December 2, 2008

Wordpress here I come

I'm keeping old posts up for you, but all NEW content will be posted on the blog on my main website. Please visit me and subscribe and bookmark the new location. See you there!

November 19, 2008

How many cakeglrs does it take

Hey friends! I've been busy setting up a new blogsite so that all my goodies will be in one place! I'm loving my new Kertesz site so far, check out this sneak peek and let me know what you think. I've still got some work to do and then it will be so much easier to manage to stay on top of updating the site and blog. Multitasking isn't always my cup of tea. A couple cakes, cookie orders, play time with kids, maybe a phone call or two... problem ~ but throw in a website, blog, flickr, twitter, facebook...well you get the idea. Let's just say it's no kidding I'm not a full time blogger. Lots in store folks, come along for the ride!

You can get your own Kertesz blogsite here. Check it out and see what others are saying about and doing with their sites. I'm finding it relatively easy...and I'm managing to figure out how to add special custom touches too with the helpful forums and via emails with Marc and Christine.

November 12, 2008

New changes in store folks!

Hang in there with me while we make some changes. Doesn't moving get you excited? I'm excited. This is way better packing for a month to move blogs!! Hooray!

See ya soon.




November 8, 2008

Ocassionally there's a cake made here!

It seems like lately I've been so busy with things other than actual cakes. I'll go so far as to tell you I've actually been asked recently if I still make them! Of course I do! Here's a little peek at a cake from Halloween weekend for a surprise birthday party at the Red Mill Inn in Baldwinsville. The guest of honor's wife and MIL asked for a MacKenzie Childs-ish cake in square with fall colored sugar flowers and a hand cut guitar topper out of gum paste. I think we delivered. Hope you all had a great time, thanks again for your order Roxanne and Danielle, it was a pleasure!

November 7, 2008

Tip Junkie Shop-A-Thon

Looking for another great list of sites for holiday shopping? STB has also joined TipJunkie's ShopAthon this year. A really large compilation of mompreneur shops and some great gift ideas sorted by category. You can find our Christmas cookie greetings in the card section.

Sweet Talk Boutique's custom "Ho Ho Hoedown" Invitastions were recently part of a feature over at the TipJunkie blog when guest blogger Sheena from Totally Tabletops posted some uber cute really unique ideas for hosting a western holiday themed party. I'm a huge fan of so when asked if we had any western ideas to share, I gave Erin a call and she designed the cutest cookie that would work perfectly for any big kid western theme. Don't I just have the most talented pardner ya ever did see?? Sheena also blogged it at TT. Thanks Sheena!

Head over to TipJunkie for more great ideas, and hey don't you forget to have a look at STB...we've got lots of great goodies just waiting to be baked for your holiday gifts, and some new items too!

November 6, 2008

What's purple, pink, orange and awesome all over?

Amy's holiday gift guide, that's what! This year, Sweet Talk Boutique is participating in the gift guide at Check it out!

In addition to our super fun and yummy Color My Cookie Kids Pack, you'll find some amazingly sweet deals on terrific ideas for holiday gift giving! All from Indie shops and mostly handmade, this assortment of items is sure to please just about everyone on your nice list. Of course we hope you'll shop with STB, but I couldn't resist putting up the link to the guide so you could check it out yourself!On Tuesday, Amy also posted about Erin's cute stationery that can be found over at our STB online catalog. Thanks Amy for selecting it as one of your 15$ and under scores! We think it's a hit too!

November 5, 2008

Positively Pink Truffle Trees!

This past weekend I had the honor and pleasure of creating my yummy truffle trees for Bubbles and Baubles; a benefit event put on by Positively Pink Packages to provide continued funding for much needed care packages to recently diagnosed breast cancer patients. Founder and survivor Jennifer Tom hosted a fabulous champagne and dessert event at the Holiday Inn at Carrier Circle with a silent auction and this year there was also a casino room! I do wish we could have stayed to enjoy the event but it was a super busy weekend for us and it just wasn't in the cards.

Next year I hope to donate a cake or other wonderfully pink creation! So many wonderful items were donated by other businesses in and around the CNY area, show them your support! For more information about Positively Pink Packages, contact Jennifer Tom at

November 4, 2008

Boo! Wait a minute, that's not scary!

Yep, I did it...I dressed up for Halloween. I wish I had a better photo to share but alas, here I am in all my cupcake glory! It was fun. And ok, it was a little scary!Look for my pink version next summer in our local Memorial Day Parade. Hmmm...I wonder how well mini cupcakes will be received when I throw them to the crowd instead of candy like all the other entries do...yeah, stay tuned for that one!

