It's not often that I don't actually meet my clients, but this was one of those times. My client works for a company that I left a number of years ago, but since I still maintain friendships with many of the people there, a lot of my stuff still shows up in the office, and my client got to enjoy some of my yummies. When it came time for her first child's Baptism, she asked me to make the cake, cupcakes and cookies (not pictured, sorry). Her Dad was kind enough to pick everything up, so I never got a chance to actually meet Deanne. Not yet, anyway.
Every wedding has its share of challenges and triumphs - this wedding of 300 mini cupcakes was no exception. This job came to me after a guest at another mini cupcake wedding tried my minis and loved them. Johanna decided she wanted minis for her wedding as well, and contacted me for a tasting. Almost everything went well, but the vanilla mini cupcakes for the tasting ended up being a little overdone and dry. While they tasted OK to me the night before, they were certainly not up to my standards on the day of the tasting. Fortunately, Johanna was nice enough to let me do a do-over and impress her with what my vanillas are supposed to taste like. She decided to go ahead an book me for her wedding. We went with Vanilla & Vanilla, Chocolate & Chocolate, Red Velvet, Raspberry & Vanilla and my personal favourite, Chocolate & Mocha.
The next challenge (and triumph) was how to display all of these minis. They were going on a table in front of the head table and the bride didn't want a high tower hiding the couple, so I had to figure out how best to display them on a lower profile. I was quite happy with how it came out!
Sometimes, life has a wonderful sense of symmetry...I had received a request from a long-time customer asking for some sports themed cupcakes for her husband's 40th birthday, and even though I had a lot on my plate with my own Mother's birthday, I couldn't refuse! A couple of weeks later, I received another request from another long standing customer for cupcakes for her husband's 30th birthday (apparently, Gurveen was still talking about the cupcakes I made for their wedding, and this was a sweet surprise for him). She sent me a picture of cupcakes showing white and black letter tiles with a simple black dot border. I really liked the design and thought I could incorporate it into both orders, with just a slight modification to the dot border.
The Sports themed cupcakes were a little more of a challenge because each one had to be hand crafted. Being a perfectionist, this took quite a bit of concentration and attention to detail. I made themed cupcakes in Golf, Baseball, Football, Tennis, Basketball and Hockey. All of the elements are completely edible, except for a couple wires that are helping the sticks and clubs stand.
The time and effort was completely worth it! When I delivered the cupcakes, my client was otheriwse occupied and couldn't come to the door. However, she was so happy with the cupcakes, that she quickly sent me this message as soon as she saw them:
"I missed you. Soo sorry. I am in love with the cupcakes. They are amazing. I LOVE it. Thank you sooooo much."
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine asked me to lead a cupcake workshop for her Ranger troop (ages 15-17 girl guides) and it was a huge success, so she asked me to come again for a new group of girls. I was thrilled to be able to say yes and I began working on the event right away. I started by making kits for each of the girls including:
All of the girls were fantastic. They were all very polite and seemed interested in the activity, for the most part (when they weren't playing Candy Crush). Some girls took to the techniques faster than some of the other girls, but I think they all had fun. At the end of the night, we had some gorgeous cupcakes for the girls to take home - and I learned a lot myself on how I can improve future workshops.
The vast majority of my orders come from word-of-mouth advertising (since that is the only kind of advertising I currently have), but every once in a while, someone will find me on google and send me a request. Lisa and Mario were just that kind of a couple. It’s exciting to be working for a brand new client who has never heard or me or what my work is like. It’s a great chance to prove my skills once again and to show my clients that good taste can come at an affordable price. Lisa and Mario were very easy to work with. They wanted cupcakes (Plain Jayne and Red Velvet) for the wedding, plus a topper cake with two of the cutest cake toppers I’ve ever seen! I believe they purchased the hand-made wooden ornaments from a shop on Etsy.
