Category: Tutorials

Monster Shag Cake Tutorial

monster shag cake by sugar and sparrow

I’ve been brainstorming some new Halloween cake designs (it’s been awhile!) and the idea for this shaggy monster cake popped into my head instantly. When that kind of thing happens, I just have to roll with it right away. So I dusted off a handful of Wilton Tip 233’s, grabbed a box of candy eyeballs, and got to work. I’m so happy to say that it turned out even cuter than I imagined! I am in love with each and every one of these cute little monsters.

Read More

Edible Gold Crown Cake Topper Tutorial

gum paste crown cake topper tutorial

This summer, I got to make the cutest princess birthday cake for my neighbor. While brainstorming the design, I thought it would be so fun to top the cake with an edible gold crown and since it turned out so well (and was super easy) I wanted to share the process with you! Maybe you’ve got a little one at home who is princess-obsessed or you’re needing this tutorial for a client’s cake. This tutorial will walk you through everything you need to know for crown topper success!

Read More

Rainbow Arch Cake Topper Tutorial

rainbow arch cake topper tutorial by sugar and sparrow

A few years ago, I was searching for the perfect rainbow arch cake topper for a Trolls themed cake and could not find what I was imagining anywhere. So instead, I decided to whip out some fondant and make my own. Although the rainbow cake topper ended up looking spot on, the fondant would not dry (at least not in the timeframe I needed it to) and I was starting to panic a bit. Then I improvised. I recreated the rainbow topper, only this time I used gum paste, which dries much faster and firmer than fondant. It looked exactly the same but dried hard as a rock in about 48 hours. The cake was saved! 

Read More

How to Make the Perfect Buttercream Consistency + Troubleshooting Tips

how to alter buttercream consistency for cake decorating

One of the number one questions I get from blog readers and social media followers is what kind of buttercream I use for my cakes. Regardless of the flavors I’m working with, the base of every frosting recipe I write is American buttercream. Specifically, one that I’ve tweaked to be less sweet than standard, customizable to suit any flavor profile, a breeze to make, and a total dream to work with. This post will focus on how to alter any of my buttercream recipes (or really, any American buttercream recipe) to be the perfect consistency for different kinds of cake decorating scenarios. I’ll even take it a step beyond and show you how to fix common buttercream problems should they ever occur. This way, you’ll always know just what to do when it comes to making the perfect batch of buttercream! 

Read More

DIY Sprinkle Letter Cake Toppers

diy letter cake toppers

There are times when a store bought cake topper gets the job done, but for all the times you want something super custom, it’s so helpful to know how to make your own. These sprinkle letter toppers are my go-to for creating celebratory cake toppers that spell out anything. Not only are they extra cute, they are so quick to whip up with a handful of things you probably already have on-hand (especially if you’re a sprinkle hoarder like me). 

Read More

White Chocolate Ganache Drip Cake Recipe + Tips [Video Included!]

White Chocolate Ganache Recipe 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

A Pumpkin Pie Layer Cake Recipe That’s Easy & Eye-Catching

pumpkin pie layer cake recipe by sugar and sparrow
Jump to Recipe

Every Thanksgiving, I look forward to a few things: 1) cooking all day with my mother in law with the music blasting our favorite dance-worthy hits, and 2) getting to make a delicious, eye-catching dessert that the whole family can enjoy. The Thanksgiving meal is my absolute favorite to eat too, especially when surrounded by my loved ones, so this holiday really checks all the boxes for me. And since I’m always on dessert duty (I take my role very seriously!) I’m always trying out new recipes to compliment the family favorites. This year, I thought I’d go a little above and beyond and translate the classic pumpkin pie into cake-form, which is how this Momofuku-inspired Pumpkin Pie Cake was born:

Read More

Watercolor Cake Tutorial

how to make a watercolor cake

I’ve always been inspired by painterly textures when it comes to my cakes, and although watercolor buttercream has been around for quite some time, it hasn’t gotten old in my eyes. It works in all sorts of color palettes and is so freeing to create because you really can’t go wrong. I do the technique a little differently because I tend to like bigger blobs of color in my watercolor finish, so I wanted to whip up a quick tutorial to show you my way. 

Read More

DIY Food Photography Backgrounds with Contact Paper

For the past few years, I’ve been shooting my cake photography with an all-white backdrop – white wall behind the cake, white board beneath the cake. Super simple and clean. Recently though, I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a variety of colors and textures to use as backgrounds and surfaces just to switch things up every once in awhile. I found some backgrounds I loved, but after realizing that each one can cost upwards of $75, I thought I’d get a little creative and make my own. They turned out just the way I hoped, and I can’t wait to show you how to make them! 

Read More

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! 

Read More