Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Carolina-themed wedding rehearsal

My friends Tristan and Miranda gave me the ultimate compliment back in the Spring of 2009 by asking me to make the cake for their wedding rehearsal. They were actually the first folks to ever ask me to do a project for them!

Tristan and Miranda first met their freshman year at UNC back in 2000. They became very close friends, and ultimately started dating in 2006. Tristan proposed to Miranda on November 14, 2008, and they set their wedding date for exactly a year later, on November 14, 2009. I was so excited to be invited to the wedding to begin with, and then, when they asked me to do the cake for their rehearsal dinner, I became even more excited!

We decided that since they met at UNC, a Carolina-themed cake would be both fun and totally appropriate. The cake needed to feed 50-60, so we decided on an 8-inch square 2-layer cake, topped with a 6-inch square 2-layer cake. Each tier was to have a Carolina-blue and navy-blue argyle pattern on the sides. We then decided to include the Old Well on the top of the top tier, with the wedding date printed on the "apron" of the well.

So, I started with the argyle pattern. I thought a frozen buttercream transfer would be the best approach - I could make it a few days ahead of time, and the diamonds would be smoother than if I piped them onto the cake directly. So, I printed out the argyle pattern, taped it to a cookie sheet, then covered the pattern with wax paper. I then used white and tinted buttercream icing to pipe the argyle pattern:

Then, it was time to make the Old Well. I wish I had taken a picture right after I piped the date, but I forgot. Anyway, here's the Old Well:
And, here are the pictures of the final product:

And, the happy couple! They got to practice cutting their cake before the wedding day.A big, big thank you to Tristan and Miranda for inviting me to be a part of their celebration. Also, CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes!

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's a ladybug picnic

I grew up watching Sesame Street and have fond memories of the Ladybug Picnic counting spot. Please click here to watch the video.

I was asked to make a birthday cake for a 4-year-old's birthday party following the Ladybug Picnic theme. This was so much fun!!!

My first LOLcake!

For those of you unfamiliar with the "lolcat" phenom, below is a nifty definition stolen from Wikipedia:

A lolcat (pronounced LOLL-kat, with the "lol" not being an initialism), is an image combining a photograph, most frequently of a cat, with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as "lolspeak" or "kitty pidgin" and which parodies the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang. The name "lolcat" is a compound word of the acronymic abbreviation "LOL" and the word "cat". (src)

For my friend Harris' birthday, I wanted to make him a "lolcat" cake, since I knew he would appreciate the joke. So, I found the perfect cake:


I wanted to have the "cannibal cake" eyeing some little cupcakes:

Don't they look scared?

And here's the birthday boy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wedding #1!

I was fortunate enough to be able to do the baking for a wedding in August, thanks to Andrew and Kelly! We decided on a variety of cupcakes in 3 flavors, with a top tier cutting cake. For a more traditional look and some consistency between the cupcakes and the cutting cake, I decorated each cupcake as a rose, then used royal icing roses to decorate the cutting cake. It turned out wonderfully! And was so fun to do!

The three cupcake flavors were chocolate, vanilla, and hummingbird. Hummingbird cake is a traditional southern cake with bananas and pineapple - very similar to a banana bread, but much "cake-ier."

Sea of cupcakes


Cutting cake with royal icing roses

The full set up

Sunday, August 9, 2009


So, I had a lot of blackberries this week, so I wanted to make some blackberry pie. But not a conventional pie...

Enter pie pops!

And pie pockets!

The pie pop idea is, sadly, not mine, but was stolen from Luxirare and Bakerella. They are super duper easy to do, although you have to be careful not to put too much filling in them. About half of mine were useless, because so much filling leaked out.

The pocket pie molds are from Williams-Sonoma.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Louis Vuitton cake

My friend issued a challenge last week. He wanted a Louis Vuitton themed birthday cake for our mutual friends. They are brothers, both with birthdays the first week of August, and both with an undying obsession with Louis Vuitton. For those of you unfamiliar with this designer, the bags look like this:
Now, I'm not talented enough yet in the "sculpting" arena to make a bag-shaped cake. So I figured we would just have to settle for a square cake with the Louis Vuitton design imprinted.

To do this, I downloaded a desktop wallpaper with the Louis Vuitton design. Then I flipped the image (so it was mirror image). I printed that out and covered it with wax paper to pipe each of the designs using melted vanilla candy coating (white chocolate would have worked as well - possibly better).

