Sweet Element’s 2nd Anniversary Open House!

When I found out that the other artists in my building complex were having their annual open house in early May, I thought it would be a great opportunity to open the doors to the Sweet Element studio too to celebrate our 2nd anniversary with friends and neighbors.  It feels like just yesterday that we were celebrating at our grand opening – ah … how time flies when life is sweet!

While I never made it upstairs to do the full studio tour, I did manage to run to the gallery set up on ground level to see some of the artists’ work.  I just adore the little pig heads!

What’s a party without a little S.W.A.G.? 😀

Two piece chocolate boxes with caramel & peanut butter bon bons for the chocoholics.

Individually boxed cupcakes in a variety of flavors were packaged in sweet little boxes with built-in handles for the perfect sweet take-away!

Aerial shot of the cupcake favors (from left to right): red velvet, confetti, pistachio, double chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and almond!

A few thermal cups with some postcards.

A view from the back of the shop of the S.W.A.G. table and main tasting table!

A glimpse from behind the main tasting table.

We opened up the space by moving this display rack to “hide” a rack of tools and fondant behind.  Putting that backboard on the rack to conceal what’s behind was definitely worthwhile.  From this picture it almost looks like the cakes are just in front of a purple wall!

Pop of purple from a small potted orchid brightened up the main tasting table.

A close up of some peanut butter bon bons.

I thought that the open house would be a great opportunity to have a variety of sweets & art lovers vote on the final logo options.  I was thrilled to see that my favorite was also the crowd favorite by an overwhelming majority – it got over 51% of the votes!  I’ll be debuting the winner soon, right here on the blog – so stay tuned!

This is what happens when Mr. Sweet Element & I plan events. ;D
Here’s a close up of the logo voting box that everyone fed their votes!  No hanging chads with this system … 😀

And lastly, one last photo of me chatting with a few of our visitors (thanks to Susan from Naturally Susan’s for this shot!).  I’ll have to remember to ask one of my many photographer friends to come and document our next event, as I never seem to have shots of me – I’m either behind the mixer or behind the camera apparently!

In Bliss Launch Party at Montclair Art Museum!

Sweet Element was thrilled to be able to be a part of the In Bliss launch party this week at the Montclair Art Museum.  Despite the gloomy weather and rain, we had a great turnout and met many new friends, neighbors and cake fans. 😀

Given his new job’s insane schedule, I was *super* excited to have Mr. Sweet Element as my assistant for the show.

This Lichtenstein inspired cake felt right at home in the museum!  One of my favorite moments of the evening came when I got a sweet compliment on this cake from an art teacher who stopped by our table.

This white on white wedding dress inspired wedding cake contrasted beautifully with the piece of art behind our table.

Mini cupcake samples … (from left to right) chocolate almond, pistachio, chocolate lover, strawberry almond, and peanut butter chocolate.  Crowd favorites were definitely the strawberry almond and peanut butter chocolate! 😀

For the kid in everyone, I always like to have a little confetti cake on hand. Somehow sprinkles just make everything more fun!

Oh, hello there blogosphere!

Before the entire month of April goes by … I wanted to sneak in at least one post!  Like many months as a solopreneur, the month of April was one of ups and downs, unexpected opportunities, and a lot of lessons learned.

I’ll be posting in more detail about all of the below soon … but here’s a quick recap of all the goings on at Sweet Element this past month!

To start things off, here are a few of this month’s cakes!

This first cake was a vanilla cake, filled with dark chocolate ganache, and frosted in vanilla buttercream for a shabby chic birthday party for a very sweet one year old in Edgewater, NJ.

This sweet little red velvet birthday cake, filled with cream cheese frosting, and iced in vanilla buttercream was ordered as a surprise by a very sweet son. 🙂

These three wedding cakes were designed for a super fun modern Marie Antoinette themed wedding. I’ll be posting a lot more detail on these in another post next month!

