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There Are Many Different Types of Frosting. Which One Do I Choose?

Buttercream, whipped cream, fondant: how to know which one best fits your cake.

Buttercream, cream cheese, fondant: how to know which one best fits your cake.

There are a ton of decisions that go into making a cake – the flavor, the filling, the toppings – and most importantly: the frosting. Cake frosting not only aids in a cake’s appearance, but it’s also the first thing you taste when enjoying a slice of a cake.

Whether you’re a baker or a buyer, it’s beneficial to know the cake frosting options that are out there when deciding what cake you want to make (or eat) next. We’ve highlighted the most popular frosting types to help you get started.

The basics: buttercream frosting

Buttercream is the most popular frosting largely because of its few ingredients and easy application. Classic buttercream requires beating butter into icing sugar until you reach a frosting consistency. It’s not possible to over beat this type of frosting, so the longer you beat fluffier it gets.

Buttercream is not as flexible as fondant, though it can be used for the same applications. Buttercream frosting is the most popular frosting for cupcakes, though it’s important to note that not all buttercream is made the same.

If you want to decorate a cake with buttercream flowers, for example, it’s best to cut your butter quantity in half and replace it with solid vegetable shortening, so the frosting is firm enough to hold the shape of the flower.

Meanwhile, if you ever see very white colored buttercream that usually means that butter wasn’t used at all. To make the white buttercream frosting, you will need to use a mix of powdered sugar and vanilla blended with straight shortening to hold it together.

Butter gives the frosting a yellow hue, while straight shortening may leave a greasy film in your mouth. Depending on how you want to use your buttercream, what you want it to taste like, and what you want it to look like the different variations of making buttercream are endless.

Intermediate: cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese frosting comes in a range of consistencies – from thick to thin – and is often used as both a filling and an icing. This frosting is made from whisking butter, cream cheese, sugar, and flavoring, and should be refrigerated as soon as you’re done the icing.

An American-style buttercream, cream cheese frosting is most commonly found on carrot cakes and red velvet cakes. At We Take The cake, we like to use vanilla and chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Intermediate: cooked frostings

Cooked frosting – also known as seven-minute frosting – is made from egg whites, sugar, and flavorings on top of a double boiler while beating with a mixer. As the mixture heats, a meringue will form. Because of this heating process, the frosting is extremely delicate and should be eaten the first day or risk the frosting being absorbed into the cake.

Cooked frostings are sometimes used on red velvet cakes or cupcakes.

Expert baker: fondant

There are two main types of fondant: rolled and pourable. Rolled fondant is the most widely used when it comes to cake decorating. Made of sugar, water, gelatin, and food-grade glycerine, this dough-like texture makes it easy for a baker to mold the fondant into shapes to add some décor to your cake. Fondant can be used for decorations or to cover the entire cake.

Poured fondant, which has a glossy finish and is, unsurprisingly, of pourable consistency. This consistency makes it easy to coat a cake or cupcake.

Expert baker: royal icing

Royal icing is another option for decorating cakes. Mixing together powdered sugar, egg whites, and meringue powder or liquid provides a consistency relative to pancake batter. This makes it easy to pour into pastry bags to fulfill your decorating dreams.

Royal icing sets almost instantly so that the design holds, but so can your mistakes. The way royal icing hardens is especially useful for making flowers.

Leaving the decisions up to the professionals

The frosting types listed are just the tip of the icing. There are also ganache, glazes, syrups, and paste to consider topping your cake with. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but taking it one step at a time will ensure you can create a cake you are proud of.

In the case that you’d prefer to eat your cake and not make it too, we are here to help! At We Take The Cake, we take pride in creating a beautifully packaged, frosted, and crafted cakes in all shapes and sizes. We go the extra mile to make sure we exceed your expectations by delivering an experience, not just a cake. Shop our products or contact us today to learn how we can help you with your next event!

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The Best Graduation Gift: 6 Gift Ideas Your Grad Is Sure to Enjoy

The Best Graduation Gift: 6 Gift Ideas Your Grad Is Sure to Enjoy on wetakethecake.com

Personalized gift ideas can make your graduate’s special day even sweeter.

April showers bring May flowers – and with them come blossoming graduates. Whether they’re completing high school or college, both types are anxiously greeting adulthood. It’s a time of reflection, a time of exploration, and a time of celebration!

If you have a friend, family, or loved one graduating in the class of 2018, help them welcome adulthood with a personal and thoughtful graduation gift. But with so many options to choose from, how do you determine the best one for the graduate in your life? Start by thinking about what they appreciate most. Do they care about how much you spend? Do they like gifts with a personal touch? Is there anything they desperately need? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll then need to determine how much you plan to spend.

Nothing will be used quicker than cash

It might not be unique, but it will certainly be useful. With adulthood comes responsibility, especially the financial kind. Whether your grad is headed off to college or just getting started in their career, they’re going to need money for gas, rent, textbooks, and lots of pizza (especially the college kids).

It’s impossible for a graduate not to appreciate your donation to their future. But if you don’t feel comfortable gifting a check, consider getting a gift card instead. Amazon provides a gift card box shaped like a graduation cap to give it the full effect.

