You know what would be awesome..? #3

Man, who ever thought I’d actually be able to do a follow up to a “You Know What Would Be Awesome..?” post?

I mean, the whole point of that category is for be to babble on some of my weird ideas that are so wacky, they’d never be realized. No fruition expected!

Well, this past week was “The Affair”, formerly known as a the Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza. As was the case last year, the show featured a chocolate competition, overseen by the Pastry Professionals Association of MN.

Last year, I had grandiose plans for my 2 cake entries, but procrastinated / got distracted by higher priority stuff, and ended up just mailing it in with my entries. Total crap, and only earned me a certificate. This year, I planned to avoid that when I entered… but felt utterly uninspired by the theme: Animals. What was a girl to do?

Get weird with it.

So, after some thought, I decided to do a wedding cake based on the greatest monster movie of all time – Tremors. Grabboids are *totally* animals, right? LOL.

So check it out. A Tremors themed wedding cake!

The topper features Val & Earl’s truck being sucked into the ground.. Val in a sleeveless tuxedo tshirt and cowboy hat (as I imagined he’d wear if he were to get married!)..and Rhonda. Both cowering from a grabboid! So romantic.

The rest of the cake features 3 more grabboids, including the one that died when trying to chase Val & Earl through a concrete retaining wall. Yes!

I had been considering representing the 2nd-last-to-die grabboid – but I wasn’t sure the judges would appreciate “guts” on a wedding cake.

Hrmm.. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t appreciate a Tremors cake in general, so in hindsight.. maybe I shouldn’t have let that thought stop me!

In any case, they couldn’t have hated it too much – got me a silver medal for it! Woo!

Also, my favorite blogger featured the cake yesterday! Click here to check THAT out!

Now I just have to hope that next year’s theme is “plants”, so I have a good excuse to make a Triffids cake!

Meringue Flowers

Detail photography spotlight again!

This cake was from a wedding in June 2008.. but I’ve always loved the close up detail shots, so I figure it’s about time to share!


Autumn Leaves… in Sugar

Time for another “Artsy Photos” spotlight! Thanks again to my husband Michael, at Happenstance Photography. This week’s cake photo choices are inspired by our recent trip to Stillwater, and all of the changing colors outside.


Lambeth Insanity

I’d like to share some photos of a recent wedding cake.

Oh, who am I kidding, I’d like to SHOW OFF these photos, because I think they’re completely awesome!

Lambeth is a very old school way of decorating cakes, from the early 1900s. It requires hours and hours of overpiping intricate details – and is a challenge for anyone. Definitely a change from my normal style, but it was a challenge I was excited to take on. Not only does it feature way more piping than I’ve ever done (perhaps even cumulatively so!), but imagine piping this sucker with ADD!


Sugar Lilies, and Photography

I came across a gorgeous detail shot of some of my custom, handpainted sugar lilies this morning, and thought I would share:

The nice thing about being married to a photographer is that I have an insane amount of photos of everything I’ve ever made.  The not-as-nice thing about that is that there are many, many gorgeous photos that never make it to the site!

The 3 basic types of photos I choose from are:

“Straightforward” – These are the photos that you see in my galleries, and in my print portfolio. Straightforward shots of the entire cake, everything in focus.

“Artsy” – You see these sort of photos on the other pages of my site. It may be a partial view, it may feature a low depth of field (background looks fuzzy), etc. As I have only a finite amount of “other” pages, and each of those only has a certain amount of text to accent, I don’t get the opportunity to use many of these photos. They sure are pretty to look at, though!

“Detail” – These are some of the coolest to look at… but unfortunately I have the least amount of actual use for them. Photos of a very small part of a cake, really highlighting the beauty of a specific technique or design element.

I think it’s about time that some of these photos get their time in the spotlight!

As always, all photos on this site are courtesy of Happenstance Photography. If you need any product or food photography done, be sure to shoot him an email!

My “Dream Trend” for wedding cakes.

Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at our galleries, I’m a huge fan of doing marbled cakes. Not the “chocolate / vanilla” marbled interior, mind you.. but simply decorated cakes featuring marbled fondant. It’s just something we don’t receive a lot of orders for, and I think that’s a shame. It’s about time marbled fondant gets some time in the spotlight!

Not only is marbling fondant kinda fun, but it’s always neat to see how the design turns out in the end. It’s a great way to have a unique cake that is classy and elegant.. and it definitely gets people talking. What a great way to bring your wedding colors into the cake!

Here are some examples:

An example of how marbling can be used for a more subtle effect:

And, just for fun… here’s a pic of how crazy we can get with marbling the INSIDE of the cake:

(This was the cake we served at Twin Cities Pride Festival a couple years ago!)

By controlling the colors – and proportion of colors – as well as the degree to which we marble the fondant, we can achieve any effect, from subtle to eye popping!

Something to consider for your future cake orders, perhaps? 🙂

Pioneers of “Cake Taxidermy”!

What happens when a couple loves their personalized, World of Warcraft groom’s cake SO MUCH, that they can’t bear to serve it?

Well,  when the cake was created by an evil cake overlord, they can get it preserved. For real.

“Foopmallet” gained immortality 1 month after he was created, and the whole process is documented here.

We love challenges!

The Amazing Glowing Cake!

A big highlight of this past week was getting together with Jean Cowles of Violet’s Flowers for some design fun. Her motto starts with “Sassy Flowers”.. sassy is right! She’s one of the most ridiculously fun people in the local wedding industry, and I had very much been looking forward to this.