Lastly, this fashion forward wedding cake was one of the two wedding cakes that were specially designed for the launch of Rami Kashou’s bridal line at Bebe.  I’ll be posting more on this event soon too!

There were a few more really fun cakes that I had the opportunity to make and would love to share, but I’m awaiting publication … so, as soon as I find out more, I’ll be updating everyone here too!

I was also extremely fortunate to get to know a number of fabulous folks in the wedding & event industry this month, including fellow cake designers, photographers, event planners, florists and make up artists.  I even got to make wedding cakes (yes, you read that right – cakeS!) for a super sweet make up artist ~ who had an awesome wedding at the Loew’s theater in Jersey City, NJ!

I was so excited to finally have a few professional headshots taken by the lovely Mikkel Paige in SoHo, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in NYC.  The most amazing thing to me about these shots was that they were taken after I had only gotten four hours of sleep, having stayed up to the wee hours to finish cakes for a last minute shoot (more on that shoot coming soon too!).

And last but not least, here’s a glimpse of some of the much needed *fun* that Mr. Sweet Element & I got to enjoy this month!

Clockwise from top left: Mr. Sweet Element & I on the beach in Asbury Park – my first time there!; Traditional ice cream cake from Parm in SoHo, NYC – worth every calorie!  The sandwiches were so good (& I was so hungry), that I never got a photo.; My first Yankees game of the season in the Bronx.; Nagle’s ice cream parlor in Ocean Grove, NJ … can you see a theme here? 😉

March Madness!

It’s been a flurry of activity at Sweet Element this March, but I’ve finally been able to catch a little bit of computer time to share what we’ve been up to here in the land of sweets!

We started the month off with a very tall, very chocolate wedding cake for a wonderful couple who had their wedding at Battery Gardens in lower Manhattan.  Ilona & Allen were having a black & white NYC themed wedding, and loved the concept of having a unique chocolate buttercream cake decorated with a stunning silver NYC skyline, some graphic red fondant hearts and the iconic “I ♥ NY” logo in the center of the cake.  This cake was all red velvet, filled with cream cheese filling, and stood around 27″ tall!

Keeping in the NYC theme, we created this fun Jets jersey groom’s cake for another wedding at ‘Cesca, on the upper west side of Manhattan the following weekend.  The jersey was customized with the groom’s name and the couple’s wedding date in place of the player’s number.  The cake was a rich vanilla cake, filled with dark chocolate ganache, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in a combination of fondant and gum paste decor.


We also created a fun Baby Einstein themed cake for a 1st birthday party in NJ.  This cake was a devil’s food cake, filled and frosted in vanilla buttercream.  The baby blocks on top were decorated rice cereal treats made with white chocolate in lieu of marshmallows in order to get nice edges.  All decor was made of fondant & gum paste.

Next up was prep for the 19th GLBT Expo at the Javits Center in NYC – which involved a LOT of baking: 6000+ mini cupcakes!  I am happy to say that I definitely had help this year in the baking department: BIG thanks to Mr. Sweet Element, fellow pastry chef LP & Remo – our newest intern!  I don’t know how I would have gotten through it all without you!

The GLBT Expo took place on St. Patrick’s Day weekend … which meant that Mr. Sweet Element and I celebrated our 1st date anniversary working the booth!  After last year, we realized that we definitely couldn’t do it alone, so this year we enlisted the help of some fabulous family and friends.  I don’t think I could give a big enough *THANK YOU* to Kim & Susan for all their help!  We were also very happy to share our booth with Nancy Swiezy Events, who created a gorgeous floral display for the table.  If you are ever looking for a fabulous florist or wedding planner – definitely give Nancy a call!

Here are a few snapshots from the show (last two courtesy of my cousin Kim, as most of my photos were STOLEN!***)

Kim, me & Susan all set up and waiting for the crowd to head in on Saturday.  Pistachio, Almond, Red Velvet, Confetti, Coconut & Vegan Chocolate mini cupcake samples, a few display cakes, a gorgeous floral display and little moo cards filled up our table!