New grads need to be upgraded tech

We can’t live with it and certainly can’t live without it being updated. Nothing puts a smile on a young adult’s face quite like a brand-new piece of technology. Your graduate’s computer, cell phone, and headphones could always use an upgrade, and all three would make appreciated gifts to help them enter adulthood fully equipped.

They’ve worked hard, now they need some entertainment

With the stress of school over (or, almost over) give the graduate in your life a gift of more personal nature – one that will help them relax while treating themselves to a good time. Spa days, tickets to see their favorite artist or tickets to their favorite sporting event are all unique ideas that will help your graduate continue the celebration.

A nice watch

We’re not sure how, but watches have been known to be directly associated with adulthood. There are many different watch options for men and women that can accommodate any budget. The tricky thing about a watch is you don’t know if you like it until you try it on. In this case, your gift might be a shopping trip with your graduate to pick out the perfect watch!

Some light reading on what’s to come

Adjusting to college life can be intimidating. Adjusting to life after college is even more intimidating. Your graduate might feel insecure, unprepared, and even a little lost. Depending on how much you know about where their concerns lie, books on financial management, success, or figuring out the big world out there can all provide some value to the fresh grad. They might not appreciate it when they get it, but they will by the time they finish reading it.

Graduation can taste sweeter with a cake

No accomplishment ever feels as good as it tastes. When in doubt, there’s no better gift for your new graduate to celebrate their success than with a delicious cake. When you gift a cake, you aren’t just gifting a dessert. You’re providing a moment of celebration, joy, and togetherness.

At We Take The Cake, we make it easy to delight your friends with a mouth-watering treat made from scratch just like grandma made it, but with an elegant presentation that looks as good as it tastes. We go the extra mile to make sure we deliver an experience that makes you proud that you chose us to create the gift your grad will be talking about long after the celebration is over.

Explore our cakes to decide which of our flavors might be the perfect fit for your grad, and if you don’t see it, contact us and let us tell you if we can make it happen!

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How Do They Do That: Three Elements to Crafting Multidimensional Theme Cakes

How Do They Do That: Three Elements to Crafting Multidimensional Theme Cakes on wetakethecake.com

Kick your next cake up a notch with dimension and thematic appeal.

So, you’ve gazed at those beautiful multidimensional theme cakes. You’ve even tasted them. And now, you want to bake one too but have no idea where to start. Well, allow us to give you some cake-crafting tips! Once you discover the basics of building a dimensional cake and incorporating a theme, you’re well on your way to mesmerizing your party guests.

Basics

The first step to any dimensional theme cake is to consider three basic elements: the cake, the frosting, and the decorations

“But wait,” you say. “That sounds like any ol’ cake.” Yes, it does, at first. But playing with those three elements will create the cake of your dreams.

Baking the cake layers

Let’s suppose you want to make a two-layer cake. Instead of the traditional equal-sized layers, let’s make the top layer smaller. Not sure how? Well, if you use a smaller baking pan for that top layer, problem solved. But if you don’t happen to have that, try this:

  • Set your baking pan on top of a sheet of wax paper.
  • Trace around the bottom of the pan with a pen, marking the circle on the wax paper.
  • Now, place a small saucepan right in the middle of that wax paper circle.
  • Draw another circle on the wax paper, using the saucepan as a guide.
  • Cut out that smaller circle.

And now you have a pattern to work with.

Go ahead and bake your two layers in equal-sized pans. Once the cakes cool completely, place the wax-paper circle pattern on top of one layer, and use that to cut out a smaller cake.

See how easy that is? Having two layers of different sizes gives you dimension. But we’re just getting started. Let’s move on to the frosting!

Frosting the layers

The way you frost a cake will fashion even more dimension. You’ll want to start with these frosting basics. Start with frosting the bottom layer, then set the smaller cake on top and frost that as well. Once both cakes are completely frosted, you can add texture.

One of the simplest and most elegant ways to texturize is to add lines – the trick is in the piping bag. Or you can create a fluffier-looking cake by gently placing the bottom of a teaspoon or tablespoon on top of the frosting, then give a little twist and lift to make a tiny peak. Do this over the cake’s entire surface. In fact, you can make all kinds of textured designs just with a spoon.

Decorating

Once the cake is frosted, you’re ready to decorate. Decorating creates even more fantastic dimensional results because you have so many options to choose from! The first rule of cake decorating: Have fun! Yes, you need to know how, but having fun with your cake project is essential.

The biggest question at this point: What’s your theme? Is your cake for a Fourth of July cookout? A big family reunion? A loved one’s birthday? A graduation? A promotion? Or is it a little something special “just because”? Even with the “just because” cake, you can craft a perfectly thematic and multidimensional masterpiece that will make your event memorable.

Let’s say your theme is simply summertime. Let your imagination run wild with images that conjure up that season. Most likely, flowers are part of that mix, so let’s add some to that frosted cake you made. Although you could create beautiful buds, petals, and leaves via piping, consider making chocolate or fondant flowers – or opt for real honest-to-goodness edible flowers instead.

Think that cake is finished? Well, you very well could stop at this point, but if you want to add even more dimension to that summertime cake, you might add little sugar or fabric butterflies and birds to set near the flowers. Just don’t overdo it. Remember that less is more, even with this type of cake.

