Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holly Berry Cupcakes

Not wanting to arrive empty handed to my in-laws home for Christmas dinner, I whipped these cupcakes up after breakfast on Christmas morning.  I fashioned holly berries and leaves out of marzipan, which I brushed with luster dust. Placed on top of these yellow cupcakes piped with vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream, these were a delicious and festive treat.  I hope your holidays were just as sweet!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate Orange Peanut Bark

Delightful dark bittersweet chocolate is mixed with peanuts and orange zest to make this wonderful gift box with a healthy kick!  Flavonoids from the dark chocolate, monounsaturated fat and vitamin E from the peanuts and a little hit of vitamin C from the orange zest makes this an easy gift to give.  Available year-round, contact me for pricing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Cookie Decorating Kit

What kid (or kid-at-heart) doesn't love to decorate Christmas cookies? The good news is the stores have been carrying the cookies since Halloween. Wait a minute! Who wants 2 month old cookies? And, have you ever checked out the ingredients? Bad news!

How's this for an alternative? My "Christmas Cookie Kit" comes complete with a piping bag of Royal Icing (simply sugar and meringue powder), small candies and dragees and freshly baked chocolate or gingerbread cookies (flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and chocolate or molasses and spices). The kit comes freshly made for you! All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the fun the kids are having. If you are lucky, you'll get to sneak a few delicious bites!

You might never consider store bought again! A kit contains 12 cookies in chocolate, gingerbread or both, 2 bags of royal icing (this allows two kids to decorate at the same time) and an assortment of seasonal candies.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Festive Snowflake Cookies

These delectable 5-inch Snowflake Cookies are available in chocolate or gingerbread, and are decorated with royal icing, sanding sugar and sometimes silver dragees. 

They come individually wrapped in a simple celophane bag and are finished with a seasonal closure which can be customized to your demands.

These cookies, made with the finest butters, spices and/or chocolate, make a great teacher's gift, gift for neighbour or grandparent, as well as a terrific stocking stuffer. Each cookie is unique and tastes terrific! Special shout-out to my hand model, Josie, for helping out by holding the cookie!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Handmade Chocolate Truffles

This holiday season I am offering 5 varieties of truffles and you can order just one flavour or up to all 5 kinds. I start by making a ganache, made with top quality chocolate and cream, then I vary the flavours by adding different excellent ingredients.
"Mocha Truffles" are a perfect blend of rich chocolate and coffee flavours.

"Peppermint Truffles" are not only flavoured with real peppermint extract, but are studded and rolled in bits of crushed peppermint candy - yum!

"Hazelnut Truffles" - think high end Nutella!

"Grand Marnier Truffles" - the liqueur made with true cognacs and distilled essence of bitter orange makes this truffle extraordinary.

"Praline Truffles" - first I make praline by cooking sugar into candy and stirring in almonds. Then I chop the praline and stir it into the chocolate ganache and roll the finished truffle into the chopped praline. These are my favourites!

My handmade truffles are a really special gift for friends and family and are available year-round in boxes of 15 or more.  Contact me to discuss pricing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bûche de Noël

The origins of the bûche de Noël, or yule log, may be traced to celebrations of the winter solstice. On this night, the longest of the year, logs were brought indoors and burned in the hearth, not only for warmth, but to symbolize the sun's return. This beautiful dessert will wow your guests when you place it on the holiday table, but the best reaction you will get will be when they take their first bite!
My delicious bûche de Noël starts with a delicate Chocolate Génoise cake rolled around my spectacular Milk Chocolate Mousse. The log is glazed in Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Bittersweet Chocolate Splinters and decorated with Sugared Rosemary and Meringue Mushrooms.  This dessert will provide a generous slice to approximately 15 people. 

Contact me early to discuss pricing and to guarantee this outstanding dessert makes it onto your holidays table!

Friday, November 5, 2010

80th Birthday Cake with Gum Paste Flowers

When Patricia contacted me to make her mother's 80th birthday cake, I was thrilled for the honour.  It wasn't a large gathering, so a simple one tiered cake was requested, cream coloured with coral flowers.  It was a joy to design and create these flowers, leaves and berries; all crafted from gum paste and brushed with petal dusts.  I placed them atop the smooth Swiss Meringue Buttercream cake and was thrilled with the final outcome.

Happy Birthday Sophie - and may you have many more happy and healthy years!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monkey Cake for Lucas!