Mr. Sweet Element, me & Kim ready to take on the onslaught of tasters!
Mini cupcake closeups and a shot of our back rack filled with boxes of cupcakes and display cakes.

***The weekend was fabulous … until I realized that someone swiped my phone!!! Definitely a downer to a great weekend, but luckily I was able to get a new phone late on Sunday at the AT&T Times Square store, who had reps at the Expo and were extremely helpful.  I’ll definitely be going back there for any phone needs in the future, as I’ve never received better service at any other store.  I thought it was incredibly sweet that the rep who I talked to at the Expo personally called me later that night just to check in to see if I was ok and had everything squared away.

So, new iPhone acquired, but many contacts and photos lost as I hadn’t synced it in a small eternity.  Needless to say I’ve already set up my new one and all my other devices on iCloud with “Find my iPhone/iPad/etc.” installed!

A Steampunk Valentine


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I’ve been wanting to create a steampunk cake for quite some time now, and I finally got a chance to with this mini heart steampunk Valentine’s day cake.  The cake is a chocoholic’s dream: devil’s food cake, filled and frosted with chocolate buttercream.  The board is covered in a distressed wood finish fondant and the cake is decorated with fondant & gum paste decor.

This was a very mini-project, as you can see in the in-progress and detail shots below.

Here are a few detail shots of the gears, screws, and other metallic accessories.

This might have been my favorite part of this cake – the heart in the keyhole.  The mini heart is a little less than  1/4 the size of a penny.

Detail shot of the gum paste skeleton key & feather.


Just to give you an idea of scale, here’s the base cake with my favorite Sharpie marker.  Very miniature in comparison to most Sweet Element cakes!

And lastly, just because I think buttercream frosted cakes are simply pretty on their own, here’s the cake simply frosted in chocolate buttercream, before it got steampunked.

Spring 2012 Press!

I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the latest Sweet Element cakes that have found their way onto the pages of a variety of spring bridal magazines!

Here’s our pleated cake (on the right) in a Designer Desserts feature in the Spring 2012 issue of The Knot.  All cakes in the feature pulled details from fashion to adorn cakes – one of my favorite things to do!


Sweet Element definitely made a splash in our first appearances in both Contemporary Bride New Jersey & Contemporary Bride New York with a total of 9 cakes featured in their Spring 2012 issues!

In the inspire me: Jet Setters spread, our Par Avion Wedding cake was featured.


Here’s a close up shot of the Par Avion Wedding Cake.

In the inspire me: Groom’s Cakes spread, we had our Miller Lite Beer Bucket and our Lego Star Wars & Guinness groom’s cakes featured.


Close up of the Miller Lite Beer Bucket Groom’s Cake.

Close up of the Lego Star Wars & Guinness Cake.

I was thrilled to see our set of five Monique Lhuiller Inspired Wedding Cakes opened up the Cakes to Feast Your Eyes On feature!

Last but not least, we had one of our fresh flower wedding cakes, a square fondant wedding cake decorated in orchids in the subsequent pages of the Cakes to Feast Your Eyes On feature.


Close up shot of the Cascading Orchid Wedding Cake.

Brides White Hot Style Shop!

I usually wait on blogging about cakes created for publication, and as this lavender sequined wedding cake was created for the January 2012 issue of Brides magazine, I decided to wait until the issue hit newsstands to share this post!

Sweet Element was fortunate enough to be included in last year’s Brides White Hot Style Shop in NYC.  I was super excited to see my lavender sequined cake with purple fantasy flower was showcased on the cake table right at the front of the shop!


Here’s a photo of me with my cake taken by a fellow female entrepreneur & friend, Susan Ng (go check out her beauty products @ Naturally Susan’s) that came to visit during the Sweet Element cupcake tasting (both pistachio and red velvet went over extremely well)!