I then made gold "paint" using edible gold lustre and lemon juice. A couple of notes about this. The instructions say you can use vanilla extract, lemon juice, or vodka. I thought vanilla extract made sense, because the candies were made with vanilla candy. NO. Bad choice. Obviously straight vanilla extract tastes gross and is very strong. That was a moment of braindead-ness for me. So, I switched to lemon and all was peachy keen. The painting took a very long time. If I were to do this again, I would really search in earnest for edible gold lustre SPRAY paint. I think that would be much more time efficient.

Anyway! So then I had the candies, made an 8-inch square red velvet cake, and iced it with chocolate buttercream frosting.

And, folks, here is the final product:

Second photograph courtesy of Jermaine:

Monday, July 27, 2009

What a busy weekend!

This is the 3rd and final cake of the weekend, a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. This was decorated with a giraffe for the birthday girl, who was turning 3!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lemon blueberry cake

Sam is going home to celebrate his mother's birthday today, so I made a delicious birthday cake for him to bring with him. I modified my go-to lemon blueberry cupcake recipe to make a 2-tiered lemon cake. I didn't put blueberries in the batter, but instead used sugared blueberries between the layers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Old McDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o

With a baa baa here...
And a cluck cluck there....

Here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink oink...
I finally had the chance to make the farm animal cake pops on a farm scene, complete with a barn and silo. Thanks to Adam and Amy for giving me this opportunity!!
I hope Jack enjoyed his first birthday! Here he is enjoying a "hog on a stick":

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Scrabble cake

One of Kate's good friends is having a Jack & Jill wedding shower today. Both the bride and groom are avid Scrabble players, and the theme for the shower is Trivia, so a Scrabble cake seemed particularly appropriate!

After frosting the entire cake, I used a ruler to measure out the 15 x 15 grid on this 12 inch square cake. Then, I used pearl dusting sugar and "painted" the colored squares. Then I used white frosting to pipe over the lines. The letter tiles are made from dark and white chocolate - I melted the chocolates and piped the letters on waxed paper ahead of time so they hardened into individual candies.

Can you tell what 7-letter word can be spelled using the extra tiles?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Alphabet block cake pops!

I made these alphabet block cake pops for a baby shower today. Sadly, I can't take credit for the idea, but I can take full credit for the execution! Thanks, Natalie, for such a great idea!

It is hard to tell with the glare on the wrappers, but the pops read "Congratulations," which is then followed by a moon + stars, a sun, and a red flower.

Here is a close-up of the non-letter blocks:

And a close-up of the first few letters:

I am very pleased with how they turned out. I was somewhat concerned about them looking square enough, but I think they came out well!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last-minute baby shower cake!

This weekend, I was lucky enough to have a last-minute baby shower cake order for a baby girl! I received the call on Sunday night for a Monday afternoon party, and was happy to make a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. I'm really starting to love the argyle pattern for cakes, and think it is just perfect for a baby shower event (or any other cake really!). It requires more math than I anticipated, but I'm glad I thought about that ahead of time, or it would have turned out to be an argyle disaster!!

The finished cake!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Like a dope, I didn't take any pictures of today's projects because I was running late. But...

Father's Day cake pops are now officially available at Parker & Otis in downtown Durham. There are Super Dad pops, #1 Dad coffee mug pops, and grill pops. Both vanilla and chocolate pops are available.

Also, we had a great turnout at the C+H neighborhood home tour and after-party. Thanks to all who came, and I hope you enjoyed the lemon blueberry cupcakes!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy birthday to Winston!

My realtor's son turns 5 today, and they asked me if I could do some dinosaur cake pops for his party. At first I couldn't figure out HOW I would do such a thing. Spherical dinosaurs? But after playing around with a couple of ideas (and with a lot of great input from my friends), I figured it out!

A group of stegosauruses. Stegosauri?

And a pterodactyl!

But why stop there? 

I figured a birthday party is not a birthday party without a candle to blow out. And you can't put a candle in a cake pop. So, I decided to make a prehistoric scene, complete with winding river and volcano. See the finished product below!!!

The "prehistoric" landscape

Close-up of the cake volcano

I think the dinosaurs feel at home, don't you?

It's the big 5.0! 

Happy birthday, Winston, I hope you had a great party!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up soon!

Let your dad know he is your hero this year with these Super Hero cake pops!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mother's Day cake pops

This post is very late, mainly because I misplaced my camera for a spell. But here are some cake pops I did for Mother's Day!

All packed and ready to go!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cuppity cakes!!!

Sam's lovely friend Layne had a potluck tonight, so I made some cupcakes to bring along. Had I known there were going to be TONS of people there, I would have brought many more!!!

Lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting; Vanilla cupcakes with blackberry buttercream frosting; Hummingbird cupcakes with orange marmalade frosting (and homemade candied orange peel!!!)