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Online Shop Launch

I am thrilled to launch the Cove Cake Design online cake shop! This is something that I have wanted to do for some time but the postponement of many of this years wedding orders finally gave me time to focus on setting this up and developing products.

With more products in the pipeline, take a look at what is currently on offer in the online cake shop:

Tasting Boxes

I have dispatched tasting boxes to my wedding clients for some time now and they have always been received with rapture. Any time I have posted photos of them on social media there has always been much interest, with people asking if they could pretend to get engaged to receive a box! Well I have finally met the demand with my Luxury Seasonal Tasting Gift Boxes which are now available to purchase in the online shop. With 4 seasonal flavours, these boxes are a taste experience for the recipient. Summer boxes included Champagne Elderflower Strawberry and Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Rosemary, while Vanilla Pear Macadamia and Orange Rhubarb Rose featured in the Autumn edition. These boxes are the perfect gift, or indeed treat for yourself! Christmas range coming soon!

Cake tasting gift box

Cake of the Month

I think we all need a little treat from time to time and my Cake of the Month was designed for people who want something refined and delicious for small family celebrations or even a weekend treat. Allowing me to indulge in my love of experimenting with flavours and ingredients, flavours change with seasonal availability. Autumn saw one of my favourites featured, Chocolate Blackberry Bay…delicious! Cakes are decorated with available ingredients such as macarons, gold leaf, seasonal edible fruits and dried florals.

Online cake product

Coming Soon! Recipes and tutorials

I can’t wait to release my most exciting product to date…my first erecipe book! Almost completed, Layer Cakes-The Essential Collection is my go-to guide for creating delicious layer cakes with confidence. Featuring 9 basic recipes with 3 variations for each (by my calculations that is 27 cake flavours!), plus all my baking tips and tricks, this book will offer a wealth of information to new and more experienced bakers alike. Indivudal recipes and cake decorating tutorials are also in development, stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy browsing the online cake shop, and don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list at the top of the page to be the first to be notified of new product lines!

Suzanne, x

Laura and Andrew at Virginia Park Lodge

Thrilled to share with you some images by talented photographer Emma Russell, of clients Laura and Andrew’s  real wedding at  Virginia Park Lodge in Co. Cavan last year. Virginia Park Lodge is a luxuriously restored yet homely fishing lodge on the banks of a picturesque lake. Owned by Michelin starred chef, Richard Corrigan and with an organic vegetable farm on site, it offers style and delicious food in equal measure.Laura and Andrew chose a sophisticated white and green palette for their wedding (which was carried through to the cake, more on that later!).
Stunning arrangements by the Rosehip and Berry create a gorgeous backdrop outside the church for this cute photo.
I am in love with the car which coordinated perfectly with the colour scheme!
Elegant Events by Colette coordinated the most beautiful styling of the garden Pavilion for a cosy and romantic feel. So inviting!
For the cake, Laura and Andrew chose three tiers of celebratory Champagne, Elderflower and Strawberry cake, finished with a lightly textured deckle edge base tier, semi-iced buttercream upper tiers, and the prettiest of fresh flowers from the Rosehip and Berry.

And I have to take a moment for the cake styling! It was a delight on delivery to arrive to this beautifully conceptualised styling of the cake table, with hanging foliage and flowers, draped linen and candles.  A testament to how considered styling can elevate the cake to a beautiful focal feature. Thanks to Laura and Colette for taking the time!

Laura and Andrew, it was a pleasure to work with you and wishing you all the best for your married life together!

“Absolute perfection! We couldn’t have been happier with our wedding cake from Cove Cake Design. Suzanne is such a pleasure to work with; professional, friendly with a fantastic eye for style…Everyone raved about our cake. We loved it so much, thank you! “

Laura and Andy, 2019

 

