I love my current website, and it has served me well, but it’s time to move on. I’ll soon be getting a new mobile-friendly site that will allow clients to place orders for cakes and cupcakes online. Hooray! And to that end we’ve created a new line of pre-designed cakes called The Classic Collection that will be available for purchase directly on our website for in-store pickup.
While we await the arrival of our new site, we needed a place to share our Classic Collection designs. What better place than right here? So bear with us until our new website launches. Until then, phone or email will have to do.
Here’s how it works: Choose your cake flavor, filling, and design. Call us at 203.200.0350 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s that easy!
peanut butter buttercream
mint chip buttercream
cookies ‘n’ cream
And now, our Classic Collection. Each cake is available for as few as 10 guests and up to 40. We can customize colors, names or numbers.
We’re looking forward to sharing our new website soon!
The shower. It’s a lot like Oprah’s Favorite Things…if Oprah were throwing a baby shower. There are prizes and free bedding and toys and lots of other stuff you would need if you were having a baby. And it’s all donated. It’s a really nice event, and the organizers go all out.
The guests. Now, I always wanted to be one of those pregnant chicks who you can’t even tell is pregnant from any angle other than the side. The ones who stay perfectly tight and trim other than their cute little belly protruding ever so slightly. Instead, I was pregnant all over: my arms were pregnant, my ass was pregnant, even my nose was pregnant. One look at my pinky and you knew I was pregnant. But check out this pregnant lady. This is what I wanted to look like. See how adorable she looks? My ass would have never fit in that frame.
Lunch is served and and, of course, dessert.
The cake. Three tiers. We loved the rocking horse theme and found the perfect vintage Wilton cutter on ebay. We randomly placed navy hearts, baby blue stars, and red stripes on the 1″ white squares covering the cake, and tried our best to make it gender neutral. My favorite part? The rocking horse topper.
The photos. Marisa from Sassy Mouth Photography generously donated her time and talent to photograph this event. Thank you so much, Marisa. The photos are, as always, lovely.
I am a notoriously terrible judge of character. If I like someone right off the bat, they’re almost guaranteed to turn out to be some sort of sociopath. Every once in a while, however, I get lucky. And in the case of Callan, I got really lucky.
Over the years, I’ve been approached by countless culinary students looking to do their internships with me. Usually, their emails are very generic, and I always get the feeling they’ve just copy/pasted from one email inquiry to the next, replacing Insert Name of Bakery Owner Here with my name. But Callan’s email was different–sincere, heartfelt, flattering without being over the top. I liked her immediately.
Liking someone immediately is normally a red flag for me, a sure indicator that within a very short time she will turn out to be a freak, a serial killer, or both, but in this case it stuck. It quickly became obvious that Callan was not only talented, but also reliable, intelligent, resourceful, and an asset.
This is Callan.
Callan’s internship ended in May, 2012, and I hired her to be my assistant. Callan is everything I am not. Where I tend to eyeball things, Callan takes the time to measure. Where I want to jump headfirst into a project, Callan likes to plan it out. Where I like to rush things, Callan likes to take her time. Where I am inefficient, she is efficient. In short, she is a true gem, and a perfect balance for me.
I’ve always admired people who know from a young age what they want to be (read this post and you’ll know why), and Callan knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a cake designer. Here, a photo of young Callan doing something curiously cake-related.
Callan began entering cake competitions at age eight (eight!). Below, Callan’s first entry at the Durham Fair. (What? You’ve never heard of the Durham Fair is? Neither did I until I met Callan. The Durham Fair is to Durham, CT and all its residents what the Sundance Film Festival is to Park City, Utah, only without all the celebrities. And with a lot more livestock.) Although she didn’t win, she refused to give up, and entered a cake in the Durham Fair every year until her senior year of high school…when she didn’t win and then gave up, making that part of the story far less inspirational and happy ending-ish than I intended. Sorry.
I interviewed Callan for this post, and asked her a lot of the questions people frequently ask me.
Erica: What is your favorite cake you’ve ever done?
Callan: I did a Sweet 16 cake with butterflies and pink and black zebra.
Erica: Does it bother you when people eat the cakes you’ve put so much effort into?
[I should mention here that this interview took place a while back and Callan didn't really do much talking for the first year she worked with me.]
Erica: Are there any cake artists you admire?
[Really? Not one? Seriously? You can't think of any?]
