projects

Steve’s priceless sketches are passed out to our very highly-trained and skilled team of cake decorators. Then the cakes really come to life. Every project is made to ensure it’s consumer friendly to create. Meaning anyone and everyone can make these treats in their own home. The projects can take anywhere from 1 to 40 hours to complete.

Yearbook Decorating Project We fill the Yearbook with 200-220 projects, depending on the size of the projects and how we choose to feature them in the pages. A project can be anything from mini cookies decorated for the holidays to a 7-tier wedding cake, or even candy treats. We do it all. Decorating is usually finished in March. These cakes and treats are then delicately placed in our storage room to wait for their chance to be photographed.

While the decorators are hard at work on these cakes, our team of excellent copywriters receive write-ups (or notes) on the completed cakes and projects. They then write the final easy-to-follow copy that you see in the finished Wilton Yearbook. Steve and Carey Thornton (our prop stylist) set up each and every beautiful shot you see — keeping in mind what other projects will be featured on the same spread and how to best feature each one. Photography can start in November and go until April and even into May.

Photo Studio Then comes my part. I receive all images and copy, along with hand-drawn layouts from Steve to follow. And I begin to lay out the pages you will see. Every year we set a goal to make the Yearbook a little different and better than the year before. Once a section is complete, we route them to different people in the company to review. The more eyes the better. Then once it’s all approved, the files go to the printer in May to create the finished Yearbook. In June they are featured in select stores and our online store for everyone to enjoy.

This has to be one of the most exciting projects I get to work on, to see the project go from an idea that Steve sketched to the beautiful hand-crafted designs you see on the pages of our Yearbook is truly amazing. Every year it’s a team effort and hard work that gets this one-of-a-kind publication into your hands.

I can’t really reveal too much, but the idea on the cover is incredible. Any guesses on what you think 2011 Wilton Yearbook cover will be?

Courtney Porter Courtney has already been part of the Wilton family for over 10 years! She worked at the Wilton Homewares retail store during high school and through college while simultaneously interning in Creative Services as a graphic designer until her college graduation. She joined Wilton full time in 2006 as a Graphic Designer. Courtney loves driving her Mini. And in her artistic spare time she enjoys trying new recipes, paper crafting and reading design books. Ask her about her office cube decorating and kick boxing classes!

46 Replies

  1. I would like to thank you! Lucky Leaf Pie Fillings has given me your heart shaped cake pan to make a cake with their pie fillings. I was able to do a giveaway to my readers and ten lucky readers won! So we have spread the love of the heart shaped cake pan.

    One reader made a heart shaped chocolate chip cookie for her husband 😉

    I would be happy to showcase any items on my blog any time. Please contact me for mailing address.

    Thank you again, I have been using your bakeware since my Aunt taught me to bake my first cake at the age of 8. I am now 44.

    Karen Bierley,
    Karen B’s Cooking Made Easy!

    • Jay@cakeNkaboodle says:

      I love the yearbook and I have EVERY issue since 1974. A bit tattered but I still use my old issues for concept ideas. I love looking through seeing how the trends and techniques have changed. I anxiously await the new issue each year. My only complaint if I had one is the templates. I would rather pay a little more but have the templates along with the book. You really can’t get the old ones now.
      It would be great to have a few more during the year!

    • I would know if u can send me a 2010 year cake decorating book, i love 2 do cake decorating my address is 182 oakwood Place, orange,New Jersey, 07050.

  2. aMANDA b says:

    WHEN WILL the yearbook be in stores ?

  3. Lori R. says:

    I really enjoy the Wilton Yearbook, it has given me some great cake ideas. However, I am not really fond of fondant and have only used it in the class that I took, but the trend in the books and TV shows is fondant. I do cakes for friends as a side business and I would like to see more cakes done in the traditional buttercream in the books.

    • Courtney says:

      Lori, so glad to hear you enjoy our yearbooks! We try to use different icings and styles to appeal to our very wide range of consumers. Fondant is a top trend right now that we can’t ignore. We try to provide a happy medium. A lot of the fondant cakes can be used as inspiration for buttercream cakes.

