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Cake pops are incredibly fun.  You can make them cute and elegant, or you can make them simple and sharp.  You can make them for baby showers all the way on up to weddings and formal events.  The cake pops in red cellophane are my first attempt at them. I’ve since made several different kinds, shapes and flavors for many many different events.  The chocolate drizzled with white were a few more batches down the line in the line-up of my cake-pop making days, for a wedding.  The white with gold and brown are for another wedding later that same summer.   A few words of caution, though,before you run off to your kitchen and fire up the mixer: they are rather time consuming to make.  But since we love these delectable little treats here’s some tips and tricks. 

Make them ahead of time and freeze them, you could even make some just to have on hand for a quick back-up for last minute parties.  All you have to do is take them directly out of the freezer, put them on sticks and dip them.  The fact that they’re frozen makes them firmer and less likely to crumble off the stick while having the extra weight of the chocolate on it while dipping.  Tip: use candy melts instead of melting down baking chocolate - it’s lighter and much easier to tap off excess without having casualties.

The Adams Wedding - August 2011.  This wedding was pulled off with my partner-in-crime, once again, Chelsea.  Couldn’t have done it without her.  The dessert bar is a popular choice for weddings over the last few wedding seasons.  I imagine it’ll be a trend for a while longer.  Although, one thing I learned from this - if you have a large cake, plus other great desserts, give the cake a seperate table, makes serving cake, plus other desserts flow much more smoothly and will encourage people to partake of many of the other desserts as well as the cake.  This was a phenomenal wedding.  One of my favorites.

Alexander Wedding October 2011 - All the rage at weddings is now dessert buffets.  Several different choices of desserts to choose from. This was a small wedding that my partner-in-crime, Chelsea Dreisbach and I did.  The Madelines tower was what they wanted instead of a cake. It turned out well for a fall wedding.

Fields Wedding Jan 14, 2012 - photos are a little over-exposed because they were taken on a cell phone.  Triple Chocolate Fudge cake with cream cheese buttercream and left-over decorations from decorating the venue, incorporated into the cake.

Dessert Catering Business Name Ideas...?
Help me brainstorm names to put on my business cards! : )

My first four-tier cake… I was so nervous that the supports wouldn’t be enough and the cake would fall in (it was quite heavy), That the frosting would melt off in the 80 degree outdoor heat, or that the bride wouldn’t really be thrilled about it. The bride was my close cousin growing up and I wanted it to be perfect for her, and exactly how she pictured - or better. After baking and decorating on Saturday before the wedding on Sunday… it was done. I baked and baked and baked in this little kitchen at the hotel. Family was coming in from out of town. and kids were running around. It was sunny outside… In between the drying of crumb coats and putting together corsages and boutonnieres I got my toes done with the bride and some of my other cousins, and chatted away with my family. Saturday was the most fun i’ve had in a long time. Baking, which I love. Decorating, which i love. Getting my toes done with my sister-cousins, which i love. Being involved in key logistical parts of my cousin’s wedding and having large amounts of quality time with my family while doing all these things… it’s priceless. I couldn’t have been more content. I love decorating cakes. That day I got to share that passion with the people I love most… and even teach them a few tricks. :)

Cake is a powerful food. It brings people together…
Speaking of “scents”… Lemon Scented Blueberry Cupcakes…  Thanks Carey!

Speaking of “scents”… Lemon Scented Blueberry Cupcakes…  Thanks Carey!

Why I love it… (part 2)

Learning from the masters.  One of the best things you can do to perfect your own recipes and techniques is to wander on into a local grocery store or bakery and take a peek at what they have in the bakery case.  I didn’t realize this until just now but not only do I make note of piping techniques and flavor combinations, but I notice how it smells.  I mean, let’s face it, eveyone loves the smell of cake and frosting lingering in the air…  tempting us to tase a small little morsel.  And, yes some bakeries do smell a little sugary sweet, but not all.  If I happen to decide to purchase such a little treat, here are a few things I take note of that are important to me in a cupcake:

- smell

- taste (duh) of both the frosting and cake.  Make sure it’s not too bland.  You should be able to tell what the flavor of each is with your eyes closed.

- texture of the frosting and of the cupcake.  Is the frosting too runny or too thick?  Is it overpowering prodominantly sugary or crisco/buttery?  Does the cake have too many air bubbles in it?  Is it dense but still fluffy?  Velvety cake is the best. 

- moist/dryness of the cupcake

- how easily the paper comes off the cake (seriously - isn’t it annoying when you take the paper off the cake and half the cupcake comes with it?  Shoot!  Those things are expensive little treats, i want as much of it as i can savor!)

- What the garnishes are.  What makes the cupcake cute?  A little sprinkles on top?  Shaved chocolate? or is the piped frosting just executed well…

THEN I take all my mental notes on this seemingly simple little dessert and I try to come up with ideas on how to perfect it.  One day I hope someone will taste my creations and give me constructive feedback as well… this whole baking, decorating thing… really is an art.  And I love the challenge!

A random mix of other baking endeavors.  Banana bread in a sweet mini-loaf braid pan my mom gave to me.  A brain cake that a friend and I created to try and win a halloween cake decorating contest. We won!  :)  Cupcakes I threw together with my freshly bloomed pansies on top and a random sugar cookie I decorated around Valentine’s day.