Erica: So, do you watch the cake shows? [This is probably the question I'm most frequently asked.]
[Okay, so maybe this wasn't the most revealing, riveting interview. Journalism is, apparently, much trickier than it seems. Good thing I stuck to cake design.]
It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Callan. I have enjoyed watching her learn and grow as an artist, and have come to rely on her in so many ways. (Those youthful hands in the DIYs I do for Project Wedding? They’re Callan’s.) I look forward to working together for many cakes to come.
Here are a few recent cakes that Callan gets all the credit for.
I love the subtlety of the ruffle on this cake.
Callan really perfected her chevron technique last summer. This navy and gold cake was a snap for her.
I love the movement of the octopus’ legs, and there’s something I love about the sea turtle in this under-the-sea themed cake.
Callan: You know how sometimes you ask me what I’d do without you and I answer, “Find someone else.”? The truth is, I have no idea. Thank you, Callan, for everything.
This is my maternal grandmother, Miriam Klusner. She was Mimi to most people that knew her, but Mama to me and my sister. Mama grew up in Brooklyn, where she met and married my grandfather, Albert. In the 1950s, they moved from Brooklyn to Bayside, Queens, with my father and uncle. At that time, Queens was the country, at least compared to Brooklyn, and in the back of their tiny house, at the far end of the yard, she planted blueberry bushes. As a girl, I loved picking blueberries in her backyard, and they have been my favorite fruit ever since.
Mama was a great cook and an even better baker. (I’m pretty sure my mean sweet tooth comes directly from her.) I wish she were here today so she could eat one of my cakes. I know she’d be so proud.
Although it’s always exciting to design a new cake for an editorial photo shoot, this one has a special place in my heart. Brooke Allison and Stefanie Kapra, who conceptualized and photographed the shoot, called it Something Blue(berry). They incorporated buttons, birds, and books, rustic decor, and lots of blue elements. Thanks to Brooke and Stef for asking me to create the cake, which includes antiqued fondant birds and, of course, lots and lots of fondant blueberries.
A few months ago, The Connecticut Bride magazine asked me to create a pop art cake inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s 1962 “The Kiss II”.
I had actually done another pop art cake a few years back, also inspired by Lichtenstein, and I wanted to make this one completely different. I really like the color block trend, and thought a 1960s mod design would work well with the primary colors Lichtenstein is known for. Here’s the design I came up with:
The editors liked my original design and didn’t change a thing. Here’s the cake in the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of The Connecticut Bride.
And a few shots that I took with my camera:
This was definitely a departure from my usual style (it really stands out in my consultation studio among the pastel and white display cakes) and very unconventional for a wedding cake, but I liked it just the same. (In fact, I kind of loved it.)
Thanks to Connecticut Bride for the opportunity to make such a fun cake.
This cake design was based on the Wedding Paper Divas’ Petal Clusters invitation. It comes in four colors: autumn orange, meadow, mustard, the one seen below, paradise. I’m telling you, I just can’t get enough of their invites.
Years ago, I made this cake with purple hearts strung on ribbon. It was on my website for a while until I finally got sick of it or was embarrassed by it, I can’t remember which, and took it down.
(“Oh, but Erica,” you say. “How could you be embarrassed by such perfection? Such genius?” Look closely. See how the edges are rounded? How light in color the top two tiers are? How the sides of each tier bulge out? That’s how.)
I did the purple heart cake many years ago, and I totally forgot about it until recently when I saw a similar cake on Eat Cake Be Merry. I’ve wanted to do an Old, New, Borrowed, Blue cake for a while, so I thought I’d revisit my original design.
A few simple steps include:
1. Color fondant and cut out small discs. (I used the second smallest cutter in the Ateco round set.)
2. Trace cutter onto paper to create template.
3. Determine where holes should be.
4. Mark holes on fondant discs with pointy object. (I used floral wire.)
5. Make holes using tip # 4 (or larger) while fending off baby Mia.
6. Allow discs to dry overnight or longer. Then string onto ribbon.
7. Use FMMTappits to cut out letters. (Tappits can be very hard to work with. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the post for some tips and tricks.)
8. Fend off Mia again. 9. Apply to cake with royal icing and enjoy.
This cake won’t make it to my website–it was much cuter in my imagination–but it’s nice to see how much my work has improved since the purple heart cake.