      • Cindi says:

        This is true. I don’t cover cakes in fondant. I always frost in buttercream. I have used some of the fondant cake pictures in the yearbook for ideas and have designed buttercream cakes around them.

      • sara valdivia says:

        Do mind sharing your crusting cream cheese frosting with me? I would love to give it a try. I love baking cake for my grandchildren and this frosting sounds very good.

    • Rebecca says:

      I too did not like to use fondant, I also only used it in the class that I took in 2000. I finally decided that I needed to overcome my hesitation and slight dislike for fondant.
      I retook class 3 since it was more about fondant than the older class
      and I really enjoyed it. I also took the Fondant and Gumpaste class, whch was SO much fun. There are always new techniques to learn. If you have questions or are having problems, don’t assume that you’re the first to experience it, some one else already has and I have found that other cakers are so helpful, there are so many resources available and websites where you can find the answers to any question.

      I encourage you to re-try if you took the older class that only had the clown(ugh).
      I also only do cakes for friends and family with a few extras thrown in occasionally by referral. I have recently fallen in love with Frozen Buttercream transfers. I also have found a crusting cream cheese frosting that is easy to work with and is so smooth it looks like fondant.
      I am actually doing a wedding cak e this weekend for my step-daughter using the cream cheese icing for the wedding cake and also a chocolate peanut butter frosting for the groom’s cake.

  4. Della says:

    I bought my first yearbook back in 1976 and have bought one every year since. I do miss the cakes like they were decorated back then. Now it seems to be all novelty cakes (even, alas, the wedding cakes). Any chance we can get more of the ‘old’ cake decorating in this yearbook?

    • Courtney Kieras says:

      All the cakes have been designed for the 2011 Yearbook. I am interviewing Steve for my next blog entry out in the next couple of weeks, I will certainly bring it up, and tune in to see what he says! : )

    • paro cheddi says:

      Della, like you i took my first course in 1985 and that was my first year book, and ever since i have been buying yearbook and as you said those books were the best , now it is mostly novelty cakes, as soon as i open the book i just feel like not to buy it., but it is in mind that i have to get it. I would like to see more buttercream and royal incing cakes.

  5. Colleen says:

    I bought my first Wilton Yearbook in 1989 and I also have bought one every year since. I can’t wait till they come out. Then I have to run right out to buy one so I can see all the new ideas. I als omiss the cakes like they were decorated back then. I would love to see more of the “old” cake decorating come back. Also the fondant, I have worked with a couple of times. It sure is not something I’m running out to buy all the tools to use. I don’t like to work with it or even the taste. Way to sweet for any kind of cake. I know alot of people use it for wedding cakes, I think that is the worst place to use it on.

    • Courtney Kieras says:

      We have some here in creative that go back to the 60’s (i think we have every copy around the company somewhere), very interesting to see how some trends have changed and even to see them return. Someone mentioned on our facebook page about doing a hard-bound “best of” cakes through out the years, I think it’s kind of a cool idea.. I will certainly pass it along…

  6. brenda sanchez says:

    Hola quisiera saber si hay algunas clases gratuitas por la web me gustaria tomarlas soy de México y no tengo solvencia economica para ir a su pais a estudiar los cursos que ustedes imparten y me encantaria aprender.
    Por su tiempo y atención muchisimas gracias.

    Brenda Sanchez

    Que tengan un lindo día.

