Family

Graduation Cakes – Graduation Day is Coming!

Graduation Day. A day to signify the end of a season and the beginning of a new. 15 years in the making, and they are finally reaching that exciting day to celebrate all the hard work and dedication to education. Planning the perfect graduation party takes time and organization. Let us add the perfect, tasty piece to their special day. Much like party planning, planning for a cake takes time. If you are looking to partner with American Dream Cakes, please call ahead and make an appointment to discuss the many design options for your grad’s cake.

If you’re looking to order a sheet cake, a 2-4 week notice is recommended for ordering basic designs. 1/4-sheet cakes serve 16-24. 1/2-sheet cakes serve 32-48. Full-sheet cakes serve 64-96.American Dream Cakes can place high resolution photographs on sheet cakes to personalize for the special day. Please note, professional photographs require a signed release from the photographer to place on cakes.

Don’t Forget College Grads!

Graduating from college deserves a special cake! We’ve made many over the years and enjoy making something custom for each Grad. It’s important to start early in the process of making the decisions for design and style wanted. Many cakes require weeks, sometimes months of prep work and time to get written permission to use and create copyright protected University logos, mascots etc. We bake and decorate all of our cakes fresh which limits the amount of orders we can accept for each date. It’s never too late to inquire about availability, but we recommend placing orders 2-4 weeks in advance for Basic designs and 2-4 months for tiered and sculpted cakes.

Sheet Cakes are also a great option for College grads. Make it personal with 2 & 3D fondant work. Fondant work takes a minimum of 1 week to create. The sooner you can plan and order your custom cakes, the better!

Whether it’s for your High School or College grad, American Dream Cakes can make it delicious and memorable. To schedule your cake design consultation, please contact us today!

7 Amazing Military Wedding Photos

If you live in Eastern NC, you may have seen a military wedding or two.  The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard have installations in North Carolina, but it’s the strong presence of the United States Marine Corps in Jacksonville and Cherry Point that have given rise to many Onslow County military weddings.

Couples can be transferred to our area right in the middle of planning their wedding, or be stationed to USMCB Camp Lejeune right after completing training, a tour of duty or a deployment.  These changes often set relationships in motion toward the altar. Couples often want to demonstrate pride in the Marine and heritage of the Corps.  Here are 7 military wedding photos that are our favorites to celebrate marriage and the military.

First, we look to Rey Benasfre of Life & Love Creative. Rey is currently an active duty member and an avid photographer.

We’re in love with these photos from Madeline Jane Photography.  Passing a love note before the wedding is reminiscent of letters from boot camp and special messages during deployments.  And inclusion of the dress blues cover and dog tags with her bouquet of red, white and blue pay tribute to the significance of the military marriage commitment.

This photo from Elise Abigail Photography captures the traditional moment of welcoming a bride to the Marine Corps family with the Arch of Swords.

And one of our favorite playful photographs comes from KatelynMann (Pinterest)

The military, particularly the Marine Corps, is a large part of life in Eastern North Carolina, so military weddings are a favorite way to celebrate the love that supports our service men and women.  There are great photographers that take help incorporate the pride of military service into the day that starts a military life together… and it can be beautiful.

Make Mother’s Day Extra Sweet

We love celebrating Mom on Mother’s Day! She’s always been there for us, so it just seems right to pause and give some extra love and attention to Mom.

Ever wondered how it all started?

The origins of Mother’s Day are found just before the Civil War.  In West Virginia, Ann Reeves Jarvis helped to organize “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to help women learn to care for their children.

After the war, these clubs helped unify a region still reeling from the conflict. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” where mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

In 1870, abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” uniting mothers to promote world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.

After Ann Reeves Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis began the work to create a holiday known as “Mother’s Day.” By 1914, she succeeded when President Woodrow Wilson signed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.  Later in life she opposed the commercialization of the day, but the deed was done.  Mother’s Day is now famous for cards, flowers, phone calls home and more.

Make this Year Extra Sweet

If you’re looking for a special way to make Mother’s Day a little extra sweet, we have plenty of inspiration at the bakery.  Stop by or give us a call and we can help you brighten Mom’s day with a pretty cake, delicious cookies, a Raspberry Dee-light Torte or a number of other delicious treats.

Who knew love came with frosting or a chocolate drizzle?!  We did!  And we’re ready for you and Mom this year.

Whatever her favorite flavor, we can help you say “I love you, Mom” with just the right touch of sweetness.

