Monday, December 26, 2011

Modern Christmas Cake

I know I'm a day late for this, but I wanted to feature this simple modern Christmas cake for an almost-Christmas wedding (Dec 22). Since the bride was pretty open to ideas, I proposed a modern take on holly leaves. I wanted to create a traditional motif with a clean and graphic look. I think this may be an idea for Christmas cakes for 2012!
Have a happy new year and best wishes for 2012!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dogwood Flower Cake

I thought it would be nice to show how an element from the wedding reception is incorporated into the cake design. We made this lovely dogwood cake in September for a bride who happens to be an interior designer. After talking with her about ideas, she brought up the fact that she was going to have a variety of vintage china sets for the seated dinner. That sounded like a good starting point for the design process since it was more personal to her and unique to the wedding.
After sending me about a dozen photos, she narrowed the patterns down to hers and her mom's favorites. Her mom's happened to be the dogwood pattern. Here you can see the plate and a detail from the cake.

Although the dishes were on the traditional side, the bride actually wanted a modern look for the cake. I took some photos of the tables with the different china patterns to show how she created an updated look with the vintage china.  You can see the dogwood plate on the right. The china tea pot centerpieces were a mix of succulents and flowers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Romantic French Country Wedding

The next time you go to a wedding or large event, take a second to look around and think about how much effort went into making the event special. I want to mention a couple of amazing vendors we work with regularly. This romantic wedding we did this weekend at the new Salt Lick Pavilion was an example of how much time and talent went into creating this spectacular French country theme wedding for several hundred people. 
The talent and brains behind the style and organization are the fabulous ladies of Caplan Miller Events. I think they worked non-stop to make the wedding and reception run seamlessly and look so fantastic. They are experts at making a bride's vision come true.
Kurant Events was the caterer along with the Salt Lick. Just to say they are caterers is an understatement since they work hard at keeping the kitchen and waitstaff running smoothly, while creating delicious and picture-perfect food. The stunning floral displays are by David Kurio Designs. Here are some photos of the tables and flowers:

 And now for the cake and desserts! The wedding was large, but rather than do one huge wedding cake, we ended up making 4 smaller cakes and a croquembouche. La Patisserie provided the multi-colored French macarons. Each cake was a different flavor and rested on vintage cake stands. The flowers are all handmade sugar flowers - hydrangeas, roses and peonies. Here are some individual cake photos:

In the future, I will try to post photos of the decor and wedding set up when I can. Sometimes I don't have time to take lots of pictures! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kyle Field Cake

This cake is definitely not for the Longhorn fans out there, but if you're an Aggie, enjoy! The groom is a diehard Aggie and even asked me nicely few days before to see if I could change the XII logos on the field to SEC logos. It's kind of hard to see, but you can just barely make them out on the top photo.
I hope he enjoyed the cake and that is was a memorable addition to the wonderful celebration!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Masquerade Theme Cake

I took a look at my blog today and was shocked to see how long it had been since I posted anything! We're in the middle of wedding season, which explains the lack of focus on the blog. I'm going to TRY to post something new everyday this week. There are plenty of cakes to show - just not enough time.
This masquerade cake was a fun party cake for a 7th birthday. The party was a cross between an Italian-inspired masquerade and fancy tea party. The mom sent me a photo of the tea set to use as inspiration for the cake design. The masks were made out of gumpaste and set to dry a couple of days before airbrushing. I was able to borrow one of the masks so I could get the details right. 
The birthday girl had a hard time believing the masks were edible! I heard the party was fun and that the cake was devoured by everyone. Speaking of kid birthdays, my youngest is having her 4th birthday party this weekend. I'll definitely post some cake pics next week. She has some interesting ideas... 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lavender Roses

We've had a few wedding cakes this summer with handmade sugar flowers. You would think we make roses all the time since it's a popular wedding flower, but we make a lot more hydrangeas and peonies. This recent wedding cake was all about the roses, though, which is a nice change of pace.
Again, this shows that we are just as adept at traditional style wedding cakes as we are modern and unconventional ones. Lexi, my new intern, did a great job with the roses. Although we both worked on them, it's nice to have someone who can quickly pick up the skills needed for this kind of time-consuming and nuanced task. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Texas A&M Rings Cake and Hydrangea Wedding Cake

