Happy Birthday, Laura!

Rhonda Bakes - Buttercream covered, chocolate fantasy flower

July is awesome!  Not just for Independence Day, but because one of my dearest friends birthday is actually on July 4th.  We share a birthday week, we’re just two days apart and this is always fun for me since I get to make her cake every year and I can experiment!  I love to experiment with new flavors and designs, and this year there was a combination that I just had to try – A pink champagne cake, with watercolor effect pink champagne Italian meringue buttercream!  Oh dear… » Read more

Luebke Wedding

Rhonda Bakes - Buttercream covered, tulips, roses, hydrangea

Being asked to design and deliver a wedding cake for my dear friends Matt and Gladys Luebke was nifty for a couple of reasons.  First, Matt and I have been close friends for nearly 20 years, and his fiancee Gladys has quickly turned into one of my favorite people!  Second, Matt was the best man at my wedding and this means that I’ve now had the opportunity to create the wedding cakes for both my best man and my maid of honor (Alyssa Rose) within the same year!

Rhonda Bakes - Celebration Sweets, Tampa Florida - Wedding Cake

3 tier, almond swiss meringue buttercream covered, with roses, carnations, hydrangea and tulip sugar flowers.

I was given free reign with the cake – when questioned, the only requirement from Gladys was that the wedding was flower themed and that the colors were blue and purple.  Oh, and her favorite flowers are carnations!  I immediately started gathering feedback and doing some Google searches on “natural” blue flowers.  Purple is easy, blue not so much!  After much research and experimenting, the primary focal flowers were selected: Hydrangeas, Tulips and Roses.  Carnations and small blossoms would be used throughout the design as filler flowers.

Oh, and the wedding venue is in Virginia!  Since I’m in Florida, planning was key – I spent a couple of weeks before travel making all of the gum paste flowers.  In order to make sure that I could take all of my tools to the mountain lodge venue, I decided to drive up rather than fly.  This would also allow me to keep a very close eye on those flowers and mitigate any breakage!

Rhonda Bakes - Celebration Sweets, Tampa Florida - Wedding Cake

Top tier, almond swiss meringue buttercream covered, with roses, carnations, hydrangea and tulip sugar flowers.

The cake itself was a three tier white cake with fresh strawberry filling and almond swiss meringue buttercream.  I was able to spend the Thursday before the wedding dusting and putting together all the flowers, Friday was baking and icing day, and then early Saturday morning the whole thing came together.

Winkles Wedding

Creating the cupcakes and top tier for the Winkles wedding was a lot of fun – not only did I get to bake, but I got to put on my “carpenter’s daughter” hat and build the display.

Jennifer requested fondant covered cupcakes embellished with tiny roses and pearls.  She also wanted a cake topper to save for her and Kyle’s first anniversary.

The cupcakes were red velvet with a cream cheese filling and chocolate with ganache filling.  The top tier was a vanilla cake with swiss meringue buttercream and fondant ruffles.

Rhonda Bakes - Celebration Sweets, Tampa Florida - Wedding Cupcakes

Fondant covered with pearl and rose embellishments.

To display all of these lovely goodies, I built, painted and covered my own stand.  By taking this extra step, I was able to make sure that the display could withstand the weight of more than 100 cupcakes and the top tier.  No one wants their wedding cake crashing down around them!

The wedding itself was outside, and in Florida that can be iffy in October.  We did have a pretty warm day, so the cake and cupcakes were kept inside until they were nearly ready to serve.

Urbanczyk Wedding Shower

Rhonda Bakes - Bee Topper
Rhonda Bakes - Honeycomb cake

Comfort Shower 2015 – Bee themed cake with honeycomb, stripes, polka-dots and bees, of course!

After dropping off the Routh’s wedding cake, it was time to head home and finish packing for the drive up to Michigan and prepare for the Urbanczyk wedding shower.  The next cake is one that is special to my heart since it was for my niece, Alyssa – If you have spent any time at all around me, you know that there are not many people more precious to me than this child of my heart.

The shower was bee themed and let me tell you, baking cake in a kitchen not your own is a little different – Of course, I’d brought my specialty equipment, and had already prepared about 50 modeling chocolate roses to top the cupcakes that were being served in honor of those who are not fondant fans – In addition to the cake and the cupcakes, with the help of the bridal party and the family, we also put out a gorgeous dessert table, using the 3-tiered cake as the centerpiece.

The cake itself was challenging, but it was important to me that it be beyond special – All three tiers were covered in white fondant and embellished with modeling chocolate – The honeycomb was being a little difficult and the hand-drawn heart on the top tier had me quaking, but I believe it turned out lovely!  Alyssa was happy with it, and that’s all I need.

Both Alyssa and Jake loved the cake, and I loved making it – Of course, my thoughts immediately turned to the star of the entire show, the wedding cake I’d be making for them in June. No pressure, right?

Rhonda Bakes shower cakes

The dessert bar at the Urbanczyk shower.

Routh Wedding

Rhonda Bakes - Wedding Cake, Buttercream with Anemones

The Routh wedding such a great experience, especially after moving into the new house just the week before!

Chuck and Sherri Routh are friends of a friend that entrusted me to help them celebrate their big day – Their cake was a beautiful three-tiered buttercream – we marbled the cake with whipped cream vodka and Kahlua batters, naming it quite appropriately, the White Russian.

Rhonda Bakes - Celebration Sweets, Tampa Florida - Wedding Cake

Top tier, american buttercream with anemones.

As I’ve begun to do more often, we created the cake with a strategic use of dummies leaving a tier to cut for pictures and and tier to keep for the 1st anniversary – this allowed us to use sheet cakes for serving and helps the bride and groom to keep costs down while still presenting a gorgeous cake!

Chuck and Sherri were delighted, and so was I!  Especially after the harrowing ride to the venue!  Transporting these babies is not an easy task and certainly not for the faint of heart!