 

4 Birthday Cake Trends to Love

  1. Drip Cake:
    Drip cakes top the trend charts across all celebrations, including birthdays.  Baked, stacked, and filled, these cakes are then professionally dripped in a liquid glaze of your choice.  The result is a delicious and unique pattern.While it may be featured in many DIY blogs, dripping a clean pattern takes practice and control.   All that’s missing is a candle.
  2. Candy-Filled “Pinata” Cakes:
    What are two of the best things you have at a birthday party? If you guessed piñatas and birthday cake, this trend is for you!  Baked as a whole cake, the center layers are hollowed out and filled with candies.  Popular for gender reveals, piñata cakes are making the scene at many birthday parties to the delight of the young (and young at heart).
  3. Create-Your-Own Dessert Bars:
    An interactive food station is fun for guests. Instead of a decorated cake, setup a DIY cupcake decorating station or a Donut Wall for guests to create their own tailored dessert.  Want to make it even easier on you?  Call us and order cupcakes with no frosting and you’re ready to go with delicious cake and your own decoration selections.
    Feel like adding even more personalization to your party?  Add multiple DIY stations at the party.  Try a DIY taco bar or ice cream sundae bar. Sure to be a unique addition to the party, Create-Your-Own dessert bars let everyone tap into their creative side.
  4. Buttercream is More and Fondant is less:
    There are still plenty of times that fondant is a great choice, but new trends are pulling away from it and back to – yes, buttercream!  Deliciously creamy and full of flavor, buttercream is making a big comeback in 2018.We’re seeing buttercream flowers and textured patterns.  Want even more?  Check out #5:   Cakes are being topped with a plethora of candy bars, pastries and even popcorn!   We love making birthday wishes come true.  If you have a birthday party or celebration coming up, give us a call.  Our cake designers are ready to make your unique birthday centerpiece!

5 House Favorite Picks

Over the years, we’ve had opportunity to create a wide variety of cakes for special events.  We’ve made custom creations for birthdays, reunions, weddings, military affairs and business events.  From cool to crazy, we’ve seen a wide range.  Here are a few select “house favorites” from the many event cakes we’ve designed.

3D 80’s Throw-back Cake

From bright colors to metallic finishes and edible printing, this 3D cake had it all!  We had a blast (from the past) creating this cake for a special event at the Montessori School in Jacksonville.

Hand crafted fondant game controllers and a 3D microphone decorated the Pac-Man inspired lower cake level.  A metallic disco ball and printed logo added fun flare atop a giant Rubik’s cube.

Marty McFly would be proud!

Edible 3D Tank

Another favorite from Team ADC, is a dimensional tank cake.  This cake was edible from top to bottom, interesting to sculpt, and the smiles from our customer made it even more fun.

Sitting atop edible “sand,” this tank boasts details for storage, lighting, and armament.  We tip our hats to those who serve and all those who love and support them.

Custom Sloth Birthday Cake

This 21st birthday cake was designed for laughs.  Stretched out lazily across the cake holding a beer can, this sloth takes her sweet time.

A USMC seal and wrench give nod to the day job of the recipient, but the joke is clear… she’s teased for not moving fast enough by her friends.

The detail work on the tree trunk base and hand-crafted sloth were fun for our cake designers, and the metallic wrench is edible, too!

Fairy Tree-House Cake

This one gets props in our team’s picks for attention to detail in the little things.

All edible, this little fairy house sports tiny flowers, mushrooms, pebbles and a wood-grain house and door.

Garnished with leaves, ivy and hand-crafted flowers on top, it’s magical in miniature!

The Grossest Cake Ever…

We get all kinds of requests for our talented cake designers, and this one was extra creep-y.

Sculpted from Red Velvet cake and airbrushed for realistic detail, this cockroach cake may show up in your nightmares.  From nose to tail, he was 12 inches long.

He was delicious, but it was hard to find an appetite for this one!

We love a challenge!  If you’ve got a creative cake challenge for us, we’d love to hear it!

 

Romantic Evenings for Dummies

Sometimes finding Valentine’s Day inspiration can be difficult, and for the Valentine Vets, the same glass of wine with dinner and a rose can seem played-out.  We want to help.  Here are a few inspired alternatives to the average box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

  1. Get Personal on a Blackboard– Store bought items with cheesy sayings can get old.  Custom is best and that’s where blackboard comes in handy. Pick up a mug or other blackboard product at a local crafting store and write something lovely and specific for your valentine.  Want bonus points?  Have it ready when they wake up!   Serve fresh coffee, a favorite breakfast food and your message of love.  It’s a great way to spend the morning.

