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Pineapples and Palm Trees Third Birthday Beach Brunch

30 September 2017

We went back to the same beach for the little man’s third birthday as for his first.  I had far less lofty aspirations than his Vintage Surf Shack baby luau a couple years ago, but it’s my kid!  There’s got to be a little fuss.  Having learned from that party that all the cute pinteresty decor ideas are no match for sea breezes or trade winds, I knew his party decor this time around had to be flightless birds.  Which meant real pineapples!  Those beasts weren’t going anywhere off the tables until we directed guests to take them.  I didn’t want to do a full tiered cake, but I definitely knew pineapple-shaped cupcakes were the thing.  A pair of cupcakes, a star tip, and a leafy pick?  Done.


Pineapple sugar cookies as favors.  I could have done palm trees, as well, but I am just too enamored of pineapples right now.




Air Force Promotion Ceremony Cake

12 May 2017

Okay, so if you weren’t already aware, my day job is in weather.  With a short departure for teaching high school, I’ve been in the weather business for, well, let’s just say multiple decades.  And can you believe this is actually my first-ever weather-themed cake?  I can’t believe it either.

So, you can imagine just how fun it was to make an edible rainbow, cumulus cupcake toppers, gum paste lightning bolts, and a rolling sea.  The rain cloud on top is paper, with hot glue dots on fishing line – I was so pleased with how it turned out!  This was also my first use of Fondarrific fondant, which is probably my second-favorite fondant so far, and I can get it locally without having to pay exorbitant shipping.  Net positive.



Shop-Til-You-Drop Cupcakes

18 March 2017

Was asked to do a cupcake set for a birthday.  The birthday girl (well, 70+ years young!) loves to shop at Ross, Macy’s, and TJ Maxx.  I mean, who doesn’t?  Those are totally my faves, as well.  Pulled out the food writers and did my best freehand copy job.  It would be super cool to have a fondant-printer, I realized.



Elena of Avalor Second Birthday

18 November 2017

Kinsley was Ready 2 Rule for her second birthday.  I’ve actually never seen Elena of Avalor, but I googled some images and loved the color palette – scarlets, roses, turquoise blues, aztec golds.

Cake was chocolate (a little lighter than my dark-dark chocolate, because kiddos) with vanilla buttercream filling; custom confetti in pink/red/gold/turquoise with vanilla buttercream filling.


Made some rose-topped chocolate cupcakes too because who can resist red roses?  Not my preschooler, that’s for sure.  He made a bee-line to them the second we finished singing “Happy Birthday”.  Yep, that’s my child.


Hibiscus Birthday Cake


Hibiscus 18th Birthday Cake

9 April 2016

Dark Chocolate cake with 60% Cacao Ganache filling

Accompanied by turquoise/orange confetti vanilla cupcakes (not pictured)



This, by far, has been my most meaningful project.  First birthdays are a Big Deal in Hawaii; infant mortality obviously used to be a lot larger – if a child made it to one year old, there was good likelihood they’d survive to adulthood, so that was reason to celebrate.  Even though more babies survive infancy, the tradition has stuck – with some baby luaus being bigger than these keiki’s eventual weddings.  The significance was even greater for this one – my son’s – who was born 14 weeks premature.  He is now thriving and we can’t believe that he has had pretty much no lingering health effects after crashing into our lives in the most dramatic fashion.  Happy birthday, bub.



Frosting shots – because one can never have enough buttercream


Confetti shark cupcakes


Smash cake


Favor bags: surfboard cookies, sugar sand, and a chocolate seashell


Delicate Butterflies


Hand-painted gumpaste butterflies with pearl detail.

Toasted coconut cake, mango filling, coconut buttercream


Purple Plumeria Cake

Purple Plumeria Cake

Purple Plumeria Cake

August 2014

Vanilla Bean Cake (featuring homemade Big Island vanilla extract!) with Mango Curd Filling

I loved making gumpaste plumeria for a birthday cake earlier this year, so when I was called upon to make a friend’s birthday cake – who loves plumeria – my inspiration was obvious.  One of her favorite colors is purple, so I went with a lavender buttercream with white trim.  Classic frangipani colors of white with a yellow interior.  Perfectly tropical!

Purple Plumeria Cake

Purple Plumeria Cake


I took a wood-cut printmaking class at the Honolulu Museum of Art (highly recommended, by the way – every class I’ve taken there has been fantastic).  On our final night of class, I made cake to mirror the prints I’d been working on.


