The great creative challenge for me is to include really disparte elements…. so many varied loves of the person the cake is for… into one cohesive cake design. This one was tough… how would you combine Queens NY, Manhattan and New Cannan CT? Oh, yeah, and working out, shopping and loving your kids, and shoes…. And tell a single story at the same time? So this is where one of my super powers comes in. I have a unique ability to bring crazy “one of these things is not like the others” details together.
So for a woman turning 40, who loves the finer things, I fashioned a Louis Vuitton style trunk cake into a memory box for her present and her past. It was filled with mementos of the things she loves, Azzedine Alia, a dirty martini, and tokens to her 3 children.
I spent 6 1/2 hours painting the little squares onto the base of the trunk, only to cover so many of them with the details! But if you’re looking for high quality, that’s the way to do it. Wouldn’t want to peek behind something and find a cheat… The shoes by themselves took more than 4 hours. There is more than 23 hours of work in this birthday cake and it shows. This cakestory blends Queens Boulevard and LL Cool J with a Range Rover and Louboutins, and not for a moment do you wonder why something is there. It all makes sense, and like our lives, its a jumble of our contradictions. What would your Cakestory be?
Getting married? Know someone who is? Well here is all you need to know to get started on your dream custom wedding cake. I spoke with Colin Cowie Weddings to discuss all the basics and gave some great tips on finding inspiration for your perfect wedding cake.
We covered topics including when to book, inspiration, shapes and styles, trends and flavors. One of my favorite tips is about contradictions. So often couples come in and offer conflicting ideas and feel uncomfortable about that. But that is the perfect place to be to find something new…
BE OPEN TO CONTRADICTIONS
As you talk about the event, details, style and your personal tastes with your cake designer, he or she will probably start to sketch and include many of the ideas that you’re discussing. Penny encourages her couples to tell her whenever she’s hit on something that they do, or don’t, like. Even if they don’t seem to make sense as they’re discussed, considering contradictory details or elements will help you “find the place in between where you can create something beautiful and unique.”
Click through to Cake Design 101 for all the tips to feel confident going out into the cake world.
I’ve been making wedding cakes for more than 8 years now. Over that time, I’d never experienced a cancellation, that is until we started getting pummeled with these crazy hurricanes and “Perfect Storms”. The first time someone postponed a wedding was for Hurricane Irene, and that wasn’t until the very last second. I had a lot of cake to “donate” after that, and so became very friendly with my neighbors. Lots of things stopped and were put on hold through hurricane Sandy. So this February, as we were getting more predictions for the latest Super Storm I worried that Gretchen’s wedding the next day at Brooklyn Winery might be affected. When I checked in, I think she might have thought I was a little silly… nothing was going to stop her wedding from happening and certainly not a little bit of snow…or rain… or wind…
It ended up being quite a lot of snow, but it had stopped well before Gretchen’s day started and the wedding went on without even the faintest hint of anything standing in its way. And if it dared, the warmth and joy in this room were going to melt it all away.
Brooklyn Winery was transformed into a gorgeous, earthy celebration space and Erica from Clean Plate Pictures captured it all beautifully. I love seeing the cake cutting photos… love that shot of the first cut into cake, the peek if you will.
And how can you not love this one….
Maybe I’m projecting, but that one look says “this is the most rich, decadent, scrumptious bite I’ve ever had. I’m in heaven.” Okay, I’m heavily projecting, but its still a pretty fantastic shot. And these are just some of my favorites.
Head over to Clean Plate Pictures and see the whole wedding, all the smiles, the dancing, the fun and love…
To me it’s a sneaker cake. I’ve made it before, I’ll likely make it again. When I repeat cakes its easy to get a little jaded. Sneaker cakes are very popular and it’s one I’m very comfortable making.
To Deshwan and his family this was more than just a sneaker cake. Remember, I make memories, (delicious ones at that) and just in case I had forgotten this for a moment, I was quickly reminded. Deshawn and his family had been planning this party for his younger brother who was newly engaged and moving to California. So many emotions wrapped up in the event, and a lot of that was transferred into the cake. They wanted it to be just right, to be something he would love, and his sneaker collection was the inspiration. Since it was a going away party, I suggested adding some edible photos to the display that made it more personal. The idea excited Deshawn and he started sending me tons of photos. I work hard on every cake I make, but I feel a deep sense of privilege and obligation when I’m acutely aware that what I’m making has so much meaning wrapped up into it.
I don’t often get to do my own deliveries. So I often miss seeing the reaction when a client first set eyes on their cake. So much goes into their planning… time, thought and money. So many hopes are invested in what this custom cake creation will actually be. They think they know what it will be like, but there is always a special magic when the cake comes to life for them. When I delivered this cake everyone gathered round, taking photos while it was still in the box. I reached out to shake their hands and was hugged instead. Mom had tears in her eyes. My cake, my sneaker cake that I had made before, brought her to tears. This is why I love making cakes. I’m honored that I was able to be a part of their joy… of their history, and helped them make a sweet memory. And so happy I was there to see it.