You can make your own cupcake costume; if I can whip one up in a couple hours so can you! I used a round laundry basket, cut out the bottom, and hand stitched with a running stitch the fabric (on sale!) for the cupcake liner. The frosting was some even more fabulous fluffy fleece I found (also on sale) and simply sewed it into very long tubes and stuffed it loosely with fiberfill. Then I tacked it in place in several sections to mimic the swirl of icing. I do believe the lack of a cherry on top or sprinkles is made up for by the striped stockings!

Yes SuziHomemaker, I'll take my time on the next one! Ooh a cupcake costume in late May...wonder if I can put air conditioning in there?!

A blog by any other name...

...would have more updates. Wow folks! You stick with me even when I'm not around to post as frequently as I'd like. I sincerely appreciate it!

One of the things that has been occupying my time as of late is Entrepreneur Boot Camp at Syracuse University. What and why? Well, in a nutshell I came to the realization that I've come very far with my cake business on only a wing and a prayer, the support of friends and family (and ok, humbly I say there's some God given talent too) . But really, "winging it" has been my approach over the last 9 years. What started out as purely refusing to pay for something I knew I wouldn't be happy with has blossomed into what it is now and when I imagine what it could have been if I had done it correctly...well, I am speechless. Speechless at the thought of the possibilities. Speechless at the thought of the blood, sweat and tears that could have been spared, or at least shed a bit less often. And speechless at the thought of how far I have come without knowing what the hell I was doing. Yep, I feel that way sometimes.

So, I'm hopeful that Boot Camp will provide some of the much needed tools I'm lacking and give insight to the skills I need to continue in the correct direction. Bigger? Maybe, maybe not. Better? Well, obviously I hope so. But in the right direction for me, my family, my community and my customers.

Because without the 3 of you...She Takes The Cake would be nothing. Thanks, and stay tuned. Everything that is in the works now will hopefully be unveiled by next year. Just in time for year 10. Don't you just love a Grand Anniversary Re-Opening? I do! Are things on hold till then? NO! You can still get the best tasting, coolest looking cakes and goodies around from STTC. And Sweet Talk Boutique is growing everyday. I'm still working hard to try and bring the best of everything and for now it is still just me baking in the studio and answering emails and phones. (I know...seems crazy doesn't it!?) But with great collaborations like with Erin of Bride Design on our STB line and the ongoing support and return orders from all the terrific clients new and old, we will strive to grow and lead the CNY are with edible creations that continue to excite us all!

October 16, 2008

Halloween Cookie online now!

Boo! So Erin and I have been super busy thinking up cool new ideas for Sweet Talk Boutique. We've got lots of yummy products in the works and are adding items and on a more regular basis.

Just in time for Halloween is this super cute and slightly spooky greeting available right now in the holiday section of the shop. Isn't this haunted house amazing? I just love it. Erin created it in her signature style and it's just perfect. It's exclusive to Sweet Talk...right down to the creepy, slime covered font! I can totally imagine our little ghosts and goblins walking up those steps to find a broken door bell. Would they be too afraid to knock? What would be waiting for them behind the door? Yummy cookies I bet.

This cookie is available with coordinating ribbons and we've opted to send them with only the Happy Halloween message so we can expedite your order. Get over there and pick one up today! Orders placed by the 24th of October will get to your favorite 'trick or treaters' in plenty of time.

October 11, 2008

Free Gift at WeddingWire

Hey brides of mine...and not yet mine... now is the perfect time to pop over to Wedding Wire and write a review for your vendors. It helps us out, helps new brides planning their weddings, and can help you get a free gift too!

One of the gifts is a 1 year subscription to Everyday Food Magazine, gotta love that! I love it; tons of great info, recipes, ideas, tips and amazing food photos from Editor Deb Puchalla and crew. I follow Deb on twitter and I love her "taste our latest" posts, they've inspired the cooks in our house several times. Check out their awesome blog Dinner Tonight.

If the magazine subscription isn't your thing (um, you do eat don't you??) there are other free gifts you can win just by reviewing your vendors.

I joined Wedding Wire not that long ago, but already I see it's a terrific resource for brides and grooms. You can see my Wedding Wire page here.

If you don't see your vendors listed...prompt them to join it so other brides can love them as much as you did. It's easy to do. So head over there now and tell the Wedding Wire community how much you loved the vendors that helped you make your day unforgettable.

