Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Holiday Party

This explosively colorful, two-tier cake was for the Nauset Press holiday party and the launch of their latest publication, Caitlin Grace McDonnell's Looking for Small Animals. Nauset Press, started a year ago by a talented friend of mine Karyn Kloumann, is an online publisher of idiosyncratic books and curator of beautiful and affordable prints and photographs. We had the pleasure of making another custom cake for Karyn a few months back, the Kraken cake. She requested the same flavors for the holiday party that she had requested for the Kraken cake---coconut cake lightly soaked with a toasted coconut syrup and slathered with sweet mango cream. YUM.

Karyn also requested that we make the cake decorations match the brightly colored flags that she had made for the party. Me and my handy Xacto knife were happy to oblige.

I was also invited me to the party---artwork and books, drinks, snacks and of course CAKE.  And I got to cut and serve the cake myself, which was a first for me and a super start to the holiday season.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


In April, I was contacted by a friend, Stacy, from my high school days.  She wanted to surprise her fiance with a groom's cake.  The theme: A 1977 Special Edition Pontiac Trans Am - you know, the car from Smokey and The Bandit.  Stacy's other request - a lemon buttercream.  That presented a bit of a challenge.  We didn't to just flavor the buttercream with lemon extract, so we did some experimenting.  We whipped out our lemon curd recipe and whipped up a batch which we used to flavor the buttercream.  Our lemon curd is SO GOOD!  We use cage-free organic eggs - which gives the curd its gorgeous color - and European butter to make our curd. After hitting the buttercream with some zest, we were ready to go! Our vanilla cake was the perfect accompaniment.  Now, back to the car...

Emma fashioned the body of the car out of crispy treats while I worked on the cake - a 10" round platform for the automobile.  When the body was covered in fondant, we created all the small details and then hand painted the parts to make them pop.  Bandit was placed on his golden pedestal and he was ready to go!

Meet Bandit.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

60 Years In The Making.

This weekend was my Godmother's 60th Birthday.  As soon as my cousin told me about a surprise party being planned, I knew I had to create a cake for the occasion!

It's not everyday we get to make a really elegant cake, so we were excited!  Emma and I began working on an assortment of flowers - peonies, roses, and more!  We covered the cake in fondant and applied some details, deciding to keep it pretty simple and let the flowers be the focal point!

The Cakes:
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Jam & Vanilla Buttercream

Saturday, September 1, 2012

...and Hello Kitty makes three

vanilla cake with nutella buttercream
This is our third cake of the week, and the last before we head off to San Francisco tomorrow!

This cake is for Sydney Mae's first birthday. I've known Marietta, Sydney's mom, for quite a while now. The very first cake I ever made professionally was for Marietta. Marietta was also our realtor for when we bought and then sold our first place here in Jersey City.

So I was super excited to be able to make her daughter's birthday cake. Anthony and I went super girly with the Hello Kitty theme. We used pink! We used flowers! We hit that cake with Shimmer Spray! A super cute cake for a super cute birthday girl.

Happy birthday Sydney!!!

So our crazy week is finished. All I want to do next week is wander around San Fran and eat ice cream from Bi-Rite every day. When we get back, I'll post some pics of of us wreaking havoc in the Bay Area...

Friday, August 31, 2012

kraken love

coconut cake with mango frosting
Release the Kraken!

THERE. I've said it. And every time I say that, I see THIS in my head (I noticed it making the rounds on Facebook awhile back, and I've thought about it ever since).

This cake was for a former co-worker of mine, Karyn, who is also an amazing artist. She just finished a lovely book, Tiny Shells of Abaco, which she wrote and photographed. 

When Karyn contacted me about this cake, she also provided a beautiful color palette, which I tried my best to match---blue-green, chartreuse and orange. You can't really tell from the picture, but Anthony and I airbrushed the cake in teals, blues and greens to give it an underwater feeling. And how creepy is that kraken head? Before we put the eyes in it was even scarier---a deep sea death's head. The doomed ship (which the kraken is about to break in half with his mighty tentacle!) is made from krispies and covered in fondant, just like the kraken head. We worked ahead of time to make the ship in order to insure that the mast would stay securely upright. Until the kraken gets through smashing and bashing it, that is.

Karyn had also requested a mango frosting that was NOT a buttercream. Buttercream is our go-to frosting at Layers Custom Cakes, so I had to put my thinking cap on for this one. What I ended up making was a mango pastry cream with a bit of butter added to it to create more stability. Technically, it's a classic French concoction that we learned to make in pastry school. It's called Mousseline, a pastry cream with enough added butter to turn it into a lighter buttercream. It doesn't taste like butter at all, though, especially since I added so much delicious mango puree to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Game on!

This vanilla cake with Nutella buttercream was for Matt's 30th birthday. What fun, right? I'm a child of the '80's too, though  I totally missed the video game phenomenon. I was too distracted with My Little Pony (Applejack!!!).

It was a fairly simple cake to construct. Anthony and I had quite a bit of gray fondant (extra from the fabulous Sea Lion cake) which was the perfect color for this Nintendo set.

The best part was making the controller---I love working on all the little detailed bits that make a cake come to life. I kept wanting to pick up the controller and start pressing all the buttons.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This past weekend we had the honor of making favors in celebration of Charlotte's 90 birthday!  Charlotte's daughter, Judi, asked us to make some macarons.  Macarons, not to be confused with macaroons, are petite French cookies made by sandwiching two almond shells with a buttercream, ganache or jam.  Judi was looking for CHOCOLATE so we created Chocolate Salted Caramel Macarons, Nutella Macarons and French Coffee Ganache Macarons.

We think they're as elegant as the birthday girl!

Nutella Macaron.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's in the bag.

Anthony and I made this mini Coach bag to go on top of a cake designed by Roger and Andrea Rodriguez, the dynamic duo behind Playroom Desserts. Roger is currently the Sous Chef at Del Posto in NYC but we first crossed paths at Gramercy Tavern during my pastry cook days. Roger is a wizard with chocolate and one of the most talented chefs I know, so I jumped at the chance to collaborate with him on this cake.

The bag is made out of Krispies so that it would be light enough to sit on top of the cake. You can see a picture of the finished product here. Quite sophisticated in chocolate brown and white.

We thought about painting the iconic letter "C's" on the bag, but we ending up cutting them out with X-acto knives instead---all 75 of them. Thank goodness it wasn't a Louis Vuitton bag. That pattern is a BEAST. If we have the opportunity to do another designer bag, I definitely want to try painting the logos on it, just to see what that would look like instead.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

welcome cake fanatics!

Welcome to the official blog for Layers Custom Cakes!

From now on, we'll be keeping you updated on our latest projects and sharing our latest photos on this blog.

We'll make sure to link to all our posts from our facebook page so you can learn more about every cake we design.

Looking forward to baking for you!

Anthony and Emma