Category Archives: Special Occasion Cakes

Star Wars Lightsaber Fight Scene Groom’s Cake

This past Friday, we had the opportunity to unveil the first “extreme“, *lighted*, Sweet Element cake!  We delivered this surprise Star Wars Lightsaber Fight Scene groom’s cake to Pavinici’s Italian Grill in Hopatcong, NJ.

Both cakes were comprised of a Raspberry Wheat Beer Vanilla Cake (special request from the bride to be, as raspberry wheat beer is the groom’s favorite), filled with raspberry preserves, frosted in vanilla moussaline buttercream & decorated with a combination of fondant & modeling chocolate.

Here’s a closeup of the Darth Vader cake.
And a closeup of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Here are are a few more bonus shots for the blog only!

It just cracked me up that the Darth Vader cake just happened to be in the light & the Obi-Wan Kenobi cake in the dark when we put them in the van for delivery!

Even closer detail shot of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s face, lit by his blue lightsaber.

A view of the cake from the restaurant entrance.

How these cakes began … Obi-Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader’s modeling chocolate heads.

Shot of Darth Vader cake at the studio pre-lightsaber.
Shot of Obi-Wan Kenobi at the studio pre-lightsaber.

Jay working on the cake structure.

The box of magic … (i.e. what made the lightsabers light up!) Note … that LARGE Dunkin Donuts coffee is definitely part of the magic 😉

Cute Cthulhu Birthday Cake

As you might have noticed, I enjoy making unusual cakes – and this one, for @Snipeyhead was definitely one of my new favorites!  The only requests for this latest Sweet Element cake was that it be red velvet & Cthulhu-themed.  So, with full artistic interpretation, I decided to take this monster cake to the cute side, and ended up with what I called Cute-ulhu (Cthulhu’s baby sister)!

For added excitement, we had the joy of delivering this cake from the studio into Stitch Bar in Manhattan during the last blizzard.  Thankfully, everything was safe & sound once we got there!


Birthday Girl digging into Cute-ulhu

Phillies & Army Groom’s Cake

This past weekend Sweet Element had the opportunity to deliver this Phillies & Army themed groom’s cake to Terrace on the Park in Queens, NY.  The groom, as you might have guessed is a *huge* Phillies phan & is also a very accomplished military man – Green Beret, Ranger & West Point Instructor.

During the initial design consultation, the bride, who was ordering this cake as a surprise for her groom, emphasized that she really wanted the predominant cake design to revolve around the Phillies, but she also wanted to incorporate some army desert camo & logos around the sides, and a green beret instead of the baseball cap to the Phanatic to personalize the cake a bit more specifically for her groom.  The small beer bottle in the Phanatic’s hand was also a small side request to showcase the couple’s love of beer!

The cake itself was red velvet (could there be any other flavor for a die-hard Phillies cake?), filled with cream cheese frosting, iced in vanilla moussaline buttercream & decorated in fondant & gumpaste.  The camo band & logos were printed on frosting sheets.

Where Did October Go?!

Apparently it’s been a busy month!  I know I’ve said it before, but working as a solopreneur definitely has it’s pros & cons – one of the biggest cons being TIME! Back in my corporate days, I always felt like I was “stealing” time when I would take my PTO (paid time off) to work on cakes & chocolate.  Now, immersed in the sweetness of Sweet Element full-time, I find that stealing time often equates to things like catching up with friends & family, hanging out with Mr. Sweet Element on a non-cake related trip (long drives are SOOOO much more relaxing when you’re not worried about every bump or curve in the road & every short stop!) & organizing my non-cake life.  Luckily, October provided a lot of opportunity to do all those things – as well as work on some CAKES!

Here are a few of the cakes from this month!

The story behind this cake is just too good not to share.  Would you believe that this last-minute cake order to make a cake to celebrate 5 million+ twitter followers – came through twitter?!

One day early in the month, I was at the studio checking emails & getting ready to start on a groom’s cake, and I got an email from a NJ photographer I’ve worked with about a tweet from an NYC photographer that made him think of me.  The NYC photographer had a client that was looking for a boutique cake shop to make a cake in less than 24 hours notice for delivery in NYC.  Since I was delivering the groom’s cake to NYC the following day, I figured it couldn’t hurt to find out exactly what kind of cake the NYC photographer’s client needed, so I reached out to him via twitter to get more info.  Within a few hours, I heard from the client, who just so happened to be the brand group who manages Bongo jeans.  Initially they were looking for a 3D cake, but after I explained that would be nearly impossible in 20 hours, they rethought their desired cake design & sent me artwork for the top of a round one-tier cake.  As soon as I received the artwork, my thought process went a little like this:

“Whoa, this Kim person sure has a lot of twitter followers.”

