20130904-220953.jpgYesterday, I told you how I made Sally a cake for her 15th wedding anniversary party. Today, I’m going to tell you how I got said cake TO the party. That’s the story behind the story. The story where I cuss… a lot!

So I made this beautiful cake on a day that was 104 degrees outside. But I knew this! And I had a plan. The night before I was going to bake, I turned the swamp coolers in my house on high. I was going to make my house a gigantic refrigerator. Ok, are you laughing yet? Those of you who know how swamp coolers work are laughing your asses off aren’t you?? Come to find out, swamp coolers work really well, except when the temperatures get into the upper 90′s. I was dealing with 104!!!!!!!! They simply can’t keep up with the heat and so your house remains a steady 80-85 degrees. Not the 65 I was looking for. So as I was frosting the cake, I kept returning it to the freezer for a time SO IT WOULDN’T MELT!

My next challenge became how to get the three tiered cake to the party which was about a 15 minute drive up the Mt. Rose Highway. Not to worry! Again, I had a plan!! About 2 hours before we were to leave, I pulled my car out of the garage, rolled up all the windows and put the air conditioning on high. Now THIS was going to be an icebox. At this point, however, I should let you in on a little secret. My car is 13 years old. And apparently 13 year old cars don’t do too well sitting in 104 degree heat in the sun with the AC on full blast. I know this because moments after the entire family piled into the car to go to the party, Darrin says, “WOAH!!!!!!!! your car is overheating… I have to turn the heater on to try and bring down the temperature.” Now let me set the scene for you. I’m in the front seat holding the bottom cake. Eva is in the back middle holding the middle layer. Domi is sitting next to the window holding the top tier with the sun shining down on him through the car window.   The car wasn’t that cold to begin with and now the heater is going full blast. I’m screaming at Darrin to just drive and chance it, Eva is crying because her cake is starting to melt all over her polka dot dress and Domi is whining he’s now sweating sitting in the sun holding “this dumb cake that’s dripping all over my fingers!!!”

“Listen to me PEOPLE!!!!!! This is Sally’s cake and you aren’t going to move until the damn car cools down just enough to get us up that damn hill!!” And then we sat. And sat. And waited some more. Finally, the temperature gauge dropped enough Darrin thought we could chance it. We pulled out of the driveway, made it to the Mt. Rose Highway and about half way up, Darrin said, “Well, it’s overheating again.”  I screamed, “I don’t give a shit what the car is doing, my cake is melting all over the three of us.  If you don’t get us to that party, this is all our fault!!!!”    With that, he just clenched his teeth, like a good husband should, and barely got the car up the mountain and into the parking lot of the party.  I got out.  Put the cake on the table.  Made sure Sally saw it and the photographer got a picture of it… and I headed sraight to the champagne bar!



Sally and I have been friends since college. So when she called to ask me to make her an anniversary cake I gladly agreed. I was her maid of honor when she and Jason got married 15 years ago. This year, they were going to renew their vows. I thought a nice sheet cake, or maybe I’d get fancy and go for two round cakes stacked on top of each other. Easy! And then came the invitation. Invitation?? Why would she be sending out invitations to our group of friends. Wouldn’t a few phone calls get it done? A mass email maybe? Ok, go big… send an evite. But a paper invitation mailed by the U.S. postal service?  What kind of shin dig is this?? So I called.

“Hey Sal, got your invitation. It’s beautiful. We will of course be there. And by the way, how many people are you inviting?”

“Well, we have about 65 on the list.”

65?????????????? That’s no sheet cake party! “Ok, fun! I’ll talk to you later,” I said as I scrambled off the phone and into my kitchen.

Here’s some history. I love to decorate cakes. It’s my favorite hobby. It’s the only time I use the right side of my brain. I’ve done a battle ship for Domi.


A Spanish mission inspired cake for Eva.


And a Tangled cake for my God Daughter, Kate. (yes, that’s my mom’s hand holding the tower up… as you’re about to read, I’m vertically challenged when it comes to cakes!)


But it’s always just for fun. For small groups… not parties with guests who received mailed invitations!

Sally’s original cake was two layers, square, with hydrangeas on it. So I decided to go three layers, round, with hydrangeas. Similar but different to represent how their lives had changed. I made the batter with my secret weapon. For the frosting, I used store bought buttercream but added coursely chopped Oreos to the bottom layer. The middle layer was chocolate frosting with fresh raspberries mixed in. And the top layer was a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.


I wanted it to be elegant so I bought this Wiltons pre-decorated icing paper.

 This stuff is AMAZING! I lightly frosted the sides of the cakes and gently applied the pre cut sheets of icing. It worked exactly like it was supposed to!  I added some black ribbon along the bottom of each round as well.  I then bought a pillar from the floral department at Walmart. I stuck more than a dozen white roses into the green floral foam and then placed it in the middle of my bottom round cake. Now here’s where I went wrong. I had 5 cake support dowels I put around the flower pillar thinking this would hold my second level. It wasn’t sturdy enough. I have to figure this out better… maybe for Sally’s 20th anniversary.  For color, I bought an actual hydrangea plant because at the florist, a SINGLE FLOWER was $10. The plant, purchased at Smith’s Grocery Store, was $14 and came with 4 flowers. I used the purplish blue flowers as the cake topper for all three rounds.   And this was the final product:




The third layer, which I didn’t dare put on top of the other two layers, was just for display.  Sally wanted that level to freeze for her year anniversary of her 15th anniversary party. Or more easily put, for her 16th wedding anniversary!  Happy anniversary Sally and Jason!











You all know me as a TV anchor and now blogger (!!!!) but my close friends know me as a cake decorator. At least during special events and Halloween of  course qualifies! I always try to come up with unique, original designs. Because the LOOK of the cake is all that matters to me. But the TASTE is what most everyone else raves about… And here ya go!!! Here’s my secret for making the best tasting cakes around. Ok, at least by a home cook like me!  I follow the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker box exactly… Except! And here’s the secret… I add a box of Jell-O pudding. I get a small box of whatever flavor the cake is and just dump it right in while my KitchenAid mixes it all up. This is a fool proof way to always get super moist cake!! Now my other secret for frosting the cake is to freeze it first. This makes it much easier to spread the frosting.  And then just let your imagination take over!