As a person who is far away from all real time classes. I have had to rely on online classes. Believe it or not. I have a zillion of these all over the place. Subscriptions as well as Classes. I have learned so much from them.
A word of advice - Classes Vs School Subscriptions?
If you are just starting out - I strongly suggest taking a subscription to an online school instead of buying individual classes. Why?
The online subscription will give you a wide range of cakes to learn from. You will learn lots more techniques. A good online school will usually spoon feed you with all the information you need for a weather it's food or cake, which usually includes, which type of cake to use, how many servings you will get and what pan is best for cooking, what are the different names for the different techniques used, how many tiers you need for a cake, how much will it cost you, how much time you need.
In the long run you will find a subscription is a lot cheaper than buying classes which you may not necessarily need later. As your skills improve some of these classes will become obsolete. So spend wisely.
I started off with a subscription to Paul Bradford Online school. I have learned so much from Paul. You can read more from me about Paul Bradford Online School here in my review .
I also have subscriptions with two other schools currently which are really good.
Yeners Way Cake Art School which is a very impressive school and you can read about it over here on my blog review here.
There there is Sugar Ed Productions and Avalon Cakes School of Sugar Art again I have subscriptions for both to both of them.
Then there is Pretty Witty Cakes and well as which I subscribe from time to time and you can read all about it on my blog here.
A great place to start learning cooking for a beginner to advance would be Rouxbe or Smart Kitchens.
If you love desserts like me then you wanna check this Kekios Cakes They have a huge selection of videos taught by professionals including Cheesecakes, gateaux, macarons and everything pastry.
Craftsy has one of the largest and the best classes when it comes to cooking classes. They do have the best instructors from around the world. But you have to pick these by classes not as a subscription. Some of the classes that I love and highly recommend are
Master the Methods: Roast, Braise, Sauté & Pan-Fry with Bruce Weinstein Slow-Cooker Savvy: Make Your Best Meals with Michele Scicolone and Secrets to Whole-Grain Bread Baking with Michael Kalanty; Secrets to Cooking Fish: Eight Essential Techniques with Joel Gamoran and Artisan Bread in Minutes w/Zoë François, Secrets of Gluten-Free Baking with Richard Coppedge, Jr.
Now for the dessert classes I love!!
Danish Pastries and Miniature French Desserts French Pastry Shop Classics by Colette Christian; Sweet & Simple: 10 Classic Desserts with Nick Malgieri, Decadent Chocolate Cakes
Cake decorating classes
While I highly recommend Online Subscriptions I know there are some classes and some people from who you absolutely want to learn. There are some techniques that are unique to some teachers and these are only available thru these classes.
By the way most of the online schools also have the option to buy individual classes so check them out even if you do not want to buy the subscriptions.
So let's start with what you need rather than who you need.
Basic cake decorating
It's all in the basics guys!! How often do you see that no matter how gorgeous your decorations on the cake are if the basic white canvas is not perfect with those crisp share edges...... nah? You have to get that right.
There are many who will teach you the basic and there are many different methods that people swear by. Personally I believe that while you do need the right tool for the right job - it's practice that makes perfect! And of course a good teacher can make that practice work wonders.
So if you want to know the basics I suggest you use Jessica Harri's Class on clean and simple and simply Modern Cake Designs. In fact if possible I'd buy all her classes as they will never go obsolete and her flare for perfection will help you get there a lot easier.
A good basic in cake decorating is a great place to start and the options for these are endless. So instead of giving you names of teachers I'd rather tell you the classes I found really helpful and valuable to me. Clean and exotic designs from top cake artist like Zoe Clark, Maggie Austin, Faye Cahill.
Cake trends - Bas relief and stain glass
I love Maggie Austins's class Decorating in Three Dimensions I've use it as an inspiration for a few cakes already. Her class on Fondant Frill is truly something. You know this ballerina is the creator of the frill technique?
Metallic and lace techniques
If you love working with lace then you will find Zoe Clark's class on Elegant Lace Cakes really useful. She specializes in lace!! She has two more classes which I think will never go obsolete for me Perfect Party Cakes and Charming Party Cakes. Zoe is one of my favorite cake artist and I have almost all her books and classes. I love how clean, simple and unique her designs are.
