Category: Featured

1st Birthday Smash Cake Recipe + Decorating Ideas

first birthday smash cake ideas

First birthday parties are my absolute favorite, mostly because it’s so much fun to watch a little babe figure out how to eat cake for the first time! My tiniest niece turned one a few weeks ago, and I was so delighted to get to make her smash cake. It got me thinking about sharing my best tips on smash cakes with all of you, since they’re super easy to make and the perfect DIY project if you’re planning a first birthday for your little one (or in charge of the cake for someone else’s babe). From the perfect sized cake pans to a great vanilla cake recipe and decorating ideas, I’ve got you covered!

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Milk & Cookies Cake Recipe

chocolate chip cookie cake

One of my favorite go-to things to bake are actually the simplest things ever: chocolate chip cookies. I don’t have a fancy recipe (I literally just use the one on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip package), but in my opinion, a warm chocolate chip cookie dipped in milk at the end of a long day is like heaven. So as I was whipping up a batch the other day, I had an epiphany: why not translate the deliciousness of chocolate chip cookies and milk into cake form? It didn’t take me long after that to start testing recipes for the best milk & cookies cake ever. Here’s what happened:

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Sprinkled Ombrè Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

valentines day cupcakes

This was originally a guest post I wrote for SprinklePop’s blog. It’s too good not to re-share here, because the sprinkles on these cupcakes are the prettiest Valentine’s Day blend I’ve ever seen!

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your s/o or Galentine’s Day with your best gals, it’s the perfect reason to whip up something sweet, pretty, and made with love. If you’re looking for a dessert that’s quick and easy (but looks like you spent lots of time and effort!), this cupcake project is for you! All it takes is your favorite vanilla buttercream recipe, pink food color gel of your choice, and this stunning Romance sprinkle mix by SprinklePop. And if you’re looking for a great cupcake recipe for underneath all that magic, I’ve got some tasty suggestions below!

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Painted Buttercream Cake Tutorial

Painted buttercream cake by Sugar and Sparrow

Let me tell you about the most freeing cake project I’ve ever created: I had a smooth, frosted cake on the turntable as my blank canvas, a pretty buttercream color palette set before me, and absolutely no vision of what the cake would look like in the end. The only thing I was sure of was that I was going to play with some bold buttercream colors. With a great album on in the background to keep me company, I started by adding a big color swatch onto the cake, then a few more, then spatula painted the buttercream wherever I felt like, and ended it all with a good splatter painting sesh. It was the first time I truly let myself go in a cake decorating session with no real expectations or rules, and that’s exactly why I want to share the process with you!

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SugarBearHair Vitamins Cake Collaboration

sugarbearhair vitamins on a cake

When you think of hair vitamins, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’ve always thought swallowing a big, chalky pill was the only way to get all the nutrients I need for my hair. So when SugarBearHair reached out and asked me to create a cake design with their gummy vitamins and sent me a few bottles for inspiration, I was really excited to try them out (both for the health of my hair and for the sake of testing products firsthand before I promote them). It’s been a month and a half now and I can honestly say that the look and feel of my hair has improved – it’s softer, shinier, thicker than ever, and has grown about an inch (updated 2/18/19)! So to celebrate these tasty little gummies that have become part of my beauty regimen, a cake was in order.

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Sprinkle Drip Cake Tutorial

sprinkle drip cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

This was originally a guest post I wrote for SprinklePop’s blog. It’s too good not to share here, because sprinkle drip cakes are so much fun to make with any sprinkle mix!

There are drip cakes, and then there are sprinkle drip cakes. And let me tell you, while both are pretty to look at, the sprinkle version is so much more fun! The sprinkle drip cake trend was popularized by one of my favorite cakers to follow on Instagram, @brittanymaycakes. To my knowledge, she’s the little genius behind putting sprinkles on top of a ganache drip, and I just had to give it a go because it looks so stunning – especially with this Bewitched sprinkle mix by SprinklePop.

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The Perfect One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream recipe

After testing so many chocolate cake recipes over the years, I’ve come really close to perfection only to miss the mark on the essentials of a good chocolate cake: moistness, fluffiness, and great chocolate flavor. You know, the kind with the slightly sticky crumb that just melts in your mouth and almost makes your eyes roll back in your head because it’s just that good. While my chocolate cakes of the past have been acceptable, this one I’m about to share is the absolute best I’ve ever had. No joke. It’s moist, decadent, and makes me so giddy I want to shout it from the rooftops!

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Favorite Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

One of my friends described this chocolate buttercream perfectly: it’s the kind you have to put in the sink and cover with water so you don’t eat the whole bowl. I think she’s totally right, because time and time again I find myself eating this stuff by the spoonful. I’m a huge fan of all things chocolate, so it doesn’t surprise my that this is my favorite buttercream of all. Yes, those are strong words, but this is how I feel.

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Spatula Painted Cupcakes Tutorial

spatula painted cupcakes by sugar and sparrow

Decorating with the spatula painted technique has proven to be one of my very favorite ways to add color and texture to cakes. It’s one of the easiest techniques ever, and I’ve found it to be really therapeutic to put on a great album, mix up a fun buttercream color palette, and swipe away. Since it’s such great art therapy, I was pondering other ways to incorporate the technique into cake decorating when I realized – why not try it on cupcakes? I tested it out over the weekend and am so in love with how they turned out!

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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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