Laura and Gregory at Adare Manor

Be prepared for some Pinterest-worthy imagery in today’s post! Delighted to share with you some images by award-winning fine art photographer, Laura Gordon, of clients Laura and Gregory’s destination wedding at the stately Adare Manor in Co. Limerick. Laura, Gregory and their guests travelled from the United States for their wedding at the stunning Adare Manor, an impeccably restored manor house on stately grounds, renowned for its service and hospitality.They enlisted the help of wedding stylist Lindsay of House of Hannah Events, who is renowned for her attention to detail and refined style, to coordinate and create their vision for a timelessly elegant wedding day. A colour palette of peaches, dusty pinks, caesious and cottage blues was most evident in the flowers by Floral Earth and was simultaneously fresh, modern and refined. What a gorgeous photo!Laura and her stylish bridesmaids.Further breathtaking floral installations adorned the staircase and sumptuous dining room, creating a summer garden feel. I was blown away when I came to deliver the cake! Place settings were exquisitely styled  by Lindsay with soft grey linen and candles, gold cutlery and caesious blue charger plates. For the cake, Laura and Gregory chose a 3-tier design with a soft caesious blue deckled edge fondant base tier and semi-iced upper tiers, adorned with some stunning fresh flowers in a palette of dusty pinks and cottage blue by Floral Earth. Flavours were Lime White Chocolate Pistachio and Lemon Blueberry Coconut, deliciously fresh and summer flavours. And I just love this cake cutting photo! 

 

 

“Thank you so much for the beautiful cake! It was delicious!! Thank you so much for making it a very seamless process to work with you. That makes all the difference! “

Laura and Gregory, 2019

 

Real Weddings with Adam and Grace Photography

It is always a delight to receive wedding photos from photographers and clients! So many months are spent working closely on a wedding cake design, it is exciting to finally see the cake in the context of a beautiful wedding day and blissfully happy clients.

Today I am sharing two weddings from 2019 photographed by the supremely talented Adam and Grace Photography, who masterfully capture weddings in a candid, elegant and timeless style.

 

Moya and Andrew, Mount Juliet. Adam and Grace Photography

Moya and Andrew were married last spring in the stately surrounds of Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny. I have had the pleasure of knowing Moya for a few years now, having made a few celebration cakes for her business and personal events. Moya is the founder of Avenue Interior Design, a design studio that creates interior spaces that are comfortable and inviting, with a signature relaxed and refined style. Enlisting the help of wedding stylist Betty Williamson and florist The Wild Bunch, this style was translated into a wedding that exuded minimilast sophistication.

The beautiful blossom trees on the grounds of Mount Juliet provided nature’s perfect floral arch for portraits.

The wisteria-clad front of Mount Juliet House.

A pinterest-worthy flatlay.

Relaxed and informal flowers in the inviting dining space of Hunter’s Yard, Mount Juliet and Moya’s beautiful bouquet.

For their cake, Moya and Andrew chose a cake table, incorporating a main cake, minimalist in style and adorned with sugar flowers, as well as two side cakes, mini-cakes and macarons. With flavours including Champagne Elderflower Strawberry, Orange Cardamom Rose and Chocolate Orange Olive Oil Hazelnut Rosemary, the table was no doubt a treat for guests!

It was style, but most certainly not over substance – our guests were raving about the cakes and the delicious flavours and they still are”.

Moya and Andrew

 

John and Siobhan, Clonwilliam House. Adam and Grace Photography

Siobhan and John were married on a warm August day at one of my favourite venues, Clonwilliam House, (I always wish I could just move in when I deliver there!).  Clonwilliam is a family-owned stately home in a peaceful and private setting with a stunning vista over the lush green countryside of County Wicklow.  When I was delivering the cake I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Siobhan leaving that morning for the ceremony in a vintage red open-topped car…how fun!

The grounds of the house provided the perfect backdrop for beautifully candid photos.

The detail on Siobhan’s dress is just stunning.

…and I just love her romantic bouquet of tied roses in pale pink hues!

Beautiful flowers in shades of pink by Frog Prince Weddings adorned the house and the romantically dining space in the converted barn.

For their cake John and Siobhan chose a single tall tier of Guinness Chocolate with Roasted White Chocolate Cake, adorned in blush marble icing, gold leaf and pretty fresh flowers. Accompanying Champagne and Strawberry macarons created a sweet choice for guests that evening!

We loved our wedding cake! Not only did it look fab but it tasted so delicious it didn’t last very long! Suzanne was so easy to work with, she is a professional artist and created exactly what we wanted. Thank you!”

