Summer

Spring Forward with These Gourmet Cupcakes

The first official day of spring is March 20th. That’s worth celebrating, and we recommend making the arrival of spring delicious with gourmet cupcakes featuring spring flavors.

A little bit about our gourmet cupcakes:

There are over 100 varieties available!  Each day we feature a selection of gourmet cupcake flavors in the bakery. Cake flavors range from traditional vanilla or chocolate to grape-infused and other exotic flavors. Each gourmet cupcake has it’s own deliciously complimentary fillings, frostings and toppings. There’s a unique combination for everyone! Single cupcakes are $3.99 each.

Oh Oh Pistachio!

A light sugar sponge cake filled with pistachio custard filling. Topped with pistachio cream icing and a pistachio shortbread cookie.

Did you know that pistachio is also known as the “green almond”?

Kiss me I’m Irish

How can you celebrate spring and St. Patty’s Day? With the “Kiss me, I’m Irish” gourmet cupcake that’s a nod to the ‘luck of the Irish.’ A sponge cake infused with Irish cream and vanilla Irish cream filling. Topped with Irish cream icing and shamrock sprinkles.

Lemon Cream

If you love lemon, this beautiful gourmet cupcake is for you. Lemon infused sponge cake folded with vanilla crème filling and light vanilla whipped icing. Welcoming spring with a bright sugar daisy garnish on top

Green Tea-rrfic

Ideal for any spring day – indoors or out!  The Green Tea-rrific brings sweet green tea flavor together with a Green-tea crème and a honey-butter cake.  Topped with infused Chantilly icing and a dreamy lemon-honey drizzle.

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake baked with walnuts and raisins topped with yummy cream cheese frosting.  Topped with an adorable buttercream carrot garnish.

Strawberry Cream

It just wouldn’t seem like spring if we didn’t include a fresh Strawberry Cream groumet cupcake!  Vanilla whipped icing tops a strawberry flavored sponge cake. Filled with whipped vanilla creme and topped with a pink sugar daisy.

SPECIAL ORDER ONLY

For your next special event, check out our special-order only gourmet cupcake flavors. Here’s one: The Grape Knee-High!

Grape-infused cake filled with grape-soda flavored cream filling. Topped with grape-infused meringue icing and a sugar grapevine garnish. This one is perfect for your favorite grape enthusiast.

With so many delicious flavors, you’ll be enjoying trying new flavors all spring!  Buy individually from the bakery rack, by the half-dozen assorted for $22.50 or a full dozen for $45. Special order flavors have a one dozen minimum per flavor.

Follow our Facebook page to see each day’s special gourmet cupcake feature. Comment and tell us your favorite spring flavors or what new flavors you want to see!

SKIP THE LABOR THIS LABOR DAY

End of summer sales and barbeques may come to mind when you think of Labor Day, but the meaning of the holiday is more significant. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 honoring the contributions of working-class Americans.

For years working conditions were severe.  Employees often worked 60-70 hours a week with little to no time off. During the 19th century Labor Movement, workers fought for fundamental protections that we are accustomed to now. Overtime pay, workers’ compensation, child labor laws, and sick leave are among those protections. Read more

Flavors of the Summer

The days are longer, and the weather is warmer; it’s time to fire up the grill. Family and friends gathered together, kids splashing in the water, and laughter in the air signal summer is here. Here are some of the best summer fruit flavors make meals memorable.

RASPBERRY

One cheerful berry loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, raspberries are adaptable.

Uh Oh… Raspberries mushed by the time you get home? No worries! Strain, sweeten, and puree for a delicious topping on a light angel food cake or scoop of ice cream.

PEACH

What is summer without the perfection of peach? Yummy in so many ways. Eat fresh on the way home from the farmer’s market or cook into homemade cobbler or pie. Are you looking for an easier prep time than a cobbler, but fancier than merely slicing? Throw peaches on the grill for a delish dessert addition to any summer BBQ.

