Archive for the ‘Mini Desserts’ Category

Dessert Stations – “How To” in a current wave of DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

How many can you fit in the palm of your hand while dancing? (1, 2, 3,…ok 5!)

Whose partying late-night after the DJ & Band?  Clearly they’ll need treats!

Dessert Stations (Dessert bars, buffets, call them what you like) are here to stay.  Delicious, customizable, beautiful, colorful, fun, and PORTABLE for any party, these mini desserts make a maximum impression!

Here are some tips on what to remember when designing and ordering a Dessert Station:

Some of our mini meringue pies, etc. photo by Laura Christin Photography

Some of our mini meringue pies, etc. photo by Laura Christin Photography

 

How to notify guests what’s on the table:

  1. Ask your stationer to create elegant NAME TAGS with calligraphy or printing & paper to match your whole event
  2. Opt to DIY individual sweets tags – get some help, and do this at least 2 weeks ahead of the party so you don’t add stress to your pre-date plans.
  3. Write up a simple 1-page menu of “SWEETS TABLE” items

Either way, make it clear so your guests know what’s what (you don’t want those “coconut-haters” grabbing mistakenly for a coconut cake shot and then – GASP! – trashing it!)

Fruit Tarts! Photo by Anika London Photography

Fruit Tarts! Photo by Anika London Photography

How to select the perfect Dessert Choices for your Guests:

  1. Ask your cake designer/baker for their suggestions of their top sellers; or, pick a group of your FAVORITES to share with your guests.
  2. Choose a mix of varied flavor, texture, color, and look, and consider any special diets who may require gluten-free pastries or dairy-free options, among others.  *At Sweet Cheeks, we suggest a nice mix of:  CREAMY, CRUNCHY, CHOCOLATE, FRUITY, AND SPICE
  3. These days it’s almost ALWAYS a good idea to offer 1 Gluten-Free item on the buffet.
  4. Think about how they will show off on a display – does the setup look better with COOKIES? With cupcakes? With items on Sticks?
Mini bites displayed at Lomas Santa Fe CC, Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

Mini bites displayed at Lomas Santa Fe CC, Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

How to create the most fabulous Dessert Display:

  1. Your cake designers should have some terrific suggestions and may even provide RENTALS for dessert stations.  Ask for their input, and recognize that this takes a lot of their time to have it look like those amazing Pinterest photos you’re all seeing.  *At Sweet Cheeks, we typically estimate that  a party of 100 people will require approx. 12-15 great cake stands/platters combined with candles, floral, or any personal objects you’d like to include.
  2. Sometimes a TOWER is cool (usually for taller items, like cupcakes and cake shots), and other times a rambling buffet of classic ceramics, crystal, or metal stands & platters work best (especially for low-format cookies, brownies, tarts).  VASES or unique vessels filled with sugar can play up the fun of Pop Tarts on sticks (*a signature at Sweet Cheeks)!
Homemade Mini Pop Tarts, our Sweet Cheeks Specialty! Photo by Eden Day

Homemade Mini Pop Tarts, our Sweet Cheeks Specialty! Photo by Eden Day

Should I also order a Cake with my Desserts?

Many wedding couples want the TRADITIONAL CAKE CUTTING but don’t want a big cake to serve guests.  *At Sweet Cheeks, we suggest a small cake in your favorite flavor combination and mimicking that flavor in one of your desserts (to avoid pesky friends trying to taste your personal cake…)

Small cake with desserts, fun crates & cake stands, photo by Kristen Vincent

Small cake with desserts, fun crates & cake stands, photo by Kristen Vincent

How much should I order?

  1. Plan for 2-4 mini bites per person. This allows for some variety as well as quantity on display. REMEMBER (PRO-TIP):  Your guests are there to PARTY, and they have not considered how much $ you spent on this event.  They will assume there will always be MORE in the back!
  2. Plan for at least 30% of your guests trying any one thing (i.e. for 150 people, you should provide at least 50 of each dessert selected, or you’ll run out too soon; for smaller groups, plan for more of each item to create a fuller effect).
  3. What is your guest DEMOGRAPHIC?  Lots of kids?  Lots of heavy drinkers?  Lots of elderly folks? In general… Kids LOVE sweets. Ladies love sweets! Heavy drinkers may not even notice that a cake has been cut, but when desserts are out, they will grab whatever’s easy to eat. Elderly folks expect a slice of cake or “a little something” but often are watching their sugar-intake.
Heather Elise Photography always captures the FUN in dessert for us! At the Catamaran Resort.

Heather Elise Photography always captures the FUN in dessert for us! At the Catamaran Resort.

