10 Amazing Cake Transformations You Won’t Believe

If there’s one thing I love, it’s being a part of our students’ learning journey and getting to witness their amazing cake transformations.

Cake making is a skill, and much like any other skills, mastering it takes practise and time. When you’re in the midst of learning, you may not notice the incremental progress you’re making. But as a teacher, I always do. It fills me with pride to witness the progress between cake 1 & 2, cake 2 & 3, and so on, regardless of how small that progress may seem to my students. 

I’m a big believer in celebrating progress at every stage. Mainly because I didn’t do it for myself. I was so focused on the end goal (mastery of the skill) that I didn’t care much for the journey. I didn’t take progress photos, because in those moments nothing was ‘perfect’ enough for pictures. I regret that. Which is why I now make it my mission to celebrate my students. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 amazing cake transformations from our DTC students.


Afra Abdeen from Oh That Be Good

DTC student Afra Abdeen's floral buttercream cake before taking DTC courses.
DTC student Afra Abdeen's floral buttercream cake.

Afra discovered her love for cake design during a quiet period of her life. She had just graduated high school, moved countries, and had a long wait until uni started. In that time period, her dad – who was already a baker – decided to reign in her boredom by teaching her how to bake a birthday cake for her cousin. Since then, Afra discovered her love of baking and cake design and has alternated between it being just her side hustle and her full-time gig.

After completing our in-person Watercolour workshop in Sydney, Afra took several of our online courses to continue learning how to elevate her skills. She really wanted to perfect the technique of creating sharp edges on her buttercream cakes. Afra’s ‘after’ photo exudes a level of confidence that was definitely missing in the ‘before’ photo. Now, she no longer has to rely on chocolate shavings and large florals to hide imperfections. 

To read more about Afra and her cake success story, head over to her Student Spotlight post here.


Alanna Holmes from Colour Me Cake

DTC student Alanna Holmes's colourful candy cake before taking DTC courses.
DTC student Alanna Holmes's colourful abstract buttercream cake with acrylic topper.

Alanna was a hobby baker who made pastries and home-style cakes to fulfil her love to bake since her early twenties. At the time, her focus wasn’t actually on baking cakes as she felt she had no talent for decorating. After taking a one-day cake decorating course, she discovered she was actually pretty good at decorating but wanted to find something that really spoke to her style. That’s where DTC came in.

Alanna’s ‘before’ cake is certainly fun and exciting with plenty of vibrant colours. However, her second cake shows how she has truly honed her cake decorating skills. Her ‘after’ cake still has tons of colour but in a polished and sophisticated abstract design with flawless crisp edges (no more hiding them in messy drip!).

Head to Alanna’s Student Spotlight post to read more about her cake decorating journey!


Jeannine Nguyen from Sprinkle Happiness Cakes

DTC student Jeannine Nguyen's coconut buttercream cake before taking DTC courses.
DTC student Jeannine Nguyen's modern buttercream cake with intricate isomalt pulls and chocolate sails.

Much like myself, Jeannine has a background in architectural studies, and she needed an outlet for her creativity. Jeannine’s ‘before’ cake is actually the first cake she had ever made which she whipped together for her mom’s birthday. 

Because her family was so impressed with her cake, she decided to continue to pursue cake making. After taking just about every DTC online course she could, Jeannine’s cake design skill truly soared. Her ‘after’ cake looks like it could be a piece in a modern art museum. Jeannine’s skills with isomalt and chocolate create a captivating design with all of the skill of a professional cake designer. 

You can read more about Jeannine in her Student Spotlight post here


Jen Lee from Miss United Cakes

DTC student Jen Lee's buttercream cake prior to taking DTC courses.
DTC student Jen Lee's blue marble buttercream cake with edible gold accents.

Jen has a career in tech but is a hobbyist baker and blogger in her spare time. During her college years, she spent plenty of time in the communal dorm kitchenette baking treats anytime she had a hankering for something sweet. 

Since taking the Buttercream Cake Mastery course, Jen’s skills in cake making have soared. In her ‘after’ cake, she’s perfected the technique of smooth and flawless buttercream and doesn’t have to rely on piping to hide rough edges. Rather, her cake with its gorgeous blue marble buttercream looks as if it could have been cut directly from a slab.

Read more about Jen’s cake making story in her Student Spotlight post here


Justine Campbell-John from It’s Not Just Cake

DTC student Justine Campbell-John's three tiered naked cake with caramel drip and florals before taking DTC courses.
DTC student Justine Campbell-John's intericate Italian stone style buttercream cake.

Justine has a background in culinary arts with an education from the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London. She had dreams of becoming a food stylist although she never actually became one. Instead, baking and cake designing has taken over her life and has almost become her full time job. 

Justine’s culinary background gave her skills to create elaborate cakes. Through DTC courses, she’s been able to elevate her skills to create even more refined designs. I love how she’s made the buttercream in her ‘after’ cake look like aged Italian stone. Coupled with her use of gold leafing, florals, and sharp edges, Justine’s cakes have taken on an even more contemporary and professional look.

For more on Justine and her cake journey, check out her Student Spotlight post!


Kat Medrzejewski from Halo & Horns

DTC student Kat Medrzejewski's semi-naked cake with colourful chocolate drip, macarons, and floral toppers.
DTC student Kat Medrzejewski's forest cake with chocolate bark and floral accents.

Kat grew up in the kitchen shadowing her mother as she baked. She’s always loved baking and has a custom cake making side-hustle that she hopes to one turn into her full-time career. 