October 9, 2008

In need of blog makeover

Well, I've decided to move to word press. I've been playing with it a little but as you can see, I haven't told you all where to go. This is because I want a fresh look when I make the switch and if you know me at all, you know I can't do it myself. problem, I can do it all. Web

If you think you'd like to help me out, email me! Frankly, in a perfect world, someone with some mad skillz would bang my door down and tell me they want to create just for me and try out some new things that clients haven't gone for. Let my blog be your putty, you can mold it however you want! Just make it 'me' and easy to use (newbie here!), easy to search and find in search engines, follow the look of my brand (um, take a look around before emailing me, check my cake website and cookie site too), and be hip and funky but not too out there. My audience and client base are trendy but not major followers, hip but not fad, discerning but not snooty, fun but professional.

So come one, how 'bout it???

October 2, 2008


Did you know that the deadline to REGISTER to vote is October 10th in our area?? What about your area?

Go do it. Come, take care of it! You have to be registered to be able to vote.

You can even do it online.

Declare Yourself.

September 24, 2008

A little eye candy

Get it...EYE candy??

Well, my daughters and I are brainstorming about what to do for their Halloween treats and they reminded me about this funny cake I did last year before cake bites were so hugely popular.

We'll do a demo in plenty of time for Halloween so you can join in on the fun if you like. For now...just take a LOOK at these yummy (ew gross!) cake bites.

Thanks Emily and Jess for all the inspiration and appreciation you give me! Love ya!

September 18, 2008

We're Back from Martha's Studio! (the overview)

Did you know Martha has a blog? Of course you do! Did you know how awesome blogging is? Erin and I did, that's why we drove down to see Martha's show on blogging yesterday! Erin and I had a great was fast, it was a whirlwind trip...but it was a great time! I have so much to tell you, but let's face it...I tend to ramble and I could go on and on and on, so I'm going to break the experience up into a few posts!

We stayed with Erin's lovely sister Devon...very gracious - thanks for letting us stay the night so we could catch the train into the city Devon - and thanks for the toothbrush! (I'm totally getting buying that kind next time, love it!) The drive in my cakemobile down to Jersey was about 4 hours, just barely over - not bad! The train - about a half hour. The walk to the studio was so short - hooray!We arrived at the studio a little early as instructed and everyone in the line was so excited. Pictures were being snapped away, bloggers were going crazy on their blackberries. We overheard a couple very fashionably dressed women tell one of the studio pages who they were - hey we know you! We were given our tickets and the "L" on mine and purple stripe on Erin's were the first indication that we might not get to sit together...BUMMER! After getting a warm up from Joey and instructions on how to "ooooh" and "aaaaaah" and applaud appropriately we were all called by section and ushered into the studio.

OMG it was GORGEOUS! I would LOVE to have a kitchen like that one! The real kitchen behind the sound proof glass OR the studio kitchen - either one would be fine, I'm not that picky. The entire set was just superb.
Once we were all seated Erin got my attention by waving to me...oh my gosh! She was down on the stage floor! What awesome seats! I was up in the very top row in the middle section with the bloggers. Can I just say very laptop sucks. It's going to have to go in for a check up because with a full battery the dang thing went dead and I could do no blogging.

There I was, in the blogging group, and I was faking it. What a poser. But hey...faux blogging is the new thing, didn't you know? (yeah, right.) But I was seated next to a VERY energized "mommy/wife/life/bitter/wacky/funny/everyday" blogger and that was an experience in itself. Don't worry...I'm going to list links for everybody in the next post!!! Who was Erin next to you ask?? Mario Bosquez and Naomi Gabay of Martha Stewart Living on Sirius 112. Hey! I listen to that!! Awesome score on the seat Erin! She made nice, of course, and I'm sure they were as impressed with her as everyone always is! We got a shout out on their blog! Thanks Mario! Oh how I wish you were one of the millions that listen to Living on 112 to hear her call in to the show as we were on our drive home! There we were, starting our trip home and still on the road in Jersey, looking for a place to have lunch and with the show on we hear Mario recap Martha's blogging show. "Call in Erin!!!" I was being more than just a little encouraging LOL. Naomi, the producer, remembered her immediately and they put her call right through. Way to go Erin! So, yeah, that was Erin of Bride Design mentioning her site, her blog, our site, recapping just what a gracious host Martha is and how wonderful an experience it was to share with a friend....AWESOME! If you heard her, let us know!