           

  1. Think Outside the Roses- While flowers are lovely, they are often expected and can fade fast.  Instead, tickle the senses of your sweetheart with gourmet sweets. Chocolate covered strawberries are a universal treat, and they still have the beauty factor! Need help?  We’ve got a variety of Valentine’s Day sweets for your sweetheart:
  • Half dozen large chocolate covered strawberries
  • One dozen large chocolate covered strawberries
  • 4-pack of gourmet cupcakes

Image AmericanDreamCakes

  1. Video Top Ten- Almost everyone has a smart-phone with mobile video capability, so why not use this to surprise your valentine with a Video top ten of everything you love about them. Make the list before hand, and throughout the day, record a short video of yourself saying the items on that list. This shows your valentine that you think of them throughout your day.  It’s creative, personal and shows forethought.  A+

 

  1. Visit a Wildlife Rescue- This one is unconventional, but for animal lovers this date idea is unique and memorable! What pulls on the heart strings more than those cute little animals? Be sure to plan ahead and bring a small gift for your valentine that says “I love spending time with you.” Perhaps, written on a blackboard.  (hint, wink)


  1. A Beach Picnic- Sometimes the over crowded restaurants are daunting, but since it is mid February, the beach is empty. Obviously, wind chill and weather conditions are factors, but setting up a nice blanket and eating with your valentine will be special especially if it is just you two, the sound of waves, and the sun setting. A fire is a nice touch and will keep you warm. Just check local beach regulations first.

Image Daria Shevtsova

  1. Staycation- This one is great for couples who are parents! There’s no need to go far, far away. Book a king suite at the best hotel in your town.  Enjoy the heated pool, jacuzzi, room service, and don’t forget to bring your chocolate covered strawberries from American Dream Cakes.  This idea is great to just get away without going away.  Turn off the phones, turn down the lights and enjoy romantic time with your valentine.

I Do 2: Planning Your Second Wedding

Getting married for a second time is a beautiful thing.  No one is too old, or too late to find their happily ever after.  We all love second chances, and in romance… sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered.  Planning a second wedding can be as simple or extravagant as your tastes desire, but you’ve done this once before.  Here are a few tips and tricks to help you say “I do” this time.

Wear White
Today is not the olden days.  If your heart so desires, wear a white dress.  White is symbolic of purity for many, but it’s also synonymous with weddings and the commitment you’re making today.  So, feel free to look like a snow princess.

Or Don’t Wear White
Who cares if it’s a white dress!?  This is your [second] wedding, do what you want.  Wear off white, hot pink or neon green.  Show up in a denim dress…well maybe not that one, but, this time, make it more about you and less about tradition alone.

Creative Registry
At this point in your life, you probably have enough dinner ware to last forever, but your guest will probably still want to get you something.  Keep your registry creative and maybe add all the things you’ve wanted.  A luggage set, an espresso machine, tube amp turntable, or skiing equipment.  Be creative.  Use your imagination.

Don’t Count on Mom and Dad

We’re not saying your parents don’t love you, but if they footed the bill for the first wedding, they might not chip in this time.  You’re older, wiser and more independent.  That applies to financing the wedding, too.

Do Get a Cake
This is one tradition it’s hard to skip.  People want cake.  Guests want to admire it.  They want to see you cut it.  Cake is expected.  There are new trends in wedding cakes, though. Mini-cakes, cupcakes, naked cakes, and even tarts and pies.  Explore styles in our gallery and online to see what works for you and your groom.

Don’t Invite the Ex
Enough said.

Blend the Family In

This is important and fun.  Often in second weddings, families are blending.  Each family has its own set of traditions, expectations, and experiences.  Have fun involving family members in little ways, but don’t lose sight of the fact that this is your wedding.

If minor children are involved in the blending of two households, involving them can create a memory for the rest of their lives.  Give each child a small role they are capable of playing successfully.  Don’t stress them out on the big day, but include them in a sincere way.  They may be a flower girl, ring bearer, read a scripture or a poem at the reception, or even a member of the wedding party.  Help them be part of establishing a new home together.

Reception

Throw a party!  Your reception can be formal, casual, intimate or a little on the wild side. This is a renewal, a second chance, a fresh start, — so celebrate it!  Get a band or a DJ to help you celebrate this new chapter of your life with your new family and new spouse.

