All posts by Whitney

Basic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

vanilla buttercream recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

I’ve tested a ton of buttercream recipes in my day, but my go-to is a super simple American buttercream recipe that I’ve tweaked to my liking. I’ve used this recipe for frosting countless cakes and cupcakes and I’m a big believer that a good vanilla buttercream is something every baker should have in their recipe box. There’s nothing fancy about the way this recipe is made, but it will certainly taste like you whipped up something special!

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Sugar & Sparrow is TWO!

rainbow cake with buttercream by sugar and sparrow

And just like that, Sugar & Sparrow is TWO years old! It feels so young and so old at the same time. This past year was all about growing in my recipe writing, getting better at food photography, and creating a steady stream of fun cake tutorials and videos. I learned a whole lot, but there’s so much more room to grow for year three and I’ve got some big ideas. Thanks for sticking with me and following along every step of the way! 

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Pip’s “Heart of Gold” Coconut Chai Cake Recipe

Coconut Chai Cake recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

One of my favorite things to do in Portland is go meet a friend for Pip’s Doughnuts and Chai. Their tasty mini doughnuts are hands down my favorite in the city and I’ve even topped some birthday cakes with them over the years. When the pandemic forced so many local businesses I love to close up shop, Pip’s did something extraordinary: they adapted by launching a new way to do business, all while keeping the community at the heart of what they do. Instead of serving up doughnuts these days, they’re hard at work bottling their chai concentrate and giving 10% of the profits back to other service businesses in Portland. Not only is their ability to launch Community Chai during these wild times inspiring, but their chai concentrate is incredible.

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Cascading Floral Cake Tutorial

cascading floral cake tutorial by Sugar and Sparrow

Before the whole world shut down, I made this colorful Cascading Floral Cake inspired by the pretty Spring flowers that were just starting to bloom. Nowadays, seeing the Spring flowers is the highlight of my daily walks and I find them just as inspiring (and totally worth celebrating!), even in this wild season. Whether you need a fun cake project in your life, have a #QuarantineBirthday to celebrate, or you just need something pretty to look at, I’m showing you how to get this look with some quick and easy floral techniques! 

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Vegan Chocolate Cake with Oreo Buttercream

Vegan Chocolate Oreo Cake recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

I’ve been wanting to create vegan versions of my cake recipes for awhile now, but vegan baking is one of those fascinating things that takes a ton of research. It felt a bit intimidating to scour the internet for the dairy-free substitutes, so I just kept putting it off. But with ingredients like eggs, milk, and butter in short supply due to the pandemic, I think now is the perfect time to offer you a cake recipe that uses ingredients you can (hopefully) find! Whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, or you simply need a cake recipe with limited ingredients, this Vegan Chocolate Oreo Cake is so easy to whip up and tastes amazing! Perfect for celebrating a #QuarantineBirthday or just making a cake for the fun of it. 

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Baby on the Way + Gender Reveal Cake

gender reveal cake by sugar and sparrow

Some great news in the midst of this global pandemic: I’m pregnant! We’re expecting a sweet baby this August and our hearts could not be more full. I think mine might actually explode when I get to hold this kid for the first time! 

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Colorful (Edible!) Easter Egg Cake Toppers Tutorial

Easter Egg Cake by Sugar and Sparrow

Even though Easter isn’t all about colorful eggs, they became such an iconic symbol of the holiday. So much that when Wilton asked me to create a cake project for their Easter campaign, eggs were the first thing to come to mind! Imagine my delight when I browsed through Wilton’s online shop and found the perfect silicone mold to make these Easter egg cake toppers. With a little painterly inspiration, some colorful Candy Melts, and a little cake pop filling, these cake toppers are so festive and fun to make!

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How to Convert My Layer Cake Recipes into Sheet Cakes

how to bake a sheet cake from layer cake recipe

In the midst of this crazy pandemic, I have seen so many of you turn to baking to pass the time and escape a little. It’s a really beautiful thing and I’m so inspired by it. I’ve got tons of cake recipes for you to try while you’re homebound, and while I tend to write them for layer cakes, I wanted to show you how to easily convert them into sheet cakes! This way, if you don’t have round cake pans or want to keep things simple with a single layer cake, you can use any of my cake recipes to do it! 

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Helping Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

#cakesforsmallbiz Rainbow Cake by Sugar and Sparrow

These are wild times, my friends. How are you all holding up in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic? For me, I’ve been sheltering in with my husband, working my day job from my home office, talking to all my friends through Zoom/FaceTime, and baking to calm my anxiety about how long this is all going to be a reality. Life has changed so much in such a short amount of time, and while I’ve found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for my own health and wellbeing, it’s so hard to watch the suffering around me without an end in sight. 

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The Fluffiest Yellow Cake Recipe + Chocolate Frosting

yellow cake recipe with chocolate buttercream

When you think of the most classic birthday cake ever, what comes to mind? For me, it’s always been yellow cake with chocolate frosting. All throughout my childhood, my momma used to mix up a box yellow cake, bake it in a casserole dish, smear canned chocolate frosting on top, and write Happy Birthday on it with those little tubes of icing colors you can still find at the grocery store to this day. I loved those birthday cakes. And I’m really surprised that after all my years of caking, it’s taken me this long to nail down the perfect yellow cake recipe. Well, wait no more! 

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