Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

What better way to ring in the new year than by celebrating a new marriage! Lisa and Jason are getting married today, and will celebrate the beginning of 2012 with 200 of their closest friends and family at their fancy reception tonight (which, by the way, will overlook the Charlotte skyline AND fireworks at midnight) now that's fun! Lisa and I have been chatting about her cake designs since summer, so it's fun for me to finally see the final result all come together.

Four cupcake flavors: walnut studded carrot cake, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla chocolate chip, marshmallow rice krispie (yup, you read correctly, that was Lisa's idea... rice krispie treats shaped and frosted like cupcakes!).

These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes were sprinkled with various sizes of silver dragees, to look a little like champagne bubbles. (In case you were wondering, this design was the beginning of my love for the silver dragee... I ordered 6 lbs of them at a cake show this summer just for this order... now I can't stop using them!)

These were the cute rice krispie treats, frosted with a swirl of buttercream, and sprinkled with clear sanding sugar. (These would be my personal favorite flavor of the evening, considering I could easily polish off an entire pan of rice krispie treats myself!)

The vanilla chocolate chip cupcakes were frosted with buttercream, and decorated with more mini dragees, and a trio of cute black fondant flowers.

And then there's the walnut studded carrot cake cupcakes, frosted with a scrumptious cream cheese buttercream and decorated with a single black fondant flower (side note - have you ever tried cream cheese frosting on a graham cracker - yum!).

And the final display! 200 beautiful cupcakes, and a sweet little bridal cake for the bride and groom to cut into. The fun thing about the cake, it's actually all rice krispies inside, which is Lisa and Jason's fav dessert. Very fun!

This post finishes me off for 2011. It's been a busy but really fun year. To all my clients and friends, thanks so much for all of your creative ideas and inspirations... and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Batter up!

This baseball cake was ordered to be the groomscake for a wedding rehearsal dinner this weekend. I love working with soon-to-be brides to figure out the perfect design to celebrate and surprise their soon-to-be hubbies! In this case, Lisa's groom was a pitcher during his days at UNC.... love how this turned out! The hat and baseball are sculpted cakes, covered in fondant and hand painted, and the larger base cake is covered in buttercream grass. As always, my favorite parts are the small details - in this case, it's the seam stitching on the hat - look close and you'll see it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Supreme {3D Pizza Cake}

Since I grew up in Chicago, I consider myself a pizza expert... I think almost anyone from Chicago or New York would say the same (I won't play favorites in this blog over which city has the better version... but I will say I can't resist a good slice, regardless of the city it hails from). So, since I'm an "expert" and all, I've been wanting to make a pizza cake for years. I finally got an order for one this weekend, and knew exactly what I wanted to do. My only dilemma - how to do the cheese. I pondered a bunch of different options -- grated chocolate, grated fondant, rolled fondant, pourable frosting -- and ended up using melted white chocolate (drizzled on the top), which turned out great. I imagine all of the little girls at Rachel's party will get a kick out of having pizza for dessert! (Now if only they could figure out how to make a pizza look like a cake... that would be fun!)

All Things Girlie {Tea Party, Ballet, Princess Cupcakes}

What do you do when you have a little girl who loves tea parties, ballet, and princesses?? You have a ballet-princess-tea party themed birthday!! So we did a little bit of everything on these cupcakes. So fun!

Up Up and Away {3D Airplane Cake}

My good friend Heather and I have been talking about this airplane cake for months. Her dad just retired from his career as a pilot for American Airlines. To celebrate, she ordered this fun cake for him!! It's a mini version of a MD-80, the plane he flew. I just love it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trends {Cake Pops}

Okay, so if you haven't heard, cake pops are the trendiest thing going right now. Here's a super simple version... cake centers, dipped in chocolate, covered in sprinkles. Delish!! I can't keep these in my kitchen or I'll eat at least a dozen. I made these for a party favor for our friend Maggie... happy birthday, sweet girl!

Twinkle Toes {Ballet and Monogram cupcakes}

My friend Sam ( always orders the cutest things from me... no exception this time. Adorable little ballet themed cupcakes for her daughter's 5th birthday. Love these!! PS. Yes, I'm still trying to find any reason to use my favorite silver dragee sprinkles!!

