Category: Featured

A Guide to Coloring Buttercream Frosting

how to color buttercream frosting with color gels

I think one of the coolest things about cake is how artistic it can be, and a big part of that comes from the freedom to create any buttercream color you could possibly imagine! In fact, when planning out my cakes I love to nerd out on the color palette and get a real thrill when the colors turn out exactly how I pictured. As with anything, getting my buttercream shades just right has come with tons of practice and finding products I love to help make it happen. 

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Our Sweet Baby Boy is Here!

Sugar and Sparrow baby

In case you didn’t see my Instagram announcement, our sweet baby boy is here and he’s totally stolen our hearts! I’m so thrilled to be a mama and just consumed with learning the ropes of caring for a newborn these days. Just wanted to post a quick message to let you know I will be on a little maternity leave, and while I am I won’t be checking the blog comments quite as often. That said, if you do have questions about my recipes or tutorials feel free to sift through previous comments, use Google, or check out my YouTube channel – between those three resources you should have the answer you’re looking for. If you find a new solution or tip, feel free to return and leave a comment for others to see! 

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Coffee Layer Cake With Vanilla Espresso Buttercream

coffee layer cake recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

If you’re reading this, chances are you love coffee as much as I do (or you’re here for a coffee loving friend). I don’t know about your city’s coffee situation, but we Portlanders are spoiled when it comes to good coffee. I wouldn’t call myself a coffee connoisseur per se, but I know what a good cup tastes like. So when I set out to configure the perfect coffee layer cake recipe, I wanted to capture the rich and aromatic flavor of the good stuff. The only way to do that is to use rich and aromatic coffee beans in the recipe!

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A Magical Maternity Photoshoot in the Rose Gardens

international rose test garden portland maternity photoshoot

There’s this magical place in Portland called the International Rose Test Garden, where there are over ten thousand roses in bloom all at once. It’s apparently the longest running rose test garden in the country, and maybe even why Portland is nicknamed the “City of Roses.” So when it came time to start thinking about places to capture some maternity photos, this place seemed like the most beautiful backdrop ever. Turns out it is the dreamiest setting, and as a bonus, all of the roses fill the air with the most amazing fragrance. Whether for photos or not, if you’re ever in Portland, you must go!

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The Tastiest From-Scratch Strawberry Cake Recipe

strawberry cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

A few years ago, I created this Strawberry Lemonade cake that became an instant hit: cake flavored with fresh strawberries (pureed and reduced), filled with strawberry buttercream, topped with lemon buttercream – basically Summer in cake form! It’s been on my list to write an all-strawberry cake recipe ever since, and after getting a request for one via Instagram DM, I knew it was time. I took to the store for a pound of fresh strawberries and a package of freeze dried strawberries to give you the ultimate flavor profile. I promise, it’s as delicious as it is pretty to look at! 

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Tasty Toasted S’mores Cupcakes

smores cupcakes with toasted marshmallow

I can’t tell you how many requests I’ve gotten for a cupcake version of my S’mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream. It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes (s’mores fan to the core, here!) and there are so many amazing flavors going on in it: graham cracker cake, decadent chocolate, toasted marshmallow buttercream. I had to get a little creative to capture the magic of these flavors in cupcake form, and I am so happy with how they turned out. Behold!

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Coming Soon: Cake Basics

birthday cake with sprinkles by sugar and sparrow

One of the biggest reasons why I started blogging about cake is because I fell in love with helping people. It totally makes my day when I read messages from you guys talking about how one of my recipes has become your go-to or how a tutorial helped you make the perfect cake to celebrate your loved one. Cake is one of my favorite ways to spread joy, and I feel like teaching you how to make pretty cakes spreads that joy even further – from my kitchen to yours and beyond. I consider it an honor! And while I love sharing cake decorating tutorials and recipes, there’s one thing I’ve been dreaming about teaching for a long time, what I like to call Cake Basics

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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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