I Still Make Cake

Surprise.  I do.  I still make cakes.  Granted, I put myself in a self-imposed cake reduction phase this year, as I did so many last year, I started hating it.

I desperately do NOT want to hate cake.

Plus, I travel a lot these days, so, cakes are hard to schedule.  But, when I do take on an order, I make sure it’s for someone with an active imagination, a lot of creativity, and a dreamer who doesn’t want the same cake everyone else has.

Seeing as how today is National Cake Decorating Day, here’s a look at a few from this summer.  I think I posted them on Instagram, too, but maybe you aren’t on there? (You should be, and you should follow me so I can follow you back!)




Hope you enjoy looking at them!

A Vintage Wedding…

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of making the cake for a Vintage Wedding.  I lieu of flowery centerpieces, the bride opted to use antique books tied in burlap, old buttons, and scripts.  A worn suitcase held the couple’s cards.  It was very charming, and I was thrilled at the imagination of the bride to go with a non-traditional (and yet traditional) cake.

I designed a leather style suitcase as the base of the cake, topped with a couple of antique books and a ribbon cake off to the other side.  As the couple is from West Virginia, I made a luggage sticker of the state, and since they are headed off to Hawaii to start their future, a vintage Hawaiian Airlines sticker made an appearance on the front.  Finally, I made a few buttons out of fondant to scatter about, tying the whole thing together.

I was elated to find that Laura of Laura’s Focus was the photographer, as her pictures are gorgeous.  She did a great job again, and I know the bride and groom must be so happy with her work.




A HUGE thanks to the Thomas Bride and Groom, and again, to Laura for the use of her beautiful photos.

And thank you all for letting me share this other side (the Cake Side) of my life!

A Bunch of Cakes.


Did you think I had stopped making cakes?

I haven’t.  Well, I haven’t made too many in the past few weeks, as I’ve been on a self inflicted cake hiatus.  I don’t want to get burnt out!

However, I wanted to share with you a few I have done in the past couple of months.  Hope you enjoy them!

A Construction Zone Birthday for a 2 Tear Old & A Team Colors Volleyball Cake


A Barn Cake full of cows, chickens and pigs…


A Wedding Cake with ruffles and pearlescent accents…and a Chocolate Wrapped, Flower Filled Cheesecake Wedding Cake…

IMG_1678IMG_1679   IMG_1842

A Pumpkin & Apple Buttercream Wedding…and a Treestump Wedding Cake…


And quite possibly the hippest bride I’ve ever worked for worked for – she had red, black, and leopard bridesmaids dresses. She also had a gorgeous dress of her own  that when combined with that leopard theme came together to inspire this highly unusual wedding cake…


Thanks for letting me share!

I’m gearing up now for the 2012 Wedding Season.  I’ve got several weddings on the books already, and the ones I have I am thrilled to be working with.  I like a challenge, and I love brides who let me think outside of the box!

My Baby Turned Four Today…

I really have a hard time grasping it. Four.

Next week he starts Pre-School.

He’s potty trained.  He can dress himself.  Feed himself.  Make his own toast and sandwiches.  He can write most of the alphabet.  He could teach a class on mastering the dynamics of the iPhone.

But this is what he looked like just four short years ago…


And then he turned One.  The Monkey Cake was my first Wilton Course completed cake…just in time for his birthday party.


Twelve months later…the big boy turned two.  He had three cakes that year, but the main one was this farm inspired 3 tier cake.  We had over a hundred people at that year’s party.  Another first for me, as it was my first stacked cake.


Last year he turned three, with a Monster Cake.  He still talks about that one.


And now, he’s four.  Which means, clearly…he’s a BIG BOY.  Today, he and I are off to do Big Boy things, including a movie, some bowling, some shopping, and probably Chuck E Cheese…if we make it as far as Roanoke.  He’s got a bit of birthday money burning a hole in his tiny pockets, and the kid wants Super Mario for the Wii.

We had his birthday party slash BillHilly Bash over the weekend, and his request was a “Pirate Cake with real skeleton on it.”  He got his wish, except the skull was actually a fondant covered potato.  He didn’t seem to mind.