Oh baby... {Baby Shower Cupcakes - Diapers and Babies}

Cute little cupcakes for a babyshower this weekend... Happy babies, sad babies, and lots of diapers. Yup, that about sums up the first few weeks with a new baby!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

3 week hiatus

After a three week hiatus (which was lovely!) I'm gearing back up for a busy December. I started folding my cake boxes this week to get ready. This is only half of the boxes for December... I wonder if Santa would bring me a bigger storage closet??!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surfin' USA {3D surfing cake}

I have a feeling if we were on the westcoast, I'd get more orders for a cake like this. Laurie ordered this design for her older brother who turns 40 this weekend, and loves to surf!! I didn't really have any idea how to do a cresting "white capped" wave until I started frosting. But it all came together. My trick -- a thick layer of white frosting under the blue, and when I frosted the wave with a top layer of blue, I dipped my spatula down into the white every few strokes. Not sure if the picture does this one justice - it's much cuter in person!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Polka Dots {Green and Purple Polka Dot Cake}

I haven't done a simple dot cake in quite a while. I love the color scheme of this one. Different shades of green and purple. Hope the birthday girl likes it!!

Red White and Blue {British and American Flag Cake}

This was definitely a unique request -- a cake with both the American and British flags on display to celebrate an English aunt who happens to be visiting her American family over her birthday. Fun birthday :) Thank goodness the flags have the same color scheme... otherwise it would have been harder to pull this one off! I handpainted the flags (harder than it may seem) and used one of my new fun fondant toys to do her hair. LOVE how it turned out!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yellow Rose Anniversary Cake {Fondant Yellow Rose Cake}

My generation is getting to that age where our parents are celebrating major milestones. My friend Anne's parents just hit their 40th anniversary. Amazing!! I'm so excited to have a tiny part in their celebration! Wonder what my kids will do for me on my 40th anniversary?? Hmmm... in September of 2042. (That just sounds crazy!)

"Tomorrow... tomorrow... I love ya tomorrow" {Annie Movie Cake}

Yup, it's an Annie cake!! I love that this movie is still so popular - it was one of my favs growing up, and now it's definitely in the top 5 for my girls. This cake is for a little girl who already, at the age of 2, adores the little redhead. Can't say I blame her!! Happy Birthday, Vivienne!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bzzzz... {3D Birthday Bear with Honey Pot}

I've done a few bears over the years, and I've even done a bear and a bee theme in the past. You'd think this design would get old for me... but it hasn't!! I still love watching the cute little bear take shape... adorable as ever!

Glass Slipper {Cinderella Doll Cake}

Amazingly, this is the first Cinderella doll cake I've gotten a request for - and she turned out just lovely!! (And yes, I'm still looking for any reason to use my new silver dragees -- they work perfect for dress beading in this case!!)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bugga Bugga {Bug Cupcake Toppers}

A few years ago, when my kids were smaller, I remember them saying words wrong, and hoping that they'd never learn the right way to say them because it was so cute. (Hannah would say "Mommie, I can feel my heart beeping." It was so cute, I couldn't help but make her repeat herself a few times... not correcting her a single time.) Well, our friend Charis is that fun age, turning 2 this weekend. And she loves "bugga buggas" (aka. ladybugs). She was in my car this week, riding home from preschool, when I heard her chanting "bugga bugga... bugga bugga... bugga bugga..." I turned around and saw her holding a long lost ladybug toy she must have dug out of a crack in Leah's carseat (side note - wonder what else is in there?) Couldn't help but smile, and ask her over and over what was that in her hand again?! "Bugga bugga!! Bugga bugga!!" So cute!!

These cupcakes are perfect for her 2nd birthday - they may be bug themed, but I'm pretty sure I know which cupcake she'll pick to dig into at her party!! Happy Birthday Charis!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A visitor in my kitchen...

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from church asked me if I'd give her middle daughter a lesson in cake piping, since she's developing a bit of a passion for baking! Now, I'm not going to lie, I have very limited skills in the area of teaching (which is why I appreciate my kids teachers so much!!) but I adore all of her girls, so how could I refuse?? It took a bit of time, but we finally found a morning that worked for both of our schedules. Sarah Kate came over today, and in between Halloween orders, we worked on some technique. We started with mixing colors, prepping and filling the piping bag, and then started talking about which different tips can make different designs, depending on the angle and pressure you use on the bag.

She was a QUICK learner!! Check out two of her cupcake designs (which she did ALL by herself, I might add)... we had so much fun!

A festive pumpkin patch - lots of technique to practice here - grass, round fat pumpkins, leaves, and vines! Perfect for this time of year!

And a super cute buttercream spiderweb with a fondant spider... can you see his shifty little eyes.... yup, she painted those on!! Adorable!

Watch out Cake Boss... here comes Sarah Kate!!

Happy Halloween!! {Halloween Theme Cupcakes}

Some festive (but not too spooky) cupcakes for a preschool Halloween party. So cute!! Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Trick-o-Treat Birthday {3D Halloween Pumpkin Birthday Cake}

Little Lola celebrates her birthday on Halloween day! I anticipate YEARS of fun birthday parties for her!! This Halloween-Birthday, her mom told me she would be a princess witch wearing a black tutu. So cute!! So, we made a little Lola sitting ontop of the pumpkin, dressed to match big Lola on her big day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"GGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!" {3D Soccer Ball Cake}

William has a birthday this weekend -- so his mama ordered a fun soccer cake -- how perfect for a bunch of little boys!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Little Lady Bug {Stacked Lady Bug Cake}

I got lots of comments last time I took pictures of a cake in the making... so here's another go at it!!

