I got so much relieve when the teacher told me about the dommie cakes -piece of Styrofoam cut in the shape of a cake- these dummies comes in different shapes and sizes. I had never heard about this but, I found that it is ideal when you are learning cake decoration or when you want to put together a portfolio of your cake decoration projects.
The dummies cakes comes in the form of square, heart, round, oval, etc. Any shape that you may need for your project.
I buy may cake dummies locally, but you can find a good store online call the Foam Studio, the prices are very good. If you like to buy online this is a very good website. Beside they have a way variety of sizes and shapes. See below some pictures taken from The Foam Studio.
When you are practicing your decoration techniques in the dummies you do not have to deal with the cake crumbs, that can be really frustrating for a new decorator, eventually you will deal with that, but learn how to decorate first.
You can use Royal Icing, Butter cream and Fondant on cake dummies. You can re-use you cake dummies, only place it the kitchen sink under warm water after removing your icing from on it. Let it dry before use it again.
As I told you before doing dummies cakes and decorating them is a great way to make several different looks to create a photo portfolio for your cake business if that is what you are planning to do. So whenever you create a dummies cake that turns out great take a picture of it and add it to your portfolio.
The picture below is my first dommie cake decorated, I was practicing my royal icing and some shells, writing and starts, if you do not tell nobody will believe that this is not a real cake.
Dommies decorated by: Karina Espinoza-Gift
So get a dommie and practice, and practice until you get it right, do not worry about the baking.