Delicious Reads

What Goes into that Cake?

We’re often glad to receive compliments on the details of our cake designs and creations.  From custom event cakes to corporate cakes to gorgeous wedding cakes, we’ve had a lot of experience as cake artists.  What may surprise you is the level of engineering and time that are required to make the ornate flowers and detailed facades of the cakes we’ve had the privilege to create.

Here’s an inside peek at the process and the time it takes to construct a detailed custom cake.  This project was a recreation of the Fisher House, a facility that serves military families aboard Camp Lejeune during a medial crisis.  As a military family and milspouse-owned business, we were honored to complete this cake.  Here’s the low down on how long it took our team!

Every great project starts with a good consultation to determine the goals and vision for the cake, how many servings will be needed and any special requirements.

  1. Consultation with client at bakery. 1 hour.
  2. Site Visit:  Travel to the building and time to take 360-degree photos of the Fisher House including the architectural details like windows, doors, patios, landscape etc. 3-4 hours

3.  Diagram to scale: Now that we had photos of the building and its surroundings, we needed to convert that information to an accurate diagram at the size of cake that was desired. Drawing the diagram to accurate scale including the roof pitch.  1-2 hours

4. Edible printing: We downloaded and printed out all the photos of windows and doors on edible paper.  That paper is attached to fondant and then each piece is cut out individually.  2-3 hours.

5. Custom cake board: Because of the size, shape and weight of the cake, a custom cake board and templates were needed.  Creating those for the cake took about 2 hours.

6. Sculpt detail pieces: Our team made and formed all the details for the cake.  These included items like the patio trellis, wrap-around porch, brick walls, light posts, trees, etc.   4-5 hours

7. Bake cake layers that will be used to carve the final sculpted cake.  2 hours (not including clean up)


8. Carve the cake base: layers to the shape of the building template. 30 min.

9. Ice the cake in buttercream. 30 min.

10. Pattern and airbrush sides: Make brick pattern on sides of cake and airbrush colors. 30 min.

11. Stack and hand-carve the roof portion of the cake. Ice in buttercream. 2 hours.

12. Color and cover roof: Hand color fondant to match roof color. Roll out, texture and cover roof top potion of cake. 2 hours.

13. Assemble the Cake: Major components of the cake were assembled in the four steps below.  Items that were not attached to the base of the cake directly cannot be assembled until after the cake is moved to the location for the event.  These steps took about 5 hours

  • Secure roof portion to base
  • Attach all cut out windows, doors etc. to the cake.
  • Hand-cut fondant for roadway, walk way, grass etc. Attach to cake board.
  • Texture grass and other areas with buttercream.

14. Deliver cake at location 4 am and put final decorations in place. to avoid breakage during transport. – 4 hours

15. Inspect all details to ensure everything is in correct place. Take photos of finished cake. Move cake to display table. Clean up the area where we completed the final decoration steps.  1 hour.

The process to create the Fisher House cake took over 25 hours. It required 2-3 staff members working together to get it all complete, so all-in-all it took about 75-90 hours to complete.  Specialty carving skills, sculpting skills, and edible printing equipment were all required.  We also had to engineering proper supports, so the cake would not crack during transport and complete assembly at 4am on-site.

Custom created cakes take an investment of time, talent and materials.  Next time you see an amazing cake, remember it didn’t happen in an afternoon.  Many times, days of preparation go into the final results you see.  For our team, it’s worth the effort to get the details right.  Nothing compares to seeing the impact when we deliver a custom creation that our clients love.

Planning a company event? To make life easier, here a free download that contains an all-in-one corporate event guide:

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.

 

Planning a Wedding? Plan for Emergencies.

A Free Planning Guide from American Dream Cakes Bakery

No one plans to fail… but without planning, failure is far more likely.  And who wants an epic fail on their wedding day?  Did you know that you can simply and affordably protect your wedding investment?  And your honeymoon trip.  This information is too important to skip.  Download it today and make sure you have safeguards in place for your wedding day.