Leveled, torted and ready to start icing...
Looking a little rough around the edges (this is usually the point my girls tell me I've missed a bumpy spot... oh so helpful!)

Cleaned up the buttercream bases.... looking pretty good.

Stacking the tiers... my least favorite part. Always makes me nervous!

Moving on... time for fondant!! How does a little red ghost fit into this cake?

Another tier to stack - hoping I get it centered JUST right.

And now the fun begins... hello little lady bug!! (Made a few attempts on the name, couldn't decide how I wanted it to look - love the end result though!)

This is the point where I start to wonder, will it turn out the way I've pictured it in my head?? I'm not anywhere close yet. So, out comes more fondant and frosting...

Add a bunch of daisies, some grass, and a few more mini ladybugs...

Now THAT's what I was picturing this cake to look like!! Plus a cute little smash cake just for Jada. I absolutely adore this cake!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And The Tree Was Happy {"The Giving Tree" Cake with Apple Cake Pops}

My sweet 85 year old grandma came to visit us in Charlotte this week. She's only been here one other time, 9 years ago, for my wedding. When we were talking about her visit and what she wanted to do while she was here, her answer was always, "I just want to watch you." So, she sat and watched!! And it was so fun! She watched the girls at school, she watched us do yard work, she watched us play, and she even watched me make a cake. I've never had such a fun audience! She was amazed at the transformation of cake and sugar and food coloring into this super cute Giving Tree themed cake design. And she even stopped the watching for just a bit, and pitched in to help roll the cake centers and stems for the matching apple shaped cake pops... she did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!! The final products:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dinosaur Month {3D Brontosaurus Cake}

Apparently September is the month of dinosaurs!! I've never done a dino theme cake, and all of a sudden I've had two in a row!! Barney was last week, and this adorable brontosaurus was this week. Connor's room is orange and blue, so we went with that combo... I absolutely LOVE this cake. It's even cuter in person - I wish I could see Connor's face when they sing him Happy Birthday! (Oh - and the inside is vanilla chocolate chip - yum!!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

He or She? Open to see!! {Gender reveal cake}

Baby gender reveal parties are all the rage these days... whether or not you'd personally find out the gender of your own baby via ultrasound, you have to admit, this is a fun idea... to have all your friends and family around when you slice into a big cake that will be either pink or blue on the inside, thus revealing either a future of ballet and tutus or football and helmets! This cake was for my friend, Jen (who also happens to be my hair stylist... who does the best cut I've ever gotten... ever!!). I was beyond thrilled to be a part of this super special event for her and her hubbie.

And since the party was yesterday, and the big reveal has happened, I can happily announce here the inside was BLUE!! Congrats, Damon and Jen!! I'm so excited for you guys and can't wait to meet your sweet little boy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Purple Tribute {Purple Cake with Green Flowers}

When I took this order weeks ago (for a cake in shades of purple), I didn't know everything else that would happen this week. On Monday, we said good bye to a sweet friend, Sydney, who's 2 1/2 year battle with brain cancer finally ended. Sydney was many things (too many things to list), but among them she was a lover of all things bright, bold and colorful. She could pull off styles and colors that I'd never even dream of, ever... including a pair of bright purple Puma tennis shoes. I'll remember a lot of things about Sydney, but for some reason, those purple Puma's are top on my list... they were just so "sydney." I loved standing in my kitchen this morning, mixing purple after purple, and remembering my friend, her crazy purple shoes, her smile, her way of listening so intently, and her amazing love for Jesus. Sydney, I'll miss you!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Polka Dots {Multicolored Polka Dot Cake}

This picture was the color inspiration for another cute cute polka dot cake, to celebrate the arrival of Quinn!! Horray!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dots and Stripes {40th Birthday Cake}

Love this cake -- it's a combo of flavors (one tier of vanilla, one tier of chocolate peanut butter)and a combo of designs (stripes and dots) -- all done up to match the invite sent out to celebrate Tim's 40th birthday this weekend. I'm guessing he's 5ish in this pic - so cute!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Introducing Carrot Cake!!!

Motivated by a cute bunch of carrots from our summer garden AND a winter bride who wants carrot cake cupcakes, I've been fiddling with a carrot cake recipe for a few weeks. As of this week, I'm super happy to add carrot cake to my flavor list! With or without delicious cream cheese buttercream! I'll take mine with... yum!!