Monday, October 29, 2012

Crystal & David's Engagement Cake; Styled Shoot

The beautiful people in these photos are Crystal and David.

I met Crystal through a mutual friend at a party a thousand years ago. With another friend, we escaped the party (because we knew no one) and ran across the street to get ice cream sandwiches.

Seven years later, Crystal is a makeup artist. She's been doing makeup for weddings and engagement parties, (she even did my spray tan for my wedding) and partnering with other vendors to put together styled shoots.

I was so happy when she contacted me to make a cake for a styled engagement shoot with her fiance, David.

These photos are just a taste of what photographer, Tito Vilela, captured during their shoot last month.

Though it's small, I love seeing professional photos of my cakes. I wanted to keep it simple for this cake - black on white with a monogram and some subtle detail work.

I am really pleased with how it came out.

Huge thank you to Crystal for putting this together!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Mocha Cake & Espresso Buttercream

My Brother-in-law loves coffee and chocolate... like, loooooves them... a lot. So, for his birthday this month, it was a no brainer to turn coffee and chocolate into a cake.

It was also really easy to make. Everybody wins!

I added a little Kahlua to the buttercream for a hint of liqueur flavor. The cake & buttercream combination was perfectly chocolately and espresso-filled without being overwhelming.

Can't wait to use these flavors again.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rainbow Birthday Cake

This cake was just fun.

Though I'm not sure you can avoid fun when you're making a cake for a toddler's 3rd birthday.

Bright colors combined with the look on her face when she saw it = happiness.

I felt like a kid rolling out and dying fondant for the rainbow.

Then I had some extra (everything), so I made little rainbow cupcakes.

It's chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. I love anything with fresh whipped cream. So yummy.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gimme S'more; a caking adventure

I've been super inspired by a thousand recipes I've seen out there on these amazing blogs and so many more. 
These bakers and food bloggers are so exquisitely creative in their food inventions, I decided I wanted to follow in their footsteps and create something of my own – not just an adaptation.

Also, just so we're all on the same page, this is a flavor adventure. Next time I'll try and make it look pretty, I promise. So for my project I sought out no recipes. I took what I knew about cake batter and frostings/fillings and I applied it to transform one of my absolute favorite desserts (even to this day); S’MORES. 
I thought long and hard about the best way to create a s’mores cake, but this plan was the winner:

Chocolate cake with chunks of graham cracker mixed in (mostly for aesthetics) with marshmallow filling, frosting, graham cracker pieces and crumbs between the layers, with toasted marshmallows and graham crackers on top. 

Big chunks of graham cracker. :)
Once I baked the cake and mixed the frosting, putting it together was easy.

I let the cake show through the sides because I knew I would cover it later.
Then I covered it with marshmallows
Grabbed my trusty propane tank and sparker from the garage
 Lit the marshmallows on fire and threw on a TON of crushed graham cracker

...but as I was "toasting" the marshmallows with my trusty propane torch, something happened that I hadn't foreseen - the frosting started to melt... a lot. There was a little too much heat coming from the torch, but I couldn't dial it back or else the marshmallows wouldn't have enough "toastyness". 

Though not perfect, I think it still came out looking pretty cool and, most importantly, delicious. If I want to put the 'mallows on the outside of the cake next time I will have to find a more mellow toasting technique - maybe just slower so there's less heat on the cake at one time, or maybe I'll try toasting them before I even put them on the cake. Either way, lesson learned. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my caking adventure. This recipe still needs some tweaking, but I am excited for it to be perfect. Soon I will be able to add it to our flavor repertoire you can order one for yourself... and the outside of yours does not have to be covered in melted frosting and toasted marshmallows... unless, of course, you want it to. ;) 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Katie & Blake's Lemon Berry Cutting Cake

First of all I would just like to thank Katie for choosing my absolute favorite flavor combination. - lemon with lemon curd and fresh berries. I almost made extra so that I could make a little cake for myself too. Luckily, we did have a little extra lemon curd and raspberries, so I got to enjoy it after all. ;)

Katie and Blake were planning on serving bundt cakes to their guests, but they still wanted something a little more traditional so that they could do a cake cutting (which I would love to see some pictures of *hint hint*).
For that, they came to me. :)

I custom made a little 7" cake top and piped a lace design to around the sides to match Katie's dress. I'm pretty happy with how it came out and I think they were too!