The guests were terrific! Ok, Perez Hilton was the celebrity blogger (shocker) and wow, he looked great! He and Martha seemed to get along well; they were both pretty witty and funny. My gosh that boy gets a ton of hits!! He gave some great tips on blogging that included finding a niche (check!) work hard, network, and don't be afraid to ask for what you want. (so in my case I blurt it out sometimes but more on that later!) We also saw Matt Armendariz show Martha how to make these pretty and delicious looking cookies called Alfajores - can't wait to try those! Here is the recipe from Martha's site. We were treated to a craft segment with Eddie Ross! I'm totally going to make some of those costume jewelry magnets! His blog is terrific and don't you just love him on Top Design?? I do, he's my fav. Love the bow tie Eddie! And the gardening segment with Margaret Roach was great too...have you heard of the Frogboys? Cute! Martha also talked with Meg Frost of Cute Overload, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen and Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin from Politico. Whew! I think that's it.

I'm going to link just about everybody I could find that was actually there...and some other cool info in the next post...but here's a teaser...One of my favorite wedding blogs was represented and Darci Miller was all over it too! That was cool and it was really awesome to hear the murmers of recognition from the audience when weddingbee was mentioned! Yep, they were there in the audience! And you know who else was there?? (saving the best for last) Rachel and Nichelle!!! Come on, do I really need to tell you who that is?? (Didn't think so!) When I heard them I just couldn't help myself...


Ooooh, everybody heard that!! LOL And here would be the blurting out thing I mentioned LOL. Cloud nine was waiting for me to perch on it when I got home to find that they gave me a shout out on Cupcakes Take The Cake! Now, if that isn't the finishing touch to a great day I don't know what is! Thanks ladies, you rock!

Ok...more to come...stay tuned for all those links, some cool blogs and some more photos guys! And hey - leave a comment if you were there!

September 15, 2008

Look out Martha! Here we come!

This week I get the pleasure of accompanying Erin of Bride Design to a taping at Martha Stewart. The audience will be filled with bloggers and while Erin is much better at it than I am, I really enjoy blogging when I get the chance. True to form, Erin's post about our trip and what blogging means to her is by far superior to mine.

What does it mean for me? For me, blogging is an opportunity to stay in touch with my customers and my "fans". When I began this blog I think I used the phrase "dare I say I have fans" and while my subscriber list is still incredibly small in this world wide web, it is growing. I originally thought it'd be a nice little way to keep a few clients amused, or even let them see a preview of their order now and then. An unexpected bonus to blogging is that it's not just a hidden little diary aside from my main websites at She Takes The Cake and Sweet Talk Boutique; so much web traffic is directed to this blog because it is updated more frequently than a website, and with all the reader services out there it allows me to stay fresh in the search engines too. I'm a bit lucky and thankful that my local competitors seem to have not joined the blogosphere - but I'm sure it won't be long. I assumed I'd have readers in the Central New York area and an occassional out of state bride or another cake artist, but it's gone much further than that.

If you knew some of the search strings that lead people here, you'd get a real chuckle. A couple of the most hit on blog posts that I've done: Not all fondant tastes like crap, and DIY favor boxes. I kid you not, I have seen word for word "why does fondant taste like crap?" in a search string...and guess what - google will bring you here for the answer and my answer is that it doesn't taste like crap at all when it's made from scratch like we do here in my studio. Then of course you have the occassional links that other bloggers will add when they love a post enough to share it to their own readers; this is not just an ego's a boost to your readership. Why aren't more people blogging?

Maybe I'll come back with an answer to that question, maybe not. I am sure I'll come back with a smile on my face and some new ideas about blogging. Either way I get to spend a day NYC style with my inspiring friend Erin. Can't lose!

September 11, 2008

Mod Circles and Pink Velvet

Laura and Joe from the Penguin Custom Ice Cream family came to me with a plan, and their finished cake is so close to the original vision it's just wonderful. Very few edits or changes were made except for a minor serving number change so all in all we can add this order to the ever growing list of most enjoyable wedding cakes. They were fun to work with too, so I hope we were on their list of most enjoyable vendors. What kind of cake does a cute, funky, young couple want? How about chocolate fondant and chocolate butter cream cake and cupcakes capped off with very pink and orange mod circles? Yeah, that fits the bill!

The cakes have just been picked up and are on their way to final destination. I am now in clean up mode and preparing for a trip to a family friend's wedding which just happens to be in Cooperstown - where the a fore mentioned ice cream shop is located.