“Hrm, ‘Love, Bongo’. I wonder if I can find out who this Kim is by googling Bongo, Kim & 5 million twitter followers.”

“OMG. This cake is for Kim Kardashian!”

“OMG. Sweet Element’s first celebrity cake delivery is in 18 hours – and I don’t even have the cake baked yet?!”

Needless to say, it was a crazy time line, especially since I had to carve & decorate this groom’s cake for delivery the next day too. Somehow, everything got done & deliveries for both cakes went off without a hitch the next day!

Curious about the cake flavor? This twitter-centric cake was vanilla cake, filled with raspberry preserves, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant & buttercream.  The kiss on top of the cake was printed on edible paper.

Yankees Hat Cake with Sugar Tickets on Marbleized Fondant Base


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Mini Cakes for The Knot Spring 2010 national magazine photoshoot

Lotus Elan Groom’s Cake

This latest Sweet Element groom’s cake was made as a surprise for the groom-to-be that his lovely bride-to-be presented at a pre-wedding party in the upper west side of Manhattan this past Thursday. The inspiration behind the cake started with the groom-to-be’s favorite car, his 1971 Lotus Elan.  I thought it would be a nice touch to add the Just Married sign & traditional cans on the bumper to make it more of a groom’s cake.

This cake was comprised of chocolate devil’s food cake, filled with Guinness buttercream, frosted with vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant & gumpaste.  The board was covered in Oreo crumb “dirt”.

USB Key Cake & Fun Daisy Birthday Cake

After all the Twitter love I’ve gotten from Jay’s computer forensic friends, I couldn’t say no when they asked if I’d make them a cake for their last meet up in downtown Manhattan.  As  you might imagine, the cake had to be somewhat computer related, so with a little inspiration from the group, I came up with the USB key cake with the NYC4SEC logo on it below.  The cake was a chocolate devil’s food cake, filled with chocolate buttercream, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant.

This next cake was made for the 4th birthday of a very sweet lil’ girl in my hometown of Bloomfield, NJ.  After looking at cakes with her mom online, she found a cake she loved from The Elegant Cakery in Texas.  Since she was having a smaller party, I designed a smaller 2 tier cake for her based on the inspiration cake.  The cake was yellow cake, filled with dark chocolate ganache, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant & gumpaste.

Soccer Ball Groom’s Cake

This past weekend, after dealing with the *MOST* unprofessional event planner EVER, we delivered one huge 14″ soccer ball groom’s cake to the Maplewood Country Club in Maplewood, NJ as a surprise for the groom from the bride.  For whatever reason, I couldn’t seem to get this event planner to understand that #1) My client (the bride), specifically requested that this cake be at the wedding for the *duration* of the wedding so that everyone, including her groom could enjoy it before the cake cutting ceremony later in the evening, #2) Fondant covered cakes with sugar designs highly sensitive to moisture are NOT to be put in the refrigerator & #3) Delivering a groom’s cake in the *MIDDLE* of a wedding right as they bring out the wedding cake is highly unprofessional & just not a good idea.  While both my trusty delivery guy & I maintained our composure, this event planner did nearly everything he could to be completely & utterly insulting during the entire delivery, and after verbally assaulting both of us independently, he finished off with, “You have 20 minutes to put a cake on this table RIGHT HERE and then GET OUT!!!!!”  I sense a letter written to the General Manager in the near future ….

But back to the cake … 🙂

While working through a few sports-themed cake ideas during our cake consultation, the bride to be decided that the perfect cake would be a huge soccer ball (as her fiance is a soccer player) covered in her fiance’s favorite team logos.

The cake itself was a vanilla cake, filled with chocolate ganache, frosted in vanilla moussaline buttercream and decorated in fondant sitting atop a board decorated in green buttercream grass.

As I knew that the logos were a critical part of the cake design, I finally opted to break down & get a food safe sugar printer – and I have to say I’m thrilled with the results!  While I still think that hand cut logos add a beautiful aesthetic to cakes, I have a feeling that this sugar printer will continue to be extremely handy for some extremely teeny intricate designs.

Spheres = very nervewracking deliveries!

Frog Prince Groom’s Cake

Sweet Element’s latest cake – a Frog Prince, was delivered last Friday to the Blue Fin restaurant inside the W Times Square.

I love cute cakes.  If I had a choice, I would seriously be making these type of cakes *all* the time!  This latest cake was definitely one of my favorites & a whole lot of fun to work on.  The bride-to-be requested that the cake be similar to “funfetti” cake, so I made my own version of confetti cake for the first time ever with the traditional Sweet Element vanilla cake & vanilla moussaline buttercream with some colored sprinkles mixed into them.

