Fresh looks for Spring!

 

Simple Treats Nicole Haley1Although it barely seems like it, it is *technically* Spring here in Michigan, and so we decided to freshen up our Simple Treats cake designs to welcome in the season!  We’ve created a peach colored garden rose for a sweet romantic look, a wreath of sweet little pastel hearts,  whimsical multi-colored confetti and a couple of beautiful hand painted plaques for a very modern appearance.  We also kept on our popular gilded heart topper, because for a simple message of love, how could you beat that?

NicoleHaleyPhotography44-3133091243-O

Once we were thrilled with the appearance of the cake, we couldn’t resist switching up one of our available flavors to one that guests have been clamoring for ever since we debuted it for Thanksgiving last year–chocolate salted caramel.   This really special flavor is one we crave when we want to treat ourselves, and now we’re making it available for you!  Our deeply chocolate-y chocolate cake (made with Calder Dairy butter, and hand cracked local eggs) is now paired with luscious caramel, lightly salted to bring out the complexity of the flavor.  Add a layer of creme fraiche buttercream with real vanilla beans, and you have a cake welcome at any party!

Of course, we still have our signature flavor, Vanilla Damson Plum, made with our brown sugar vanilla cake layered with homemade lemon curd and slightly tart Damson Plum preserves that we can in the fall for use all year round.

Something important to note: we’re not a traditional bakery in that we make a bunch of cakes and have them waiting around for days in hopes that someone might buy them–we make every cake to order, and we’re excited to be able to offer these as an affordable option for your birthdays and other special occasions.  Check out our gallery here for the different finishes and toppers available.

Have we tempted you enough?  Give us a call at 734-913-2025 to order a cake especially made for you today!  Please give at least 48 hours for your order, but we will always try to accommodate any last minute orders that we can.

Thank you to Lauren at Dear Golden for use of her beautiful store for our photo shoot–it’s newly open, and FULL of gorgeous things that we love– and to Nicole Haley for her fantastic photography!

NicoleHaleyPhotography25-3133088216-O

 

NicoleHaleyPhotography30-3133089192-ONicoleHaleyPhotography34-3133089882-O

 

 

Advertisements

Maize & Blue Treats

Coming off a big win last week felt good. Actually it felt great. But we still have a lot more season ahead. And that means a lot more tailgates, parties and eating some delicious Sweet Heather Anne maize and blue treats. At our dessert counter during a Michigan home game, we will offer some of our favorite treats to celebrate maize and blue. But you can also pre-order a variety of sweets: decorated cookies, cupcakes, football helmet cakes, maize and blue macarons. Contact us for more information at:  info@sweetheatheranne.com.

And don’t forget: you can learn how to make Michigan M cookies at our November 7th cookie class!

And take a quick look at this week’s offerings photographed by Melanie Reyes Photography:

melanie reyes photography cupcakes

melanie reyes photography macarons

 

 

Treat yourself… to our new simple treat signature buttercream cake

Sweet Heather Anne would like to introduce you to a new beautiful simple buttercream cake called the SIGNATURE. Gorgeous horizontal lines organically pattern this buttercream cake. And they come in many sizes and even stacked and tiered. Hello Signature! You are a new classic and dare I say Sweet Heather Anne’s signature cake.Image

Macaron

Macarons are a true French delicacy and our taking us by storm. Not to be confused with macaroons (coconut), these are meringue based with almond meal folded in sandwich between flavored buttercream. They are dainty, playful and make for inspired canvases of interesting flavors and shades not yet categorized by Pantone. They are also very challenging and take a skilled hand and patience to create the perfect texture and “pied” (the foot that elevates the shells.) Thanks to the likes of Laudree and Piere Herme, we have plenty of inspiration.

At Sweet Heather Anne, we keep experimenting with these cuties. One of my favorite flavors is chai ( with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and black pepper.) And then there’s pistachio and citrus praline and oh the list goes on. We are hoping to make a lavender macaron with lavender that Claudia grew.  But we also love playing with their presentation.  Whether boxed up and tied with ribbon, our infamous ombre macaron tower, apothecary jars and vintage cake stands, macarons deserve special treatment. We always have in rotation two flavors of macarons at the dessert counter, so passer-byes can come in and sample these delectable confections. We love making them, maybe just as much as we love eating them!

Image

REMINDER: we still have a few spots left for our July 2nd Cookies Decorating Class ( Independence Day themed.) Please contact us to reserve a spot. We would love to decorate with you.

Father’s Day Dessert Counter

ImageFather’s Day is next weekend! Our dessert counter will be stocked with assorted cookie boxes (including Mexican shortbread, chewy chocolate molasses cookies, white chocolate cranberry cookies, and Dad themed decorative cookies), Mexican spiced chocolate cake truffles, and a limited supply of chocolate praline 6″ inch cakes. Call us at 734 913 2025 by Wednesday to reserve your Dad some treats.

Dessert Counter hours are Friday June 14th 10:00am-6:00pm and Saturday June 15th 9:00am – 2:00pm.