Before I added the topper and the florist added baby's breath

A couple different views after we flowered and topped it. How cute is that topper? 

I know you've seen the cake now, so what more could there possibly be to see? Well, I thought the display they had set up was really adorable, so I thought I would share a couple shots I took of that too...

I just love the "Sweets" sign and the chandelier. Super cute.

Thank you so so much, Katie & Blake! I am honored and proud to have been able to make the cake for your wedding! Congratulations! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Port Hueneme Wedding Cake

This cake was so easy...and so difficult.

The cake itself was easy-peasy (and so delicious says me and my husband who got to eat all the extra).

I got this commission via facebook and I was so excited about it, I let myself agree to having it delivered on the same day my cousin was getting married in Newport - totally the opposite direction.

I spent weeks/months trying to coordinate someone to drop off the cake for me. My friends had to work/entertain inlaws, my cousins from the other side were all out of town at college or had a previous commitment (to the other event I would have gone to on 5/19). Finally, Kim suggested I try TaskRabbit

In a day and a half, I had two people bidding for me to pay them to take my cake to Port Hueneme. Hooray! I picked one and in the days before the cake delivery we had a little snaffoo. The venue wouldn't be open to vendors until 2:30 and he'd hoped to deliver it earlier. I worried that he wouldn't be able to deliver it if he couldn't drop it off early, so I spazzed out and tried to find a backup delivery person in case he couldn't.

Oh, by the way, this was a vanilla cake with cream cheese filling and strawberries. Yum yum yum. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Helen's German Chocolate Cruise Ship Cake

This past weekend was my soon-to-be cousin-in-law (is that a thing?), Helen's, bridal shower!

She and my cousin, Matt, met on a cruise a few years ago. Their romance has been centered around their love of travel and the open sea. :) Helen's shower theme was, of course, nautical. So, my aunt asked if I would create a cruise ship cake for them!

I was delighted and excited to help in any way I could! As usual, I ended up procrastinating and staying up far too late the night before the shower adding the finishing touches, but when I was finally done, I had made a pretty adorable cruise ship/tug boat ;) German Chocolate cake.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Full Bag, Full Heart

Today was The Chase Foundation's annual Full Bag, Full Heart fundraiser. I was so honored that they asked me to make a cake as the centerpiece for the table at their event.

They designed the event logo using the Pantone Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango, and asked me to incorporate their logo into my cake design.

I wanted to keep it simple and not take away from the clean lines in the design, so I ended up with this:

When I arrived to deliver the cake today, I was delighted to find they had an entire snack table done in Tangerine Tango. My cake fit in perfectly.

I love this display, and I loved that my cake was a part of it.

Thank you so much to The Chase Foundation for thinking of me to help with your event! I am so happy that I was able to contribute!

Edit 4/17/12 2:26PM: I just found out that The Chase Foundation raised 15k at Full Bag, Full Heart to help hospitalized kids be kids. :) Congratulations Chase Foundation!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy 80th Birthday, Karl!

Friday, March 16th, my incredibly amazing and genius grandpa turned 80!

For as long as I can remember, he's had a 1966 Ford Mustang GT sitting in pieces in his garage. So I thought it would be cool to incorporate a Mustang into the design for his cake.   After multiple discussions and a couple google image searches with my husband to figure out the design, we decided to keep it simple and classy.

Sitting pretty, before moving the cake to the party

It got rained on a bit, and one of my aunts brought candles that ended up being the
perfect colors.

Chocolatey chocolate chocolate
My grandpa didn't want to cut up and eat the Mustang. He thought it was too pretty. 

I would also just like to add that if you met this man, you would not believe for a second that he is 80 years old. All of my grandparents - old folks just aint old like they used to be. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kim & Will's Wedding Cake * Professional Photos *

It feels like I've been waiting forever for this, but really its only been a few days. Emily, the incredibly talented photographer at gem photo agreed to send me some of her images of the cake I made for Kim & Will. They came out so much better than I ever dreamed. I am so happy and so thankful to have such a beautiful collection of images of one of my cakes. 