Will Desserts cost me more or less than a Cake?

  1. This depends on what you order, how much you order, and how fabulous you want this display (or how involved you want a cake).
  2. Delivery and setup will take a lot more TIME for desserts, in general, than a cake, so this cost will appear a bit higher than delivery on most cakes.
  3. We generally suggest 4-5 different dessert selections, (at a minimum of at least 2 dozen each.)
  4. RENTALS will typically cost more for multiple items vs. one cake stand for cake.
  5. Elaborate cake designs can easily exceed dessert station costs.
  6. You may opt to DIY the display & setup.  If this idea appeals to you, please get all of your display pieces onto one table, and set them up WELL IN ADVANCE of your event date. Take a photo, and make sure whomever is doing the setup has that photo with those objects.  This saves so much time. (*At Sweet Cheeks, we take great care in blending the perfect display items with each event so that they “fit the vision” of the party. )

Enjoy your planning and future ideas with these thoughts in mind!

CALL US (619) 269-CAKE (2253) for your next party or wedding celebration!

Tuscan Themed party with lemons, pottery, and Sicilian Pistachio cake shooters!

Tuscan Themed party with lemons, pottery, and Sicilian Pistachio cake shooters! True Photography

The Cats Meow! 9 Years, 9 Lives + Some Crazy Cat Ladies

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Sweet Cheeks’ Birthday parties are well known for FUN, YUM, and a little bit o’ CRAZY!  This year, as we celebrated 9 years in business, we chose the “9 Lives” theme of…yup, CATS.

About 350 people showed up – some in ears & tails, others with their own stuffed animals, most just to have a great time & taste AMAZING DESSERTS in cat-inspired style!  From kitty litter cakes to Grumpy Cat Cake, cakes to make the Cake Boss sigh… Gluten Free Desserts to funny edible cat hair balls (coconut, that is)…people were stealing the to-go boxes once again!!!

Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.'s "Team Cheeks!"

Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.’s “Team Cheeks!”

Black & White Beauties of Sweet Cheeks

Black & White Beauties of Sweet Cheeks

Delish sliders by Personal Touch Dining

Delish sliders by Personal Touch Dining

overflow party outside

The party continues outside every year…

mini cat ear cupcakes

mini cat ear cupcakes

Elvis & Mikey's favorite PB & G

Elvis & Mikey’s favorite PB & G

Elyse & Kelsey Rae

Elyse & Kelsey Rae

Family support!

Family support!

The men of JOTN

The men of JOTN

Dana never misses a party

Dana never misses a party

Fresh from the hood

Fresh from the hood

Team Kemal

Team Kemal

The Blonde Contingent

The Blonde Contingent

Gorgeous ladies

Gorgeous ladies

Meow

Meow

HUGE THANKS go out to friends who help with their talents, time, and donations:

:: CATERING: Personal Touch Dining     :: ESPRESSO CATERING: Joes on the Nose

:: PHOTOGRAPHY:  Emilio Azevedo Photography     :: DJ/MUSIC: ProMotion Entertainment

:: FLOWER CENTERPIECES:  Adorations Botanical Artistry

:: ENTRY BEVERAGES & FLORAL ARCH: Embellishmint Floral & Event Design Studio

:: INCREDIBLE DESSERT DISPLAY BY:  Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. team!

Italian Pastry Inspiration! Desserts & Wine of La Dolce Vita..

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

“La Dolce Vita,” we all dream of the SWEET LIFE – here at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., we LIVE IT daily!  Woo hoo!

Our Classic Sicilian Cannoli from Grandma Palminteri's recipe vault...

Our Classic Sicilian Cannoli from Grandma Palminteri’s recipe vault… photo by TRUE Photography

Fortunately, we have an incredible team who can cover each other’s positions when we need a break… so when 3 of us decided, all in 2015, that we were going to Italy, we had to figure it out. Donna’s 40th birthday, my 10 year wedding anniversary, and Krista’s HONEYMOON – what a whirlwind of shared Italian fun, romance, history, wine, & pastry!

So honestly… who WOULDN’T be inspired by this grandeur???

Cinque Terre Vetua Vineyard grapes(59)

Many people know that I teach wine classes – Donna & I have taught wine + dessert classes at Disneyland’s Food & Wine Festivals, here in San Diego at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, at the Prado Food & Wine School, of course in our Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. kitchen, and for years I’ve taught to restaurants as well as private individuals.  So i would be remiss not to give you some tips and “How to Pair wine with Dessert” ideas from Italy…

An oldie of us after teaching our Disneyland class

An oldie of us after teaching our Disneyland class

Here are some of my TOP SUGGESTED WINE PAIRING DESSERTS:

:: Shortbread cookies – lemon shortbread with Silver Tequila; almond with Amaretto; Bergamot with St. Germain

:: Biscotti – classically with Vin Santo of Tuscany, they are also delizioso with Banfi’s “Florus” Moscadello di Montalcino!