Sweet Lucas turned one and a delicious and extremely special cake was in order.  After a consultation, Lucas' mom and dad decided that this super cute monkey design (inspired by Whipped Bakeshop) was perfect for their "little monkey"!  The flavour for this two tiered cake was double almond (dense almond cake, almond dacquoise, apricot preserves and rum Swiss meringue buttercream) and the cake was decorated with chocolate and vanilla fondant circles, stripes and monkeys!

Of course, children would be in attendance and they needed something special too!  These adorable mini chocolate cupcakes were frosted in chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with chocolate and vanilla fondant monkeys, in keeping with the theme.

Lucas' mother was thrilled with the outcome and told me "the cake was delicious!  It was definitely a highlight of the party, and had my guests talking."  It was a pleasure to create such a sweet cake for such a sweet boy.  Happy birthday, Lucas!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Cupcake Kit

An activity that is always a big hit at my girls' birthday parties is decorating cupcakes or cookies.  Every child I have ever met loves the messy, sweet fun of smearing on the icing, tasting the sweet goodness and eating the end results!  This Halloween make the celebrating easy for your kids by getting one of my Halloween cupcake kits.  6 delicious cupcakes (chocolate, vanilla or both), 3 bags of Swiss Meringue Buttercream in Halloween colours and a generous selection of eyeballs and creepy, cavity-filled teeth.  Be sure to sneak a decorated cupcake for yourself!!  Contact me for pricing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ghoulish Ghost Cake

Inspired by a Martha Stewart design comes this super-sweet Ghoulish Ghost Cake.  Frosted in Swiss Meringue Buttercream and adorned in marshmallow ghosts, this cake is perfect for a halloween birthday or for your halloween bash!  Choose your favourite flavour of cake and contact me for pricing info.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Riding Helmet Horse Cake

Horse themed cake week continues.  Unlike the passing fancy of a doll or a favourite tv show, a child's love of horses can continue for a lifetime.  What might have originally started out as a love of ponies could eventually lead to a more serious dedication to show jumping, dressage and competition.  In that frame of mind, here is a cake for the more serious rider or for someone who aspires to be.

This cake can be any flavour you choose.  The cake is filled, stacked and then carved into a helmet shape.  It can be covered in fondant of any colour and comes complete with a fondant riding crop.  This is one "sweet" cake.  For your rider's next birthday, consider a party at Foxwood Farm, a wonderful riding facility just north of Bradford (  Their beautiful rural location is home to more than a dozen horses and a brand new indoor arena and tack room that is perfect for parties!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Horse Ribbon Cake

Foxwood Farm is located on 25 acres just north of Bradford, Ontario ( Along with large grass pastures and a renovated 1900's bank barn, they just constructed a 62X150' coverall building which has an indoor arena and a large insulated and heated viewing/tack room.  This wonderful new facility allows the owner, Robyn, to teach riding rain or snow or shine and she now has the ability to host birthday parties!  If you are looking for a horse themed party, consider one of my cakes and consider Foxwood Farm.

This is a replica of the cake I made for the grand opening of their new indoor arena.  Gum paste fencing and a winner's ribbon make this cake a winner!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Cupcake Tower

One of my best girlfriends lives in a house full of men. When her birthday came around, I figured she needed something pink! For ease of serving and match her casual lifestyle, I opted for a cupcake tower. Each Vanilla Cupcake was topped with a swirl of Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream. A buttery Sugar Cookie frosted with Royal Icing in this darling pattern was put on top of each cupcake. Happy Birthday Shelley!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flavours - Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake is a popular flavour of cake, originally achieved with the addition of beets and traditionally served with Cream Cheese Frosting.  The more modern way to achieve the red colour is with red food colouring, as I do here.  My recipe also includes a small amount of cocoa for a mild chocolate taste. 

Layers of my Red Velvet Cake are filled and frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Delicious! Just one bite and you'll know why this traditional cake is still so popular today!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Flavours - Double Almond Cake

One of the best memories of living in the Netherlands as a little girl might just be coffee time.  On the day my parents were expecting company or on a special day like a birthday, one of them would hop on their bicycle and ride to the local bakery where they would pick up a variety of "gebakjes".  These small, individual pastries would range from Dutch Napoleons made with puff pastry, whipped and pastry creams, to fresh fruit pastries, to various slices of cake, including mocha, chocolate and whipped cream and fruit.  Soon, there would be hot, strong coffee, lots of loud and excited voices, happy feelings and the sweet tastes of the delicious Dutch pastries.