A few beautiful orchids from the florist …

And lastly … a lovely portrait of Jay & I being silly at the wrap party from The Booth!

Happy New Year!

The first of anything is always a little daunting, don’t you think?  It’s taken me a few days to figure out how I wanted to start off this year on the blog, and I finally thought that I couldn’t think of a more fitting first post for 2012 than a little look back through our favorite 2011 moments in cake!

On the media side, last year started out with a bang as I discovered that Sweet Element had been chosen as a 2011 Pick for The Knot’s Best of Weddings!  I was also thrilled to have two cakes featured in Brides Magazine in 2011 and participate in two Brides events as well: one with Lord & Taylor and the Brides White Hot Style Shop! (belated post to come very soon on the Brides White Hot Style Shop!)  Sweet Element was also fortunate enough to be featured in Get Married Magazine, The Knot, and New York Weddings as well as a number of blogs.

The most popular blog post *by far* last year was an educational post that I wrote about why sculpted cakes are so expensive. My initial thought process behind the post was to educate clients on what goes into making 3D cakes, but I think I struck a chord with many other cake designers who feel the same frustration every time a client asks for a sculpted cake at a ridiculously low price. While I’m not big into how-to tutorials, I definitely think that there is a need for more posts “behind the scenes” in the world of real cake (and not overly dramatized for TV cake) – so I’ll be working on some more for 2012!

While we scaled back on the number of events we participated in overall, we went BIG with Sweet Element’s participation in the GLBT Expo at the Javitz Center in NYC, which was our first experience with a huge show and was definitely a highlight of the year for us.  Not only did we get to hand out over 6,000 samples in two days and meet a slew of great people, we also met some totally awesome guys, who I’m happy to say have turned into very dear friends, Shawn & Doug.  A few months later, when NYC legalized same-sex marriage, they asked me to make their wedding cake!


And since it seems like everyone is always curious to know what my personal favorite cakes are …. here are my picks for 2011!

Favorite 2011 Wedding Cake for the Media


Favorite 2011 Groom’s Cake

Favorite 2011 Special Occasion/Birthday Cake

Favorite 2011 Real Wedding Cake (Traditional)

Favorite 2011 Wedding Cake (Non-Traditional)

This last cake has extra special meaning for me, as the clients who I made it for loved it so much that they made their topper into their first holiday card! I was beyond touched when I received the card below last month.  Believe it or not, it’s the smallest little things like this that make all the late nights, cake conundrums, and all the incredibly difficult work worth every minute.


I look forward to another year of fun, fabulous and festive cakes in 2012!

Sweet Element Holiday Pop-Up Shop in SoHo!

We’re switching gears from cakes to chocolates & cookies for our pop-up shop in SoHo this Saturday, December 10th at Ruia NYC (65 Mercer St.) from 12pm-6pm!

As with all of our Sweet Element cakes, we believe that you should be able to try before you buy, so we’ll have free samples of chocolate bark, rocky road and a variety of cookies out for you to taste!


We will also be joined by these fabulous vendors selling excellent gifts for the holidays including: unique children’s clothing & accessories, hand-sculpted porcelain, natural & organic skin care, healthy chocolates & handmade jewelry.

I hope to see you there in support of small & *local* businesses!




M.B. Jewelry

City Skyline Wedding Cake

Yet another last minute wedding cake this year … the city skyline cake!

We delivered this almond cake, filled with strawberry preserves, frosted in almond moussaline buttercream and decorated with gum paste skylines to Attic Studios in Long Island City, NY.


During our tasting & design consultation, the couple decided that they wanted to tell their long distance love story in cake.  With the groom being from Copenhagen, the bride from San Francisco, and the couple currently living in New York City, the skyline idea fit perfectly.  The stick figures on top were colored copper figurines with a gum paste heart that were taken from the couple’s wedding invitation design.

Here are a few more shots of the skylines that wrap completely around this 360º design.