Season of Giving….All year for this small business

Santa Claus isn’t the only jolly one this time of year. ‘Tis the season when most folks find ways to open their home, donate to causes, or help others in less fortunate situations. As people get ready to bid another year goodbye, they often do an inventory of their own life and want to pay good fortune forward.

Gunilla Kroshus is no exception. The owner of American Dream Cakes says it is hard to narrow down where to contribute because, so many things are dear to her heart. But, she feels it’s important to do her part.

“God has blessed me in so many ways, so I feel it’s important to pass some of those blessings forward to the community,” she explained.

Her business receives so many requests for assistance each year that she tries to focus on a few key areas: military-related causes, cancer research and fundraising, community outreach, and school events, like mentoring high school students as part of their senior project for the fall and spring semesters.

In fact, American Dream Cakes supported area organizations close to two dozen times in 2017. In many cases, Gunilla was able to use her confectionary skills to add a touch of sweetness to local venues. Her team made cakes and desserts to help celebrate the birthdays of children at the Onslow Women’s Center, volunteers at the annual Red Cross appreciation event, and brighten up the menu at the Onslow Soup Kitchen. Other times, the business donated gift certificates – in lieu of treats – to the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Piney Green Fire Department, and Down Syndrome Network Buddy Walk.

But, Gunilla has also found a way to dedicate her time in a uniquely valuable way. She often works hand-in-hand with students sharing her craft and entrepreneur-sense – including mentoring students from culinary programs of Coastal Carolina Community College and Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. She sees many teachable moments in working with youth, and says there are options for getting them started in their own philanthropic activities.

“A good start for students is to talk to family and friends about the causes that are important to them. Chances are someone in their inner circle has the same interests and may already be part of an organization or have information on how to get more information and ideas about how to help the cause,” Gunilla said.  “With the guidance of a teacher or an adult, they can do an online search for organizations that interests them. Just make sure it’s a safe, legitimate site and cause.”

When you support American Dream Cakes, you support our community, too.  Gunilla and the entire team at American Dream Cakes wishes you and yours a joyous season of giving and Merry Christmas.

American Dream Cakes has a special gift to give you this holiday season. Here is an opportunity to bake your very own Schackrutor cookies.

Making History with Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses Making History

Although decorated gingerbread treats had been created for years, the first gingerbread houses were made in Germany during the 16th century.  Many experts believe it was the result of the children’s fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel by the Brothers Grimm.  Other food experts believe they simply wrote about something that already existed.  Whatever inspired the first gingerbread house, creating an edible house, beautifully decorated with sweet ingredients, has been popular ever since.   It even has its own day.  December 12 is observed annually as National Gingerbread House Day.

 

World Record Gets Bigger in Texas

In 2013, The Traditions Club and St Joseph Health System in Bryan, TX broke the Guinness World Record for the largest gingerbread house.  Their house measured 60 feet long by 42 feet deep and was up to 20 feet high.  Although it started with a wood base, it took 1800 pounds of butter, 7200 eggs, 3000 pounds of sugar, 7200 pounds of flour, 22,000 pieces of candy, and a ton of volunteers. The giant effort was put to good use.  The house was a holiday tourist attraction and the proceeds went toward a new trauma facility.

Your gingerbread house won’t be as big and certainly won’t be more than 35 million calories, but take the time to gather your family and make some history together.  The value can be immeasurable.

Enjoy Swedish Gingerbread This Year

American Dream Cakes will have their traditional Swedish gingerbread, called pepparkakor, again this year.  Learn more about it and make sure you place your order for Sara’s Pepparkakor treats today.

Gingerbread Facts:

  • It’s believed gingerbread making was introduced in Europe by the crusaders returning from Eastern Mediterranean.
  • It’s recorded that an Armenian Monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, introduced gingerbread baking to Christians in France in 992 AD. They were shaped, decorated, and often used in religions celebrations.
  • Gingerbread has many names – one for each country where it’s found.
  • Some thought gingerbread had medicinal properties. In 1444, it was recorded Swedish nuns made gingerbread to ease indigestion.
  • Gingerbread arrived in America with the colonists. Even George Washington’s mother had her own recipe and served it to the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited her home in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
  • The Bakers Guild no long controls the making of gingerbread, so have fun designing your own special creation “guild-free.”

Make memories with this delicious recipe and your family!

 

Creative Ways to Use Pumpkins

Think outside the Pie Shell

Pumpkins are all the rage during the fall season.  Starting in late September through the end of November, they’re heralding the arrival of Fall from grocery stores, farmers markets, table tops and front porches.   They’re not just for pumpkin pie anymore! Read more