Metro Detroit Bride – Our Signature Cake

We love being featured in this month’s Metro Detroit Bride. What an adorable cake set amongst gorgeous farm to table arrangements. It’s our lovely signature cake with our gold heart topper. All thanks to Sheila and Greg for their beautiful wedding.

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Top of the Cake

So long, bride and groom. These typical toppers that graced the cakes have been replaced with unique thoughtful ways of addressing this space on the cake.  The sentiment of union and love are still there, just reinterpreted.

Sometimes this means gorgeous flowers cascading down the top. Other times little talismans ( like a recent wedding, where the groom so shaky and excited placed very meaningful beautiful stones a top the cake surrounded by hearts. SWOON!) Sometimes it takes the form of adorable animals representing the couple ( one of our wedding’s this year had a polar bear and a panda bear, with some amazing spectacles, holding hands.)

But other times it means very lovely custom logo toppers. Some of my favorite this year has been when the couple has a logo/seal that is then translated into a stunning topper that we have proudly made.

Brianne and Andrew had an amazing wedding ( many credits to the talented Alison at Viva La Diva.) Brianne is also quite the decorator ( as we found out in a cookie class – she kinda blew everyone away!) Alisa Bobzien was commissioned to make this incredible coat of arms to represent their union. It was quite magnificent. What was even better was that we got to replicate it for the top of the cake.

Pictures by Jess + Nate Studios.

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Annette and Jordan had a stunning out door wedding. And just so happens, they are talented graphic designers and so much fun to work with. They created their own custom logo, that was simple, unique and oh yeah ADORABLE. We got to transform this one into a topper as well.

Pictures by  JLB Photography

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Monica and Brian: RUSTIC buttercream

Sometimes clients think that rustic buttercream means well RUSTIC. We use to make a joke in my old kitchen that anything less than perfect was called Rustica (Italian for Rustic). But it just so happens we were an Italian restaurant and well it happened to be that everything was RUSTICA. Not always ideal for that perfect looking panna cotta but definitely an ideal when it comes to how we present food.  The thought behind this is that it  wasn’t fussed over and looked still very natural and minimally handled. On the other hand, to obtain this true rustic look, here at Sweet Heather Anne, it might seem “easy” or “laissez faire” but in fact it takes a careful eye to get these very natural looking swirls and waves. I think as far as rustic goes, we get it right. Stunningly simple, textured and very appetizing.

Monica and Brian choose the rustic buttercream finish for their cake and in their space, it feels elegant, still very natural and most importantly true to their style. I loved the details: gorgeous peonies, engraved Mr and Mrs forks, burlap and wood. What a beautiful wedding and a great couple. All photos by the talented JR Magat Photography. 

Check out more photos of their wedding on JR Magat’s blog.

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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!

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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.

peonies

Both Renoir and brides consider this flower, the ephemeral illustrious bud, their muse. Tight spherical blossoms open up in layers of big pedals with flashes of yellow coated pollen in their center.  These flowers undoubtedly have a presence and some say quite the feminine mystique. They seem like the perfect flower for marriage. In Feng Shui tradition, peonies are supposed to be good luck for a couple. During the spring time, these flowers are in full bloom, but the season is short lived. But with meticulous hands, sugar paste flowers can take their place and be a lovely interpretation of the real thing. Throughout this post, our some of our favorite romantic peonies that we got to use or make.

This wedding used real peonies with piped buttercream details. Oh so very English garden.

Passionflower showed us how lovely peonies are paired with green blueberries.

Hand painted peonies look like a cool graphic wall paper. Simply the outline of these flowers remain,  yet, a lasting impression.

Who said you can have too many peonies? These gorgeous flowers (hand sculpted sugar paste) will cascade down this cake in true magnificence.

Wedding Cake Design: Inspiration

When clients come to the studio for cake design appointments I always ask that they bring along  photos of the aspects of the wedding that are most important to them.  The great thing about cake design is that the cake can be as personal as the client would like.  Often couples will bring photos of other cakes they like.  While that is helpful, it’s even more helpful to see your colors, patterns, and other design elements from the wedding that you love.  That is what helps us to design a cake that is personal and enhances the event design.  We’ve drawn inspiration from all kinds of sources, everything from stationary, to florals, and even the bridal gown.

