Tag Archives: ny wedding cake

Rami Kashou Bridal Line Launch at bebe

I was thrilled when Sweet Element was offered the opportunity to participate in the Vow to Wow launch party for Rami Kashou‘s new bridal line for bebe last month at bebe’s SoHo location in NYC,  as I have been a fan of Rami’s work ever since his first stint on Project Runway.

The cake above was inspired by this layered silk tafetta wedding gown.

So why the delay in posting you may be asking?  Well … it’s taken me a little while to get over the unexpected drama that completely threw me for a loop! (There’s a hint in bottom of the photo above of me & Rami.)

Everything started out well, and I set up my table above with chocolates, a few display cakes inspired by Rami’s new gowns, my portfolio and some business cards.  Initially I thought that this would be an invitation only event, but I was surprised to see that bebe kept it’s doors open to all shoppers.  As you might imagine, when you’re giving out free chocolate – it goes quickly!  Within twenty minutes, all 100 pieces of chocolate were gone and I had one of the corporate marketing folks from bebe come over and ask if I had any more chocolate or any other food, as I couldn’t have an empty table.  I explained that her staff had specifically ordered just 100 bon bons, but I did bring two sheet cakes that were supposed to be cut and served by their catering staff.  After grumbling that she was going to have words with her staff, she then disappeared to find the sheet cakes that I had left in the kitchen for the catering staff.

Half an hour later, the corporate marketing person was still missing, and I was left wondering what was happening with these two sheet cakes, as I didn’t see any catering staff.  At that point, one of the security people from bebe came over, and seeing my quizzical expression, explained that there were no plates or utensils for the sheet cakes, and they were sending someone to Duane Reade (a local pharmacy) to get something to serve the cake with.  With the event nearly half over, as it was only two hours in duration, I was seriously wondering if these cakes would even get served.

Oh, but then *I* got served.  I was mortified when the staff brought up both sheet cakes, which were supposed to be cut and plated in a back kitchen and NEVER meant to be placed on my white linen table!  If that wasn’t bad enough, the staff thought it was helpful to precut the cakes in a very odd fashion, and not supply me with anything to serve it with … so I ended up using two forks (or spoons!) to serve up the odd shaped pieces of cake, while suppressing tears.  Where was the catering staff I was promised?!  If I had known there was no catering staff I never would have made sheet cakes (which by the way, the corporate staff specifically asked for), and would definitely have opted for mini cupcakes as I usually do for these types of events.

Here’s a photo of the cake horror that I took with my cell phone.  That’s devil’s food cake with nutella buttercream on the left and red velvet with cream cheese frosting on the right.  And yes, those are paper BOWLS that the staff ran out to get.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough … the staff only ran to get 30 or so bowls and 48 forks, so within ten minutes, I was offering people cake on napkins sans utensils as that’s all I had.

I honestly think I might have just packed up if Mr. Sweet Element hadn’t shown up as moral support during this disaster.  It was a small consolation to see the corporate marketing person felt terrible and came over to apologize for the mix up, as she saw how mortified I looked when they dropped those two very NOT for presentation cakes on my table for me to serve.

So … lesson learned … I will now ALWAYS quadruple check with any event planners to ensure that everything promised – like a catering staff with PLATES & FORKS will actually be there!

Here’s a shot of Rami with the bebe staff.  And yes, that’s me at my table in the back right corner, posting the cake horror on twitter.

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!

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.

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.



Fall Cascading Squares Wedding Cake


Earlier this fall I worked on a wedding cake for a lovely couple who had a very intimate wedding of about 30 people at The Peninsula Hotel in New York City.  While discussing design at my cake studio during our initial tasting & design consultation, the groom fell in love with the design below that I had created for New York Weddings magazine back in the summer of 2010.  Given the theme of fashion oriented cakes, I designed a cake inspired by one of my favorite Monique Lhuillier‘s wedding dresses.  As you can see by their final cake above, the design was altered slightly, changing the tiers to hexagons from octagons, switching up the color palette to fall colors & adding on a few orange calla lilies as a topper.

This cake was comprised of a delicious combination of vanilla cake, soaked with Grand Marnier, filled with lemon moussaline buttercream and fresh strawberries,  frosted in lemon buttercream, and decorated in a combination of fondant and gumpaste.

Making Mini Wedding Cakes Big!

I recently had the opportunity to work with a bride who had fallen in love with the Monique Lhuillier inspired mini-cakes featured in The Knot’s spring 2011 issue.  There was just one little catch – she wanted them made big enough to feed 100+ guests!


Close up of the original mini-cakes:


And here are the replicas made a lot bigger!