Another artist whose classes would not go obsolete for me would be Faye Chill -She specializes in pretty metallic finishes, lace and very modern and trendy designs - her two classes are Layered Embellishments 12 stunning techniques and Lavish layered lace design
She teaches two cakes on Paul Bradford's School as well Shimmering Lace Wedding Cake and Rose Quartz Deco Cake
If you are into novelty cakes then two of the best people I know in the industry that are also great teachers are Mike Macarey and Kacey Lackey.
Mike Macarey had five amazing classes that will blow your mind with techniques that truly wow..!! I have his Classic Cars Timeless Techniques , Advanced Cake Sculpting Bobblehead where he sculpted himself!! Sculpting is not easy but to do your self - now that not easy!
If you like sports and super cakes then he has two classes that simply work in these All Star Cakes where he create a standing football and life like sports shoe and Simple technique for super cakes where he does small single tier cakes with all the super factor wow cakes. He's last class just blew my mind when he too 2D cakes to the next level with his Incredible Cut out cakes
Kacey Lackey has some really incredible sculpted cakes the most of which are on Pretty witty Cakes. She has one class on Craftsy where she teaches her sculpting magic Unicorn Cake . To learn from Kaysie I think it's would be more affordable to get a membership with Pretty Witty Cakes instead of just buy her individual cakes. She does have a lot of amazing sculpted cakes to choose from.
Another artist that I cannot speak enough about is Serder Yener of Cake Art by Yeners Way. Watching him work brings the word cake porn to mind. He's creations are so perfect and he has a flare to simplify thing that can make the most difficult task seem so easy. Truly a work of art. You can buy his tutorials individually but I would suggest getting a membership because that would be true value for money. Just look at these below.. don't they just blow your mind? All these are tutorials taught by Serder Yener.
Another very talented tutor Avalon Yarnes of Avalon School of Sugar Art has some really good tutorial on sculpted cakes. Take a look at her Wizard bust cake, Basic Human Face Sculpting where she teaches in details how to sculpt a face with modeling chocolate. She had some really amazing and trendy tutorials.
Modeling figures is not become the new trend. While there are many good classes on Craftsy and around the web I would highly recommend these classes by Valentina and Rhu Strand on Paul Bradfords Schoool. Both these award wining artist are truly good teachers.
Valentina has two classes called Mother and Daughter Playtime cake as well as Fifty Shades of Cake. She very patiently teaches who to sculpt the a lady and a girl in details right from face to toes.
Rhu Strand has this Princess Pirate Bonny Blue Hat. The details and techniques she uses are so beautifully shown.
I also like this tutorial by Barbara Ragini - Italian Faries
This is a soft spot for me as I love sugar flowers and Craftsy does have some of the best sugar flower courses taught but the best in the industry. Nicholas Lodge, Alan Dunn and Jacqueline Butler are my absolute favorite sugar flower artist and I own every class they taught so far. You will find a big display of sugar flowers here but you can also look them individually as well. Nicholas Lodge teaches the Sugar Rose, lilies, tulips, peonies, poinsettias. While Alan Dunn teaches the exotic gardenia, Nasturtitum, fox gloves, Hibiscus etc. Jacqueline Butler teaches hand made sugar flowers and filler flowers such as cosmos, hydrangea, lilacs etc.
Most of the flowers that I have learned are from these classes above.
Cake crend - Isomalt and wafer papers
This is now the hottest trend in the the industry. Wafer Paper flowers and Isomalt. While there is lots to explore in these I would highly suggest you start with the basic Intro to Isomalt which gives you the basic and more about Isomalt. The lovely Simi of Simi Cakes who is considered a pro in Isomalt has some really nice classes on Sugar Ed Productions. I have seen them and I would highly recommend them.
When it comes to wafer paper the lovely Stevi Auble herself have two classes - Delicate Wafer Paper Another wafer paper artist who is also a beautiful friend is Kara Andretta and she has some cool wafer paper tutorials on Sugar Ed Productions as well as Avalon Cake School of Sugar Art
Business & photography
If you have a Cake Business then this class is for you -How to start a cake business
We all know how important good photography is when it comes to cakes and food. Craftsy has this amazing class that covers photography when it comes to Cakes. It covers almost everything you need to know about photographing and editing your cakes.