:: Presidential Pecan Diamonds (from Sweet Cheeks) – insanely good with Bourbon or Rye drinks

:: Flourless Chocolate Cake or other dark chocolate treats with little to no icing – Ruby Port or Dessert Reds

:: Coconut Cake (unsweetened coconut is ideal) – Rum mixed with yummy coconut milk

OOOH, talking about all that was indeed something shiny!

Anyway, back to glorious Italia, my husband & I rented a cool little apartment in Cinque Terre, selected in part (via Trip Advisor) because the owner also owns a vineyard & winery, called Vetua and makes fantastic white Cinque Terre & Sciacchetra wines!  Incredibly, they dry grapes for the Sciacchetra dessert wines right in the MIDDLE OF THE LIVING ROOMS, closets, kitchens, wherever they can find space to let these grapes dry with the right climate…fantastic!!!

Beautiful grapes drying for $$$ Sciacchetra wine

Beautiful grapes drying for $$$ Sciacchetra wine

 

Grapes drying in the middle of the house

Grapes drying in the middle of the house

So speaking of DESSERT WINE, let’s discuss what we’d pair, along with cheese and cigars, with such luxurious delights:  traditional Italian biscotti, (or, as we call them, cookies) and my favorites, the “Brutti ma Buoni” (ugly but good – oh come on, names don’t get any better than that!) are some of the most PERFECT PAIRINGS with white dessert wines.

Brutti ma Buoni cookie photo courtesy of https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/

Brutti ma Buoni cookie photo courtesy of https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/

“Yes, please, I’ll take one of everything in this case!”

Classic & divine pastries at Linari Pasticceria in old Testaccio neighborhood, Roma

Classic & divine pastries at Linari Pasticceria in old Testaccio neighborhood, Roma

What fun Donna, Krista, & I had sharing our best Italian spots:

:: restaurants (Ristorante Sor’Eva in Trastevere — home to our wonderful new Italian friends Vincenzo & Paolo, and  Imago at the Hassler Roma Hotel, owned & operated by the dashing Dott. Roberto Wirth)

:: Vespa Tours (grazie to the amazing team, Michele & Valerio at Dearoma Tours)

:: delicious pastries (check out old Testaccio neighborhood in Roma for Linari Pasticceria!)

:: best Gelato combinations (Miele & Pistachio at Berlin Gelato in Vernazza; ahh, the famous Giolitti and crazy-enormous selection at MIRKO!)

:: glorious Italian beauty – Tuscan countrysides, Lake Garda mountains, Venice’s secret alleyways, and Rome’s art history

Flaming custard, Italian style for Donna

Flaming custard, Italian style for Donna

Ice-cream, Ice-cream, everywhere!!!  Italians are famous for their delicious GELATO, and nearly every street corner in the cities houses a “gelateria,” so you can’t miss ’em.

Giolitti Gelato, Rome pics (45)

Many hands scooping at the famous Giolitti

 

A toast to the Italian countryside!

Mirko, since 1988, serves nearly 100 flavors daily in Sirmione!

Mirko, since 1988, serves nearly 100 flavors daily in Sirmione!

 

silly honeymooners love gelato

silly honeymooners love gelato

Inspiration abounds in Europe, especially in Italianate design – ceilings, arches, paintings, statues, masks, and rolling olive groves, all give us grace and show us incredible opportunity for creating our own cake & pastry art…here’s the stunning carved ceiling in the Hotel Danieli’s lobby in Venice!

Inspiration for cake design!

Inspiration for cake design!

Even the Venetian animal masks are ready for a snack (see the hidden sign)

Even the Venetian animal masks are ready for a snack (see the hidden sign)

Venice is a treasure trove of cookies, gelato, pastries, coffee, and of course PROSECCO!!!  Cafes on Saint Mark’s Square offer free orchestras, jazz musicians, and performers to entice the tourists.

Cafes attract Prosecco + pastry-loving tourists

Cafes attract Prosecco + pastry-loving tourists

An after dinner drink, or “digestivo” (“to digest;” vs. the more common term “aperitivo” which “opens” the meal) are delicious with a classic treat of Tiramisu, especially when the amazing restaurant Sor’ Eva sends it out ON THE HOUSE – woo hoo!!! Grazie!