  7. Diana Viera says:

    I cannot wait to get a copy of your new Wilton Yearbook! My first purchase was recently and I picked up every single one I can find at my local JoAnn’s and Michael’s Craft stores. After reading the comments above, I’m curious to find out what these “old” cakes looked like. I haven’t worked with fondant yet but will on the 2nd of March. Every single posting I read mentions how awful tasting it is. If that is true, can you improve on the taste so that all these negative responses can turn into positive ones. Other responses I have read was that MMF tastes great. With me, I like working with buttercream and look forward to fondant and gum paste. I wish I knew about Wilton years ago ~ my choice in careers would have taken a different path. Either way, I’m steering towards cake decorating:)

    • Stephanie Wiley says:

      Hey! I have used both store bought fondant and I have made fondant. Store bought tastes like plastic, even with buttercream as a base. I prefer to make my own. I found a really good marshmallow fondant recipe online. I have made this several times and it is not supersweet. The kids really love it because it tastes like marshmallows! It was not hard to make either.




  9. Geri says:

    I started my collection of yearbooks in 1993. Unfortunately, Hurricane Ike demolished my home and all my supplies. I have to start over, lost a lot of good “old school” information.

  10. janani says:

    i already sent it you 1 email.but i didn’t reply from you.I asked your cake decoraing bok.if you can sent it to me.i ne to make a birthday cake in april.

  11. Teresa J says:

    Love! LOve! Wilton’s books. Own most and several “oldies” I’ve found at yard sales, etc. Would love the recipe for the crusting cream cheese frosting and chocolate peanut butter frosting. Can Rebecca help us out with her recipes??

  12. gracias por las grandes ideas que nos dan en sus revistas grcias ellas mi familia y yo la pasamos un poco mejor cuando mi esposo perdio el trbajo me dedique a hacer cosa que bienen en sus revistas y ganaba un poco de dinero para la comida. las nuevas ideas que estan por presentarnos se ve que van a estar hermosas.

    • Courtney Kieras says:

      Thank you for the great ideas you provide in your Yearbooks. Thanks to them my family and I were able to live a little better when my husband lost his job. I devote myself to making projects I saw in the Yearbooks and earned a little money for food. The new ideas that will soon be presented to us look like they will be beautiful.

      Margarita-So glad to hear we can help in a little sort of way even in times like these! I think a cute cupcake or just some fun cookies can bring a smile to anyones face.

  13. lisa says:

    Please can I also have the crusting cream cheese icing?Thanks!

  14. Lee says:

    Recién comienzo a crear bizcochos y mi pasión por ellos se la debo al Yearbook del 2010. Me parece que el formato que tiene la publicación le facilita a principiantes como yo crear lindos bizcochos como toda una experta. Me gustaría hacer una colección de los Yearbooks.
    Dónde puedo conseguir los más antiguos?

    • Courtney Kieras says:

      Translation: I’m just starting to create cakes and I owe my passion for them to the 2010 Yearbook. It seems to me that the format of the publication makes it easy for beginners like me to create cute cakes like a professional. I would like to begin a collection of Yearbooks. Where do I get past copies?

      Lee- Unfortunately we don’t currently produce any past yearbooks. They are collectors items though, and can be found on ebay, at garage sales and even second hand book stores.

  15. Tiffany says:

    I began taking Course 1 at the begining of February and my final class is tomorrow. I bought the 2010 Yearbook last night and was up til 1am looking through it. I am in love! I have found a new hobby and while I am not very artistic I feel that I can create an aesthetically pleasing piece. In 20+ years I will be looking back saying I bought my first yearbook in 2010 and have received every copy since.

  16. Cammy says:

    My quesiton is why all the classic shape pans such as Beautiful Barbie, Batman Beyond, Yosmite, Petere Cotton Tail, just to mention a few, have been discontinue, and I wonder where they can be found again, or is Wilton would consider putting up a section of only classic cake pans for sale. I just finish my 3rd course in Wilton School for Decorating at a Micheals local store In Bronx NY. and I have learned so much that I wish it had more courses for one to continue to take, Wilton & Company should consider putting more courses to further our learning experience, when it comes to baking and decorating there is so much to learn. I hope you read and print this for others to see, and hope you consider letting us know what happen to those classic pans. thank you so much for your learning courses.

