Category: Featured

Layered Ombrè Buttercream Cake Tutorial

layered ombre buttercream cake by sugar and sparrow

I tend to use color ombrès a lot in my buttercream cakes. There’s something about the gradient color change that is so eye-catching and works a little better than a solid finish in some cases (like my Cactus Cake, Under the Sea Cake, and Strawberry Lemonade Cake Recipe to name just a few). Today though, instead of creating a subtle gradient with my buttercream colors, I decided to make them a bit more edgy with this Layered Ombrè Cake. The design allows each color to really stand out and I just love the beautiful texture you can create with the layers! 

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How to Make + Decorate Cakes Ahead of Time

how to freeze cakes

I’m a big advocate of cake making as a means to reduce stress and have fun. That said, I know how incredibly stressful cake can be when you’re running short on time and/or things just aren’t going the way you wanted – especially if said cake is an order. I can remember many stressful nights (and even a few panic attacks) from my years of running a cake business from home and most of them stemmed from not giving myself enough time to enjoy the process. Can you relate? In hopes of sparing you some of that added stress, I’ve put together my best tips for making a timeline and working ahead. This way, maybe you won’t find yourself up at 2am agonizing over an unfinished cake! 

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Sugar & Sparrow is 3!

pink watercolor cake by sugar and sparrow

My blog baby is three! In some ways it seems like only yesterday that I got up the nerve to launch Sugar & Sparrow. I was so anxious to do it – what if no one read my posts? What if my recipes didn’t work for other people? What if it’s just an epic failure? Somehow I pushed through my anxiety and hit the publish button, and here we are three years later. I have learned so much and this past year wasn’t exactly the easiest (for anybody), but I’m still here thinking of cake ideas and playing with buttercream. 

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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

vegan and dairy free chocolate cake
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I know I’m not alone when I say my love for chocolate cake runs DEEP. I’ve just always had a soft spot in my heart for a good chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (bonus if it has sprinkles!). So when I went about making this Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe, I made sure it had all the essentials: extra moist, rich chocolate flavor, just the right balance of sweet and decadent, and has that melt-in-your-mouth crumb we all want in a chocolate cake. It’s a true rival to my (full-dairy) One-Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe and I could not be more satisfied with how the vegan version turned out! 

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Vegan Vanilla Cake Recipe

vegan vanilla cake with vegan vanilla buttercream by sugar and sparrow
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Ever since I published my favorite fluffy Vanilla Cake Recipe, I’ve gotten lots of questions about how to make it eggless or full-on vegan. The truth is, I’d been wanting to make a vegan vanilla cake for years, but everything I read about vegan baking scared me into thinking it was going to be a huge mountain of recipe testing I was going to have to climb (spoiler alert: it was). Still, I kept it on my list, mainly because I wanted an option to offer those asking for the vegan version of my vanilla cake recipe. But it wasn’t until I had my son and had to cut out dairy shortly after that it moved from the bottom of the list to the top. I rolled up my sleeves, put on my apron, and began my absolute OBSESSION with creating the perfect, fluffy, easy, flavorful, can’t-even-tell-it’s-vegan cake recipe. I can say with assurance after what seems like a hundred recipe tests that this is the one.  

vegan vanilla cake by sugar and sparrow
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Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

vegan vanilla buttercream recipe
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I am a firm believer that having a go-to vanilla buttercream recipe is essential for cake making, and this Vegan Vanilla Buttercream is the one I reach for when I’m in need of a trusty vegan frosting. Not only does it frost like a total dream, it also holds its shape beautifully when piped and can be easily tinted any color under the sun. Oh, did I mention it tastes amazing too? Cause that’s pretty important! 

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Raspberry Chocolate Cake Recipe

raspberry chocolate cake recipe

One of the very first recipes I put on this blog was this Raspberry Buttercream recipe. It’s one of my favorite buttercream recipes ever – ultra flavorful, not too sweet, and the natural color is just so beautiful! I’ve paired it with so many cake flavors (it truly goes with anything), but this Raspberry Chocolate Cake recipe is one classic flavor pairing I had yet to officially turn into a recipe until now. So with Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this recipe with you to bake up for your loved ones! 

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Hot Cocoa Cake Recipe with Marshmallows

hot cocoa cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

I know I’m not alone in saying that a mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows on top is downright nostalgic. It’s a distinct flavor combo that is enjoyable at any age, reminiscent of winter and the Holiday season. Remember how I talked about having a list of Holiday cake flavors I wanted to create? Well, this one has been on the top of the list for a few years now. So as soon as I had the energy toward the end of my maternity leave, I decided to do some recipe testing and check it off the list. Surprisingly, this one didn’t take much testing at all! It is packed with hot cocoa flavor, marshmallowey goodness, and all the nostalgia. Behold: 

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Golden Milk Layer Cake Recipe

golden milk latte cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

I have an ongoing list of cake flavors I want to make, and this Golden Milk Cake recipe has been on it for two whole years! I just love golden milk lattes and thought a layer cake version would be a fun flavor to try in cake form. So when I was killing time on baby watch in my final weeks of pregnancy, I decided to break out the turmeric and get a little creative in the kitchen. Not only did I learn some surprising things in the testing process, but the end result was so tasty and timely for Fall baking. Whether you’re a turmeric tea lover or just looking for something different than your average tea cake, this one’s for you!

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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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