Guess where I'm going for a treat? Of course none of Laura's wedding party will be there, and she and Joe and Val and the gang aren't working, but Val assured me the staff on hand will take care of us. So while I'm enjoying a cold one, they'll be enjoying their cakes; my white almond cake with signature raspberry citrus Schnapps' syrup and fresh lemon curd and raspberry filling, my Chocolate Chambord cake with ganache and raspberry filling and a perfect amount of Chambord, and my pink velvet cake. Yep, pink velvet. Think red velvet only pink. It's a little lighter but just as yummy. and helloooo, it's pink!

As the years have gone by and my business has grown to the point where I feel it will burst, I've begun to really try and fit it all together in a more cohesive way, it's still just me here baking and designing. It's a lot of hard work. The hardest part is sometimes the balance. I won't be taking a cake to our friend's wedding, I decided as soon as the engagement was announced that even if I were to be blessed enough to be asked, I would much rather be a loved family member in attendance than a vendor - or even worse a guest who couldn't keep her eyes open because she was too tired after 2 days of cake leading up to the wedding. I'd miss the ceremony all together no doubt. Most certainly I'd miss the rehearsal dinner and since my husband is in the bridal party we can't have that nonsense. So this order for Laura and Joe was a happy little ironic circumstance. They're essentially from the town where I have to go for our friend's wedding. At first I debated taking the order; on the one hand I could drop it off on the convenient. On the other hand; see above sentence regarding sleeping through a ceremony. But then fate set in and Laura and Joe would require the cakes to be done early for a pick up today because their ceremony and reception is not taking place in Cooperstown. So, there you have it. I love it when it all comes together and I can be part of a very special day for a great couple. and, now I have an "in" to a new ice cream shop!

Congratulations Laura and Joe, my very best wishes for a wonderful life together, and thanks again for letting me be part of your day!

September 7, 2008

Jamie and Niall's wedding cakescape

Ok, so I've said before, I get some pretty great brides. But Jamie; she takes the cake. (yeah, I went there) And I've also said before that I love it when I get to work in tandem with Erin; that rocks too. Jamie was awesome. One of the most - no scratch the "one of" - she was the most easy going, happy to be getting married, can't wait to party, puts her trust in the ones she's hired brides I have ever had the privilege to design for. And after a year of being booked, when it came time for final confirmations she (like most brides who book me a year ahead) had some changes in mind. She no longer wanted the huge, over the top cake that she thought she had wanted. That's so outdated, now is the time for simple elegance - I'm pretty sure that's what she was thinking anyway.

Well, so how do you do simple elegance on a grand scale? Still be over the top without doing waaaay too much? Let me show you! You do a cakescape. A display of complimenting cakes, tiered or not tiered, making up a beautiful table full of edible bliss. I love this look. And it really is a great way to incorporate several ideas when it's too hard to pinpoint a design.

For example, Jamie loved so many different elements but putting them on one cake would have been so busy. The scroll work would have really clashed with the petite dot to dot replicating the motif from one of her custom invitation suite items. And that would be where Erin comes in. She supplied me with the approved and 2nd choice pieces she designed for Jamie and Niall, and I reproduced them in sugar. The crissy-crossy ribbon straps inspired by her save the dates would have been too much to combine with the angular detail from the bodice of her dress...on one cake, but but doing 3 cakes I could incorporate most of the things she loved and as shown in the shots below, it totally works.

Thanks Jamie and Niall, for choosing me to be part of your was a joy!

September 6, 2008

Diana's Elegant Adirondack Cake

I hadn't had a chance to upload this photo of Diana's really pretty cake yet, but I was just happily surprised by an email with rave reviews so I thought I'd hop in here real quick before leaving with today's cakes and show you a little bit of Diana's Adirondack style.

This lovely to work for bride brought me a photo of a very wintry themed cake with pine cones on it. Only natural for a wedding up in Inlet, NY. "Not winter yet", you say? I know. She didn't want a winter cake...inspiration can be found anywhere and with photo and some pretty specific changes, Diana knew exactly what she wanted for her dream cake. She also provided an invitation so that I could have a good swatch of her color. I just love the pairing of this creamy pale yellow with the natural pine cone, don't you?

The pine cones were dipped in paraffin to add a protective barrier between them and the cake, and some very delicate chocolate pine needles were added for that little extra oomph. We were super pleased with this one, it made the trip just fine, it looked lovely in the setting provided - even the impending storm of the day didn't detract from it's good looks. I really like a clean, tailored cake. I know the sun came out later and I can just imagine the view over the lake at sunset, making it a beautiful day for a wonderful bride and her groom.