Siobhan and John

 

 

Real Weddings – Three of my favourites from 2018

It is always a delight to receive wedding photos from clients! So many months are spent working closely on their wedding cake design, it is exciting to finally see those plans come to fruition but also to see the cake in the context of a beautiful wedding day. Today I am sharing three of many stunning real weddings from 2018!

Sharon and James

This wedding was close to my heart as Sharon is actually my sister-in-law and my little girl was one of the flower girls. Sharon was the most relaxed bride and it showed, she glowed with happiness! The venue was Harvey’s Point hotel on the shores of Lough Eske which allowed for stunning photos by Ghorm Studio Photography in the surrounding mountains. The all-important cake was inspired by Sharon’s gorgeous dress, with applique lace and sugar flowers.  Family weddings are always exciting and I can testify that Sharon and James’ was an incredible weekend of celebration!

Rebecca and Fred

Rebecca, along with her mother, runs Hedgeroe Home, a Dublin-based interiors and lifestyle store. It was no surprise then to see Rebecca’s unique sense of style translate into her stunning wedding which was held in a marquee in the grounds of her family home. I mean look at her dress…divine! Ferns were the theme of the day, and the inspiration for the cake design, which featured a modern geometric pattern juxtaposed with fern moulding. Stunning photography by Paula McManus.

I was delighted to see Rebecca and Fred’s wedding featured in Social and Personal Magazine…what a lovely feature!

Suzanne and Eamon

Suzanne and Eamon traveled from America to celebrate their wedding with 400 guests at one of Ireland’s finest venues, the gorgeous Adare Manor. Living in America the bride and groom enlisted talented wedding planner, Alise Taggart, to coordinate their day. I worked with Alise in the design of their cake which drew inspiration from the elegant surroundings of the venue, with a gold leaf tier and soft sugar flowers in shades of blush, reflecting the wedding flowers by The Informal Florist. A monogram featured on their invitations was also incorporated into their cake design.

With photography by renowned photographer Taylor and Porter, it was no surprise that this  beautiful wedding was featured on prestigious wedding blog, US Brides

Thank you to all my wonderful 2018 clients, it has been a pleasure to work with each and every one! Looking forward to all of 2019’s orders!

Suzanne, x

Autumn Cake Design

 

For many cake decorators Autumn and Winter mark the end of a busy wedding season and allow for time to be creative in designing new cakes and experimenting in new forms and techniques. With time for a new cake design over the last few weeks I wanted to experiment with different colour tones in my sugar flowers and also embrace a more natural approach to their composition on a cake.

I was in love with the autumn hues this year: copper, burnt orange and light browns filled trees and then carpeted the ground….these colours are a departure from my usual in sugar flowers and hence a perfect palette to experiment with. I have also recently been drawn to more natural and organic floral arrangements by floral artists such as The Blue Carrot and this bowl arrangement by American Florist Kelly Lenard.

My take on this palette and inspiration was a loose arrangement of a blush O’Hara rose, yellow garden roses, and sweet pea for softness. Completing the arrangement were sparse withering leaves in shades of copper, rust and light brown and I also added in my version of my latest obsession, lunaria! I set the flowers atop a tall modern square cake, not the easiest to ice but quite striking I think once done! The cake needed a little texture for which I took inspiration from botanical artist Rachel DeinRachel Dein is a London-based artist who creates intricate botanical art in plaster and concrete in the form of tiles and larger pieces. The detail and texture is incredible!My texture was certainly a more simplified version of Rachel’s beautiful detail but it is something I would love to explore more…if I have the opportunity!I hope you like the finished piece!

Suzanne x

 

 

Secret Garden Inspiration Shoot

I had the pleasure of being invited to collaborate on a photo shoot last July designed and planned by the talented Grace and Saviour Styling and photographed by Paula O’Hara Photography.  I am in love with this one and thrilled to see the full shoot now published on prestigious wedding blog Green Wedding Shoes.  In this blog post I wanted to give a little insight into the inspiration for the shoot and corresponding brief for the cakes…with a sneak peak of the result!

