Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baby's First!

When my boyfriend's cousins asked me to make their daughter's first birthday cake, I was so excited to be a part of the celebration!

Unsure of what the actual cake should be, we turned to the invites for some much needed inspiration!

After seeing this, I went to the drawing board and came up with the perfect cake design!

I pretty much just copied the invitations exactly! From colours to patterns, even the cupcakes matched the cupcakes on the invites!

Everyone absolutely loved the cake! Even the birthday girl dug into it and by the looks of it, she loved it too!

All in all, it was a very happy 1st birthday!

A Teddy Bear Picnic!

When I'm not baking, caking, sleeping or eating, you can probably find me shopping!

In the food industry, however, we have very strict hygiene rules. From clean uniforms and aprons, to hairnets and hats, all the bases are covered to ensure your food is safe to eat! Another important food safety rule is no jewelry (or nail polish for that matter!). The last thing you want to find in your dessert is the backing to someone's earring...gross!

Ironically enough, one of my favourite things to shop for is jewelry! Even though I can't wear it during the day at school or when I'm preparing these beautiful cakes, I wear it (and BUY it), every other chance I get!

For the past few years, I've had all my jewelry needs met at one particular store. The girls there are so amazing and everytime I walk in, they know just what to show me!

When I got an invitation to their holiday shopping cockatil party, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to make them something sweet to show my appreciation for the service (and silver!) they've provided me over the years!

The classic design of their jewelry is a teddy bear. From bracelets, pendants, rings and earrings, you can find these teddies everywhere! So I just knew that they'd be the perfect cupcake decoration! Paired with some coconut covered winter wonderland cupcakes, they were the perfect treat!

They were so surprised when I opened the box of cupcakes! They couldn't believe that I made these preshies just for them!

PLUS, I bought a few special pieces of jewelry as a gift to myself, so it was a successful night for everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MOvember Madness!

I'm sure by now everyone has witnessed some crazy facial hair going on. Though it's usually not a pretty sight, it's definitely worth the great cause!

Men across Canada have been growing out some dirty 'staches in order to raise money for and awareness of prostate cancer.

In the States, however, Movember aims to raise awareness of not just prostate cancer, but all men's health issues including testicular cancer.

In 2009, a friend of mine, Tommy, was diagnosed with testicular cancer and though he was lucky enough to survive, many young men aren't. It is easy to treat when caught early, but many are unaware of the fact that testicular cancer usually occurs in men between the ages of 15 and 35. It became Tommy's mission to educate young men about their health and he has come so far on his journey! One of his goals is to have testicular cancer included in the Movember fundraising in Canada as it is in the States in order to make it a more general men's health awareness month.

In order to help him out with his cause, I decided to make a special Movember cake to be eaten at a McGill Med & Dent Movember event!

The cake was such a big hit!! All of the MoBro's were so excited to see the cake, and even happier to dig into it!

Whenever I'm able to put my cake skills towards a worthy cause, I jump at the opportunity!

I was so happy that I was able to do my small part in helping Tommy towards his goals!

For more information on Movember, go to

And for information on Tommy and his Ballsy Journey, please visit and

Another Birthday, Another Cake!

Even though pastry school is proving to be exhausting, I just can't keep away from cakes!!

With my grandmother's birthday coming up, I knew I would be called upon to make her something special!

I immediately had an idea that I knew would be perfect for the occasion!

The cake turned out amazingly!! It was just the cake I had in my mind!

My grandmother absolutely loved her beautiful and delicious Birthday cake! Well, really, what's not to love??

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Special Birthday Cake Surprise!

So as you can see, since I've started pastry school, I haven't had much time for cakes!

My dad's birthday was 2 weeks ago though and I had suuuuch a perfect cake design idea that I came up with in JUNE so I knew I'd have to make time to get it done!

I kind of cheated a bit, and by a bit I mean a LOT! I had my mom bake the cakes (from a BOX no less!) and when I came home from school, I got to decorating!

My dad is a man of many interests in life - one of those interests is magic!

So here was his birthday cake!

It's a magicians hat, white gloves, wand and bunny ears sticking out from under the hat!

My dad was VERY surprised! He was not expecting a custom birthday cake at all! He was only expecting something that I had made at school and brought home, which of course I did also (coffee mousse bombe and a chocolate mousse cake! YUM!)!

We had MANY yummy desserts that night so it was definitely another successful birthday cake surprise!! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bigger and Better Things!

As you may or may not have noticed, over the summer the blog posts have been appearing less and less! It's pretty hard to bake a cake from scratch, make frosting from scratch, start making decorations, cool and frost the cake and then decorate it after having been at work from 9am 'til 4pm! It just doesn't work out well!