Thanks Diana, for choosing me to be part of your special day, and thanks for wanting such an elegant cake for your Adirondack wedding! I hope your day was wonderful!

September 4, 2008

Love that Becky Oh!

Trunk show at Swank
Originally uploaded by Becky OH
...and she loves our cookies! Erin from Bride Design and I were lucky enough to make time for a trunk show at the fabulous Swank. in Hamilton NY last weekend. I love this cute little store with all things fab and chic and when I received an email blast about their open house featuring none other than Becky Oh! I knew we had to go! Erin and I are both familiar with Becky and her handbags through one of the many forums and creative chat groups we belong to.

Not wanting to go empty handed, I made these yummy logo cookies for Becky. It was more of an ambush than a quiet visit, but I think she had as much fun meeting us as we did meeting her in person. And the handbags...oh my goodness! They are so stylish and beautifully made. I wanted more than one, but one would have to do. I have used my bag very often since my purchase, I really love it. I'll have to take a shot of my bag in use...but for now, enjoy this yummy shot of the cookies I baked for her - not only does she make great bags, but her photos aren't bad either! used with permission of course!

You can see more of Becky's photos from her trunk show at Swank on her flickr stream, I highly suggest checking them out! Oooh and check out the lovely stationery that Erin made for her too, she got some great shots of that as well. Becky also took some amazing photos of cookies we took for Swank, but I'll post those another time.

So, thanks Becky! Expect to hear from me as soon as I have some more cake money saved up...I'll be needing another bag. ahhhhh, yet another addiction coming on...

August 31, 2008

Every girl's first cupcake should be this grand...

I had so much fun creating this little cutie, it was a real joy to design this cake for one of my favorite families (between mom and daughter #1 they've become welcomed regulars). The cake for Audrey's first birthday was based on a handful of photos that were sent to me and a copy of the invite - with a cupcake on it of course. We needed to pump up the colors just a tiny bit, and make the cupcake the focal point. I love that Audrey's mom let me sort of do my own thing with the cake within the idea range she sent me. They loved it!

Birthday girl was napping at delivery time so I'll have to wait to see her reaction in photos; I especially hope to see her with her very own little coordinating "smash cake" sitting to the side of the cake. I make those for every first birthday cake I do as my little gift - hey...gotta get 'em hooked young! ;-)

The bottom cake is a 4 layer 10" round Caramel Apple cake (one of my signature flavors) and the cupcake was made using a couple 6" layers, a 7", and half of a ball pan. No giant cupcake pan here, just a little carving and voila! Add some delicious butter cream, made from scratch fondant and a chocolate #1 and there you have it - a first birthday cupcake fit for a princess!

After delivering the cake, I took my own little cupcakes out for a great day of some very last minute back to school shopping. It was a terrific day all around!

August 29, 2008

OMG is that a Carrot Cake?

Why, yes, yes it is a carrot cake! After leaving for a mini vacation after delivery I thought it was time I dig up the photos I took of Chris and Amy's know, the one with all those fabulous carrots in it! Their farm is amazing, fresh green everywhere - my husband is eager to get more info about their harvest sharing programs; you can get the info here.

So, out of the 14 or so pounds of carrots that Amy brought to me for her cake, we ended up with just under 13 after trimming the ends and used just over 10 of it for the cake. This cake consisted of 10 batches of cake, made with as many organic ingredients as possible - almost all of them! I am in love with cream cheese icing I made with organic cream cheese and fresh butter from Hillcrest Dairy in Moravia NY, made with cream from cows not treated with rBST; so salty and creamy. I was excited to see that Wegman's (the Dewitt location) carried it in their ever expanding organic and special diet section. With a little fresh lemon juice and organic sugar, and some vanilla was delicious!

I assembled the baked layers, I think 7 or 8 in all (I don't recall!) with the dreamy cream cheese icing in between each, then carved to my little heart's content. Somewhere, out there, was a very happy Bugs Bunny I'm sure. ;-) Then I finished it off with the fondant we make here in the studio - this was the one element that we did not attempt to create with organic ingredients. (is there organic gelatin or glycerin out there??) A little pleating, some creative folding, and hand painting resulted in a very satisfying carrot. At 39" long before the stem was added, and over 50lbs, this big guy made quite an impression on the few folks in the tent when we delivered. The "dirt" was crumbs of organic cookies and graham style crackers (Paul Newman's Own brand). The leafy green was celery stalk if you can believe that?! We needed something fresh and green and big enough and low and behold my husband ran down to Dawn Hotaling's fresh produce stand (Plantation Farms I believe is the name) on State Hwy 26 and Route 42 just at the edge of South Otselic and picked up the perfect size bunch!