The inspiration for the shoot was ‘ vintage botanical illustrations from the 18th century’. The brief was dreamy,  ‘..to convey the wedding of a cool, relaxed, slightly bohemian couple who get married in a beautifully ramshackle glass house in a country pile…overgrown gardens and slightly too warm, glistening skin’.  The shoot was to feel earthy and relaxed so I created a mood board for the cakes, drawing on pretty, informal and delicious looking cakes as inspiration, with natural florals for decoration.

Mood board:

 

The ‘country pile’ was Carncairn Lodge in Northern Ireland, an Irish Manor house with a beautiful garden and rambling greenhouse.  It was a glorious July day, creating the perfect atmosphere to convey a relaxed summer garden wedding. The shoot was centred around the greenhouse which was styled by Grace for an informal wedding lunch with draped linen, relaxed flowers, candles and fruits.

 

For the cakes, I opted for a trio for an informal sweet table concept. A main textured iced cake adorned with oversized garden blooms styled by Grace was accompanied by un-iced Chocolate Salted Caramel and Prosecco Peach Thyme cakes (for more of our delectable cake flavours check our our menu!). Purposefully oozing peach and thyme jam, a cake slice, and the exposed chocolate cake layers were chosen to convey delicious homemade and summery sweet treats. 

 

This gives a little taste of what’s to come in this gorgeous summery shoot which features signature informal flowers by Petal and Twine,  exquisite gowns by Ivory and Pearl, stationary by Lenka Calligraphy, hair by Lynette Murray, and make up by Jennifer Ireland. To swoon over the full shoot head on over to Green Wedding Shoes!

Let’s Talk Waste

Much attention has been focused of late on the scourge of plastics in our oceans and environment, with dire consequences for future generations unless we take action. Living beside the sea, we see at first hand the waste that is routinely washed up on our little stretch of coast. Since last year my family has worked to take one small step at a time to reduce plastic use, and waste in general, in our home, each thing we eliminate is one less piece of plastic or waste in our environment.

It was inspiring to learn of the recent launch of a Green initiative in my local villages of Glasthule and Sandycove (the latter after which my own business is named!) aimed at tackling waste.  ‘Glasthule Sandycove Going Green’ sees businesses aiming to reduce waste, focusing on plastics first. Businesses signed up to the initiative are pledging to replace at least three of their single use plastic items with biodegradable alternatives in 2018. To coincide with this I have taken a look at my own business to see if I can further reduce waste.

Cove Cake Design is a small home based business who supplies clients directly. The direct delivery of the majority of my products, wedding cakes, to a venue means there is thankfully little to no packaging involved in these orders…I take back my transport box to use again. Cakes that are collected are packaged in cardboard boxes which can be recycled. In terms of my supplies, I try to shop for ingredients locally and seasonally (and in small quantities to avoid potential food waste), choosing products not in plastic where possible. Any food waste is composted (and I keep this to a minimum, carefully quantifying recipes so that there isn’t an excess) and anything that can be recycled is.

There is always room for improvement though and I have been taking further steps to reduce waste (even though some only small I think even saving one item from waste is an achievement!)

  • I am in the process of sourcing biodegradable cellophane for my cake samples in my sample boxes. This is one area of my business where I do us packaging and I hence need to minimise waste from this.
  • I have started using a washing up liquid that comes in a container which is made from 100% recycled plastic and can be recycled again itself.
  • I switched from antibacterial soap in a plastic pump bottle in my kitchen to an antibacterial soap bar that comes packaged in a box.
  • I have switched from purchasing plastic milk containers to tetra pak cartons which have a better water and carbon footprint than plastic.
  • I have discovered a farmer in my local market who takes my old egg box cartons to re-use to sell his eggs…even though I always recycled them before to have them re-used is a much better circular system!
  • I have reduced the amount of paperwork that I print, backing up certain files electronically that I used to print a hard copy of too.
  • I am determined to work with suppliers and make complaints where excess packaging is used in my orders, shopping elsewhere if necessary! (Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows how much this upsets me!)

I have been inspired by others and I hope this little post can inspire too. I also want my clients to have confidence in knowing that when they buy a cake from Cove Cake Design I am conscious of doing my best to minimise any waste produced in the process!