Hopefully, you now see how easy it is to make a multidimensional theme cake. Just focus on each step – the cake, the frosting, and the decorations – one step at a time, and you’ll not only have that jaw-dropping creation you imagined, but you’ll also have fun in the process too!

At We Take The Cake, we know you don’t always have time to create a delicious masterpiece. That’s why we have so many options to fit your busy lifestyle. A cake is a perfect way to show a loved one that you’re thinking of them.

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Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas Moms Will Love

Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas Moms Will Love on wetakethecake.com

Food made with love makes a memorable meal.

It’s been an official U.S. holiday since 1914, and on Sunday, May 13, it arrives again. We’re talking about Mother’s Day! It’s one of the few holidays on our calendar honoring the special ladies in our lives; a chance to celebrate and strengthen this beautiful bond.

When Anna Jarvis lobbied successfully to have Mother’s Day recognized as a holiday, she envisioned a pure and uncommercialized interaction between a mother and her family. For her, it was intended to be something unique for each family. Few things in society strengthen family bonds more than enjoying a meal together, so combining Mother’s Day and brunch makes a delicious kind of sense.

Many restaurants and other locations like to offer Mother’s Day fare. Creating something at home, however, puts an extra-special seal on a meal. It places you in charge of each ingredient and every little flourish.

Whether you’re a husband, partner, son, or daughter, we present some of the most mouthwatering and healthy Mother’s Day brunch ideas … as well as the perfect way to finish on a sweet note.

Start brunch with a crunch

Some savory chips are a great way to open a brunch. They’re light enough to nibble on before the meal and can complement the main dish. Baked always beats fried, and fewer ingredients mean a healthier chip.

Superfood brunch sandwiches

Whether a mom is happy with her number of kids or working on delivering more, folic acid is a super nutrient that every woman can benefit from. Pregnant mothers will benefit from this B vitamin’s preventative qualities, while every woman will gain a regenerative boost to their blood cells.

Avocados, spinach, broccoli, and eggs are a few low-calorie, tasty foods that do more than deliver folic acid. They also add vibrant color and texture to a brunch. A delicious way to combine some of these into a filling and low-calorie brunch idea is to make a sandwich. The secret lies in the layering.

Try lightly toasting the bread and filling with a layer of eggs, spinach, a slice of cheese, more eggs, another slice of cheese, and finally some avocado. Many other recipes can make a Mother’s Day brunch sandwich majestic. If you add a handful of savory chips at the side and a mother’s favorite wine, you’ll have a bread-based brunch to be proud of.

Serve up a brunch salad

Salads are a versatile category that can make the most of meat, vegetables, fruit, and pasta. You may like to follow in the footsteps of the pasta masters. If so, an Italian Spaghetti Salad incorporating tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, and paprika could be just the thing. For another spin on things, a Greek Pasta Salad is packed with olives, onions, garlic, and lemon notes.

If mom enjoys meat, a brunch of chicken-bacon ranch pasta salad offers a protein-rich solution. If you feel a little more zest is in order, consider serving up maple citrus salad with coconut. This bright, breezy option is perfect for a quick brunch surprise that Mom is sure to enjoy.

Pairing a salad brunch with eggs offers even more options. Creating an omelet with bacon, mushrooms, and ricotta cheese offers the complementary flavors of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and chives.

Seafood Selections

Fish and other seafood are packed with protein and omega-3 and lend themselves to any number of brunch ideas. Some of them are particularly perfect for moms such as this Green Goddess Dressing with Seafood Salad. It blends lobster, shrimp and a wealth of greens like tarragon, basil, and parsley. Salmon is a perennial favorite and delivers vitamin D along with protein.

Making salmon part of your Mother’s Day brunch idea will add a fantastic flavor. Placing some salmon on top of potato pancakes and garnishing with crème fraîche or sour cream, onions, and chives is a crisp and quick brunch.

Oysters, cheese, pancetta, and herbs make an Italian seafood casserole well worth the effort. Despite the amount of protein in all these seafood options, they won’t sit heavily in the stomach (which is the number one concern with brunch).

Top Mother’s Day brunch off with a sweet, tasty treat

The intimate and unique spirit of Mother’s Day can be shared most sweetly with a thoughtful, handmade dessert. At We Take The Cake, we have a wide selection to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect cake for Mom’s special day.

If you’d like to make the magic of Mother’s Day happen every month, a gift of membership to our Cake of the Month Club delivers a year-round reminder of how much you care even when you can’t be there. We hope these Mother’s Day brunch ideas have inspired you and help you have a wonderfully delicious day with your Mom!

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Our Favorite Cake Flavors

Our Favorite Cake Flavors on wetakethecake.com

The votes are in.

The options of cake and frosting flavors at We Take The Cake are evolving and growing every day. With our team members working around the clock to sweeten and delight each customer’s day, we wanted to take a step back and find out which cake flavors sweeten and delight our team members.

We were surprised to get a fresh assortment of favorite cake and frosting flavors from our team, which we’ve shared with you below. Our team’s favorite cake flavor may be your own, or they may surprise you too! If you’re unsure which cake flavor to try, there’s no better testament than the ones coming from the baker’s mouths themselves.