One last look for you...I hope you enjoyed the suspense of these cake photos. I'm glad you hung in there with me until I could blog them. Our busy summer is finally starting to come to an end and with school just around the corner we were blessed to squeeze in an unexpected trip to St. Clair Shores MI to see some family that lives there and more that were visiting from AZ. Couldn't pass that up! We've had our fill of the great New York State Fair as well, and are now anxiously awaiting the first day of school next week! With that first day with a new teacher right around the corner as well, we'll be moving on from carrots to apples soon I'm sure. Mom always said to eat your fruits and veggies...

Thanks again Amy and Chris for finding me and asking me to do your cake, definitely a favorite for the year! See you soon!

August 19, 2008

Beautiful Carrots!

I'm seriously craving carrots here! Amy and Chris from Common Thread just dropped off about 14 lbs of fresh organic carrots for their wedding cake this weekend.

I am so excited about this cake. They've grown and harvested the carrots themselves on their farm and have asked for as many locally produced organic ingredients to be used as possible in their cake.

But the most exciting aspect of this order is not that they are getting a carrot cake, not just a carrot cake, but a carrot shaped carrot cake! Yes, their wedding cake. Weird? Not at all! Not weird to them, and not weird for us! I'm super happy that they found me and asked me to do their cake. Stay tuned...the wedding is this weekend, so there will be photos by next week.

Now...just to hide the carrots in the studio so my self proclaimed vegifruititarian 10 yr old daughter doesn't eat them all! (and I'll have to fight the urge too, they just look so fantastic and crisp!)

Head on over to Common Thread's site to get more information about the terrific produce sharing you can purchase and participate in right here in Central NY! I think what they are doing is amazing!

Thanks Amy and Chris...have a great week and I'll see you this weekend!

August 13, 2008

From naked to furry, King Kong gets his features

So we had the awesome, rocked out styrofoam base for King Kong that Beth sculpted while she was here. After she left I was able to work that base magically into a thing of beauty - wait, this is KK we're talking about...hmmm, well I think he's very handsome!

The first thing I did was to sand him down a little around the edges to soften the shape up a bit, exaggerating it just a bit because icing would be filling the areas back up. After that, I started with his face. I used sugar paste to give him his features; his "skin", eye sockets, eyebrows/forehead, his nose, cheeks and mouth. The mouth, oh that mouth! I made him a tongue and some dentures and short little fangs. I even made some ears! So all of that went on first, applying and smoothing with my tools until I thought it was just right. Then I painted those parts. I love the tongue and mouth the best I think!

After painting his face I moved onto his hands and feet. I used a royal recipe with extra drying/hardening power and a small artist spatula to apply the icing on his extremities and then smoothed them with a dampened brush. I gave him the impression of toes and fingers and set him to dry a bit so I could handle him before moving on. I used a heat gun in between stages to dry him enough that I could handle him. I should say I used it sparingly...sugar does boil you know, even in icing form!

From then it was a matter of adding the "fur". Again, more royal and drying time. The icing was applied in a dab and lift motion to pull out the fur. The heat gun came in real handy here, very quickly I came to a point when I couldn't handle him much at all until he dried. All the while I kept "testing" the position of his bride in his arm to leave enough room to squeeze her in there later.

So there you have it, King Kong gettin' his fur on. Sweet!

August 12, 2008

Last season's cake displays for sale now...

Let's call this one "She Fakes The Cake"!

Every year I've made display cakes either for shows, photo shoots, mock ups, or just when the mood strikes to show a design fresh for the season. I am selling a couple of last season's displays now to make room for new displays that will be designed and created this winter, and will continue to create and retail faux cakes during the off season later this year.

This is a great way to have a one of a kind display that one may not ordinarily have a budget for. You can serve kitchen cakes from me if you are a local bride if you like, but it is not mandatory. Wouldn't this be terrific for a bride out of state? I think so too. Have your favorite local bakery provide your mouth watering dessert, and I'll provide the eye candy. These are not for rent, all sales are final. Shipping can be arranged. Email me today to inquire! You can fill out the inquire form on my site and mention fake cake purchase in the description area, or just email me directly at

4 tier winter scene, will ship with snowflakes packaged separately for you to place to avoid breakage in transit. Dimensions are 10"x4, 8"x4, 6"x4, 4"x4 tiers. This cake was featured in the Syracuse Post Standard in a previous season. Hand sculpted, hand painted fondant details on a fondant base. $150.00 plus shipping and packaging.