I live in Canada now, and now I make sophisticated cakes and desserts in the North American style.  The recipe for my next cake came from a Julia Child cooking show which aired in the mid-1990s.  A relatively unknown Martha Stewart was a guest and she demonstrated this cake.  I searched high and low for the recipes, and when I had them I put them all together.  Then I tasted the cake,... this taste I had experienced before - on one of those long ago mornings with my parents and brothers and cousins.  This was on the menu at those Dutch pastry shops!  Happy, happy memories and awesome taste!

This one starts with three layers of Dense Almond Cake.  Each layer is brushed with Apricot Preserves and topped with an Almond Dacquoise, which is essentially an almond meringue.  The dacquoise is topped with and the entire cake is frosted in a Rum-flavoured Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  The result has a slight boozy taste, there is a bit of crunch from the dacquoise and a hint of sweet from the apricot.  The cake is moist and delicious and this will be my birthday cake from this point forward.  I'll brew some strong coffee and add the love of my family and friends and it will take me back in time!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flavours - Chocolate Lover's Cake

This one's for the purist!  This cake is all chocolate; no fruit, no nuts, nothing to adulterate the true flavours of the chocolate. 

It starts with layers of Devil's Food Cake, made with coffee to bring out the chocolate flavour. The  layers are filled with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the entire cake is covered in Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream and is just plain awesome!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Flavours - Caramel Apple Cake

This lightly spiced Apple Cake is dense and moist.  Each of the four layers is smothered with Caramel Cream Cheese filling and the entire cake is frosted in luxurious Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  It is a lovely flavour very suitable to autumn, although it's fresh flavour will be welcome all year!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flavours - Banana Cake

Chocolate chip banana bread is a family favourite and I knew I needed a similar flavour on my cake menu.  This is the cake I came up with and it surpasses all expectations!  It starts with four moist and fragrant layers of Banana Cake studded with pecans, and it is filled with rich bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and frosted in Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flavours - Mocha Cake

Today's flavour is my delicious Mocha Cake.  It starts with three layers of sinfully rich Devil's Food Cake, each generously brushed with Coffee Syrup.  The bottom layer is covered with a delicious layer of Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache, the next layer with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and finally the whole towering cake is covered in Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  A coffee lover's dream.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Flavours - Brown Sugar Marble Cake

Introducing a flavour that once and for all ends the rumour that vanilla is boring!  This is my Brown Sugar Marble Cake and I make it by combining two vanilla batters, one made with white sugar, the other made with brown sugar and marbling them to give this subtle but delicious effect.  Frosted in Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream, this cake combines all the simple but beautiful flavours my products are known for, fresh butter, eggs and milk, pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla, sugars and flours.  For your next event, you can prove that vanilla is awesome.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flavours - Carrot Cake

A classic!  This beautiful dessert features three layers of moist and delicious carrot cake, flavoured with vanilla beans and buttermilk and spiced with a hint of cinnamon and ginger and cloves.  The layers are then filled and topped with sinfully delicious cream cheese frosting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Flavours - Chocolate Cherry Cake

Today I am presenting my Chocolate Cherry Cake.  It starts with four layers of rich Chocolate Butter Cake, each brushed with a Kirsch syrup.  This cake is then filled with a Dark Chocolate Ganache mixed with Kirsch-soaked Cherries and frosted in Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache.  This cake is a chocolate-lover's dream and is rich and moist and full of boozy flavour.  Is this the one for your next special event?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Flavours - Coconut Cake

This beauty starts with three delicious layers of my moist Coconut Cake, it is filled and frosted with Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream and is covered with shredded and flaked coconut.  Luscious Coconut Crème Anglaise is spooned onto each plate before serving.  Through much experimentation, I have found this is the perfect recipe with just the right amount of coconut flavour.  If you are a coconut lover and think this is the flavour for your next special occasion cake, let us talk!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Flavours - Chocolate Mint Cake

Sometimes guidance is nice.  With that in mind, over the next few weeks I'm describing my most popular flavours.  And, because a picture is worth a thousand words, each flavour will be accompanied by a picture of how a slice will look on your birthday or wedding reception plate. 