 

 

 

 

I do, Round 1

Love is in the air and we can hear the wedding bells ringing; but this time, they are on the steps of the courthouse.  A courthouse wedding can be intimate and romantic without the lengthy planning and size of a traditional service.  And for many couples in Onslow County, a courthouse wedding is the perfect way to become husband and wife before – or between – military deployments.

Perhaps you’ll have a traditional ceremony later with your family, but for now, you want to make it official without hosting a big affair.  A courthouse wedding is a WEDDING!  So, with a little planning and a few special touches, your day can be just as celebratory and sharable as a church wedding.  Here are a few hints to help you pull off a simple celebration at the Justice of the Peace.

Love & License

In North Carolina, couples are required to obtain a marriage license before getting married.  Your marriage license can be from any county in North Carolina; it does not have to be from the county where you have your wedding.  In Onslow County, you can obtain your marriage license from the Register of Deeds Office at the Courthouse before your marriage date.  After you receive it, it’s valid for 60 days.  Both parties must be present, the license fee is $60 and you’ll need identification.  Don’t forget this one!  No license, no wedding.

A Dreamy Dress

Make your simple ceremony special by wearing a dress and having him wear a suit.  Just because you’ll be in the courthouse, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the dress!  Encourage guests you bring to wear appropriate wedding attire as well.  A dreamy dress and wedding-worthy attire will make for better photographs and fun memories.

Go Pro Photography

We’re not talking about a camera strapped to your head! Schedule a professional photographer to capture photos of your day.  Having a courthouse wedding eliminates some of the traditional expenses of a church wedding, so budget in a talented photographer who can take amazing photos.  Onslow County’s courthouse is nestled in downtown near parks and historic buildings, so it’s only a short distance to a great photo shoot destination before or after your ceremony.

Tiny Guest List

When it comes to the actual ceremony in the judge’s or magistrate’s office, there may be a limit on the number of attendees.  Inquire with the office and verify limits.  You’ll want to have 2 witnesses to sign the marriage certificate.  If you wish, you can also invite close friends and family to witness your vows.  The guest list is much smaller, but this intimate group can celebrate with you.

Skip the Bridal Party

It’s not necessary to have bridal parties for a courthouse wedding.  Having a maid of honor and a best man as your witnesses are all you need.  Take advantage of the smaller setting and reduced company to save on expenses and formalities.  This day is about a commitment to love, so keep the focus on your marriage and each other.

Reception? or Not to Reception?

Short answer, yes… or no.  This one is completely up to what you and your fiancé desire. There is no big expectation for a traditional reception or party. Some couples want to celebrate privately – and that’s perfectly fine.  Some couples host a small cake-cutting only. Others skip the big wedding expense and invest in a party with friends with a few more traditional touches.

If you want to host a celebration after your ceremony, be creative in how you celebrate with your friends and family.  You can rent a beach house and have your friends and family join you there to celebrate.  Cut the cake, have some fun and the two of you can slip away to your own accommodations when you’re ready.  You are free to create your own style and size of celebration.  From picnic to beach party to fine dining… it’s completely up to you.

Enjoy the one you love and the day you are married.  You’ve got a lifetime to build more memories.  For this day, plan the little details that will make it special for the two of you and your courthouse wedding will be perfectly suited to you.

Wedding Cake Style Forecast

Your wedding date is approaching, the dress is being fitted, the rings have been ordered, and the floral arrangements are planned to perfection.  It is cake time.  While a traditional, white, 3-tiered cake with tiny columns holding every ounce will forever be a timeless tribute to romance, we have spotted gorgeous cake trends emerging in 2018!  We love to think outside the proverbial cake pan and bring to each bride and groom a delicious and awe-inspiring cake.  We’ve collected our favorite styles to hopefully excite your imagination.

Marbled Cake

The natural stone of marble has moved from the counter top to the cake!  A marble design can be dressed up for an elegant, formal feel or dressed down for an earthy, bohemian wedding.  You can trickle your main colors into the design.

In this cake, marbled finish is combined with the geode cake trend, that has been popular in recent seasons.