20140608_115859The mom-to-be wanted a nautical theme and not overly-girly colors. Perfect time for turquoises and corals.


Sprinkles Overload


Yes, I make my own birthday cakes.  It’s the one time I actually get to exercise complete creative control.  So that’s usually why I wind up with completely over-the-top cakes like this one!


Plumeria Birthday Cake

Plumeria Cake

Plumeria (Frangipani) Birthday Cake

March 2014

Pecan Spice Cake with Maple Buttercream Filling

A rare buttercream cake – I usually prefer the clean lines of fondant, especially in tropical humidity.  But, buttercream was requested – plus, it’s been pretty cool and dry lately, so that eased my mind!

Gumpaste plumeria flowers dusted with Cosmos-pink matte dust.  It’s hard to tell from the photographs, but the base buttercream is a slightly more vibrant green than the paler swirls.  I was really quite pleased with how the flowers turned out – and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make them for the first time.  They’re my favorites, and I foresee many future uses of plumeria on my cakes. 🙂

Plumeria Cake

Plumeria Cake

Boxed and ready to go. I added an extra blossom after the first round of photos. 🙂


Sushi Cupcakes

Trent Birthday

March 2014

Vanilla Bean Cake with Lilikoi Filling

A friend commissioned me to make cake for her husband’s birthday again this year.  It was a dinner at a sushi restaurant in Waikiki, so she asked if I could do some kind of sushi cake.  I quickly realized individual cupcake servings would be perfect.  I started with some round cupcakes (baked without papers), and a few shallow rectangular loaves, which I cut into bricks.  The round ones became maki, with an exterior of black fondant nori, and a variety of candy centers, including some li hing sour apples.  When I was looking for inspiration, I thought I would make some sashimi out of fondant to top a block of coconut “rice”.  I saw a similar cake using Swedish Fish on top, and I couldn’t help but giggle, so I made a few pieces with them.  The salmon roe are tapioca pearls colored red-orange.  I finished off the tray with some gumpaste ginger and buttercream wasabi.

Sushi Cupcakes

Sushi Cupcakes

Oceanside Wedding Cake

White with Pink Wedding Cake

Clay & Taylor’s Wedding Cake

March 2014

One of the student workers from my previous office was married last weekend, and I had the honor of making the cake!  The wedding was at the ocean at Honolulu’s Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park.  It had been raining most of the morning, but cleared up just in time for the ceremony.

Top Layer: Lemon Cake with Blueberry-Vanilla Filling

Bottom Layer: Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla-Bean Buttercream Filling

White Satinice fondant with white royal icing piping pearls and hearts.  Black monogram topper with dark pink roses.

White with Pink Wedding Cake

White with Pink Wedding Cake

Pirate's Treasure Chest Cake

Adrian’s Pirate-Themed 40th Birthday Cake

October 2010

When my friend decided to throw a big blow-out bash for his birthday, he had two simple requests: a treasure chest cake and edible sand.  Done.  Everything you see is edible: fondant-covered treasure chest cake, gumpaste treasure maps, sugar pearls, sugar gemstones, lustre-dusted chocolate bars, sugar-in-the-raw sand.

Best compliment of the night – people asked “WHERE is the birthday cake??”  Everyone thought it was just another treasure-chest decor element.

Pirate's Treasure Chest Cake Pirate's Treasure Chest Cake Pirate's Treasure Chest Cake Pirate's Treasure Chest Cake


Starry Night Cake

Beth & Ben’s Starry Night Wedding Cake

January 2011

The wedding theme was fashioned after Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting, which I rendered in buttercream impasto on stacked square cake layers.  Cake itself was funfetti, in the colors of the painting.

Starry Night Cake

Frog Prince Groom's Cake

Beth & Ben’s Groom’s Cake

January 2011

Beth and her mom wanted a frog-prince groom’s cake so she could have a great photo opportunity kissing her Frog Prince.  And of course it was red velvet – Steel Magnolias-style.  My first sculpted cake.  Green fondant, gold lustre-dusted gumpaste crown.

Kissing her Frog Prince

Before the fondant:

Red Velvet Frog Cake

Baby Cupcakes

Babies-in-Blankets Baby Shower Cupcakes

I’ve done these cupcakes many times, in multiple colorways, for a number of baby showers.  My favorite was when friends of the mom-to-be stole uneaten baby heads off of plates and hid them around the house to be discovered later.  Other parties consume the fondant heads with hardly a second thought!

