Teaching Journey

From humble beginnings to worldwide recognition, follow the teaching journey

From Liverpool UK to The Global Experience

Presenting David’s teaching journey from the early 1980s to the present day…

Teaching Journey Awards and historical documents

Humble Beginnings

In 1983 an ambitious 19 year old David MacCarfrae quit his full-time bakery job in London and headed back to Liverpool in order to pursue his dream. Unemployed but very determined, David (with the unconditional support of his parents) started a very small business called ‘David Cakes’ from a converted spare bedroom at his family home.

After showcasing a small collection of wedding cake designs at many local bridal fairs, it was not long before David started receiving wedding and celebration cake commissions, as well as being asked to teach cake decorating.

In 1984 David Cakes retail cake store opened and David began teaching local students basic cake decorating at his business premises. This was only for a short time as increased demand for bespoke cakes forced him to put his teaching journey on hold.

Gaining Recognition

In 1991 David Cakes embraced the arrival of the internet and launched a brand new website which over time gained both David MacCarfrae and the David Cakes brand national and international recognition.

Receiving more and more requests to reveal the secrets of his technique, David decided in 2009 that the timing was right in his career to share his free-hand cake decorating techniques. Staring with 4 hour evening cake decorating workshops and then introducing follow-up 1 day and 2 day master class courses during weekends, David’s training events gained momentum and popularity with local and national UK students attending.

International Status

Within 12 months of starting to teach cake decorating in Liverpool, David’s global appeal began to soar with both national and international students registering for his cake decorating masterclass courses.

Besides welcoming students from all over the UK, David has welcomed many international students travelling to Liverpool from: USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Russia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, China, Macau, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Maldives, Mauritius, Cuba, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mozambique, Angola, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Courses were made up of a mix of first time cake decorators, owners of small cake decorating businesses and students sponsored by large corporations – all eager to learn David’s free-hand method of cake decorating, while embracing over 30 years of David’s retail cake store business experience.

Historical cake decorating images contributing to the teaching journey

Worldwide Recognition

Within a few months of launching cake decorating courses in Liverpool, international academies and International Corporate Executives from around the world invited David as their international guest of honour to attend cake decorating seminars, VIP corporate events, conventions and charity benefit galas where he showcased his free-hand Royal Icing techniques, presented after dinner speeches and captivated live audiences playing the piano as he performed his original music.

Corporate sponsored events include:

The Royal Diamond Jubilee Tea Party – Hong Kong

Royal Brunei Airlines International Executive Convention – China

The Borneo Cake Exploration Tour – From Malaysia to The Royal Kingdom of  Brunei

Hong Kong International Bakery Expo VIP Cocktail Party – Hong Kong

Futian Shangri-La Hotel VIP Wedding Fair – China

VIP Charity Benefit Gala – Malaysia

The Americas Cake Show Convention – USA

The global experience has also taken David and his assistant Edward to corporate events in Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Norway, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Macau.

Did You Know ?

1980

David studied bakery, cake decorating and food technology at ‘Colquitt St. Nautical and Technical Catering College’ in Liverpool.

At the age of 17 he achieved ‘Distinctions’ in City and Guilds and was awarded the ‘The Renshaw Cup’ including an all expenses paid scholarship to attend the world renowned  ‘Richemont School of Patisserie’ – Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.

In 1984 David officially opened David Cakes retail cake store and in 1985 he briefly taught weekly cake decorating classes to his local audience, but only for a few months due to increased demand for his bespoke cake decorating service.

By the end of the 1980’s David’s achievements included making a Royal Wedding Cake for The British Royal Family and receiving many TV and business awards for product innovation and staff training – including ‘The National Training Award’ presented by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

1990

During the early 1990’s fondant coated wedding and celebration cakes started to become more popular in the UK, so David introduced new smooth-edge fondant covered / delicately piped cake designs to his retail cake store collection – with emphasis on retaining his free-hand Royal Icing piping signature style.

Even with arrival of smooth and simple designs, there was still a very high demand for traditional Royal Icing coated cakes decorated with lavish ornate over-piping resulting in David Cakes product range becoming more diverse and with a wider audience appeal which enabled his business to survive in ever changing times while evolving with fresh innovative challenges and creative ideas that instigated new cake design trends.

Up to this time wedding and celebration cakes were only available in the UK from specialist cake shops and cake decorating materials only available to the bakery industry – but this was about to radically change.