Last weekend we made a Texas A&M rings cake based on the artwork of Benjamin Knox, whose illustration is shown above. The bride and her fiancé went to A&M and wanted to recreate the art in 3-d form. It all seems so simple until I realized that somehow I had to defy gravity with the upright ring! Despite a steep hill and gravel roads, it arrived intact to the venue.
I ended up using a floral styro ring as the base structure, and then using rice cereal treats and modeling chocolate to build up the shape. After I achieved the shape, I covered it with fondant and added the ring details. Finally, I painted them with a thick layer of edible gold.

Here is a photo of the wedding cake. I wrapped the tiers in a mix of white modeling chocolate and ivory fondant so I could achieve a ruffled edge on each band. We also made the lavender hydrangeas. It's amazing how many hydrangea petals you need to make just one cluster! Thanks so much the Heather and Suzanne for helping out with them!
I'm looking forward to a break from cakes this week. I'm heading to the beach with the husband and kids for a little much-needed vacation!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fenway Park cake

I feel like I'm becoming the stadium cake lady! Fenway Park is the latest addition to the stadium cakes pantheon. I'll have a new stadium to add in the fall, so I'll keep you posted on that one. I get a kick out of being hyper-detailed. I could have spent another 3 hours on the cake adding more detail, but sometimes I just need to stop myself.
The bride ordered this as a surprise for her fiance who is a Navy Black Hawk pilot from Cape Cod. Popping his head out of the Toyota 4Runner is his dog. I hear he was very touched by the personal details added to the cake.
After spending all week on this cake, I've started thinking in a strong Boston accent. For some reason I sound like the Car Talk guys, but being in TX, that's just about my only point of reference.

Monday, May 23, 2011

White-on-White Textures

I happened to make 3 lovely white on white cakes this week, and thought since it's so close to Memorial Day, let's showcase the all white wedding cakes. I'm a big fan of texture and love to incorporate it into the designs, whether or not there is color. 

The first cake was inspired by vintage milk glass designs that the bride planned on displaying at the wedding. The cake was actually pretty large - the photo is deceiving since it doesn't show the large bottom tier. This cake is all about texture, just like the milk glass designs. Every tier had a different design inspired by milk glass, whether it was the hobnail pattern or scalloped edging.

This cake's design was inspired by the bride's lace wedding dress. The leaf/branch pattern is flat while the flowers are textured, outlined and studded with different size edible pearls. This was one of those cakes where the design evolves as I play around with techniques and technology.

Anyone who has the Martha Stewart Wedding Cake book will immediately recognize this cake. While I prefer to create our own designs, part of the business is recreating wedding cakes found in magazines and websites for brides who request them. Rarely will I showcase them on the blog, but I just really love this design! The ruffles and wrapping add so much texture to a seemingly simple design.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Les Paul Gibson Guitar

I've never made a realistic guitar cake before, so I was glad to have the opportunity to make one for a wedding this weekend. The bride wanted to giver her groom a cake to replicate his Les Paul Gibson guitar. There's always added pressure when a cake has to replicate an object exactly, but I enjoy these challenges! Fortunately, my brother owns a Les Paul Gibson and was able to send me detailed photos. He lives in LA, but I called him a few times asking to measure parts of the guitar. Thanks, baby brother!
It is life size, and I can thank the nice people at South Austin Music for that. They let me trace a guitar onto parchment paper so I could make it true to size.
The best part was getting to watch the groom's face when he saw it! They happened to walk in from the photos and see the groom's cake.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Austin Children Shelter Fashion for Compassion

It's easy to forget how fortunate so many of us are to have grown up in safe and loving households. I hope my kids realize one day how lucky they are to have loving protective parents. Unfortunately, there are many children in Austin who are not so fortunate to have that security. The Austin Children's Shelter provides a safe place for those children and helps them recover from any trauma they might have been through. 