I couldn’t be happier to be celebrating Miss Mila’s first birthday! I have known her wonderful parents for many years and I know just how much they love and adore her. I began working with Tara over a decade ago (now I feel old) and we became fast friends. I watched her wade through looser after looser until she finally met Mike. He was wonderful from day one, and I knew he was the right guy for Tara. I was honoured and flattered when they asked me (a very inexperienced cake designer, at the time) to make their wedding cake. It was a risk, but it paid off! Since then, I’ve been overjoyed to share their special moments with them (especially since the food at their parties is so darn good)! I look forward to many, many more. And maybe, if I’m really lucky, I will get to make Mila’s wedding cake too! But for now, it was a Dora themed first birthday. Inside the fondant smash cake is vanilla cake with strawberries and freshly whipped sweet cream. Along with the cake, I made some cupcakes and cute pink cookies (not pictured, sorry) as give-aways for the guests.
Word of mouth is my favourite form of advertising! About a year ago, I got a request through my website from a friend of Sean and Ana Maria's (whom I've done several projects for). Jessica said that she had tried the cake at Sean's wedding and that Sean highly recommended me (thanks Sean - I owe you a cupcake!!). I met with Jessica and her wedding planner and we hit it off instantly. Jessica decided on some mini cupcakes as well as a 7" cutting cake. The minis are Double Chocolate, Lemon with Raspberry and Red Velvet (tinted orange) while the cake itself was Lemon cake with Vanilla Bean buttercream. I love how they came out! The slabs of tree that they are sitting on were perfect as well. I wish I had gotten a picture of the room.... The Steamwhistle Brewery is a beautiful venue for an event!
**UPDATE!!** The bride has read this post and sent in some lovely pictures of the venue:
This year, I get to watch one of my very best friends get married – to one of my other good friends! We all met at work when we were kids in our 20’s, and I watch Josie’s and Roshan’s relationship develop and grow. It started with a crush and before we knew it, Roshan was decorating Josie’s office with cute butterflies and hearts. Now that they are set to tie the knot, I took the opportunity to jump in and make some cake!
Josie decided that, instead of a traditional bouquet, she would like to make a brooch bouquet for her wedding day (I had to google it to see what it was, and they are actually quite pretty!). She decided on red and gold as her theme (being that the wedding is fairly close to Christmas) and she asked her guests to bring a red/gold brooch to the shower.
I went searching and I found a lovely brooch at a second hand store. I then went looking for brooch moulds so that I could make cookie favours for the shower, but I couldn’t find anything. Never one to let life get in my way, I decided to take it upon myself to make a mould of the brooch I found. With a little food-safe moulding compound, I was able to make 2 moulds very easily. I then made sugar brooches out of gum paste and then hand painted all 40 of them, which in turn were attached to the short bread cookies. They turned out amazing!
Of course I also made cake and cupcakes for the event. The cake is a brown sugar spice cake, (which is Josie’s favourite) with cream cheese icing. Yum!
It's not always about the cakes...sometimes it's about other things. Yummy things. Things like cookies and care packages. Once a year, my family gets together for "Christmas in May". My Dad, two brothers, sister-in-law and Auntie all have birthdays within a month of each other. This makes it really easy on me to bake up a storm for them - and one of the things I love sending in a care package to my Auntie is cookies. This year I decided to include some peanut butter cookies - topped with a caramelized peanut (a little trick I learned in the half-a-second I worked in a 4 star restaurant). I also decided to include some cakes in a jar. It's the only safe way I've found so far to ship cake. Let me know if you want one!
I live in one of the best cities in the word - Toronto. There is so much to see and do, and so many amazing places to get married. The venue my friends Chris and Katherine chose for their special day was Casa Loma, Toronto's only Castle. It's a gorgeous building and amazing state rooms. The wedding ceremony was in the conservatory and the dinner and dancing was in the Library. I felt honoured just being able to set up there! Chris and Kat decided on cupcakes for their wedding, instead of a traditional cake. In fact, they decided on mini cupcakes at that, but I talked them into some regular sized cupcakes so that they would be visible when displayed on my Mother's beautiful silver grape vine tray tower. Now my dilemma was figuring out how I was going to display 200+ mini cupcakes without it looking like someone just tossed a bunch of cupcakes on the table. Luckily, I was able to pull together some parts from work and some parts from the bargain bin at the store and was able to make the smaller silver trays. In my opinion, they came out amazingly! I was quite happy with the overall end result of this display. Congrats Chris and Kat!!
I baked my first cookie at the age of 5, and have been in love ever since. The smiles on people's faces when they taste my creations is what keeps my passion alive!