1998

The late 1990’s saw the dawn of UK supermarkets starting to sell mass produced wedding and celebration cakes, but also cake decorating materials.  In order to stay ahead and ensure his survival in ever more competitive times of business, David had to re-invent and expand his wedding and celebration cake product range – offering new and exclusive original ideas – not available elsewhere.

In 1998 David introduced palette knife cake painting with Royal Icing to his wedding and celebration cake retail store product range, offering a brand new style of decorated cake which proved very popular with both wedding clientele and the younger generation.

From floral – to landscape – to pop-art and beyond, David had invented a new revolutionary style of Royal Icing creativity which is still as popular today – over 20 years later from when he created the first prototype palette knife cake painted designs that were proudly showcased in David Cakes retail cake store window.

2019

The 2000’s saw the evolution of cake decorating into the mainstream, popularised by reality TV shows and live competitions.

In 2011, David completed filming in Canada for the now globally successful 13 part reality TV series ‘CAKE WALK’. Upon his return to Liverpool, he felt it was time to revisit to what he loved to do, but had not yet fully fulfilled – his passion for teaching.

Bidding a fond farewell to his retail business, David closed David Cakes cake store in 2012 and embarked on his new full-time teaching journey.

In 2019 David may appear to be set in his traditional ways, but he simply believes that besides being a quick and cost effective art-form ideal for commercial business growth, free-hand cake decorating has such a rich history that needs to be preserved for future generations – with a continued high demand from students wishing to learn free-hand techniques, the survival of centuries old art form is looking very positive.

Welcoming Students From Across The Globe

Celebrating free-hand cake decorating achievements and happy memories
STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Chef Ten

Chef Ten travelled 6,824 miles from Singapore to Liverpool – spending 7 days with David learning centuries old free-hand piping techniques, while addressing the science of Royal Icing, product development, marketing and retail cake store business growth.

Singapore

Theresa

Theresa decided attending David Cakes international masterclass course was the perfect investment to assist with wedding and celebration cake product development for her new cake store / bar / restaurant / catering business located in Ghana.

Ghana

Aliki Christina

Aliki Christina accompanied by her husband travelled from Abu Dhabi to attend a private 4 day 1 to 1 masterclass course with David, where she learnt how to design and decorate a ‘Royal’ style wedding cake for her new specialist cake store located in Dubai.

United Arab Emirates

Sunita

Sunita from Germany enjoyed the freedom of being able to express her creativity as she learnt the art of free-hand palette knife cake painting with Royal Icing, which David originally introduced into his wedding and celebration retail cake store collection in 1998.

Germany

Patricia

Patricia travelled 4,727 miles from Texas USA to Liverpool to explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities.

USA

Nabil

Travelling from Egypt to learn free-hand piping techniques from David, Nabil enjoyed the total freedom of being able to express herself through her creative cake decorating challenges.

Egypt

Shirley and Mary

Taking time out from her busy nursing career, first time cake decorator Shirley along with Mum Mary had fun in Liverpool learning cake free-hand piping techniques…

England

Yossi

Professional singer Yossi took time out to unwind from his busy work schedule, travelling from Tel Aviv to join David in Liverpool for a 7 day ‘chill-out’ embracing free-hand cake decorating for the very first time!

Israel

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Sonia

Sonia decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Nairobi.

Kenya

Anika

Travelling from Switzerland, Anika enjoyed creating a Royal Iced wedding cake for the very first time! – From learning traditional coating, to decorating her cake with piping, with David’s guidance and support Anika completed her free-hand challenge with great success!

Switzerland

Joyce

Joyce travelled 3,256 miles from Nigeria to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David, where she learnt how to design and decorate a luxurious Royal Icing wedding cake, decorated with free-hand piping and embellished with string work piping cascades.

Nigeria

Elsa

Elsa from Portugal celebrates her achievement! – as she presents her free-hand palette knife cake painted design to fellow students during David’s presentation of personally signed certificates that he presents to all his students.

Portugal

Natalia

Natalia from Russia enjoys free-hand palette knife cake painting with Royal Icing for the very first time – and proudly shows off her creative achievement for all to admire!

Russia

Emily

It was a ‘Happy Piping Birthday!” for 2nd year English catering college student Emily as she celebrated her 18th birthday presented with a special gift from her parents –  to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David which had always been Emily’s ultimate dream!