It took a little bit of math to figure out how much cake would be needed in order to replicate these five lil’ cakes into their larger counterparts & a little bit of carpentry to make a few custom cake stands, but I have to say, I think I like the larger versions a bit better!

All five cakes, delivered to the Garden City Country Club in Garden City, LI,  were vanilla cake, filled & frosted in vanilla moussaline buttercream, and decorated in a combination of gum paste & fondant.

Here’s a quick shot I got to showcase the size difference before heading out for delivery.

And lastly, here are close ups of the individual cakes.




Brown & White Square Wedding Cake with Fuschia Moth Orchids

This wedding cake, a perfect example of a very elegant, modern cake for a couple on a budget, was delivered to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Time Warner Center in NYC a few weeks ago.  Using fresh flowers, a custom clay topper and satin ribbon as decor is a very cost effective way to get a very big design impact!

All tiers of this cake were red velvet cake, filled with cream cheese frosting, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant, satin ribbon and gigantic fresh fuschia moth orchids.  The super cute topper was made by Bitter Sweetz.


Close up of the bull dog bride & groom topper.  These are just beyond adorable!


Shawn & Doug’s Wedding Cake!

I was honored when our friends Shawn & Doug came to me to create their wedding cake for their wedding at People Lounge in the Lower East Side of Manhattan a few weeks back.

After a few design sketches back and forth, we came up with a very modern buttercream design, with a round quilted bottom tier highlighted with dragees, a round center tier decorated with the grooms’ initials and an hourglass shaped top tier with scattered multi-sized dragees that was topped with lavender sugar moth orchids.  Each tier was banded with purple satin ribbon.

The cake was comprised of a combination of almond and devil’s food cake and was filled and frosted in almond buttercream.  We also brought along a red velvet sheet cake with cream cheese frosting as a third flavor option since the number of wedding guests ballooned quite a bit a few days before the wedding!


Setting up this wedding cake was a very interesting challenge – as this was the first wedding cake I’ve assembled on an active bar!  Luckily, Jay is very comfortable behind a bar as he was a bartender many years ago.  With his help on the working side of the bar, and gaining a little height myself by standing on a bar stool we were able to set this up fairly quickly and then enjoy the wedding as guests.

I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful it was to be able to witness such a beautiful, loving, and funny ceremony for these two guys.  While I always think of them as already married, since they had a civil ceremony in NJ years ago, this official wedding ceremony in NYC just cemented how perfect these two are for each other.  There was definitely a lot of happy tears and laughter during the vows.


I just love this close up of the grooms holding hands.

The grooms with their cake!


Having the cake on an active bar and being a wedding guest was making me crazy as all I could picture was someone elbowing the cake before the cake cutting ceremony.  Luckily that never happened, but I can tell you that I literally had to force myself to stop looking at the bar!


The cake cutting!


I love this picture from the cake cutting ceremony!  That man wants CAKE! 😀


Here’s one last close up shot of the sugar moth orchids topper.



Candyland, Cupcake Tower & Couple’s Map

Here’s a peek at some of our latest cakes from last weekend!

This first cake was a “surprise design” made for a friend’s daughter’s first birthday party at the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island, NY.  I have an open policy with friends and family that if they ask me to make a cake for them, I’ll give them a very big break on cost as long as they leave the design entirely in my hands – and I’m happy to say this one was a success!  The only design direction I was given was the cake had to be girly and Candyland themed.

The top & bottom tiers are vanilla cake with vanilla moussaline buttercream and the middle tier is devil’s food cake with chocolate moussaline buttercream.  All tiers are covered in fondant and all decorations are edible!  The lollipops & bow were made from a mixture of gumpaste and fondant, the gumdrops, and all flat decorations were fondant, the 1 topper was gumpaste and the lil’ mini gingerbread girl was modeling chocolate.

Topper close up.


And mom & birthday girl!

This next cupcake tower was made for a Tweet Your Face Off event at Nasilele Photography in Brooklyn, NY.  I was super bummed that I couldn’t attend the event as I was literally finishing up the last cake of the day while Jay delivered & set this up on his own!  The cupcakes, decorated with facebook f’s and twitter t’s were: lemon cake with lemon buttercream, vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream & red velvet with cream cheese frosting.   The cake on top was red velvet, filled with cream cheese frosting, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant.  The little bird’s speech bubble was gumpaste.

If you are looking for a wedding or portrait photographer you should definitely check out Nasilele’s website – her work is stunning!


This last cake was a unique “couple’s map” wedding cake that was initially inspired by my Subway Love cake recently featured in NY Weddings.  All the elements on this cake told the NYC story of the bride & groom.

