Tag Archives: Cakes

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!

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!

Goodbye 2009 …

New Year’s Eve is always an extra special celebration in our house, since it’s also my husband Jay’s birthday.  This year he requested a chocolate “coffee” cake.  So without further adieu, here is Jay’s birthday cake, which also happened to be the last Sweet Element cake of 2009!

The coffee cup cake was a chocolate devil’s food cake, filled and frosted with an espresso italian meringue buttercream and decorated in fondant.  The doughnut & napkin were sculpted out of fondant. The cake “board” was a piece of counter top to go with the whole coffee/diner theme!

For those of you wondering, the chocolate lil’ devil creature was a last minute surprise.  He’s the FreeBSD mascot, and a favorite of Jay’s, always a tech guy at heart & a FreeBSD fan.

Cake Photo Shoot

I know I promised that I wouldn’t let the Sweet Element blog slide for long periods, but somehow, even without a corporate gig anymore – life is still hectic!  In between dealing with all the people necessary to get my cake studio completed (which seriously is a job all unto itself), I’ve been keeping my creativity flowing by making portfolio cakes, which is always gratifying as it allows me to experiment with different techniques and continue to push the envelope artistically.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be able to work with Mike from Arclight Images & got some great new shots of some of my latest portfolio pieces.  It was such a pleasure working with a guy with such a great eye & very creative mind.  After a number of shoots with magazines & their very simple backdrops for cakes, it was really fun to think of different settings for pieces – both in & outdoors!

Without further adieu, here are the photos!

Alphabet Ring Cake
Blue Love Bird Cake
Sequined Wedding Cake
Falling Gingko Leaf Cake
Detail from Deco Cake in NY Weddings Magazine
Chocolate Skull Pirate Cake

Sweet Element Press!

I couldn’t think of a better gift than arriving home last night & finding a copy of the latest Sweet Element press waiting for me in the mailbox.  I had a feeling this 2nd press piece would be a little bigger than the previous & was psyched to see a FULL page!  Thanks (201) Bride for such a great spread!

(201) Bride Summer 2009 Cover

(201) Bride Summer 2009 Cover

Sweet Element spread in (201) Bride Summer 2009

Sweet Element spread in (201) Bride Summer 2009

Close up of the cake description - - and Sweet Element in Print!!!

Close up of the cake description - - and Sweet Element in Print!!!

I would be remiss not to mention our first print press piece, which I am still amazed actually happened.  Sometimes the universe works in funny ways I tell you.  It was actually this first press piece that reignited the simmering desire to a full fire & got me to really jump into cake full time.  I’ll never forget that morning at work talking to a friend who mentioned that she was telling one of her friends about me & Sweet Element over the weekend.  The big catch – her friend worked at NY Magazine!  She told me that NY Magazine Weddings was still looking for a few more simple wedding cakes for an upcoming issue, but the turnaround time was tight.  It was Monday when I reached out to NY Magazine, and the photo shoot was Thursday morning.  Normally that wouldn’t be such a huge ordeal, but mind you, I was still working my day job in the agency at that point.  Somehow, miraculously, I got two simple cake designs churned out & one made the cut!

NY Magazine Weddings Summer 2009 Cover

NY Magazine Weddings Summer 2009 Cover

NY Magazine Weddings spread

NY Magazine Weddings spread

Close up of the cake in NY Magazine Weddings Summer 2009

Close up of the cake in NY Magazine Weddings Summer 2009

Bridal Shower Brunch Cakes

And last but not least in the blog cake catch-up … here’s three 9″ cakes I made for a bride-to-be to serve at her bridal shower brunch. As a tasting preview, I made the three cake flavors that she’ll be having at her wedding:

Yellow cake filled with raspberry jam and frosted in vanilla buttercream
Almond cake filled and frosted in vanilla buttercream
Chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and frosted in chocolate buttercream

The decorations were a late night/early morning inspiration based on a modern china pattern that I found while browsing through a variety of sites.


Yankees Baseball Hat Cake

Another SweetElement cake made … but never posted!  The actual cake was a yellow cake filled and frosted with hazelnut buttercream and decorated in fondant.  Now I can finally rest easy in Yankees territory as I’ve made both a Red Sox and a Yankees hat (not to mention Mr. Met)!

Yankees Baseball Hat Cake (Front View)
Yankees Baseball Hat Cake Side View
Yankees Baseball Hat Cake Rear View

The birthday boy’s softball number is 23 … so this was a
small personalized touch to make the hat just for him!