England

Natalie

Natalie decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in China.

China

Elvelina

Travelling from Sweden to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass with David, professional artist Elvelina changed her creative medium from watercolours and oil paint to Royal Icing, challenging herself with free-hand piping for the very first time!

Sweden

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Dawn

Dawn decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Stratford Ontario.

Canada

Nicholas and Yuya

Employees of a highly successful bakery chain located in Kuching Malaysia attended David Cakes International Masterclass Course. Nicholas and Yuya embraced David’s free-hand cake decorating techniques to increase business turnover within the large corporation.

Malaysia

Magda

Magda travelled 4,451 miles from St Maarten Caribbean to Liverpool to explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities.

St Maarten

Jennifer

Jennifer from Venezuela enjoyed the total freedom of being able to express her creativity during her first time experience of free-hand piping with Royal Icing at David Cakes International Masterclass Course.

Venezuela

Guðbjörg and Kolbrún

Guðbjörg and daughter Kolbrún travelled from Iceland to Liverpool – spending 7 days with David learning centuries old free-hand piping techniques, while addressing the science of Royal Icing, product development, marketing and retail cake store business growth.

Iceland

Private Group

A private group of cake decorators from Japan have fun learning the art of free-hand palette knife cake painting with Royal Icing, which David originally introduced into his wedding and celebration retail cake store collection in 1998.

Japan

Jenny

Jenny travelled 9,484 miles from Australia to Liverpool, attending a private 1 to 1 masterclass course to explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities using Royal Icing.

Australia

Gamze and Nazaiye

Best friends Gamze and Nazaiye from Turkey enjoyed their first time piping experience with Royal Icing, while attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course.

Turkey

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Andrea

Andrea accompanied by her husband travelled from Argentina to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Buenos Aires.

Argentina

Nada

Nada travelled 3,206 miles from Saudi Arabia to Liverpool – spending 7 days with David learning centuries old free-hand piping techniques, while addressing the science of Royal Icing, product development, marketing and retail cake store business growth.

Saudi Arabia

Marlyn

Having decorated all piping directly onto the cake surface, Marlyn from Hong Kong celebrates her first time ‘gravity defying’ free-hand Royal Icing piping achievements at David Cakes International Masterclass Course, as she presents her Royal Icing Crown for all to admire!

Hong Kong

Christina

Christina from Spain embraced centuries old free-hand coating and free-hand piping techniques with Royal Icing for the very first time!

Spain

Maruiska

Maruiska from Cuba had fun experimenting with Royal Icing, enjoying creating floral patterns using free-hand palette knife cake painting techniques, which David originally introduced into his wedding and celebration retail cake store collection in 1998.

Cuba

Priscila

Priscila travelled 8,335 miles from Brazil to Liverpool to explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities.

Brazil

Beatrice

Beatrice from Italy enjoyed creating a Royal Iced wedding cake for the very first time! – From learning traditional coating, to decorating her cake with piping, with David’s guidance and support Beatrice completed her free-hand challenge with great success!

Italy

Scott

Scott decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product  development for his highly successful cake making business located in Dover Ohio.

USA

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Bhava

Bhava travelled from India to Liverpool to attend a 2 day private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David, to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in India .

India

Hunayna

Hunayna travelled 3,806 miles from Oman to Liverpool – spending 7 days with David learning centuries old free-hand piping techniques, while addressing the science of Royal Icing, product development, marketing and retail cake store business growth.

Oman

Paz

Paz from Colombia enjoyed creating a Royal Iced wedding cake for the very first time! – From learning traditional coating, to decorating her cake with piping, with David’s guidance and support Paz completed her free-hand challenge with great success!

Colombia

Sylwia

Sylwia from Poland travelled to Liverpool to explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities.

Poland

Thi Ha Thanh

Thi Ha Thanh decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with wedding and celebration cake product development for her new cake making business located in Ho Chi Minh.

Vietnam

Patricia

Patricia from Croatia enjoyed the total freedom of being able to express her creativity during her first time experience of free-hand piping with Royal Icing at David Cakes International Masterclass Course.

Croatia

Anna

Anna from Bulgaria gives a ‘thumbs-up!’ to creating free-hand with fondant and Royal Icing.

Bulgaria

Gladys

Gladys from Netherlands embraced centuries old free-hand coating and free-hand piping techniques with Royal Icing for the very first time!