Classes Give a Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes

As the weather cools and we all slow down to rest for the winter the Sweet Heather Anne calendar opens up a bit, which allows us time to offer classes.  We love the opportunity to share our love of sweets and knowledge of decorating with you.

We kicked off this year’s classes with a Block M cookie decorating class for all of our Michigan fans.  In addition to a couple different cookie decorating classes, this year’s class list also includes a buttercream class where you’ll learn to do all four of our simply stunning buttercream finishes, and some basic and advanced fondant technique classes.  Tonight we are excited for our sold out Chocolate & Bubbly class where students will learn to make and dip cake truffles while sipping bubbly.

The classes are a great way to get a sneak peek behind the scenes at Sweet Heather Anne and to learn tricks of the trade which Heather and Claudia have picked up during their 8 plus years of combined experience.  Classes make great gifts, and are also perfect for private events like showers and bachelorette parties.

Here’s a sneak peak into the Block M cookie class, and a big shout-out to Abby Rose Photo for the gorgeous images.

Sweet Heather Anne Cake & Cookie ClassesSweet Heather Anne Cookie ClassesSweet Heather Anne Cake & Cookie ClassesSweet Heather Anne Cookie ClassSweet Heather Anne Cake & Cookie Classes

Go Blue! Sweet Treats

Michigan Football is so much a part of fall in Ann Arbor: there’s the traffic (I’m looking at the standstill on Main street right now), the long restaurant lines, but more importantly there’s Michigan pride. This being our first fall at 920 N Main Street, we are so excited to be a part of the Ann Arbor community and the Michigan spirit that consumes downtown.  We just couldn’t resist celebrating Michigan pride Sweet Heather Anne style.

Metro Detroit Cakes and Desserts, University of Michigan desserts

Every home game our dessert counter features Michigan-themed treats including: maize and blue french macarons, mini cupcakes with maize and blue confetti, Michigan football cookies, and Marzipops.

Any of these items are also available for pre-order, as are the Michigan fondant cake pictured above and the sculpted helmet cake below.  All perfect for your tailgate or other University of Michigan-themed event.  Contact us for more information.

Michigan Helmet Cake

Special thanks to Abby Rose Photo for capturing the football helmet cake in all its glory.

Simply Stunning Buttercream Cakes

Anyone who runs a small business, or works at one, knows how much work it is to deliver your product and stay on top of marketing, social media and all those other things that are so important and so easy to put off.  The list is always longer than there are hours in a day.

We have been so fortunate that our business has grown quickly.  In the past year we have moved to a new retail location, doubled our number of weddings, and experienced an influx of walk-in traffic and general interest.  The term growing pains wasn’t coined for nothing.  It has been a joyful challenge to ensure that the quality of the Sweet Heather Anne experience hasn’t changed; same (if not better) great tasting cakes and exceptional customer service.   Cakes are such a personal thing for us, and each cake that leaves our door is special in its own way.

Our web site is one thing that has not kept up with our growth, and is on the list for winter time when we aren’t quite as busy.  In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about what we call our simple buttercream cakes.  I get a lot of calls for people looking for great tasting cakes but who don’t have the budget for one of our custom cakes.  I get that, custom cakes are expensive.

We created our simple buttercream cakes for those looking for a great tasting cake, simply stunning with small personal touches.

Metro Detroit Cakes, Ann Arbor Cakes, rustic buttercream, Sweet Heather Anne, delicious cakes, simple buttercreamThis is our rustic buttercream, the organic and natural feeling of this textured buttercream finish is gorgeous.

Metro Detroit Cakes, Ann Arbor Cakes, delicious cakes, Sweet Heather Anne, vintage buttercream, simple buttercreamThe vintage might be my favorite,  I really love that it has a similar organic feel to the rustic, with a more tailored appearance.

Metro Detroit Cakes, Ann Arbor Cakes, delicious cakes, Sweet Heather Anne, ruffle buttercream, simple buttercreamOur ruffle buttercream is stunningly feminine and perfect for any girly-girl.

Metro Detroit Cakes, Ann Arbor Cakes, delicious cakes, Sweet Heather Anne, classic buttercream cake, simple buttercreamThe classic is just that, classic.  With it smooth buttercream surface and simple piping it is a style that transcends time.

All four styles can be topped with your  choice of a sugar paste flower (peach, yellow, or ivory) or confetti and are available in vanilla, chocolate, vanilla with lemon and raspberry curds, and chocolate praline.  For more information on servings and pricing check out our frequently asked questions or you can always e-mail me at info@sweetheatheranne.com.

Cheese and “Punch” Party

Most of us (especially us single gals) are well aware that summer is the wedding season.  Let me tell you, I have never been more aware until working on wedding cakes.  We have way more business.  On the flip side, the winter is slow…  Very, very slow.  Last winter, Taylor and I took an extended vacation while Heather worked herself silly (despite the business having less orders).  This year we’ve decided to combat that by whatever means possible; Not just for the business, but also for Heather’s sanity.