Three votes for our carrot layer cake

The most popular flavor from our team was our carrot layer cake with three votes! Our four-layer carrot cake is a classic you can’t go wrong with. Loaded with freshly grated carrots, walnuts, and crushed pineapple, this naturally sweet cake is also incredibly moist. Of course, the icing on top is our cream cheese frosting, which we also fill between each layer to get some frosting with every bite.

With a carrot cake, you typically know what to expect, but by using the freshest ingredients and specially packaging the cakes with dry ice, we are able to deliver a rich and balanced treat – as if it came straight out of the oven.

Golden butter vanilla cake with different frosting favorites

Our golden butter vanilla cake received two votes – one with vanilla cream filling, the other with our chocolate cream cheese frosting. These two team members also mentioned that they enjoyed the golden butter vanilla cake with our strawberry cream cheese frosting as well.

With so many different frostings to choose from, both our employees and customers can enjoy these moist, fluffy layers of our classic golden butter vanilla and personalize it to perfection with their favorite frostings.

Other favorite cake flavors

Outside of our carrot layer cake and golden butter cake, the following are cake flavors that received one vote each from our team members:

  • Cookies and cream layer cake
  • Chocolate chip banana Bundt
  • Triple chocolate chip with peanut butter chips Bundt
  • Strawberry layer cake with fresh strawberries
  • Almond cake with fresh strawberries and vanilla cream cheese frosting
  • Lemon layer
  • Coconut cake
  • Key lime pie

It was so interesting to find that each of our team members had their own favorite cake and frosting combination that was so different from the other. I guess that’s what happens when you have so many different combinations of cake flavors, frostings, and toppings to choose from.

Honorable mention cake flavors and frostings

While everyone picked something different, several commented on how much they liked our strawberry cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberry layer cake – though it was not listed as a favorite. Based on these comments, we give it an honorable mention!

Our chocolate layer cake also gets an honorable mention because it’s a favorite of our fans – our top selling flavor since 1997 – yet not picked as a favorite by our team! Maybe they’re sick of making them so much. In fact, InStyle Magazine chose this fabulous chocolate cake as the Best Mail Order Cake.

We are also known for our key lime Bundt cake. Ever since Oprah Winfrey chose it as one of her “Favorite Things,” this cake has been in high demand.

With so many great cake flavors to choose from, you’ll have to decide for yourself!

Our staff loves when we introduce new seasonal flavors, but it’s almost impossible for our loyal customers to try and keep up with it all. That’s why we introduced our Cake of the Month club (six or 12 months) where a different delicious cake is delivered for your clients, friends, family, or even YOU, each and every month. Get a taste of our cake of the month, every month, and decide for yourself which flavor, frosting, and topping is your own personal favorite.

Do you already think you have a favorite flavor? We’d love to hear from you on what cake has taken a piece of your heart. At We Take The Cake, cake isn’t just a dessert, it’s a symbol of celebration, happiness, friends, and family. That’s why we take so much care in creating the most splendid and delectable cakes and cupcakes because we know what it means to you. And nothing brings us more joy than hearing what you think!

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Where to Find the Best Vegan Chocolate Cake

Being vegan should not mean saying goodbye to sweet desserts

Being vegan should not mean saying goodbye to sweet desserts

Once upon a time, in a dimly lit kitchen late into the evening, a South Florida baker had reached his breaking point. He had been a vegan for the past five years while continuing his craft of making non-vegan cakes for his customers. As he finished putting the icing on a red velvet cake, he too had a craving for something sweet. In his five years as a vegan, he had struggled to find places that provided options that satisfied a vegan sweet tooth. And as he skimmed his kitchen, he realized that even his own place of business did not accommodate his cravings. In frustration, he exclaimed, “I want to make my cake and eat it too!”

And We Take The Cake heard his cries and set out to understand the popularity of veganism and what we could do to quench the sweet cravings of vegans everywhere.

The popularity of veganism

Veganism isn’t new, but it has risen in popularity as consumers educate themselves on the health benefits. This isn’t another fad, and its impact is not just national – much of the world is moving towards plant-based eating. millennials are the main drivers of this global shift, which can largely be attributed to the fact that they’re the first generation to age alongside the Internet. For them, information flowed freely at a young age, like the information on the health effects of consuming animal products compared with a plant-based diet.

Pinterest reported vegan desserts as one of its biggest trends of 2017, rising in popularity by 329% and with no signs of stopping. A forecast report by restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman suggested that plant-based will become the new organic, with the term being called “the food trend of 2018.” Though veganism is getting notoriety as a “food trend,” the number of people identifying themselves has vegan has been rising for years. Another report found that only 1% of U.S. consumers identified as vegan in 2014 while that number rose to 6% by 2017.

The problems vegans have

With popularity comes responsibility – largely from restaurateurs, grocers, and bakers – to please this growing population of customers. But catering to the vegan market has not maintained the same fast pace as its growth. There are few, if any, options for vegans at restaurants and even less so at local bakeries.