BLUEBERRIES

Did you know that blueberries are the only native summer fruit to America? Neat, right? They also are at their ripest in July and August. Toss a batch into the freezer for the perfect bite-size pop of frozen flavor, or pair with strawberries and whip cream for red, white, and blue patriotic prize dessert.  A tip when picking fresh blueberries: look for an indigo blue color with silvery frost.

WATERMELON

Can any sunny day adventures be complete without this summer social fruit? Bright and juicy, watermelons are versatile and built for a crowd. You can carve out a decorative, natural bowl for the food table, create a hydrating slushie, or dress it up in a salad paired with red onions and feta cheese to name a few. The best part of watermelon? You can just cut it into cubes and serve it chilled. A simple and sweet compliment to any grilled meal!

KEY LIME

Take a tropical vacation with the tang of citrus key lime flavor. Key limes are smaller but bring a zestier twist.  Pies are not the only way to use key limes. They can be used in salad dressings, drinks, guacamole or as a garnish to name a few.

STRAWBERRIES

Dressed up in chocolate or layered on top of whip cream, strawberries are everywhere you want to be this summer.  Want to upgrade your water? Throw some basil and strawberries together for a spa-worthy water beverage that is healthy and hydrating.

COMBINATION

Summer is the best for in-season fruits, and with so many to choose from you don’t have to pick just one! Combine them!  Bring together blackberries, blueberries, and raspberry for depth of berry flavor in any pie pastry. Grab some kabob sticks and layer fruits for a healthy summer snack. Experiment with your favorite flavors to make a share-worthy signature dish.

Summer is full of fun and so much to do!  Don’t have the time to get a fruity dessert together? Call us at 910-346-2437, and we’ll help make your summer delicious and fresh.

How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Destination weddings add a unique element to an exciting day that starts the rest of your life together. A destination wedding can be a honeymoon + wedding two-for-one, and it is essential to start planning early. When planning a destination wedding, there are some specific items to consider. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

CHOOSE A THEME EARLY

There are many decisions to make as you plan your wedding. From the location, color palette, and bridal party to name a few, choosing your theme early will help create a reference point for future decisions.

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

Knowing the range of your budget for big-ticket items such as cake, venue, and catering is makes early planning easier.  Destination weddings include travel expenses, so break your budget down according to “must haves” and “want to haves.”  If you have to spend a little more on a “must have,” you can cut a little from a “want to have” item.

Shop local to save.  You can help minimize some expense by using the beauty of the local scenery and using local wedding service providers.  Local companies won’t have to charge for travel on top of services.

PLAN FOR GUESTS AND BRIDAL PARTY

Destination weddings tend to include a smaller, more intimate guest list. Ask intended family members and friends early as possible to allow travel arrangements to be made and reserved. It is crucial to book hotel rooms early to ensure availability. If flying, purchase tickets as soon as possible for the best price.

LOCATION CONSIDERATIONS

Once you have a general theme, budget, and guest/bridal party list complete, research your destination location. Check typical weather forecasts for your intended date.  Review local activities to ensure major festivals or events are not already scheduled for the same date and location as your wedding.

FIND LOCAL SERVICES

Review and book local wedding services. Connecting with a local caterer, photographer, bakery, band or DJ service can save you some expense, but also can give you more local, destination flavor.  No one knows a destination like the locals.  Look for ways to incorporate touches of local food, music or fun into your plans.  The sooner you connect with locals and book services the better.  And you’ll have less stress in you planning process.

North Carolina Coastal Weddings

If you dream of a wedding on the beach, overlooking a lake or on a waterfront…  there’s no shortage of waterside wedding venues in Eastern North Carolina.  Onslow County boasts beautiful waterways and Atlantic Beach, part of the southern Outer Banks boasts 81 miles of white sandy beaches.

American Dream Cakes serves destination weddings in the Carteret County coastal area and Jacksonville and Onslow County.  We serve brides and grooms by email and phone, or when you’re going to be in the area, schedule a free wedding cake consultation at our main location in Jacksonville or our wedding showroom in Cedar Point.

