Archive for the ‘cake decorating’ Category

As the opportunities are endless when it comes to wedding cakes, helping a client create a masterpiece that fits their personality and wedding theme can be overwhelming. From naked cakes to macaron towers and cake tables, we’ve outlined some of the top wedding cake trends for 2016:

naked cake wedding cake trends

Naked Cake

Naked Cakes – Also known as unfrosted cakes, this type of cake allows you to showcase the delicious flavors and colors inside a cake. Naked cakes complement rustic and shabby chic events, which is a trend that’s continuing in 2016.

Watercolor – A trend that has made waves in other industries like body art, paintings and fashion, watercolor is gaining popularity in cakes. Using color gels, fondant, and a little alcohol, such as vodka, cake artists create beautiful, sophisticated pieces of art.

cake table wedding cake trends

Dessert Table

Dessert tables – Who wants to pick one cake for a special occasion when the options are endless? As couples are opting for dessert tables on their special day, this gives you the opportunity to showcase your creativity and create a masterpiece of sweets, which doesn’t have to include only cakes.

Buttercream – It’s never gone out of style, however, 2016 is the year buttercream wedding cakes will make a comeback. Not only does it taste delicious, buttercream can give cakes a more relaxed look, which also complements the popular rustic theme. Buttercream icing also makes beautiful flowers, including authentic looking roses, pansies, peonies and dahlias – all popular flowers in the wedding industry.

macaron wedding cake trends

Macaron Tower

Macaron madness – With the cupcake trend phasing out, couples who are looking for a unique cake experience are looking to macarons, which have been growing in popularity for some time.

Modern creations – Although many weddings include a traditional wedding cake, we’re predicting that 2016 will be the year of modern designs. Cakes made with architectural influences and geometric patterns in metallic and bold, dark colors are just a few twists making wedding cakes more modern.

lace wedding cake trends

Lace Wedding Cake

Lace – Lace has become a popular choice for both wedding gowns and cakes since the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge (a.k.a Will and Kate) got married in 2011.

What wedding cake trends are you excited to try out in 2016? Whether you’re going to try some new ideas or not, working with your client to create an essential part of their special day is the icing on the cake.


Read Full Post »

The ‘Ace Of Cakes’ Next Challenge: The Inaugural Ball Cake

January 21, 2013 9:21 AM

Elena Fox from Charm City Cakes works on a layer of the official cake for the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball.

Courtesy of Charm City Cakes

How do you get picked to bake the inaugural cake? Is there a long application process that involves standardized tests, or is it more like the Publisher’s Clearing House, where someone surprises you at your door with a camera crew?

Duff Goldman says he’s still not sure how it happened.

“They called us out of the blue” he says. “I got a text message from my office manager saying, ‘Hey, we’re making the official inaugural cake.'”

His company, Charmed City Cakes, has baked a number of cakes for the U.S. military in the past. That may have helped — that and his Food Network show, Ace of Cakes, which follows his team of bakers through ever-more challenging cake-making assignments.

Goldman’s a pretty jovial guy for the most part, but he gets pretty serious talking about his latest gig. “This is the greatest country in the world,” he says, “For real.”

Food Network star Duff Goldman and his team of cake makers will be serving their country on Monday.

Katy Winn/AP

Goldman’s six-tiered cake — that’s three to five layers per tier — will be presented at the Commander-In-Chief’s Inaugural Ball.

Goldman says some of the ideas his team submitted went beyond the traditional sheet cake, but the Presidential Inaugural Committee had the final word. “One looked like a big tank,” he says. That one didn’t make the cut – the winning design will be traditional. “It has a lot of stars and stripes,” Goldman says.

Some of the cakes decorations are done already. Goldman found out they would be baking for the big day only two weeks ago. That’s a relatively short turnaround, but he’s not worried. “We’re pretty good,” he laughs.

And just what do stars and stripes taste like? “Freedom,” Goldman responds. For Monday’s celebration, freedom tastes like “red-velvet with cream cheese frosting,” he says. “It also tastes like lemon poppy. It also tastes like pumpkin chocolate chip with a fudge frosting, and it tastes like a pineapple-coconut with a Swiss butter cream.”

Like the design, the committee chose the flavors. Goldman’s not sure if President Barack Obama or the First Lady had much to do with it, though – he assumes they had other projects on their plate.

Like all things — the proof is in the pudding. The cake still has to be baked and delivered, which is easier said than done. In 1981, President Reagan’s first inaugural cake made it to the party but never got in. At 7 feet tall and 3,000 pounds, it just wasn’t slim enough to squeeze through the door.

Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/01/21/169854456/the-ace-of-cakes-next-challenge-the-inaugural-ball-cake

Read Full Post »

January 16, 2013 Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2013/01/15/cake-boss-valastro-cruise-ship/1836263/

Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro is taking his baking ways to the high seas.

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that Valastro, 35, will open an extension of his family business, Carlo’s Bake Shop, on the soon-to-debut, 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway.

Norwegian says the on-board bakery will offer confections for sale, and passengers will be able to pre-order custom specialty cakes for celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. The shop also will offer cupcake decorating classes.

“Buddy is known as the ultimate baker, so we knew he was the best choice for our new bakery on Norwegian Breakaway,” Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan says in a statement accompanying the announcement.

The Carlo’s Bake Shop on the Norwegian Breakaway will be located on Deck 8 of the ship. Menu items will include freshly baked cookies, cakes and pies, including Valastro’s trademark Oreo, Dark Chocolate Mousse and Purple Groovy Fondant cakes, Italian butter cookies, biscotti, and an assortment of cupcakes.

In addition to TLC’s Cake Boss, Valastro appears in the cable network’s Cake Boss: Next Great Baker and Kitchen Boss.

The Norwegian Breakaway is scheduled to debut in May 2013 and will be based in New York City. Named by a USA TODAY reader last year in a contest held here at usatoday.com, the ship will boast a number of new-for-the-line features including a restaurant-lined boardwalk.

Read Full Post »

Last month we talked about plugging profit leaks in Your Bakery. This month we are going to talk about getting more for your bakery products by increasing your customers’ perception of the value.

The Wow Factor: What makes you say “Wow!” when you experience great bakery products? Is it the smell of a fresh apple pie or the aroma of fresh bread? Is it the beauty of a wedding cake? Is it the texture of a fine cheese cake? Could it be the taste sensations of a rich chocolate brownie with fudge icing topped with a scoop of ice cream and chopped walnuts?

Bakery products have a high “Wow Factor” because they appeal to four of the primary senses. Bakery products with a high “Wow Factor” look, smell, taste, and feel terrific. Achieving a high “Wow Factor” is a function of applying baking skill to the best ingredients. Starting with premium ingredients is essential. Skill is then applied to mix and bake the ingredients to achieve the best smell, taste and feel.

 Appealing presentation calls for creative design – proportion, color, and texture. Award winning presentations are achieved through a combination of the artistic skills of a sculptor and a painter — bakery products are multi dimensional. One characteristic of appealing bakery design is to present the ingredients contained in the product in such a way that the customer can imagine a sensational taste experience from the moment they lay eyes on the product.

Over the years bakers have become very creative in the use of toppings and presentation methods that allow internal ingredients to show through. Artisan breads are topped with seeds or oat flakes or dusted with flour. Pies and tortes have lattice top crusts with openings that show the fillings inside. Cakes are topped with drizzle, nuts, icings or whipped toppings.

Layering ingredients is another way to increase the “Wow Factor”. Layering allows bakers to combine ingredients for better taste and look and to add variety to a product line. Lemon meringue pie, German chocolate cake, cheese cake topped with strawberries, and even Oreo cookies are examples of layering.

The Wow Factor Payoff: Bakery products with a high “Wow Factor” are immediately more appealing. They create more excitement and they trigger the impulse to buy. Customers will also pay more for high “Wow Factor” products. The “Wow Factor” then is necessary to grow sales volume and generate higher unit selling prices.

What is the best way to get the “Wow Factor” to pay off – to increase bottom line profits? The problem with the “Wow Factor” for many bakers is the increased cost of premium ingredients and the extra labor required to apply these ingredients. Layering of ingredients requires multiple depositing steps. Adding toppings and textures can be very labor intensive and generally takes a higher level of skill.

To make matters worse the motions required are very repetitive and very stressful over time. Absenteeism and repetitive stress claims cut into profits. Pastry bags also used to manually apply drizzles, borders, and rosettes and it can take up to 22 lbs. of pressure to apply icing to a cake. Side crumbing which adds to the look and taste of a dessert is another decorating function that is usually performed manually.

There is also the issue of controlling the premium ingredients that are being applied. The natural tendency is to over apply the ingredients. If a little is good, more is better and no one wants to be under the weight on the label. The ingredients used to increase the “Wow Factor” are often some of the most expensive ingredients used in the overall product – Chocolate ganache, rum mixes, whipping cream or dolce de leches spreads.

