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?

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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!

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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.

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!

Food For Thought

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So, in the studio, we listen to a lot of NPR.  Like, a lot a lot.  Like, every day…  And we can only listen for so long before were are talking amongst ourselves.  Again and again, we talk about is Americans’ general relationships to food, and how much attitudes could change for people to be more healthy and systems be more sustainable.

Sweet Heather Anne Cake Ann Arbor Gallery ProjectIn the brainstorming process, we kept coming back to distorted food costs as a reflection of all the hard work that goes into getting food to the consumer.  As Americans, we certainly expect food to be affordable, but we are also far enough removed from the supply chain that it can be difficult to understand why food should sometimes cost more.   This is not a very rosy subject.  But we DO have a rosy outlook!  We are hopeful!  We know that information is power!Sweet Heather Anne Cake Ann Arbor Gallery Project

What we really wanted to do was to make a cake (or series of cakes) honored one person who touched each ingredient on it’s way to becoming our cake.  We knew we wanted to make the pumpkin cake… The recipe is relatively straightforward, and it highlights beautiful seasonal fruit from Tantre Farm.   We hadn’t quite solved the design problem though, as it needed to be done in a matter of weeks, not months.  Hm.  We simplified our idea, and translated it to what we do best… building one GIANT cake.  Heather chose to make it a contemporary version of the cake on our business card (love it!) and to use one large tier to diagram it’s ingredient history.  We love the final product, and we hope you do too… It’s on display at the Gallery Project through December 11.Sweet Heather Anne Cake Ann Arbor Gallery Project

Not only did we get to make a beautiful cake, but the three of us had an evening off to hang out together!  Most importantly, being around other artists, not just bakers, allows us to continue to be inspired.  We had a lovely evening of conversation, bumping into old friends, and making new ones.  The exhibit spilled out into the street with our friends Phillis and Joel at The Lunch Room. (mmmm slaw!)  Sweet Heather Anne Cake Ann Arbor Gallery ProjectThe three of us took advantage of the beautiful night and ended the night with a cocktail and some pickled tomatoes at our favorite new evening spot, Mani Osteria.  It was a lovely break after a very busy week.

Sweet Heather Anne Cake Ann Arbor Gallery Project I have to admit, it felt a little productive, too.  We bumped into some potential holiday cookie clients!  We were able to have a little toast to the future of the business..  All in all, how sweet.

Sweet Heather Anne Cake Ann Arbor Gallery Project