04- Congratulations!

My (soon-to-be) sister-in-law is expecting!

Any party just isn’t a party without cake. Being the baker of the family, I offered to make whatever cake her heart desired. Naturally, with her cravings constantly changing she left it up to me!

This happens more than you may think, “I don’t know, what do you think?” “Whatever you want.” Being put on the spot might be more stressful than baking a cake for McDreamy! Narrowing it down to one idea when I could literally make ANYTHING?! And without allergy restrictions, the work was my oyster.

So where did I start?

Honestly, I began somewhere completely different than where I ended up. That’s the first place I want to focus on- inspiration! I started out with a spark of inspiration from the flower garden in Las Vegas; I knew as soon as I walked in that I wanted to recreate this in cake form.

This room was stunning; I was so inspired! The colors, the size. It took my breath away!

When I began working with a concept for this cake I worked section-by-section.

  1. Tigers: there a “tigers blood” Italian soda flavor I knew would be perfect.
  2. Fairies: I loved how grand and whimsical they were. I instantly thought of baked meringue or pulled sugar in all the colors of the sunset to place on top with a little fairy dust magic.
  3. The tree: I considered bark as a filling or ganache to add texture to the base.

I had far less time than I did ideas….so what did I end up with?

Strawberry cake, dark chocolate ganache, gold leaf, white chocolate cake, swiss meringue buttercream, and of course- fresh flowers.

I started off with a vegas-sized idea and chipped away until I got a cake this mama would absolutely love and I was still inspired by.

The bottom tier was a vanilla cake- I subbed out some milk for strawberry purée. I filled and surrounded that with ganache and added a touch of magic….um, gold leaf. The top tier was the white chocolate cake from the Neapolitan(01- The Start Of Something Good) cake from Tessa Huff’s book Layered. I used my favorite Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and added a hint “Dusty Rose” by Americolor.Funny enough, I intended to top the cake with caked meringue…but I left it on the drying rack and didn’t pack it for the trip.

After making the cake, taking it on a two hour road trip, and constructing it in a foreign kitchen, I have to say that I am thankful for my own gadgets and gizmos and space.

All in all I am head over heels in love with how it turned out! As was mama, grandma, and all of the guests.