The top tier highlighted the groom’s career in real estate and the wedding location at the Metropolitan Club, the middle tier told the couple’s proposal story, and the bottom tier showcased a few of the after-wedding party locations and the couple’s neighborhood.

All tiers were comprised of lemon pound cake, filled with lemon curd, frosted with lemon moussaline buttercream and decorated in a combination of gum paste and fondant.

Resurfacing!

Hrm, I could say that I was taking a 33 day blog hiatus to reflect on the last bit of my 33rd year, but the truth is that I haven’t been able to get much time to blog, catch up on twitter or tend to my website as much as I wanted in the past month!  When you’re running a one-woman cake shop and have a slew of unexpected last-minute orders on top of a relatively full calendar, kitchen activities & deliveries take over everything else.  Fingers are crossed that I’ll be able to find an intern or two to help out in the Sweet Element kitchen SOON!

So, before the onslaught of July orders pulls me into the kitchen again, I thought I would share just a few of my favorite June cakes.

This first cake was one of the most unique wedding cakes we’ve made.  The bride & groom wanted to recreate their proposal story with their wedding cake, changing just a few details to make it special for their wedding day.


I love this inspiration photo that shows the pumpkin proposal that the groom arranged to be seen from the top of a mountain hike with his bride-to-be!

Here’s a close-up of the sugar bride and groom that were sitting atop the mountain of cake!  I adore the mini wire-rim glasses on the groom.

The bride also secretly ordered a NYC subway map groom’s cake as a surprise for the groom.  I couldn’t think of a better way to showcase both city & country than with these two cakes!

The mountain & barn cakes were comprised of red velvet cake, filled with cream cheese frosting, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in a combination of fondant, modeling chocolate & gumpaste.  The subway cake was a devil’s food cake, filled with peanut butter mousse, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant.  Both cakes were delivered to the beautiful Round Hill House in Washingtonville, NY.

This next offset square wedding cake for a wedding in Edison, NJ was a fun challenge to take on, especially as our first gig with Pure Ambiance Events!  The bottom three tiers were banana cake, filled with peanut butter mousse & milk chocolate ganache and the top tier was vanilla cake filled with milk chocolate ganache.  All tiers were frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant.  The manzanita branches were made of modeling chocolate and the orchids and delphiniums were handmade of gumpaste.

You might be able to tell where much of the cake inspiration came from by taking a peek at the beautiful room set-up by the Pure Ambiance team below!


This next wedding cake is a perfect example of how beautiful a cake with real flowers can be ~ great for the bride on a budget!  The cake was comprised of red velvet cake, filled with cream cheese frosting, frosted in vanilla buttercream and decorated in fondant with satin ribbon and fresh orchids.  We delivered this tropical cake to the stunning Le Club Avenue in Long Branch, NJ.  I really just wanted to go and hang out at the beach after setting this up ~ but alas, there were other orders waiting to be finished back at the studio!

This groom’s cake that we delivered to The Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ, is definitely one of my most favorite cakes of June.  A last minute order, I was so happy I was able to fit this order into the books!  The bride had seen a photo online with Lego stormtroopers hoisting up a Lego Darth Vader into a pint of Guinness (concept originally from Kevin Pulton) and wanted that recreated into cake.  Keeping in the Guinness theme, the cake was our Guinness Chocolate Cake, filled and frosted with Guinness buttercream and decorated in fondant.  As this was a *very* last minute order, I had to make certain inner structures of the Lego guys from foam as all gum paste bodies would not have time to dry, but all the exterior portions are made from modeling chocolate, gum paste & fondant.

Here’s a side-view shot of the lil’ Lego guys 🙂

It’s unusual that I actually get to see my clients’ reactions at weddings as I usually set up before they get into the room, but in this particular case, when the bride slipped and mentioned that there was a surprise groom’s cake waiting in the ballroom, the groom just HAD to see the cake before the reception!  It was definitely a pleasure to grab this quick picture of very happy bride & groom with their pints of Guinness & their Guinness cake!

And last but not least, we made this chocolate plate Chicago Blackhawks birthday cake as a surprise for a huge Blackhawks fan in Hoboken, NJ.  The cake was devil’s food cake, filled with banana cream filling and frosted in vanilla buttercream.  The top decoration was all chocolate and the inscription was in fondant.


I always wonder how surprise clients react to their cakes, so as you might imagine, I love getting emails from clients with photos of happy cake recipients ~ especially when the cakes are a surprise!

Well, that wraps it up for now …  it’s back to the kitchen to get started on some very fun cakes for July!  Hopefully I’ll be able to get to blog more often this month 😀