A Personal Thank You From David

“ I feel most honoured to have had the pleasure of teaching students, sharing my knowledge of free-hand cake decorating
in my home town of Liverpool and at many international cake decorating seminars and conventions around the world.

I would like to thank my assistant Edward and all of the wonderful students for making
David Cakes teaching journey such a special and most memorable one.

Happy Cake Decorating Everyone!”

David MacCarfrae – Liverpool England

From Liverpool to The Global Cake Decorating Experience

Cake decorating teaching journey of David MacCarfrae

David’s Teaching Journey

Beginning early 1980s to the present day...

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) in late September 1983 he 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 the early summer of 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.

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 1983 David officially opened David Cakes business from home and his retail cake store in 1984. 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 now 55 years of age, 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.

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