The gown was the exact source of cake inspiration for Maureen and Derek’s recent wedding at the Colony Club in downtown Detroit.  Maureen’s gown was Monique Lhuillier‘s Hyacinth.   The top tiers of the cake mimic the texture on the bodice of the dress, and similarly the bottom tiers are inspired by the gown’s skirt.  The cake isn’t so literal that you think immediately of a dress, but it does have the a similar  *gorgeous* look and feel, keeping the design of the evening cohesive.  And of course the inspiration can come from anywhere, so don’t hesitate to bring us that scrap book you’ve been putting together since you were five.Wedding Cake design based on gown

Wedding Cake at Colony Club

A big thank you to Robert Bruce Photography for sharing the cake image.

Move over Cupcakes, the Cake Table Has Arrived

I really love cake.  I love looking at them, eating them, baking them, and perhaps most of all, creating them.  The layers of cake filling and buttercream offer so many opportunities for creating complex flavors.  And that is why I love cake.

It also is the same reasons I don’t love cupcakes.  I do apologize to those of you who love cupcakes, I know there are a lot of you out there.  The cupcake simply does not provide my ideal cake to filling to buttercream ratio.   For those of you laughing, I dare you to do a side by side taste test, you will quickly realize the ratio’s importance.

Cupcakes so far have been integral to the recent dessert table trend.  I do get it.  Dessert tables are great for so many reasons: enhancing your decor and overall theme, getting guests up and moving around after the meal, and others.  Which is why I’m so excited about the next step in the dessert table: the cake table.  It gives you all the beauty of a dessert table, but with cakes instead of cupcakes.  I am obsessed.

Last wedding season we did a few cake tables, one of which you can read about here, another was a rustic cake table for Taylor and Anton who married at Misty Farms.  We decided to keep the cake table simple, so as not to interfere with Misty Farm’s rustic feel.  The simple buttercream cakes look so at home there. I just want to eat them, don’t you?

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Many thanks to Amanda Dumouchelle for the gorgeous images.

“I Love You More than Michigan Loves Football” (+ other fine details)

Ann Arbor is home to so much talent, wedding industry included.  As our business has developed I have been amazed at the power of community among Ann Arbor’s wedding professionals.  And it is such a wonderful experience to be amongst such a talented group.

Amanda & Chad’s wedding was so much fun, in part because so many of us were involved.  Abby Rose Photo (our next door neighbor and lunch buddy) took the photos, Stacy at The Gown Shop did the dress, and we did the cake and dessert table.  Amanda also had a very specific vision for her wedding (fun!) and was totally involved in the planning process.  She and her mom had the most impressive binder and organizational system.  I don’t know if they’ve thought about planning weddings, but if they have watch out!

Judging from the photos all that work was worth it.  Amanda and Chad had a beautiful day full of gorgeous details and personal touches. (Be sure to make it to the end of the photos, the signage in the last photo totally makes the cake display, I can’t stop loving it!)

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One Beautiful Dessert Table

One lovely dessert table in the ballroom at the Inn at St. John’s. Featuring a buttercream cake, french macarons, decorative sugar cookies and lemon thumbprint cookies.  Captured beautifully by Abby Rose Photo.

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An Artful Art Deco Wedding

I could (and maybe do) write until I’m blue in the face about how much fun it is to create cakes so custom to our client’s taste and personality.  Emily & Dustin’s wedding cake is yet another example of that.  They married at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, a beautiful venue with clean lines, beautiful art, and a stunning atrium.

Wedding cake by Sweet Heather Anne

The patterns and details they chose were inspired by art deco and the intellectualism of the 1920s.

Wedding cake by Sweet Heather Anne

Emily and Dustin definitely looked the part, Emily with her fascinator and Dustin in his bow tie.

Wedding Cake by Sweet Heather Anne

I am reading The Paris Wife right now, and I couldn’t help thinking of the adventures of Hemingway and his wife Hadley in 1920’s Paris.  Looking at Emily & Dustin’s photos feel like a small glimpse into that world.

The cake incorporated an art deco scalloped pattern from their invitations and other period-inspired details.  And I love the clusters of flowers around the cake.  A pet peeve of mine is the decor for the cake table, which is often an after thought.  Random candles and extra floral arrangements end up scattered on the table detracting from the cake.  These petite bouquets on the other hand create an ethereal affect I just love.

Art Deco Wedding Cake at UMMA made by Sweet Heather Anne

Many Congratulations to Emily & Dustin.  We wish you many sweet years together.  Also a big thank you to Heather Jowett for sharing her images with us and Luna Soiree for coordinating such a beautiful event.