Last year when I started decorating cakes I was pretty lucky with my work and school schedules so I had all the time in the world to do what I love most!

Now that September has rolled around again, I will no longer be making and decorating cakes (which means no more blog posts! Unless it's a VERY special occasion!). That may sound like an unfortunate situation, but fear not! I am now in pastry school! My program is 8-4 everyday for a year so though I will DEFINITELY not have time to make and decorate cakes, I will finally be getting the education that I have been waiting for to start my career in the world of pastry!

So for now, Cakes by Jess will be put on hold, and in the meantime, I will be living my sweet life! :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Workout Cake!

When I was asked to make a gym themed cake for a workout enthusiast, I was so excited to get started on making miniature gym equipment! Hand sculpting mini (yet life-like!) decorations for cakes is one of my favourite tasks and there was plenty to be done for this cake!

The cake itself is a boxing ring with some workout gear scattered inside! The Birthday Boy loves the Montreal Canadiens so I stuck to the bleu/blanc/rouge colour scheme! There's a barbell with weights, a skipping rope, boxing gloves, free weights, and a towel thrown over the post of the boxing ring!

Next to the boxing ring is a gym bench with a folded up towel, water bottle, Nike gym bag and a rolled up gym/yoga mat!

Everything one could need for a well rounded workout! (Minus the cake, of course!) :P

Music Cake!

It's sometimes a tough task to pick out the perfect cake design for a Dad's birthday! A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a friend of a friend asking about a birthday cake for her father. When I asked what she had in mind, she had so many ideas about her dad's different interests, like sports, music, etc...

Since I've already made quite a few sports cakes, I thought it would be fun to do a music cake! She told me her dad LOVES jazz music so taking that into consideration, I got to work!

I decided to incorporate a few important jazz instruments to help emphasize the theme of the cake - I placed piano keys all around the side of the cake, while music notes, sheet music, a bass and a saxophone rest on the brightly coloured tie-dyed painted cake top! "Happy Birthday Dad! We Love You!" was placed all around the cake on the board in matching colours.

It was the perfect cake for any music-loving dad's birthday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Present Cake!

When I got an e-mail on Tuesday night from my neighbour asking me to make a cake for Friday, I was VERY hesitant given the time restraint! After finding out what exactly they wanted in their custom cake by moi, I decided that I was definitely up for the challenge!

Given the relatively simple design of the cake, I was able to complete the entire cake, start to finish, in one evening without compromising a single aspect of it! (even after an incredibly long, hot, and exhausting day at camp!)!!

Here it is!

While the cake was baking I started mixing the colours for the bow and polka dots. Once the cake was out of the oven and cooling, I finished the colours, made the bow and whipped up some delicious frosting! By the time I was done preparing everything, the cake was cool enough to frost, cover in fondant and decorate! The easiest part, however, was the delivery! I ran across the street to drop off the cake and they simply LOVED it!!

The best part of the quick cake making evening? I was even able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour! :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teapot Cake!

Now that the summer is here it's getting hard to find time to fit cake making into the mix! But with my mom's birthday coming up, I knew I'd have to squeeze a special cake for her special birthday into my schedule.

My mom LOVES to collect teapots and teacup sets! Whenever a special occasion rolls around, our gifts to her are usually contributions to her collection. Even though it was an extra special birthday and we were planning a bigger gift than a teapot, I still wanted to incorporate her ever growing collection into the celebration. My mom also loves everything and anything Mary Engelbreit. From socks to stationary, calendars and stickers - whenever she finds anything Mary Engelbreit, she's sure to snatch it up!

After doing some Googling, I found that Mary Engelbreit has a teapot line! It was the perfect idea and inspiration for my mom's birthday cake!

Here is a picture of the actual teapot:

And of course, no tea party is complete without cupcakes!

And obviously they were lined in matching Mary Engelbreit cupcake liners!

My mom was SHOCKED!

She knew I was making her a birthday cake but she had no idea what it would be! I'm still not sure how I kept the cake from her! Everytime I heard footsteps coming towards the kitchen I was on MAJOR patrol!!

Needless to say, she absolutely loved her birthday cake!

Another successful cake AND surprise! :)

Teacher Cake!

During the summers I work as a counsellor at a day camp here in the city - this summer is no exception! When my co-counsellor found out that I make cakes, she knew that her mom's birthday wouldn't be complete without one!

My co-counsellor and her family are from Romania and her mom works as a teacher teaching French as a second language. Seeing as these are some important aspects of her mom's life, she wanted it reflected in her birthday cake! So she did some Googling and I was sent a bunch of pictures of adorable teacher themed cakes! After taking a look at what was to be my inspiration, I got to work!