Call us today at 910-346-2437 to start your custom wedding cake order.

Sweet Treats for your Summer Party

Nothing says summer like a picnic on the beach or a family BBQ in the park. Pairing the best summer season fruits with tried and true artisan bakery technique, American Dream Cakes offers a variety of desserts. From beautiful tortes, tarts, scrumptious pies, to grab-and-go gourmet cupcakes, there is something to add to everyone’s summer fun!

Tart or Torte… that is the question!

Tarts are a delicious baked dessert consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top – not covered with pastry. A tart’s crust is firm and crumbly. You can find tarts topped with fresh fruits of many kinds and sometimes accented with whipped topping.

 

Tortes are a decadent, chilled-dessert option that can feed the whole crew.  Four layers of cake and three layers of filling a full-size torte is a beauty worthy of a party. Find more tortes by American Dream cakes here.

Are you looking for indulgence in a smaller size? Halvsies hold the full delight of a torte in a smaller package. They’re just the right size for a smaller gathering of family and friends. Any full-sized torte can be requested as a halvsie.

Want to know more about what makes a torte vs a cake?  Here’s a delicious read on the subject!

 

Top Day in the Park Desserts Picks

Enjoy the warm summer days with family and friends while you satisfy your sweet tooth.  These top “Day in the Park” desserts picks are great for the park, the backyard or the church potluck.

Gourmet Cupcakes

With 80+ gourmet cupcake flavors plus over 15 seasonal and special order flavors to choose from, you’ll find everyone’s favorite for a day at the park. Purchase a single cupcake, a box of four, a half dozen, or full dozen to fit the size of your gathering.  Most of these flavors can also be made in dessert tortes for additional dessert options – be sure to ask! 

Let’s explore a few favorites…

The American Dream

The American Dream gourmet cupcake is a must for any red, white and blue, military family cookouts in the park. White cake topped with a dollop of creamy vanilla mousse topped with raspberry and blueberries is a classic look, yet distinctive touch to your dessert table.

Green Tea-rrific

The Green Tea-rrific gourmet cupcake is a cheerful choice for a Mom and Daughter brunch. Honey butter cake with green-tea creme filling topped with green tea infused Chantilly icing and lemon honey drizzle. If chic were a cupcake, this would be it.

PB&J

A day in the park is not complete without the laughter of children in the air. The PB&J is a nostalgic childhood classic turned scrumptious dessert. Peanut butter and strawberry filling inside a yellow cake, and PB and J buttercream swirl topped with toasted crumbs. This adorable twist on a childhood favorite is a tasty classic for the park or the backyard this summer.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

Chocolate covered pretzel sticks are a fun, self-serve dessert for kids and adults alike. Large pretzel sticks are dipped in chocolate and covered in multicolored sprinkles. Perfect grab-and-go dessert! They’re as fun as they are delicious.

Take it up a Notch with Tortes and Halvsies

Dessert tortes are four layers of cake and three layers of yummy filling topped with specialty icing and decorations. For smaller groups, halvsies offer the same great taste in a smaller package. Halvsies are an ideal choice for smaller groups of family and friends. Both tortes and halvsies require 24- 48-hour notice for preparation.

Island Rum Torte

Walk on the wild side with four layers of vanilla rum cake topped with rum infused buttercream topping. This tropical touch torte is a sure win for your island loving friends at a summer get-together.

Strawberry Shortcake Halvsies

Classic yellow cake filled with strawberry preserve filling and topped with strawberry-infused whipped topping is an elegant, nostalgic treat for your friends or family.

From grab-and-go desserts like cupcakes and chocolate covered pretzel sticks to tasty tortes, we have a refreshing summer dessert pick for you.  Make your next ‘day in the park’ a little sweeter for everyone.

MidSummer in Sweden

American summers are filled with long-anticipated family vacations, patriotic historical holidays, and pool-side picnics. The kids are out of school and parents are working hard during the week to enjoy the long, summer weekends creating lasting memories. Meanwhile, across the pond, the Swedish community celebrates their summer a little differently.