Acheiving the Wow Factor: How then do you get a high “Wow Factor “and keep your cost of ingredients and labor under control? How do you have your cake and eat it too? As you may have picked up on this article, we were throwing little hints that relate to taking those high stress, high cost, inconsistent processes and replacing them with various pieces of equipment.

We’re not suggesting you lose that special touch that has made you a favourite among all your customers. We are suggesting that you take those processes, review them, make them more efficient, accurate and enjoyable while adding $$ to your bottom line.

Read Full Post »


Read exclusive interviews on The Bakery Network: http://www.thebakerynetwork.com/next-great-baker-season-2-contestants

13 Contestants vying for $100,000 prize and chance to work at Carlo’s Bakery. 

Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro is looking for the NEXT GREAT BAKER and 13 aspiring cake artists are entering the kitchen to see if can bake their way to the top. At stake: the sweet prize of $100,000, a four page feature in Brides Magazine, and a chance to work side-by-side with Buddy and his team at Carlo’s Bakery.

The 10-episode season kicks off with a special 90-minute premiere on Monday, November 28 at 9pm ET/PT. The season one finale – which crowned Dana Hebert the winner – averaged 2.34 million viewers, up +67% from its series debut.

“This season is bigger and better – we’ve doubled the prize, the challenges are tougher, and there’s a seasoned ‘bakers dozen’ fighting it out to prove to me they have what it takes to hang with the Carlo’s crew,” said Buddy Valastro.

This season’s contestants include: 

Ryan Cimorelli, Providence, RI
30 years old; Owner, The Bakery Boutique in Smithfield, RI. 

Wesley Durden, Fayetteville NC
29 years old; Active serviceman with 82nd Airborn Division, based at Fort Bragg. 

Chad Fitzgerald, Duncanville, TX
44 years old; Owner of THE CAKE GUYS in Dallas and Duncanville, TX; also a High School Math Teacher. 

Jasmine Frank, Los Angeles, CA
20 years old; Owner of Jazzy Cakes 

Tony Frys, Forth Worth, TX
23 years old; a co-owner of “The Sugar Art” 

Heather Grubb, Knoxville, TN
31 years old; owner of Cake of Knoxville.

Megan Hart, Pittsburgh PA
38 years old; works as a paramedic for the city of Pittsburgh. 

Marissa Lopez, Pompton Lakes NJ
24 years old; Cake decorator at the Brownstone in Patterson NJ and small business owner.

Heather Macia, Las Vegas, NV
32 years old; a culinary school graduate, she currently works as an exotic dancer.

Carmelo Oquendo, Worcester, MA
43 years old; a retired Gang Unit Police Officer and now the “Cakefather of Worcester.” 

Nadine Reibeling, New York, NY
28 years old; owner of Lolly Love, LLC, and also works in catering sales for a hotel.

Minerva Vazquez, Miami, FL
46 years old; a personal chef and cake artist 

Sara Williams, Cedartown, GA
39 years old; owner of a bakery, Crickette’s Cakes 

Contacts: Dustin Smith, (310) 975-1640, dustin_smith@discovery.com
Press materials: http://press.discovery.com/us/tlc/programs/next-great-baker-2/

The series fan site can be found at http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/next-great-baker.  

NEXT GREAT BAKER is produced for TLC by High Noon Entertainment.

About TLC TLC is a global brand that celebrates extraordinary people and relatable life moments through innovative nonfiction programming. A top 10 cable network for women, TLC has built successful franchises around the Cake Boss, Say Yes to the Dress and Police Women brands. In the first half of 2011, TLC had 23 series averaging 1.0 million viewers or more including Extreme Couponing, Sister Wives, 19 Kids and Counting, What Not To Wear, and Kate Plus 8.

TLC is available in more than 99 million homes in the US and 75 million households in 34 countries internationally. A

destination online, TLC.com offers in-depth fan sites, exclusive video content, and original editorial covering style, home, food, and more. Fans can also interact with TLC via On Demand services, on mobile platforms, including an iPhone App, and through social media such as Facebook or @TLC on Twitter. TLC is part of Discovery

Communications (NASDAQ:
DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 210 countries and territories.

Read Full Post »

The Sugar Arts Institute

For immediate release, October 26, 2011

A message from our founder, Julie Bashore:




The Sugar Arts Institute is a new, worldwide, and prestigious educational body offering higher level, unified, standardized certification programmes specific to our industry.

