Cupcakes are everywhere.

Just turn on your cable and you’ll see shows like “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network and “DC Cupcakes” on The Learning Channel (TLC).

But you don’t have to watch these shows to see great cupcakes.  You can learn how to make your own.

A cupcake decorating class is among a wide variety of special interest and continuing education classes being offered at High Plains Technology Center this semester.

The 2-day cupcake decorating class will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28.  It will be taught by Vickie Schmidt, who is a family consumer sciences teacher at Sharon-Mutual High School.

“I’ve taught cake decorating there for about 3 years now,” Schmidt said.

But with decorating a whole cake, she said she began to notice, “sometimes people would have a hard time carrying their decorated cakes to their car and getting them home in one piece.”

“So I decided to switch it up a bit,” she said.  “Cupcakes are easier to transport and they are a big thing right now.”


As part of the class, Schmidt said students will not only learn decorating techniques like how to make roses and leaves out of frosting, but will also “get the recipe for the actual buttercream that we will decorate with.”

Furthermore, as students learn the techniques, she said they will get ideas on how to put those techniques to use such as birthday cake themes for boys and girls.

“They’re going to make an actual frog and learn how to do bugs for a boy’s birthday and then we’ll do some more feminine things like make marshmallow flowers,” she said.

Those considering joining the class should know that in addition to a tuition fee, there will be some additional costs for things like basic frosting ingredients and a basic frosting kit, Schmidt said.  But the cost for these things should be somewhat minimal especially if they already have most of the equipment at home already such as bowls and a sifter, she said.

Another thing potential students should keep in mind, Schmidt said, is that she likes to keep her classes small, around 10 to 12 students, so that she is able to work with them one-on-one.  

However, in the past, she said her classes have also been quite popular.

“Usually she (Sue Mitchell) has a waiting list.  So if you want to get in, you’ll need to do so pretty quick,” Schmidt said.

Mitchell is the director of adult training/nursing at the technology center.  She too urged those wishing to participate in any of the center’s many short term classes to enroll quickly.

“We like them to be enrolled at least a week prior to the class starting, but to prevent a class from being canceled or being filled up and you getting disappointed, you need to sign up quickly,” she said.


In addition to the cupcake decorating class, other special interest courses being offered at High Plains this fall include sign language, a session on healthy eating for the holidays, and a number of crafting classes that range from magnetic picture frames to quilting to stained glass.

There are also a number of trades classes such as furniture construction; health classes such as continuing education for those seeking paramedic certification; and more than 25 computer classes where you can learn anything from how to make labels and envelopes using Microsoft Word to how to perform your own simple computer repairs.

In addition, there is a whole section of computer classes designed exclusively for senior citizens and which are free to seniors living within the HPTC school district.  The HPTC district includes Buffalo, Fargo, Fort Supply, Gage, Mooreland, Sharon-Mutual, Vici and Woodward.

Like Schmidt’s class, most of the courses are offered in the evening for the convenience of participants who might have to work during the day.  However, the senior citizens classes are offered during the day, since that usually suits their schedule better, Mitchell said.

Trying to meet the needs of the students is one of the main goals of any and all HPTC programs, she said, noting that is why the center offers classes on so many different subjects.

“Not everybody has the same reasons to come to High Plains Tech,” Mitchell said.  “There are a variety of reasons.  You might just want to do it for a hobby and the socialization that goes with it, or you might be updating a skill to get a leg up in your current job, or you might want to take a course that will make your skills more marketable for a new career.”

In addition, she said, “there’s a lot of people that take courses because they’re inquisitive and want to learn something new.”

But whatever your reason, Mitchell said there is probably a course for everybody being offered at High Plains.  If there isn’t, she said the school is open to suggestions for new courses and tries to continually update its course offerings.

For more information on the courses that are available at HPTC this fall and to register online, visit  Click on “Enroll now Short Term Classes Start Today!” to download a brochure listing the course offerings.

For any additional questions, such the curriculum in any particular course, contact Mitchell at 256-6618 or at 571-6159.

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