The Midsummer celebration has been tradition in Sweden for hundreds of years, with the earliest recorded celebration in the 13th century. Prior to the 1950’s, Midsummer was celebrated at the high point of summer, June 24th, or the longest day for the region. In 1952, Swedish parliament decided that Midsummer should always take place over a weekend and declared the third Friday of June as the official holiday date. The observance of Midsummer now varies between June 20th and June 26th each year.

Midsummer is celebrated soon after the start of Sweden’s five-week annual summer vacation which gives everyone time to prepare and enjoy the festivities. With Sweden’s vast countryside in full bloom and large gatherings taking place to celebrate the beauty of nature and warmth of the sun, it’s no wonder Midsummer Eve is such a big deal!

Families typically begin the day by picking fresh flowers and making wreaths to decorate the maypole. The maypole is raised up in a central location in or near the town and then decorated with the flowers of each family and invited guests. Traditional songs and ring dances such as the Sma Grodonra’ (frog dance) are performed.

 

Midsummer is rich in tradition including a traditional Midsummer Menu that differs slightly depending on region. Regardless of where, your sure to find a smorgasbord of delicious foods and desserts including pickled herring (as Swedish favorite), boiled potatoes topped with dill, red onion, sour cream and chives, grilled and smoked salmon or ribs, cheese pies, crisp bread with butter, and possibly fresh strawberries with cream for dessert. With a celebration of this measure, a bit of drinking will surely be found, specifically, Schnapps called brannvin is served before and alongside the feast. Some regional traditions state when an empty glass is refilled, a drinking song must commence!

A centuries-old celebration wouldn’t be complete without a bit of superstition. Legend has it, young women are to pick seven various flowers on their way home from the celebration and lay them under their pillows. That night, their future husband would appear to them as they dream. Weddings are also quite popular this time of year in Sweden as the sun is out and the flora have bloomed.

The Swedish Midsummer celebration was originally celebrated as a summer solstice confirming that the harvest has been planted and to goad Mother Nature into providing a bountiful outcome.  Now it is a time to celebrate growth, new life, and the beauty of nature. It is a chance for generations of Swedes to gather together and celebrate their common heritage. This summer, while you are out enjoying the warm sand and refreshing waters of the USA, take a moment to think about your own roots and celebrate the seasons as your ancestors did.

Stay tuned and follow Gunilla on our bakery Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/americandreamcakes/ as she returns to her Native Sweden during this time of year and posts of her journey visiting local bakeries and family!

Cookin’ Up Spring Specials

Spring is in full swing in Jacksonville, NC!  The bees are pollinating, Bradford pear trees are blooming, and American Dream Cake specials are hopping!

We have specials for your Spring occasions.

Easter Specials

Share and enjoy One Dozen Easter Cupcakes for only $19.95. 

Surprise the kids with an Easter Bunny Cake for $19.95.

More Spring Specials

Hosting a garden party, tea party or spring social?  Bring One Dozen Flower Cupcakes for $19.95 and you’ll be the toast of the party!

Looking for something other than a cupcake?  Who can resist a sugar cookie?  Bring home One Dozen Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles for $19.95 and make your entire family smile.

Don’t forget Saint Patrick’s Day!  This year, celebrate the Irish green with One Dozen St. Patrick’s Day Cookies for $24.95 or One Lb. of St. Patrick’s Day Tea-Cookies for $18.95.

Celebrate all the beauty that Spring can bring, and make sure your get-togethers have amazing sweets from American Dream Cakes.

Have a Cool Slice this Summer

During the summer, cool refreshing pies are a hit at BBQs and picnics.  Beside cream and light mousse pies, flavors such as strawberry and key lime are big hits during the summer months.

Read more

How to Host an EPIC Olympics Viewing Party

If you aren’t planning a visit to Rio to witness the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in person, hosting an Olympic viewing party may be the next best thing. Inspired by the games, we’ve put together some tips for a viewing party that’s worthy of a gold medal. Read more