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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PINK & GOLD and lots of LOVE

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and we couldn’t help but feature a wedding that has all the charm of this saints’ day. One of the most adorable weddings this year had to be Liz and John. The talented Chelsea Brown  took some incredible pictures of the day. We loved getting to make a two tiered ruffle buttercream cake in light pink, lots of mini cupcakes, precious french macarons in hues of gold and pink and gorgeous decorated sugar cookies. Liz took an awesome DIY approach and it sure paid off. She made an amazing back drop of glimmer-y circles, gold hearts and pompoms; set it all against a barn back drop decorated with big blush peonies and you get one charming wedding. 2013-05-26 16.22.28

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HAIL: Appreciate + Reciprocate

Last week we did a cake for Appreciate + Reciprocate‘s Annual Benefit Dinner, which MVictors may or may not have called epic!  (Read their article to find out).

A+R is a group of University of Michigan students who work to raise money for the College of LSA‘s Emergency Student Aid Fund.  As scholarship recipients themselves, these students want to give back to the community that has supported them.  With the feeling that financial constraints are not a reason for dropping out of school the Appreciate + Reciprocate students are working to bring awareness and raise the funds to keep qualifying students in school.

Our cake pays homage to all the Victors, some of whom were present.  Heather had the opportunity to meet Desmond Howard, Dhani Jones, and Denard Robinson.  Check them out in this video of the event done by Video Vision 360.  Personally I am not a football person (though my husband and his family would NEVER miss a Michigan game).  I have, however, always been a fan of Dhani Jones.  I think it was the bow ties that got it started, they’re so dapper.  And then I found out about his BowTie Cause and I was sold.  Heather couldn’t stop gushing about Denard’s positivity.  Needless to say, love of football or not, I was pretty jealous when I got this text:Sweet Heather Anne Custom Cake BoutiqueWe should not, however, allow Desmond Howard, Denard Robinson, or even Dhani Jones (as fabulous as all three are) overshadow the importance of the work of  Appreciate + Reciprocate.  College students sometimes get a bad rap for their late night partying and “ping pong” games.  But hey, who hasn’t enjoyed a great “ping pong” game in their life?  These college students are doing a tremendous amount of good for their fellow students, and who can argue with that?

Sweet Heather Anne is truly honored to play a small role in supporting their work.  And if you weren’t impressed enough already?  They surpassed their goal of $10,000.00 raised from the Benefit Dinner!

Thank you Penny Stamps

It was a big weekend for the University of Michigan.  In case you haven’t heard, the basketball team played in the NCAA  Division 1 Final Four and National Championship for the first time in twenty years.   Perhaps with less national pomp and circumstance, but no less worthy, is the celebration of  the re-naming of the School of Art & Design to Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Penny Stamps and her husband E. Roe Stamps have been instrumental in positioning the school to become a national leader in art and design education.  Their generosity is particularly poignant to our own Heather Leavitt, Sweet Heather Anne‘s owner and head decorator. Heather not only is a graduate of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, she also was a Stamps Scholar.  Much thanks to the leadership and generosity of Penny Stamps, Heather’s time at the University of Michigan sculpted who she is as an artist today, laying the foundation for Sweet Heather Anne‘s signature artistry.

In celebration of the re-naming  Heather created a cake (and accompanying cookies and macarons) to commemorate Penny Stamp’s enormous impact on the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Sweet Heather Anne. Corporate Cakes“Creating this cake was such an honor.  When I was in art school, my thesis involved creating cakes as edible monuments to local farmers and food producers.  Now that I am a local food producer, it was amazing to have the opportunity to create an edible monument to Penny Stamps and the art school.  I feel like I’ve really come full circle.  It was awesome to see all of my Professors, and celebrate Penny, and everything she has done for the school and the arts. ” -Heather

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Many thank to Abby Rose Photo for the gorgeous images above.

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Edible Monument to Tantre Farm, part of Heather’s thesis project at the Stamps School of Art and Design in 2007.

Celebrate Spring in Style

I love Easter because it means that spring is coming.  After a long winter of bitter cold and lots of snow, the pastel colors and green buds add welcome cheer and a reminder of what is to come.

We are so exited about spring, and welcome you to celebrate with us Sweet Heather Anne style.  Thursday March 28th we’ll be teaching our Easter Cookie Decorating class.  Students will learn our signature cookie decorating techniques, leaving with two dozen decorated cookies and the skills and recipes for dozens more.

Sweet Heather Anne Custom Cake Boutique

The Dessert Counter will be featuring gorgeous treats perfect for Easter baskets and celebrations.  In case you miss the class we’ll be selling our decorative sugar cookies in dozens and 2-packs.  Our Easter cake is 6-inches and serves 8-10 guests.  It features lemon cake layered with lemon and raspberry curds and covered in a light pink vanilla Swiss buttercream.  All topped with our adorable Easter banner.