My "Red Acanthus" cake is a fondant covered display I carved, hand painted, piped and detailed in gold. It's rich tones and style leaning toward Italian or Greek will be fabulous at any ornate, formal wedding. The base tier is approximately 12" round diameter narrowing to a 6" tier at top, each carved subtly. This incredibly ornate cake display featured in the current issue of Well Wed NY is $400.00 plus shipping and packaging.

This delightful and lovely little cake is done in the still very popular chocolate brown and raspberry pink combo. With hand made and hand painted sugar hydrangeas adorning the hand carved tiers atop a plaid tier which is also hand painted. This cake wowed the crowd at The Wedding Salon in NYC and was called a "sweet little cake" and "very nice" by Sylvia Weinstock at the show. It's a very petite cake at 9" diameter at the bottom tier. Hydrangeas will be packaged separately to avoid breakage in transit. This favorite in my portfolio is $200.00 plus shipping and packaging.

This stunning white, yellow, and black cake is one of my recent favorites. Designed to compliment a custom invitation suite by Bride Design, it stands at about 13" high with a bottom diameter of 10". All piped freehand, as most of my cakes are, the center tier is a yellow base with striking white detail giving the impression of a floral like mums or spider mums. Tied off with a sheer black bow and detailed at the bottom with crisp black graphic icons. This display cake is $200.00 plus shipping and packaging as well.

I've a couple more that I'll post another time. For the past year I've been fighting the magazines' trend for couples to get a display cake that's fake and serve sheet cakes to their guests, but with the economy the way it is and all other wedding related costs on the rise, I think that the idea of a fake cake is going to be more than a quickly passing fad. In an effort to assist couples with their ever tightening budgets I've decided to branch out into the world of fake cakes as well. I've been creating them for years, why not make them available for you and your guests instead of just keeping them on a pedestal in my studio? Each of these cakes I'm making available to you would be priced at about $8-$12.00 PER serving if they were real cakes. We can all do the math. Now you really can have your dream cake and eat it (another cake) too.

August 11, 2008

King Kong in Styrofoam... courtesy of Beth!

So here we have the fabulous Beth from The Pink Cupcake Bakery in Mt Vernon, OH. As I mentioned in my last post, Beth drove from OH to lend a much needed hand in the completion of Kara and Greg's huge NYC Movie themed cake order. The piece de resistance was the King Kong topper for the main display; the Empire State Building of course! Beth gave me a great head start on the topper by sculpting the basic body out of Styrofoam with my Dremel too. She noted with a huge grin and lots of laughter that she may have missed her calling. I think she could be right, she did a FAB job on this piece and without the start she gave me I doubt King Kong would have been nearly as cute!

Check out some shots I took while braving the styro storm as she worked!

She started with an 8" sq by 4" cake dummy (can you believe that?)

Can you see him yet? She says... yep, I get it...keep going! This is great!

He's really starting to take shape, this is getting exciting, right about now is when she exclaimed she should have been a sculptor.

And now for the clean-up...what a mess!!! Making a mess is always more fun when you didn't make it by yourself!

Below, is the sculpted shape of Kong in all his glory, perched atop the building just to check scale and position. Perfect!

The topper was added to the order very close to the due date, I have to admit I was at a loss for how it would get done. Were there other things that would have to be omitted or cut back on to accomplish it? "Yes"is often the answer. When one is lucky enough to have clients that put their faith and trust in the artist they've hired, what matters is that the job get done in the best way possible. It's my job to see that it gets done. In this case, help was needed to accomplish this task. Sure, part of me was a little disappointed that I felt I couldn't manage it on my own the but majority of me was extremely satisfied that I was smart enough to call on my very talented friend to hire help when it was obviously needed. Where was I while Beth was covering herself in stryo? Working on the building for Kong to sit on! The downside to being a sole body in a custom shop I guess is, well, that I'm the only one. It's not always fun and games, and it's not always a walk in the park. Ever wonder why I only take one or two a weekend?? It's because I don't have a staff of 12 under me, that's why. Oh my...could you just imagine if I did?!

Thanks again Beth for coming all the way from The Pink Cupcake Bakery in Mt Vernon, wish I could have you here more often!

Kong is looking good, now to add "fur" and details, and of course his bride! Check back soon for those some good ones of the progress while I finished him off. Who knew he could be such a cutie?!