Working with our team of highly qualified educators, our 5 year programme will offer  worldwide, recognized qualifications focusing specifically on all aspects of
SUGAR ARTISTRY.  SAI will fill this enormous void in our markets.

SAI will train and certify to provide Cake Decorators and Sugar Artists  qualifications they can be proud of.

Candidate Diploma in Sugar Arts – Year  1
Certificate in Sugar Arts – Year 2
Associates Degree In Sugar Arts  – Year 3
Bachelor of Sugar Arts – Year 4
Master of Sugar Arts – Year 5

We are looking for additional Founding Instructors to be prestigious members of this institute right now.  We are recruiting worldwide, thereby cross training our Instructors at every level covering every aspect of this amazing art.

If you are interested in traveling the world, (or not), working full time or part time as a Certified SAI Instructor and being fully marketed and promoted through this prestigious non-profit educational institute, visit here for more information: http://www.sugarartsinstitute.org/instructorinfo.html

This exciting endeavor will be launched in July 2012 nationally and internationally.  Our  Founding Instructors will be marketed and promoted as the best of the best!

Join this progressive, illustrious and prestigious group of Team Leaders.
So far we have been invited to launch SAI in Australia, New Zealand, England, Germany, Hong Kong China, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and of course, USA.

The benefits are satisfying and the rewards are enticing!”
If you are interested in keeping updated as classes become available, then please fill out this form to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow SAI on Facebook here.

Read Full Post »

On The Rise with Beth Appleton of Whimsical Cakes

October 2011, The Bakery Network
Joe Baker, jbaker@thebakerynetwork.com

In the business of making special days just a little sweeter, Beth Appleton of Whimsical Wedding Cakes sits down with Joe Baker to talk about her passion for designing works of art.


1. Why wedding cakes?
I love being a part of something so special. So much time and energy is put into a wedding and for most it’s a once in a lifetime event…and I get to share in that.

2. How long have you been designing cakes?
I’ve been designing cakes professionally for 3 years. Prior to that I was self taught and made cakes for family and friends. I finally got to a point where I felt I had learned as much as I could on my own and succumbed to taking classes. It was the best thing that I could have ever done. A friend once told me that if you want to be the best at what you do, you must learn from the best. So I did. I went to Bonnie Gordon’s School of Confectionary Arts. The school is now an accredited College.

3. What or who was your inspiration for becoming a Pastry Chef and opening your own specialty shop?
When I was planning my own wedding 9 years ago I was in love with Collette Peter’s wedding cakes. She was ahead of her time and in my books she is responsible for changing cake design from typical to Whimsical.

4. What was your biggest challenge in learning how to bake?
Ah yes, learning to bake…I learned how to design and decorate a cake before I could actually bake. I think my biggest challenge has been to create my own unique flavours and to add a twist to old favourites. My best selling chocolate cake recipe has been in my family for over 100 years but I’ve tweaked it a bit by adding espresso and a hint of cinnamon.

5. What is your favourite all time recipe?
I would have to say my favourite recipe would be my Great Great Grandmother’s Chocolate cake with raspberry curd and dark chocolate ganache or vanilla bean cake filled with lime curd and cream cheese filling.

6. Have you always wanted to be a Pastry Chef?
Nope. It wasn’t until I was planning my wedding that I realized my love of cake design. And still it took me 6 years to realize that I had it in me to actually do it.

7. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start in the bakery business?
The same advise that was given to me…learn from the best.

8. What type of schooling or baking background do you have?
As I mentioned before, I went to Bonnie Gordon’s School of Confectionary Arts in Toronto. In addition I’ve taken several Celebrity Cake Designers Classes focusing on Sugar Flowers, Air brushing and Carving.

9. Any awards or special achievements?
This past spring I won a Live Cake Star Challenge at Bonnie Gordon’s 3rd annual Cake Show and Competition. I was up against two other designers to create a wedding cake to represent one of the four seasons in front of a live audience in only 7 hours. It was amazing!! And just a short month after that I competed on a new Wedding Cake Competition Show on Slice Network in Canada. The show is called Cake Walk. For our challenge we created a 4’ tall wedding cake with lots of pillows and round tiers stacked topsy turvy as if they were floating above each other. We came in second for this show. It was truly and amazing experience.

10. What would you be doing if you weren’t designing wedding cakes?
I can’t imagine not designing wedding cakes.

Visit Beth Appleton’s website: www.whimsicalweddingcakes.com

Read Full Post »