Month: June 2018

How To Frost A Cake With Smooth Buttercream

how to get wrinkles out of buttercream

One of the most frequent questions I get as a cake decorator is how I get my buttercream cakes so smooth and sharp. To answer you, I’m going to be completely candid here and not pretend that my cakes are absolutely flawless every time. The truth is, with most of the cakes I design, there are plenty of opportunities to hide small flaws in the buttercream finish. A ganache drip over this crease, sprinkles around that bottom edge, and before you know it the cake appears flawless with all those problem areas covered up! Ok, maybe that’s just me being lazy creative. Despite that, I have developed some skills and learned some tips over the years that help me get pretty darn close to a flawless buttercream finish, and I’m excited to share them all with you!

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S’mores Cake With Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream

smores cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

There’s something about me you’ve got to know: I really really love s’mores. I had my first one as a kid sitting around a crackling campfire under the stars and have been hooked ever since. There’s something about a perfectly toasted marshmallow, melty milk chocolate, and crunchy graham crackers that just gets me all shook up. Since discovering this fun little fact about me, my mother-in-law keeps her pantry stocked year-round with all the s’mores essentials to make sure I can have them any time I come over. No matter what time of year, you’ll find stacks of Hershey’s bars, jet puffed marshmallows, and honey graham crackers tucked away in my very own corner of her pantry and it makes me feel very known and loved. It was just a given that I would turn these flavors into a cake, and it’s one of the very first recipes I sought to master.

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Chocolate Geometric Shapes Tutorial

white chocolate matcha cake by sugar and sparrow

I wouldn’t consider myself a chocolatier per se, but I am a big fan of making simple geometric chocolate shapes (mainly circles and triangles) to top my cakes and cupcakes with. It all started when I saw the chocolate shard trend take off on Instagram and it made me wonder how hard it could be. The good news is, it’s pretty darn easy if you’ve got a plan and some good tempered chocolate to start with.

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How To Create Striped Buttercream Cakes

striped buttercream cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

If there’s one thing you should know about my personal style, it’s the fact that I love all things striped. Wearing them, looking at them, and incorporating them into my cake designs whenever possible. They’re just a few of my favorite things. I first tried this horizontal striped buttercream technique about a year ago, and I was so skeptical at the thought of creating perfectly sized stripes by piping them with my own hands. I was certain that they would be wonky, but the stripes actually turned out near perfect and I was surprised at how easy it was to get the look with steady hands, a good cake turntable, and a few piping bags. And now you’ll get to see how easy it is! 

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Tips For Perfect Chocolate Ganache Drip Cakes

tips for perfect chocolate ganache drip cakes

One of my favorite easy things to dress up a cake is to do a chocolate ganache drip finish. Over the years, my ability to create the drip look has definitely grown, and I get tons of questions asking what my secret is. The truth is, chocolate ganache has definitely put me through the wringer before, especially white chocolate ganache, which used to be my absolute nemesis. Don’t worry, I’ll share my secrets for white chocolate ganache another day because it deserves it’s very own post (but if you’re dying to know my white chocolate ganache recipe I’ve included it in the recipe notes below).

True chocolate ganache has tested my patience as well, but after figuring out the perfect ratio for chocolate to heavy whipping cream and learning the do’s and dont’s of drip cakes, I’ve got it down to a science these days. And now you will too!

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Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream by sugar and sparrow

Oh, chocolate. It’s made me weak in the knees since I was a kid sneaking it into the cart when my mom wasn’t looking. Some people prefer fruity desserts but I tend to lean toward the decadence of something chocolatey. If you’re in the same boat, then this recipe is for you: melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream that has been described by a friend as “the kind you need to put in the sink and fill the bowl with water because you can’t stop eating it.”

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A Year Older, A New Birthday Cake Recipe

birthday cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

Huzzah! It’s my birthday! Well, technically it was last week but I’m still celebrating. I’m a whopping 32 years old now, and although I usually dread birthdays because of the whole getting older thing, this year I’m feeling pretty content. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my very most favorite people, and I’m feeling so truly loved that I just can’t complain.

When you’re a caker it’s quite common to make your own birthday cakes, and this year was no exception. I thought about making something classic and reminiscent of my childhood (like yellow cake with chocolate frosting, the all-time favorite of my youth) but then I thought, why not use my birthday as an excuse to pair some flavors I love in a way that I’ve never done before? Even if it didn’t turn out right, it could be a good laugh. But spoiler alert: it turned out real good!

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Watercolor Ombrè Buttercream Tutorial

how to create watercolor buttercream finish

Of all the things you can paint with, buttercream remains one my favorite artistic mediums. Yes, it’s only temporary art because it’s the edible kind, but there are so many ways you can get creative with colors and techniques! One of the simplest edible art projects you can do is create a watercolor buttercream masterpiece as a cake finish, and although this tutorial focuses on how to get the look with a watercolor ombre, you can easily use this same technique on your entire cake.

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