Netherlands

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Amarizah

Having decorated all piping directly onto the cake surface, Amarizah from Brunei celebrates her first time ‘gravity defying’ free-hand Royal Icing piping achievements at David Cakes International Masterclass Course, as she presents her Royal Icing Crown for all to admire!

Brunei

Fazila

Fazila travelled 5,079 miles from Zambia to Liverpool to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Lusaka.

Zambia

Gráinne

Gráinne travelled from Ireland to Liverpool to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass course and explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities.

Ireland

Staci

Staci travelled 4,471 miles from Trinidad and Tobago to Liverpool to attend a private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Endeavor.

Trinidad and Tobago

Anona

Inspired by the beautiful Shetland landscape of her homeland, Anona enjoys free-hand palette knife cake painting with Royal Icing for the very first time – and proudly shows off her creative achievement!

Scotland

Lalaine

Lalaine travelling from The Philippines, embraced centuries old free-hand coating and free-hand piping techniques with Royal Icing for the very first time!

Philippines

Janet

Janet travelled from London to Liverpool – spending 7 days with David learning centuries old free-hand piping techniques, while addressing the science of Royal Icing, product development, marketing and retail cake store business growth.

England

Jurgita

Jurgita from Lithuania celebrates her first time experience of free-hand piping with Royal Icing at David Cakes International Masterclass Course.

Lithuania

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Mirka

Mirka travelled 1,131 miles from Estonia to Liverpool to explore David’s exciting world of creative free-hand piping techniques and unlimited innovative design possibilities.

Estonia

Shaikah

Shaikah travelled 3,086 miles from Kuwait to Liverpool to learn the art of free-hand palette knife cake painting with Royal Icing, which David originally introduced into his wedding and celebration retail cake store collection in 1998.

Kuwait

Lidia

Lidia decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Macau.

Macau

Monika

Travelling from Hungary to learn free-hand piping techniques from David, Monika enjoyed the total freedom of being able to express herself through her creative cake decorating challenges.

Hungary

Hala

David spends quality 1 to 1 personalised cake decorating training time with Hala, who travelled from Austria to attend David Cakes International Masterclass Course in Liverpool.

Austria

Yi

Yi from Taiwan enjoyed creating a Royal Iced wedding cake for the very first time! – From learning traditional coating, to decorating her cake with piping, with David’s guidance and support Yi completed her free-hand challenge with great success!

Taiwan

Benjamin

Benjamin decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for his highly successful bakery / cake making business located in Anglesey.

Wales

May

May travelled from Norway to Liverpool and enjoyed the total freedom of being able to express her creativity during her first time experience of free-hand piping with Royal Icing at David Cakes International Masterclass Course.

Norway

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Christina

Christina from Uruguay enjoyed creating a Royal Iced wedding cake for the very first time! – From learning traditional coating, to decorating her cake with piping, with David’s guidance and support Christina completed her free-hand challenge with great success!

Uruguay

Antra

Antra from Latvia enjoyed the freedom of being able to express her creativity as she learnt the art of free-hand palette cake painting with Royal Icing, which David originally introduced into his wedding and celebration retail cake store collection in 1998.

Latvia

Nicki and Debs

Best friends Nicki and Debs had fun in Liverpool learning cake decorating techniques for the very first time!

England

Irene

Irene from Slovakia embraced centuries old free-hand coating and free-hand piping techniques with Royal Icing for the very first time!

Slovakia

Sarah

Sarah travelling from Nigeria with family, celebrates her first time experience of free-hand piping with Royal Icing at David Cakes International Masterclass Course.

Nigeria

Chin Wei

Chin Wei decided attending David Cakes International Masterclass Course was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful bespoke cake making business located in China.

China

Aida

Aida accompanied by her husband, travelled from Dubai to Liverpool to attend a 6 day private 1 to 1 masterclass course with David, to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake business located in Dubai.

United Arab Emirates

Louise

Sarah-Louise decided attending an international masterclass course with David was the perfect investment to assist with further wedding and celebration cake product development for her highly successful cake making business located in Birkdale.

England

A Personal Thank You

From David

“I am most honoured to receive so many messages which mean so much
and I am delighted that you have enjoyed your cake decorating experiences.
On behalf of myself and my assistant Edward we sincerely thank all our students
for making our journey such a special and most memorable one.
Happy Cake Decorating!”

David – Liverpool England

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