The bottom tier was Swiss Chocolate filled with chocolate mousse, caramel, and Snickers.  The top tier was yellow cake filled with whipped cheesecake buttercream and fresh strawberries.  As you can see, it’s in the design of an antique treasure map.  I hand painted it all, including a compass rose, landmasses, and a pirate ship (which you can’t see in these photos, sorry).  The top was just a marbled red, with a scroll lying over it.  Stacks of cannonballs were placed around the cake, and finally, the skull graced the top.  I sprayed a bit of gold luster over the whole thing and called it a day.


piratecupcakeAnother thing I made for the kids at the party was Pirate Cupcakes.  I was thrilled with these really cute cupcake wrappers from RoundAbouts.  They are reusable (if you so desire) and they fit our theme perfectly!  I posted a couple of cupcake pictures on Instagram the day of the party and had people asking where they are from…and RoundAbouts in the answer.  They have so many designs, I’m sure you will find something you love!

If you scoot over to my Facebook site and comment on the Roundabout post, you’ll be entered to win a package of cupcake sleeves for yourself…just tell me (on the FB site) which of the sleeves you think you’d like! Is it the pirates?  The winebarrels?  The spaceships?  Go take a look, there are so many cute ones!


I never, looking back now, considered that I would be the one making all of his cakes from year to year, especially cakes like this.  I feel like having readers to answer to keeps me motivated, at least cake-wise, and for that, I thank you.


I’m sure Seven does, too, he just doesn’t know it.  Maybe his smile will be thanks enough for now.


Happy Birthday, Baby.

Cakes. Cakes. Yeah…More Cakes.


As you may have noticed, my life has become quite cake-licious.  I love doing them, especially weddings…and especially weddings where the bride TRUSTS me to go for it.

That really excites me.

I mean, that’s a real compliment, the “I trust you” Bride.  Love it.  LOVE.

But, despite all of the wedding cakes I’ve done this summer, I’ve also been doing quite a few birthday and special occasion cakes.  And now…I am finally getting around to posting some of them for you.





At the top is a HUGE Cake.  Nearly 3 feet long.  This was a groom’s cake in the shape of Han Solo trapped in Carbonite.  I sculpted Han out of fondant, and applied a border and the couple’s wedding date.  I hand brushed pewter and silver luster dusts to set it apart from a basic gray cake.  I hear they loved it!

In the middle you have two kid’s birthday cakes.  One is Super Mario (which I had to throw together in only about 4 hours start to finish) and a John Deere cake.

Next you have a chocolate upon chocolate decadence! This is a Swiss Chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate ganache, milk chocolate mousse, and fresh raspberry puree.  It’s covered in white chocolate fondant and chocolate fondant that I swirled together.  Nice effect and not too difficult to do, either!

At the bottom you have my wedding cake from this weekend, a Chinese wedding with paper cranes (the groom and his friends folded over 1000 cranes!), orchids, and gold vining.  I love the way it turned out!

Now I am off for a few weekends in the cake baking department…this weekend I am off to the Big Summer Potluck, and from there I am flying immediately to meet my family at the beach for a week. I am hopefully meeting up with Shari of Tickled Red in Wilmington to hit a few tourist attractions on Saturday… THEN, we head to a vineyard in NC for a night in a treehouse!  While I am gone I’ll be getting some news.  Pray that it’s good, but even if it’s NOT, it was still a huge deal for me!  Can’t wait to share!

Tiffany Blue Reception Cake

I love surprises.  Well…good surprises.  Surprises like emails from out of the blue, a couple of weeks before a reception, and I am actually able to do another cake.

Like this one.  With a bride that says go for it.

Having gotten married already, but now having a reception at home, this bride was wanting not the traditional white cake, but Tiffany Blue.  And white.  And pink.  And, well, brown.  Oh yeah, and pearls and bling. I drew several sketches, threw them all away, and decided I couldn’t come up with anything.

And then I drew a couple more.

In the end, I had to eliminate either the pink or the brown, so, the brown had to go. I incorporated the pink into the center of the ruffles, and faded it out as I neared the edges.  I added pearls and bling to the Tiffany Blue and White Fondants.  I used string to etch the top two layers. I rolled and curled ribbons for hours.  I sprayed luster. I have 14 thousand tiny silver dragees in my floor.  Gosh, they are tiny little suckers and do they ever bounce bounce bounce across the hardwood.

But I am thrilled with the result.


It is soft, flowy, and the color is just breathtaking.  And the ruffles?  Well, while they are a labor of love, they are so dramatic it’s worth every minute spent on them.

What do you think?  It’s different, for sure…like or dislike?



Congratulations Melissa & Justin!