Thank you, Emily. These make me so happy. Thank you thank you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cinnamon Birthday Cake

I got a request for a mini cinnamon cake this weekend. Last time I made cinnamon cake, I paired it with a lovely Mexican chocolate filling and it was delicious, but this time I wanted to try something different with the cinnamon. So, since my hubby and I have been on a bit of a cinnamon roll kick, I decided 'what better to pair it with than brown sugar?'

It came out really well. The brown sugar buttercream was muted enough to let the cinnamon flavor in the cake really shine through, while still adding a subtle molassesy accent. 

I also used the Swiss-style buttercream to do the flower and the piping around the bottom, so it didn't have the body of the decorating icing I usually use, but I think it has a very organic vibe about it since I also chose not to overload it with color. 
View from the top
Digging in.

Friday, March 9, 2012

No Reason. I Just Love Lemon.

I made the little lemons out of white fondant and then painted them with gel color

This cake was for one of the girls on my mark. team. I love making cakes for no reason. There's something wonderful about ordering a cake just because you want to eat some!

And that's exactly what this cake was.

I supposedly learned my lesson about starting cakes after 9pm last time around, but apparently that didn't stick since I was up way too late making this little guy.

I had some leftover lemon curd and cake top though, so there was definitely enough sugar around to keep me awake. :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

White Vs. Yellow; What's the Diff?

When I first started baking, I thought white cake and yellow cake were the same thing - and even today, I'll use yellow cake in place of white cake because they're kind of interchangeable.

But it's come to my attention that a lot of people don't know the difference. So, I've decided to break it down for you:

Egg yolks.

Yellow cake gets its trademark "yellow" color from the amount of egg yolks in the batter. My yellow cake has 4 whole eggs in one small cake, which makes for a lot of yolks, though the batter turns out surprisingly light. It still has an obviously yellow tint. The yellow ingredients in cake - eggs and butter - will also make your cake more dense and moist.

A typical white cake will have almost twice as much egg white and no egg yolk at all. This makes the batter much lighter in color (thus the "white" name) and when the whites are beaten, can make the cake lighter and more airy.

Personally, I prefer the dense cake and rich flavor that egg yolks bring to the table, but if you're in the mood for something a little lighter, white is always a good option. ;)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kim & Will's Winter Wonderland Cake

This is the wedding cake I made for Kim & Will’s snowy Lake Tahoe wedding. The top tiers are Chocolate with ganache and raspberries and the bottom tier is Boston cream pie. 
I had a really tough time finding those pine cones, but it turns out, if I had just waited until we got to Tahoe, I would not have had to think about it at all. 
I also had some pretty phenomenal assistants in the kitchen with me, threatening to eat all of my ingredients. 

I am so happy with how this cake turned out. I wish I could have stuck around to eat some of it. 

Oh, also, the lovely and talented Emily, over at gem photo, has offered to send me some of her absolutely stunning photos of this cake. I am super excited about this. It was sort of the catalyst for redesigning my blog since I wanted a blog that was pretty enough to put professional quality photos on. 

Bridal Shower Cupcakes

I got this cute little cupcake stand as a gift from my sister. I thought it held a dozen cupcakes, but I was wrong. It holds 13, which is a little awkward since muffin/cupcake pans typically hold 6 or 12.

Anyway, big sis and I hosted an adorable little bridal shower for our friend, Kim. And I decided to make some cupcakes. These are lemon cake with buttercream and yummy raspberries on top.

Cake Tasting!

It was a long time before I was able to have a chance to tell you about my first wedding cake tasting. :)

Kim, her fiance, mom and sisters came over to try a few different methods for boston cream pie.  Their other flavor is Chocolate with chocolate ganache and raspberries, but since they’d had it before, they just came over to help me determine the best way to make boston cream pie cake. :)


It turns out, getting married takes up quite a bit of time, so I wasn’t able to get my creative cake juices flowing for a while. As it turned out, it was October - Halloween Time! In honor of Halloween, I decided to host an evening of pumpkin carving, which requires an appropriately themed cake.
This baby is all hand carved and, as per usual, covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. It was so much easier and took so much less time than I expected it to. My husband suggested I make a jack-o-lantern cake and I thought to myself, “He has got to be kidding me.” I was wrong to think it would be so difficult.