My mom was a crafter and a keeper, and my “art work” was a mainstay of almost every holiday’s decoration. On Valentine’s Day she would pull out the various paper hearts I had made, for Easter, the eggs, and of course, let’s not forget the paper hand turkeys. No matter how beaten up and torn those paper decorations would get, glitter missing from all the key spots, she’s still hang them with pride all over the house.
I now know she was not alone. A little crazy, but not alone… What mom doesn’t adore the work of their little artist? Enter the idea for a kid’s birthday cake that I just adore…. The birthday cake is decorated like a framed canvas, left blank in the center, waiting for the magic touch of the birthday girl or boy and their friends. Delivered along with edible paints and a set of brushes, the cake becomes an activity, a great moment during the party when the child gets to be part of the creation of their very own canvas cake. One good photo later and the short life of the cake is preserved for an eternity. Frame the photo and now you really have created a special memory that keeps longer than construction paper hearts.
As a professional baker, most often you don’t want your work to end up on Cake Wrecks. If it does, you’re really doing something wrong. Except for Sunday Sweets. That’s a whole different thing. It highlights the beauty and art of the best cake makers and I’m thrilled to tell you a Sugar Couture wedding cake made the grade this past Sunday. Click through for the all the stunning 50 Shades of Gray cakes and find ours (#10)
Thanks Cake Wrecks!
Here we go 2013! Starting off sparkly.
Gretchen’s wedding this snowy weekend was at a gorgeous venue in my neighborhood, Williamsburg BK. Brooklyn Winery is a natural space with bare wood, tall ceilings and a warm and cozy vibe, just perfect for a wedding any time of the year or a drink any night of the week. And, you can get your own growler of wine to take home. My favorite kind of favor!
The decor of the wedding cake was collaborated with the brides dress and a gorgeous sequined floral detail that was on it. For the fantasy flower, we created hundreds of mini sugar sequins and adhered them to the free formed flower ad then gave it a bit of luster. Silver dragees made the center of the the sugar flower and were picked up again as a detail above the banding at the base of the tiers. Sugar branches covered in glitter framed the touches of lace and negative space.
The wedding cake was made from two flavors, Chocolate Cake with Raspberry and Ultra Rich Butter Cake with Caramel Buttercream. I’m not always a fan of offering more than one flavor, since it can cause some distress at a seated dinner. It would be rude to not place a piece in front of every guest, and if the most popular flavor is gone before everyone has made their selection, someone can be left disappointed. But, I am a big fan of it when its served at a dessert station or buffet and everyone is allowed to take their own plate. Not everyone will choose cake then and its first come first served. No one to blame but yourself, if you’re too busy dancing to grab your favorite flavor.
Style Me Pretty just published a gorgeous inspiration shoot by Divine Light Photography, featuring darling succulent wedding cakes by Sugar Couture. Just loved the glowing photography. The Green Building is an amazing Brooklyn event space with rough edges, and refined elegance perfect for a natural feeling wedding.
Here are a few of the images featured, but please click through for the full story…
Like pretty much everyone that ever lived, I’ve always wished I could sing. Way back when, in another lifetime, I took vocal lessons for a while. My instructor and first gay crush, picked Send in the Clowns for my first song. I was like 12. Send in the Clowns? Really? Since then I’ve hit one or two pretty amazing notes, only to disappoint whomever was listening moments later when it all came crashing down. I never really had the interest in learning an instrument, and the poor guy who tried to teach me to read music a few years ago, soon realized there was really no point. Its a good thing I managed to develop a few other talents.
Though I might not be able to play any of them, I’ve been able to make some pretty great instrument cakes. Wedding Cake guitars, electric and acoustic, birthday cake drums, graduation cake clarinet and a pretty fun sax cake for the jazz great Sonny Rollins. And, for good measure, a still very musical birthday cake for a DJ.
Oh, and I still sing, but only when I’m alone, and with the car windows rolled up.
When someone’s nick name is Champagne Sherri, its pretty obvious what kind of cake to make! And with a party at the 40/40 Club you know it had to be fabulous birthday cake for a fabulous birthday. This champagne bottle cake is a cereal treat bottle of Dom, in a cake crate. The logo is hand painted along the side of the aged crate. A few purple blossoms (Sherri’s favorite color) add a little feminine touch. Sherri looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the great photo.
Surprisingly to me, this is my first champagne crate cake, but not my first champagne bottle cake…. I love making them from poured sugar. They look just like the real thing. Did you know this is what breakaway bottles for theater and film are made from? And one of my very favorite buttercream flavors is champagne…
And don’t forget the Champagne Bottle Cookies! Yummmmmm….