My Chocolate Mint cake starts with 4 rich and flavourful layers of dark Chocolate Devil's Food cake, and is filled and frosted with Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream and covered in fondant.  The slice of cake is made complete with these handcrafted mint-chocolate leaves.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Circles and Flowers Cake

Here is a delicate design using both fondant circles and gum paste flowers. A pretty design so nice for a mom or sister!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chicken Pox Cake

My dear friend spent a week caring for her youngest son when he had the chicken pox.  He got better.  Then her husband got it - eek!  Then, when all seemed well, her oldest son woke up with the dreaded spots.  It was to have been a fun week with school plays and a vacation, but all those plans were shelved and my friend was in tears.  I tried to bring a smile to her face in the best way I knew how,... by baking!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate Mint Cake

This simple but beautiful cake combines the classic flavours of chocolate and mint! Chocolate cake and mint buttercream, covered in mint green tinted fondant and enhanced with simple satin ribbons make this cake gorgeous and delicious!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whimsical Flower Cake

I made this cake with some leftover batter and frosting.  It was such a cute design, one I had been hoping to try out.  I used fondant and gum paste to make these whimsical and colourful flowers and then placed them on the top of this cake frosted in Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I dropped it off to a dear friend's house, where the kids playing outside followed the cake to the front door like a parade! The cake was sliced up and eaten quickly!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ballerina Slipper Cake

Little Sydney is turning 6 and her friends will be joining her at her dance school to help her celebrate! Her mom wanted an extra special dance-themed cake to make the day complete.  I handmade these adorable ballerina slippers made of gumpaste and fondant and made matching flowers to decorate the rest of the cake.  I placed the cake on this (rentable) cakestand that I embellished with an all-pink tutu. I think Sydney will be thrilled!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Carrot Cake

This super delicious cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, was made for a young soul turning 82. The carrots were made of fondant and brushed with a little cocoa "dirt" to give them that fresh picked look, without the fresh picked taste! Mmm!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meringue Flowers and the Cake Show

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to learn the art of meringue flowers from the great Wendy Kromer, who was guest teaching the Bonnie Gordon School. Afterwards, I decided to put a cake showing off my newly acquired skills in the Cake Show, held this past weekend in Toronto.

And so here is the cake I made and exhibited at the show. A beautiful 4-tiered cake, covered in white and pink meringue flowers and leaves, with the bottom tier covered in a brown sugar meringue basketweave.

The idea of covering a cake in meringue flowers and decorations really appeals to me. It has an organic look I really love and the crunch and taste of the meringue is so wonderful. They are beautiful decorations your guests will really enjoy eating. An added bonus is that these decorations are both gluten and dairy free.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jack Skellington Cake

Sugar and spice
and everything nice
that's what little girls are made of

Sunshine and rainbows
and ribbons for hair bows
that's what little girls are made of

But, wait just a minute!

Sometimes girls are sweet and nice and want a cake with a skull on it for their birthdays! 

Helen was turning 17 and it wasn't so easy to come up with a design.  Flowers and pink just wouldn't do.  I thought she must have been joking when I heard the words "skull" and "black", but when I suggested the following design, she seemed quite taken with it.  Without a doubt a lovely young lady, even without the rainbows and ribbons for hair bows!  Happy Birthday!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Handy Manny

With children growing so fast, you would think children's programming could stay the same forever, after all, there is always a new audience coming along.  But change they do, as illustrated by the show Handy Manny.  In my girl's time, it was Bob the Builder (he was the guy with the talking work-vehicles like Muck and Roley).  Now it is Handy Manny, he is a guy with talking tools like Stretch and Dusty.  And, a favourite of Doreen's nephew, who turned 2!  Happy birthday little man!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ribbon Roses Cake

Charlie is a chocolate lover.  When her mother approached me for her 14th birthday cake, she told me it  had to be all chocolate.  Even a layer of fruit preserves would be considered too healthy!  So, chocolate it was - Chocolate Butter Cake with Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache!  I added these adorable ribbon roses, made out of 50/50 gum paste/homemade fondant, in Charlie's favourite colour.  Happy Birthday Charlie!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Star Cupcakes

With their blue stars and dark brown cupcake wrappers, I think these cupcakes have "little boy" written all over them!  And actually, most anyone would love to eat these!  My Yellow Cupcakes, a swirl of my Vanilla Bean Buttercream and topped with homemade fondant stars and a silver dragee.  So sweet!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Cakes

I have three wonderful options to make everyone happy this Easter.

