Interested in ordering a cake? If you're located in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area I would love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at renee.vanreed@gmail.com.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Baby Turned 2!


Ok, admittedly I am way behind on my posts.  Yes, my son did turn 2, but that was back in July - eek!  Regardless, no less important and certainly not to be skipped over.  For his first birthday we had this rather large party that I know would cause some to shake their heads as he certainly had no idea what was going on.  It was a blast, but I did swear that it was a one-time event.  The 1st is special, the 2nd...not so much.  I declared I would have dinner with his grandparents for his 2nd and that's it.  Sure Renee...sure.  Ok, the deal is, I love my family, and I can't resist having any sort of gathering with them.  So, what was one large party on his 1st, burst into three smaller parties for his 2nd!  One with his friends (he's two - friends? yes, friends - I swear he has them), one with my side of the family, and one with my hubbies' side.  Sheesh.  This boy is lucky he's so cute.  Due to the party count, I went simple with the cakes.  In fact, I didn't even take pictures of the cupcakes for his first party, as the buttercream icing was simply white with no adornments.  He loved them all though, and that is what matters the most!


Happy 85th Birthday Grandmom!




I have this dream of living to be 100 some day.  And when I do, I will be on the news because my grandkids are going to throw me a big party that will be news-worthy.  This cake makes that dream seem attainable.  You see, Shirley is my grandmother.  She is 85 and still rockin it.  She drives, goes out with friends, helps raise my 15 year old cousin, and even watches my own babies in the church nursery.  I have good genes, no doubt.  Hopefully I pass on some of these cake decorating abilities and one day my granddaughter will make me a cake on my 85th, too!



Daisy Cookies



Look out world - I am now so much more than just cakes!  I made these dainty daisy cookies for my niece's Daisy Troop.  Each daisy cookie sat upon a stick which was planted in a cookie pot.  The dirt is a brown sugar fake out.  I had a blast making these, but boy were they a lot of work!  Most likely I will be sticking to cake from now on.  The idea for these was inspired by SweetSugarBelle, who is a cookie queen.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sunny Days Chasing the Clouds Away





A great friend of mine hosted an Elmo party for her daughter's 2nd birthday.  Because no child likes to be told they must wait their turn for a piece of cake to be cut for them, my friend thought it best to make character cupcakes instead.  Quick delivery makes for happier children.  And, because getting our kids to eat vegetables tends to be an uphill battle, she also requested carrot cake cupcakes which I diligently packed with carrots (my boy was eating them, too!)  I have a panel of people I turn to for various critiques (flavor, colors, tools, design, etc).  For this project, I turned only to my soon-to-be-2 year old son.  When he saw the finished product he yelled "Cake! Elmo!"  Ah - "S" is for success.





 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dolphin Splash!

 
 
Alright, let's just get to the point of it - it's a dolphin.  Of course I insisted on carving the shape by hand (who needs a pan?) but somehow among the carving and icing this sea creature seemed to morph.  I turned to my most trusted critics and all guessed it to be a dolphin (with the exception of my dad, who guessed t-rex...), so I decided maybe I was being a little too critical.  This is why it is best to make such creations for people you have known for over 20  years (a greater number in light of us only being 26).  Besides, I'm pretty sure the 3 layers of chocolate cake and 2 layers of vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries ended all questions regarding the specimen of what was being consumed.


Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day (a week later...).  I used Mother's Day as an excuse to test out some future cake projects.  This was my first time making carrot cake with the infamous cream cheese icing.  It's tough to know what to expect when you have never even eaten carrot cake yourself.  But, it seemed to go over very well with the family!  I am going to tweek the recipe a bit, but am set for next week's carrot cake cupcakes!  This was also my first time decorating with rosettes.  My roommate from college brought this simple, yet elegant, design to my attention and I promptly promised her such a cake when she comes to visit me in the Fall.  I didn't have the called-for tip (that problem was later remedied), but they turned out pretty cute still.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Little Girl Baby Shower


My cousin is going to have her first baby in only a few weeks!  I am so excited to meet Zoey Elizabeth Joyce soon.  This little baby is going to be very pretty in pink!  The animals on the bottom tier of her cake match those on her cute bedding set.  The top two tiers were made with the mommy's favorite flavors - chocolate cake and cream cheese icing.  The bottom tier was a yellow cake, also with cream cheese icing, but a strawberry filling as well.  Matching mini cupcakes were displayed on a tower with candy "Z" and "ZEJ" on top.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

SpongeBob Square Pants


"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?  SpongeBob Square Pants!"  I will openly admit that I have watched very little SpongeBob (with the sad exception of seeing the movie in a TN drive-in theater).  These first two lines of the song are the only two that I know, and so I found myself singing them over and over for days.  The cute cake was worth the musical torture that filled my head and kitchen.

To Infinity and Beyond!


Like many 4 year old boys, my nephew also loves everything Toy Story!  I can't blame him - this has been my favorite Disney movie since the first one came out in '95.  I've been in a round cake, tiered rut recently, so I wanted to mix it up.  This is the infamous spaceship box that we first see Buzz Lightyear land in.  Because I believe all parts of your cake should be edible, I made the wings out of graham cracker.  Similar to the karaoke machine cake, this was two 3-layered cakes stacked on top of each other with a divider in between.

50th Birthday

My friend, Susanne, celebrated her 50th birthday in February.  Sadly, it's just taken me that long to get the picture posted.  This cake was symbolic in a couple ways:  1. It's gold (I know - hard to tell from this shot - but trust me - gold and sparkly).  It's pretty common for gold to be tied in with 50 years.  2.The cake is 5 tiers high - one for each decade Susanne has lived so far!  The cupcakes were made with her favorite - chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, and Girl Scout Thin Mints on top!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wonderfully Simplistic

Sometimes people just want cake.  No frills, no fuss, just cake.  This was the week of simple cakes.  Simple outside - yes - but delectable goodness hiding inside.  

This first cake was made for my Grandmom's birthday dinner.  A 6in cake was enough for a group of people who I knew would opt for smaller pieces.  This was a yellow cake with cream cheese icing with - the kicker - strawberry filling.  The tart filling perfectly balances the sweet cake and icing.



Most cake requests I receive have a theme. The person wants something created that they can't otherwise buy at the store. So I was a little surprised when I was asked to make a single cake for a small family party. Then I found out what kind of cake was wanted. This is a chocolate cake, with chocolate buttercream icing, with crushed Girl Scout Thin Mints throughout. 3 layers of cake, 2 layers of icing, 2 layers of crushed cookie, and additional cookie crunch on top. Definitely NOT something you can buy at the store!



Photo taken by Cecilia Mizin. Check out her site at http://cgmizin.zenfolio.com/.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Barnyard Bash


Gavin's mom and dad threw him a barnyard bash for his 1st birthday.  I loved the party theme and was excited for a new challenge!  Each tier was a different flavor cake - marble, yellow, and chocolate.  The fences, tree, and sun were all made from melting chocolate (both edible and delicious!).  The roof of the barn was made from two chocolate covered graham crackers.  I later added grass around the bottom of the barn.  100% edible.  100% adorable!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Girly 1st Bithday



I get requests for 1st birthday cakes more than anything else - good thing they are some of my favorite to make! This girl's mommy wanted something "hot pink and girly". I was excited to make an entire cake covered in swirls which, to me, screams girly.
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