Category: Recipes

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!

Read More

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:

Read More

White Chocolate Ganache Drip Cake Recipe + Tips

drip cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

Ever since I shared this recipe and tutorial for semi-sweet chocolate ganache drip cakes, I’ve gotten so many questions about making white chocolate ganache drip cakes. I’m so excited to share these tips with you because I know how finicky white chocolate ganache can be if you don’t get the ratio and timing just right. In fact, the first time I made it (using a super popular recipe that won’t be named) the ganache was so thin and runny that the drips just ran down the side of the cake and pooled at the bottom, even after cooling it to below room temperature! I have since experimented with white chocolate ganache to find the perfect ratio of chocolate to heavy whipping cream, and have found some handy tips for making it extra white and beautiful.

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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!

Read More

Gingerbread Layer Cake Recipe

how to decorate a gingerbread cake

There’s something about using buttercream to glue candy onto gingerbread that evokes whimsy and creativity, no matter what age you are. It’s one of my favorite Holiday traditions, and although it’s a whole lot of fun to decorate a gingerbread house, I find that they end up being more for displaying than eating. Maybe it’s because in order to get a solid structure, you’ve got to make sure the gingerbread is rock hard, or maybe it’s because you’re just so proud of your creation that it’s too pretty to eat. Either way, I wanted to pair the fun of creative candy placement with a gingerbread cake that actually tastes good enough to eat! Behold:

Read More

Chocolate Caramel Pecan (Turtle) Cupcakes

turtle cupcakes recipe by sugar and sparrow

Hands down, my favorite Thanksgiving tradition is spending an entire day cooking all the food. There’s something so special about working side-by-side in the kitchen with someone you love, turning the music up loud enough to sing, and tackling a huge list of foods to make! It all started with my sweet mom and I, and although she passed away years ago, I’ve been able to keep the tradition alive with my mother-in-law. Of all the things we make together for Thanksgiving, there’s one thing I’m solely responsible for: the pies.

Read More

Salted Caramel Apple Cake Recipe

caramel apple cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

Whoever thought of putting caramel and apples together was a flavor genius. I just love the sweet and salty complexity a good homemade caramel adds to apples (and apple-flavored things!), so as soon as I perfected this apple spice cake recipe, I knew I had to pair it with salted caramel buttercream and turn it into an caramel apple masterpiece! It’s become such a Fall classic in our household that I make it every year as soon as the leaves start changing colors.

Read More