Hot Air Balloons Cake, Smash Cake and Cupcakes

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Hot Air Balloons Party

It’s been more than a year since I made this Hot Air Balloons Cake, Smash Cake and Cupcakes, but since the Great Mississippi River Balloon Races are this weekend, it seemed the perfect time to post about them!  I’m sure all recognize it, but the cake was inspired by this Jessica Harris cake

 

The cake was 5″ and 7″ tiers (3 layers on the bottom) and the flavor was white almond sour cream.   See how I stack cakes here.

Clouds on Cake

This cake was made before I had the Not Just Cakes by Annie cloud cutters, so I used a flower cutter and cut each “flower” in half to make a poofy could with a flat bottom… genius, huh?  :)  Not really… but pretend with me.

The borders were done with one of my larger silicone pearl molds and the hot air balloons (on the big cake) were hand cut and designed.

Banner Name Topper

I hand cut the little banner – used Tappit Block cutters for Knox’s name and then used white chocolate to “glue” lollipop sticks to the back.

Hot Air Balloon Smash Cake and Cupcakes

You can read how to make the hot air balloon cupcake toppers here… I’ve done them several times now (including today)!

Hot Air Balloons Smash Cake

And the smash cake was a simple 6″ round cake (single layer) decorated with buttercream and the sugar hot air balloons.

Hot Air Balloon Cupcakes

Note – last y ear I initially took pics the night I finished the cake with a black background and my Ego lights (probably to send them to my client).   I guess the  next day I took more pics in natural light but never edited them… until now!  That’s why I have a couple with the black and then the rest with the wood background.  Which do you prefer?

Hot Air Balloon Cake

For the bottom striped border, I used a Straight Frills cutter to get that pretty shaped edge (I don’t know what to call it).  And I think that’s it!?

Do you have any questions about this cake?  If so, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer and help out!

PS.  If you’re not already subscribed to my blog, would you?  You can sign up here for my free email updates and then you’ll never miss a cake or dessert or deal or any other quirky thing I choose to post here!  :)

 

Candy Apples!!

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How to Make Colored Candy Apples

Since it’s the PEAK of candy apple season… aka FALL, I thought I’d do a round-up of all the candy apples I’ve done over the past couple of years!

Ironically, candy apple posts tend to be the most popular on my cake blog, but I’m okay with that… I blog for the people and the people love candy apples, so I’m gonna keep on sharing them!  Click HERE to see How to Make Candy Apples Any Color!

So, first up… if you’re new to making candy apples, you’ll want to start with this post:  How to Make Candy Apples Any Color.  It’s a comprehensive post about all the things I know about candy apples (and I don’t know it all, but it’s the best I’ve got for ya!).

Now for some other pretty and cool options…

How to Make Silver & Gold Shimmery Candy Apples

My latest apples (which you may have already seen) are these sparkly, shiny ones!  I think they’d be perfect for Christmas or a Winter Wedding:  Silver & Gold Shimmery Apples.

How to Make Pink Cotton Candy Candy Apples

And then there are these soft pretty Cotton Candy Pink Candy Apples… for a baby shower, maybe?  Or sweet little girl’s birthday?

How to Make Purple (grape) Candy Apples

The Purple Grape Candy Apples are pretty awesome too… and they’re made from a mix!

Pink and Purple Candy Apples 2

Or mixed… purple and pink for Hello Kitty!

Bright Pumpkin Ruffles Cake with Candy Apples

Last fall I made these bright ones for a pumpkin/Halloween themed party… or I love this picture too:

Bright Candy Apples

For the splattered candy apples, I made a post special just for them:

Splattered Bright Candy Apples

Aren’t those just gorgeous?  I’m a sucker for anything bright and happy!!  Bright Splattered Candy Apples.

Red Silver and Blue Candy Apples

Of course, I can’t go without mentioning the controversial Glitter Candy Apples.  What would the world be like without snarky food police leaving nasty blog comments and emails?

White Candy Apples

You can even use this recipe and skip the color to have WHITE Candy Apples!