First is my Truffle Egg Nest Cake. This super tall 6" cake is a rich chocolate laced with espresso powder for a subtle mocha flavour. It is layered with a whipped ganache and then topped with a shiny dark-chocolate glaze. Inside the milk-chocolate nest are bittersweet-chocolate truffle eggs, coated with milk-chocolate tinted a sweet blue colour and brushed with luster. This gorgeous cake feeds 8 to 12.

Next up, is my Billowy Bunny Cake.

This sweet bunny's marshmallow and cotton candy exterior is hiding a delicious carrot cake, smothered in cream cheese frosting! Yum! Chocolate-covered coffee bean eyes, a jelly bean nose and tiny strips of yellow licorice finish off this cutie! Feeds 8 to 10.

Finally, my super-sweet Chick Cupcakes.

Sitting on a bed of Mike & Ike candies, these chicks are hiding a delicious vanilla cupcake and vanilla-bean buttercream under their toasted coconut exteriors.  Licorice eyes and almond beaks make these adorable chicks any child's favourite Easter dessert!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

40th Birthday Cake

My friend's husband was celebrating his 40th birthday on St. Patrick's day.  We decided he would enjoy something very chocolatey with some fruit, so we went with my Chocolate Cherry Cake, a deliciously rich Chocolate Butter Cake, each layer brushed with a Kirsch syrup.  Then filled with a Dark Chocolate Ganache mixed with Kirsch-soaked Cherries and frosted in Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Boy's Polka-Dot Cake

Inspired by my polka-dot cake, a mom asked me to make a boyish version for her son. The top tier was for the kids, with Chocolate Butter Cake and Swiss Meringue Buttercream under the delicious fondant.  The bottom tier was for the grown-ups, with White Butter Cake, Swiss Meringue Buttercream and tangy and sweet Lemon Curd in between the layers, covered with more delicious fondant.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gum Paste Roses Cake

A friend came to me with a special request. She wanted a beautiful cake for a birthday celebration and one last delicious indulgence before starting a diet. Inspired by my cupcakes with the gum paste flowers, she gave me some freedom to create something beautiful. I, in turn, was inspired by a beautiful small cake I had once seen in a wedding book - cakes that did double duty as both cakes and centerpieces. 

I crafted beautiful pink roses, smaller light green and white roses, as well as buds and leaves and sweet little bell flowers out of gum paste.  Almost forgotten are the flavours of this cake - which were delicious Chocolate Butter Cake, Chocolate Ganache Filling and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I think the tiny vanilla bean seeds add real character to this cake.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Double Chocolate Cake

About five years ago, my beloved husband had to give up dairy.  Truthfully, it is cheese he misses the most, because lucky for him, he doesn't have much of a sweet-tooth!  However, he is human, and walking in on "all baking, all the time" must have its challenges.  So the other day I remembered this recipe.  A healthier chocolate cake, made without dairy, but with heart healthy dark chocolate and topped with a rich and shiny chocolate glaze!  I whipped it up and my heart did a little pitter-patter when Shawn said: "This. Is. Awesome!"  What can I tell you, I was born to please!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I lived in Kitchener for almost 10 years and during that time was a somewhat frequent visitor of the famous Kitchener Market.  In addition to the fabulous meats, cheeses and produce, there were a number of really great bakers, including many German ones, in homage to Kitchener's heritage, of course.  One particular stand I would frequent each week carried these wonderful Almond Horns, which I think I must have eaten as a child in Holland.  The outside was crunchy, the inside chewy, dipped in delicious chocolate,.... mmm!  I haven't had any that even faintly resembled those gems since leaving Kitchener in 2001, believe me, I've tried to find some! 

So, the other day I was checking out some sites on the web and found a blog that had a recipe for Mandelhoernchen - yes, the elusive Almond Horns (thanks for sharing, Gesine).  I was so excited.  I could almost taste them and quickly printed off the recipe and practically ran into the kitchen.  Now, I must admit, my first attempt (with store-bought marzipan) did not pan out, but I wasn't giving up!  So, I made my own marzipan (almonds and sugar), added the rest of the ingredients - basically more almonds and sugar and this time success!  I dipped the ends in chocolate and look at these beauties!  They are every bit as tasty as the "bächer" used to sell me in Kitchener! 

Good news for those of you with food issues - this is one of my recipes that is made without either wheat or dairy.  And a special thank you as always to my dairy-free husband for taking the snapshots.