    • Courtney Kieras says:

      We tend to discontinue pans when they don’t sell very well or aren’t considered popular. You can find some of our older pans on E-Bay or Craigslist, and I know a lot of people have picked up old pans at garage sales. I’ve even heard of bakeries or decorators renting out some of their pans to customers. Maybe if there is enough requests for a certain pan we can bring it back, however this is something to contact our Customer Service Department about.

  17. neneng says:

    hi,i’m a new avid fans of wilton though not begin yet my collection of your copies ‘coz i’m not in my country and work not related to this field of expertise but i’m fond of reading so many books regarding cakes.when i go malling i do really love going to bookstores just to read some articles of cake decorating.actually i have an idea that if ever i will stop working abroad i want to put a business not related to my profession but in line to this business,i hope you keep in touch to us your fans as you share your knowledge on how to make cakes and decorate well and be one of the expert.

  18. freda says:

    Ialso would like the crusted icing.Thanks!

  19. I, too, GREATLY miss the “old” decorating styles and techniques featured in “vintage” yearbooks (i.e., pre-1990 or so). Those cakes were so elegant and breathtakingly beautiful. Now, even though I occasionally buy a yearbook (not that often anymore), I’m always disappointed by the plethora of “cute” cakes, candies, cupcakes, etc. I long for the days when the emphasis was more on real decorating skill, exquisitely beautiful and elegant decorations, and vastly more subtle, pleasing, and less garish colors. Who knows? Maybe if I keep hoping, some the old stuff will resurface in a future yearbook or two. Even the cake-decorating courses used to be better than they are now; they were six weeks in duration and lasted three hours each (at least mine did). Now they’re four weeks of two-hour classes, and it’s really hard to get much of anything done in such a skimpy amount of time. Oh well, what can you do?

  20. Marie M. says:

    I just started buying wilton books and learning to decorate cake’s . the first book i bought was a wilton cup cake book me and a friend wanted to make some cool cup cakes.. lol i gues you know the rest i was hooked while always wanting to learn to decorate cakes just never did,,but i have sence bought 6 hugh plastic tubs of cake decorating supplies, the 2010 year book , and can not wait to get my hands on the 2011. I have bought 17 books on cake decorating,fondant, sculpting , everthing imaginable but I also am one of those who struggle with the fondant it does have a chewy , very sweet taste, I have just printed out the marshmellow fondant recipe I understand it taste way better and is easier to work with. my force to be reconded with is wilton roses. I have had people show me and watched videos on youtube but stilll havent mastered the ROSE yet… I pray for the day wilton puts their classes on DVD as life schedules cram packed and the day’s the classes are taught… I can’t get into them … Is there a age limit on how young you can be … maybe I could take my boys lol to class and pay for them as well to learn .. they are 12 and 16 both of which can cook several things including learning to bake cakes, cookies, ect. never the less I love wilton and await the arrival of the 2011 book.thank you for your help in my learning experience. Marie M. Conroe , TX.

  21. Its really a different piece of idea.

  22. Amanda says:

    I just love the Wilton Cake Decorating Yearbooks…I have only been collecting them since 2007….but I got some older yearbooks from a friends mom that has also give me cake pans from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s…I am so excited for the 2011 yearbook…..More new ideas and more to learn…I am getting ready to maybe start my own little cake shop business! So any new ideas are great!

    Amanda R. from Milton/Pensacola, Florida.

  23. Stephanie says:

    I am extremely new at this. In fact,I’m a baby and hoping to grow and learn how to do such beautiful work. I’m a stay at home Mom and really want to learn how to do this and make something really unique for the anniversary. So please HELP!

  24. vigilon says:

    I really love the Wilton Cake Decorating Yearbooks. I’m so excited to find the surprises in every edition.

  25. tom says:

    Just have to see the surprises in this edition. I have been using some of the fondant cake pictures in the yearbook for ideas : obgyn mesa az.

  26. […] a Comment Can you believe before I went on the Mom ReTreat at Wilton I had never heard about the Wilton Yearbook? Seriously, what hole was I living in? I was so excited when they handed us the 2010 yearbook on […]

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