Category: Winter

My Ideal Hot Cocoa Bar Setup

hot cocoa bar tutorial

Hosting a Holiday party can be a whole lot of work. From curating the perfect playlist to decorating, planning out your tablescape, and coming up with fun activities, your to-do list can get long real quick. I’ve got one idea for you that’s guaranteed to be a hit for your guests of all ages: a festive hot cocoa bar! Not only is it a whole lot of fun and tasty as can be, setting it all up requires very minimal effort. 

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Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe

Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe by Sugar & Sparrow

My husband and I are big fans of the Great British Baking Show (if you haven’t seen it, power up Netflix right now!) and the other night we were watching a contestant bake a cranberry orange flavored dessert. While I’ve never really been all that intrigued to use those flavors before, my husband leaned over and said, “A cranberry orange cake would be delicious. You should make it.” It’s because of him that I found myself in the kitchen zesting oranges and rolling cranberries in sugar, wide-eyed at the Holiday scents filling the air. I ended up with a delicious orange flavored cake dotted with fresh, juicy cranberries, topped with zesty orange buttercream and tons of Christmas cheer! Thanks for the suggestion, husband. You were right. 

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Buttercream Knitted Sweater Cake Tutorial

buttercream knitted sweater cake by Sugar and Sparrow

I don’t know about you, but every time I go to a JOANN store I end up wandering down all the aisles and tossing things into my cart that I did not expect (but am pleasantly surprised!) to find. Things like the perfect throw pillows for my couch, pretty pots for my plant babies, and just the other day, I wandered down the yarn aisle and stumbled upon this wool yarn by a brand called Buttercream. It felt like fate, because I want to learn to knit irl and was in need of some Fall cake inspiration. I may not be able to knit a cozy sweater yet, but I sure can make a buttercream cake look knitted with the right piping tips!

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Spiced Vanilla Chai Cake Recipe

I’m a tea lover all year round, but once Fall hits and things start to get cozy, chai is a staple in my tea cabinet. The aromatic spices in a cup of chai are unreal and totally reminiscent of Autumn. So when I decided to bake up those spices in cake form, not only did my kitchen smell amazing, but this Spiced Vanilla Chai Cake tasted like an Autumnal dreamscape! It’s the perfect cake for welcoming the changes of the season whether you’re a tea lover or not.

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Almond Joy Cake Recipe

Almond Joy Cake Recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

If there are fun-sized Almond Joys anywhere in my general proximity, I will eat them. All of them. I just love the flavor combination of sweet coconut, milk chocolate, and almond. It’s a taste trifecta and if you agree, you’re going to LOVE this cake! Just imagine all the textures and flavors in an Almond Joy candy bar, only in cake form, and behold this beauty:

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White Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

white chocolate buttercream recipe

I have this friend who is a total chocolate lover. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday cake, she said, “milk chocolate, white chocolate, any kind of chocolate.” So I decided to make her the ultimate chocolate lover’s birthday cake: layers of my favorite chocolate cake recipe frosted with a flavor ombre that went from chocolate buttercream to white chocolate buttercream. It was to die for.

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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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How To Cover A Cake In Sprinkles

Holiday sprinkles cake by Sugar and Sparrow

This was originally a guest post that I wrote for SprinklePop’s blog. It’s too good not to re-share over here, because covering a cake in sprinkles is an essential cake decorating skill you’re gonna want in your repertoire. Oh, and it’s a whole lot of fun too, so enjoy!  

Incorporating sprinkles into cake design is something I’ve loved from the beginning of my cake making journey. But although I’ve been caking for years, I’ve never actually attempted to cover an entire cake in sprinkles – until now, that is! Behold:

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Favorite Matcha Cake Recipe

Tea bar green tea cake by Sugar and Sparrow

I’ve got a major business crush on Tea Bar for a few reasons: their tea is organic and ethically sourced, the drinks they make with it are innovative (and delicious!), and their entire team is made up of strong, inspiring women. They’ve made a mark on the Portland tea market but I can easily see them taking over the world. After all, who doesn’t love a good cup of golden milk or a matcha latte? If you’re a Portlander and have never been, give them a try next time you want to meet up with a friend!

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