Instead, vegans are often forced to make their own snacks and sweets in their kitchen. As we scoured the Internet, we found tons of vegan recipes but very few vegan sweets that could be purchased.

We Take The Cake’s solution

This is us not leveraging a blog post for self-promotion. Instead, this is us letting vegans everywhere know we have found a solution to our desperate baker with his hands high in frustration. He is now able to make his cake and eat it too, and so can our vegan friends and customers!

We set out to create a delicious, satiable dessert that everyone could enjoy. And after lots of experimenting, we proudly created the vegan chocolate layer cake.

That’s right – these moist and fluffy layers of cake made with premium Dutch cocoa give the cake a rich chocolatey taste that will make your mouth water. It is so delicious you might actually think we snuck some forbidden ingredients in there; but we can assure you, it’s the real deal. In fact, we’ve found that this cake is so tasty that even non-vegans are ordering it too!

What our customers say

Why believe us when you can hear it from our customers? Trina Marlin used this cake for her wedding and had this to say:

“I didn’t tell anyone that the cake was vegan. All of my family, both vegan and non-vegan loved this cake. It was so moist and rich. I will definitely be ordering it again. My husband, who is not vegan, was skeptical when I ordered it. Needless to say, I caught him cutting a second piece.”

But wait, there’s more!

At We Take The Cake, we aspire to offer options that cater to all diets, shapes, and sizes. Along with our vegan chocolate cake, we offer an assortment of gluten-free cake flavors including chocolate, red velvet, coconut, golden butter, and pumpkin.

Explore all our cake and cupcake options today. If you can’t find what you want, contact us and let us know. We are always looking for a new challenge to tackle!

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How Do They Do That? How to Frost Layer Cakes and Bundt Cakes

When it comes to desserts, presentation is everything.

When it comes to desserts, a presentation is everything.

The presentation might not affect how a cake tastes, but it can certainly help get your mouth watering and your eyes excited for what’s to come. Bundt cakes and layer cakes are especially good opportunities for making a great first impression if they’re done right.

Layer cakes and Bundt cakes can be as much of an art project as they are a baking project. To bake and frost to perfection requires time, patience, and a touch of TLC. When made properly, these cakes can look as good as they taste. After all, cakes aren’t just for birthdays. Every baked cake is a call for a celebration!

That’s not to say that decorating a cake should be intimidating. It’s easier than you might expect, as long as you plan. We’ve outlined some steps and tips that will help you put the icing on your cake.

How to frost a Bundt cake

Because frosting a Bundt cake can be tricky, we’ve supplied this handy how-to video to show how we frost our Bundt cakes. Let’s take a look:

How to frost a layer cake

Once your cake is fully baked, let it cool for 30 minutes. Next, wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least a half hour so that it is cool and firm. Next, you’ll do the following:

  • Brush the loose crumbs from the cooked
  • Place four strips of waxed paper around the edges of the plate and place the first layer, round side down, onto the plate.
  • Depending on the size of your cake, spread one-third or one-half cup of frosting on top of the first layer, leaving about one-quarter inch of space off the edge.
  • Place the second cake layer, round size up, on top of the first frosted layer. Coat the side of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to seal in the crumbs (crumb-base!).

Once you’ve completed this process and your layers, spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake, up to the rim.

Tips for frosting a layer cake

Layer cakes require a bit more work than Bundt cakes. As they should: they have layers! The last thing you want to do is put in all that work for a failed experiment. Consider these tips before starting your layer cake:

  • Be sure the cake is stable enough to sustain the assembly or risk the cake toppling over.
  • Another way to create a toppled cake is to stack uneven layers. Trim each layer of the cake to ensure all are even, with flat tops, before starting the assembly process.
  • Do not trim your cake when it’s still warm. A cool cake is firmer and less likely to tear as it’s being trimmed.
  • Don’t forget the crumb coat and the refrigeration process that comes with it, before moving to the next level. The crumb coat paves the way for a seamless final coat.
  • Wipe your spatula clean each time you lift it from the cake. Otherwise, remnants from one layer will cause your next layer to be less even and bumpier.

The best cake frosting tip might be leaving it up to the professionals!

It can be extremely satisfying to complete a well-designed and tasty cake after a frosting job well done. But with a demanding schedule, a family, and one too many errands, attempting to frost a cake perfectly might not fit into the schedule.

Rather than stress out over creating the perfect cake, focus on gifting the perfect cake from cake makers like We Take The Cake.

At We Take The Cake, we use 2-day delivery and pack our layer cakes in specially made boxes with dry ice to keep our cakes fresh and feeling like they arrived fresh out the oven. For Bundt cakes, we shrink-wrap them to maintain their perfect shape and flavor. We’ve spent years perfecting our frosting techniques, so you don’t have to. Contact us today to let us know how we can help simplify your next gift or event.

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Give Cake That Wow Factor with Edible Flowers

Budding bakers are using flower power to create cakes that look as good as they taste

Budding bakers are using flower power to create cakes that look as good as they taste.

Spring is in the air and adding a little flower power to cakes and cupcakes is the perfect way to celebrate the season.

Edible flowers are an easy way to add beauty and flair to any dessert. Scroll through any baking board on Pinterest and pictures abound of cakes in bloom with spectacular flower decorations. At We Take The Cake, our pink rose chocolate layer cake is a best-selling way for customers to brighten the day of someone they love.