Everything she learnt about cake decorating came from hours of watching YouTube tutorials. As you can see from her ‘before’ cake, the screen time certainly paid off!

In Kat’s ‘after’ cake, her cake decorating skills have evolved beyond just applying drip and arranging florals. She learnt how to work with chocolate and edible paint to create the highly realistic-looking “tree bark” around her entire cake. Kat also perfected the technique of achieving super clean edges in her buttercream. Her time spent researching and practising new decorating techniques have made her cakes even more striking and appealing. 

For more on Kat, head over to her Student Spotlight post here!


Morgan Collins from Buttercream & Bakes by M

DTC student Morgan Collins's buttercream donut cake with caramel drip before taking DTC courses.
DTC student Morgan Collins's pink baby shower cake with gold panels, stenciled buttercream, and mereingue and macaron toppers with florals.

Morgan is another one of our students who has always had a love for baking and cake making. When she started baking for her friends’ and family’s events, a few cupcakes turned into cakes and the requests just kept coming! 

Morgan’s ‘after’ cake shows that her skills in cake making are always evolving. While her first cake is a fairly simple design with caramel drip and doughnut topping, her ‘after’ cake is a wonderful work of art! The use of gold panelling alone shows how much she was able to level up her design skills. The stencilling work on the buttercream though is marvellous and gives the cake a subtle contemporary vibe. The hint of shine with a light layer of edible gold over the geometric stencilled texture really exudes quality and professionalism. 

Read more of Morgan’s cake story in her Student Spotlight Post, here.


Samantha Olsen from Sweet Samantha Cake Designs

DTC student Samantha Olsen's unicorn candy themed birthday cake with pink chocolate drip prior to taking DTC courses.
DTC student Samantha Olsen's rectangular buttercream cake with palette knife flowers, gold paneling, and blush roses.

Samantha is a busy mom of three. Like many moms, she needed a hobby outside of motherhood and turned to cake making. Her cake business allows her to show up for her kids and have a flexible schedule to fit around theirs. 

After taking two in-person DTC courses, Samantha really enhanced her cake decorating skills to show a more modern style. Although her ‘before’ cake is cute and whimsical, her ‘after’ cake is a testament to her advanced skills. Her sharp edges accentuate the geometric shape of the cake while palette knife flowers and lace textures subtly soften the design. Her use of gold leaf panels and floral arrangement create a contemporary look without overpowering the cake itself. 

Head to Samantha’s Student Spotlight post here to read more about her success story.


Thao Tran from Earl Grey & Lavender

DTC student Thao Tran's pink buttercream macaron cake before taking DTC courses.
DTC student Thao Tran's elegant ivory buttercream cake with white and pale blush roses and gold stenciled designs.

For Thao, baking did not come easy. While she’s big on cooking, baking and the creativity that comes along with it was a whole other story. However, practise makes perfect and after her first cake turned out well, she’s been making cakes as a side hustle so her husband can work less hours to stay home with their child. 


Thao’s designs were always simple but executed well in their minimalism. Since taking the BCM course, however, her designs have become much more sophisticated. Thao’s ‘after’ cake still features a fairly monochromatic design but her newfound decorating skills show themselves in the subtle textures in the buttercream. The lace pattern on the buttercream and small gold paint splatters exudes a new level of elegance while maintaining her signature style.

Head over to Thao’s Student Spotlight post to read more about her cake journey. 


Vera Engelbertink from Zoete Kruimels

DTC student Vera Engelbertink's star themed cake prior to taking DTC courses.
DTC student Vera Engelbertinks ivory buttercream cake with rough edges, palatte knife flowers, dried flowers, and macaron toppers.

Baking was always a creative outlet for Vera. In 2020, she decided to take the leap to leave her full-time job as a digital consultant and throw herself fully into turning cake making her full-time career. Since then, Vera has taken several of DTC’s online courses to expand her knowledge and improve her cake designs. 

Vera’s second cake picture shows how she’s been able to really improve her buttercream skills. Where once her buttercream was lumpy and uneven, now her flawlessly smooth buttercream contrasts perfectly with the intentional rough edges around her cake. Palette knife flowers add detail to the buttercream without being too overpowering. Picture perfect macarons and sprigs of dried flowers add a modest final touch to her contemporary design.

For more about Vera and her cake story, read her Student Spotlight post here.

If there’s one thing to take away after seeing all of these amazing cake transformations from DTC students, it’s to have the confidence to invest in yourself. Whether cake making is just a hobby or a side hustle that you enjoy or your full-time career, investing in yourself and your education can make a huge difference in finding and perfecting your style, elevating your techniques, and owning your worth.

To see all the courses that we currently offer online, check out our course page! Don’t forget all of our students have access to our student Facebook group where you can ask questions and get advice from both your peers and myself!

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For the first 4 months of 2020, we donated $17,000 AUD to organisations that helped, and continue to help, those affected by the devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia:

Foodbank NSW – $4316

Wildlife Victoria – $4317

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal – $4316

National Bushfire Disaster Appeal – $2025

Vets for Compassion – $450

Foodbank Victoria – $1575

Between May 2020 and August 2021, we donated all proceeds to Foodbank Victoria who are doing incredible work to help with the COVID-19 Food Crisis.  To date (end of August 2021) we have donated a total of  $7251.00 to Foodbank Victoria. 

You can read more about the amazing work they’re doing here: Foodbank Victoria.


From October 2021, donations will also be made to Impact For Women, who are making a difference for women and children escaping extreme violence at home.

Impact For Women – $1587.55

Vinnies Flood Appeal – $777

Foodbank QLD – $663

Foodbank Victoria – $2467