I’ll be blogging about the outcome of this design collaboration in a few months, but wanted to give you guys a sneak peak at something we came up with – the Amazing Glowing Wedding Cake!

In addition to the lush beauty of the Tulips, peonies, astilbe, sweet peas, freesia, and more that burst out from between each layer (and form a beautiful topper), the cake itself was designed in such a way as to accommodate many small LED lights, which gave the whole thing an ethereal glow. Teaser pic below!

Wouldn’t this look amazing at any reception hall.. after the lights are dimmed slightly for dinner and dancing, the cake would still be a gorgeous, attention grabbing centerpiece! Love it!

Thanks again to Jean for working with me on this project. I had a blast, and it was great to work with such talent! I love her eye for design and color, and would highly recommend her to anyone looking for unique and fun wedding flowers!

Coolest wedding cake EVER.

I’ve been looking forward to this past weekend for a very long time – it was the weekend of the Mario cake wedding!

 Cory and Tori were so much fun to work with, I love when a couple lets me run wild on a cake, and come on.. It’s Super Mario Bros! I was like a kid waiting for Christmas. Well, it was a couple days after Christmas, so.. ya. (more…)


This weekend was insane. Not only was it the weekend of a HUGE wedding cake I’ve been looking forward to doing for almost a year (and the coolest wedding cake ever, in my not so humble opinion!), it was also the weekend of the Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza, and the Twin City Bridal ICON awards. I had submitted 2 entries to the Chocolate show, and was nominated for an ICON award.First, the cake!

Brooke and Richard were awesome to deal with right from the start. They had met in a library, and that became a central theme for their wedding. Their wedding cake was a huge stack of their favorite books, with an accounting calculator as the topper, and included 2 green fondant “book worms”, which represented the bride and groom. Very cute! Here’s a picture before the topper:

The shame is that this wedding was too late to enter in my ICON awards portfolio.. I have a few really cool ones coming up that would have been perfect for that!

Then came the chocolate show.

Not much to say here. I had to slap together my entries, on account of too much other stuff to do. I wasn’t really happy with my work, and wasn’t surprised when I only got a certificate, no medal. LOL. Clients come first, though! Next year I’ll try to allot time to deal with my entry.

Finally, the ICON awards!

I’ve been looking forward to these for a few months now! The guys at Twin City Bridal always put on a good show with anything they do, and I’ve never really be involved with anything like this.

To be considered for nomination, local weding businesses had to submit a portfolio, write ups, etc. These were sent directly to an accounting firm, who removed the identification from the entry binders, and sent them to a judging panel of national experts. We didn’t know who they were at the time, but I was shocked to find out last night that SYLVIA WEINSTOCK was one of the judges! Woo!

Anyway, I found out a couple weeks ago that I was nominated, along with Jessica’s Cakes, who is also awesome.

The night started out with a red carpet entry, and “paparazzi” photos. Then we were met by a champagne pusher. It flowed a little TOO freely last night, lol! I went with my husband (Michael, from Happenstance Photography), my good friend Spencer The Awesome, and Katrina from Studio Laguna Photography, who’s really cool to hang out with. No matter what went down last night, I knew my company would keep it fun! We wandered around and looked at the amazing displays, then sat down to dinner.

The awards presentation started shortly after dinner, and I was really impressed by the whole presentation. The blurbs we included were used to introduce us (and some were immense sources of entertainment.. who knew that “left to right” orientation on invitations was “unique”?), and the photos included with submission were flashed on large screens on either side of the stage. There was an evening-gowned woman carrying the awards (a gorgeous, slightly phallic faceted glass pillar that weighs a ton), award presenters with witty commentary, etc.

Oh, and the winners were expected to give an acceptance speach. Not something I’d really considered, and given that I kind of expected Jessica to win, I wasn’t really worried about it.

So, the cake awards were just over halfway to the end. Right after the category before cakes, the announcers said something like “and now, we’d like to remember those who have passed away before us”. I just about died. What a weird, solemn way to lead off the cakes awards, wtf right? They started displaying various wedding items on the screen, along with years of their “lives”. I mean, pouffy sleeves, cake fountains, plastic flowers, raspberry lace, etc. It was hilarious!

Then it was the cake category. They went alphabetically, so my introduction was first. It was kind of surreal, all in all.. but I was jarred into some serious snickering when the announcer read off the name “Mad Hatter Acid Trip” when describing one of the cakes entered. LOL! Picture a very serious, formal, radio type voice, in a black tie event, saying “acid trip”. It was great! Maybe I amuse too easily, lol.

Then Jessica’s introduction came, and I was shocked to see a groom’s cake included. Crap!! I didn’t even think of including groom’s cakes – that would definitely be a way to really showcase “excellence in cake design”. This is when I was pretty much convinced that she had it cinched.

Well, I let out a “holy shit!” when they called my name, it really kind of caught me off guard. I gave the worst, most un prepared speach of the night (“I was convinced that Jessica was going to win, and didn’t prepare anything. Um. I guess I should thank my husband, who took the photos.. and everyone, I guess.. thank you…uh.. yaaaa… um OK. Thanks!”, or some such) and was generally in a daze.

It was all very surreal, but very cool. Now I have to get my husband to take a picture of my new blingy award. It’s purty.