Our talented cake artists carefully craft each of our intricate designs by hand to ensure that our desserts look as good as they taste. But even budding bakers can create beautiful floral decorations from an array of tasty materials, from chocolate to gumdrops to real flowers from your garden. Read on as we share some simple ways to create a bouquet of edible flowers that are guaranteed to make happiness bloom in the bellies of your guests.

 1.  Everything is better with chocolate. Modeling chocolate is one of the simplest – and tastiest – ways to make flowers for cakes. Unlike fondant, which can be stubbornly chunky, modeling chocolate is easy to make as thin as real flower petals. You don’t really need any special tools or cutters – you can just work it in your hands until it becomes flexible, and then let your imagination take over. If the chocolate gets too warm and melty from your touch, put it in the fridge briefly to firm up. You can also follow these directions for simple flower decorations:

  • Roll the chocolate out. It can tear easily, so it’s wise to dust your hands and work surfaces with cornstarch to stop it from sticking.
  • Use cutters to punch out flower shapes. If the chocolate sticks in the cutter, gently press the center with a round tool, like the back end of a paintbrush.
  • Rub a cake decorator’s double-ended ball tool in a circular motion over the petals to thin them out and make them curl slightly inwards. Finally, press the ball tool into the center of the flower and rub again in a circle, so it assumes a concave shape as if it’s budding.
  • It’s best to store the flowers in something small and curved, like silicone molds, so they dry in the curved shape. They can also dry on parchment paper, but they won’t stay as curled.
  • After the flowers set for an hour, they can be “glued” to your cake with a dot of frosting. Try to work quickly because chocolate flowers will melt if handled too much. Once all the flowers are in place, pipe a small dot of frosting into the center of each one to complete your design. For extra flair, add some sparkle with edible gold dust.

2.  Not just a pipe dream. Piping can be intimidating to beginners – it takes planning, practice, and patience to get it right. Follow these steps to make sure your decorations come up smelling – or in this case looking – like roses:

  • Cut the tip of your piping bag so that only your piping tip can poke through. Different size tips can be used, depending upon the size of the rose you want.
  • Fill the bag with buttercream frosting. Without letting any come out the tip, squeeze the icing down to remove any air bubbles as if you’re trying to get the last bit of toothpaste out of a tube. The consistency of the frosting is key to successful piping!
  • Roll the top of the bag closed. You can also twist it, but we find it’s hard to keep the icing from coming out the top when you seal it that way.
  • Make a little Hershey kiss-like dab in the center of the spot you want your rose to go. Bring the icing up and over the dab, and then swirl it around the dab a few times until your rose is complete. Release pressure on the bag toward the end and use a toothpick to gently attach the last bit to the side of your flower if it sticks out when you pull away.

3.  Do drop in. Shaping edible roses out of gumdrops is an easy yet surprisingly elegant way to decorate a cake. Try this trick from the queen of DIY, Martha Stewart:

  • Lightly dust a work surface with granulated sugar. Take three gumdrops of the same color and flatten them slightly with your thumb. Roll them out until they are about 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle with more sugar if they stick.
  • Use a paring knife to cut each flattened gumdrop in half so that you wind up with six equal pieces.
  • Using your fingers, take a half and roll it into a cylinder, pinching at one end. This will form the center of the flower.
  • Use your fingers to press the edges of the other pieces so that they become thinner and easier to attach. Then wrap each piece around the centerpiece, overlapping slightly and pinching at the base so they all stick together.
  • Bend some of the petals back to make your creation resemble a rose.
  • Use the paring knife to trim the bottom of your rose, forming a flat base that will allow it to sit up on your cake. Arrange on top of a frosted cake. You can also shape green gumdrops with your paring knife to create leaves for your rose.

4.  Fun with fondant. Fondant flowers are a popular way for amateur bakers to add a creative touch to cakes for any occasion, from birthday bashes to weddings.

  • Dust your work surface and your hands with cornstarch and roll out the fondant. If the fondant is too hard, place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds until it softens. If it’s dry, knead it with your hands. Try to work quickly – fondant dries fast! Cover parts you aren’t using with nylon to keep it from drying out.
  • Use flower-shaped cutters to punch out small and large flower shapes. Then use a skewer – and your imagination – to carve pretty details into the petals of large flowers, or a toothpick to decorate smaller ones.
  • Let your flowers dry in a small curved bowl such as a clean egg container to give them a concave shape.
  • Being careful not to over-moisten, use water to glue each small flower on top of a larger one to create a multi-layer effect. Glue the finished flowers with water onto your cake.

5.  A rose by any other name won’t smell as sweet. Flowers don’t need to be fashioned from sugary materials to decorate a cake. One of the hottest trends in cake decorating is using real fresh flowers that are safe to eat to add a beautiful, vibrant quality to any dessert. Of course, before you start tossing flowers onto your plate, there are a few rules to remember. Not all flowers are edible – in fact, some are poisonous – and many are sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers. Be sure to check where your flowers are sourced and what conditions they were grown in before you eat them. And even when you are sure they are safe, make sure you wash them!