Bright Blue Raspberry Candy Apples

I almost forgot the Raspberry Blue Candy Apples… if you dip green apples in the blue candy… the taste is addictive!  Nom-nom-nom.

So, I think that’s it…. all the different colors and varieties of candy apples that I’ve made over the last couple of years!  If you have any questions, please click through the posts and read through the comments and also ask them here!!  

Happy Fall Ya’ll!!

PS.  If you’re not already subscribed to my blog, would you?  You can sign up here for my free email updates and then you’ll never miss a cake or dessert or deal or any other quirky thing I choose to post here!  :)

How Can Home Bakers do Wedding Cake Tastings?

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How Home Bakers Can Do Wedding Cake Tastings

How Can Home Bakers do Wedding Cake Tastings?

I work from home and don’t have a “real” bakery but since I do wedding cakes, I’m often asked for tastings.   I’ve been asked how I handle such requests so I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of what I do!

First, YOU CAN DO IT!  But tastings must be scheduled ahead of time. Since weddings are almost never booked last minute, I tell the brides which week or weeks are good for me and often try to get them to agree to do the tasting on a non-busy day.

I sometimes simply hand off the cupcakes to the bride and let them take them home to taste.  Or other times, I meet them at a local restaurant or the library and combine the tasting with a consultation where I look at their ideas, give them approximate quotes, etc.

Variety Box of Cupcakes

Why cupcakes?   I don’t have cakes sitting around in multiple flavors all the time and I can’t really sell a half-eaten cake, so I allow the brides to choose up to three flavors of cake and frosting from my menu and I actually bake them as cupcakes. Then I sell all the extras (I’ll get to that in a minute)!

Also three flavors gives the bride 4 cupcakes of each flavor – so they can let the groom, their mother, their best friend, etc. also taste!

Do I charge for tastings?   Yes and no.

If the bride has already paid a (non-refundable) $100 save-the-date deposit, the tasting is free (and I usually can sell at least part, if not all of the extra cupcakes to absorb the cost).   Since wedding cakes usually run hundreds of dollars, the free $20 of cupcakes is worth it to me.

If they bride has NOT paid a deposit, the tasting costs $20.  If they want to try more flavors, I charge accordingly.  I’ve never had any complaints or any brides cancel the tasting because of the charge.   If they ask, I tell them that baking multiple flavors of cake is an expense to me since my recipes often yield 30-40 cupcakes and they only want/need 3-4 of each flavor.

Most brides immediately understand.  A couple of times I’ve had them hesitate and I’ve offered to apply the $20 to their cake total IF they end up ordering from me and that seems to bring them over to my side and they pay the $20 ;)

Either way, I don’t mind.  As I said before, usually wedding cakes are hundreds of dollars so the $20 discount is no biggie, but I’ve truly only done that twice maybe?!   Most of the time they either go ahead and pay the $100 deposit to book their cake or pay the $20 for a dozen cupcakes without complaint.

rose and caleb with cupcakes

What do you do with all the extra cupcakes from each flavor?

I sell them!!

I have a local Facebook group where many of my local clients are members.  When I have extra cupcakes on hand (or if I know I’m going to ahead of time), I post them on that page and can often pre-sell or sell all of the extra cupcakes!

Since my tastings are definitely scheduled, I post on my “local clients” page that on Tuesday (or whatever day) I’ll have flavors x, y, and z available.  I tell them approximately how many dozen I anticipate having and that they can message me or comment to reserve some (on a first come, first served basis).  If I have 5 customers comment that they want a dozen and I only end up with 2 dozen extra, then the first 2 to comment get them.

I also offer them as variety boxes or let them choose the flavors they’d like.  Does that make sense?

I charge $15-20 per dozen and make back the money put into the tasting, to cover the boxes and ingredients, plus a small profit.   It works beautifully for me and often ends up giving me a little extra cake money in my pocket once or twice a month.

Does that help?  Do you have other questions?  If you’re a home baker,  I’d love to hear how YOU handle tastings!!   Do you charge for them?  Do you bake cakes or cupcakes?   Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

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