Enter, the christmas cookie.  We make a beautiful, mixed-dozen box of cookies that’s perfect for a small holiday gift.  Rachel, our business manager, suggested we make sample cookie boxes for potential corporate clients in the Metro-Detroit area.  It was a bit of a risk (making them was no small committment!), but within a few days we had several calls for some of the largest cookie orders we’ve ever taken.

Then it donned on us that we have to actually make the thousands of cookies and hundreds of cookie boxes.  We like each product from our studio to be a unique work of art, so this is really no small task.

We’ve had to get pretty creative about tricking ourselves into doing all this work.  One creatively fun way we got all the tags made was to throw ourselves a paper cutting party, or a cheese and ‘punch’ party, if you’ll go there with us.

We’ve also begun to acquire a team of loyal volunteers.  Among them is our new intern, Ariana.  She’s a student at U of M interested in pursuing baking.  (She has a writing background, so we’re hoping to finagle her into blogging…)

Kristi, Heather’s long-term friend and fellow art-school grad, has been on-call for Heather since before there was a company.  She’s incredibly meticulous and has a ton of paper cutting experience, so she kind of led the tag-making charge.

I spent a lot of the night eating cheese and taking photos (obviously very important– I am a blogger now, after all..)  Rachel even made one of the cheeses!  It was originally yogurt gone wrong, but what a tasty mistake!!

You might think (like me), who does that?!  1 – Who makes their own yogurt?  2 – Who would think to make the excess into cheese???  Well, the same person who has this menu on their wall…

And THIS AWESOME KITCHEN SETUP…

We couldn’t mention our fabulousvolunteers without giving a shout out to the Sweet Heather Anne Husbands Club.  Well, there’s one husband – Drew.  He’s great.  (He’s done such essential tasks as fix the doorbell… woo hoo!)

Heather’s boyfriend, Antonio, has done countless hours of grunt work and cooked lunch for us probably a hundred times.  He’s the hardest working un-employee ever, and we couldn’t do what we do (as well, at least) without him.

Enjoy our party photos!  Hopefully we’ll get some photos up soon of our cookie production… it’s quite the scene!

Happy Pie Day

The Wednesday market before Thanksgiving has become one of our favorite days at The Ann Arbor Farmers Market.   It’s come to represent a final adieu to the fall, and a pleasant welcome to the winter.

Heather and I agree that it’s hard not to smile after working there– It was an unusually beautiful November day, everybody who stopped by was super positive, and there was a sense of community among the vendors.

I’ve dedicated this post to sharing scenes from my day, as I walked around collecting some last minute treats for holiday entertaining.  I’m especially excited to share with you some of our favorite friends at The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.

We chose to bring a few six-inch cakes in pumpkin and chocolate praline, a variety of fall cookies, and a whole lot of our Tantre pumpkin pies.

This is the view of our booth, with our favorite Michigan Radio producer, Zoe Clark.  We were lucky enough be hired to bake her wedding cake last summer, and Heather and I share a moment whenever we hear her on the radio.  We’re quite proud.

We also love her mom, Lisa, who, together with her husband, Jeff, is responsible for keeping Selma Cafe an ongoing community project.  If you haven’t been to this pop up cafe at their home, it’s worth going at least once.  We’ll certainly bug you about it again before February 3 when the ladies (and gent) of Sweet Heather Anne are scheduled to cook.

First on my shopping list was a 1/2 peck of apples.  I decided a couple fruit pies would be nice to supplement the staple pumpkin and pecan.  I’ve never had as good of luck as when I get a mixed bag.  That way, I’m able to get a variety of apples with delicious flavor and ones that will hold up a better in the oven.

Just after paying for my apples, I walked by Lizzie from Wasem Fruit Farm.  They have our absolute favorite snacking apples, Green Russet, so I had to get some more!  I’ve never seen them from any other farm.  They are very firm, sweet, and tart, with a wonderfully complex flavor.  It’s a good thing I brought two large shopping bags!

It’s been a while since I’ve been up early enough to get to the Market before work on Wednesday, so It’s been a while since I’ve had kimchee from The Brinery… I just can’t seem to keep it around very long.  I eat it with everything, and sometimes on it’s own.  It’s definitely my favorite flavorful booster for my staple fried egg and toast.

Plus, David is a joy to run into.  His enthusiasm is simply contagious.

This is a shot of the greens from Seeley Farm.. Their spicy mix is delicious and beautiful..  In the summer they even include small, edible flowers.

A trip to the Market wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Durham’s Tracklements, just around the corner.  They have limited hours, so making it downtown while they’re open is a real treat.  Taylor, fish smoker and patee chef extraordinaire, worked with us until just recently (and hopefully she’ll make a guest appearance or two).

She served T.R.’s smoked trout at at a dinner party recently, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.  And since the smoked salmon isn’t available anymore at Beezy’s, I REALLY needed to stop in.

Before heading home, I made sure to let Heather have a break for an eat sandwich..  While I was manning the booth, Nicole of Nicole Ladonne Photography, who’s been volunteering with us, stopped in, and Rachel, our business manager, with her mother and grandmother!

We all left for Thanksgiving with a big smile… I hope you had as joyful a holiday as we did!