  • Flowers from herbs, violets, nasturtiums, and roses offer the best flavors. You can also create candied flowers by brushing fresh or pressed flowers with egg whites or moistened meringue powder, and then sprinkling with confectioners’ or decorating sugar. It is generally recommended to remove the pistil and stamen before serving since many people are allergic to pollen. You should also wrap the stems in floral tape if you leave them for attachment purposes because the sap inside can be irritating or even poisonous. Make sure your guests know not to eat that part!
  • There are several ways to add fresh flowers to cakes. Edible petals can be put right on the cake, or you can insert the stems into lollipop sticks and poke those into the cake in whatever pattern you choose – this way, the stems don’t come in direct contact with your food. You can also place a sheet of parchment across the top of your cake and load a beautiful pile of flowers on top, so they don’t sink into the frosting. Creative chefs are using fresh flowers to separate cake tiers – artfully hiding dividers and giving your cake a light, gravity-defying look. No matter what method you choose, it’s important to wait to pop your flowers onto the cake just before serving, so they don’t wilt.

Edible flowers are an easy way for budding bakers to create beautiful cakes. At We Take The Cake, we know the presentation of a dessert matter as much as the taste. For over 20 years, our professional decorators have beautifully crafted each of our cakes by hand using only the finest ingredients. We take pride in going the extra mile to deliver that wow factor that makes our customers proud they chose us to create the gift that keeps people talking long after their celebration is over.

At We Take The Cake, we understand the personal touch. When you can’t be there to celebrate in person, we make it easy to delight your family, friends, and colleagues with our made-from-scratch cakes. We are proud to include among our customer’s nationally recognized caterers, party planners, private clubs, world-famous hotels, and exclusive resorts. We also have exclusive cake designs available through Williams Sonoma, Neiman Marcus, and FoodyDirect. If you’d like to know everything we can offer, drop by our contact page and get in touch!

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Business Gifting Unveiled

Gifting in the corporate arena is an art: here’s how to get it right

Gifting in the corporate arena is treacherous: here’s how to get it right.

Have you ever received an unexpected, but perfect gift? It grants a certain intellectual grace and charm to the giver. In contrast, poorly executed gifting can drain even the most generous intentions into the depths of ill-conception and social ineptness. When it comes to business, it’s not the thought that counts, it’s when and what you give.

“Should we send them a gift?”

Let’s start off by addressing the little secret everyone tries to ignore: corporate gifting is a business transaction. Whether the gift is to a client or employee, it’s an attempt to gain favor in hopes of promoting future exchanges. However, an appropriately timed gift can transcend those obvious motives, bringing the gesture into the realm of sincere gratitude for both parties.

Gifting inappropriately can inadvertently blare out hidden intentions or just make you look foolish. Here are 6 common gift-worthy events in business relations:

1. When you’re a benefactor. Whether it is a new sales contract, a business referral, or customer loyalty, gifting can help establish a tone of respect and appreciation.

2. In recognition.Sometimes it’s not about what a client or partnering business has done for you, but how they’ve contributed to the community. For example, if a product manufacturer announced a commitment to zero waste, farming partners might consider sending a gift recognizing those efforts. This gesture expresses respect and lets them know you’re paying attention and keeps your company on their minds

3. When they’ve gone above and beyond. Maybe a company you contracted has put in a month of 70-hour work weeks to meet your deadline. Or, your chef-client took the time to talk to your daughter about what to look for in a culinary school. A “thank you” is nice, but probably too simple to represent the value of their efforts properly.

4. In celebration. The best business relationships are symbiotic, take, for instance, a vendor reaching their sales goals for your product. Why not sweeten your shared-success with a custom, handmade gift? In addition, sending a birthday cake is a warm-fuzzy way of showing your appreciation for their presence in your life.

5. When introducing yourself. A thoughtful gift can take the chill out of cold-calling. Rare is a human heart too hardened to accept your call after sending them a delightful treat!

6. Direct advertising. In this case, the veil is entirely decamped. Let’s say you want to announce a new product or service or bring attention to an event your company is involved in. You could email them or send a card that they may or may not see. A gift, on the other hand, tends to stand out, and linger in the air, as word of the gesture passes from tongue to tongue, prompting questions of “who?” and, most importantly, “why?”

Business gifting ideas

Recognizing the proper moment to give a gift could be considered the “easy part.” Giving the right gift is tricky. Before exploring some suggestions, it’s important to evaluate what type of gift to give.

In some cases, determining what to give is going to be based on your relationship with the recipient. In others, it can be industry based – expensive gifts may be considered unethical and therefore returned. If you’re unclear, whenever possible, inquire with the recipient’s management.

Aside from industry-specific ethics, there are also a few gifting no-nos to steer clear of:

  • Don’t mark your territory. Putting your logo or company name on a gift magically transforms the object into a promotion, rather than a gift.
  • Be mindful of holidays. Christmas is the most obvious example of this. It’s not a matter of being politically correct, or even offending someone – assuming cultural alignments reflects an unflattering lack of mindfulness and knowledge about your client.
  • Giving money is an insulting cop-out. While getting money from your aunt on your birthday is always a loving gesture, it’s nowhere near appropriate in business. For one, you don’t want to suggest they need your money. Secondly, it lacks a personal touch that says you care about the business relationship, and that’s the last impression you want to create with your gift.