Naked Cake

 Naked cakes are divine.  This style of wedding cake really shows off the craftsmanship of the cake, filling, and has a very natural, “back-to-basics” feel.

Naked cakes feature the colors of the cake itself and are usually adorned with natural elements like fruit or flowers.  This trend is staying strong in 2018 and 2019.

 

 

 

Gold Foils and Metallic Finishes

Gold foil and metallic finishes add a sophisticated aspect to a wedding cake.  Metallic foils come in gold, silver, platinum and copper.  In this cake, metallic sequins cover the second tier and gold ribbons adorn the top and middle layers. Gold foil can be added in clean sections or streaked into a cake’s design with a modern, edgy flair.

 

 

Painted Cakes

 We are simply in love with hand painted cakes.  From painted textures like this watercolor tier to full panoramic landscapes and painted flowers, this custom-painted wedding cake trend is wildly popular for its originality.  White icing is your blank canvas, and your cake becomes your very own work of art.

 

 

No matter what trend or tradition you’re eyeing for your wedding cake, contact our cake design team for help with planning for size, servings, and style.  We’re here to help.

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.

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!

Top 10 Gourmet Cupcakes You’ll LOVE!

We’re pretty well-known for our gourmet cupcakes.  Our die-hard fans love them for good reason!  There are over 100 flavors of our large-sized, filled, topped and garnished gourmet cupcakes.  They make life delicious every day.

10 most-LOVED Gourmet Cupcakes

The Dalmatian

Moist white cake is speckled with chocolate chips, topped with white mousse icing and mini chocolate chips and garnished with chocolate shards.  It’s the perfect polka-dotted blend of vanilla and chocolate.  Enjoy 1 or 101, they’re that good!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Fresh chocolate cake with a strawberry preserve filling, topped with chocolate buttercream & a chocolate covered strawberry on top.  What’s not to love?!

Death-by-Chocolate

Moist chocolate sponge cake is filled with rich chocolate fudge, topped with chocolate mousse icing and pecans, brownie crumble, & fudge drizzle.  A crowd-pleaser, Death-by-Chocolate is a layer upon layer of chocolate experience.

Over the Andys

This fresh mint-chocolate twist might take you by surprise.  Our delicious fresh-baked chocolate cake is soaked in mint liquor then it’s filled with a mint-vanilla crème filling, topped with a mint infused whipped icing & mint candy crumble.  Feel the mint.

Black Forest

Fresh devil’s food cake is soaked with a Kiersch (cherry) liquor, the center contains cherry puree filling, and it’s crowned with whipped topping, a cherry and chocolate curls.  Get lost in the Black Forest… and you won’t care if anyone comes to your rescue or not.

Carrot Cake

Moist and flavorful carrot cake baked with walnuts and raisins, then topped with traditional cream cheese frosting & a buttercream “carrot” garnish.  The carrot cake gourmet cupcake has just enough spice to keep you coming back for another bite.

Tiramisu

You’ve died and gone to coffee heaven.  The Tiramisu Gourmet features white sponge cake soaked in an espresso liquor, vanilla coffee crème filling, whipped cream dusted with cocoa powder and a chocolate medallion garnish.  Oooooh, yes!

Orange Dreamcycle

A grown-up version of the childhood favorite, the Orange Dreamcycle is orange-infused sponge cake with sweet vanilla crème filling, orange colored whip swirl and a white chocolate orange garnish.

Yin-Yang

Here’s to a balanced life that’s delicious.  Chocolate and vanilla-marbled sponge cake contains rich chocolate fudge filling and is topped with chocolate fudge & vanilla buttercream swirl and crowned with an icing pearl.  A delightful twist of chocolate and vanilla flavors!

Mmmocha

Pour a cup of cake!  The Mmmocha Gourmet cupcake is another delectable pairing of chocolate and coffee.  Fresh chocolate cake is soaked in coffee liquor and filled with rich espresso crème.  It’s all topped with chocolate-coffee mousse icing and a patterned fudge garnish.

Did your favorite make the Top 10 cut?  Give your favorite flavor a shout out below.