Tiramisu at Sor'Eva Restaurant, our favorite local spot in Rome.

Tiramisu at Sor’Eva Restaurant, our favorite local spot in Rome.

Honeymooners, birthday celebrants, and anniversary lovers alike will all love a dessert journey through Italy!  Thoughtful and romantic, those Italians sure know how to steal our hearts…

An anniversary pastry heart from the kitchen at Sor'Eva!

An anniversary pastry heart from the kitchen at Sor’Eva!

Make it happen, take the time, relish life:

Krista & Mike's morning caffe with heart-shaped donuts...are you kidding? Amazing Italians!

Krista & Mike’s morning caffe with heart-shaped donuts…are you kidding? Amazing Italians!

Outdoor Weddings: Tips to Remember – Tip #1

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Sunny San Diego Summers are dreamy...hot

Sunny San Diego Summers are dreamy…

Ahh, we all LOVE our beach and our beautiful SUNSHINE here in San Diego!  Newscasters have it easy here, temps average 70-80 degrees with little chance of rain or otherwise.

However… there we were, again in mid-September, with OVER 100-DEGREES hitting the thermostats inside and out, causing harm to our favorite delectable condiment:  BUTTER CREAM!  But wait, the cake is only one of your worries… What about the GUESTS?  The guys wearing JACKETS???  Yikes. Get that guy a beverage fast!

I don't know about you, but these look REFRESHING!

I don’t know about you, but these look REFRESHING!

 

We’ll start a list of tips to help while planning your SUMMERTIME parties… remember these things if you opt to get married in a potentially HOT venue without excellent shade or air conditioning:

Tip #1 – First & foremost:  Your Guests.  Provide the following to show that you care about them:

:: CHAIRS: even if you’re on a BEACH, if you have ELDERLY or DISABLED GUESTS, please bring folding chairs at least for these guests (it’s tough enough that they just required assistance to noodle down the beach with their walker)..

:: Large hand-pump SUNSCREEN bottles (or minis handed to each guest upon arrival).  Photographers will thank you too – think of the money you’ll save if they don’t have to Photoshop out all of the 1/2-faced sunburns!  Thanks for this tip from our Beach Wedding Photography Expert, Lisa G at Elle G Photography!

:: PARASOLS to protect your fair-skinned friends from sunburn during your beautifully sun-blazing ceremony (and they’re a beautiful way to add to your party’s style)

:: Personalized WATER bottles (FUN!!!… and life saving).  Tons of companies online sell custom label bottles with your monogram, photo, or “Thank You for Joining Us!” note . Yes, provide one for your officiant too.

:: Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Beverages at the Outdoor Ceremony – Inspired by our dear friend Carmin Cermak of Carmin Design, who makes a mean N/A SANGRIA loaded with sliced fresh fruits, sparkling water, & a touch of juice!  A delicious conversation starter at the punch table (keep it covered to avoid bees).  You can add the Tequila later… 😉

 

…More to come in our next post about Summertime Weddings & Events…

AFR Design Showcase Event

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

October is the month of wedding inspiration!  This Thursday, October 24th, from 5:30-8:30pm, AFR EVENT FURNISHINGS will host its SAN DIEGO LEG of its touring design SHOWCASE!

Taking place at the SAN DIEGO CENTRAL LIBRARY, the event will showcase some of AFR’s stunning new designs for event decor, and it will have great food and treats from of San Diego’s finest, including CONTINENTAL CATERING +  yours truly, SWEET CHEEKS BAKING COMPANY!  Can you say, mini desserts?

REGISTER today for this evening of fun, food, and inspiration!  For photos from previous tours, visit AFR’S FACEBOOK PAGE, or for more tour dates for AFR’s design showcase, visit the MAIN PAGE!

Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.

birthday parties in house – teaching kids to bake!

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Not all birthday parties look the same.  Sure, we make cakes and treats for birthdays celebrating all ages, and we usually bring the cake to the respective party, but sometimes the party comes to us!

Kids Class - Birthday

Recently we had a special 10th birthday party in house for Francesca Fong.  It was her dream to celebrate her birthday baking with her buddies, so her mom asked us to help make that dream a reality.  We had Francesca & her darling friends visit the Sweet Cheeks kitchen, and we were able to teach these young ones the secret to delicious cakes and treats!  Each of the kids got to mix, bake, frost, design, and then take home their special creations…and what an awesome job they did!