Fondant heads and blankets, marshmallow bodies.

Baby Cupcakes

Baby Cupcakes

Baby Cupcakes

Baby Cupcakes

Baby Cupcakes

Baby Cupcakes

White Chocolate Wedding Cake

Paul & Lori Wedding Cake

December 2008

The bride requested an all-buttercream cake – which I don’t typically do in the tropics.  Since it was a small December wedding, I agreed to it.  Topped it with white chocolate shavings and orange gerbera daisies.  Offset square layers.

Navy Ribbon Wedding Cake

Mike and Tina Wedding Reception

September 2010

Was given full creative license with this cake, with the only instructions that the couple liked blue and nautical decor.  Went understated, like the couple, with navy ribbons that echoed the waves of the sea.


Cookies and Candy Cake

Beth and Cameron Wedding Cake

April 2011

The bride wanted a cake that looked AND tasted like her favorite cookies and candy: Hershey’s Kisses (chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache), Reese’s PB cups (chocolate cake, peanut-butter buttercream filling), and Oreos (cookies-and-cream cake, vanilla buttercream filling).

Edible silver spray on top fondant, sculpted to look like a Hershey’s Kiss.  chocolate fondant on sculpted peanut-butter-cup cake, and chocolate and vanilla fondant on Oreo-shaped cake.

Cutting the Cake

Modern Wedding Reception Cake

Surprise Wedding Reception

July 2011

I made Roxi & Zack’s wedding cake a couple months prior in southern California, but none of our other Florida friends could make it to the wedding.  We hosted a surprise reception for them in Florida, and I made this cake, reminiscent of their original cake.

Dark brown chocolate and turquoise fondant with gumpaste blossoms

Bon Voyage to San Francisco Cake

Jessica Moves to SF

August 2010

Red Velvet with Almond Buttercream, her favorite.

A little help from Google Maps.

Bon Voyage to San Francisco Cake

And why yes, that is a red fondant Gate Bridge. 🙂

Bon Voyage to San Francisco Cake

Casablanca Prom Cake

Casablanca Prom Cake

May 2010

Of course I was involved in planning the prom at the high school where I taught in Florida!  Instead of opting for catered dessert at the venue, the kids all wanted one of my cakes.  For this one, the dance’s theme was Casablanca – 1940s Hollywood glamour meets Morrocco.  Fondant paisleys and tassels, Moroccan and Arabic-inspired forms, and bright colors that matched the theme decor.

Casablanca Prom Cake Casablanca Prom CakeCasablanca Prom Cake 

Photos from the venue:

Casablanca Prom Casablanca Prom Casablanca Prom Casablanca Prom

Masquerade Prom Cake

Masquerade Prom Cake

May 2011

Of course I was involved in planning the prom at the high school where I taught in Florida!  Instead of opting for catered dessert at the venue, the kids all wanted one of my cakes.  For this one, for a Venetian-masquerade-ball-themed dance, I went completely over-the-top.  Topsy-turvy layers, black-and-white fondant, wired decor, lustre-dusted gumpaste masks, tulle, and loads of feathers.  If some is good, more is better.

Masquerade Prom Cake Masquerade Prom Cake Masquerade Prom Cake



Buttercream Swirls

“Just a Sunday” Cake

April 2013

My husband had to work on a Sunday, so I made a cake for him to take in to share with his coworkers.  Because, well, that’s what I do. 🙂  Piped buttercream swirls.

I should really list this kind of thing on my resume and highlight it in interviews… guaranteed job offers.

Buttercream Swirls

Kelly Green Birthday Cake

Trish Birthday

June 2011

Bright-green fondant two-layer cake with silk peony topper and dotty white ribbon.


Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake


Terry Wedding

September 2011

Ivory fondant with royal icing in alternating techniques of filigree and quilting with pearls.  Fresh roses between all but bottom two layers which are directly stacked on one another, per request.

Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake  Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake Ivory & Roses Wedding Cake


Wedding Cake and Cupcakes

Kristi & Max Wedding

July 2009

Kristi, an elementary art teacher, asked me to make her wedding cake – her request was to have cupcakes as well as a cake they could cut into.  I created this two-tier cake, cupcakes, and custom stand for them.  Cupcakes (and cake topper) have a KM monogram on a fondant disc along with sugar pearls coated in lustre dusts.  Cake tiers have a variety of decorations, including wired fondant balls, royal icing dots, and fondant circles and rings.

Wedding Cake Topper

Wedding Cupcakes

Whimsical Blue Anniversary Cake

Kristi & Max 1st Anniversary

July 2010

Instead of saving their top layer, this couple simply commissioned a small anniversary cake a year later.  The blues, pearls, and circles echo their wedding cake design.

Circles and Dots Anniversary Cake

Buttercream Heart Cake

Kristi & Max 2nd Anniversary

July 2011

After making their wedding cake, Kristi & Max had me make their anniversary cakes every year until I moved.  This one features toasted-coconut cake, pineapple filling, vanilla buttercream, and toasted coconut decoration.  And a heart swooped into the frosting.

Toasted Coconut and Buttercream Cake

Bride Lovebird Lovebirds Cake Love is Sweet Lovebirds Cake Lovebirds Cake Groom bird Bride Bird

Kali & Aaron Wedding Cake

October 2011

Hand-sewn felt lovebirds and embroidered monogram bunting.  Ivory fondant with burlap ribbon detail.

Sunflower Cupcake

For Hillary Sweet Sixteen Birthday.

Oreo half with gold buttercream petals. M&M ladybug.

Daisy Birthday Cake

Hillary Sweet-Sixteen Birthday Cake

May 2009

Black and white fondant with yellow and white fondant daisies, brushed with a little yellow lustre dust.  Black/white dotted ribbon and an H topper.

Daisy Birthday Cake Detail

Orange Floral Cake with Bunting


Farewell Cake

June 2012

Lemon-Lilikoi Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Orange fondant with white gumpaste flowers.  Paper bunting with guest-of-honor’s name.

Jennifer's Cakes: Harley-Davidson Flames Cake

60th Birthday Party

August 2013

Toasted Coconut Cake with Mango Filling

Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

Birthday cake for a Harley-Davidson aficianado.  Fondant flames on black.  Fondant H-D plaque but with a birthday twist.  Cake topper includes fondant tiki torches, gumpaste palm leaves, and a plastic 1953 Harley figurine (same year as the guest of honor’s birth).

Jennifer's Cakes: Harley Davidson Flames Cake

Jennifer's Cakes: Harley Davidson Flames Cake

Palms and tiki torches give it a Hawaiian flair

Baby Shower for Baby Boy

Baby Shower for Baby Boy

August 2013

Vanilla Bean Cake with Mango Filling

Dark Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche Filling

I don’t normally post photos of my inspiration for cakes, because I just feel like it’s a Cake Wrecks Missed Marks waiting to happen.  But, I’m going to take the leap. (:  The shower organizer gave me total creative control, but gave a couple suggestions.  She sent this picture, saying that she fell in love with this cake on Pinterest.  She also suggested a baby/bathtub theme.  The nursery-to-be is going to be outfitted in a jungle theme, but I wasn’t given explicit instructions to theme it up.  I decided on a variation on the photo because I just love the combo of turquoise and lime, plus I feel like so many baby showers are all baby-fied and poor mom gets lost in it all.  I wanted to give her an elegant grown-up baby-shower cake.

I wound up coloring a lot of turquoise fondant, so I did a lighter teal on top in place of plain white.  Also, I should use sugar pearls more often – they’re so lovely.

The Inspiration Cake

The Inspiration Cake

Baby Shower for Baby Boy

My Creation


Autumn Butterflies Wedding Cake

October 2009

Mixed round and square layers.  Ivory fondant with fondant draping, gumpaste roses painted orange, maroon, and ivory/blush, and wired sparkly butterflies.


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Front View Cropped

Flowering Tree Wedding Cake

October 2009

The inspiration for this cake.

Tiffany-blue fondant with chocolate fondant tree, green gumpaste leaves, pink fondant blossoms.  Offset round layers.




Troy Birthday

March 2009

Single-layer cake with blue fondant, white fondant circles, wired fondant circles, and paper happy-birthday tag.


Ramona Birthday

March 2007

Lavender fondant with white royal icing dots, gumpaste leaves.


Brian Birthday

May 2009

Milk Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Ganache


A Variety of Cheesecakes!