Sweet Heather Anne Custom Cake Studio

Packaged for gifts in boxes of 5, our pistachio and blood orange French macarons  are beautifully tied up with a ribbon.Sweet Heather Anne a custom cake boutique

Our chocolate cake pops with pastel drizzle, packaged in 2-packs, will brighten up even the dreariest of days.

Sweet Heather Anne a custom cake boutique

Last, but certainly not least, carrot ginger is back!  It will be making a limited time appearance at the Dessert Counter in the form of cake-in-a-jar.  Come and get it before we sell out.

Many thanks to Abby Rose Photo for the gorgeous images.

Meet Heather

I thought it might be nice to take some time to introduce you to the Sweet Heather Anne team.  I’m going to a blog entry about all three of us, but we will start with Heather since she is the owner and namesake of the business.  She also is going to be doing a Culinary U workshop at What’s Cooking Detroit this coming Saturday (March 2nd), so if you like what you hear you can check her out there–be sure to ask her about her love of spoons.   Carla HallMichelle BommaritoJohn Somerville of Lark, and many others will also be there.

Heather’s love for cake design stems from an education in art, a passion for food, and a childlike refusal to believe that there isn’t anything she cannot create.  While attending the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, she packed up her paintbrushes to study abroad in Florence. Though she had hoped that immersing herself in the realm of the Italian masters would rub off on her artistic prowess, she found herself more interested in the perfect foam atop my cappuccino.

Upon returning to the States, her new-found passion for food seeped into her art making. For my art school thesis, I dedicated myself to forming the same connection to food in Michigan that I had experienced in Italy. After working with food producers and artisans in the Ann Arbor area, she created a series of edible monuments to honor each one.

Before opening Sweet Heather Anne, she took time to carefully refine my craft: developing and refining her palate with Eve Aronoff at eve the restaurant and braving the Food Network’s Last Cake Standing as an assistant to Courtney Clark of Cake Nouveau.  As owner and cake designer at Sweet Heather Anne,  she loves what she does, and looks at each new cake as a challenge to create something beautiful that will make your day extraordinary.

Glimpse into the Sweet Heather Anne kitchen, and check out Heather in action: hand-painting a cake topper, decorating cookies, and making royal icing.

at work

Heather at work

Heather at Work

“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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Warm Up with Sweet Heather Anne Classes

I know I’ve written previously about my dislike of winter.  This year I’ve been making a more conscious effort to take a positive view of the biting cold and dark nights.  For one, it is a great excuse for sleeping in and staying at home.  I’ve been busily crossing items off my long to-do list, including remodeling my bathroom.  Winter, I’ve decided, is a time to focus on what’s important.

Here at Sweet Heather Anne winter means less large special event cakes which frees up some of our time for fun classes.  This winter we have some great classes scheduled.  The classes offer anyone interested in beautiful and tasty desserts to come, learn new techniques, and take home some tips from the pros.  This year’s class schedule covers a variety of cake and cookie decorating techniques, including all of the techniques pictured below.  Sweet Heather Anne

Cake Classe at Sweet Heather AnneSweet Heather Anne Cookie ClassCake Class at Sweet Heather Anne

For more information on how to learn any of these fabulous decorating techniques visit our web site or give us ring at 734.913.2025.  Private classes also make great birthday and bachelorette parties, as well as showers. We are looking forward to seeing your smiling face in one of our classes.

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 Impressionist Dessert Table

We love dessert tables for a couple of reasons.  They are a great way to get guests up and mingling following dinner (reason one).  Reason two: a dessert table can really add to the overall decor of the event, enhancing your themes and colors and looking pretty.  And that last reason is that they are just so fun to design.  Full of personal details there are so many design options.

This summer we did a table inspired by the bride’s love of impressionism at Earhart Manor, which is Northern European country home in Ann Arbor now owned by Concordia University.  The cake served as a focal point on which the rest of the design was based,everything from the cookie and backdrop colors to the placement of  stands.  It also brought together a couple important elements of the wedding: impressionism, gold (done in a foil technique), and a topper to match the bride’s fascinator. impressionist cake

 The macarons and decorative cookies in shades of blue helped bring needed color to the rest of the table.

by Sweet Heather Anneby Sweet Heather AnneI love how the backdrop of hand-painted canvases ties together the cake, and its accompanying desserts.  Without it the impressionism would have been lost to the viewer.Dessert Table by Sweet Heather Anne

Special thank you to lamb + lark for sharing their beautiful images.