4-H cake decorating series offers unique family-friendly opportunity

From News Reports
Livingston County 4-Her Chaundacey Crane-Yackley shows off her cake.

The Livingston County 4-H Program held a four-week remote cake decorating series that offered a unique opportunity for youth and parents to learn together.

Forty-six youth (ages 5-18) registered for the program. Each participant was provided with a kit that contained the 4-H Curriculum on decorating, a basic set of piping tips, couplers, a turntable, piping bags, and other related items.

With many parents learning alongside their children, the series turned into a wonderful family activity. In fact, interest was so great that the Livingston County 4-H Program received inquiries from the Syracuse-area and Tompkins and Orange Counties.

After first learning about tools and basic piping techniques, participants used royal icing to make air dry decorations for a future class and learned how to do the flood technique, creating beautifully decorated sugar cookies. In the third session, 4-H members learned to fill cupcakes and decorated them to create “monsters” using decorations from the previous week. The series concluded with participants using what they learned in the previous weeks to create a neatly frosted layer cake with a filling.

One youth participant said, “I really liked making the monster cupcakes and the different techniques for piping which helped inspire my final cake.”

Jennifer Simonetti, volunteer instructor throughout the series, effectively used two cameras to change perspective as needed (so everyone could see the demonstration).

“Activities around food are often well-received, so the idea of setting up a remote cake decorating series came together quickly,” said 4-H Educator Renee Hopkins. “By putting the tools in the hands of participants, the remote series seamlessly engaged our participants and resulted in a very engaging hands-on learning opportunity for kids and adults of all ages. In addition, we were able to accommodate so many more youth than we would have if this series had been done in person.”

To learn more about the Livingston County 4-H Program, visit the CCE Livingston County website at www.ccelivingstoncounty.org or call 585-991-5420 | 585-335-1752. Enrollment for the 2020-2021 4-H Program Year is currently underway. Families can sign-up through June 1.