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Happy Birthday Huck!

30 Aug

Oh-my-goodness was this a fun cake to make!  A cake to celebrate the 3rd birthday of one of Bella’s very best friends in the whole.wide.world. This kid loves dinosaurs.  I mean loves them.  The theme was a no brainer.

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Coconut Cake

28 Aug

So, I guess I took the summer off blogging.  I didn’t really intend to, it just kind of happened.  Between being back at work, figuring out Bella’s daycare routine and spending every unplanned moment outside soaking up the summer I have ignored this space.  And I miss it.  So this is me, dipping my toe back in the water of the blogging world.  I am officially the baker of an adorable local restaurant around the corner from my house. I am churning out Southern influenced layer cakes, seasonal pies, cobblers and dozens and dozens of biscuits to hungry Philadelphians a few days a week.  Cakes like this one.   Coconut layer cake, each layer soaked with coconut water with coconut caramel and coconut moussline buttercream.  This particular cake was made for my little family.  The sweet bite to finish up lazy Sunday supper outside.

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Angela’s Birthday Cake

24 Jun

Everyone should have a birthday cake, especially friends as wonderful as Angie. I have been obsessed with ombré cakes for a while now.   I played with the effect on Nancy’s cake, but I have been wanting to do a simple, modern version.  Angie’s birthday was the perfect occasion.

As luck would have it, baking Angie’s cake coincided with the end of strawberry season.   On the last day of the season Martin, Bella and I spent a morning at Johnson’s Farm picking hundreds of jewel-like berries, and sugar snap peas and early cherries and peaches.   Some of the strawberries ended up in this cake along with some of the last rhubarb of the season.

Vanilla Cake, vanilla buttercream and strawberry rhubarb compote – the same combination I used in my own birthday cake.   Happy Birthday Angie!

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Happy Birthday Liam!

4 Jun

Liam’s 2nd Birthday Cake:  2 layers of vanilla cake, one layer of strawberry cake, vanilla buttercream with fondant.

Happy Birthday Liam!

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Ashley’s Baby Shower Cake

20 May

Nancy’s daughter and Leo’s aunt Ashley is expecting a little one this summer.  This cake has a lot of firsts: my first stacked cake, my first time making fondant flowers, my first fondant covered Rice Krispie treat figures.  The cake is based loosely on the nursery bedding – a charming quilted pattern of owls and trees and flowers and polka dots.

Three tiers of strawberry cake with cream cheese buttercream.  All of the decorations are fondant.  Congratulations Ashley!

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Happy Birthday to Me!

10 May

My birthday was almost a month ago.   30 days to celebrate turning 30.  Every weekend for the past 4 weeks or so has had a portion of a day dedicated to celebrating with different friends and family, in Cayman and here in Philadelphia.  Dinners, balloons and champagne.  A gloriously massive chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache, cookies, lemon cake and more.

To cap off the birthday month I made a cake of my own. A cake to celebrate my birthday, a day I share with Joey Lawrence and my dear friend Drea.    Drea and I share a great many things: a birthday, a middle name and a love of Terry Gross to name a few.  Drea loves fruit in her desserts, I love a layer cake.  We both love Mexican dresses – our 2012 birthday cake was born.

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Mousseline Buttercream and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.

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Little Cayman

2 May


My family went to Little Cayman to celebrate my 30th birthday.  We spent most of the time fishing, cleaning, prepping and cooking. Followed by eating and eating and eating and drinking.  A quick snack.  Repeat.  This is what passes for relaxation in my family.  When I pause to consider the backdrop to all these activities, the impossible quiet and solitude of Little Cayman. The tangle of sea grape trees, the carpet of turtle grass, coconuts and conch shells.  Iguanas and solider crabs.  The layer of salt in your hair and on your skin and the shower under the bright blue sky to temporarily remove it.  And the sea.  Everywhere the sea.  When I stop and think of all this, I am overcome with gratitude.  Gratitude to my family who organized and traveled and celebrated.  Gratitude for the soul and salt and beauty of my tiny country.  Gratitude and joy.

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