Now that we’ve covered some general “no-nos,” here’s a list of “yeah-yeahs!”:

How to make it special

A quality gift makes a personal connection with the recipient – even in business. At We Take the Cake, gifts are our business. From our famous key-lime Bundt cake to our eye-catching cupcakes and layer cakes, a custom cake from our bakery is sure to be well received.

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Stay Connected with Your College Kids

Stay Connected with Your College Kids on wetakethecake.com

Enjoy mothering while avoiding hovering.

They say, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” but that’s nothing compared to being a mom. When your children go off to college, it doesn’t matter how involved you get with preparation, financial and travel arrangements and all the moving parts of getting them safely to campus. Once they’re gone, it can be a tough time for both parties.

The distance is, of course, the problem … or should we say “was”? The modern age has turned distance into an ever-shrinking concept. Technology can provide voices and faces from around the world in moments, and the sheer speed of some modern postal options aren’t far behind.

There’s a wealth of ways to stay connected with a child while they’re out in the world studying. With a little finesse and a whole lot of care, you can be there in every important way. What’s more, you have the chance to exercise your imagination and communicate in ways you may never have tried.

Don’t Panic

There’s some short and sweet advice that will fit well into every area of life, especially when the nest is empty. Your child is off on a journey now, both literally and figuratively, so you have to give them space to travel. Now isn’t the time to over-communicate because they’re going to need all their wits about them. A host of new distractions will be competing for their attention.

Let your child have space to get to college and settle in. There’s no telling how long this will take, but it’s certain they will need all their focus to do it. This means they may not be able to answer calls or may forget to make one to you in the first place.

Don’t panic! This is a natural process, and your child will be thankful they had the space to do what they needed. When they do get in touch, don’t be anxious or annoyed. Your child will equate you feeling bad with them not communicating as you want them to. This will only add pressure when they’re already dealing with a lot.

Let them get in touch when their new schedule allows and make full use of the electronic options at your fingertips.

The Megabyte Mom

Parents are rightly concerned with how much time their kids spend glued to their various digital devices. It’s never out of their hands, away from their ear or not vibrating in their pocket. The good news is that those factors can become a big relief while your child is on campus.

The number of young people aged 18-29 in possession of a cell phone of some kind is 100%, and that little device is always with them. Their cell phone is designed to take in lots of texts, photos, and calls. You won’t be bothering them if you send them a text every day or a photo of anything fun or interesting from back home.

Unlike the past where kids would have to schedule phone time with a parent, you can reach them anywhere, anytime. There’s always the comfort of knowing that even if they don’t answer immediately, you can leave a message.

Video calling is also an excellent way to interact in real-time with your kids. It doesn’t have to last long, and, again, you can see each other anywhere  – as long as it’s not when driving! Don’t forget social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media makes it even easier to make that immediate connection with your children.

The Human Touch

The immediacy of technology is wonderful, but there’s something about a written letter that will always make it superior. What is that “something”? It’s the human touch. Your child will be able to hold something you’ve held, see the uniqueness of your handwriting, and be able to hold the letter to their heart.

A hand-written letter is a part of you and a tangible link to home. It’s a deeper form of communication that frees a parent from the clipped text-speak of a quick email or social media post. Your self-expression will be unabbreviated, and so will the happiness of your child as they read it through.

Hand-writing letters can also improve your health. If being apart is making you and your child sad, picking up that pen can boost your mood back into the positive. Psychological research in human development and family studies has shown the link between the written expression of gratitude and important matters, and the resulting improvement in our emotional state.

Remember, the longer the letter, the better! If you feel there isn’t much to tell this time around, then you could include a photograph, a greeting card or better yet, a present of some kind.

Which leads us to our next suggestion.

The Sweet Truth

Nothing is trivial when you’re a parent. A mother may be concerned that she’s overly fussy with her child who, in turn, may be annoyed by the fussing. She can, however, count on one ever-reliable truth: kids love presents. Everyone does, and something else we all love is something sweet from time to time.

It may be your child’s birthday. Maybe it’s a notable calendar day. Being in college by itself generates plenty of cause for celebration (moving in, good results in class, graduation, and so forth). The best reason, of course, is just because you care.

A handmade cake crafted with attention and love will remind your child you’re thinking of them in the same way. It’s always a joy to receive a surprise package in the mail. It makes us feel special. When the contents are every bit as sweet and unique as the sender, it’s simply something extra-special.

As one of our customers put it, “This was my daughter’s first birthday away from home, I wanted to make is special. Our daughter said the cake was perfect.”

As successful parents, we see the best of us in our children. By association, any gift we give reflects the same. Granting our children the benefit of a college education is a wonderful thing. So is the fine art of attentive and considerate parenting. This involves many gifts. The gift of time, of space, and always keeping our place in their hearts warm.

At We Take The Cake, we understand the personal touch. For over twenty years, we’ve continued to craft each cake by hand using only the finest ingredients. If you’d like to know everything we can offer, drop by and get in touch!