Fondant-covered cakes with artistic decorations are becoming very popular. This book has the instructions to make 14 different cakes ranging from fairly simple to quite involved. Most would be within the abilities of an advanced beginner with patience and a bit of artistic ability.
Most of the cakes are fun and festive rather than elegant. They are the kind you'd make for a child's birthday or party, though the most involved cake is a darling baby shower cake. The cakes designs are: Cheerful Chicks, Beautiful Baby Birthday, Colorful and Crazy, Clowning Around, Surf's Up (the only one that requires cutting a cake into shapes), Wickedly Wonderful Witch, Happy Birthday to You!, Spring is Springing (the cover photo), Sally Says "Surprise!!!," Paradise of Purses, Heart-to-Heart-to-Heart, Happily Ever After (bride & groom), Smiling Boy, and Smiling Girl. The easiest cakes are Colorful and Crazy and Happy Birthday to You; the most involved is Beautiful Baby Birthday with Happily Ever After a close second. The rest are in between and probably advanced beginner level difficulty.
The book starts with some basic recipes for Madeira Sponge Cake, Chocolate Cake, Fruity Cake (with pecans and canned pear or peach halves), Buttercream Frosting, Rolled Fondant, Modeling Paste, and Royal Icing. There is a brief chapter on techniques for preparing the cake; adding color to the fondant, modeling paste and royal icing; covering th cake, working with rolled fondant and modeling paste; and how to support figures. This chapter is not extensive so a beginner to working with fondant and modeling paste may need some additional reading. Another chapter goes through the tools you will need to make the decorated cakes.
The section for each cake gives the list of materials and tools you will need and instructions for making that cake, including things that need to be done one or two days in advance. There are lots of pictures whowing how to make the various figures and the back of the book has templates for cutting out the pieces.
If you are looking to make elegant wedding cakes or more formal special occasion cakes, this is not the book for you. The only cake more elegant than the cover cake is the baby shower one and it is more cute and darling than elegant. But if you have the patience to work with fondant and modeling paste and just a smidgen of artistic ability and want to make cute cakes for children or family events, this book has a lot of fun designs.