I was more than happy to offer our services for the Austin Children's Shelter Fashion for Compassion fundraiser recently held at Saks Fifth Avenue. Our table set up was less about fashion and more about the making of it. The main display is a dress form made from cereal treat and fondant. The mini cupcakes (ancho cinnamon ganache!) were topped with white chocolate buttons and jewels. They were each dusted with a metallic luster dust. 
I didn't stay to attend the fashion show, but I was told they raised over $100k to benefit the shelter!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Folk Art Inspired Wedding

I love it when a bride comes to me not only with a unique vision for her wedding style, but who also wants a special cake to carry out the vision. Emily is one such bride I worked with, who not only was creative, but also a pleasure to work with. She decided on a Scandinavian folk art style for her invites, with blues and gold as her main color palette. There were other accent colors used throughout the venue (you can see some green and hot pink flags behind the cake). 
Once I get some more photos from the photographer, I'll post a link so you can see more of the wedding decor. I had a great time designing the cake and was thrilled to see the vision come through.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Austin Bake Sale for Japan

I'm excited about an upcoming event that is raising funds for AmeriCare's effort in Japan. A few Austin food bloggers have organized a city wide bake sale called the Austin Bakesale for Japan. Although we won't be sitting at the sale itself, our yummy treats will be for sale at the downtown location (Woof Gang bakery on 1204 N.Lamar). I'm thinking green tea marble pound cake. More locations and times are shown here:
Find a location convenient to you and buy a treat from one of Austin's many talented home and professional bakers! Calories don't count if they're going to a good cause, right?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Castle Cakes

Cakes that are buildings are some of my favorites. Maybe it's the former architecture student in me, or maybe I'm just obsessed with detail, but I love to recreate buildings, both real and imagined. I spent a lot of time playing with Lego and Playmobil castle sets as a kid, so I am always eager to make a castle cake. 
We've done princess castles a couple of times, but last weekend we finally had a chance to go a little darker and do a medieval knight's castle. Working on the castle was educational - I finally learned the difference between a rampart and a parapet. Now I know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Black and white cake designs

A black and white color motif is always a classic. It works well with a variety of styles - modern, traditional, playful - and always looks crisp and clean. The cakes above are some examples of b/w cakes we did in the past year.
You can add flowers to tone down the stark contrast, like the square cake with orchids. Or a pretty poppy flower to break the vertical lines on the cake on the bottom left. The wedding cakes on top were both inspired by the wedding invitation designs. We used the damask and scrollwork as a starting point for the designs.
Look for some fabulous new cakes to come in the next few months!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine's Day Lovebird Mini Cake

Valentine's Day is almost here, and we've got the cutest little cake for you to share with your sweetie! What could be cuter than two bashful lovebirds? The cake is available in two flavors: chocolate with a sea salt caramel milk chocolate ganache or almond cake with strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberries. 
The cakes are available for pick up February 11, 12 and 14 and are $25 each. They are about 3.5 inches tall and 4 inches wide at the base. Orders must be placed by Thursday, February 10. Please call 512.419.1582 or email for more information or to place an order.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Website!

I'm so excited to announce the new version of the website! It's been in the works a long time, but the wait was worth it. The new site showcases many new cakes as well as a spanking new design! A special thanks to my husband, David, for his mad web skills and the many weekends he sacrificed to get the job done. In addition, I'd like to thank Jen, my former design intern, for beautiful design. 
But... there's always a but, right? We're having trouble getting it working correctly in IE 6 and 7, so please bear with us until we get it right. Newest versions of IE, Safari and Firefox are fine. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

2011 Best of Weddings from the Knot

It's great to start the new year with a such a wonderful piece of news! Brides sent in their reviews and voted Coco Paloma Desserts Best of Weddings 2011 from the Knot. It's an honor to be selected, and we'll be sure to use our title for good and not evil. No abuses of power - promise!