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Celebrating Birthdays from -6 Months to 97 Years Old
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Celebrating Birthdays from -6 Months to 97 Years Old

Custom Cakes

We set a record this past weekend with the widest age range for birthday cakes we’ve ever done at Twiggs Bakery.  We did a gender reveal cake for a little boy who’s 6 months away from emerging from mom’s womb into this world and a baby shower cake for a little girl who’s about 2 months away from making her debut here on earth.  Meanwhile, Hal celebrated his 97th birthday on Saturday.  I think this age gap from youngest to oldest celebrant of 97+ years may stand for a long, long time.   There’s a ton to talk about this week, but we’ll start with these cakes.  We did Tony and Alessandro’s wedding cake about 8 years ago.  We still see Tony occasionally since he owns Parkhouse Eatery just a couple of doors down from our shop on Park Boulevard in the heart of the University Heights business district.  Now they’re having a little girl they plan to name Olivia.  I delivered this cake to the shower and when she saw the cake, Alessandro started crying.  I’m sure pregnancy crazed hormones had something to do with it, but it was a super cute cake.  Tony and Alessandro were thrilled with it.  And I love being a continuing part of people’s lives like this — doing wedding cakes and then later baby showers and birthdays.  Then there’s Hal who’s been a morning fixture at our Adams Avenue shop.  When we opened 6 years ago here, Hal was an every day customer.  Hal’s slowed down a bit and we now see him every 3rd or 4th day.  But at 97, remarkably, he still lives on his own.  Looking after Hal has become something of a community project.  There’s a group of folks, none of whom are related to Hal, who check in on him and make sure he’s doing OK.  With his birthday on Saturday, they asked me to make a simple 8″ cake.  But I decided if you make it to 97 and especially if you’re a beloved regular, you deserve something more than a simple 8″ cake.   So below is Olivia’s baby shower cake and Hal with his birthday cake sitting outside Twiggs.

I could have titled this post “The Weekend of Unusual Wedding Cakes.”  We did have a few traditionally and simply decorated cakes.  But we had a few unusual designs and color choices which made the cakes scream “Look at Me!” from across the room.  Sheila and Jen were married on Sunday at the lovely Coronado Community Center.  Sheila wanted her Indian heritage reflected in the cake and selected a very bold, deep purple for the background color with a very Indian-inspired design of ivory on top.  It was a rather tedious design to pipe, but I actually enjoy doing designs like this as the pay-off is so great when I’m done.  Sheila and Jen actually came into the reception room right after I’d set the cake up and were extremely happy.  They even had henna designs on their hands which matched the design on the wedding cake.  It’s rare that I see the bride (or in this case, brides) on the wedding day.  But it’s great to see them so happy with what I’ve just delivered.   Thanks to that deep purple and ivory design that really pops, it’s one of the most striking wedding cakes I’ve ever done.

Last year someone found a picture of a cake decorated to look like a birch tree.  My partner Bernie who does most of the cake tastings looked at the picture and quickly said we could replicate it without consulting me, as he is wont to do.  I was a little annoyed with him, as I am wont to be when he does this.  But in the end, I (almost) always enjoy the challenge.  It took me a few hours and trials to figure out the trick to this look.  I’m not sure if I accomplished it the same was the original bakery did, but I was quite happy with the result.  Now the picture’s in our book and we have three orders this year already for birch tree wedding cakes.  Ambar and Jose got married on Saturday and had their reception at the Jacobs Center in Chula Vista, which is actually a quite nice venue; it was the first time I’d been there.  They had a bird’s nest topper which was perfect for the cake along with some rustic daisies which finished the cake perfectly.  I was very happy with it when I set it up.  I hope they were.

 

Jamie and Justin got married on Saturday on one of the yachts operated by Hornblower Cruises.  When I got Jamie and Justin’s booking form, I was a little leary about the color choices — a chocolate ganache background with teal piping and small purple flowers.  But I was completely wrong.  The colors really worked together and made for a very striking cake.  I loved it.

Esther and Greg got married on Friday at Bandy Ranch in Escondido not too far from the Wild Animal Park.   Esther wanted to surprise Greg with a replica of an Atari game console with his favorite childhood game cartridge — Donkey Kong.  She originally wanted it as part of the wedding, but I talked her into getting it for the rehearsal dinner.  More and more brides are getting groom’s cakes for the rehearsal dinner rather than the wedding.  I think that’s a great idea as most weddings end up being all about the bride with the groom relegated to being the most honored guest at the bride’s big day.  Having the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner makes that event more about the groom and lets him have his moment in the sun.  For their wedding, Esther wanted a small three tier cake along with cupcakes with various piping designs on them.  Below are pictures of both the groom’s cake and the wedding buffet.

Next is a stately baptism cake for Ernesto Javier.   It was a very handsome cake for what I’m sure is a handsome little boy.

Here are a few more cakes we did this past weekend:  a pair of lips, a Spiderman cake and a cake for a little boy who’s obsessed with the family vacuum.  The family apparently has a dog that sheds a lot, as mom wanted the vacuum to be vacuuming up blonde dog hair.  Then we had a small wedding with a trio of cakes with what’s become a classic design for us — horizontal pleats.  Then there’s a single cake with wavy horizontal pleats that just came out great.  I want to do a tiered version of this and take a picture as I think a lot of folks would go for this look.  Next is a tiered cake with pink and black designs with the very in-vogue bling ribbon at the base of the bottom tier.  Last is a cake that normally wouldn’t make the cut for a blog post since it’s so simple.  However, it’s the first cake I’ve done after 23 years in California that features my alma mater, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  I wrote a brief note on the inside of the cake box top wishing the birthday boy a happy birthday and finishing with “Go Tar Heels!”  I signed it “Dan Stringfield, Owner Twiggs Bakery, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Class of 1981.”  You can click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

    

  

Whew!  That was a busy week!  We put out a lot of great cakes this past weekend, if I do say so myself.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it.  I really feel like Twiggs has hit its stride.  We’re putting out some really great cakes at a very impressive volume for the small staff we have.  And on top of it, we’re doing a slamming business on weekends in breakfast at our Adams Avenue shop and in coffee, pastries and biscuit sandwiches at our Park Boulevard shop.  It’s taken a while, but Twiggs has evolved into the business I wanted — even if I didn’t know exactly what it was I wanted at times.  We’ve got another super busy weekend coming up.  In fact, it’s only Monday, but I’m about to cut off any more special orders for this weekend.  We’ve got a lot on our plate.  So thanks for keeping us so busy.  I’m extremely grateful for each and every order — whether it’s a big wedding cake or a simple 8″ birthday cake.  Thanks for keeping us so busy!  Have a great week!

 

 

 
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