Contemporary Twist Wedding Cake


In June, I was hired to make an unusual wedding cake – purple and yellow fondant, contemporary design, a little silver for bling, and fresh flowers to keep it toned down from being too modern.  The bride and groom met with me a week before the wedding to firm up the final details.  The bride wanted lots of purple – in fact, full layers of purple.  The groom wanted more white.  After several sketches, this is what we came up with.

Everyone was happy!

Congrats to the newlyweds…and thanks so much for sharing the pictures of your special day!



Fresh Floral & Hexagon Wedding Cake


Another weekend, another round of cakes!  As I type this, I have just piped scads of royal icing on two tiers of hexagonal wedding cake, after a long two days of three other cakes.

(Believe it or not, 2 of the other cakes were for one of my wedding cake brides in June – she loved the flavor as well as the look of her cake. Whew!)

This weekend, my big cake is for a wedding at The Inn at Virginia Tech.  It’s gorgeous there, and I think this cake will fit right in.  Up until a couple of days ago, this cake was going to be round, and all off white buttercream with a bit of piping.

It’s now hexagonal, entirely fondant, and resembles the bride’s dress.  Good thing I love fondant, and a challenge.

This is my bride’s dress…


Pretty, right?

Before I go any farther, I want to point something out. One – this woman is entirely too thin.  I can see her spine for crying out loud.  Two – look at where her hips are.  Now try to imagine her in pants.  She has GOT to be standing on a miniature pony or a stack of overdue library books or something.  And what’s with all of the bridal gown photos making it appear like the bride is in some sort of caged ecstasy? What happened to looking young and innocent, full of virtue and excitement?  These girls look like they are happily naked under all that satin, just waiting for the preacherman to pronounce it legal for she and her man to rumble.

There. I said it.

Now, back to the cake at hand.

The bride’s original design called for 4 tiers, with space in between each tier for fresh flowers – hydrangea, roses, and other smaller florals.  So, cake, 4 inches of flowers, cake, flowers, cake, flowers – you get it.  We are still doing that, it’s just that the cake is now hexagon, and each tier represents her dress in some way.

The bottom tier will be much like the bottom half of the dress…gathered draping, and a bit of that lacy/embellishment peeking through.

The next tier up (and the top tier) will be a less embellished version of the top of her dress, and only on the bottom 2/3rds of each tier.  I didn’t want it to be TOO busy.

The third tier mimics the bodice of the wedding gown, with pleating, as well as the corseting on the back of the dress.  That was a last minute decision – but I believe it’s a good one.  I made it on the fly today while working.

The entire dress is being covered in Silk Luster.  I have been spraying a lot of my cakes recently with pearl luster, which is much easier, but this one seems to need a painted coat of the silk.  painting it on takes a lot longer, but it does look really good.

And here you have the crappy photos I took today.  Luckily, Laura (Laura’s Focus) is today’s photographer, so hopefully her talent will do this cake some justice.  For now, you have mine!


Next weekend is another cake I am excited about.  it’s Tiffany box blue, with lots of bling and vertical ruffles – a true challenge!  Stay tuned, and have a great weekend!

Seven Tiered Cake…Complete!


According to the Weather Channel, it was in the mid-90s today.

It felt hotter.

Especially since I was delivering the massively tall wedding cake to an unairconditioned tent, in what felt like 100% humidity.

However, the setting was gorgeous – an amazing white tent with bursts of yellow throughout, paper lanterns hung from the draped ceiling – all surrounded by a naturally gorgeous family farm.  Flowers popped up from everywhere – around fenceposts, along the pond, and of course, from vases around the tent.  Karen, from Best Wishes in Blacksburg did the arrangements, and I’ve loved Karen’s work since the  late 90’s when I used to plan weddings at Mountain Lake.  She just keeps getting better and better.

But the cake.

First things first, the cake table was drastically unlevel.


So, after two attempts from the grandfather to level it, we were finally convinced it was about as even as it was going to get.  No way was I going to stack a 3 foot tall cake on uneven ground, especially in that heat.  Not a chance.

Things went smooth as I was setting it up, thankfully.  The humidity didn’t help anything – remember I said I would have to remove the bottom layer of ruffles from the upper half?  Well, I did have to, as predicted.  And when it came time to roll out new ruffles, the humidity and fondant didn’t want to play nice.

I won.

So, here you have a few pictures of the cake and it’s new home…

Congrats to my fabulous (trusting!!) bride Meredith and her groom!!


By: ifood.tv