Here’s a photo of the cake layers & frosting …

Louis Vuitton Birthday/Anniversary Cake

It’s been a busy month here at the Sweet Element cake studio … which hasn’t left much time for blogging!  Luckily, I’ve managed to find a little quiet time this weekend, so I thought I would share one of the latest cakes that we delivered last weekend to McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright, NJ.

This cake was a combination 50th birthday & 25th anniversary cake that both daughter & husband worked on in secret as a surprise for one very lucky lady!  The clients wanted to incorporate some of mom’s favorite things – Louis Vuitton luggage, some Chanel makeup and Stuart Weitzman shoes.  I believe mom also received a real diamond ring as an anniversary gift, so I also included a “faux” sugar ring on the very top of the cake as well.

The cake was comprised of a variety of flavors:

The trunk was 1/2 chocolate devil’s food cake filled with chocolate buttercream and 1/2 red velvet filled with cream cheese frosting, and the entire thing was frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant.

The luggage atop the trunk & the small makeup bag were coconut cakes, filled & frosted with vanilla  buttercream, and decorated in fondant.

The shoebox & ring box were both chocolate devil’s food cake filled with chocolate buttercream, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant & gumpaste.

Best of all, a few days after the party, I received emails & a few photos from both daughter & husband to let me know how much Debbie loved her cake!

I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful cake on Saturday. It was a huge hit at the party and most of all my mother loved it! She didn’t even want to cut it because it came out so good! People were absolutely raving about out real it looked and how delicious it tasted.
– Deanna

Just wanted to let you know that the cake looked fantastic and was delicious as well.  My wife Debbie and all the guests totally enjoyed it!
– Tony

A Day in the Life of a Cake

After reading about the Threadcakes contest (which I *will* be entering this year!), and the contest rules about taking multiple pictures of the cake making process, I thought it would be a great idea to start taking more “in-progress” photos of Sweet Element cakes to show how cakes are made.  I know some people may think that it’s a crazy “secret-giving-away” thing to do, but I don’t think that there are any “secrets” to keep.  Cake designing, making & decorating is usually a lot of fun and definitely a lot of WORK.  Like with any other artistic endeavor, it’s a process that requires constant learning, which sometimes involves mistakes, and many times involves reworking and problem solving on the fly.

This first “tell-all” cake was made for a the graduation party of a friend, who as you might guess is a huge Linux fan.  A few years ago I surprised him with a 2D Linux cake for his birthday, and I figured he would definitely love a 3D Tux cake now that my decorating skills have progressed just a lil’ 😉

This first photo shows the stacked & buttercreamed “base-cake”, which was comprised of three individual cakes that were alternating layers of yellow & devil’s food cake filled and frosted with vanilla moussaline buttercream.  Next time I’ll have to remember to take a picture of the three individual cakes prior to stacking & carving, to give you a better idea of the whole process!

Once I had the basic structure assembled, I took a look at some reference materials I had on Tux and decided he needed a little fattening up & also a tail, so I took some white modeling chocolate, sculpted a penguin “beer-belly” & tail and added them to the base cake.

Once the more rotund Tux was well chilled, I gave him a black fondant shell, white fondant belly, fondant eyes, and added some black modeling chocolate arms.  The first beak shown here was made of rice crispy treats that was covered in fondant.

Well, as you can see, that first beak just didn’t work out. With the insane humidity lately, I wasn’t confident that the lil’ guy would keep that beak on from my studio to the party in Manhattan, so I opted for a little reconstructive surgery & a foam beak, which was much lighter & made me feel a lot less nervous about a delivery disaster.

Ok, so I skipped a *lot* of other photo ops, but I was trying to get this guy done quickly so I could get him back in the fridge to chill for delivery.  His beak & feet are foam covered in a mix of modeling chocolate & fondant.

Here’s good ol’ Tux hanging out for the day in Jay’s Madison Ave. office 🙂

And here he is after a grueling 4 block walk over to Butterfield 8, where he hung out at a table right by the front window.  It was so humid, that the gumpaste mortarboard I had fully dried out was a little wilty as soon as I put it on (at this point I was REALLY happy I opted to change out his original beak!).  The original tassels didn’t survive the trip, but I had brought some black modeling chocolate with me and made a new one right there in the bar.

The happy grad & his Tux cake, complete with mortarboard & tassels.

Tux at happy hour with the rest of us having a Stella & some bacon covered scallops 😀

As cute as he was, Tux was there to be eaten! I thought it would be fitting for Larry to be given the head since it was his party & all.

And here he is digging in! It’s always nice to hear people compliment the flavor of the actual cake, which happened a number of times at this party. My favorite compliment was from someone who came up to me and admitted that they normally don’t even like cake – but they had multiple slices of lil’ ol Tux because he was so tasty!