Decked out in adorable aprons and chef hats that we bought for them to embellish later, the kids had a blast, and we did too!  It was an amazing day, filled with lots of laughs, lots of sugar, and some truly amazing photo ops.  (Many thanks to Darin Fong, Father of the Birthday Girl Francesca , for capturing such pics of our first Kids’ Cupcake Class!)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANCESCA!!!

Kids Class Board 2

Kids Class Board 3

Donating deliciousness…

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

 

Recently, we helped with a small donation to an important fundraiser benefitting Casa de Amparo – An organization that assists neglected and mistreated children.  The kids in the organization are all kids who need a little extra attention in their lives, and we greatly appreciate our friend (and former Weddings of Distinction member) Tiffany Arnaldo for organizing a super special day/fundraiser called the “Day of Beauty.”
The intent of the day was for all the kids to feel pampered, to feel as though there were at a spa!  The day was not just about providing the kids with beauty products but more so about making them feel special.  There were thirteen boys and girls, ranging in age from 9-18.
Thanks to generous donations from local businesses in San Diego, this day was a rousing success.  Over $800 was raised, and ll the boys and girls received amazing gift bags with personalized hair and skin care items and well as providing the home with a flat iron, curling rod, blow dryer and hair trimmer (for the young men).
We at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. donated various cookie platters to keeps the kids’ bellies full, and while it seemed small to us, the kids were so happy.  That makes our job: happiness!

 

Local San Diego Businesses Involved:
Jarrod Harm, Owner of Detour Salon: Donated a Stylist, Jo, as well as hair care products & friendship bracelets
Clarissa Champlain, Hair Stylist Extraordinaire
Leah Nelson, Mary Kay Sales Director: Makeup products & more
Karen Lee, Makeup Artist
Lois Mathews Design: Bouquets of Sunflowers
Pride Socks: Retro knee socks

 

If you would like to give to Casa de Amparo, please visit:  http://www.casadeamparo.org/give.html

 

We contribute to the local bounty in San Diego

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Yes, we love making cakes, cupcakes, and special treats, but our talents extend beyond weddings and special events!

Just this week, San Diego Magazine did a feature about the Whole Foods Hillcrest’s Produce Collaboration Program.  As part of the collaboration, we here at Sweet Cheeks were featured….for our Pound Cakes!

According to the magazine: our pound cakes are “addictive,” and we think so too.  As some of you may know, we supply a couple different types of Pound Cake to the Whole Foods Grocer in Hillcrest, and these flavors include our famous are Orange-Thyme and Lemon-Bluberry!  Wholesome, delicious and vegan!

Loaf Board

We’re in the Press!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

We love helping our clients plan for their wedding, so when they’re wedding is especially unique and incorporates their culture, we get even more excited to cater to their wishes.  This was exactly the case for a recent Indian wedding of ours.  For this special couple, we made a cake with a traditional Mendhi (Indian) design in red icing on fondant.  The flavor: a delicious citrus cake with passion fruit curd and lemon butter cream!

Besides being delicious, the cake fit perfectly with the couple’s Indian-themed wedding day.  The day also gave us the opportunity for a fun photo shoot, complete with elephants and elegance!  To see more of these images, check out the following magazines, which will feature the wedding in upcoming issues:

:: Modele Weddings Magazine
:: South Asian Bride
:: Maharani Weddings

 Indian Wedding   Indian Wedding Cake

 

Other great San Diego Wedding Vendors:  

Design – Wedding Elegance by Nahid 

Photos – Braja Mandala & Gene Higa

Rentals – Classic Party Rentals

Chairs/Linens – Concepts Event Design

Indian outfits – Fontier Heritage

Venue – The Grand Del Mar 

Elephant – Have Trunk Will Travel

Henna – Henna San Diego 

Flowers – Isari Flower Studio

Makeup – Jellis Faces

Bridal Gown – M Bride

Stationary – J Grace

Cake – Sweet Cheeks Baking

Tux – A Better Deal Tuxedo

RIVERWALK GOLF, Great Place for San Diego Events!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Riverwalk logo sugar cookies

Mini gingerbread cupcakes on rhinestone display

Finding great outdoor events spaces in San Diego seems simple, but it can be challenging. What a treat to find a great spot like Riverwalk Golf Course, which showcases not only the lush, pastoral calm from the rolling greens but also offers its central location for easy access, nearby hotel rooms for guests, lots of parking, protection from hot sun & rain, and of course great vendors!

Riverwalk hosted their season’s Special Events gathering for wedding & corporate clients and invited Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. to become their current cake & dessert provider…we feel flattered and thrilled to be chosen as their neighborhood bakery!

Riverwalk cozy sweetheart table

All photos shot by Unveiled Wedding Photography