Suzanne x

 

Cake Tasting Box Service

 

Wedding cake tasting must be up there amongst the most enjoyable aspects of planning your big day. What is not to love about sampling delicious cake and deciding what flavours would be most enjoyed by you and your guests?! At Cove Cake Design wedding cake tastings are operated via a sample box service which has been hugely popular with clients. Obviating the need for yet another appointment sample boxes are delivered to your door, allowing for tasting and discussion in the comfort of your own home.

Here are some FAQs about the service:

  • I have booked my wedding cake with Cove Cake Design, how to I order a tasting box?
    • Once you have reserved your date your name will be put on the next available tasting box list which suits your diary. The tasting service operates every 2-3 months. Tasting boxes are complimentary for clients who have booked their wedding cake.
  • I am not getting married but would love a tasting box! Is this possible?
    • Unfortunately due to limited availablility only wedding cake clients can be accommodated on the tasting box service.
  • I would like to taste some of Cove Cake Design’s flavours before booking my cake, is this possible?
    • Due to limited availability priority on our tasting box service is given to those who have already reserved their wedding date with Cove Cake Design. However if you wish to try samples prior to booking and a box is available on a particular dispatch then I would be delighted to send one to you! Prior to payment of booking deposit there is a €40 charge for tasting boxes which can be redeemed against your wedding cake deposit should you choose to proceed with an order.
  • How many flavours are in the box?
    • The boxes contain 6 delicious samples from the menu.
  • Can I choose which flavours I would like to sample?
    • Flavours are chosen by Cove Cake Design depending on a number of criteria including seasonality and availability of ingredients. However if you see particular favourites on the menu which you would like to try please do let me know and I will do my utmost to include as many of these as possible!
  • How are the boxes dispatched?
    • Boxes are sent via overnight registered delivery.
  • Will the samples stay fresh?
    • The samples are wrapped tightly and well-packaged. Once you receive your samples it is recommended that they are consumed within 24 hours
  • Do you ship tasting boxes overseas?
    • Samples can be shipped to the UK but unfortunately shipping further afield would not be advisable as we could not guarantee freshness of the samples. Should you live overseas please let me know if you plan to visit Ireland in advance of your wedding day and I can arrange samples for that date. Alternatively if you have friends or family in Ireland they may (!) be willing to do the tasting for you.
  • I couldn’t decide which flavours I would like, can I have a second box?
    • Additional boxes can be dispatched at a cost of €15, subject to availability. This is not redeemable against your wedding cake cost.

 

Chocolate Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn Cupcakes

February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day which calls for some romantic baking! Dark chocolate and raspberry are a match made in heaven…here I have spiced up the combination in a cupcake recipe with the addition of some pink peppercorns. The spice adds an interesting little kick we well as being a pretty decorative flourish!

This recipe makes approx 16-20 cupcakes. Feel free to half the recipe if you don’t wish to devour this many between you and your loved one!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn

Ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 100g unsalted butter,
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 8g cocoa powder
  • 120g good quality 70% dark chocolate
  • 160ml whole milk

Ingredients for the Raspberry Buttercream

  • 100g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • Handful of pink peppercorns

Method

  • To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 160°C/315F and line two 12-hole muffin tins with 16-20 paper cases.
  • Place the chocolate, milk and half the sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until all the chocolate and sugar have dissolved.
  • Meanwhile beat the butter and remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Scrape down the mixture from the sides if necessary.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the butter and sugar mixture and mix gently until just combined.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix again, scraping any mixture down from the sides if necessary.
  • Divide the mixture between the cases and bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes are springy to the touch.
  • Leave to rest in the tray for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely (note: tops of the cupcakes sink slighltly on cooling which is normal)
  • To make the buttercream, place the raspberries in a small saucepan with a small splash of water and heat gently until soft. Remove from the heat and mash. Strain through a sieve into a clean bowl, scraping the sieve to get as much of the juice as possible. Return the raspberry puree to the saucepan and simmer gently until the juice has thickened and reduced by about half. Leave to cool and thicken further.
  • Meanwhile, beat the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for approximately 10mins until light and fluffy. A little at a time, add the concentrated raspberry puree to the buttercream, mixing between each addition, until the desired strength of flavour is achieved. Take care not to add too much such that icing is too runny.
  • To finish the cupcakes, pipe the raspberry buttercream on each cupcake and sprinkle with crushed pink peppercorns!