Key Lime Cheesecake


Savory Southwestern Cheesecake


Groom’s Cake Raspberry Cheesecake


A Buffet of Blueberry Cheesecake




Halloween Cookies

October 2012

Glazed White Velvet Cookies, fondant flowers, Disco Dust iridescent edible glitter



Yellow Daisy Topsy-Turvy Sweet Sixteen Cake

June 2010

Yellow fondant supported by styrofoam wedges between layers, fondant leaves and daisies with shimmery yellow petal dust centers, K topper on mirror base.


Tuxedo Strawberries, too!





Sweet-Sixteen Birthday Cake

May 2008

The Pink Ladies would be jealous.  Grease-theme party.  Pink and white fondant with black polka-dot ribbon trim and tinsel.  Fondant records with labels “It’s a Record… Hillary is 15!”




Draped Wedding Cake

June 2007

My second wedding cake.  White fondant with swags and celery-green-and-pink gumpaste orchids.





Marlena Birthday Cake

July 2007

Lime green fondant with brown fondant rope trim, brown fondant M, white circles, and wired fondant ornaments.




Two examples of white chocolate ribbons.



Red Velvet Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream and White Chocolate Ribbons



Blueberry-Sour-Cream-Donut Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and White Chocolate Ribbons




Triple Orange Cupcakes

May 2009

Orange-Vanilla Cake, Brushed with Orange Simple Syrup, Topped with a Whipped Cream Swirl and a Mandarin Orange.


Valentine Sprinkle Cupcakes

February 2013

Pink Strawberry Cake, Buttercream Swirls, Heart Sprinkles





Detail of a lemon-almond cake.  Just because.


Understated Wedding Cake

July 2008

My third wedding cake.  Simple ivory fondant trimmed with blue and green ribbons and adorned with daisies.





Farewell Cupcakes

June 2011

For a family moving to Colorado – purple fondant mountains with white chocolate snow caps, buttercream swirls in brown and green, fondant farewell plaques.





Sweet Sixteen Fit for a Princess

January 2011

Pink and Purple Vanilla Confetti Cake, Pink and Purple Paisley Motif, Sugar Pearls, Wired Gems, and a Silver Fondant Tiara

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Squares and Frames Cake

June 2010

Was given complete liberty with the design of this cake – only guidance was that the birthday boy liked the colors black and blue and that he was a graphic designer.  Decided on rotated-square tiers with a swoop of fondant squares and frames,  loosely informed by Polaroid snapshots.

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Black, White, Red Birthday Cake (#2 of many with that description!)

July 2011

Black fondant, royal icing filigree, painted red gumpaste roses.  Offset stacked square layers.




Black/White/Red Birthday Cake

October 2008

White-on-Black filigree, Black-on-White filigree, silk rose topper.




Montverde Academy Class of 2011 Graduation Cake (done in UCF colors)

June 2011

3-layer cake with top layer styled as mortarboard with fondant tassel.  Quilted fondant, gold-dust sugar pearls, and fondant ropes and diploma.


Montverde Academy Class of 2011 Graduation Cake

May 2011

Purple and Gold fondant


Musical 30th Birthday Cake



Musical 30th Birthday Cake for Professional Trumpeter

April 2013

Vanilla Bean Cakes with Guava and Lilikoi Fillings



Girl on Fire 40th Birthday Cake

February 2013

Fondant with Abstract Cinnamon-Candy Flames



Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake

Sea Serpent Cake

February 2013

Sculpted Red Velvet Cake, Almond Buttercream




The Baker’s Own Birthday Cake

June 2009

Pecan Spice Cake

Maple Buttercream

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Safari-Themed Toddler Birthday-Party Cupcakes

Inspired by these.



Vanilla Bean and Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttercream with Fondant Toppers

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Bartlett Wedding

July 2009

Red Velvet Cake

Almond Buttercream


Perry Wedding

New Year’s Eve 2010



Winter-Inspired Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Ganache

Robins-Egg-Blue Buttercream Swirl with a Whisper of Mint

Pearl Sprinkles




Maia Farewell Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Buttercream

Topped with a Bittersweet Chocolate Drop

Flowering Tree Wedding Cake


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Pianko Wedding

June 2011


Valentine’s Day 2009



October 2009


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Quick Wedding

March 2013

Vanilla Bean Cake; Strawberry Filling

Adrian Pirate Party

October 2010