Here it is!

The cake is a chalkboard with an eraser, pile of books, apples and chalk! On the front of the cake is the birthday girl's face with piles of apples on either side! The sides of the cake were painted to look like a school bus!

Everyone absolutely loved it!!! It was the perfect cake to finish off the birthday celebration!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Painting Cake!

When I first met Chantal (one of my boyfriend's classmates), we immediately had one thing in common - a love for baking! Everytime there is a bake sale or a special event, Chantal is always whipping up something delicious!

With her sister's first wedding anniversary coming up, she decided to turn to me! Instead of simply giving me instructions as to how she wanted it decorated, we did a little tag-teaming!

Chantal's sister is a painter and has created some amazing pieces of artwork! One of her paintings is of a sunset in Marseilles, France, where she and her husband got engaged (they also got married in France!). Chantal decided (and I agreed!) that it would be a great idea to recreate her sister's Marseilles painting in cake form, so we did!

After we painted the cake, we added a wooden picture frame to complete the whole painting look!

Here's a picture of the cake next to the actual painting!

Chantal's sister and brother-in-law loved the cake!! It was the perfect way to celebrate their first wedding anniversary!

To see more paintings, visit

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pretty Flower Cake!

Being given creative control over a cake is always a great experience! Even though it's so much fun to be able to make whatever you want, sometimes figuring out what you actually want to make can be pretty challenging!

This past week I was given creative control over a birthday cake. The only instruction I was given was that the birthday girl loves the colour red!

Seeing as it's summer and we're in the middle of a heatwave, I thought a bright, cheery, summery flower cake would be perfect for the occasion!

It's always fun to be able to surprise someone with the design of their cake, and the birthday girl loved it!!! Another birthday surprise success!

Black and White Sweet 16 Cake!

Sweet 16 cakes are always a blast to make! This one was no exception!

The birthday girl's mom explained that there was no set theme for the party per se, but that the colour scheme was black and white with some pink touches here and there! That was pretty much all I needed to know before getting to work on the cake!

Instead of zebra print or polka dots or stripes, we decided to try something new and different for a unique Sweet 16 cake look!

It turns out that the cake matched the colour scheme perfectly!

Here is a picture of the beautiful table setting!

Everyone absolutely loved the cake! Not only was it a success at the party, but it was also something different for me to add to my expanding cake portfolio! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Picnic Cake!

When my friend Emily's mom was to host a picnic themed luncheon for her co-workers, she knew that a cake specially designed to match the picnic theme would be just perfect! To get this task done, she turned to me!

When I was told that I could have creative control, I was SO excited to create the cutest little picnic scene in cake form!

Here it is!

The picnic featured on this cake includes a blanket, cooler and plates of chips, watermelon, grapes, bread with cheese and meat, and of course, cupcakes!

Everyone absolutely loved the cake! It fit the theme of the luncheon perfectly (I got to sneak a peek of the setup beforehand!)!

The upside to hosting a picnic themed luncheon indoors? No ants! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day BBQ Cupcakes!

There are few things in life my dad loves more than the grill, so with Father's Day approaching, I knew I had to incorporate the BBQ into his special Father's Day cupcakes!

Even though it was Father's Day, we put my dad to work at the BBQ for dinner, so these adorable little cupcakes were the PERFECT dessert to end my dad's special BBQ themed day!

Needless to say, he absolutely loved his custom cupcakes! It was indeed a happy Father's Day for my dad! :)

Flower Cupcakes!

My parents, unfortunately, are not so blessed when it comes to eyesight! So whenever it's time for them to get a new pair of glasses, I'm always brought along to give them a helpful opinion!

Both of my parents have gotten numerous glasses from the same place, so when it was time for them to get new pairs, we knew exactly where to go!

Since my parents always get their glasses not only from the same store but from the same woman as well, we thought it would be nice to surprise her with some delicious cupcakes to show appreciation for all the help she's provided to my visually impaired parents!

Here they are!

She (and the rest of the ladies working that day!) absolutely loved the cupcakes and couldn't wait for a coffee break to sneak a taste of the special treat!

Sometimes, a pretty little cupcake is the perfect - and yummiest! - way to say thanks!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jeopardy Cake!

What do you get when you mix a 60th birthday bash with a Jeopardy wiz, a loving family, and (of course,) a cake?


A Jeopardy cake!!

I was asked to make this quiz-show-themed cake for the 60th birthday of a huge Jeopardy fan! I made the stands with the the family members' names on them, and once I delivered the cake, they placed pictures of themselves behind the stands!

Truly the perfect cake for any Jeopardy lover out there!