Love is Cake (and other Sweet Heather Anne treats too)

Finding the perfect gift for someone can be quite the challenge.  A great gift can say “I understand and love you for who you are” more effectively than words.  As a fellow gift-giver the thing I dread most is that the gift I hunted for ends up collecting dust in the pile of things for Goodwill.

Fear not brave gift-giver, Sweet Heather Anne has a slew of holiday treats so tasty there’s no way they’ll make it to the Goodwill pile.

In the month of December the dessert counter will be chock full of cookie boxes packaged for giving.  Each box features an assortment of cookies: our signature decorated cookies, gilded chocolate stars, Mexican shortbread and chewy chocolate molasses (a personal favorite of which I could wax poetic, but I will spare you).

made by Sweet Heather Annemade by Sweet Heather AnneOur very own Claudia Kimble designed that gorgeous tag herself in our mint and gold holiday color scheme. And the best part?  We can ship these adorable packages anywhere in the United States.

Only for the month of December we are making gingerbread cake.  The studio smelled so delicious as we recipe-tested that we became obsessed before even tasting it.  This new flavor features Bell’s porter, two types of ginger and incredible depth of flavor.  Paired with our smooth and creamy vanilla swiss buttercream (made with Calder butter!) this gingerbread cake is the quintessential holiday cake.   It is available at the dessert counter in cake in a jar, or for pre-order in our gorgeous gilded snowflake layer cake.  We offer the gilded snowflake cake in either 6-inch or 9-inch, perfect sizes for any holiday party.

cake by Sweet Heather Anne

Our holiday macarons are pistachio and chai spice.  And yes, they taste as good, better actually, than they look in the photo.  made by Sweet Heather Anne

Sweet Heather Anne classes and gift certificates also make great gifts, and to make things even easier for you, we are extending our dessert counter hours.  December 6th through 22nd we will be open Thursdays and Fridays 10-6 and Saturdays 9-2.   Because who doesn’t want their gifts to say, “I understand and love your need for delicious food”?

Many thanks to Abby Rose Photo for the gorgeous cookie photos (as always).

Love is Cake (and other Sweet Heather Anne treats too)

Finding the perfect gift for someone can be quite the challenge.  A great gift can say “I understand and love you for who you are” more effectively than words.  As a fellow gift-giver the thing I dread most is that the gift I hunted for ends up collecting dust in the pile of things for Goodwill.

Fear not brave gift-giver, Sweet Heather Anne has a slew of holiday treats so tasty there’s no way they’ll make it to the Goodwill pile.

In the month of December the dessert counter will be chock full of cookie boxes packaged for giving.  Each box features an assortment of cookies: our signature decorated cookies, gilded chocolate stars, Mexican shortbread and chewy chocolate molasses (a personal favorite of which I could wax poetic, but I will spare you).

made by Sweet Heather Annemade by Sweet Heather AnneOur very own Claudia Kimble designed that gorgeous tag herself in our mint and gold holiday color scheme. And the best part?  We can ship these adorable packages anywhere in the United States.

Only for the month of December we are making gingerbread cake.  The studio smelled so delicious as we recipe-tested that we became obsessed before even tasting it.  This new flavor features Bell’s porter, two types of ginger and incredible depth of flavor.  Paired with our smooth and creamy vanilla swiss buttercream (made with Calder butter!) this gingerbread cake is the quintessential holiday cake.   It is available at the dessert counter in cake in a jar, or for pre-order in our gorgeous gilded snowflake layer cake.  We offer the gilded snowflake cake in either 6-inch or 9-inch, perfect sizes for any holiday party.

cake by Sweet Heather Anne

Our holiday macarons are pistachio and chai spice.  And yes, they taste as good, better actually, than they look in the photo.  made by Sweet Heather Anne

Sweet Heather Anne classes and gift certificates also make great gifts, and to make things even easier for you, we are extending our dessert counter hours.  December 6th through 22nd we will be open Thursdays and Fridays 10-6 and Saturdays 9-2.   Because who doesn’t want their gifts to say, “I understand and love your need for delicious food”?

Many thanks to Abby Rose Photo for the gorgeous cookie photos (as always).

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

Rebecca & Scott: A Perfectly Curated Wedding

Is being a bride really the stuff dreams are made of?  With the deluge of information available (bridal magazines, blogs, web sites and now pinterest) a bride could easily spend every day, all day of her engagement researching, DIYing, and generally driving herself (and probably loved ones) crazy.  And the result can look like your pinterest board threw up on your wedding: an amalgamation of every great idea all crammed into one day.

The key is to curate all those likes, loves, and pins.  And that my friend, can be much easier said than done.  Rebecca & Scott’s wedding at Cliff Bell’s is a testament to the power of editing.  Creative, fun, and cohesive to boot–it was a gorgeous event. I am loving the rich colors brightened with gold, and how even the smallest details, like the menu and cupcake wrappers look so at home in Cliff Bell’s.

Sweet Heather Anne, a boutique cake studioDessert made by Sweet Heather Anne: a boutique cake studioSweet Heather Anne: a boutique cake studioSweet Heather Anne: a boutique cake studio

One last photo, because it says so much about Rebecca & Scott.  What a fun and lovely couple.

Sweet Heather Anne: a boutique cake studio

Much credit goes to Alison at Viva La Diva Events for her focused (& gorgeous) event design, Sibling Design for their handcrafted graphic design, and Amanda VanVels for her exceptional photography.

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.

1950’s Inspired Wedding: More Soul than Sockhop

C&J came to us with a definitive wedding style and an open-mind.  They have style to boot and thanks to their photographer, http://www.tammylabarphotography.com/,  we can all take a peak…

Metro Detroit Wedding Cakes by Sweet Heather Anne

Metro Detroit Wedding Cakes by Sweet Heather Anne

Metro Detroit Wedding Cakes

That’s right, that’s real vinyl they spun! We strove for a similar 1950’s authenticity when designing their dessert table; including custom stands made from vintage plates and glassware, a centerpiece cake inspired by period patterns and colors, and vintage-inspired desserts (think chocolate chip cookies and mini lemon meringue pies).

a boutique cake studio in Ann Arbor Michigana boutique cake studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Many Congratulations to C & J, we wish you many sweet years together.

Studies In White

As a new business, it was very exciting for us to be asked to make a cake for such a well read magazine as the Metro Detroit Bride.   The spread, “Studies In White,” is in this month’s issue, so we can finally share the beautiful photos with you.

We’ve become quite adept at making these lovely sugar peonies.  We build them petal by petal, and each one has it’s own character.  This is also one of several cakes we’ve made lately playing with petals.

 

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!