Tag Archives: birthday cakes

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!

Sweet Element Cakes July Wrap Up

Where oh where did July go?! Apparently, it was far busier than I thought! Luckily, I was able to schedule a short birthday vacation away at Mohegan Sun & a few incredibly awesome birthday lunches & dinners out in NYC, but other than that July was all about cake!

The month started off with a wonderful tasting with the Volunteer Committee at the Montclair Art Musuem, where I had the pleasure of meeting a small group of wonderful women that I hope to work with on a few events soon.

Here’s a shot of some of the cupcakes that the MAM ladies sampled~chocolate devil’s food with espresso buttercream topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean & vanilla bean cake filled with strawberry preserves and topped with fresh strawberry buttercream.

Here are a few of the cakes from this month:

This first cake was won by a Montclair mom in the BaristaKids giveaway back in April.  The lucky winner requested a dark chocolate cake, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, frosted in a vanilla buttercream and decorated in chocolate.  As her daughter is an avid gymnast & fan of the color green, I thought the silhouette of various gymnastics poses would be a perfect design. It was a lovely surprise to find this thank you email waiting for me in my inbox the next day:

Thank you so much for the wonderful cake.  It was a big delicous and a big hit.  Taylor was so excited!

This second cake was made for an adorable 2 year old’s birthday party held at Creative Groove Studio in Hoboken, NJ.  I created the chocolate school bus on the cake in the likeness of a school bus character on one of the birthday boy’s favorite books and added in the first line, “The Wheels on the bus go round & round …” on the side of the cake to tie into the invitation.  This cake was a devil’s food cake filled with raspberry preserves, frosted in vanilla moussaline buttercream and decorated in chocolate.

This third cake was a last-minute order made for a sweet 3 year old’s birthday held at Senorita’s in Bloomfield, NJ.  While I was browsing through a few bridal magazines in Barnes & Noble one morning, I met a local wedding planner, who just so needed a birthday cake for her daughter in just a few days.  Luckily, I was available, and was more than happy to create this princess themed cake to tie into their Princess & the Frog themed party.  This cake was also a devil’s food cake, filled with a milk chocolate ganache, frosted in a lavender tinted vanilla buttercream, and decorated with gumpaste inscription, blossoms & crown.  If you are looking for a local NJ event planner, I can tell you that Without a Hitch definitely puts together a beautiful party!

Of course, as soon as I thought I was going to have an open weekend to catch up on some of the business part of Sweet Element (like this *blog*!), I received a call last Thursday morning from The Knot asking if I could help them out & have TWO wedding cakes for them by this past Monday morning for a segment on predictions for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding this coming weekend.  After receiving the dossier late Thursday afternoon about what was known (in theory) about the event (i.e. event planner, florist, location, style of dress, etc.), I drew up a few sketches of ideas for two styles of cakes and worked with The Knot to whittle the selections to the following two cakes by Friday morning (yes, this left me TWO days to make TWO wedding cakes – EEEEP!):


This first cake was a seven tier cake with three burgundy sugar peonies & gold fondant ribbons.

Here’s a detail shot of one of the sugar peonies. Seriously a labor of love!

The second cake was a slightly more modern wedding cake comprised of four tiers with alternating pearled & flat white pleats.

Here’s a quick shot of the cakes at The Knot’s studio in SoHo along with some of the floral arrangements:

There could be a whole series of blog posts dedicated to these two cakes (if I was crazy enough … wait, I just might be ;D), including some of the following topics:

  • How to source materials for EXTREME last minute orders (Thank you NY Cake!)
  • How to NOT freak out when on a tight time frame (having an awesome husband helps!)
  • How to create sugar peonies without any custom cutters
  • How TIME CONSUMING it is to make gumpaste flowers
  • Learning the importance of delegating – The structure/delivery man CAN paint!
  • When making wedding cakes under duress, REMEMBER to EAT! (Yes, the time is worth it!)
  • When going through TV withdrawl, Hulu.com can be your bestest friend.
  • How to pray to the delivery gods so you will run into NO traffic on a Monday morning delivery to NYC (I owe you a BIG one!)
  • And last but not least, How to say “How High” when media opportunities arise that ask you to “JUMP!” (Big thanks to The Knot for allowing me to take part in this opportunity!)

Be on the look out for these two cakes tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends! It’ll be Sweet Element cakes’ national TV debut! 😀