Category: Seasonal

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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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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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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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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Ruby Chocolate Cake Recipe

ruby chocolate cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

Right after I made this Ruby Chocolate Buttercream recipe, I instantly thought to try it with my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I figured since ruby chocolate has predominant notes of raspberry, and raspberry and chocolate are a match made in heaven, the cake and buttercream combo would be a good fit. Well I was right (I love it when that happens!) – it was the perfect balance of berry and chocolate and such a delight to eat! You would think that the chocolate cake would overwhelm the berry notes but instead, the flavors work together in perfect harmony. And just look how pretty it is: 

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Ruby Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

Ruby chocolate buttercream recipe by sugar and sparrow

I’ve been curious about ruby chocolate for awhile now, mostly because of its gorgeous, all-natural mauve coloring. So when I saw these Chocolove Ruby Cacao bars at my local New Season’s, I almost squealed! I thought it was a super rare find but it turns out you can find ruby chocolate bars at most grocery stores now, especially around Valentine’s Day. It’s the latest chocolate confection since the invention of white chocolate, only it’s made from the ruby cocoa bean with no added flavoring or food coloring. 

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Thin Mint Chocolate Cake Recipe

Mint Chocolate Cake Recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

I never got the chance to be a Girl Scout, but I have been loving their cookies for a lifetime and don’t plan on stopping any time soon. They’ve got an array of amazing flavors, but my favorite are Samoas and Thin Mints. Hands down. So when I was working on a peppermint hot chocolate cake this past Christmas and it came out of the oven tasting just like a Thin Mint, I knew just what I had to do with it. I never made that peppermint hot chocolate cake (maybe this year!), but I am oh so happy with this Thin Mint inspired cake in the meantime! 

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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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